Achieving 8th rank in coveted Civil Services Examination and that too in first attempt is no small feat for Vandana considering she was born and raised in a village Nasrullagarh, District Saharanpur (UP).
Coming from an orthodox family where education for girls is still unthinkable, Vandana got a mentor in her father who showed guts to send Vandana to Kanya Gurukul, Chotipura (near Muradabad) for schooling.
Vandana had high aspirations and in fact wanted to be a scientist as she was influenced by former President Abdul Kalam and was motivated to do something big. But, due to her family background, she couldn’t get that kind of environment.
But, Vandana was determined to do somewhat different. She understood that education only can help her in coming out of conventional mindset. She kept on exploring opportunities that could match her intellectual interests. By the time she reached 10th standard, she was clear about her future career option – to become IAS officer. And after that whatever she did, she had this thing in mind that her aim is always in centre.
As soon as she completed her LL.B., she indulged in serious preparation for Civil Services Examination.
After having a look at syllabus for Preliminary and Main Examination, she thought that she can do it with self-study. As such, she did not have the luxury to join coaching institutes so; she relied upon her textbooks and commenced preparation.