The young lady clad in a silk saree was the cynosure of all eyes when she entered the Collectorate in Kottayam with a winsome smile. Though she grabbed the eyeballs of the onlookers, her youthful appearance did not give them any inkling of her high standing.
Meet Dr Divya S Iyer, the new assistant collector Kottayam!
It was a dream-come-true for Divya who was the 48th rank holder in the all-India Civil Services Examination, 2013. A native of Thiruvananthapuram, Divya wanted to be a part of the Kerala Cadre and serve her home State when she notched a top rank in her second attempt.
Although she had completed MBBS degree from the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, IAS was her final destination. In the 2012 exams, she finished 139th and was selected for the Indian Revenue Service. While attending training at the National Academy for Customs, Excise and Narcotics in Faridabad, Divya realiaed that the fire of IAS aspiration was still burning in the depth of her heart.
Maintaining her motivation, she took leave for a year after the completion of the first phase of the training programme and joined the NSS Civil Service Academy.Her hard work, tenacity and conviction bore fruit in 2014.
Notably, Divya was not merely gobbling up books while undergoing the pre-examination coaching. Amidst here busy schedule, she could find time to write a book titled ‘Pathfinder’ which carried notes simplifying the new IAS examination syllabus as well as useful tips to crack the test. She has authored four books so far.
The multi-talented Divya has also made her mark in a variety of art forms such as Kathakali, Odissi dance, classical music and mono act. She was a regular winner of the ‘Kalathilakam’ title in her school and college days.
Divya had been nurturing the dream of becoming an IAS officer from a very early age. A speech made by former additional chief secretary D. Babu Paul at a function held in her school in Thiruvananthapuram when she was a second standard student was the turning point in her life. The young Divya, who entered the stage to hand over the wick to the chief guest for lightening the lamp, listened to the entire speech staying back on the stage. Ever since, she wanted to become a collector!
Divya is the daughter of Sesha Iyer, an ex-ISRO employee and Bhagavathi Ammal, an officer with the SBT. Her sibling Nithya is settled in Bengaluru.
According to her, a doctor-turned-collector can easily feel the pulse of the problems confronting the common man.
“Solving the issues in the healthcare sector will be my top priority. I will put in all efforts towards making the ‘Suchitwa Kottayam’ programme, drawn up by District Collector U V Jose, a success,” Divya says, adding that it was a privilege to start her career with Jose who is popular among the masses.