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UPSC

Civil Services - Last year Interviews - 2012


[Type the document subtitle]
Prakash Chaudhary
12/14/2012

Source : http://www.indianofficer.com/forums/11768-compilation-interview-experiences3.html#axzz2F0dKd8mV

Contents
INTERVIEW BOARD ROOM......................................................................................................................... 4
DIAGRAMMATIC REPRESENTATION OF UPSC INTERVIEW HALL ............................................................... 5
Interview-Ten Golden Tips To Top In The Interviews: ............................................................................... 6
From the point of view of an Interview Board Member............................................................................ 8
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Ajay Kumar (Sh. IMG Khan Board) .................................. 9
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Kapil Jindal (Purshottam Aggarwal Board) ................... 12
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Prabhasa Bhoi AIR-902 ( K. K. Paul Board) ................... 14
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Ghanshyam Thori (Dr. K. K. Paul Board) ....................... 19
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Shailesh Bansal : AIR 597 (Rajni Rajdan Board), Indian
Administrative Service 2010 .................................................................................................................... 25
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Mamta Gupta : AIR 413 (K. S. Chalam Board) Indian
Administrative Service 2010 .................................................................................................................... 29
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Rajesh Kankipati : AIR 103 (Purushotam Aggarwal
Board), Indian Administrative Service 2010 ............................................................................................ 33
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Rajeshwari B ................................................................. 39
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Nidhi Choudhari (Purushotam Agrawal Board) ............ 44
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Ajay Pal AIR-160 (Dr. K.K. Paul Board) Indian
Administrative Service 2010 .................................................................................................................... 46
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Amit Goyal (Dr. K.K. Paul Board) .................................. 58
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Prince Garg (Prof. K.S. Chalam Board) .......................... 61
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Abhiram G. Sankar (Mrs. Rajni Razdan) [AIR:04].......... 66
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Gokul G R (Shri I. M. G. Khan) [AIR:19] ......................... 71
Union Public Service Commission Interview By Bhuvnesh Pratap Singh (Dr KK Paul Board) .................. 78
Union Public Service Commission Interview By M. Rohit (Purushottam Agarwal Board) ....................... 82
Rajshree Jassie (AIR 334)..Strategy and Interview (CSE 2010)................................................................. 87
This is one Mr.Vinay's interview.. refer here: .......................................................................................... 94
Re: A compilation of interview experiences ............................................................................................ 99
Interview was on 24th march, chairman was Prof. E. Balagurusamy. ................................................... 103
from Mrunal's earlier thread: ................................................................................................................ 104
Re: A compilation of interview experiences .......................................................................................... 106
Civils Interview of Dr.Bharat Gupta, AP topper and 17th rank ( All India) ............................................ 108
Experience with smt.S. U. Tripathi ......................................................................................................... 117
Experience with Nirbhay Sharma board ................................................................................................ 124
My interview, as it happened on 24th march evening .......................................................................... 128

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My interview in Chalam Sir Board ......................................................................................................... 134
My interview in detail ............................................................................................................................ 141
My Experience with Shashi UBen Tripathi's Board ................................................................................ 146
My civils interview : Prashant Agrawal .................................................................................................. 150
First Day ,First Show !!! : Abhishek Mishra ............................................................................................ 162
First day, frst show !!! : Sadayappan ..................................................................................................... 166
My First Civils Interview : smarak .......................................................................................................... 168
My Life's First Interview(Civil Services' Interview) : Abhijeet Agrawal .................................................. 174
My Civil Services Interview) : Gangadhar .............................................................................................. 177
The second Union Public Service Commission interview ...................................................................... 181
My UPSC Interview Kashish Mittal ...................................................................................................... 185
An IAS Officer's Blog: My Interview ....................................................................................................... 188
UPSC Interview By Aravind Menon : AIR -201 (Smt Alka Sirohi's Board), CSE-2011 ............................. 195
UPSC Interview By Rajesh Meena : AIR 316 (Mr. K.K. Paul), IAS 2011 .................................................. 198
UPSC Interview By Kumar Ashish : AIR -363 (Dr. K. K. Paul Sirs Board), CSE-2011 ............................... 203
UPSC Interview By Gautam Singh Chaudhary : AIR 297 (Alka Sirohi Board), IAS 2011 ......................... 209
UPSC Interview By Vishal Gupta ............................................................................................................ 212
UPSC Interview By Dr. Lalit Kumar (Dr. K.K. Paul Board) ....................................................................... 218
UPSC Interview By Dr. Satyavenkath ..................................................................................................... 223
UPSC Interview By Pawan Kadyan (Sh. I.M.G. Khan Board) .................................................................. 229
Some probable questions that are asked generally in the UPSC Interview: ......................................... 237
Dos for the IAS Interview ...................................................................................................................... 239
Donts for the IAS Interview ................................................................................................................... 240
Objective of UPSC Interview .................................................................................................................. 241
Other Advice .......................................................................................................................................... 242

INTERVIEW BOARD ROOM

DIAGRAMMATIC REPRESENTATION OF UPSC INTERVIEW HALL

Interview-Ten Golden Tips To Top In The Interviews:


Appreciate the wisdom of being clean, neat and tidy when you present yourself before the interview
panel
Interview Board: See that you have good haircut and that your nails are clean. Comb your hair well.
Remove sweat, oil, dirt, etc., from your face and forehead. Make sure that no bad odor or smell
emanates from your face. But you can certainly do a lot to improve it. Your appearance should show
that you are an orderly person. Therefore, do take care of your grooming.
Mind your clothes: You should dress well suited to the occasion. Your clothes should not be gaudy or
showy. You must present yourself in a suit, preferably of dark or somber colors. Your collar must be
clean, well pressed and starched. Similarly, your shirt handcuffs should also be clean. They should not
be frayed in the ends. You must wear socks and shoes. See that the socks are pulled up. Shoes must be
well polished. You make the first impression with your clothes and the way you dress yourself up. If
your clothes create an initial unfavorable impression you will be hard put to neutralise it during the
interview. Similarly, with some care for your clothes you can begin the interview with your right foot
forward. It is therefore very essential that you turn up for the interview, smartly dressed.
Etiquette, manners and courtesy can help you a great deal in tilting the interview in your favor: Before
entering the room, gently knock at the door and announce yourself. You can politely inquire whether.
You could go in. You must enter only when you are bid to do so. Enter calmly with confidence. After
entering, greet those present according to the time of the day, e.g. 'Good morning, Sir,' 'Good
afternoon, Sir', and so on. It would be ideal if you could stand to attention while greeting them. While
paying compliments and later while addressing the Chairmen, or the Members. Generally address
yourself to the Chairmen as he represents the entire Board. Wait till you are offered a seat. Then
thank the person who asks you to sit down before you are offered a seat. Then thank the person who
asks you to sit down before you take your seat. If you are not offered a seat, continue to stand and
answer the questions from that position.
Avoid mannerisms: Sit straight and look up. Do not keep shaking your knees, tapping on the floor and
so on. Stop coughing or adjusting your throat every now and then. Atop playing with your tie, collars
or coat buttons. Do not lean on the table and rest your elbows there. In fact, you should cur out all
unnecessary movements. You can and must be relaxed.
Smile and be cheerful: While entering the room, while greeting the Chairman and Members, while
thanking them and while listening to them keep your smile on. See that you do not start yawning
during the interview. You should look keen, interested, pleasant and enthusiastic. A smile helps you in
all these.
Speak distinctly and audibly: Do not either shout or mumble. Pronounce your words full and give
emphasis to the syllable where required. Speak in such a way that all those present could hear you
without straining themselves. Speak with interest and enthusiasm. Your voice must sparkle and
vibrate with spirit. Do not drag or sound monotonous. Speak to the Chairman or to the Members and
not to the floor, roof, table or wall. In other words, look into their eyes while you speak.

Be attentive and look attentive when the Chairman or the Members speaks to you: Listen carefully to
what they say and do not ask them to repeat themselves often. Do not close your eyes while you want
to concentrate. Also do not interrupt while they talk. Allow them to complete the question or remarks
before you give your reply or comments.
You must avoid arguments: Do not challenge the opinion of the Board Members or the correctness of
their statements. Express your views with tact and consideration. Avoid criticising others. Do not find
fault with others. If you are in the wrong, admit it and apologise immediately. Never give excuses.
While giving your conclusions, proceed in a logical manner and adduce valid reasons. Do not be selfopinionated.
Do not bluff, boast vainly and shoot lions: State the fact accurately and be modest while describing
your achievements. When you do not know the answer, be frank and tell them so. Never generalise or
make vague guesses. See that you do not waffle. While you speak, you must be able to hold the
attention of your listeners with interest. You should never become a bore.
Act with confidence, hop and assurance: Be positive and optimistic in your outlook. Remember, it is
not so much what you say, but how you say, that mostly determines your success in the interview.

From the point of view of an Interview Board Member


From the point of view of an Interview Board Member
Mrunal's suggestion and my earlier post on my interview have set me thinking: Why not share my
experience with you all as a member of an interview board for a state civil service examination.
Many years down the line in the Indian Administrative Service, a state government in its wisdom
decided to have me as a government nominee on an interview board for PCS examinees (the
Chairman was a retired Chief Secretary and the others were academicians), and here is what I felt I
expected from the aspirants:
1. Be neat and formal in appearance; even dandruff and dirty nails can be noticed from the other side
of the table.
2. If you are nervous, the Board will try to calm you. If you continue to be nervous, you'll fumble with
the answers and God help you.
3. Don't you forget to read that particular day's newspaper, whatever be the excuse.
4. Know your subjects, hobbies and be able to explain why you want to be a civil servant.
5. You are not expected to know everything. If you don't know something say so. It saves a lot of grief.
6. Don't lie. Board Members are not fools.
7. If you are asked an argumentative question, don't fall in the trap and argue; be calm and answer
reasonably.
8. If you don't know what is happening in the world around you (current affairs), its best you prepare
for another attempt at the exam.
9. If you answer a question, you might be required to follow it up with a discussion for or against.
10. After each candidate leaves the interview room, the Board discusses him or her, and awards marks
usually by consensus.
11. Board Members have their bad days too (after all they are human!) and a series of bad candidates
does make them irritable.
12. And finally for God's sake, don't give the impression of being casual or over-smart!

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Union Public Service Commission Interview By Ajay Kumar (Sh. IMG Khan Board)
Interview Writeup : Legends: Chairman-CH; Member 1-M1; Member 2-M2; Member 3-M3; Member 4
(Lady Member)-M4; Ajay Kumar-AK.

AK: ...enters the room and wishes the chairman...


CH: Please have your seat.
AK: Thank you, Sir.
CH: So, you are Ajay Kumar
AK: Yes Sir.
CH: Ajay, (seeing the bio data) you were getting Rs. 25 Lacs per annum in UAE so why do you want to
join Civil Service? I think you are more useful for Engineering.
AK: Sir, I agree that I am useful for Engineering; but I believe I would be even more useful for Civil
Service. This is my childhood dream to join civil services and to work to improve lives of laces of
common people.
CH: What was your profile in your last job?
AK: Pipeline Engineer
CH: If a pipeline has to pass through various countries, what technical difficulties you foresee.
AK: Crossing hilly areas, rivers, deserts and valleys poses a great challenge.
M1: Have you seen today's newspaper?
AK: Yes, Sir
M1: What is the good news today?
AK: India own over Australia and it will meet Pakistan in Semi-finals: This is the good news
M1: What is the bad news?
AK: Sorry Sir, I am not able to recollect
M1: What is humorous news?
AK: Sorry Sir, I am not able to recollect
M1: Any news about Orissa?
AK: Yes Sir, the name has been changed to Odisha by an act of parliament.
M1: Can you recall the Constitutional Amendment number
AK: Yes Sir, It is 113 th Amendment act
M2: There are two cases (1) IC-814 hijack case (2) Vineel Krishna Abduction case; In both cases Govt
had to bend. Do you justify govt. stand?

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AK: Yes Sir. Since ours is a democracy and if we allow our people to die in such circumstances, then
there will be huge public uproar which is not desirable.
M2: What other countries follow in these circumstances.
AK: I am not fully aware, Sorry Sir.
M3: Do you have any civil servant as your role model?
AK: No Sir.
M3: Tell 3 most important qualities of a civil servant.
AK: Honesty, Integrity & Compassion
M4: If a pipeline has to be laid in flood-prone area, in earth-quake prone area, in terrorist afflicted
area and in tsunami-prone area, How you will design them?
AK: In flood prone area & tsunami prone area: The pipeline will be buried with concrete coating and
will have higher wall thickness; In earth-quake prone area: Based on seismic analysis flexibility of
pipeline by sand-filling is to be ensured; and in terrorist afflicted area: apart from burrying the pipeline
and higher wall thickness, there should be provision of Security buildings at every 30-40 kms.
M4: Why you opted Hindi Literature as one of the optional?
AK: It was my strong area and based on thorough analysis I concluded it to be a scoring subject for me.
CH: What is the government system in Abudhabi?
AK: Monarchy, Sir.
CH: How people feel there? Are they happy?
AK: Yes sir. People are very happy there. Good quality of life is being enjoyed by majority.
CH: Can the same system be applied for India?
AK: No Sir.
CH: Then you are contradicting your previous statement.
AK: Sir, It may seem that I am contradicting, but in fact I am not. As I said, People are happy there and
it is proved by Human Development Report-2010. UAE got 32nd position. However, I believe
democracy is best suited for India. As India is very diverse country and has lot of inequalities. To
address these issues democracy is the best model. Moreover, what is happening in Lybia and Egypt
these days, the same may be repeated to UAE also, sooner or later. That's why India must continue
with its democratic model.
CH: Thanks God ! You have an open mind on this issue.
AK: Thank you, Sir.
CH: Your interview is over. You may leave now.
AK: Thank you, Sir ! ....Wishes the chairman and other members....and leaves the interview room.

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Exam Interview Details : Union Public Service Commission-Civil Services Exam 2010
Subjects Taken : Public Administration, Literature of Hindi Language
Interview DATE : 25-Mar-2011
Interview Board : Sh. IMG Khan
City : New Delhi
Read more: http://www.indianofficer.com/forums/11768-compilation-interviewexperiences.html#ixzz2ExUN8XBw

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Union Public Service Commission Interview By Kapil Jindal (Purshottam Aggarwal Board)
Name : Kapil Jindal

Interview Write-up : You have law and philosophy. is there any connection between the two?
Me: yes sir both are related. both regulate the conduct of our life, though in different ways. law
regulates our conduct externally by providing for the punishment for wrong conduct whereas
philosophy regulates internally by providing moral grounds for good behavior.

Interviewer: is providing punishment the philosophy of the entire law?


Me: No sir, it is basically the philosophy of criminal law.

Interviewer: tell something about international criminal law.


Me: sir, as such there is no codified international criminal law.

Interviewer: Have you heard about the international criminal court? What is the recent controversy
regarding its jurisdiction?
Me: Sir, i have heard about ICC but i do not have any idea about the controversy regarding its
jurisdiction.

Interviewer: you are from sirsa. it was earlier a part of hisar. do you have any idea about the kinds of
crops present there?
Me: Yes sir, cotton, barley, wheat, sarso are the main crops of our area.

Interviewer: do you know what is BT cotton?


Me: yes sir it is biotechnologically modified version of cotton and it helps in increasing the production.

Interviewer: BT stands for?


Me: it stands for biotechnology

Interviewer: no, it is the name of the gene.


Me: sorry sir and thanks for correcting me.

Interviewer: tell me the chronology of police administration starting from the hawaldar.
Me: sir, i don't exactly know the chronology but i know that after constable there is head constableSHO-SDM-DSP-SP-SSP-DIG-IG.

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Interviewer: Have u ever been to DC office.
Me: NO, SIR

Interviewer: you have philosophy. is it necessary to believe in god. is there any effect on our moral
values if don't believe in god?
Me: Sir, it is not necessary to believe in god but still it is good to be a believer of god. a belier in god is
generally good at moral values.

Interviewer: you mean to say that all the people who don't believe in god are not moral?
Me: sorry sir, but i did not mean that. we believe in god only for the purpose of giving some objectivity
to our morality otherwise it will become difficult to define morality.

Interviewer: there is no need to believe in god as the locus of moral values. who holds the view?
Me: sir, Charvaka hold this view .

Interviewer: ok kapil u can leave now.


Me: thank u sir, good evening.
Exam Interview Details : Indian Administrative Service Mains 2007 Interview
Subjects Taken : Law and Philosophy
Interview Date : 31-Mar-2008
Interview Board : Purshottam Aggarwal
Result of Interview : Not Qualified

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Union Public Service Commission Interview By Prabhasa Bhoi AIR-902 ( K. K. Paul Board)
Name: Prabhasa Bhoi
State: Orissa
Work: NTPC as Sr. Engineer
Sports: Played cricket during school and college days
Hobby: Collecting Indian Coins, swimming
I was on Mr. K K Paul's board. I was the fist candidate to be interviewed on that day. I was bit nervous
to be interviewed first. Anyway I managed to keep my cool. By 10.30, my interview was started and it
lasted for 40 minutes. I could not impress the Chairman but somehow tackled the questions from
other Board Members. I am not sure how much will I be getting in the interview.
First of all Mr Paul asked me about my Name, Roll No. and Date of birth. Then, as on the previous day
World cup semi-final was played he inquired whether I had watched the match. I replied Yes but not
fully.
Chairman: What was the turning point of the match?
Me: Tendulkar was dropped 4 times and almost all Indian bowlers picked up wickets.
(He was not convinced)
Chairman: Who was the captain of Indian on the first ever match played between India and Pakistan?
Me: No idea sir.
Chairman: Who was the captain of Pakistan on the first ever match played between India and
Pakistan?
Me: No idea sir.
(Then the Chairman gave the answer and asked whether I know them. I nodded negatively.)
Chairman: Why the rainbow is always curved?
Me: Rainbows are formed by refraction of light from rain drops. Rain drops are spherical in shape and
different colours have different wavelengths which are refracted differently and gave rise to curved
shape.
(He was not convinced)
Chairman: Have u heard of Irom Sharmila?
Me: Yes sir. She is a social activist fighting for repeal of AFSPA (Armed forces special power act) from
NE areas of our country.
Chairman: What is the specialty about her?
Me: She is on a continuous fast since last one decade to fight for this great cause.

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Chairman: What is AFSPA?
Me: This act empowers armed forces with special powers such as to detain anybody without trial for
indefinite period in certain disturbed areas to maintain peace and security of the region.
Chairman: What is the specific clause, she wants to repeal?
Me: Sorry sir, I dont remember.
Chairman: You are working in NTPC since last 5 years. Then why are you planning to change ur job?
Me: Truly speaking NTPC is the inspirational source of mine for preparing for Civil Services. I a working
in a generalised Dept., where I have to work with in sync with different Departments such as
Engineering, Finance etc.
Gradually I felt that if I can contribute in a efficient manner here, why cant I use my talent in a bigger
field for the service of the society.
Chairman: But, you are also now contributing to the society?
Me: Here Sir my scope is limited to only one filed. In civil service I will get a chance to serve in broader
spectrum.
(He was not convinced. After that he asked a few more questions and then asked other members to
ask questions)
Member1: You have mentioned that your hobby is collecting coins. What is it called?
Me: Numismatism.
Member1: What is the oldest coin you possess?
Me: It is of the year 1892, 2 Anna, Victoria series.
Member1: What is the present installed capacity of our country?
Me: around 1,72,000 MW.
Member1: What is the share of each sector?
Me: Thermal=65%, Hydro=20%, Nuclear=3%, RES=12%
Member1: Recently Govt. has launched a new mission for renewable energy. What is the name of that
programmer?
Me: National Solar Mission to generate 20,000 MW of solar energy by 2022.
Member2: What is the installed capacity of NTPC? (As I am working in NTPC)
Me: 33,194 MW.
Member2: Is it all coal based?
Me: No Sir, A major share (say 75%) comes form coal and remaining are gas based projects. Hydro
projects are still to be commissioned. NTPC is planning to venture into Nuclear, Solar and Wind
energy.

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Member2: What is UMPP?
Me: Ultra Mega Power Projects, which are basically taken to bridge the large demand gap in power
sector in our country.
Member2: What should be the minimum generating capacity of a power plant to be called a UMPP?
Me: 3000 MW
Member2: How many UMPPs are there in our country?
Me: Govt has already placed orders for 4-5 UMPPs such as Susan, Mudra etc. and Govt. is planning
more.
Member2: How many of them are in operation?
Me: None of them have been commissioned.
Mmber2: Then, what is the present status of their construction?
Me: Sorry sir, I dont have a detailed idea but some of them may be commissioned early in the next
year.
Member2: Some of them are facing financial crunch? Do you know them?
Me: No idea sir.
Member3 (Lady Member): Why Orissa is so backward?
Me: There is lack of proper utilization of resources because of the poor level of human development
and adoption of the top-down model of planning for development.
Member3: So you mean to say Orissa can never be developed?
Me: No Mam, these days lot of investments are coming and Orissa is poise to be the biggest
investment hub in our country. Furthermore the planning is being with the involvement of the people.
(She was not convinced and then the Chairman interrupted)
Chairman: What can be done to improve the industrial Sector of your state?
Me: The Govt. should take the initiative to investment in a planed manner; Private players must be
encouraged to play a greater role, central assistance is needed and wherever possible foreign players
must also be given a chance.
(Chairman too was not convinced with the answer and asked the member to continue)
Member3: What can be done to improve the financial scenario of Orissa?
(I dont remember what I answered)
Member4: These days there is a news regarding Cricket Diplomacy. What is the other sport in which
the term Diplomacy is attached?
Me: No idea sir.

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(The member asked me to try and I said Hockey. I think I made a big mistake here by guessing.)
Member4: It is Ping-pong diplomacy. Have u heard of it?
Me: No Sir.
Member 4: How many languages are recognized in our constitution?
Me: 22
Member 4: Among them, which is the language that is not the state language of any state?
(I really had no idea and he asked me to guess. Again I guessed wrongly such as Bodo or Dongri. He
denied and said that it is Sanskrit. However, later I found that Sanskrit is the 2nd state language (after
Hindi) of Uttarakhand
Member 4: Do you know Nitish Kumaar?
Me: He is the Chief Minister of Bihar.
Member4: Since how long he is acting as CM of Bihar?
Me: Since last 4-5 years.
(Jokingly he said that ohh, since last 45 years he is serving as CM. I clarified again and said that it is
around 4-5 years)
Member4: So you mean to say it is his first term as CM?
Me: No sir. May be its his 2nd term but I am not sure. (Later I found that it is his 3rd term)
Member4: What has he done for development of Bihar?
Me: He has improved the law & order situation and have made significant improvements in the
infrastructure and social sector of the state.
Member4: What are specific projects and programmes launched by him?
Me: No idea sir.
Member4: You hell from Puri district of Orissa. Tell me what are the major natural disasters that affect
you district?
Me: Flood, cyclone etc.
Member4: What the Govt. has done after 1999 super-cyclone to minimize the damage?
Me: Govt. has built Cyclone shelter centers along the coast and has launched many awareness
campaigns to educate the people regarding the use of this. It has strengthened the SDMA (State
Disaster Management Authority).
Member4: But why the people are not using these cyclone centers?
Me: (I could not answer this)
Member4: You district is a poor district. What could be done to develop your district?
Me: Puri district possess a vast tourism potential with Sun Temple, Konark and Jagannath Temple,

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Puri. Fishing and Agriculture can be encouraged given the irrigation potential of the district. Wind
energy can be tapped from the vast coastline. Further, the tourism development of the nearby areas
such as Chilka Lake, Similipal Tiger Resrve etc. should be encouraged to attract more foreign tourists.
(I think by mentioning Chilka Lake I made the biggest mistake and this attracted the intervention form
the Chairman)
Chairman: What is the property of the water of what you called Chilka Lake?
Me: It is a salt water lake.
Chairman: Is it a lake or something else?
Me: Sorry sir, It is called Chilka Lagoon.
Chairman: What is the difference between a Lake and Lagoon?
Me: Lagoon is a water body having a connection to sea. But Lake is a fully enclosed water body.
(That was the last question to me. Then the Chairman me thanked me and stated that my interview is
over. I thanked them all and left the room while thinking of the mistake made by me by mentioning
Chilka Lake)
Exam Interview Details:
Subjects Taken : Public Administration, Geography
Date of Interview: 31.03.2011
Interview Board : K K PAUL
Result of Interview : Qualified
City : Noida

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Union Public Service Commission Interview By Ghanshyam Thori (Dr.


K. K. Paul Board)
Hi Everyone. I am Ghanshyam Thori & I've secured AIR-25 in Civil Services Examination, 2009. I'll get
Indian Administrative Service & hopefully a cadre of my choice. I did my graduation from Kirori Mal
College, Delhi & MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. I worked with
Kotak Life Insurance for 3 years before getting selected into Indian Administrative Service.
MEMBER: 1
KK: Your date of birth is 02-December-1984. What disaster occurred on the same date?
ME: Sir, it was the Bhopal gas tragedy that occurred in the Union Carbide factory. The reason was the
leakage of water into the container holding Methly Isocyanate. This increased the temperature of the
tank enormously & there was an explosion leaking the dangerous gas in which thousands of people
died.
KK: What is the status on the Bhopal gas tragedy now?
ME: Sir, now & then the tragedy in news because the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy have not
received their due compensation.
KK: What should have been done or what was done?
ME: Sir, the recommendations of the commission which goes into enquiry should be implemented
with full spirit. The commission should identify the entire list of people & those people should get their
rightful share of compensation.
KK:You are a student of Psychology. From a psychological point of view it is said that the North Indian
Males are more aggressive than their south Indian counterparts. He substantiated this by citing more
number of eve teasing cases in north Indian cities like Delhi. What reasons do you see behind this.
ME: Sir I see low level of literacy levels in North India compared to south India behind this. Both the
male & female literacy rates are higher in South India than North India. Higher literacy helps to
empower females in South India. Therefore in my opinion the male aggression has got to do with
lower literacy rates in North India.
KK: What about Urban Areas in north India where there is high literacy rate? Still Urban areas like delhi
see a higher number of eve teasing cases?
ME: Sir, Delhi has a lot of migrants coming from surrounding states like Haryana, Rajasthan & U.P
which have low literacy rates (lower than the national average). This is the reason. Apart from these
states are traditionally male dominated. The condition of female is bad as seen from low female
literacy rates, high IMR, high MMR. Even you see isolated cases of Sati in these states. Therefore in
my opinion these are the reasons.
KK: You work with Kotak Life Insurance? What is your job profile?
Me: Blah blah blah..
KK: What is the turnover of your company?
ME: 1000 Crore.
KK: Is your company listed on the stock market?
ME: Sir, kotak life insurance is not listed but Kotak Mahindra Bank which has 74 % controlling stake in
Kotak Life Insurance is listed.

