Government & Politics

Smt. Sonal Goel, an Extremely Learned IAS Officer, Qualified in a Lot of Professions and Choosing to Serve the Government with Honesty


Whatever you do in life, you must put service to the nation first and try in your best capacity to contribute towards the development of the country.
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Whatever you do in life, you must put service to the nation first and try in your best capacity to contribute towards the development of the country.
Visit my website

As a committed and devoted IAS officer, Smt. Sonal Goel stands as an inspiration to many. Championing the spirit of living for others, she believes that people’s participation is equally important in Nation Building as much as the government’s efforts.

Smt. Sonal Goel is an IAS officer of the Batch of 2008. She was allocated the Tripura cadre and served there from 2009 to 2016. After that, she also served in Haryana for four years during her inter-cadre deputation. Currently, she is the Resident Commissioner in Tripura House in New Delhi working for the Tripura Government.

Smt. Sonal originally hails from Panipat, Haryana. But her father, who is a CA, had set up his practice in New Delhi and owing to that she received her school education in New Delhi itself. She is an alumna of the Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi where she pursued her B.Com.(Hons.). She is also a CS from ICSI, New Delhi. She also did her L.L.B. from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University. And after joining the IAS, she pursued her M.A. in Public Policy.

Smt. Sonal shares that when she was in the third year of her college, she got to know about the Civil Services Examination. She expressed her desire to appear in the exam to her family. Her family, especially her father, was quite apprehensive with regard to her decision to appear in the exam and make a career thereafter in the civil services. Her father, citing the exam to be the most competitive, asked her to also have a plan B, in the event of her not being able to pass the examination.

Her father, being a CA himself, always stressed that all his children got a good education. Taking advice from her father, Sonal completed her bachelors and CS and then she also did her L.L.B. She says along with pursuing her L.L.B, she also practised part-time as a CS.

Smt. Sonal shares that she was juggling her L.L.B., part-time CS practice and her preparation for the Civil Service Examination all at the same time. In 2006, she appeared for the UPSC entrance exam for the first time. She cleared Prelims and reached the Mains, but did not receive a call for the interview which was the final stage. She was very disappointed but she gathered herself again and was resolute to give her best at the exam. In 2007, she wrote the exam for the second time and this time she secured an All India Rank 13th at it.Following her selection, she joined the training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration ( LBSNAA) in Mussoorie in 2008.

Smt. Sonal shares that she hails from a business family and none in her family had tried for the civil services ever before. But she felt that clearing the exam and joining the services thereafter would give her an opportunity to contribute something meaningful to the nation and serve society.

To Civil Service aspirants, she advises that the exam demands at least two years of preparation with consistent efforts and hard work. Besides, she also advises that it’s paramount to work on your weaknesses and capitalise on your strengths when you prepare for the exam. She also says that by utilising your twenty-four hours productively, you can devote some time to your hobbies as well during the preparation for the exam. Furthermore, she says, remaining focused, believing in yourself and keeping yourself motivated at all times during the preparation will surely help you pass the exam and become a Civil Servant.

Smt. Sonal thinks that success is rather a journey, not a destination. For her, success is to be able to help, motivate and inspire others.

Smt. Sonal considers late Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as her source of inspiration. Besides, she has also been inspired by her parents and husband at different times.

Smt. Sonal believes that no one is perfect and there’s no limit to how much one can learn. And therefore she advises, one should keep learning and improving themself.

Smt. Sonal says that any government policy is successful only when it reaches the intended beneficiaries. And to make any government policy work, people’s participation is equally required as much as the government’s efforts. As an IAS officer, wherever she worked, whether in Tripura or Haryana, she always tried to ensure the participation of the public for the successful implementation of the government policies there. She played a crucial role in implementing “ Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao” and the “Swachh Bharat Mission”, among other government policies in her area of jurisdiction. She also worked for women and child health, girls’ education, sports, promoting mental and physical health, etc. as an  officer.

Smt. Sonal shares that as per the law of nature a woman is required  to fulfil so many roles from begetting a child to taking care of her family. And to be an officer and also to take care of her duties as a mother, is a bit of a challenge for a woman and she too faced it. But she believes that participation of more and more women in the Civil Services is required because as of now only twenty percent of all the officers are women. She also shares that there are some services for which a male candidate is preferred over a female candidate. She says many women officers have risen to the post of Chief Secretary, DGP and Secretary to the Government of India which is a very welcoming sign for women in the services.

To the youth, her message is that they should believe in themselves and they should have clarity with regard to what they want to achieve in life. And once they have clarity with regard to their goals, they must put in consistent and focused efforts to achieve them. Besides, she advises them not to pay heed to what people have to say about you and to just be focused on your goals. Furthermore, she advises them that whatever they do, they should put service to the nation above all.

Smt. Sonal shares that she always followed four Ps: Passion, Patience, Perseverance, and Positive Outlook in her life and has now added three Cs: Courage, Conviction, and Consistency to the Ps to be successful in life.

Talking about the Covid pandemic, Sonal shares that during the pandemic, she was in Gurugram posted as Additional CEO in the GMDA and was also the CEO of the City Bus Services there. She says that Gurugram being a cosmopolitan city entailed a lot of challenges to be tackled during the pandemic. As the Team Leader of the City Bus Services, she converted a few of the buses into mobile grocery stores for supplying ration, food and vegetables to the needy. Besides, she also facilitated services like mobile medical and Covid testing facilities, transportation of Covid patients, etc. She also worked to ensure that all the Covid protocols and measures were in place in the city to combat the virus. In 2021, during the second wave of the pandemic, she was posted as the Special Resident Commissioner at Tripura Bhawan, New Delhi and during that time on behalf of the government of Tripura, she worked to help the people of Tripura in Delhi. She feels that the pandemic taught us to be resilient and the importance of helping one another in times of crisis. She also acknowledges that many people took it upon themselves to help the needy and also helped the administration in fighting the pandemic.

Smt. Sonal believes in leveraging social media to spread positivity and authentic information about the government policies and also to connect with the public to be able to understand their grievances and get feedback from them.

Smt. Sonal suggests to the  people that whatever news or information they share on social media they ought to check their authenticity before sharing it. Besides, she also advises youngsters to use social media judiciously and use their time wisely.

In her spare time, Sonal likes to cook, sing, and dance. She also likes to do meditation, yoga and aerobics.

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Smt. Sonal Goel, IAS Officer, Panipat

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