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MEMBER 2
You are an MBA? What is supply chain management?
Sir SCM is basically the management of vendors on the raw material side & managing the buyers on
the finished products side. An organization typically sources a lot of material from different vendors &
supplies the finished goods to various buyers. Therefore it is linked to managing the vendors & the
buyers smoothly.
How does the organization maintain optimum levels of inventory through supply chain management?
Sir, an organization uses various SCM softwares to keep a real time track of inventory. Lets take up the
example of Shoppers Stop Shopper Stop keeps a track of daily sales of various apparels including
jeans. At the end of the day it will order Jeans which are low in stock though Levis (taking it as an
example). Now Levis would then order fabric from fabric mill like Arvind Mills. Therefore tracking the
stock in real time helps in better inventory management.
Why did the Indian Stock markets fell?
The Indian stock market fell because of demand crunch following the global financial crisis as well as
the huge withdrawal of funds by FIIs. The crisis started with the Subprime housing market going bust.
The FIIs had purchased securitized instruments from the banks for higher interest rates but when the
default started happening the FIIs were forced to withdraw money from emerging stock markets to
make up for their losses in US.
Which is better FDI or FII?
Sir, FDI is better as it is not volatile like FII. FII is hot money which can move in or out of any country
anytime. FDI is more stable.
The member intervened as asked but Dont you think we are commiting a lot by allowing FDI in India?
If FII is hot money it is good as there is no commitment by the Govt side?
Sir FDI has a lot of benefits as it generates a lot of employment & brings in new technology to the
country. Also if see the historical trend since the liberalization of economy since 1990 (the member
intervened & said 1991 to which I said Yes sir in 1991) we have seen a surplus on the forex reserve & a
booming GDP growth along with increased employment.
But China has been growing faster than India?
Sir China started the economic reforms way back in 1979 when Den Xiaoping led the country to
market reforms. Therefore they have an edge as they started early. India might see double digit
growth rate in the coming decade.
The member said the starting early was not the early reason as it has also got to do with Chinese
policies also?
Yes Sir, the Chinese government has laid a lot of emphasis on building up core infrastructure to boost
economic production.

What is Greenfield Investment & Brownfield Investment?


Sir Greenfield Investment is investing in a project from starting. It is like building from scratch.
Brown Field Investment is adding to an existing project.
What is the difference between Merger & Acquisition?
Sir, in case of merger two entities join to form a third entity but in case of acquisition the new entity is

21
the same as the acquiring company. Compensation might happen either wholly in cash or in cash plus
stock deal.
MEMBER 3:
You have defined Supply Chain Management for business? What is SCM in education?
Sir SCM in education would mean that an institute should try to source better students, train them
with the best possible inputs so that the product (which is the student) contributes to the society in
the best possible manner.
SCM in education by which the Schools act as raw material sources for college & the college students
act as raw material or inputs for Higher Institutes? What is the problem with higher education in
India?
Sir the problem with higher education in India is that we dont have sufficient number of quality
institutes offering higher education. Therefore to tackle this the government has taken the decision to
expand the number of IITs, IIMs, NITs etc.
But for quality higher education we should also have quality students?
Sir, we do have quality students for higher education. The problem basically stems from the large
population of India. Because of the large base we have very high number of students who deserve
quality higher education.
What is the enrollment rate at primary level in India?
Sir I dont know the exact figure.
What is the enrollment rate at the higher education level?
Sir I dont know but I have read that for every 100 females enrolled at the primary level only one
reaches the post graduation level.
What is the National Literacy rate?
Sir it is 65 % overall 53.7 % for females & 75 % for males.
What is birth rate of India?
Sir it is 26 births per 1000
Give %?
Sir it is 2.6 %.
You have studied at a lot of places. Which place do you consider best for education?
Sir I did my schooling till 10th from my Tehsil (Raisinghnagar), XI & XII from my district & graduation
from Delhi. I would consider Delhi as best because when I came to Delhi I could not speak English
Properly & whatever communications skill I have today I picked up during my graduation at Kirori Mal
College. Moreover I stayed in hostel & got to learn a lot of things from my peers while staying at the
residential facility.
Any problems apart from Communication that you faced in Delhi?
Sir I had my own apprehensions at the initial stage but I was accepted well & did not face any problem.
What suggestions do you have to improve schooling in your tehsil?

22
Sir though my school was affliated to CBSE & the medium of instruction was English but most of the
teachers used to teach in Hindi. Therefore I would like the Education Standard to be improved.
Moreover they emphasize only on getting into engineering or medical field as there is lack of
awareness about other domains like MBA, Actuaries, Aviation etc. Therefore the awareness part needs
to be addressed.
Ill give you the number. The number of people enrolling in higher education is 13 million. Now
calculate the percentage.
I said it would be approximately 1.3 % (as population is 1027 million).
Then he said that it was low as the eligible population for higher education is 11 %.
MEMBER 4
What is Micro Finance?
Madam Micro Finance is basically lending money to the low income section of the society at liberal
interest rates to meet their needs. It is basically a step towards financial inclusion.
Have you heard of Mohd Yunus?
Yes Madam, he is from Bangladesh & he started the Micro Finance movement there trough grameen
banks. For this he also won the Nobel Peace Prize.
What Micro Insurance policy would you recommend for the poorest of the poor?
Basically madam, I would recommend a term plan as it is designed for covering the risk only & the
premium rate is the lowest. For eg. if today you buy a term plan for Rs. 25 Lakh cover the premium
would come close to Rs. 5000. Now if you want to ensure the poorest of the poor with a 2.5 Lakh
cover the premium would come down to Rs. 500. If you take out the profit it would further come
down to Rs. 400. Now this premium can be borne by the Central Govt & State Govt combined & the
policy could be offered to the poor family.
Is there any existing scheme which is doing this.
Yes madam, the Aaam Aadmi Bima Yojana is covering the poor family under this.
What is your view on initiative on Health Insurance
Madam the govt has launced Rasthriya Swasthya Bima Yojana under which it provides health
insurance cover to the poor families. The problem which I see in it is the high claims ratio because of
which the premium is high & the government cannot provide high cover. To facilitate further the
government has also planned to issue identity cards to the poor families for cashless transaction at the
hospitals.
MEMBER 5
You are from Sriganganagar which is a border district? What challenges to National Security do you
see from border (not just Rajasthan but the entire Indian border)?
Sir there are various challenges to National Security because of the long international border of India.
The border with Bangladesh is highly porous which leads to a lot of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
Many illegal Bangladeshis have also been apprehended by the police in bomb blast cases.There is
increase of terrorism originating from Pakistan & Bangladesh in India in the form of increasing bomb
blasts as well as recent attacks like the one witnessed in Bombay.

23

The problem of counterfeit currency.


The problem of illicit drug trafficking.
What problem does counterfeit currency create?
Sir, the presence of counterfeit currency creates a parallel black economy. The black economy does
not contribute to the taxes of the government. Moreover counterfeit currency is also being used to
finance terrorist activities in India.
What step has the government taken to curb this?
I started with Money Laundering Act but the member intervened and said To tackle the overall
security situation & not just the problem of counterfeit currency. Then I said that the government of
India is taking various steps like fencing the international border (esp Bangladesh border), it has
legislated National Investigation Agency Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Your hobby is Internet Surfing I presume as you have mentioned Computers & Internet in your
form? Can you explain.
Sir, Im a bit deeper into my hobby. I wanted to learn how to build a website & therefore started my
own portal iasguru.com. Basically it is a knowledge sharing platform where I have posted my own
notes for free sharing. I got inspired by wikipedia for taking up this initiative. A couple of my friends
have also joined me in this initiative & are helping me in digitizing & posting the notes. Apart from this
I suggested the use of file sharing platforms like rapidshare in my company for sending large files
(greater than 10 MB as you cannot attach such big files on email) instead of burning CDs & sending it
across to the branches. It leads to saving of cost as well as time.
I dont see you having any professional degree in computers. How do you do all this?
Sir I dont have any professional degree. I have learned this totally out of my interest.
Do you use You Tube?
Yes sir I do use it.
It was in news recently.Any idea on that.
Yes sir. You tube was in news a couple of days back (the member intervened & saidnot a couple of
days back..it is as recent as yesterday& might be in papers today)
I said I dont know sir.
The member explained that China has banned youtube because a video showing police atrocities on
Tibetans was posted on it. What is the Tibetan problem?
Sir, Tibetans are demanding greater Autonomy which is the Chinese government is unwilling to yield.
Moreover the Chinese government has settled ethnic Chinese population in Urban areas of Tibet
which the Tibetans are resenting. The Chinese government is unwilling to relocate the ethnic Chinese
population from Tibet
How do you see the Tibet issue vis--vis India?
Sir the Tibet issue cropped up between India & China when in 1958 India gave political asylum to Dalai
Lama & his followers in Dharmshala. Being a country which cherishes democratic values, India had to
give political asylum. But China saw this move as meddling with the internal affairs of the country. The
Chinese side went to the extent of thinking that It was a plan by the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal
Nehru to attack & sieze Tibet with the local support. Inspite of the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai slogan & the
Panchseel Principle a war could not be avoided between India & China.

24

Now we have moved four decades since then? Has India recognized Tibet?
Yes Sir India has recognized Tibet.
What was the Quid Pro Quo if you want to term it as one.
Sir in return China recognized Sikkim as Indian territory on its official map.
Exam Interview Details :
Subjects Taken : Psychology
Date : 26-March-2011
Interview Board : Dr. K. K. Paul Board

25

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Shailesh Bansal : AIR


597 (Rajni Rajdan Board), Indian Administrative Service 2010

Name : Shailesh Bansal


As I entered she asked me to sit. She started with asking my roll no. DOB and verified my photo. Then
she asked about Libya issues.
Que. Do you know about Libya Issue. Is it fair that NATO forces entered into Libyan territory.
Ans. Yes mam i know about that and definitely its an intervention but it should be looked in the
shadow of resolution passed by UN. When we looks it from that point of view it looks justified. As UN
is a democratic organization. It has said in its resolution to do whatever possible to restore Human
rights there, and it is said in diplomatic language having crude meaning of doing attacks.
Que. So it means that use of US not violating Human Rights there.
Ans. Yes mam both US and Gaddafi are violating Human rights.
Passed to the next member:
Que: You have opted for Pali Literature; Do you have any idea of Sangam Literature?
Ans: Sorry Sir
Que: In a manufacturing concern how I can make balance of payment?
Ans: Sir payments are shown in Dr. side
Que: I am asking balance of payment, not payment!
Ans: Sorry sir, I got it as payments. In that case expenses are shown in Dr. side and incomes are shown
in Cr. Side.
Que: What are your Hobbies?
Ans: Net Surfing, TV Watching
Que: What do you do in TV Watching? Which serial do you follow?
Ans: Balika Vadhu, Laptagang
Que: Is Jagdish (A Character) doing correct in that?
Ans: No sir, But it should be looked from other angle also where when someone gets married in
his/her childhood then it may be possible to have attraction towards person other than his/her
spouse.
Que: What do u do in Net Surfing?
Ans: Sir I m active on most of social networking sites. Whenever I need some information I search it on
web. Beside that I do blogging.
Que: What do you do in blogging?
Ans: I shares audit and accounts related knowledge

26

Que: I want to upload 50 pic. on Facebook How can I do this?


Ans: Sir you can put them on picasa and then set a link on facebook, other way is by doing uploading
upfront on facebook.
Que: Tell me name of few social network websites
Ans: I told 5-6 name
Passed to Next Member:
Que: So you are a CA, you must be knowing about company law
Ans: Yes Sir
Que: When I see audit report of CAG given for government concerns I found it very descriptive and
detailed in comparison of a CAs report (Usually given for limited companies). So dont you think that
auditors of a company other than government concern should be appointed by CAG ?
Ans: Sir I am not agree with this point. Because auditors are appointed by shareholders (in democratic
way) whether it is government concern or other concern. CAG only advices government for
appointment of auditors and government appoints auditor in the capacity of shareholder. If we gives
power to appoint auditors of private companies to CAG than it will be a sort of discrimination. Further
CAG makes its audit with a propriety and efficiency point of view so its obvious that his report is long
and descriptive.
Que: I feels that CAs are influenced by their client while making their audit report!
Ans: Sorry sir but I am a CA and signed reports too. There are lot of personal responsibility on a CA
while signing a Report so point of influencing doesnt arise.
Then he told me that he is not satisfied. In reply I said sorry sir.

Que: If auditors have personal responsibility than why Satyam like cases happened?
Ans: Sir, I agree that in few cases auditors were not at par. But in consequences of that they are facing
trial.
Que: What happened in Satyam case? Which Auditing company involved in that?
Ans: Sir it was Price water house coppers as auditor and ICAI have constituted a committee to
investigate that matter report of which is yet to come.
Passed to next Member:
Que : What are your service preference ?
Ans: Indian Administrative Service , Indian Police Service , Indian Foreign Service and then Accounts
related services .
Que: You are a chartered accountant so you should have opted for Indian Economic Services!
Ans: Sir, I have completed my CA in the age of 22,After that I have worked for 2 and half year in
Bulgaria (Europe). During my that tenure I felt that I should do something for society and on the same

27
time I can use my skills that I have learnt during my CA. While looking for an option that suits both
condition I found Indian Administrative Service as best choice. So I choosed Indian Administrative
Service as first preference.
Que: Government is changing its accounting system, do u know about that?
Ans: Yes Sir, First it was cash basis of accounting and now its going for accrual basis of accounting.
Que: What is accrual basis of accounting?
Ans: In which income and expenses related with certain year are accounted for ONLY in the year in
which they have incurred.
Que: There are big infrastructure projects are going on. They finishes in 4-5 years so how I can do
accounting for them?
Ans: Sir, These type of projects falls in contract accounting and as per institute of chartered
accountants of India Accounting standard no. 7 should be used for that accounting. In that AS two
methods are prescribed one is proportionate of completion method another one is estimation basis.
Que: We have Doctors , engineers with us why should we select you ?
Ans : Sir, During my tenure as CA I learnt about policy making, policy implementation,
Compliance, Finding variations, reporting etc. and I feels that these tasks resembles with work of a
Indian Administrative Service so I feels are I can do that better than other by adding my past
experience in that.
Que: No I was expecting that you will say I will find out scams for you?
Ans: Sir I have told that I can find out variations and variations are nothing but sort of scams.
Passed to next member:
Que: What are your personal goal on life?
Ans: Sir, my personal goal on life is that when after some time I look back people should say about me
that yes he is the man with moral and he has done something for society.
This is the feeling that boosts my morale.
Que: You have power with money, power without money and only money. what would you like to
choose?
Ans: I asked him to repeat the question and replied power with money.
Que: Suppose you won a jackpot of Rs. one crore. What will you do?
Ans: Sir at first I will celebrate.
Que: No I am asking how you will expense out them?
Ans: As amount Is big I wont be able to plan now.
He asked me to take some time and I replied sorry sir I wont be able to plan now.
He asked me that OK, can u tell me your preferences that whether you will give it to family or society
or will do something for yourself?
I replied that yes sir, First I will give it to family, then society and then something for myself.

28

Mrs. Rajdan took the question again and asked me that how much will be the tax on it? I replied after
some oral calculations as approximately 33%
She asked again that you are a CA, cant you plan BALANCE Rs. 67 Lacs ?
I said sorry mam I cant for now. But I can tell you my preference as family, society and then for
myself.
She said OK you can go..
I thanked all members and chairman and left the room.
Exam Interview Details:
Subjects Taken : Commerce & Pali Literature
Interview Board : Rajni Rajdan
Result of Interview : Qualified
City : New Delhi

29

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Mamta Gupta : AIR 413


(K. S. Chalam Board) Indian Administrative Service 2010
Name : MAMTA GUPTA
I entered after taken permission.
M- Good afternoon mam, Good afternoon Sir
C- Very good afternoon. Please come and have a seat. (I entered)
C- So how did you enter into the room.
M- Sir, I came here by walking.
C- Ok. So is there any other way to enter into the room? (I started thinking)
C- So we can say there is no other way to enter.
M- Yes sir.
C- You are a Electronics engineer. so you will use your knowledge in administration.( He said while
looking at my summary sheet)
M- Yes sir. I will use. There is E-governance.( I started elaborating further. He interrupted).
C- I did not ask the details. Just yes or no.
M- Sorry sir.
(he passed on to the other member)
O- From your region there are many millionaires / Billionare.What is the reason? (he also gave some
data that out of 10000/100000 persons, one is millionaire)
(I belong to Shekhawati region.)
M- Yes sir. Because people from my reason are intelligent and hard working. (i said with smile. Nothing
else came to my mind)
O- So people only from your area are intelligent and hard working (everyone was laughing)
M- Others are also but people from my area are more intelligent and more hard working.
O- do you know if soil of western districts of Rajasthan like Jaisalmer, Badmer etc. is suitable for Olive
farming. (i started thinking)
O- You know countries in Northern Africa near Mediterranean sea do Olive cultivation.
M- yes sir. There it is but I don't know about Rajasthan.
O- Any idea how many types of Olives and their qualities.
M- Sorry sir
O- You should as cooking is your hobbies.
M- I have used olive only in Pizza and also olive oil is good for hair.

30
(He passed on to the lady member)
O- so your college in MNIT. What is it?
M- It is Malviya national institute of technology. It is one of the NITs.
O- You have such good grades. You must have worked very hard.
(She was saying 'very good' after my every answer)
O- Have you heard CSR?
M- Yes mam. It is Corporate Social Responsibility.
O- Very good. What activities companies do as part of this.
M- Thinking...
O- If you don't know something, say that you don't know (she was a bit strict this time)
M- Sorry mam. I am not able to recall.
O- What your company does for this,
M- My company has collaboration with NGOs like NAYI DISHA in Noida. We give money to them and
also sometimes we organize exhibitions for article made by them. So this way they earn some money.
O- So you give monetary help.
M- Yes mam.
O- Why you want to become civil servant.
M- I have seen many problems in my village. That made me feel that i should do and will do something
for them.
O- Ok. So what type of problems are there.
M- There is water shortage.
( I started explaining..)
O- Please give as 1.. 2 .. 3.
M- Education, health facilities etc.
(she was not convinced).
O- Is there Casteism problem also there?
M- No. There are mainly Agarwal community there. (I think i should not had said this)
C- (laughing). They have driven everyone else out from there.
(everyone laughing now)
(She passed on to other member)
O- Have you heard about Short Service Commissioning in army.
M- No Sir.
O- OK. in this after 14 years of service women are given compulsory retirement. Now they are

31
demanding full term. Do you know what could be reason for this.
M- (thinking..).. Sir, Women have family responsibilities.
O- Once they are in service, wo to manage ho hi jata hai.
M- Sorry sir, I don't know.
O- So Rajasthan is a very famous tourist destination. Tourism has led to many problems there like
Social disturbance, drug trafficking. What can be done to solve this.
M- for Drug trafficking, police should be more active. ( I could not answer further)
O- In western Rajasthan, there are border problems. What Govt. is doing to resolve this.
M- Air force, Army, Police all are working together. There is border fencing, Camel patrol. Also there
are QRT (quick response team)
O- Border security is done by BSF, CRPF or by police and army as you are saying.
M- Sir, its done bt all together.
O- May be you are right. I will check again.
(other member)
O- What is the difference between 2G, 3G, 4G and S band. What is their frequency.
M- I told the different frequency ranges.
O- What is the devas multimedia controversy.
M- There was an agreement between ISRO and Devas and ISRO sold them S bank spectrum at much
less price than the market price.
O- Is that's all or anything else also.
M- ISRO also agreed to launch 2 satellite for Devas.
O- How much percentage utilization was to be done by Devas.
M - 90%. 9 out of 10 transponders.
(They discussing whether those satellites wee launched or not and the satellite which failed was same
or other)
O- What could be done to improve agriculture in Rajasthan.
M- Farmers should be told which crop and fertilizer is suitable for soil. This will increase the
productivity.
(He was not convinced)
O- Today every farmer knows all this. what else.
M- Bio fuel. This will also increase his income and also suitable for Rajasthan as requires less water.
O- No. Bio fuel is only for that soil which is completely barren. It further makes soil unproductive.
Which bio fuel crop can be grown.
M- Jatropha.

32

C- (laughing) Bookish knowledge.


O- Jatropha is not at all suitable.
O- There should be cattle rearing, agro forestry. social forestry along with agriculture.
M- Yes sir( i started recalling as I had read all this).
Your interview is over. You can leave now.
M- Thank you mam. thank you sir.
I came out of the room.
Exam Interview Details :
Subjects Taken : Public Administration, Geography
Interview Board : Prof. K. S. Chalam
Result of Interview : Qualified
Interview marks- 168/300
City : Noida

33

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Rajesh Kankipati : AIR


103 (Purushotam Aggarwal Board), Indian Administrative Service
2010
Name : Rajesh Kankipati
Interview Before I may write anything, I take this opportunity to thank
1) Mr. K. Srinivasu Indian Revenue Service (IT) : My Interview Mentor.
2) Mr. R.C. Sinha- New Delhi Indian Administrative Service - He acclimatised me about many issues and
made my approach towards interview more pragmatic and realistic.
3) My friends Aravind, Pradeep, Sandeep, Satish, Bindu and my intellectual friend Sai.
4) Mocks of Chanaknya Indian Administrative Service academy and the panel who made me realise my
deficiencies and defects.
Background: B.Tech (Electrical and Electronics Engineering), Pondicherry central University.
Hobbies: Reading Books (Non-Fiction) and Story Telling.
Place of Birth: Rajahmundry
Place of Residence: Ramagundam (Telangana)
Optionals: Public Administration and Sociology
CHAIRMAN (CM): Purushottam Aggarwal
Time: 4.25 p.m-5.00 p.m
Me: Rajesh Kankipati
I was the last candidate for the day Bell ring and attendant opened the door
Me: May I come in sir?
CM: Yes Rajesh come in Went near the table and said "namaste Sir" (Confusion whether to say Good
Afternoon or Good evening)
CM: Rajesh Take your seat
Me: Thank You sir
CM: Your hobbies is story telling (in an angry tone with large voice)
Me: Yes sir
CM: Do you write or imagine stories?
Me: I don't write or imagine stories. I have a hobbies of reading books. So, whenever I read something
that is worth sharing, I narrate it.
CM: Why do you do it?
Me: It would help in inculcating and imbibing good values
CM: Whom do you narrate to?
Me: No reservation against any age group. School going children, room mates, parents, professors,
rickshaw puller, any one sir for that matter

34

CM: Can you say a story?


Me: A man came from America to deliver a lecture at Hyderabad. After the lecture was over he went
to a nearby lake to enjoy the scenic beauty. On the other bank of the lake he saw a woman washing
clothes. While she was washing, some of her body parts were exposed. Seeing this, he was tempted
towards her. But being ethical and honest he tried to control his temptation. After washing clothes the
woman went into the lake to have bath.
When she removed her clothes he was not able to control his temptations. So he jumped into the lake.
Went near her, hugged and embraced her. Started mindlessly kissing her. She began to shout for help
but no one came to her rescue. This man still goes on kissing her mindlessly. After some time of 2 min,
he begins to feel some roughness over the surface of her body. To see what this roughness is he opens
his eyes. He saw to his amazement that this lady was a blind and leper. And sir at that moment he said
a word that really touched my heart, and he said "I never knew how leper my heart was till I touched
this leper". Sir the moral of the story is that everybody in life suffers from a leprosy of heart, if
addressed I believe, the world would be a better place to live
CM: (with a very satisfied look asked me) whose story is this?
Me: Malcomm Mug ridge
CM: Who is he?
Me: I don't know about him sir. I read about him in a book' Chairman passes it to the first member
M1: Rajesh do you know what is a apocryphal story?
Me: Sir, I never heard about this term.
CM: What story you said now is a apocryphal story. Then all the panel members laughed loud. I just
gave a smile
M1: Rajesh when a story is of a doubtful authenticity but also carrying a prophetic message that is
narrated with good dramatics is a apocryphal story.
Me: Thank you sir.
M1: Do you know India has a rich repository of ancient traditions of story telling. Can you name some
of them?
Me: Sir Amarchitrakatha
CM: Don't talk about all this. what you are saying is a recent phenomenon. We are asking you about
ancient traditions (in a very angry tone).
Me: Sir, I am extremely sorry. I am not aware about the literary aspects of story telling. But I know that
in Andhra we have a tradition of "Harikatha, Burrakatha and Tholubomma" and in north we have
stories of Panchatantra.(CM was looking for the same answer.He concurred with me when I said this
and to my amazement he knew abot Andhra stories.So I gave command to my brain that I should not
bluff to him.come what ever may).

35
M1: Ok, You are from Rajahmundry, why did you go to Pond cherry to study?
Me:Sir I appeared for the AIEEE and I got seat at Pondicherry engineering college. And it is a central
university. So I believed that my career prospects would be brighter.So I was attarcted.
M1: What is your opinion about grading system in schools?
Me: Sir It is a good move. That would help in de-stressing of the student because we see many child
suicides for marks in schools.
M1: I don't think it would make any difference. I was about to defend but he didnt allow me to
reply.He wanted to de-motivate me.
M1: So you are an engineer, why I A S?
Me: Sir, I was inspired by many surrendered naxalaites to become an Indian Administrative Service
officer. At a very early age of 12-3 years I came to know what an Indian Administrative Service officer
can do. And sir apart from that I also understand that the career progression, prestige and esteem
offered by these services are unparalleled.
CM: Rajesh What is this naxalism?
Me: Sir, naxalism is an extremist thought who believe in the doctrine of maoism
CM: what is this Maoism?
Me: Sir, they want to overpower and overthrow the state through an armed rebellion to establish a
socialist state. They believe that power flows from the barrel of a gun and not the ballot
CM: So, do you think what they are doing is right?
Me: Sir, I have gone through the Planning commission document on Development challenges in
extremist affected areas. And the report rightly acknowledges the good work done by the maosits.
CM: Do you feel they are also perpetuating injustice??
Me: Sir when their core interests get affected, they also join the corrupt political-bureaucraticcontractor nexus.
CM: U know one collector was abducted?
Me: Yes sir, Mr. Vineel Krishna
CM: Do you think the government was right in releasing the naxalaites for the release of collector
Me: Sir, Definitely the government was right. If he was not released it would be de-motivating for
honest and sincere officers that government would not come to my rescue when I am in need
CM: But Rajesh, dreaded criminals were released
Me: Sir we need to have a anti-hostage policy and train the national disaster response force to deal
with theses issues
CM: Do you know we have a anti-hijacking policy that says no negotiations. Do you support?
Me: Sir policies serve as a deterrent. But any decision should be taken based on the gravity of the
situation.

36

M2: So, You are from Rajahmundry?


Me: Sir, I was born at rajahmundry, but I am from Ramagundam.
M2: So what is this Telangana movement?
Me: Sir it is a sub-regional movement, that should be seen in the context of demand for equity,
development, empowerment and representation?
M2: Do you think Telngana is needed?
Me: Sir I strongly and sincerely feel that telangana state is needed?
M2: Why?
Me: Sir right from 1956 every provision and gaurantee was violated.4 cr people of telangana want
it.And more importantly there is lack of representation of telangana leaders.
M2: Do you know 117 legislators go to state assembly from telangana?
Me: But thier representation in cabinet is very less.
M2: why?
Me: Sir while legislators are elected by people,cabinet is the prerogative of the CM.And CM is never
from Telangana Region. Coastal Andhara and Rayalseema MLAs combined will have more number
than Telangana. So representation is limited.
M2: Why no CM from Telangana?
Me: Sir a CM has to command the respect of the majority of people in the state and the support of the
legislators, Which a telangana leader may fail to get because of his regional aspiration. And as Weber
says there is a need of charismatic authority which a Telangana leader might fail to get because of the
regional aspirations
M2: wanted to ask further, But CM intervened and stopped him and passed it on to the third member
who was a lady. I felt M2 was from coastal andhra region. He was not agreeing with me. But it is the
opinion and demeneaour when we say our opinion matters more than our answer.
M3: Rajesh we had the fortune of listening a story from you. Now i will say a story and you should say
the moral of the story. A young blind boy is begging on the road with a slate in his neck.The slate
reads."I am Blind, Please help me". A man passes by the lane everyday and finds that noone drops any
money in his plate ever. SO he rubs the text on the slate and writes, "The day is beautiful, But Sorry, I
am not able to see. Please help me". Then everyone starts to give him money. What is the moral of
the story?
Me: Madam may i use an analogy to explain the moral of the story?
M3: Oh Yes!
Me: Looked at CM and said, sir may i be allowed to use the pencil and paper.

37
CM: Go Ahead
Me: I wrote on the paper "GOD IS NO WHERE", and i said sir any number of times we see, we read it
GOD IS NO WHERE. But the same sentence can also be read as "GOD IS NOW HERE" if we attach the
"W" in Where beside the word "NO" and it becomes "NOW". So in life we need to acknowledge
postiveness to grow high .So, the moral of the story is there is a power of positiveness if harnassed
man can be successful like the blind boy.
CM: I am not convinced with you.It is the power of expression that said "The day is beautiful " but not
the power of positiveness.
Me: Sir I agree with you. But i feel it is the power of the positiveness of the expression.Expressions are
there everywhere.But when positive energy gets augmented, the face of the expression changes.
M3: What is social marketing?
Me: Sorry madam, i never heard about this.
M3: Do you know Amitabh bachchan comes on the TV to advertise for polio.
Me: Madam, No TV, Old Rajindernagar is very costly.
CM :No rajesh, even in print media we see Sehwag and Bollywood stars promoting social causes?
Me: Sir i understand it is Corporate social responsibility. But i am not aware if CSR and social marketing
are similar in concept.
M4: Rajesh you are from rajahmundry?
Me: Sir i was born there, but i am from ramagundam.
M4: Do you know in rajahmundry tobacco grows?
Me: Yes sir.
M4: What is the kind of tobacco grown?
Me: Sir it is called Virginia tobacco.
M4: So in India the area under tobacco is decreasing. What is the reason?
Me: Sir in 2008 India signed the Convention on banning of tobacco substances. There is a mandate
under the convention to decrease area cultivated under tobacco.
M4: Do you think it is justified?
Me: Sir while tobacco is causing many health hazards, it is also supporting livelihoods. So government
has to provide altenative skills for livelihood. And the area should be decreased in a phased manner.
M4 o you know what ITC is doing?
Me: I don't know sir
M4: It is doing what you have just said.
Me: Thank you sir. I am humbled.

38
M4: Ramagundam has a power plant, do you think thermal energy should be encouraged?
Me: Sir thermal energy should be encouraged keeping in view our growth rates, infrastructure needs
and keeping in mind the technology and efficiency aspects.
M4: Do you know the unit cost of a thermal and hydro power plant?
Me: Sir thermal is Rs2-Rs3/KWHr while hydro energy is Rs 1/KWHr
M4: So why cant we encourage hydropower?
Me: Sir,while there is every need to diversify our energy basket, thermal energy is an imperative to us
keeping in view the needs.Apart from that hydropower plants involve lot of tribal displacement,
submergence and huge gestation period.
CM: Ok, Rajesh, Your interview is over.
Me: Sir can i remove the paper i used and throw in the dustbin
CM: NO. NO. It is not your job.
Me: Thank you sir I walked without showing my back till the door. I bowed again in humility to the
board at the door and came out. The lady member smiled. And I came out.

My Observations: Interview is not a question and answer session. It is about discussion. Always the
question is from biodata and news papers. Interview is not about what you say but about how you say.
It is about demeanor. Mark is not for knowledge. Mark is for confidence, honesty, intellectual
integrity, knowing ground realities and variety and depth of your understanding. Trust the board.
Don't have prejudices.
Finally assessment is from what you have answered not from the question that you have not
answered. Board cant test your personality from a question you have not answered. So forget the
question that you have not answered and answer the question to the best of your ability in a question
you know.
The easiest question in an interview is the question that you don't know. so feel happy about it. Finally
its all about the attitude one displays that pulls or pushes you on the ladder of marks.
Exam Interview Details:
Interview Marks: 190 marks, 103 rank
Subjects Taken: Public Administration and Sociology
Date:18-Apr-2011
Interview Board: Purushotam Aggarwal
Result of Interview: Qualified
City: Hyderabad

39

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Rajeshwari B


Name: Rajeshwari B
Type: Interview
Interview: I do not remember the exact answers I gave in my interview so I will only give you the gist
of my interview.my board was Rajni Razdan madam's.First thing she said was 'you don't look like you
do in your photograph'.. I smiled and said, but ma'am it was only taken a month back. She showed the
pic to me and said do you feel you look like this now. Immediately after your interview go and get new
photos and give to my assistant. I said ok ma'am I will do the needful. All this time I kept my smile.
Finally she asked me my name , roll number which I answered.
RR - What do you cook (my hobby)?
Me - Ma'am depends on what I feel at that moment.
RR - Don't tell me that , tell me what you prepare.
Me - Yes ma'am , rice is our staple food so I prepare rice items more, like veg pulav , fried rice , biriyani
and some regionally specific dishes like bisi bele baat , vaangi baat.
RR - Tell me the recipe of that.
Me - Ma'am it is a brinjal based dish with spices. ( I was trying to give an introduction of the recipe
before giving the details, like as if this was a written exam.P ).
RR - when you see a recipe book is that how you find the recipe, won't there be ingredients and
measurements? Now tell us how you will prepare for the five of us (members).
Me - I started ma'am I will require 3 cups of rice. somewhere at the end she cut in and said ok, ( may
be she din't find it that tasty..!! :P )
RR - You have done MA in Pol Sci & IR, tell me about the situation in Libiya right now.
Me - Presently the NATO forces are implementing the UNSC Resolution 1973. But the leader
Muammar Gaddafi is not ready to let go of his power and is retaliating to these NATO forces. There is
a lot of chaos going on. ( This was the weakest point of my interview. I could have given a much better
answer.)
Then she gestured the next sir to ask. I was passed on.
Sir1 - Have you heard of Self Help Groups ?
Me - yes sir I have.
S1 - What do they do?
Me - Sir , they are a way of generating a regular income among women , especially in the rural areas.
Women come together and form various enterprises through which they can gain some profit. Many
small and cottage industries are based on this. Crafts and edible items.. etc are marketed by them.
S1 - Do they have savings?

40
Me - Yes sir, they are encouraged to go for savings and they also give out loans to the newcomers to
establish their own groups and enterprise. Now a days some banks like SBI (not sure if this is right) also
give out loans to these groups.
S1 - You are from Karnataka , Recently the arecanut farmers from there visited the PM for some
reason. What are their problems?
Me - (I forgot the more important reason and gave the general one first). Off late the arecanut yield is
suffering due to insufficient irrigation and power cuts..etc. And recently the Kar. gov. has banned
gutka and supari due to which the arecanut prices have taken a steep dip. Their demand is to bring
some stability to the prices of arecanut.
S1 - Don't you think it is good that such a thing which causes oral cancer and all has been banned?
Me - Definitely it is a good thing sir. But arecanut itself is not the biggest cause of oral cancer. Tobacco
is more hazardous ot heath but it has not been banned. and many people are dependent upon
arecanut for their livelihood, so the issue has to be thought about.
S1 - Can't we encourage the arecanut farmers to go for alternative crops?
Me - We can do that sir, But we must keep in mind that arecanut is an intensive investment sector. A
lot of investment goes into buying the plants and fertilizers. It also requires heavy irrigation facilities
like drip irrigation which is quite expensive. So it will be difficult to convince them to go for a change
now. And even if they do , they must be given adequate returns for their investment. also the soil
suitablility has to be researched for alternative craops. So this will need more time and research.
S1 - Have you seen any arecanut farms?
Me - Yes sir my father comes from an agricultural family . So I have seen arecanut farms.
He nodded and said okay. then Sir 2. A really very old and sweet uncle.
S2 - You mentioned supari in you answer. Do you know the other meaning of supari? they say supari
de dunga no....
Me - Yes sir (big smile). It means something like hired assasins.
S2 - said yes you are right, with a smile. And asked you have done your schooling in coorg and then
you did it in Mysore. Why?
Me - Yes sir , my father was in govt service and we had changed a few schools during my early years in
school. To bring some stability my parents thought it would be better to put us in a hostel.
S2 - why Coorg?
Me - When I was studying in Udipi , we (automatically I included my bro also but luckily he din't
realize) were under the guidance of a particular principle who was very good.When he went to coorg
to head another school we also shifted there as we wanted to continue to be under his guidance.
S2 - Then why Mysore?
Me - Sir after staying for so long in hostel , I wanted to be at home so decided to continue my studies
in Mysore itself.

41

S2 - Smiled and said that explains everything. Looked at my application and asked , Why did you go for
distance education for you degree?
Me - Sir I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis during the final months of my plus two.
And I had some difficulty with walking in the early mornings, but I wanted to continue my studies so
decided to go for distance education.
S2 - Oh, that's very sad, are you still under medication?
Me - No sir, I was for one year but I am better now.
He said that's good. And Sir 3, sitting on my left started.
S3 - What you know about regional planning?
Me - Sir we are already having problems of regionalism in India. This is because of development
disparities among regions. So to help in development of a particular region a particular plan is laid out
keeping in mind the advantages and disadvantages of the region. India is a vast country with each
region having different resources and different needs, so we cannot have a single plan for the whole
country. That is why we have regional planning.
S3 - What are the benefits?
Me - By having regional planning we can give focus to every region and help in faster development of
India itself. More importantly the local people will be involved in it. I think that just like grassroot
democracy even administration must go to the grass root and regional planning helps in doing this.
S3 - People will take part more..?
Me - Yes sir. ( he was kind of acknowledging my answer so I did not elaborate).
S3 - What is diff between rural planning and urban planning?
Me - Sir , through rural planning we are still trying to give our rural areas some of the basic amenities
such as electricity , water and schools. Some of our villages do not even have schools yet , so we are
focusing on providing them these kind of development through the plans where as in urban area we
are focusing on improving the infrastructure , increasing economic output and attracting more FDI..etc
. this is the basic difference.
He said okay and passed me on to the nest Sir.
S4 - We have launched the PSLV recently (it was done just the previous day). Why do we need it , what
is the use?
Me - Sir we have launched 3 sats through this launch. One is the resources at , the other two with
foreign collaboration, one with Indonesia ( It was actually Russia.. :P ) and the other with Singapore.
Firstly this will help us gain access to foreign technology which is superior to ours and also we can go
for agreements and joint researches in the field of space and science..etc. There will be technology
transfer which will have positive effects from india's point of view. And then satellites like resources at
help us know about our resources which is helpful in many ways.

42
S4 - How knowing resources will be helpful?
Me - Sir India has great resource potential , but we are not bale to capitalize on these resources. By
knowing which region has what resources, our planning will be better and when our planning is better,
our rate of development will pick up. For example we have floods in one region but droughts in
another. Knowing this we can build dams in the most suitable region so that the floods can be diverted
and the water used to irrigate lands which face drought. Also knowing about rivers and their flow we
can plan our hydel projects..etc. Knowing about our forests we can go for development in a
sustainable manner such that forests are used for economic purposes but also conserved at the same
time etc
S4 - Are you aware of the National Knowledge Network ?
Me - Yes sir , it is an initiatative to connect the various universities all over the country. to make a
network of it......
S4 - What is the use of this Network?
Me - Sir this will help in over all development of higher education in the country. the top universities
that have good infrastructure can help other universities to improve their infrastructure. Libraries and
information can be shared, so there will be a flow of ideas between the universities. And ideas will
lead to innovation and
development. Most importantly it will bring together the youth of the nation. Being a big country , it is
physically impossible to meet, but through such a cyber network we can get in touch with our peers in
various parts of our country.
S4 - How many times have you been to Delhi?
Me - Sir this is my second visit. I was here in 2007 for my coaching.
S4 - Do you see any change?
Me - (Was little confused with this q as I din't know what he expected) Not particularly sir.
S4 - They say they are using CNG and so pollution has come down etc . Don't you feel that?
Me - Sir I come from Mysore which has recently beed judged as the 2nd cleanest city in India. when I
come from there to here I see a huge difference. I have not felt any significant change.
S4 - What is CNG?
Me - It is Compressed Natural Gas. It is a renewable source of energy ( made this mistake in my josh). I
am sorry sir not renewable but a clean source of energy that is being used now a days.
S4 - why is it compressed?
Me - I was so comfortable that I blurted compressed because its compressed sir with a big smile on my
face. Then I actually laughed and said I am sorry sir I don't really know why.
S4 - What is your dream?
Me - I smiled and said my dream sir? (he nodded) I know that India will be one of the most developed
society in a matter of few years. My dream is to be a part of India's development process. To make a
contribution in such a success.

43

S4 - Why civil services?


Me - I would like to quote Socrates here sir. ( he nodded ) . ' An unexamined life is not worth living'.
And when I examine my life in the end , it will not be in terms of how much property , wealth and
status I have made but it will be in terms of how worth while I have been to the society. This I can do
as an NGO or social worker (S3 was kind of repeating my answer when I was at it.), but the confidence
I require will be given to me only by civil services.
At this point RR said a stern THANK YOU (guess she was still angry that I don't wish her first). I kind of
jerked out of my comfort zone after hearing her Thank you, I said thank you ma'am , thank you sirs
and walked out confidently.
Exam Interview Details :
Subjects Taken : Sociology and Political science
Date : 21-Apr-2011
Interview Board : Rajni Razdan

44

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Nidhi Choudhari


(Purushotam Agrawal Board)

Name: Nidhi Choudhari


Interview Writeup:
1. What is Gargi Prize? (Reason: mentioned in Awards/Achievement in Bio-data)
2. Why Gargi?
3. Wherein this debate mentioned? (only these three questions were asked by the Chairman)
4. Why do you want to join Indian Administrative Service after working for RBI? (Reason: Working as
Manager, RBI since 2006)
The member didnt listen to me and stopped me from answering the question and himself suggested
some reason
5. What is the talk about public debt management and RBI?
6. What is the conflict of interest in public debt mgt?
(Member 1)
7. Where are Indias forex reserves?
8. What is RBI doing with forex reserves?
9. United Nations and some governments failure? (asked whether middle east but he said no some
other government then I said I am not aware about this.)
10. Difference between Public Administration and Management? (Reason: MA in Public
Administration from University of Rajasthan, Jaipur 2007)
11. Goal of Public Administration?
12. Are you following what is happening in Delhi at Jantar Mantar, what will happen of Lokpal Bill?
(Reason: Working in RBI, New Delhi)
13. What is sex ratio in Rajasthan? (Reason: Born and Brought up in Nagaur District of Rajasthan)
14. What will you do if you are posted in a district where female foeticide is prevalent?
(Member 2)
15. Are you aware of Forbes list?
16. Forbes most inspiring women of India? (Reason: Being a woman)
I didnt know it.
17. Two women from contemporary India who have inspired you? (Aruna Roy and Shyamala Gopinath)
18. Why?
19. What is the role of student union? (Reason: Vice President, Students Union in Government Bangar
College, Didwana)
20. What is your take on their present way of functioning?
21. Political parties involvement in Students Union?
(Lady Member)
22. What is the difference between gift and dowry?
23. Recently, in a marriage in Delhi expensive gifts were given to guests whether that is dowry?
24. Which Act?

45
25. How the act defines dowry? (Not able to recall)
26. Upto what level reservation should be given?
27. When in corporate sector CMDs are not appointed on the basis of reservation why government
appoints through reservation?
28. I am in medical field and have seen that no MLA / MP wants to undergo medical treatment by
somebody who has been selected through reservation. Then why reservation? (Member 4)
The interview ended.
Exam Interview Details :
Date: April 8, 2011
Subjects Taken : PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & SOCIOLOGY
Interview Board : PURUSHOTAM AGRAWAL
Result of Interview: Qualified
City : New Delhi

46

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Ajay Pal AIR-160 (Dr.


K.K. Paul Board) Indian Administrative Service 2010
K K Paul sir board
My interview was on march 26,2011
This year my optionals are public admin and punjabi literature
It was my second interview.last year it was with nirbhay sharma board.
This year there were some numeric coincidences.
26-last two digits of my roll no. , 26 is my date of birth ,26 is diwali this year and 26 was date of my
interview..i was conscious of this numeric thing and did prepare. (but of no use in interview as nothing
such was asked).
I got up around 5:40 (though didnt had that sound sleep)
i turned on my internet and rapidly went through various major newspapers.(it did help i must say).
I went to the venue by 8:30 am
there were m1: dressed sincere aspirants,most of them with their parents.as i had experience of last
year so was not getting anymore conscious of the toughness of competition.
As this time my brother was with me so was relatively cool and calm and enjoying..got into row and
entered the building.reached hall..sat on e 4 table..
One of my known female aspirant was in same batch..
On our table there were 6 candidates including me.
Then came person for formalities.i looked and relaxed on finding that this time am not last one in my
batch to be interviewed (last year i was last in morning batch and my interview went for 12:20 to
1:05)..this time i was third to be interviewed.
Then started thinking the million..rather bilion dollar question.which board? (though had convinced
myself not to think bad of any board but human nature)
after sometime around 10:04 i must say first candidate was called..and we got to know the soothing
news that our board of k k paul
i was not worried at that time much because had heard that he is reasonable person.
Also female who was known to me earlier shared with us the information that paul sir doesnt spoil
career usualy and he give you more than 140 normally though his range is 140-180.and she said he
dont ask much factual questions(it made me relax but what happened in real is a story now lol )
my optionals(mains written) has went quite m1: so i am expecting that with around 150 marks will get
me in atleast..

47

Then the interview of first candidate was over around 10:20 i think..i thought i wil be called around
10:40 as interviews are running for 20 mins.and then i was called around 10:40 and had to sit outside
for 6-7 mins.person interviewed before me was a nice person with good personalityi was quiet this
time and somewhat sincere or you can say serious while last year i was talking a lot and doing fun.
And my turn camethe moments which are going to impact my future in really great manner.. Jai
mata di bol ke i entered the interview hall..
Chairman:paul sir
three male members
one female member:tooooooo nice and smiling and was sitting on right side to candidate chair
me: may i come in ,sir
)ch:come in and sit down (ab kya darwaaze mein he baith jaun
i managed myself and didnt thought much and eentered with confidence..when i reached near
chair.smiling lady member very softly said take your seat beta
me: good morning sir,good morning sirs and little more smiling good morning madam
i occupied my seat and thank you sir,thank you madam
ch:your name
me: ajay pal
ch:roll number
me: told
ch ate of birth
me: told
ch: so you are from ludhiana?
Me:yes sir
ch:what is meaning of ludhiana?
Me:sir ludhiana is made of two words lodhi+ana. It was named after ibrahim lodhi who was a mughal
ruler, i am sorry sir from delhi sultanat. Its named after him.
Ch:when was ludhiana founded?
Me: sir i dont know exact year but earlier it was a village named mir hota.
Ch: no no when was it founded?

48
Me: sorry sir i dont know the year.
Ch:you have done bds
me:yes sir
ch:what is it?
Me:sir its bachelor in dental surgery
ch:oh so you are a dentist.
Me:yes sir
ch:now you are working in lic
me:yes sir
ch:as a dentist in lic?
Me:no sir,i am working as assistant administrative officer.
Ch:so you have left dentistry completely
me: (jyada kahaniyan na banaate hue) yes sir
ch: (smilingly ) ok, every person gets aged and old with time and dental problems start erupting so
everyone needs a dentist at a stage of life.so there are many patients and so a good job.anyways
ch: ok then u have taken punjabi
me:yes sir
ch:there is somethng gurmukhi alsosoooo whats the difference between punjabi and gurmukhi
me:sir gurmukhi is a script in which punjabi is written
ch:yes right!
Me:thank you sir
ch:tell me about treaty of amritsar
me:sir treaty of amritsar was signed between maharaja ranjit singh and britishers (interrupted by ch)
ch: maharaja ranjit singh?he was died by that time.
Me: (damn i was totally taken aback.i had read it in ncert but he said otherway.i could not afford to
mess with him) m sorry sir
ch:there were two treaties which were signed quite close to each other,treaty of amritsar and treaty

49
of lahore.tell me some treaty which is still relevant.forget about radclife line..
Me:thinking for a while(3-4 seconds) m sorry sir i dont know.
Ch: ok you play cricket?
Me :yes sir
ch:you play these days too?
Me : (may be he wanted me to talk of world cup matches but i had not watched all but he had m sure
so played safe) yes sir we friends play whenever we get time.
Ch: ok these days world cup is going on
me: yes sir
ch: tell me whats going on in world cup?
Me: india has won in quarterfinals defeating australia and told about pakistan as m1: as some other
ch: which team has reached world cup semifinals 5 times?
Me: (thinking for two seconds) sir newzealand
ch: ( thinking for a while while bending ahead a bit) yes you are right its newzealand.
Ch:how many times india has reached semifinal?
Me : sir this year we have reached world cup semifinals,2003 as m1: as 1983 world cup..
Ch:no no i am asking how many times?
Me :m sorry sir am not able to recall.
Chairman now passes to first member.
He was a south indian m sure
m1: ajay tell me about world cup match of india now
me: sir india will be facing pakistan in semifinal
m1: when is the semifinal
me: sir 30 april
m1: where
me: sir mohali

50
m1 : ajay our prime minister has sent an invitation to someone for the match
me: yes sir
m1: to whom?
Me :sir our prime minister has sent invitation to pakistan president mr zardari and pakistani prime
minister mr gilani
m1:yes good ,and this has been termed as cricket diplomacy
me:yes sir
m1 : are you in favour of it
me : yes sir because talks can build the trust and confidence among two nations
m1 : so we should invite then to every function or occasion
me : sir we can invite them in which they also have an interest
m1 : ajay ho will you improve relations between india and pakistan
me : sir people to people to people contact can be raised.for example on wagha border there can be
opportunity to talk among themselves.
M1: you have done literature.how can literature be used to improve the relationship between india
and pakistan.
Me : (i knew its an opportunity) sir,shiv kumar batalwi (when i took this name he nodded the head in
yes and other members too gave positive response) is m1: read in both east and west punjab as m1: as
in other regions too.literature connect the people of two nations.we two have shared common history
and thus have various bonds connecting us. Sir in recent years pakistani artists have come to india to
perform certain plays and indian artists have visited there.
M1 : you have read punjabi literature.whats definition of literature?
Me : ( seriously felt unning out of words on this ) sir literature is when through various means such as
poetary stories novels the situations of society are expressed alongwith other feelings
m1 : can we consider novels of sydney sheldon and ( one more name he took ) as part of literature?
Me: m sorry sir i have not readf their novels so am not able to comment
m1 :what is enlightenment
me : (again running short of exact definition,trying to answer) sir the social proceesses are
explained(he interrupted)
m1 : ok,which are two novels you liked

51
me :sir chitta lahu by nanak singh navalkar and ik myaan do talwaaran.
M1 : in chitta lahu from liteary aspect what you liked?
Me : sir the novelist in this novel has touched various social problems at a time
m1: no no from literary aspect
me :sir the language as m1: as sir he has romanticised the novel with passion in it
m1 : you used two terms romantic and passion.whats the relation between two?
Me : sir whn there is romance,passion comes itself
m1 : (smiled) ok
chairman passed to second member,sardar ji on my left,bluish eyes with specs..he was looking like an
intelligent person..
M2 : you are from punjab.in punjab it is said that there is only one culture and thats (i spoke along
humbly alongwith) agriculture
m2: do you agree with this?
Me :sir in punjab agriculture is m1: developed sector and large workforce is in this sector
m2 : no no tell me only about culture
me : sir culture of punjab is very vibrant and dynamic because history of punjab has been vibrant and
dynamic..(he interrupted)
m2 : what you like about punjabi culture?
Me : sir i like open mindedness of punjabi culture,always helpful.sikhs muslims hindus are there in
large number and living in harmony.
M2 : ok,punjab has been an important role player in green revolution especially with ludhiana at
center from where you belong.there is also punjab agriculture university which has played immense
role.but productivity has stagnated in punjab.do you agree?
Me: sir punjab has played very important role in green revolution.sir,the productivity is increasing by
less amount but its still increasing.for example crop intensity is 196 and(interrupted)
m2 : ok what can be done to increase productivity?
Me : sir optiomal funds for research and development..
M2 :what?( he cudnt get what i said)
me : sir sufficient funds should be sllocated for research and development in agriculture should be
providedsir i would like to use an example from this year budget.for example for pulses production

52
rs 300 crore have been alotted to 60000 villages aand when we calculate it turns out to be just
rs.50000 villages which could be rather more funds for less number of villages (interrupted)
m2 : but thats arithmatic calculation you have done.but its not going to be implemented like this.
Me : yes sir but i think it would have been better if it could be implemented with more funds to less
number of villages and then could be raplicated.
(suddenly something clicked to my mind,moving my head and also giving a look at chairman i said) sir
only yesterday in newspaper i read that 30% of fruits and vegetables in punjab go waste because of
lacking proper storage facilities and thus we need to work on the storage facilities ,warehouses
i think they nodded head on this
chairman passed to third member..a very very nice smiling lady member
lm : ok ajay your hobby is blogging
me :yes mam
lm : do you have you own website?
Me :answered
lm :narrated a long que..but she felt she messed up and then said ok name two social networking sites
me : mam facebook and twitter
lm : whats difference between two?
Me :mam twitter is microblogging site where we can type only short texts
lm : how short?i mean how many letters?
Me : (thinking for 3-4 sec)m sorry mam i dont remember
lm : its 140 (then she started confirming from m1)
lm

o we count the space?

Me (dont know in what flow) no mam


lm : we count
me :m sorry mam
lm : you play carrom
me :yes mam
lm : do you play it seriously

53

me : yes mam
lm: there was recently a movie on carrom,(i nodded in yes) can u name that?
Me : mam carrom was also played in munnabhai mabbs ( i was not getting name of that movie so tried
buying time to recall)
lm : no no in munnabhai it was in sideline..but in a movie the game was at centre
me : mam i know there was but am not able to recall the name
lm : ok it was striker
me : (because i knew the movie so unintentionlly came out of my mouth yess mam striker)
lm : ok ajay u were discussing cricket diplomacy with sir,there was also one ping pong diplomacy
me :yes mam
lm : it was between which two countries?
Me : (thinking) mam it was between china andddd (lm :yes yes china and yes you are right china and)
mam,taiwan (damn i went in flow again)
lm :no its usa..between china nd usa\
me : ok mam thank you mam
lm : ( chairman signalled her somethng i feel though m not sure) ok ajay i would ask you one more
question,one last question..(she made a long statement and the she realised it got messed and then
she broke it into parts.ajay people blog and use sites for so many hours a day and daily.isnt it wastage
of time?
Me : mam i dont blog for many hours but for ( interrupted saying no no not just you but many young
ones)
lm :ok tell me is it necessary to blog?
Me : ( making serious facial expression) mam bout necessity i would say we have around 40%
population below poverty line who dont have any account on blogging/social networking sites so it
depends upon personal will.
Lm : ok ajay can it be dangerous sharing personal info on these sites?
Me : mam sharing too much personal info with a stranger can be at times dangerous too
she was ok and then chairman passed on to fourth member..he was looking not in very good mood
when i even entered..may be some personal matter.he showered questions on me
m4 : you were talking about wagha border.have you been there?

54

Me : no sir i havnt been there


m4 : ok in punjab agriculture has impacted upon the environment..how?
Me :sir ground water level has dipped too much and thats reason punjab gvt has banned sowing of
paddy before 10 may
sir the same cropping pattern over so many years has depletd soil of nutrients
m4 : ok whats happening in libya
me : explained
m4 :whats happening in neighbouring countries of libya
me : i expolained
m4: whats no fly zone
me : explained
m4 : whats sustainable development?
Me: sir sustainable development is use of resources in such a manner so that needs of future
generations are not compromised
m4: what?
Me : explained again
m4 : so we should stop the using resources?
Me : sir we should use them optimally
m4 : what is climate change?
Me : explained and also talked of climate talks
m4 : (dnt know what happened while i was answering above que,he asked is usa developing nation?
Me : sir usa is developed nation
m4 : climate change is said to be good.russians are saying that more land on arctic will be available
and thus more of resources
me : sir climate change may cause sea water level rise which will submerge large land are and
countries like maldives..moreover climate change can impact cropping pattern thus bringing large
scale migration among people which will not be good
m4 : ok

55

now chairman got back to him.he was all the time very attentive
ch : have you read punjba history?
Me : (having no other choice and dont know from where confidence came) yes sir
ch : (again) have you read punjab history?
Me : yes sir
ch : when maharaja ranjit singh died?
Me : sir 1839
ch: when did maharaja ranjit singh signed treaty with britishers?
Me : sir in 1839
ch : (looking down to his pages) ok yes there was treaty that both sides wont cross satluj
me : yes sir
ch : tell me about anglo sikh wars
me : sir there have been two anglo sikh wars, first was fought in 1845-46 and second in 1849 and sikhs
were defeated by britishers
ch : what happened after that?
Me : (two three conflictting thoughts started popping in my mind and i found not answering as best
option) m sorry sir i dont remember
ch : can u name few places of the wars?
Me : sir battle of sabhrawan( i had read it some times in punjabi)
ch : bnattle of sabharao
me : ok sir thank you sir
me : sir samrala
ch : ok
me : m sorry sir i am not able to recall more names ( this was what i had read so many times but
interview time is tough i feel)
ch : chilchilyanwala
me : ok sir

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ch : are you sure?


Me : m not sure sir
ch : ok, ( then he looked at wall clock and then on his wrist watch and said ok we have time so we
can talk more
(what else i cud say)
me : yes sir
ch : ok tell me something about union public service commission ( i was delighted that he will ask me
opinion based question now but in vain)
ch: when was union public service commission founded?
Me : sir it was founded in 1926
ch : (thought) yes right,good but then its name was somethng else.what was its name?
Me : sir its name was federal public service commission
ch : yes right,why was it established?
Me : (finding appropriate word for 2 seconds but then went on) sir to sppoint people on posts of high
responsibility
ch :yes right but why it was founded only then?
Me : sir it was founded on recommendation of a commission
ch : yes but on recommendation of committee not commission
me : ok sir
ch : what was name of that committee?
Me : m sorry sir i have read but i am not able to recall right now
ch: ok tell me origin of river beas
me : ( i had prepared satluj yamuna link so m1: that stluj started popping in my mind,i tried
suppressing it and finding origin of beas but after 3-4 seconds) m sorry sir am not able to recall
ch : have u read it?
Me :yes sir
ch : then you must be having some idea whether its in punjab haryana himachal,j&k,tibbet)

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me : ( tibbat and satluj ghoomne start fir se) sir if i have to make a guess i will say tibet ( the answer
was beas kund and when i came out of room it immediately came in mind)
ch : ok thank you and moved back from his forward attentive posture.
me : (feeling good) got up thank you sir ,thank you sirs ,and again smilingly thank you mam
there was a pink file on table..i was lil puzzled because of beas wala answer and could in that puzzled
mind pick that file but then i got attentive that yet i have to walk out of room and til i walk out
interview is not over..and i walked out without any mistake
when i came out same female who was known to me was sitting and my first words were he is asking
factuals only
my assesment is that may be he will realise i am not student of history but still answere atleast few
questions m1:..
Some answers i really felt proud of like that of gurmukhi,do u have your own site,some data related to
agriculture, union public service commission year ( that has a story which i will share ) ad optimal use
of resources, treaty of 1839 etc.
Rest waiting for result.thats it !!!!
Courtesy: Ajay Pal, Rank 160 - Union Public Service Commission 2010

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Union Public Service Commission Interview By Amit Goyal (Dr. K.K.


Paul Board)

Name : Amit Goyal


Type: Interview
What is your name, DOB, Roll No. etc.
Me: Ansered
C: Which type of devotional music you listen (It was my hobby to listen devotional music)
Me: Sir I listen to songs by Vinod Aggarwal, Krishan bhakti songs.
C: Why not other music?
Me: Sir I listen other music as well, but mainly I listen devotional one.
C: Why you listen devotional music?
Me: Sir it gives me peace of mind.
C: So you are usually in stress?
Me: Yes Sir I do as after long hours of working there is a bit of stress. I prepare tea, coffee etc. listen to
devotional songs and my stress is gone.
C: What is Trial by Media?
Me: Sir when due to reports in media a perception is made in the mind of general public as to who is
guilty and who is innocent, without the case being completely tried by the court.
C: Then what about journalistic ethics?
Me: Sir its clearly a case of violation of these ethics.
C: Then why Press Council is not taking any action?
Me: Sir First It does not have enough powers to take action and secondly it does not cover electronic
media.
Member1 (M1): Amit you have got 46th rank in C.A. you was having good opportunities to earn
money. Then why are you coming to civil services?
Me: Sir first of all money is not every thing, secondly govt. pays a good salary and finally working in
corporate would have restricted my scope of work to Accounts, Audit or Tax, but working in civil
services is working for a larger cause.
M1: What are the problems of women in Haryana?
Me: Sir the condition of women in Haryana is really worrisome and is reflected in very low sex ratio of
861 and esp. 617 in literate people. In addition to it are problems of Khap, Honour killing etc.

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M1: What will you do if you are a DC in an area affected by such problem of low sex ratio?
Me: Sir I will go for a two pronged strategy- Implementation of Pre Natal Diagnostics Act and creating
awareness among people.
M1: How will you use media for this purpose?
Me: Sir we can have big sign board along the roads giving message that if girls are not there then with
to get marry your sons with? Similarly we can use mass media.
M2: Amit do you think that cricket is squeezing out other games in India?
Me: Mam, I do not think so as I think that any game is made popular by its achievement as it is in case
of cricket. Once we had achievements in Hockey, it was pretty much famous.
M2: What achievements we have made after 1983. No 2nd world cup?
Me: We have won many important tournaments. Individual records like that of Sachin are almost
unachievable.
M2: But all sponsors are going to cricket leaving nothing to other games.
Me: Mam that has a natural reason as cricket has a scope of advertisement after every six balls while
other games does not have such advantage.
M2: We are a big nation and got only 3 medals at Olympics. Is not it a shameful thing?
Me: Mam, its not a shameful thing but an eye opener for us to go into the reason for such low
performance.
M2: What are those reasons?
Me: One such reason is Infrastructure gap. We do not have playing ground for people to practice.
Whatever infrastructure we have is for champions only, for AAM ADMI they are always LOCKED.
M2: Is there something like Sporting Culture?
Me: Yes, since our childhood days we were told that kheloge koodoge banoge kharab, padoge likhoge
banoge nawab meaning that the stress was on the studies only.
M2: Is it changing now( I said yes), and why?
Me: Today parents know that sports and study are not contradictory to each other, there is good
career in sports and lot of money and fame for the family.
M3: When are IFRS going to be introduced in India?
Me: The date is 01 April 2011, but I consider it to be 01 April 2010 as companies prepare comparative
accounts for two years and there for figures for 2010-2011 are to be adjusted as per new standards.
M3: What problems will Indian companies face?
Me: There may be shortage of skilled personnel, more compliance as number of standards in IFRS are
higher.
M3: Do you think that we will be able to adopt them?

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Me: Sir ICAI has issues INDAS to be followed. So we are adopting as it is but are modifying them as per
our needs.
M3: Whats the need for IFRS?
Me: Sir today global firms operate in India and India firms operate worldwide, that why we need them
to have a common business language.
M4: What is PAC?
Me: Sir PAC is a parliamentary committee to look into the CAG reports on PSEs.
M4: on PSEs?
C: Is not there something called COPU?Me: Sorry sir realize that I made a mistake. PAC is a
parliamentary committee to look into the reports of CAG on accounts of Central and State Govts.
M4: is there any PAC like mechanism at State level?
Me: Sir I am not sure but I think that there is.
C: ok Amit you can go now.
Me: Thank you every one.
Exam Interview Details :
Subjects Taken : Commerce, Public Administration
Date: 23-Mar-2011
Interview Board : Dr. K.K. Paul
City : Palwal (HR)

61

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Prince Garg (Prof. K.S.


Chalam Board)

Name: Prince Garg


Type: Interview
C- Prof. K.S. Chalam
O- Other members
I entered after taken permission
P- Good afternoon mam, Good afternoon Sir
C- So Prince you are from Delhi.
P- Yes Sir
C- Have you ever visited Noida
P- No Sir
C- Strange you have not visited Noida ever, Have you ever gone to Gurgaon.
P- Yes Sir
C- Thank God
(I was still standing, they had not asked me to sit yet)
C- Oh Prince, have a seat 1st
P- Thank you Sir
O- Mr. Prince while coming from Laxmi Nagr, You would have seen Red Fort
P- No Sir, Autowala brought me from different route.
O (1st member)- No problem, so tell me what's written on RED FORT main gate
P- Sorry Sir, I do not know.
O- So tell me how many times Delhi has been made
P- Its seven times.
O- Name them chronologically, a nd who built them
P- (I could name only 4 times , had 4 gotn chronology)
O- What changes you have seen in infrastructure of East Delhi after CWG.
P- Sir more number of flyovers, roads have been widened.
O- He cut me in b/w and asked how many flyovers to be precise..
P-Sorry sir..

62

C- Prince, basically you are from Delhi?


P- No Sir, My roots are in HARYANA.
C- Have you ever gone to any village?
P- Yes Sir, I have gone to my village Khanara many times.
C- Ohh Khanaraso tell me what problems you have seen there.
P- Sir 1 biggest problem I have seen is that, women are not considered as human beings there
C- What? What are you saying prince, No women are not human beings.. ha ha, everybody started
laughing like hell, they were killing me
P- (I started stammering), Sir I want to request something
C- Ya Please say!
P- Sir I have stammering problem in English, but I can communicate well in Hindi, Can I use some Hindi
in between
C- GO Ahead! I have no problem.
O- See Prince, We will ask questions only in English but you can answer in Hindi
P- Sir I can speak English but some where Il use Hindi, Thanks, Sir in my village I have seen
discrimination of women, they are not supposed to study, only work they have to do is: household
chores, bearing children and worshipping their husbands
C- ha ha
P- Sir UNDP 2010 report places INDIA at 114th rank in GDI, according to ADBs report even the
Pakistani women are in better position than Indian, in whole South Asia only Afghan women are
behind than Indian that too because of Taliban
C- Then why Indian women is so much discriminated, there is no Taliban in India?
P- Sir there are various mini Talibani groups in India
C- ha ha
(He started talking to other members which I was not able to understand)
P- (I cut them in between) Sir, what happened in Manglore two years back
C- What happened? Come on tell me (Again he was laughing)
P- Sir a group of 30 women was beaten because women wanted to enjoy in a pub, they said women
should not go out of home after 7 pm., Is nt it Talibani attitude?
C- Oh come on that was just hyped by media
P- Sir 1st it happened only then it came into news ?
(At this Chalam Sir became restless)
C- Have you ever seen women discrimination? Where tell us. Dont give us newspaper data.
P- sir I have seen it in my home, my sister was always discriminated vis a vis me in many respects..
( at this Chalam sir became serious and ..)
C- It happened in your house and you are telling me here in front of board?
P- yes sir! Facts are facts.

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(At this Chalam stopped, and passed on to other member)


O- Prince, tell me about the problems of Indian defence system, why we import every and do not
make in country?
P- Sir we are allowing only 26% FDI, It should be at least 74% as recommended by many committees,
We can open sum SEZ for this purpose, less expenditure on R&D and we do not have funds to
establish such huge arms and industries..
O- But we have to spend even in importing and my dear DRDO has more than 50 labs across country
so hw can you say that we do not spend on R&D, (he was not satisfied),
O- (3rd member)- China never imports arms, they build them on their territory, y cant India do that?
China exports huge arms to the whole world.. is not it?
P- Sir, at least 70% of Chinese exports come from its huge SEZ, we do not have such big SEZ
(at this , they he became silent but still he was nt satisfied)
C- Prince suppose I give you a land of size of this room, how will you increase your agricultural output
there? Can you mention sum problems of farmers?
P- Sir Indian farmers are uneducated, they do not understand novel ideas, size of land is too small to
use big machines, credit problems, chemical fertilizers have sucked the fertility of land, bio fertilizers
should be used
C- no no, tell me how will you increase fertility in short run, u r telling long run solutions
P- Sir in Punjab, farmers r getting benefited from PPP, a company named PEPSICO hire farmers,
company give them credit, fertilizers, irrigation facilities, new methods and farmer just puts its land
and labour
(Members were quite convinced and I had a smile of victory. lols)
Again
C- So Prince you have done B.E. from DTU, one of the best technical university of country and still you
coming here?
P- Sir frankly speaking I wanted to study humanities after school but my family and friends told me
that after B.E. you can earn easily but after humanities you can't earn just after graduation and as my
financial position wasnt good so I opted for B.E., Actually I was forcedbut I never enjoyed
engineering, It wasnt my aim, I felt it in college..
C- Oh to tum paise kamane aaye ho yahaa.. (he started talk in to other members, Sir I am telling you
this boy wants to earn a lot of money etc etc)
P- I interrupted them in b/w, Sir I was offered 6 lacks package in DCE campus but I didnt accept, many
friends of mine are in IIMs today and some have been offered Packages of 15-18 lacks, civil services
can never fetch me that money..
(At this Chalam again laughed and again started talking to members like maam I m telling you this boy
want to give a big shot, ek baar me hi kamana chahta ha hahahaha)
O- Prince your hobby is internet surfing, tell me the name of Indian search engine.
P- Sorry Sir, I do not know.

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O- Tell me about PARAM


P- Sir its indian supercomputer and was fastest in Asia Two years back now a Chinese has overtaken
O- Tell me difference between Indian super computer and American Super Computer. What's the
basic difference in their infrastructure
P- sir US super computer Are faster than Indian, that's all I know. (He wasnt satisfied)
(Chalam passed on to the last member then)
O ( lady member)- It seems you want to say that men are enemy of women, every time you are saying
men discriminate women, but women discriminate the women most, do you know this Prince?
P- You are right mam but that's because women have already been brain washed, unko bachpan se he
bol diya jata ha ke pati is parmeshwar (I used these words there)
(At this reply Chalam sir bich me he kood pade)
C- You know madam why he is so much talking about women and all because he has read sociology.
ha ha..
Madam laughed 1st time
P- Sir, in my last attempt I wrote mains with Maths, this time I changed Maths and took Sociology, I
have never heard of Sociology before ever.. (at this Chalam passed a smile)
(now lady member who seemed to b a Sociologist was determined to screw me)
O (lady member)- What steps will you take for women empowerment if you become collector.
P- Mam Ill ensure their education and employment, self help groups can be strengthened, once they
will be Economically empowered, they will have a say in household decision making (I quoted Karl
Marx)
O- No prince, Its not right, even the highly educated, employed women suffer domestic violence..
(I was about to say something but mam stopped me and asked)
Tell me the problems of elder people in India and what can be the solutions?
(I was about to start but Chalam Sir said, just tell us the solutions)
P- Sir parliament made an act in 2007 where elder people can sue their children in court if they do not
care them
O (lady member)- oh come on its not a practical solution, how come a 70yrs old woman can go to
court?
P- you are right mam but that act can be made more elder people friendly, also like we have a
campaign ie BELL BAJAO CAMPAIGN in Delhi 2 counter domestic violence.
(Chalam Sir stopped me and asked)
C- why elders are facing problem today, pehle to aisa nahi hota tha
P- Sir because of diminishing moral values, normsSir in joint families elder used to enjoy much more
respect but in todays nuclear families
( Chalam cut me in between)
C- oh come on, on one side you want development, industrialization and on the other hand you want

65
moral values, aise nahi hota. Hahahahaha
Finally lady member said.. Prince you are good, you are on the right track but you need further
studies.
C- Ok Prince you can go, your interview is over..
P- Thank you very much sir, have a nice day
(When I came out of room my body was completely shivering but I was happy anyways.)
Exam Interview Details :
Subjects Taken: Sociology, Public Administration
Date: 24-Mar-2011
Time: 12.20pm to 12.50pm
Interview Board : Prof. K.S. Chalam
City : Delhi

66

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Abhiram G. Sankar


(Mrs. Rajni Razdan) [AIR:04]

Name : Abhiram G. Sankar


Time: 25 Minutes
My interview was on the afternoon of 11 April 2011, and I was the second candidate in Ms.Rajni
Razdan's board. The board was cordial, except for the chairperson who appeared to sleep after asking
her quota of questions.
I entered the room, greeted the members & stood till I was offered the seat. Thanked the chairperson
Rajni Razdan (RR) & sat down smiling.
RR: Whats your name?
Me: Answered
RR: Roll No?
Me: Answered
RR: Date of Birth?
Me: Answered
(Initially I was a bit confused why she was asking these things!). Then RR read out aloud from my
summary sheet optionals, graduation, hobbies, team activities etc. I kept smiling & nodding, with a
Yes Mam in between.
M2: Born in Tamil Nadu, but staying in Kerala?
Me: yes sir, my family is settled in Kerala.
RR: So, which is the country sharing longest border with India?
Me: Bangladesh.
RR: The shortest?
Me: Afghanistan.
RR: Ok, Tell me about the McMahon Line.
Me: Its the line dividing India & China, but not accepted by china as such. It was signed in the early
1900s by Treaty of Tibet. (I made a mistake by unintentionally mentioning the year & name of treaty.)
RR: Which treaty & year?
Me: Repeated the same, but doubtfully.
RR: It was in Shimla, in 1913. Who were the parties to the treaty?

67
Me: British India & Tibet.
RR: And one more?
Me: Dont know.
RR: Myanmar.
Me: Thanked her.
RR: What is Radcliff line?
Me: Line dividing India & Pakistan.
RR: Who drew it & when?
Me: 1947 by Radcliff
RR: What are the issues between India & Pakistan?
Me: gave a list borders, Siachen, sir creek, 26/11, water sharing, fishermen & prisoners etc.
RR: Suppose you are SDM of a district, and are traveling. You see an accident on the road. How will
you respond?
Me: Ill stop on the spot, and get to know exactly what happened. Then call the ambulance or police
station. If the above vehicles are not available, then take the injured in any other available vehicle.
RR: What is so special with your car that you will not take the injured in your car first? Why wait for
ambulance /police? Is your prestige more important or the persons life?
Me: (I was stunned briefly, as it did not occur to me while answering that an SDM would be traveling
in his/her own car. But I quickly recovered & said,). The persons life is most important. I should have
thought of my own car first. I apologise for my mistake.
RR sat with the same emotionless expression from beginning till end of her question time. Now she
signaled to another member, locked her palms together, placed them to her forehead & slept leaning
on the table.
M1: You are from Kerala. How is geography advantageous to Kerala?
Me: Another list rich & productive coastal alluvium, water resources, blessed by monsoon, fisheries,
plantation sector, forests, ports etc.
M1: What about tourism?
Me: Yes sir, that too depends on Keralas unique geography.
M1: Since you are a computer science graduate, tell me what is cyber crime?
Me: (Didnt know the exact definition) It refers to the various illegal activities performed in todays ITlinked world like phishing, hacking, fraudulent info, theft of data etc.
M1: How will you use computer science in development of India?
Me: Another list efficient information dissemination to illiterate poor about health, agriculture etc.

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through audio & video, adult literacy programmes, transparency & lesser corruption.
M1: What is MIS?
Me: said dont know after thinking.
M2: It is management information system. Dont you people study in B.Tech.?
Me: No sir. That paper belongs to IT branch & not Civil Service.
M2: Name some areas which you studied in B.Tech.
Me: Some programming langs like C & C++, microprocessors, assemblers & compilers, hardware etc.
M2: Name an important temple in Kerala.
Me: Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum.
M2: Others?
Me: I started with Guruvayurappan temple, but was interrupted mid-way.
M2: No, nowhich temple brings in most money?
Me: Sabarimala temple.
He was happy it seemed, because he smiled graciously.
M3: What is track-2 diplomacy?
Me: Talks between countries conducted by retired officers, NGOs, activists etc. Its very good for
betterment of bilateral ties. More people to people interaction takes place through this route.
M3: what is bus diplomacy?
Me: Cross LoC bus to improve ties..by Vajpayee Govt
M3: So what is diplomacy?
Me: Its the art of maintaining relations among countries at international level. (Not exactly the same
words, but not the exact definition also).
M3: What do you think about Indias big brother attitude in south Asia? what are the issues with
each of the neighbouring countries?
Me: India is the largest country in south Asia, and its actions are only perceived as big brotherly by
neighbours. It is not true. Indias ties with its neighbors carry historical baggage with it which is the
cause of todays problems.
Again a list partition issue with Pakistan
M3: (Interrupted me) but partition is way back in history.
Me: but sir, our relations are based on that event. (continued above answer) Tamil issue with Sri
Lanka
M3: nodont speak about all issuesone issue at a time (in fact he had asked me for listing out all

69
issues!). lets talk about Pakistan. How will you solve Kashmir issue with Pakistan?
Me: We need an innovative solution
M3: (Again interrupting me)you need to talk more
Me: Sir, Im coming to the point. Realistically looking at the issue, I dont think Pakistan will hand over
its part of J&K to India. Our present borders may not be changeable. Its better to acknowledge the
same without a formal announcement as our maps cannot be changed & territorial integrity cant be
sacrificed. No internationalization of the same can be allowed. At the same time, cross border links &
trade have to be improved & people-to-people contacts increased with development of J&K in mind.
M3: How should India proceed on Indo-Pak talks?
Me: Sir, instead of focusing on just Kashmir, we have talk on several issues like Siachen, sir creek,
cultural ties, trade, water sharing etc.
M3: We have been doing that for long. But no results have come out.
Me: Sir, the issues are not at fault. Talks broke down because of events like 26/11, 2001 parliament
attacks & cross border terror. India is not responsible for the breakdowns. So it is better to continue
on multiple issues.
M4: Can I also continue on Kashmir? Are you confident? (almost laughing!)
Me: Yes sir, you can.
M4: Why not conduct plebiscite & solve the issue?
Me: Sir, there are some preconditions. Complete demilitarization must take place on both borders.
Kashmiri Pandits who were chased away must be allowed to return. Only if these happen, plebiscite
can be allowed.
M4: You say India & Pakistan must talk about Kashmir. But where are the Kahmiris in the scene? Has
their voice been neglected?
Me: Sir, we definitely need more Kashmiri opinion. It is heard very less.
M4: Do you mean they have been ignored completely or given inadequate representation?
Me: sir, definitely they were heard. India did talk with separatists like Hurriyat conference. But more
needs to be done on this front. (shouldve mentioned the pms interlocutors at work now, but forgot).
M4: Elections are periodically held in J&K. people vote new Govts to power. can you consider this as a
sort of plebiscite?
Me: Yes sir, they reaffirm peoples faith in our system.
M4: Do you think those elections are proper, free & fair?
Me: There have been allegations in the past about rigging.
M4: No. I dont want others opinions. What do you think now?
Me: Sir, thanks to a strong election commission, I can confidently say that recent elections have been
free & fair, not only in J&K, but also in other states of India and I am proud of this fact.

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RR: Thank you. (she smiled for the only time in the whole interview!)
Me: Thanks the board & left.
The 4 male members were smiling & very attentive, unlike Ms. RR. I too tried to keep up a smiling face
through out the interview. The board was cordial on the whole. Interview lasted for about 20-25
minutes.
Interview Date : 11-Apr-2011
Interview Board : Ms. Rajni Razdan
Place : Thiruvananthapuram
Subject : Geography & Political Science & International Relations

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Union Public Service Commission Interview By Gokul G R (Shri I. M. G.


Khan) [AIR:19]

Name: Gokul G R
Time : 35 Minutes
My interview was scheduled for the afternoon session on the 4th of April 2011. After the document
verification, by around 14.15 hrs, we were told that we will be interviewed by the board chaired by the
Union Public Service Commission member I.M.G. Khan. I was the last candidate in the list.
I entered the interview room by around 16.50 hrs. This is the transcript of the interview:
Me: May I come in, Sir?
The chairman asked me to come in. The room and the table were quite small. So I had a hard time
distinguishing the chairman from the five members.
I got in wishing the chairman, lady member and the other members Good afternoon. But before I
could finish the niceties, chairman was asking me to sit down. He seemed very cordial and the mood in
the board was surprisingly fresh even at the end of the day. I sat down saying Thank you
Chairman: So you are Gokul?
Me: Yes sir, Gokul G.R
Ch: I will call you Gokul. Will that be fine? (smiling)
Me: Yes sir that will be fine. ( me too smiling)
Ch: Gokul, you have taken Physics as an optional. Are you going against the trend as we see a lot of
engineers and science graduates taking non-science optional?
Me: Sir, physics is a subject that I have been studying form my school days. It is the most familiar
subject for me and I like it. I wanted to take a subject that I would enjoy studying.
Ch: (going through my bio-data): So you passed out from NITC with first class with distinction. Some
chap came to a place near Calicut some time back no? Who was he?
I was confused and thought for a fraction of a second when I knew he was talking about Vasco Da
Gama
Me: Vasco Da Gama sir. It was in 1498. He landed at a place called Kappad. It is quite near to my
college.
Ch: The beach has a memorial saying this is where he landed. Have you seen that?
Me: I have been to the beach twice. It is a rocky beach. But I dont remember seeing the monument.
Ch: Its a small monument which says this is the spot where. (the other members nod at this)

72
Me: sorry sir. I dont remember seeing the monument.
Ch: Why did he have to find a route through the sea?
Me: I dont exactly remember the details but the land route was blocked by some reason.
Ch: No No thats not possible. They could have found some other route.
Me: Sea route is cheaper and it also facilitates large scale trade.
Ch: Yes. Besides dont you think it is safer? Taking the land route they would have to come through
hostile territories and through bandits and hooligans. But again they face pirates in the sea route.
Me: Yes sir.
Ch: Why did the Europeans land in Kerala?
Me: They were looking for trade in spices, especially pepper.
Ch: Is spices still an important component of your states economy?
Me: Yes sir. Spices are still a major component of our exports.
Ch: Why is that Kerala has not been able to diversify from traditional agricultural commodities? Why is
Industrial growth not strong in Kerala?
Me: There is a general lethargy within the government and people about inviting capital and setting up
an investor friendly climate. We also have a very strong trade unionist culture. It definitely has
positives for the society. The wage rates and working conditions are one of the best in India. But
various elements have misused it and used it for personal ends at the expense of industrial growth. It
was a mindset that was set in the 1970s and 1980s that is still preventing investors from investing in
Kerala. But we are definitely changing. We just commissioned the vallarpadam project and signed the
agreement for the Smart city project.
Ch: So you think that the situation will change? That the future is bright?
Me: The change is already happening. It has already started sir (smiling).
Ch: Tell me about this smart city.
Me: It is a PPP between the Kerala Govt. and Dubais Tecom to set up a Technology park which will
provide the necessary infrastructure for software and electronics firms to set up office.
Ch: Where exactly is it?
Me: At Cochin. Kakanad to be exact.
The chairman nodded at the first member. Having taken Physics as an optional, his questions were
only on the safety of nuclear power and nuclear reactors.
M1: In the context of the Japanese disaster, do you think we should continue our expansion plans for
nuclear energy or should we stop it? How safe is nuclear energy?
Me: Nuclear energy is a dangerous technology and it can never be 100% safe. But nuclear energy is a
vital energy source for the future. So stopping it is not an option. But we should put in place better

73
safety and security systems. Even in the Japanese case, the reactors withstood the 8.9 magnitude
earthquake and the tsunami and the reactor stopped working also. But it was the failure of the cooling
system due to the damage to the electric grid that led to the current crisis.
M1: So what all should be done?
Me: We already have better safety systems. Our reactors are PHWRs as opposed to the BWRs of Japan
which are inherently safer. Besides, the newer reactors have a Passive heat removal system by which
air can be used for cooling in the event of failure of active cooling systems. New reactors will also have
Hydrogen capture systems to prevent the kind of explosions that occurred at Fukushima.
M1: But still you think it wont be 100% safe?
Me: Achieving a 100% safety line would be impossible but we should put in place mechanisms and
safety systems to take the safety level as near to 100% as possible. Besides the safety guidelines
should be placed under an independent regulatory body outside DAE.
M1: Very recently the former chairman of the AEC said that India should not import foreign reactors.
Even he is not so sure about the safety of the rectors.
Me: The foreign reactors especially Arevaa EPR 1600 has untested safety features and has been
rejected by a number of nations. Also, foreign reactors will have different safety systems and we will
have to be experts in each of these. We will also have to depend on foreign know-how to learn their
safety features also. But our reactors have been completely designed by us. So we have a better
understanding of their dynamics and can better perfect the safety systems for them. Even the former
chairman has supported the use of indigenous reactors.
M1: The proposed reactor at Jaitapur is coming up in a seismically active zone. What all measures
need to be taken to prevent damage due to earthquakes?
Me: Building standards need to be strictly applied. Earthquake-resistant technology need to be
incorporated which building. The effect of this was seen in the recent earthquake in Japan. The 8.9
magnitude quake, which is one of the largest ever killed only 20,000 people while the 7 point
magnitude quake in Haiti last year killed more than 2 lakh people.
M1: You said about smart city? What all are the criterion for selecting a place for setting up a project
like this?
Me: Connectivity to major city centres, road and rail connectivity, presence of good colleges in the
vicinity.
The chairman interrupted asking me whether human element is also a factor that is considered.
Me: Yes sir. Availability of prospective employees is a major factor. If a Keralite is given a choice
between a job in Smart city and in Bangalore, he will choose smart city even if the salary is a bit less.
Given that about 50,000 engineers pass out from Kerala every year, this will give a competitive edge
for the recruiters.
The turn was passed to the second member, a lady member. Her questions were about social issues.

74
M2 (looking at the summary sheet): You were selected as the Young Scientist at the National
Childrens Science Congress and you were second in the Regional Mathematical Olympiad. Why have
you chosen civil services after coming from a science background like this?
Me: The project that we did for the Science congress has in fact played a very important role in me
choosing civil services as a career. It was a social project. It was about the nutritional status of the
people in a particular rural area in my district. The project gave me a firsthand exposure to the
problems in the rural areas and about the various government departments working on these issues.
The results of the project painted a very grim picture about the nutritional status of the people with
respect to protein and vitamin deficiency. Besides, my aptitude is in an administrative job. Civil
services will offer me the variety and challenges that no other job can give. I chose engineering
because of my interest in science and to keep my options open. But civil services have been my dream
throughout. It was always there in the back of my mind. That was why I started my preparation at the
end of my third year itself.
M2: Suppose you are posted as an SDM in your state. What will you do to improve the nutritional level
of the people? Are you aware of any schemes in that regard?
Me: ICDS, PDS, NRHM etc are the schemes for improving the nutritional and health levels of the
people. Most of these projects suffer from poor implementation and leakages. For e.g., in ICDS, the
anganawadi workers are ill-paid and their responsibilities are quite heavy. This has led to a lack of
morale among them. I will concentrate on proper implementation of such schemes.
M2: But as an SDM you cannot make policy decisions. You cant give them more salary. What will you
do in that context?
Me: I will look for implementation of the schemes with support from the local bodies and community
organisations. Involving of Panchayats can also create the political pressure for change.
M2: Kerala is called Gods own country. In what context is that name used.
Me: It is essentially a tagline coined by the tourism department for promoting tourism in Kerala. But
otherwise also, Kerala can be called Gods own country (smiling).
Everyone laughed at this and the chairman interrupted asking me Why is that Gokul?
Me: The climate is good throughout the year, people are well educated and friendly, presence of some
of the most ecologically diverse areas, greenery all around
With this, the Third member took charge. He was jovial throughout.
M3: You have taken public administration as an optional. Do you think decentralization through
Panchayati raj is good?
Me: Definitely sir.
M3: Then why is it that in spite of being inserted in the constitution, it is not properly implemented in
many places?
Me: Although they have been inserted in the constitution by the 73rd and 74th amendment, it is still
the prerogative of the state governments to delegate powers to these bodies. In the case of Kerala,

75
most of the powers in the 11th and 12th schedule have been delegated. Besides, 25% of the plan
expenditure in budget is passed to the local bodies.
M3: So what should be done in the other states?
Me: People should be politically motivated and should demand more powers. Education can play a
very important role in this.
The member said Oh, you Keralite have 100% literacy and laughed. Everyone joined with him. I
smiled and said 94% according to the provisional census figures
M3: Tourism is affecting our culture. Should we stop tourism due to that?
Me: No sir. We should not close ourselves to anyone. The tour operators act as the interface between
the tourists and our people. They should be given training and orientation to properly orient foreign
tourists before they land in India. The foreign tourists should be given a basic idea about the culture
and society into which they are stepping in.
M3: But shouldnt masses be educated for this to be effective. (He turned to other members and joked
our sanskrithi will become apasanskrithi by then)
Me: A well educated society is definitely good for developing a service industry like tourism. That
should be our long term goal. But in the short term, educating the operators will help us develop
tourism sustainably.
M3: A DM was recently kidnapped by the Maoists. In such a dangerous environment, do you still want
to be an Indian Administrative Service officer?
Me: I heard about Mr. Vineel Krishna for the first time after the incident. All the reports in the
newspapers were very positive about his work as a DM. In fact, he was kidnapped when he went to
check a development work in a remote area without any protection. The people of his district rallied
behind him. So if you are upright and do your work, you will have the support of the people and will
be perfectly safe.
M3: So you think if he is honest and upright, nothing bad will happen?
Me: Yes sir.
The turn was passed to the fourth member.
M4: Did you write CAT, GRE or GATE in between?
Me: No sir. I was preparing through my final year and gave the exam right after my final exams.
M4: So you were focused. Tell me the advantages and disadvantages of Mobile communication.
Advantages first: Economic advantages:
Me: Better connectivity, ability to make fast economic decisions, buying and selling goods using
mobiles, advertising.
M4: Social
Me: People and families are always connected. You can call everyone at any distance at very low rates

76
at any time.
M4: Political
Me: Campaigning, Communicating political ideas and schemes
M4: Any disadvantages?
When I thought for a while, he said its Ok, if you cant think of any.
M4: What are the uses of space technology for people?
Me: It has revolutionized communication. Weather satellites like Metsat help us in better prediction.
Remote sensing satellites help us in planning. We have recently put in orbit Oceansat which observes
the ocean. The information gathered by it is beneficial for the fishermen.
M4: Cyber security is a major issue now. What do you know about it and what is being done by the
Indian government?
Me: It is a very dynamic area. It is a constant battle between a large number of hackers and security
establishments. We need to keep ourselves updated always. DRDO is developing an operating system
for use in govt. systems. The operating systems that we use now are available throughout the world
and hence are more prone to hacking. We have set up cyber cells in the major police stations. The
CERT-In is the body that is responsible for cyber security at the national level.
M4: Define ethics.
Me: The set of standards that we are supposed to follow in a particular realm.
M4: Can you point out some of those that you are supposed to follow. Was there any committee that
made recommendations about ethics?
Me: It was a committee that was appointed in the U.K (couldnt remember the name of Nolan
committee) that gave detailed guidelines regarding ethics in public life.
M4: No Indian committees?
Me: A number of committees to look into corruption have also given similar recommendations.
M4: Can you list out a few of those standards?
Me: Honesty, integrity, leadership by example
M4: Those are general things. Dont you have any set of professional ethics as an engineer? Is there
any Body that sets such standards?
Me: IEEE sets the standards for us. But I am not aware of any code of ethics.
M4: No Indian bodies? IETE?
Me: Sir, do you mean ISTE?
M4: No, IETE. Ok, tell me the ethics that you are supposed to follow as a communications engineer.
Me: Respect for IPRs, honesty
M4: Ok.

77

The chairman took over. The interview was in its last phase.
Ch: Very recently a Bulgarian group was arrested in Delhi for robbery. What does this incident mean
for India? Have we become a soft state that people from faraway places are coming for robbery?
Me: It may be a random, off the cuff incident.
Ch: No no. It was a well organized group with a lot of members.
Me: A number of foreign groups are active in a number of nations like the Italian Mafia in USA. As the
economy improves
Ch (interrupting): So you think it is a good thing!!!( and laughedthe members also joined him)
Ch: So Gokul, what will you do after getting out. Tell me the first thing that you will do on exiting this
room.
Me: Sir..I will be removing my tie (It was a spontaneous reply)
Everyone burst into laughter at this and the chairman asked me whether candidates think they wont
be selected if they came in half sleeves without tie (Every male member in the room wore half sleeves
without tie). I started with the usual answer, Sir, this is one of the most important occasions for us.
We respect the occasion when the chairman joked once again. Then I said, Sir, frankly candidates
tend to be a bit conservative in this regard
Ch: Ok. Your interview is over. It has been nice talking to you. Thank you.
I thanked the chairman, the lady member and other members and left the room. It was 17.20 by then.
The interview went for around 30-35 minutes.
The session felt more like a candidate discussion rather than a strict interview. Hoping for the best!!
Exam Interview Details : CSE 2010 Interview
Subjects Taken : Physics, Public Administration
Interview Date : 04-Apr-2011
Interview Board : Shri I. M. G. Khan
City : Palakkad

78

Union Public Service Commission Interview By Bhuvnesh Pratap Singh


(Dr KK Paul Board)
Name : Bhuvnesh Pratap Singh
Interview Writeup: 31st march 2011, I was the fourth candidate to be interviewed in after noon
session. Interview started at 3 45 pm. As soon as I entered even without looking at me KKP Sir told to
sit. I was confused as I have not yet greeted them members. However I wished members and took my
seat.
Chairmen started (KKP Sir) Dr Bhuvnesh: Whats your name?
ME: Sir Bhuvnesh Pratap Singh
KKP Sir: Your Roll No
ME: 48756
KKP Sir: Your Date of Birth
ME: 22/7/1983 (by now I was thinking what he is up to taking interview or interrogating me)
KKP Sir: Dr you have worked in ONGC FOR 1 YEAR why did you left it
ME: Sir, I was on contract there . which got over
KKP Sir: SO, you left ONGC or they left you ??or you left it for preparing
ME: Sir, As contract period was over so I deciced to leave and
I had to prepare also..
KKP Sir: Your hobbies are Teaching, Writing Hindi Poems, Introspection (he read this in one go). You
write what sort of poems.
ME: Sir, For my friends.
KKP Sir: For friends or about friends? You tease your friends in your poems?
ME: Sir. I write for my friends. I try to incorporate my emotions in poems.
KKP Sir: and this introspection.. it is same as diary writing
ME: Yes Sir, I do write diary also. But since I do introspection often so I have written it as my hobby.
KKP Sir: What you do
ME: Sir I try to evaluate my behaviour. I think about how I think, I review my decisions, also it sets me
right when ever I go wrong. It guides my emotion to do better.
KKP Sir: You are emotional person?
ME: Yes sir
KKP Sir: An emotional person cannot be practical person and practical person cannot be emotional
also. We dont need such people
ME: Sir, Shall I take an example
KKP Sir: OK
ME: Sir, Since I am a doctor and when ever my patient comes to me. I show my emotion and my
empathy towards him to accommodate him. But while prescribing the drugs I am the most practical
person. I prescribe based on scientific tenets. so I think an emotional person can be practical too.
KKP Sir: Till now his face was wearing mask. He didnt showed any facial expression and pointed
fingers towards 1st member to ask question
ME: member 1 (M1: ) he was sitting left to him
M1: So Dr. you are from Agra.
ME: Yes sir.

79
M1: Dr I call AGRA as a GUTTER despite it being tourist place it is very dirty.
ME: Sir, I beg to defer with you here, Sir you are talking about pre 2008 status now Agra has changed a
lot.
M1: Really?
ME: Yes sir
M1: Ok tell me what all we can do to tackle such problems in big metropolis.
ME: Sir we need to educate people, We should strengthen municipality corp, allow them to come up
with bonds to ensure their financial instability.
M1: and in Cities?
ME: Sir, I am staying in Delhi from past 1 year and I saw that MCD sends their autos and truck to clean
the areas. so I think we can copy this plan in other cities like Agra also.
M1: Who is responsible for all this mess
ME: Sir, We all!
M1: How we?
ME: Sir, We are the one who throw our garbage in roads and there is implementation failure also.
M1: Government is coming up with courses like BRMS because there is scarcity of doctor and you
people instead of working in rural area come and join services. Why are you shifting from your field.
ME: Sir, An MBBS is just a beginning or a step in medical field and today's era of multi-specialisation
(inter disciplinary) I think we can help more and I being doctor I am more well versed with fellow
doctors problems and I think I can tackle that through Civil Services. Sir, Recently there was a news
that in Maharashtra only 40 % students of 1st year reach 2nd year and I think I understand this
problem better.
KKP Sir: Interrupted the M1 and asked M2 (Lady member) to ask.
M2: Dr what are your views about traditional medicine, should we discard it.
ME: Mam, Ayurvedahas treated our people from past 2000 year and even till today we all rely on
Ayurvedatraditional medicines is deep rooted in us take for example we all eat Chawanprash which is
an Ayurveda prep. Mam what I believe that Ayurveda in in its lowest ebb now and allopathic medicine
in its peak.. so there is need for more research in this field.
M2: But we do not have money.
ME: True mam. But govt is working in this front we have AYUSH dept. we have Homeopathy, Ayurveda
college etc.
M2: Dr do you know about HDI
ME: Yes mam
M2: Who measures health component on HDI
ME: And then I kept quiet for sometime and then she prompted that is national family health survey.
M2: Do you know what is our ranking in this
ME: Sorry mam I dont know.. but I know we are behind srilanka n Bhutan in this
M2: Yes. But why so?
ME: Mam may be population pressure.
KKP interrupted mam and told member 3 to ask me was sitting right to me mam wanted to ask more
question but she stopped and I gave a smile to her. KKP Sir was listening when I was telling
Chawanprash stuff how ever till now KKP Sir and other mebers did not gave any expression.
M3: Dr you told you are emotional,, what is difference between emotional person and impulsive and
who is better
ME: sir, impulsive person takes decision instantaneously while emotional thinks and i believe

80
emotional is better than impulsive
M3: asked one more ques relating to emotion which I have never heard, so I stated that I dont know
sir
M3: Dr do you take interest in foreign afFairs
ME: Yes Sir, I do
M3: Who is India's best friend
ME: Sir, in long term relations I it is Russia and recently it is USA
M3: WHY USA needs us, Big brother attitude of USA
ME: Sir for balance of power with china, its strategic interest, its commercial interest. We are largest
consumer of US goods blah..blah
M3: What do you think that doctors are going to USA and not serving nation
ME: Sir, they do help us gain dollar which we require the most
M3: But dollar is no more an international currency
ME: True sir, but we import oil which is need of hour and their payment has to be done in dollar terms
so dollar is valuable for us
M3: Ok , do you know how much is foreign exchange reserve now
ME: I was not sure and wanted to play safe so I told Sir I think its more than 250 mn dollars
M3: Ok quiet above this value. He points toward member 4.
M4: Dr as you rightly pointed out that MBBS is just beginning ,but dont you think that doctors are not
at all going to rural area what about health of rural people
ME: Sir I beg to defer with you here,, (he nodded) Sir infact my friends are working in rural area, my
seniors are also working in rural area also Sirwhen I was student during my community medicine
postings I have seen doctors working in rural area.. Sirhowever I do agree that there is problem of turn
over.
M4: Dr you are from Agra or Karnataka
ME: Sir Agra
M4: But you have spent your most of time in Karnataka
ME: Yes sir, but I was sent there.
M4: Sent?
ME: Yes Sir, Since I had my schooling in military school so I was sent there, But Sir later I started liking
that place and infact I learned Kannada also and later on did MBBS from there.
M4: what was your choice for military school
ME: Sir, I dont remember (that form was filled when I was in 5th and what I remember my father had
filled that form)
M4: You did MBBS from Bijapur. Bijapur is famous for??
ME: After a pause Sirits Golgumbaz
M4: Nodding his head .. What it is?
ME: Sir Mausoleum of Adil Shah
M4: But why it is famous for?
ME: Second largest dome of world. Sir also one sound resonates for 7 time.
KKP Sir: Interrupts here and looks toward me and says ok go your interview is over. You can go now. I
wished them thank you and good day. When I came out it was 4:15 so my interview went for 30
minutes. Dr Paul kept on giving sarcastic look through out interview.
Exam Interview Details : Written

81
Subjects Taken: Public Administration, Psychology
Interview Date: 31, March 2011
Interview Board : Dr KK Paul
City: Agra

82

Union Public Service Commission Interview By M. Rohit (Purushottam


Agarwal Board)

Name: M. Rohit
Type: Interview
Me: May I come in Sir.
Me: Good Morning Mam. Good Morning Sir.
PSA: Please have a seat.
Me: Thank You Sir.
PSA: Why Madras has been changed to Chennai but the name of these institutions have not been
changed.
Me: These institutions have been kept of any kind of disturbances or distortions in the society.... (PSA
was n' t convinced and interrupted me and moved on to next question)
PSA: What do you think about Indian democracy. I have so many of my colleagues which say that
Indian democracy it at its worst low and there is a very pessimistic scenario in the country.
Me: Sir, there have been some turbulences and disturbances in short term but Indian democracy will
eventually become more stronger and mature in future in a long term.
PSA: Why do you think so?
Me: Sir, India is like an oasis in the Indian subcontinent surrounded by all failed states and it is due to
our democracy only. Even TS Krishnamorthy has in his book Miracle of Democracy, India is India
because of democracy only. Navin Chawla has also said that if the youth is dynamic, then all the
distortions in the system will eventually wither away.
PSA: I'm not interested in others quotes, but more interested in your views.
Me: Sorry Sir,
PSA: So now tell me why do you feel so optimistic.
Me: Sir, our Judiciary has been very proactive in the last couple of years and it will become the biggest
bulwark of Indian democracy in the future tomorrow.
PSA: Yes, that is one...what else
Me: Sir, Election commission has been becoming very assertive now and people are also getting
empowered and now they know their rights. ( PSA wasn't looking very convinced here...I guess was
expecting something better... moves to next question )
PSA: I'm happy that you think optimistically about Indian democracy.
PSA: Rohit, you have been in Chennai for last 6 years or so, If I'am not wrong. Have you picked up
some Tamil?
Me: Sir, I know some words and some numbers but I often forget them.

83
PSA: Why, didn't you felt the necesssity to learn it in Chennai.
Me: Sir, in campus everyone from peon, sweeper, Professor all speak English. Even if one goes out, all
autowalas understand English
PSA: You never went out of Chennai?
Me: Sir, I've been to some places like Madurai, Tirupati, etc but everywhere people understand
English.
Me: I've a personal feeling that when north Indians go to South India they don't learn south Indian
languages but when people come from South India to North India they pick up Hindi very fast. PSA:
See, in this board two members are from South India and they know Hindi very well. Don't you think
people are very rigid in North India?
PSA: Why do people from South India learn Hindi fast?
Me: Sir, people in South India are more forward...
Me: Sir, I don't think so people are rigid here and people learn it often.
PSA: But your case doesn't suggest so
Me: Sir, If I get posted in Tamil Nadu tomorrow, I'll learn Tamil very soon.
PSA: See, that's it. We learn it when there is necessity and not out of interest.
M1: Rohit, You know about Panchtantra?
Me: Sir, I remember reading about it in school
M1: Ok, so you know about it.
M1: Can you try to recollect what you remember>
Me: (after a pause for 5 seconds) Sir, its a book written by Vishnu Sharma
M1: Can you tell me what is the meaning of the word Panchtantra.
Me: Sir, if you give me permission, I can break the word in Hindi and try to explain it.
M1: Sure, please go ahead.
Me: Sir, Panch means five and tantra means some tactic or tool or technology to get the work done.
M1: Rohit, you are telling about Yantra and not tantra.
Me: Yes Sir, I'm wrong. I'm confused.
M1: Can you tell me about Vedanta?
Me: Sir, I know only about Vedanta Mining group
M1: (confused). PSA interrupts and says he is talking about Vendanta Industries of Orissa.
M1: No I'm talking about the word Vendanta?
Me: Sorrry Sir, I know about word Ved-Puran only.
M1: What do you know about policies towards informal and formal migrants from developing
countries to European countries what policies have been taken towards them?

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Me: Sorry Sir, I don't know about this aspect?
M1: What about USA?
Me: Sir, post economic recession, USA has taken many protectionist policies and has tightened the
visa fees and other terms. It was very relaxed in the Bush regime. This protectionism has harmed
countries like India. (He was not convinced...was expecting something else I guess)
M2: These days there have been lot of talks about different regulatory bodies in India like MCI, NCHER,
etc. What is your take on it. Should they be merged into one integrated body or they should work as
different bodies?
Me: Sir, they should be merged into one integrated body working under one roof. This will promote
lot of cross -cultural research in the country. Technologists, managers, etc willbe able to work together
and lot of new creative ideas and innovative solutions will come up. It will also reduce the red-tap in
the bodies.
M2: Have you heard of IPR.
Me: Sir, do you mean I...P... R?
Me: Yes Sir, I know about IPR.
M2: Can you explain what it is?
Me: Sir, it means Intellectual Property Rights.
M2: Ok, these days lot of new companies are coming and taking up patents in agriculture...have you
heard of anything like this?
Me: yes Sir, companies take the patents of seeds, fertilizers, etc and monopolise the market.
M2: what effect does it have.. .?
Me: Sir, it has led to loss of indigeneous technology of production which the farmers have and
production suffers.
M2: Can you tell any specific exampple?
M2: (after remaining blank for 3-4 seconds) Sir, I remember about Monsanto case. How it mopolised
the market.
M2: (not very convinced) Can you elaborate.
M2: (again not very confident) Sir, It got the patent of Bt Brinjal and there were lot of apprehensioned
from people
M2: You have lived in Tamil nadu. Andhra pradesh is near to Tamil Nadu. In AP lot of agricultural
universities are working and producing creative agri-models but still there are lot of farmer suicides.
What is the reason>
Me: Sir, there is a gap between the research being done in the universities and the actual
implementation in the farms.
M2: No, but still there are lot of models being implemented. I want a specific answer why in AP this
problem is present.

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Me: Sorry, Sir, I don't know any specific reason for such problem in Andhra Pradesh.
M3: Have you heard of Police Act?
Me: Yes Sir, It was passed in 2007
M3: (PSA interrupts, that is what Supreme Court has directed, he is asking something else). When was
the original Police Act passed?
Me: Sir 1861
M3: Yes now you are on track. Now tell me why was it passed by the Britishers?
Me: Sir, it was passed to keep the people of India down
M3: Not only that, it was also passed to give the SPs enough powers to collect the revenue from the
people and SPs use to work directly under the DMs
M3: Have you heard of Police Commissionarate System?
Me: Yes Sir, it has been started in Jaipur and Jodhpur recently.
M3: What system is in Tonk where you were born and what system is in Chennai.
Me: Sir, I'm not sure but I guess it is SP only.
M3: These days powers of DMs have been diluted and SPs have been granted more powers for law
and order. Do you think this relationship be diluted.
Me: Sir, police should have some kind of regulatory body over it and DM is the best person. Otherwise
there might be some police officers who have go out of the system and use their extra discretion and
then people may suffer
M3: Yes you are correct
(M2 drops in again)
M2: (he explained me about secret ballot system in the Parliament for nearly 6 minutes. Even after
listening to him hard I could not make a word out of it what he actually meant and what he wanted
from me. I had a horrific expression on my face...He had a Bengali accent)
Me: Sir, could you...(PSA interrupts and takes over after seeing may facial expressions)
PSA: Do you remember when was the no-confidence motion adopted few years back.
Me: Sir, in 2007
PSA: for what purpose...?
Me: (not very confident) Sir, nuclear deal bill
PSA: Yes, in that Congress had 80 MPs and when secret ballot was done no one knew from where
extra 18 MPs came out. It remained a mystery. Do you think this system of secret ballot should be
removed?
Me: Yes Sir, it should be removed and ful transparency should be brought in the system. Opaqueness
should be removed.
PSA: Don't you think it will create lot of uncertainty in the system.

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Me: May be Yes Sir, but people have every right to know what decision their representative has taken
on the issue. Is that good or bad? Party is secondary and people come first.
M4: Rohit, I'm not from technical background. You have written Robotics as your hobby. Can you
explain me what is a Robot?
Me: Sir. Sorry Ma'am Robot is a tool or a device which can do the work which man does it from its own
hands.
M4: Do you know about movie Robot?
Me: Yes Ma'am . Rajnikant is working in this movie.
M4: What did you like in the movie?
Me: Sir, Aishwarya Rai is working in that movie. (PSA interrupts and says yes that is the best thing to
watch in that movie and the panel bursts into laughter. PSA again says but I haven't wathced it)
M4: I'll tell you what was there in the movie. There was a robot which finally became uncontrollable
and than it was difficult to control it.
M4: Do you think such intelligence should be given to Robots?
Me: Sir, Sorry Ma'am intelligence should be given but not to the extent that they sit over man.
M4: You mean man shoud drive the robots and robots shoudl not drive man.
Me: Yes ma'am
M4: Can you tell how can Robots can be useful to society? Can you give some examples?
Me: Ma'am few days back there was nuclear meltdown in Japan and 50 odd workers are fighting there
to cool down the reactor. If we can produce 50 robots in their place who can cool the reactor than
that will be a wonderful contribution to the humanity. Our soldiers take enemy bullets in the war
zones, if we can replace them with robots or in Naxal affected areas if we can produce Unmanned
vehicles, Unmanned Ground Vehicles to detect the landmines many lives of police people will be
saved.
(Interview abruptly ends here)
PSA: Thank You
Me: I was clueless and was expecting it to go some more long.
PSA: Rohit you may go now.
Me: Thank You Sir, Thank You Ma'am . Thank You Sir.

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Rajshree Jassie (AIR 334)..Strategy and Interview (CSE 2010)

Hi friends, recently the Union Public Service Commission Civil Service(M) final results were declared
and as a person who did not even expect an interview call , I was pleasantly surprised(shocked rather
:P ) to see that I had secured the 334th rank. Since then I have been getting messages regarding the
way to prep and the number of hours I studied.. etc. Well , I really didn't know what to tell whom
initially. But considering that I did crack the exam even after all the drawbacks in my prep, I will let you
know my preparatory method. I will also focus on my mistakes more as I don't want you all to commit
them during your own prep. As I said before , ' take inspiration from my success but learn from my
mistakes' .
Having no one to guide me in the right direction, the earlier attempts were wasted with no proper
prep or even an earnest effort to do well. But during November 2009 my brother who had given his
main 2009 laid out a time table for me. It was strenuous but required. There was a mix and match of
various subjects in a day. Then, we had optionals in our PT so the whole morning was for Sociology,
this I managed to do (with regular breaks in between) because I find socio interesting. After lunch half
an hour was allotted to rattafy (memorize) the articles in Indian constitution. This I didn't do. then
another half an hour for map work, which is another interesting thing so I did to some extent. Then a
chapter of geography for an hour or two , followed by the India Year Book...etc. The time after dinner
was for the newspaper. I would make notes of the news,so this would take a minimum of 1.30 hours.
And finally revision of the previous days news. Once these were completed fully they would be
substituted with other subject.
So, this was a hectic schedule with deadline for every subject and consistent revision (every day the
previous days study was to be looked through). A month and half before pt every subject was to be
covered and at least half of them revised. As usual I did not follow the time table. But some how I
completed most books , esp NCERT geo, History , India year book and my current affairs was alright
too. The time table wished me to study for nearly 12-13 hours, but my proper concentrated prep in a
day was around 6-7 hours. The rest were done in a relaxed manner, with music and breaks..etc
PT came and everyone fared pathetically in pt in 2009. Except may be for eco students and those
aspirants who had prepared really well. Not expecting a call for mains , I spent the two months after pt
on upscportal.com (for the first time) and facebook. Some new found friends , esp Sahni sir and
James007 thought I have a good chance and must study for the main. But I waited till the result to get
my lazy bones up. Result came on Aug 22 and I panicked. Forget books I had not even read the
newspaper properly all these days. I had to decide whether I wanted to go for mains coaching and test
series etc... I decided that it would be a waste of time to shift base to Del. So, I shifted to Bangalore
where my brother would guide me. August 24 I went to Bengaluru and next day my mains prep
started. I saw my 2nd optional Political Science syllabus and almost fainted. Having done MA in Pl Sci, I
thought it will be a piece of cake, but MA through distance education had given me only superficial
knowledge and covered a minute part of the mains syllabus. Tension began.
I didn't have a good way to punish myself for having wasted the earlier two months. So the 2 months

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before mains were the two most hectic months of my life,even took toll on my weight, :P . The target
was to complete syllabus at least a week before exam and also do answer writing. Unfortunately I fell
short of both the targets. I read eco , history , geo , issues in chronicle..etc. Socio being my 1st opt, I
was not too afraid and I also had 11 days gap for it. But GS and Pol Sci were two thorns in my back.
Finally I understood it is impossible to complete them both 100% in two months. And the syllabus is so
vast you cannot say which is imp and which ain't. So I gave importance to those which are common to
all subjects, eg. IR in both GS paper 2 and Pol Sci , Indian constitution , Freedom movement..etc and
current affairs. I made a list of burning topics and tried to gather info on them. I must say The Hindu
was the best thing during those 2 months. My friend who had attempted mains in 2009 stressed upon
flow charts and diagrams. So I tried to make flow chart for every topic and in fact tried to fill in the
whole topic in one diagram with short sentences and phrases. I made short notes and revised from
them. I did write a few answers too. But it is not the same as writing in the exam hall. To get that exam
hall feel , I suggest you go for test series. Also my advice is that you finish both the optionals before
you start prep for your pt , so that the time after pt can be devoted only for revision and answer
writing.
On October 29 written mains started. GS paper 1 was disastrous. Being my first written paper I failed
to stick to word limit. I exceeded the word limit which automatically leads to insufficient time to
complete the paper. the afternoon Gs paper 2 was okay. I did watch the time and tried to stick to
word limit though I did not succeed. Of the total 600 marks I had written for 350-360 marks. I had
decided that this mains will only be for experience and not for success. Essay paper was good. I
devoted the first hour for a pencil draft at the back, and the next two hours on the final draft with 15
minutes to spare.So I did a diagram at the end..
GS paper had taught me well. I calculated the words & minutes equation and tried to rattafy that
too...!! However the mistakes were different. Having kept in mind the pattern of the previous years I
failed to see that the 20 markers of the first main had four compulsory questions. I answered only
three in both the sections. and due to time constraint I left few other questions too. Also many a times
it has happened that questions have had two parts, but while writing the answer, I have forgotten
about the second part and answered only the 1st part of it. I think the only way to address these
mistakes are through answer writing, and if possible go for test series too...
Even with all these mistakes , fact remains that I enjoyed writing my main exam. The questions were
brilliant and makes you think a lot. Working out an answer on spot and the effort to complete all
questions gives you a kick.. lol ... And it was very thrilling at the end of every exam. Trying to write an
answer in full speed... I did use flow charts in my answers but make sure that you practice them
too.My paper was also neat. Especially my essay paper..
Once the main was over it was bliss.. I decided to take a break. By March I had to start my prep for
2011 Pt, CSAT. But I kept postponing and finally main result came. It was a shocker for me. But then
the general talk is that cut off itself is low, thanks to GS. You all know about my interview prep. the
mocks on IOD (Indian Administrative Service OUR DREAM) and also at Vaji made me confident that I
can answer any question. But the real time is really real.. All that research on home state and name
and what not.. But it was completely different. No big questions were asked. But the whole
atmosphere is so tense. Somehow I survived through it, but again I could have done much better.

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My Interview I do not remember the exact answers I gave in my interview so I will only give you the gist of my
interview. On April 21, I reached Union Public Service Commission quite early. But gate opens at 9 AM
sharp. Once inside, we are made to sit on tables allotted for us with two Union Public Service
Commission staff. They take our certificates and documents and get it verified at the main table. Then
once person came and told me I was the first candidate. At this point I felt lucky coz I wanted to be the
first. After knowing that my board is Rajni Razdan madam's I just waited.
Before interview I was quite cool. I cracked jokes with other aspirants and exchanged info and read a
little bit of the Hindu. Finally one person came to me and told me to follow him. Then little bit
nervousness crept it. Finally I was called. In my josh I did not see the time,but a friend who had kept a
watch on me told me I went in at 10.35 and came out at 11.
I entered and the first mistake was committed in first 5 seconds. The set up of the table and chairs was
such that I saw the sirs first. So automatically I wished the sirs first. I had ignored the lady in the room
who was also the chairman of the board...!!!!!, Rajni ma'am...!!! But immediately I wished her. May be
this was why she was pissed off with me and told harshly you don't look like you do in your
photograph. I smiled. and said, but ma'am it was only taken a month back. She showed the pic to me
and said do you feel you look like this now. Immediately after your interview go and get new photos
and give to my assistant. I said ok ma'am I will do the needful. All this time I kept my smile. Finally she
asked me my name , roll number which I answered. I took a few seconds to tell my roll no, I had
almost forgotten it due to the hungama my pic had caused. And by this time my nervousness had
increased though I maintained my smile.She read out some info like my qualification and hobby.
Finally it started RR - What do you cook?
Me - Ma'am depends on what I feel at that moment.......
RR - Don't tell me that , tell me what you prepare.
Me - Yes ma'am , rice is our staple food so I prepare rice items more, like veg pulav , fried rice , biriyani
and some regionally specific dishes like bisi bele baat , vaangi baat.....
RR - Tell me the recipe of that.
Me - Ma'am it is a brinjal based dish with spices...... (I was trying to give an introduction of the recipe
before giving the details,like as if this was a written exam.. :P ).
RR - when you see a recipe book is that how you find the recipe, won't there be ingredients and
measurements? Now tell us how you will prepare for the five of us (members).
Me - I started ma'am I will require 3 cups of rice.......................... ... somewhere at the end she cut in
and said ok, ( may be she din't find it that tasty..!! :P )
RR - You have done MA in Pol Sci & IR, tell me about the situation in Libiya right now.
Me - Presently the NATO forces are implementing the UNSC Resolution 1973. But the leader

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Muammar Gaddafi is not ready to let go of his power and is retaliating to these NATO forces. There is
a lot of chaos going on. ( This was the weakest point of my interview. I could have given a much better
answer.)
Then she gestured the next sir to ask. I was passed on...
Sir1 - Have you heard of Self Help Groups ?
Me - yes sir I have.
S1 - What do they do?
Me - Sir , they are a way of generating a regular income among women , esp in the rural areas.
Women come together and form various enterprises through which they can gain some profit. Many
small and cottage industries are based on this. Crafts and edible items..etc are marketed by them.
S1 - Do they have savings?
Me - Yes sir, they are encouraged to go for savings and they also give out loans to the newcomers to
establish their own groups and enterprise. Now a days some banks like SBI (not sure if this is right) also
give out loans to these groups.
S1 - You are from Karnataka , Recently the arecanut farmers from there visited the PM for some
reason. What are their problems?
Me - (I forgot the more important reason and gave the general one first). Off late the arecanut yield is
suffering due to insufficient irrigation and power cuts..etc. And recently the Kar. gov. has banned
gutka and supari due to which the arecanut prices have taken a steep dip. Their demand is to bring
some stability to the prices of arecanut.
S1 - Don't you think it is good that such a thing which causes oral cancer and all has been banned?
Me - Definitely it is a good thing sir. But arecanut itself is not the biggest cause of oral cancer. Tobacco
is more hazardous ot heath but it has not been banned. and many people are dependent upon
arecanut for their livelihood, so the issue has to be thought about.
S1 - Can't we encourage the arecanut farmers to go for alternative crops?
Me - We can do that sir, But we must keep in mind that arecanut is an intensive investment sector. A
lot of investment goes into buying the plants and fertilizers. It also requires heavy irrigation facilities
like drip irrigation which is quite expensive. So it will be difficult to convince them to go for a change
now. And even if they do , they must be given adequate returns for their investment. also the soil
suitability has to be researched for alternative crops. So this will need more time and research.
S1 - Have you seen any arecanut farms?
Me - Yes sir my father comes from an agricultural family . So I have seen arecanut farms.
He nodded and said okay. then Sir 2. A really very old and sweet uncle.
S2 - You mentioned supari in you answer. Do you know the other meaning of supari? they say supari
de dunga no....

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Me - Yes sir (big smile). It means something like hired assasins.
S2 - said yes you are right, with a smile. And asked you have done your schooling in coorg and then
you did it in Mysore. Why?
Me - Yes sir , my father was in govt service and we had changed a few schools during my early years in
school. To bring some stability my parents thought it would be better to put us in a hostel.
S2 - why Coorg?
Me - When I was studying in Udipi , we (automatically I included my bro also but luckily he din't
realize) were under the guidance of a particular principle who was very good.When he went to coorg
to head another school we also shifted there as we wanted to continue to be under his guidance.
S2 - Then why Mysore?
Me - Sir after staying for so long in hostel , I wanted to be at home so decided to continue my studies
in Mysore itself.
S2 - Smiled and said that explains everything. Looked at my application and asked , Why did you go for
distance education for you degree?
Me - Sir I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis during the final months of my plus two.
And I had some difficulty with walking in the early mornings, but I wanted to continue my studies so
decided to go for distance education.
S2 - Oh, that's very sad, are you still under medication?
Me - No sir, I was for one year but I am better now.
He said that's good. And Sir 3, sitting on my left started.
S3 - What you know about regional planning?
Me - Sir we are already having problems of regionalism in India. This is because of development
disparities among regions. So to help in development of a particular region a particular plan is laid out
keeping in mind the advantages and disadvantages of the region. India is a vast country with each
region having different resources and different needs, so we cannot have a single plan for the whole
country. That is why we have regional planning.
S3 - What are the benefits?
Me - By having regional planning we can give focus to every region and help in faster development of
India itself. More importantly the local people will be involved in it. I think that just like grass root
democracy even administration must go to the grass root and regional planning helps in doing this.
S3 - People will take part more..?
Me - Yes sir. ( he was kind of acknowledging my answer so I did not elaborate).
S3 - What is diff between rural planning and urban planning?
Me - Sir , through rural planning we are still trying to give our rural areas some of the basic amenities
such as electricity , water and schools. Some of our villages do not even have schools yet , so we are

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focusing on providing them these kind of development through the plans where as in urban area we
are focusing on improving the infrastructure , increasing economic output and attracting more FDI..etc
. this is the basic difference.
He said okay and passed me on to the nest Sir.
S4 - We have launched the PSLV recently (it was done just the previous day). Why do we need it , what
is the use?
Me - Sir we have launched 3 sats through this launch. One is the resourcesat , the other two with
foreign collaboration, one with Indonesia ( It was actually Russia.. :P ) and the other with Singapore.
Firstly this will help us gain access to foreign technology which is superior to ours and also we can go
for agreements and joint researches in the field of space and science..etc. There will be technology
transfer which will have positive effects from India's point of view. And then satellites like resourcesat
help us know about our resources which is helpful in many ways.
S4 - How knowing resources will be helpful?
Me - Sir India has great resource potential , but we are not bale to capitalize on these resources. By
knowing which region has what resources, our planning will be better and when our planning is better,
our rate of development will pick up. For example we have floods in one region but droughts in
another. Knowing this we can build dams in the most suitable region so that the floods can be diverted
and the water used to irrigate lands which face drought. Also knowing about rivers and their flow we
can plan our hydel projects..etc. Knowing about our forests we can go for development in a
sustainable manner such that forests are used for economic purposes but also conserved at the same
time..etc
S4 - Are you aware of the National Knowledge Network ?
Me - Yes sir , it is an initiatative to connect the various universities all over the country. to make a
network of it......
S4 - What is the use of this Network?
Me - Sir this will help in over all development of higher education in the country. the top universities
that have good infrastructure can help other universities to improve their infrastructure. Libraries and
information can be shared, so there will be a flow of ideas between the universites. And ideas will lead
to innovation and development. Most importantly it will bring together the youth of the nation. Being
a big country , it is physically impossible to meet, but through such a cyber network we can get in
touch with our peers in various parts of our country.
S4 - How many times have you been to Delhi?
Me - Sir this is my second visit. I was here in 2007 for my coaching.
S4 - Do you see any change?
Me - (Was little confused with this q as I din't know what he expected) Not particularly sir.
S4 - They say they are using CNG and so pollution has come down..etc . Don't you feel that?
Me - Sir I come from Mysore which has recently beed judged as the 2nd cleanest city in India. when I

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come from there to here I see a huge difference. I have not felt any significant change.
S4 - What is CNG?
Me - It is Compressed Natural Gas. It is a renewable sorce of energy ( made this mistake in my josh). I
am sorry sir not renewable but a clean source of energy that is being used now a days.
S4 - why is it compressed?
Me - I was so comfortable that I blurted compressed because its compressed sir with a big smile on my
face.....!!!!! Then I actually laughed (suddenly I realized that it is Union Public Service Commission
interview and tried to remember why gas is compressed, but it came to me only later on when I was
leaving the room) and said I am sorry sir I don't really know why.
S4 - What is your dream?
Me - I smiled and said my dream sir? (he nodded) I know that India will be one of the most developed
society in a matter of few years. My dream is to be a part of India's development process. To make a
contribution in such a success.
S4 - Why civil services?
Me - I would like to quote Socrates here sir. ( he nodded ) . ' An unexamined life is not worth living'.
And when I examine my life in the end , it will not be in terms of how much property , wealth and
status I have made but it will be in terms of how worth while I have been to the society. This I can do
as an NGO or social worker (S3 was kind of repeating my answer when I was at it.), but the confidence
I require will be given to me only by civil services.
At this point RR said a stern THANK YOU (guess she was still angry that I din't wish her first).... I kind of
jerked out of my comfort zone after hearing her Thank you, I said thank you ma'am , thank you sirs
with a smile and walked out confidently.

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This is one Mr.Vinay's interview.. refer here: My UPSC Interview


REFLECTIONS
The Panel:Mr. I.M.G.Khan (chairman)and 4 other members including a lady member.
Name: Vinay Kumar G.B.
School: Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
Qualification: B.Sc. Genetics, M.Sc.(to be completed dont know when!!)
Optionals: Geography and Kannada Literature.
Hobbies: photography, pencil sketching, blogging,
Activities: walking in the countryside
Date: 4th April 2011

Time: 4.30 pm
Duration: 30 mins

Me: May I come in Sir?


Chairman: Please come in.
I entered the room. Wished the chairman and other members, specially turning towards the lady
member. Chairman asked me to sit.
Chairman(c): What is this G.B. in your name?
Me: I described.

I was comfortable, composed and humble before the panel.


C: your profile is interesting. You studied in Navodaya Vidyalaya, how different they are from other
schools?
Me: Sir, they are meant for rural poor where they reserve more than 70% seats for them. In my class
we had 27 students, of them 10-12 are doctors now
C: thats ok, but how different they are?
Me: sir, they provide quality education and teachers are well qualified and are accessible 24 hours for
students. And I am here because of Navodaya Sir.
C: thats good. So where did you learn most? in the class or outside of it?
Me: Both sir, as they were always available we had opportunity to learn all the time.
C: Why cant we have such schools everywhere so that people get quality education? what is the
constraint?
Me: (I thought for few seconds) Sir, i think its funds

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C: no no no..funds are not a problem. Government has huge money. What else do you think?
Me: sir Karnataka has started Morarji Desai schools in every Block. But they are not as good as
Navodaya schools.
C: where do they differ?
Me: Sir, i think it is teachers. We are unable to find qualified teachers for such a large number of
schools.
C: ha, ok. So why do you think teachers are unqualified?
Me: its poor quality higher education. We are not producing eligible people for the job.
C: no that can not be the reason. May be something else
Me: Sir, they are not trained properly. I think better training may give better teachers.
C: its interesting to note that you studied Genetics. But why did you join Village Panchayat instead of
pursuing a career in research?
Me: sir, i like to work in villages (this was a spontaneous answer, I had prepared something else) as I
am born and brought up in villages, i like to work there.
C: still, you could have pursued research and do good to village people.
Me: (became blank for a moment) sir, when i wrote Navodaya entrance I could not get proper
guidance, i cleared it by studying myself. I want children in villages to get guidance, so I usually
convince parents to send their children to good schools and train them for exams.
The chairman asked the member sitting left to me to ask questions.
M1: You have studied genetics. Do you know the most recent species whose genome has been
sequenced?
Me: No Sir, sorry I dont know.
M1: Do you know about human genome project?
Me: I explained it well.
M1: You are from Karnataka, what is Bangalore famous for?
Me: sir, IT
M1: name some companies headquartered there?
Me: Infosys, Wipro..
M1: HCL?
Me: no sir, i think it has an office, but it is headquartered somewhere, may be in Tamil Nadu.
M1: recently Azim Premji has opened a University in Bangalore. Whats it about?
Me: Sir, it is to create future leaders for carrying out developmental works and also for creating good

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teachers for the country.
M1: yes, its basically for creating good teachers. Do you know about BPO? whats it?
Me: sir, business process outsourcing.
M1: what do they do?
Me:Sir, they outsource their business to some other companies to save money and lighten their
burden.
M1: what do people do in call centres?
Me: sir, they attend the calls of their clients and resolve their issues on line.
M1: what is operation Lotus?
Me: (i didnt want to answer this question) sirits..horse trading.(i dragged on..)
M1: (smiling) ok, you dont want to answer that question.leave it.
He signaled he was done. Second member took over.
M2: your optional is geography. Why is it called arts-science?
Me: Sir Geography is broadly divided into Physical and Human former is scientific and latter is more
humanistic, so geography is called so.
M2: Your optional is Kannada lit., what is Sangam literature?
Me: its ancient Tamil literature sir.
M2: what else? its period? what was in it?
Me: sorry sir, I dont know
Chairman: (he intervened) i think it is not related to Kannada literature, ask him something else..
M2: I think you have read todays The Hindu editorial.tell me what is in it?
Me

I was thinking) sir, about world cup and Japan earthquake

M2: No no there was something else.


C: may be he has not read it..
M2: (to chairman) sir, there was something related to discovery of some pre-historic tools..
Me: (suddenly i recalled it) yes sir yes sir.it was found in Tamil Naduexplained it.
Third member(lady) took over.
M3: for how long you are working as Panchayat Development Officer?
Me: Maam for the past one year.
M3: do you implement MGNREGA?

97
Me: Yes Maam, we are the implementing agency.
M3: what are the problems you faced during its implementation?
Me: Maam, first we dont have enough manpower to do the paper work, computer work and to
oversee the work.
secondly there is a lot of political interference..especially contractors, who have a nexus with the
members whose election they funded
(Chairman and the member talk between them regarding this)
M3: tell me your most satisfying achievement as PDO?
Me: (was waiting for this opportunity) Maam, I distributed the financial benefits going to the
doorsteps of the beneficiaries; Converted village street lights from incandescent to CFL s; have opened
a blog on Panchayat where all panchayat related documents will be displayed; helped women open
accounts in their names under TSC though the scheme didnt have the provision.
M3: seems you are concerned with primary education.what did you do to ensure teachers
attended schools?
Me: apart from convincing parents I havent done anything maam.
M3: you are having some committee for this right?
Me: ( I should have told that, but I had forgotten) Yes maam, we have SDMC committee- school
development and monitoring committee its its job to oversee the functioning of the schools. (i
explained its combination and dont know why i said i cant dictate terms to its members because
they are elected and I listen to what they decide in meeting)
M3: you have mentioned you like walking in the countryside whats it?
Me: yes maam, i like to walk around villages. I like to capture people in my camera as my hobby is
photography too.
M3: you dont like landscape, birds, river..?
Me: I like them maam but people are more interesting.
M3: you also have a blog. how often you blog and what is the most recent event on which you
blogged?
Me: Maam I blog once in a week or 15 days. My recent post is regarding no-fly zone over Libya
(though i had written on something else i couldnt recall). I explained the post.
The final member took over.
M4: you have done NCC. what are its objectives?
Me: I explained.
M4: there is a perception among some section of people that they are neglected and development has
not taken place in their region. Is it a perception or reality?

98
Me: its a reality sir. They are being neglected and development has not reached them. If their region
is developed they will forget their religion, caste, class and everything sir. They will care only about
their families only. For this purpose only i have chosen J&K, Jharkhand as my 2nd and 3ed preference
sir.
(they didnt seem to notice this point)
Chairman: what is your opinion regarding police reforms? there is lot of complain about them, what
should be done to reform our police?
Me: Sir, i think we should amend the colonial act first.
C: (laughing) ok, but what else?
Me: They should be taught humane approach first in their training sir. Even though i havent done any
wrong i get some sort of fear looking at the policeman. That perception must be removed by making
them more humane.
C: then?
Me: I think they need to be better equipped and trained well sir.
C: Ok, then?
Me: Sir, police is a state subject and we need a unified force to eliminate conflict of interest between
different agencies. Like NIA, we need a central agency for police..i think it should be made a
central subject.( chairman shocked)
C: cenrtal subject!! its a too drastic measurewill states agree for that? what about politicians?
Me: (should have been silent) sir, its police and politician nexus that is a big hurdle in development.
C: May be when you become an officer, some years later you can implement it. Lets see what
happens. Anybody wants to ask questions? everyone asked?
C: Ok thank you Vinay. You may go now.
I thanked everyone and came out without making any noise.
(overall I felt it was a good interview. It was more like a casual talk than what I had dreaded.)
Note: I got 210 out of 300 marks. I think simplicity and honest answers got me these marks. Though I
didnt get selected(missed by 18 marks), these marks have given me confidence to crack this exam in
my next attempt

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Re: A compilation of interview experiences


from an earlier thread -- Interview sample

This is an actual interview that happened.


Very informative example of an interview:

AG: Mr. Kumar, you passed out of IIT recently.. oh no, in 2002. This is April 2004. What have you been
doing all this time?
VK: Maam, till November 2003, I had been preparing and appearing for the successive stages of the
civil services examination. After that, I joined a telecom software startup started by some of my
friends from IIT Bombay here in Delhi. I am there in an..
AG: Wait. Why are you speaking so quickly? Are you nervous? Just relax and take it easy. Speak slowly.
VK: Yes maam, I am nervous. This is my first, and hopefully the last, interview (smiles, trembles
inwardly but doesnt show it).
AG: Good, so proceed. What did you do at this startup?
VK: Maam, I am there in an informal capacity and do not draw any salary except the expenses and I
help them out in any way possible. But by and large I deal with initiating contact with foreign telecom
companies who might be interested in buying our software. I find out the companies, look for a key
person, initiate contact, see if they would be willing to buy something. Once I get something positive, I
hand it over to my Boss.
AG: So, you actually talk to these companies.. the foreigners?
VK: Yes.
AG: Have you succeeded somewhere? Which country?
VK: Maam I initiated the first deal that we made, in Brunei.
AG: Okay. You have given Indian Foreign Service as your first preference, despite your father being in
the Police. Why?
VK: There are 2 reasons maam. Firstly, I have always wanted to represent India. To have that India tag
on me. There is this feeling of pride I cant explain. And secondly, I see more and more challenges
ahead for the Indian Foreign Service in an increasingly globalised world. It seems exciting and I want to
be where the action is.
AG: What is the biggest issue in the US presidential elections?
VK: Lots of them actually. Afghanistan, Outsourcing
AG: No, the biggest issue.
VK: The Iraq War?
AG: Yes. Now, can you update me on the Indo-US relations?

100
(VK launches into an answer explaining things and bringing the Indo-Pak-US triangle into focus).
AG: You were talking about pride. But this is the government, you would have to do as your boss tell
you to. Right?
VK: Yes, maam.
AG: Now, suppose you are in an Indian Embassy in some capacity below the rank of Ambassador. You
get a direct order from Delhi, which you think is contary to our National Interests. Would you still carry
it out?
VK: As you said maam, I probably would have to.
AG: (adopts a very nice tone) No! You must never do that. You should try and talk to the Ambassador
and get him on your side. Once that is done, you can negotiate with New Delhi.
VK: But maam I was assuming that all this had been tried before. The order can not come out of the
blue. The matter must have been under consideration for some time and I would have discussed it
with the Ambassador already.
AG: Even then, you must not give up. The only guiding principle for you would be Indias National
Interest. Nothing else. If you think something is wrong, refuse to carry out the order. The national
interest must never be compromised.
VK: Yes maam. Ill try my best to do that.
AG: Okay, you mentiom science fiction as your hobby. Name a few writers.
(VK names a few)
AG: All this fiction is fine, but has any of it ever come to reality?
(VK says yes and names a few things)
AG: Do you stay updated with science facts as well?
VK: Yes.
AG: Tell me about the Mars Mission.
(VK proceeds to talk about it. Can not name the vehicle. Discussion ensues around the table on the
name and ends when Ms. Ghose brings it to an end)
AG: Okay, enough. Now the others can ask questions.
M1: You say listening to music in one of your hobbies. What kind of music?
VK: All kinds, Sir. Depends on my mood. I listen to pretty much everything.
M1: Even classical?
VK: Yes.
M1: Name some kinds of music.
(VK names 12-13 genres or so and is interrupted mid-sentence)

101

M1: The criminalization of politics is such a big problem. Why do criminals win elections?
VK: Because the elections are never fought on those lines. No matter what the national media says,
down in the constituency, the issues are extremely local and mostly based on caste equations and
local politics. So, unless there is a big wave, everything national is actually very local. Criminal
backgrounds do not decide voters choices. Except perhaps the urban few, who do not vote anyway.
M1: So, what is the solution?
VK: Perhaps to stop them from contesting. Stricter legislation to prevent them from contesting and a
more transparent information system. At the same time, efforts need to be continued to educate the
people about the importance of these reforms.
M2: Mr. Kumar, what is this BPO thing? How does it work?
VK: Business Process Outsourcing Sir. (explains the BPO phenomena)
M2: Do you thing it will last?
VK: For the short-term, yes. But other developing countries will start catching up. Besides, there is the
issue of growth of the BPO company and the professional growth of people working there.
M2: Meaning?
VK: An individual whose only skill is to answer calls would probably find it hard to find another job 5-6
years down the line. Not all of them can become managers. Besides, there are pressures of the
lifestyle.
M2: You mean the health hazards of people in call centres. Elaborate.
VK: Only yesterday, there was a report in newspapers about a study that found the incidence of stress
related disorders, drinking and (pauses, looks at Ms. Ghose, who had lit a cigarette a few minutes ago,
and smiles) smoking.
AG: (burtsts out laughing).. what did you say?
VK: Smoking maam. People working in call centres have been found to be more prone to smoking and
they obviously expose themselves to the related health hazards.
(AG laughs some more and puts the cigarette out in an ash-tray which resembles an agricultural field
growing cigarettes)
M3: You are a chemical engineer from IIT Bombay. Why did you opt for Philosophy and Public
Administration?
VK: Philosophy because I have always been interested in the subject matter. My father named me
after Swami Vivekanand and I have been reading material on Indian Philosophy ever since I started
reading. Public Administration because I thought that if I have to do administration in life, I might as
well learn something about it. Plus, the guidance was easily available.
M3: If a foreigner, during your posting abroad, asks you about the sociological impact of schools of
Indian philosphy on life in India, what would you say?

102
VK: Im sorry Sir, but my study has been restricted to the content of these philosphies. I havet studied
their impact.
M3: But you are interested in the subject. Would you continue reading more on the subject?
VK: Of course Sir. I find the subject fascinating.
M4: Mr. Kumar, a little while ago, while discussing Indo-Pak relations, you mentioned that India need
not comment on every little thing that happens in the world. I say, we have no need to even talk to
Pakistan. Do we have something in common with them. I say nothing. Nothing at all. Do you think
there is anything we have in common with them?
VK: At least 2 things Sir. Firstly, the common history we share. We were practically one country barely
50 years ago. And (interrupted by M4)
M4: No. We have no need to talk to them.. (repeats the same question again after a long monologue)
(VK starts answering again, and is interrupted again, M4 starts the same monologue)
AG: (sounds very angry and upset with M4) Enough M4! This is his interview. Why dont you shut up
and let him speak? Vivek, you answer the same question to me and ignore him completely.
VK: As I was saying maam, firstly there is the shared history and heritage. And secondly, both
countries have claims on Kashmir. And no matter what we say, it keeps coming up again and again
everywhere. It is an issue that we do share, though uncomfortably.
AG: You have held several positions at IITB.. Election Officer, Placement Representative etc. You have
also won a few awards from your hostel for organisation. What is all this?
(VK explains the positions held at IITB and the awards from Hostel-3).
AG: Any last questions (looks around at all members)?
M4: May I ask one last question?
AG: Sure. Go ahead.
M4: You played hockey for your hostel for a while. What is the future of India hockey.
VK: Looks reasonably bright to me, Sir. At least the prospects are good. Youngsters are coming up,
sponsors are also pitching in. Coaching seems to have improved.
M4: Do you think Dhanraj Pillay is good enough for the Indian team. Should he play?
VK: Well Sir, he is the most experienced and he is absolutely fit. He is the best player we have
M4: No no.. just say Yes or No. Should he be in the team?
VK: Yes.
AG: Okay. The interview is over. You may leave Mr. Kumar. Thank you.
I got 225 in the interview.

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Interview was on 24th march, chairman was Prof. E. Balagurusamy.


CM: You had the tea? You had the water?
Tell us something about yourself.

You graduated from the IIT; you must have got good campus placement, so then why you want to
enter civil services?

Can you tell us how your education will help you in this career?

Your 1st preference is Indian Administrative Service, and your 3rd preference is Indian Police Service.
Suppose you do not get the Indian Administrative Service, which I wish do not happen, then you may
have to join the Indian Police Service. Tell me what are the qualities that a police officer should have?
1st member:
Your 1st preference is Indian Administrative Service, 2nd is Indian Foreign Service and 3rd is Indian
Police Service. How do you justify these choices?

Tell me what are the main crops grown in your home district?
you know what the importance of cumin seeds(from the answer) is in our national economy? where it
is used?

Do you know about the green revolution? Have you heard of it?Tell me what is it? Tell me how it
happened? Ok when did it happen? Ok what is the status of our food production now? Are we self
sufficient? Have you heard of any other revolutions in agriculture other than green revolution,
anything in pulses?Ok you were telling about self sufficiency, is it that we are not self sufficient or
people do not have money to buy?
2nd member:
We hear that inflation rate is going down. Recently it has dropped from 2.43% to around 0.4%. Is it
good or bad for our economy? How is it good? Will it be good if have negative inflation rate?
We have lot of black money in the economy. Suppose you are the Finance Minister of the country,
how will eliminate this? Tell me 4 policies for this? (I could not give a convincing answer to
this..discussion went on this question for 2-3 mins)
3rd member:
What is sustainable development?Ok, suppose you are DM of certain area, how will you ensure
sustainable development of multipurpose river project? But the people are mentally disturbed when
thrown out of their land, what will you do for this?
Tell me what are qualities you have for which you should be selected?
Ok tell me how will you use your education background in civil services?

104
Tell me how will you use your EE background? Tell me how will you use them in police service?
4th member:
As you have mentioned about the power sector, tell me about the situation of our power sector?
What are the problems which we are facing? What can be done about this?
time these T&D losses are called theft & dacoit losses. Do you agree with it? How will you prevent the
theft losses? If a person is paying bribe to the electrician for theft, what can you do then?
Ok, can you tell what percentage of different sources of power is? Percentage of thermal, hydro and
all
What are problems associated with the coal based plants? What can be done for the ash?Are we
doing this?
Do we need nuclear energy? Do you know the future projection of nuclear energy in terms of
percentage?
CM:
Are we doing something on nuclear energy? Why now, why not earlier?Why we had sanctions? Is
Indo-US nuclear deal good for us? Do we need to be afraid on anything?
Take any card from this and read what is written on it. Explain it.
Ok your interview is over. How do you assess your interview? Were you nervous? Do you want to
change any of your answer now? Now you can ask any question from any one of us. Have a chocolate.
It was over within no time. Questions were thrown without me finishing the answers.

from Mrunal's earlier thread: [Interview Questions] A small List

[Interview Questions] A small List


How do you handle criticism Here the interview is on the look out for your accountability and
professional character.Simply explain a situation that caused a problem and narrate how you faced it
and overcame it.
Tell me about a situation that upset you at work Her the interview is trying to find out how you deal
with pressure. Be diplomatic and objective with your answer. Prepare the answer so that the answer
comes as a smooth reassurance.
How do you handle tension? Answer with ease that in any job and any situation that tension is a part
of it. Relax before putting the fact you are very used to such type of works.
What is your weakness? Turn the question to a positive one. Simply say that you are a perfectionist
and your commitment to output of high quality perfect work. Say this is your weakness.
Describe a professional skill you have developed in you? It will be better if you be specific with your
answer. Narrate some thing you worked for to fulfill your work more efficiently. Describe how you
attended
a
seminar
and
brought
about
the
changed
in
your
work.
What can motivate you? The Interview expects an answer to know you better .Keep in tune with your
job and work you have
applied for. Do
not
beat
around the
bush.
What books you read? Do not ever say you have read a book which you have not. Here your

105
suggestion can lead the interviewer to know your taste and interest. It can also hint on how you take
your profession.

If you have unlimited time and financial resources how would you spend them Even though it is
tempting to discuss thing you would do for fun, answer these questions with strict coherence with the
job you have applied for.

How could you enrich your current job? Design your answer to show that you are still interested in the
job and you point out a few instances where improvements can be made. Convince the person that
you can be relied on and you will not get bored with what you do with time.
What is your dream job? Make the question a chance to display your aptitude that fits the job you
have applied for. Display how your skills can be put into suite the challenges and modern trends.
Why
should
we
take
you?
This
is
often
the
concluding
Question
Tell me something about yourself Do not just repeat what you have given in your resume. Be ready
with the answer, a talent or something you did out of the ordinary. You can sound it as unique or give
it a touch of your personality.
Don't you think that you are over qualified for this job? (This question is put to you to puzzle a
candidate. Be calm and answer the question with a positive and confident approach)Answer in the
negative
My experience and qualification will just help me to do the job better. Moreover I am at establishing a
long term relationship which my qualification will favor me to handle more responsibilities and help
me to rise to your expectations.
Do you have any questions? Be prepared to answer this question in advance. List out a few questions
you wish to know more about. After you have faced the interview your logic will guide you to ask the
question you really want to know more about.

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Re: A compilation of interview experiences


My Interview
Mrunal has suggested that I write about my interview. With apologies to him as I have forgotten the
details (it was a long time ago!), here it is:
The interview is the last major hurdle for anyone to be through the Civil Service Exams. It was my first
and only attempt at the CSE, and my date of interview was in early May.
The Union Public Service Commission reception area at Dholpur House had all of us waiting (after
getting our documents verified), and my turn came in the early afternoon. It was hot in Delhi so I wore
a plain full sleeve shirt (and no tie, no suit).
The interview board I had to face had five members including the Chairman, who was a retired Air
Marshal of the Indian Air Force. One lady member was, I think, a professor from JNU while the others
seemed retired civil servants.
I walked in, wished the Board and was asked to sit down.
The Chairman began by asking me about my familys business background (petroleum products and
audio visual equipment), and asked why I did not want to be part of that business. He also asked me
why I thought I was suitable for the Indian Administrative Service, and commented on the fact that I
was only 22 and just out of college.
My answers seemed to satisfy him. I told him that I was not cut out for business, and that I thought I
had the qualities of compassion, intelligence and hard work which would hold me in good stead in the
Indian Administrative Service.
The Chairman then looked towards the Member sitting next to him. This gentleman took me through
questions I was not very comfortable with. Taking up the discussion from my business background
(petroleum products and audio visual equipment), he began by asking me the difference between a
petrol engine and a diesel engine; the difference between stereophonic and quadraphonic sound and
the meaning of stereoscopic vision.
I had no science background, and had little knowledge of what he had asked so I had to rely on my
memory of what I had studied for GS to answer these questions. My answers were very basic, and I
admitted that my knowledge was sketchy at best. The Member himself then briefly explained the
areas where I had floundered, and told the next Member to take over.
This Member asked my questions on my subject Political Science: could I explain the difference
between the Indian and British parliamentary systems; did I think that the US presidential system was
more suited for India; did I think a multi-party political system was a waste of resources in a country
like India, and whether a two-party system would suit India better. He also asked whether I agreed

107
that Mahatma Gandhis views on women were not progressive, and whether if the British had not
ruled India, we would still be floundering in medieval darkness.
I was on reasonably sure ground here, and I think my answers were quite satisfactory.
The same Member then remarked that one of my hobbies was reading. What did I read? Could I name
my favourite authors? I told him I enjoyed reading Herman Hesse and Albert Camus, and I was then
asked to describe their philosophies and writing styles. During the discussion I also mentioned Kafka,
so I was asked about the nature of his books, and why I was drawn to his writings.
Here again, I was rather sure of myself so the answers went well.
The next Member did not ask questions, but asked me to stand up and turn around. Confused, I did as
I was told, and came face to face with a huge world map on the wall behind me. He asked me to very
quickly point out the Red Sea, the Black Sea and the Yellow Sea on the map, which I did. He then asked
me to point out the Bermuda Triangle, the Golden Triangle and the Red Triangle. I pointed out the first
two and told him that the Red Triangle is not on the map, and that it is the symbol of family planning
in India. He smiled, nodded and asked me to sit down.

The Lady Member then took over and asked me questions on my other optional Sociology: what is the
effect of television on the family; whether the Ideal Type construct of Max Weber actually described
the bureaucracy, and to explain the suicide theories of Durkheim. I think I answered the last two
pretty well, except that I fumbled on the TV and family question, and the Member told me she was not
satisfied with the answer.
She then asked me what inducements a civil servant can be offered. I said money and alcohol. She
then asked me if sex was not an inducement for civil servants. I said it was, and I think I must have
turned red in the face because all the Members laughed and wished me a good day.
I said my thanks and left.
I think that the interview went reasonably ok, though I should not have floundered on the TV
question. It lasted about half an hour, and I felt that the Board was pretty nice and made me feel
comfortable. All said and done, I did join the Indian Administrative Service!

108

Civils Interview of Dr.Bharat Gupta, AP topper and 17th rank ( All


India)

Civils Interview of Dr.Bharat Gupta, AP topper and 17th rank ( All India)
As appeared in Eenadu ( Telugu daily Paper)
Interview of Dr.Bharat Gupta, Civils AP topper and 17th rank( All India)

Panel chairman: Nirbhay Sharma


Four other members m1, m2, m3, m4
(Entering into the room after all the wishing and seating...)

NS: Okay Narayana Bharath Gupta... So you are a first division candidate. And you completed your
MBBS from Kurnool Medical college. How is your entry into this college? Do you pay money or get
selected through a common entrance test?
BG: Its through a common entrance test sir.
How much you have to pay?
Only ten thousand per annum sir.

So you have kept your hobbies as cooking Andhra and Karnataka food. What food do you cook?
Something special?
Pesarattu and Bisiblebath.

Sound interesting. I never heard of such things over here. Why won't you start an eatery in Delhi?
Sorry sir. But here there is a lot of competition and its difficult to overcome that sir.

Are you afraid of competition?


Its not like that sir. Its more a hobby rather than a profession.

What did you do after finishing your Degree?


Sir, got my degree in february only sir. I had no time after that sir.

Ok, being a doctor and having a good prospects of joining a post graduate seat and earning cool
money. Why did you join this field. Can you explain and convince me?
(I fumble a little. I ask permission to drink water. They console me tell me to drink water. Joke a little.)
After completing my final year I was left with three choices sir.

109
1. To join post graduate course and start a clinic of my own in an urban area and services limited to a
particular section of people.
2. Be satisfied with my MBBS and join a PHC where there are no facilities. No gloves, no syringes, no
medicines .
3. Join civil services.
(My answer is interrupted in the middle without completing.)
What changes have been taken place in the district administration and tell them briefly.
Panchayati raj system in India has been implemented after the 73 and 74 amendment act sir. It
facilitates a three tier administration in the district level. Gram sabha, Panchayat samiti and the Zilla
parishad.

What do you mean by Gram sabha?


Its a term used for all the elgible voters in the village.

What are their functions?


They elect the members of the panchayati and the sarpanch.

What about the next level?


Panchayat samiti is the next level sir. It covers for approximately 15-20 villages.

What about the next one?


Zilla parishad sir.

Who is the head?


Zilla parishad chairman sir, he is an elected member sir.

How is administration carried out?


The district collector is head of the executive part of the ZP.

How is the functioning done?


The executive prepares the plan. Submits it to the ZP and then does the work sir.
So you like cooking... your old CM NTR told that he loved Ulava charu. Can you tell me how to cook it?
(I tell a little about it.)
How much time does it take to cook..
Approximately half an hour sir.
I think it takes 7-8 hrs.
May be sir. Now a days all the instant items are available sir. They may done within a short span of
time. (small laugh)

110
Can you name one chief minister who rose from the level of an industrial worker?
Madhu koda.

From Andhra Pradesh?


No idea sir.

Its Anjaiah. Have you heard of him?


Yes sir.

What's your opinion about your indian budget this year..


It's a very good budget sir. In the current view of global recession and keeping the inflation under
control all the measures have been taken.

What is india GDP?


1.4 trillion dollars sir.

How much does one trillion dollar mean?


Approximately fifty lakh crores sir.

What's the share of india in the foreign trade?


1.5 percent sir.

Yes, you are little near. But it does not matter. Have you heard about European Union? Tell me about
it.

It's a union of 27 countries. They form a custom union and offer free movement of people across the
boundaries.

What is the duration of 11th five year plan?


Upto 2012 sir.

Do you know the allocation for various sectors?


No sir...

(Now member 2 takes over)


Dr. Bharath Gupta. Is it possible for someone to have a title doctor even without completing MBBS?
Yes sir, anyone who has completed Ph.D can have a doctorate sir. Even they may be conferred
honorarily. (I put a small joke) Someone told me a small difference between the MBBS doctor and the

111
other one sir. MBBS one is Dr. While the Phd one is DR.
(All of them laugh...) No no... nothing is like that.

Why do Andhra people consume more curds rather than West Bengal?
May there are lot of buffaloes in Andhra. Other than that I cant find any relation sir.

Are 73rd and 74th amendment act same?


No sir, they are different. One related to the panchayat and the other to the municipality.

Tell me about the women reservation in panchayati raj.


There is one third reservation for women in the system sir, which has been recently increased to fifty
percent.

What about SC and ST?


There is representation in proportion to the population for the SC and ST sir.

Tell me about the total reservation .


Approximately 20 percent for SC and ST combined and female reservation is reservation within
reservation.

Don't you play any games?


Sorry sir. I don't. But I used to play kabaddi.

Don't you think they are necessary?


But in view of the current intermediate education.... ( answer is interrupted)

(Member 2 takes over!)


So you like cooking... your old CM NTR told that he loved Ulava charu. Can you tell me how to cook it?
(I tell a little about it.)

How much time does it take to cook..


Approximately half an hour sir.
I think it takes 7-8 hrs.

May be sir. Now a days all the instant items are available sir. They may done within a short span of
time.
(small laugh)

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Can you name one chief minister who rose from the level of an industrial worker?
Madhu koda.

From Andhra Pradesh?


No idea sir.

Its Anjaiah. Have you heard of him?


Yes sir.

What's your opinion about your indian budget this year..


It's a very good budget sir. In the current view of global recession and keeping the inflation under
control all the measures have been taken.

(More...)
The social sector spending has been doubled sir.

Whats the current social sector spending?


9 percent sir.

No, I think your number is far from the real one....


Sorry sir, I have no idea then.

What is india GDP?


1.4 trillion dollars sir.

How much does one trillion dollar mean?


Approximately fifty lakh crores sir.

What's the share of india in the foreign trade?


1.5 percent sir.

Yes, you are little near. But it does not matter. Have you heard about European Union? Tell me about
it.

It's a union of 27 countries. They form a custom union and offer free movement of people across the
boundaries.

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Are you talking about schengen visa?
Yes sir.

But UK does not come under it.


Yes sir. But most of the countries come under it sir.

What about Euro?


It's a common currency for most of the EU countries. Its touted to emerge as a competetor for the
dollar sir. Approximately 40 percent of the world trade is carried out in the Euro sir.

What is the duration of 11th five year plan?


Upto 2012 sir.

Do you know the allocation for various sectors?


No sir...

(Now member 2 takes over)


Dr. Bharath Gupta. Is it possible for someone to have a title doctor even without completing MBBS?
Yes sir, anyone who has completed Ph.D can have a doctorate sir. Even they may be conferred
honorarily. (I put a small joke) Someone told me a small difference between the MBBS doctor and the
other one sir. MBBS one is Dr. While the Phd one is DR.
(All of them laugh...) No no... nothing is like that.

Dr. NTR was given.. Was he a doctor?


No sir. He was conferred honorary doctorate by the Andhra University sir.

Are doctorates recognised.


Yes sir.

I think no.
Then I don't know correctly sir.

Suppose a patient comes to the emergency room with chest pain and your junior doctor suspects it as
cardiac pain even though its gastric pain. What will you do?
I tell all the treatment strategy of angina and MI.

Suppose your junior has done the mistake of diagnosing the Gastric problem as MI. What will you do?
He has done no mistake to condemn sir. Its basic dictum that anyone with severe symptoms of chest

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pain has to be looked for the anginal pain and all the other possibilities next sir.

Suppose he has done another mistake?


I wil train him sir. And if its a grave mistake putting danger to the lives of another. I will take the
matter to the higher ups and see that he is reprimanded for the same.

Is there any Supreme court ruling in this regard?


Yes sir. Francis D souza from Nanavati hospital case regarding this.

NTR from your state. He does not act very well. Why you think was very hit?
Sir, he has a charisma and requried charm sir. Whenever he donned the role of Lord krishna or Rama
people took him to be a God sir. Hence he was a very big hit sir.

Had Rajanikanth been similarly hit in your state?


No sir.

I say food is culture specific.. what do you say..


(I give him explanation regarding the culture, cuisine, local availability and give sufficient examples.)

Do you say cuisine and climate are related?


Yes sir. Indirectly they may be related due to the food production affected by the climate. And
secondly people living in different climates may be having different food needs.

Why do Andhra people consume more curds rather than West Bengal? Do you give any explanation?
May there are lot of buffaloes in Andhra. Other than that I cant find any relation sir.

Are 73rd and 74th amendment act same?


No sir, they are different. One related to the panchayat and the other to the municipality.

What is the one distinct feature of municipality plan?


(He gives me a clue regarding the planning. I tell DPC. He then positively corrects my mistake)

(Member 3)
What do you know about green revolution?
(I explain him).

What are the components of green revolution? Tell me other types of revolutions. Which decade was
this implemented?

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(I answer all of them).

Name the scientist connected with this revolution from India.


Swaminathan.

Where is he now?
He is currently in Tamil nadu. Having his own research institue and developed a salt resistant variety of
rice sir.

Do you know about north India?


Yes sir.

Capital of Jammu and Kashmir, capital of Punjab, capital of Haryana, status of Chadigarh?
(All answered).

Why is it called Punjab?


Because five rivers flow sir.

What are they?


(I tell all of them).

Does Jhelum flow through Punjab?


I think Yes sir.
No.
Sorry sir.

Suppose you become health secretary and what will you do break the nexus between the doctors
pharmaceutical companies ?
I tell about the unethical act of doctors and tell them that the onus of administering the medicine
resets on the pharma graduate holders and the dispensaries.

(Member 4 takes over. To tell about him he is an old person whose language is barely
understandable).
Tell me about bare foot doctors.

(I tell about the history, its value to the China health system.
Is it relevant in India?

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(I tell about the rural MBBS and its use. Few stats also quoted).

Tell me about CBI.


(I tell him).

Can CBI intervene without state government permission?


Yes, if there is significant central government interest in it.

Are you aware of the recent supreme court amendment regarding that?
No sir.

Tell me about Muhammad bin Tuglaq.


(I tell about him as a ruler of misdirected energies. His miscalculated numismatic experiment and the
transfer of capital from Delhi to Devagiri fired back very badly.)

Tell me about Tenzing Norgay.


(Answered).

Tell me about the dowry system and methods needed in this direction.
(I tell about the relevant law. Further say that women empowerment, awareness generation,
education are required to bring the number of cases under it).
Finally...
All are good and do in great.

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Experience with smt.S. U. Tripathi


Hi,
I was interviewed on 25th. The board was very friendly. I am giving the details.
Duration-30-35 mins
Chairperson (CP) (with big smiles)- Welcomed me and asked me to have a seat.

CP: So you are an engineering graduate?


Me- yes Mam

CP: Which is your branch?


Me: Electronics and Instrumentation Mam.

CP: So you are MBA as well in rural management from Xaviers, this would be interesting. Where are
you presently working? What is your role?
Me- Mam I am working with Mother Dairy Fruits and vegetable Pvt ltd. I am in sales and marketing of
Dhara oil, presently located in Chandigarh.

CP- So who all are your competitors?


Me- Mam in urban markets its Adani and in rural markets it Ruchi.... (she interrupted)

CP- Okies its good that you have the first gyan of marketing, you have idea of your competitors. So
Dhara must be doing good? Is it?
Me- Mam its not doing very good in terms of market share but we are now trying to capture the
market share through aggressive marketing.

CP- So what are you doing for that?


Me- Mam we are working on 4 parameters. Price, Quality, Services and Trust. Since I am the part of
the sales and marketing team the former two parameters are beyond my control. So me and my team
generally works on the Services and Trust.

CP- What makes you different?


Me- Mam our business model is very interesting. Unlike the other players who just try to capture upto the distributors, we try to liquidate the stocks upto the retailers as the part of our moral duty. Our
sales personnel per ton volume is also higher than other players.

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CP- You talk about the trust. These days we are talking about the trust deficit in governance. (Pointed
to first board member)

M1- Why do you think we have trust deficit in governance?


Me- Sir we have replicated the institutions and structures from the west, thinking that they would
deliver the same way but there is lack of social contract in the system which is resulting in this.

M1- What do you mean by social contract?


Me- Explained the term.

M1- What can be done to improve this?


Me- Sir we need to involve the communities. We need to talk about mechanisms like social audits, jan
sunwai, peoples participation.

M1- But all this is happening, then why its not changing? You know that in Rajasthan people are not
allowing the audit team to enter the villages? Any way what do you think can be done in short and
long run?
Me- Sir in short term technology can be the best tool to mitigate trust deficit. (I asked him that can I
quote an example) I gave the example of Lokvani (a e-governance program in Sitapur district of UP
spoke for about 1 min...)

M1- What else can be done?


Me- Sir peoples participation, changing the form of democracy from representative to participative.
Empowering the communities, and institutional pluralism and enhancing the choices.

M1- Dont you think these are just pompous words? We have Panchayat to deliver all these.. Why they
are failing?
Me- Sir Funds, Functions and Functionaries are not been properly devolved. Non of the state is
allowing them to legislate in the 29 subjects allotted to them through 73rd and 74th amendment.

M1- The schemes like NREGA is also not functioning? Why?


Me- There is lack of planning at micro level as a result the peoples aspiration are not given
importance. Gave the example of Khunti District in Jharkhand, that how a thumb rule by the District
Collector for providing 2 wells and 1 pond for land and water treatment was unwelcomed by some
villages which already had those.

M1- But the management is also the core issue, dont you think?
Me- Yes it is also one of the core issue. (Meanwhile Chairperson interrupted she pointed the other
member to ask questions)

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M2- Whats the difference between a manager and an entrepreneur?
Me- I explained the definition first. Then told him that there are few attributes that an entrepreneur
must have like being innovative, more risk taking and innovative.

M2- Do you think the civil servants these days are near to manager or entrepreneur?
Me- Sir presently they are near to the role of manager; however the country would love them to
adopt the role of entrepreneur.

M2- Is there any entrepreneur whom you admire?


Me: Yes sir, I m highly inspired by Mr Narayan Murthy, the cofounder of Infosys.

M2- What inspires you in him?


Me- Sir his philosophy is very inspiring. He says that he is a capitalist by mind and a socialist by heart,
this is what India needs today. There was a time when profit use to be a dirty word in social sector
while people use to be redundant for the market forces. But now we need to mix all these, that is
what he is doing. Also sir his style of leadership is amazing, he has two paradoxical qualities i.e. the will
and the humility this also inspires me.

M2- There are two terms which are correlated i.e accountability and autonomy. Do you think civil
servants are given full autonomy?
Me- There is nothing called absolute autonomy in democracy. But still I think that civil servants are not
given the kind of autonomy that they deserve.

M2- How?
Me- I gave the example of police department and its politicisation. I also gave the reference of a
recent study conducted in UP, it states that the average tenure of a Collector in UP in the year 20052006 was less then 6 months in a district.

M2- So do you think they should be accountable if they are not given autonomy?
Me- Sir Bureaucracy is a key post. A civil servant must be accountable at all cost.
(He pointed to the third member)

M3- So you handled a project with Aircel in your MBA tell me something about it?
Me- Sir we have a flagship program called Gramaotsava for that Aircel was a principal sponsor, so
there was a team of about 15 which I was handling and we conducted the fair activities and a research
for them.

M3- What was the research all about?


Me- Sir, in-spite of spending the huge amount of money on advertisements and taking brand
ambassadors like Dhoni they were not able to do well in rural markets. So we were given the research

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work to find the reasons for the same.

M3- What were the key findings?


Me- Sir we advised them to convert their services to make mobile phones into a voice based search
engine. We also told them that unlike the urban customers which is easy to be targeted as an
individual because of high level of individualism in the urban areas, its not the same case in the rural
markets. So we advised them to target them in groups. Also for rapport building we asked them to do
something when there is a disaster or calamity in the rural areas.

M3- What about the FDI in the retail sector and organised retail? Do you think it should be there?
Me- Sir presently the way our economic policy is directed its not important to answer that if there
should be organised retail or FDI, what is more important would be to talk about the time frame. Also I
would like to answer this question on the basis of my experience as I deal with distributors and
retailers. I think that the consumer behaviour of the rural customer is very different from what is
required for the big organised retail. His cash inflows are erratic, small and spread over the whole
month. So he buys in small quantity. But what organised retail requires is exactly opposite. Also for the
organised retail time should be a constraint for the buyers so that they can shop under one umbrella.
This is also not the case for a rural buyer. So I think that fear that with coming of organised retail 40
million moms and pops store in local areas would be shut down and 40*4=160 million people would
be affected is wrong. So FDI and organised retail should be invited.

M3- I also think on the similar lines and as per the estimates its capturing only 1% of the market. So
what problem woman in facing in rural areas?
Me- I said that that whole system of patriarchy and the socialisation process is against her. During her
upbringing she is made to believe that she is inferior to her male counterpart. This needs to be
changed.

M3- Why in-spite of so many schemes and programmes we dont have woman empowerment?
Me- Sir the approach become very important in this case. The way we have looked at women in these
schemes need to be change. Right after independence we have looked at woman as if she has some
problem, the woman is looked at as a passive recipient of jobs, grants etc. This needs to be changed.
We need to adopt a right based approach and must accept that problem is not with the woman but
within the society and bring her out of the clutches of patriarchy by inculcating a critical thinking.
He pointed to member 4

M4- You are talking a lot about rural areas I am keenly interested in knowing where you were born?
Me- Delhi sir.

M4- No no. Tell me the exact place in Delhi. Delhi also has large number of villages and rural areas. So
where were you born exactly?
Me- Sir Holy Family Hospital in Okhla. Sir its a big Hospital.

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(Everybody started laughing on big hospital)
CP intervened saying that its a suburb.

M4- And where are you brought up?


Me-Sir in Ghaziabad.

M4- So you were born in Delhi and reborn in Ghaziabad again.


(Everybody started laughing again)

M4- So what do you think about Ghaziabad?


Me- Sir its an urban area.

M4- Your college XIM had business management course as well?


Me- Yes sir. XIM is the only B-School in India where business management and rural management runs
parallel.

M4- So you choose Rural Management.


Me-Yes sir.

M4- Why did you not join Air Force as flying officer even after getting recommended?
Me- Sir I wanted to be a fighter pilot. But during medical examination I was told that my eyes are not
fit for a fighter pilot.

M4- With CautionColour Blind to nahee ho na?


Me- Not at all sir. I dont even use spects.

M4- So air force grounded you... (he told this as if he is provoking me)
Me- With huge smiles... Yes sir.

M4- So from sky now you are in mud. (by mud he was referring Rural management)
Me- Yes Sir!

M4- Do you think because of recession the capitalism as a system has failed?
Me- Sir we live in a postmodern world, no system is fully perfect, so is capitalism. Recession occurred
because of the overleveraging on sub-prime borrowers and lack of regulations on the financial
institutions.

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M4- That I know, do you know abow Das Kapital?
Me- Yes sir.

M4- Do you know in how many volumes it is?


Me- No sir i just know about its core idea.

M4- Marx wrote a very important book apart from it, do you know?
Me- Not able to recall sir

M4- Where was Marx born?


Me- Germany

M4- Where did he do his research?


Me- No idea

M4- Okie, when did capitalism begin?


Me- With the writings of Adam Smith.

M4- In which year?


Me- No idea sir.

M4- Okie you still have to answer that has the model of capitalism failed?
Me- Sir when USSR disintegrated in 1991 there was a view given by various scholars that its the end of
history. Now capitalism would homogeneously prevail over the world. But after the recession at least
people have started taking Marx seriously. Now critics are talking about the governmental spending so
it take them near to socialism. We need a model which contain the good elements of both.

M4- So working out in Gym is your only hobby? Do you have 6 pack abs like Shahrukh Khan?
Me- No sir.

M4- Why dont you have it? When he can have them at an age of 44? (everybody started laughing)
Me- Sir the context is different. He has to leverage on his body, I just want to remain fit.

M4- You read anything? Apart from these?


Me- Not much sir.

M4- Arey desh kaise chalaogey?


CP intervened with smiles.

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I told CP that mam I am not a voracious reader...
She repeated with smiles oh so you are not a voracious reader...
I told that I read on internet.

CP- What are you reading these days?


Me- Mam Postmoderninsm.

CP- Postmodernism in literature?


Me- No mam in general.

CP-Thats good.
Me- Mam from last two years I was doing my MBA and from last few months I am in job, apart from
that preparing for Civils, so hardly get time to read anything else.

CP- (she knew that its just an excuse and with very big smile)... where there is a will, there is a way!!!
Me- Yes Mam absolutely true!!!!! I too smiled...............
She thanked me and asked me to leave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

124

Experience with Nirbhay Sharma board


Hey guys,
I'll try to keep it short, 'coz there was nothing spectacular about the interview.
Secondly, sorry if I skipped writing my complete answers here. I skipped them where I thought it's of
no consequence. It's only a guide to the questioning pattern.
Approx. time : I'm not sure. I was time warped.
Q1: Hello Subhash, What do you think are the most important constitutional amendments that we
have had of date?
A: Sir, the 73rd and 74th, I believe are the most important yet. Next perhaps comes the 42nd CAA. I
explain both.
Q2: Don't you remember any recent ones?
A: (Think for a few seconds) Sir, I know but I am unable to recollect. I'm sorry.
Q3: Do you think the media is over reaching its boundaries?
A: Sir, media is important for a country like India, however yes, there have been instances where the
media has sensationalized a few issues. I explain a bit more.
Q4: So what do you think has to be done
A: Sir, self regulation is the ideal mode of regulation.
Q5: So what is the present status, are they self regulated?
A: Sir, they are mostly self regulated today. THere are no specific laws except rules of the Press Council
of India
Q6: Have you heard of the term "manufacture consent"?
A: No sir, I have not heard of it.
Q7: Think again, its related to media.
A: Sir, I wouldn't hazard a guess. I have not heard of the term yet.
Q8: Have you heard of Noam Chomsky?
A: Yes Sir.
Mr. Nirbhay passes to second member
Q9: Do you know about Abraham Maslow? (Pub Ad is my optional)
A: Yes sir, I have read about his motivation theories.
Q10: What is his needs hierarchy?
A: I explain

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Q11: What is self actualization?
A: I explain
Q12: How many levels are there in the theory?
A: Sir, there are 5.
Baton is passed on.
Q13: What do you think are the problems in the PDS system in India?
A: I explain.
Q14: What do you suggest are the remedies
A: Example of TN, technology, policing, accountability. (I came out and kicked myself for not having
told about FDI in retail.)
Q15: How is Black Money created?
A: I explain. Declining morality, Election funding, lax regulations.
Q16: Ok, I have some notes with me, how will you tell if it is black money?
A: I explain, about the money that is accounted in the system and that which is not accounted by
giving an example.
Q17: You say elections create black money. So shall we ban elections?
A: Sir no, what I meant was that elections are an important source for the creation and proliferation of
black money.
PASSES ON
Q18: You have won best design prize in robotics in IIT Madras. What is the robot about?
A: I explain. It is a mine sweeper.
Q19: What were the colleges that participated?
A: I explain.
Q20: You are a national level gold medalist in skating. What is speed skating?
A: I explain.
Q21: What was the surface on which you skated?
A: I explain
Q22: Ok, what was the length of the track?
A: (I laugh within). Sir, I won the gold medal in 1991 that was two decades back when I was in first
grade. I donot remember now. Everyone smile.
Q23: What are your views about the Sri Krishna Commission report? ( I am from Andhra)

126
A: I explain.
Q40: Good, so you have read the report completely?
A: Yes sir.
Q25: So what is the status now?
A: Sir, the status is that there are no riots now. There are no arrests. People have seemed to slowly
recognise the truth in the report that it is infact Rayalaseema that is most underdeveloped and not
Telangana. So, now th demand has shifted from a core demand of under development to that of
cultural identity.
Q26: What do you think should be done to Telangana?
A: I explain. The recommendation of the SKC report are unbiased an comprehensive. As he has said,
constitutional provisions should be instituted. We should then wait and watch. A separation now
would create a bad precedent in the country. The people of Telangana need justice and this should be
done soon.
PASSES ON TO THE LADY.
Q27: What is the difference in the cuisine of Coastal Andhra and Central Andhra
A: I explain
Q28: You have excellent credentials. Why do you want to jump to Indian Administrative Service?
A: Ma'am, for me in life, happiness is an important construct. I move towards happiness in life. And for
me, the happiness I derive internally is long lasting and requires less replenishment. This endo genetic
happiness, I derive from 3 things, one giving back to the society, two pursuing my hobbies and three
spending time with my family. And as far as I know, the Administrative services give me the widest
possible opportunity, the largest possible resources and a chance to pull out the most disadvantaged
out of their suffering. And I am sure no other job gives me this.
Q29: I am sure the first two reasons are true but I am not sure if the third one is. (Everyone laugh. I
don't know why. So I give a grin). Anyways, but tell me, you have this hobby of photography. WHat is
this, a simple pastime or what?
A: Ma'am, I pursue photography professionally. If you give me a chance, I can show you my work.
Q30: What? You carry your work with you? Please go ahead. Please show us your work. ( My " say
cheeeez" moment)
A: I give them a calendar that I made in 2009. The lady offers it to the chairman. He says he doesn't
want to see. (Mr. Nirbhay gives me a smirk that perhaps said, " Oh you little brat, you are trying to
show off, eh?")
Q31: SO what kind of photographer are you? Landcape? Potrait?
A: Ma'am I'm a street photographer. I capture life on the streets. This gave an exploratory dimension
to my personality. I met migrants in Hyderabad, orphans in Medak and even got a chance to visit the
Qutub SHahi tombs in Golconda. All this I attribute to my hobby

127
Q32: What are the architectural differences between the Qutb Shahi tombs from other muslim pieces
of work?
A: I explain
Mr. Nirbhay takes over.
Q33: Subhash, when did you leave infosys?
A: Sir, 2009
Q34: Subhash, you left Infosys in 2009. It was the time of recession. Now, I arrive at a conclusion that
you were afraid that you will lose your job and become unemployed. You also thought that in these
times a government job is best becuase no one remove you once you get through. What do you think.
(Again a grin which would have almost killed all living things in the room except me and the board)
A: Sir, Infosys rates employees on the basis of performance and 2% of the employees every year are
rated in the upper brakcet. I got a rating of 1 which meant that the chances of removing me were very
low at that time. So that was not a reason why I left Infosys.
Q 35: One of the US army regiments has a slogan, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going".
What do you mean by this?
A: Sir, for every human being, the strongest emotion, is the will to survive. They would be ready to go
to any length for this. I think this is best exemplified by the statement. ( I think I screwed up things big
time here. I should have gone for a straight forward explanation)
Q36: Look, there are two things, when the conditions are hard, the people who are strong withstand.
The second thing is when the conditions are tough, the strong people just escape. Which is true? First
or second?
A: Sir, the first.
Q36: People also believe that government jobs are for mediocre people. Considering your credentials,
don't you think you are over qualified for this job?
A: Sir, I have a dream for this country and I wish to be in the Administrative Services to fulfill it.

Q37: Ok, thanks a lot, you may go!


I am not expecting extra ordinary marks. Nirbhay SHarma board, I have heard is not very liberal in
awarding marks too. So, let's see!!

128

My interview, as it happened on 24th march evening


It was board of Shashi Uban Tripathi. I was second last candidate to be called on date. It went on for
around 35 minutes

me: may i come in ma'am


cp: please come in
(I walk in)
me: good afternoon ma'am, good afternoon sirs
cp: good afternoon, have a seat
me: thank you ma'am

cp: so you are a m.tech. from IIT Delhi


me: yes ma'am

cp: what was your branch?


me: instrument tech.

cp: when did you completed?


me: 2010

cp: oh, so no work experience?


me: no ma'am

cp: you are also a debater and blogger?


me: yes ma'am.

cp: how much traffic your blog get?


me: it varies, as I am a politico-socio blogger, so at the time of last general election it was at 5000 per
day. Now after my UPSC Preliminary Examination I am not writing regularly, so it has declined to 200300 per day.

cp: thats very impressive

m1 (laughs): so your chamchas left you


me (smile): one has to be regular in blogging to get a good number of visitors.

129
cp: you blog everyday?
me: once a week generally ma'am.

cp: what is the last topic you wrote?


me: I wrote about this years budget.

cp: what about budget?


me: it was a link post and I collected views of many important thinkers on budget and analyses that. As
there are many good expert opinions available on net, I wanted to have a discussion with my readers
on budget.

cp: what do you follow regularly in economics?


me: I read newspapers and editorials. Then there is lot of material available on net.

cp: yes thats true, why you didn't join the DU? they have a very good debating team?
me: ma'am I met with them in many competitions and yes, they are very impressive. But I chose IIT
Kanpur for career prospects.

cp: IIT Kanpur? you are from IITDelhi.


me: I did my B.tech. from IITK and M.tech. from IITD. I was a part of IITK debating team.

cp: your hobbies are very helpful in your future work, you know that?
me: yes ma'am, it is a major positive out of it.

cp: good. (points to m1) now answer something on economics.


m1: what are the main problems with indian economy these days?
me: sir, inflation is the most worrying problem. Then there is need of fiscal consolidation, increasing
tax to GDP ratio, problem of proper implementation of social sector schemes, trade imbalance etc.

m1: what do you know about medium, small, micro enterprises?


me: MSM enterprises are defined as enterprises with small core capital. Official definition defines it at
10 crores, 5 crores and I dont remember the limit for micro enterprise. Basically these enterprises are
labour intensive and run by small group of people.

m1: government defines two types of MSM, what are those?


me: I dont recall sir.

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m1: they are manufacturing and service sector MSM, what is the difference in their limits.
me: I do not know exactly sir, but service sector limit is more than manufacturing.

m1: it is () for medium.


me: yes sir.

m1: it is () for small


me: yes sir.

m1: what yes sir? i am telling them, not you.


me: that's right sir.

m1: (smiles) do you think india has capability of being best global economy some day?
me: yes sir, if we keep on improving our infrastructure and human resources, we will definitely
become best some day.

m1. thats all right. (transfer to next)

m2: it says here that you stayed 2 month in Italy for your internship. what is the italians are best
known for in engineering field?
me: their beautiful cars, sir.
(everybody laughs)

m2: yes, thats true, but more general?


me: sir, they are hard working and have closed type of organization in companies.

m2: no no, its design of products.


cp: thats what he meant by beautiful cars.

m2 (laughs): ok ok, in 1987 nintendo became the most sold item in world, leaving behind GM's cars,
what does that represented?
me: it represented that japan is becoming new power in world economy.

m2: what else, dont worry, i will get it out of you only, do you understand what is dematerialization?
me: sir, it is the move of engineering from hardware to software and after 1980s software have
emerged as new arena of engineering by IT revolution.

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m2: why it is called dematerialization?
me: as softwares are not made of any physical material, we can not touch and feel it, still they are
there in our lives. that is why dematerialization term.

m2: very good, do you think India has advantage in this area?
me: yes sir, Indians are supposed to be better at soft skills, that is why software and service industry is
booming in india.

m2: very good (points to next person)

m3: you pub ad as optional, what are the component of a state?


me: defined territory, a constitution, people of country and a government.

m3: what is constitution?


me: sir, it is the supreme law of any land that defines the structure and powers of government and
provide basic laws for society.

m3: but UK doesn't have a constitution, is it not a state?


me: sir, they do not have a written constitution, but there are laws by parliament and conventions that
are followed, so it is an unwritten constitution.

m3: do you think population of India, largest young population is an asset or liability?
me: sir, in short term it is an asset, but in long run we have to control the population as natural
resources are not going to increase with increase in population.

m3: but as you said we have advantage in service sector, so why not have ever increasing skilled man
power?
me: sir, as I said resources, food etc are not going to increase exponentially, so we have to keep a limit
to population. there is also issue of sustainability of environment and I am talking about hundred years
frame of reference.

m3: ok, you have written socio blogging, what is that?


me: I have written politico-socio blogging sir, I blog on issues related to politics and social problems.

m3: what social issues you discussed recently on your blog other than budget?
me: women empowerment ..

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m3: what is the best way of achieving women empowerment.
me: sir, most basic thing is the attitude of society towards women, it starts from family, neighborhood,
government. The attitude can be generated by proper education. So we should focus on imparting
values of women equality by our education. Then there is other methods such as women reservation,
health care for women, employment, nrega etc.

m3: do you think nrega has empowered women?


me: yes sir, to an extent, it has put money in hands of rural women specially poorer section of society.

m3: in one word, nrega is successful or not?


me: successful, sir.

m3: ok, (pass to m4)

m4: how can your technical education will be of any use in civil services?
me: sir, as one of my proff used to say that at IITs the most important thing is not content of
engineering but the attitude, scientific temperament, rational mind and I think that I will go with those
qualities in civil services. Nitty gritty is always learnt in training.

m4: ok, coming back to MSM enterprises, why government in andhra trying to restrict them?
me: there is a problem of loan given to MSMs and people are not able to pay it back on time. so gov
wants to reduce the bad money of banks and wants to impose a limit on security below which loans
will not be given.

m4: loans are given to individuals or some other entity?


me: sir, SHGs are involved in most cases.

m4: right, but why specifically in AP.


me: sir, this problem is in other states also, AP is first to bring a bill.

m4: why problem overall?


me: sir, i am not aware of actual ground situation.

m4: make a guess?


me: may be due to alcohol problem of men of family.

cp, m4: (laughs loudly) no, i have worked 20 years in AP for SHGs, it is not that

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cp: (smiles) no, no, men are drunkard everywhere.
me: (smile) yes ma'am.

cp: ok, chakresh, why Afghanistan important in India's foreign policy?


me: ma'am, it is a neighboring country and Pakistan uses it as training ground for terrorists. There is
also issue of economic cooperation in gas pipeline.

cp: Pakistan trains terrorist in Pakistan itself.


me: also in Afghanistan ma'am.

cp: yeah, thats sadly true, but you know Afghanistan is extended neighborhood of India, have been a
part of India.
me: yes ma'am, it comes in cultural sphere of India and we have very good people to people relations.

cp: we say that Afghanistan is on our side. Do you think afghan think of us as friend?
me: afghans throughout the history take anyone attacking second as friends ma'am, so yes right now
there is a goodwill for India.

cp: (laughs) oh thats true, wait wait, not always true. So, sum up what should be India's afghan policy
me: yes ma'am, it is a very important state in Indian foreign policy and a gateway to central asia. we
should promote democratic government there.

cp: ok, chakresh, good, you can go now.


me: thank you ma'am.

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My interview in Chalam Sir Board


My interview in Chalam Sir Board
I am Usha, 26 year old, from Jind district in Haryana. I had my interview on 30th March in Chalam sir's
board in the forenoon session. I am a BAMS doctor, and completed my internship in April, 2008. This is
my first attempt. I wore a South Indian cotton ruby colour saree in the interview.
In the interview, besides CP (Chairperson), there were 3 other male members, and 1 female member
(FM). FM was on the right and M3 was on the left of CP;M1 was second to the right and M2 was
second to the left of CP. There was a round table, a perfect 360 degree, me and CP facing each other.
The room was well lit, white light coming through some curtains. The interview went like thisMe- May I come in sir?
CP- Yes yes. Fast fast. Have a seat.
Me- Good morning sir, good morning mam, good morning sirs.
FM- Ohhh! Have a seat.
Me- Thank you mam.
(CP was wearing a half sleeve white shirt with thin black strips. He was looking like S.Y. Kureshi (CEC)
but a little thinner. He was very active throughout the interview moving his hand and chair. He
grabbed every chance where he could laugh, and I also joined him as well, but not as loud as he was.)
CP: So Dr Usha, which subjects did you study in Ayurveda?
Me- (recalled the subjects and told)
CP: What is the difference between Ayurveda and Siddha?
Me- Sir, Siddha is famous only in South India and Ayurveda is used all over India. Otherwise,
formulations in Siddha are few but are similar to formulations in Ayurveda.
CP: (laughed and said) Haryana! Medicine! Is there any Haryanavi school of medicine?
Me- Sorry sir, I dont know any.
M1: I saw your biodata. It is like a flower. I do not find any topic that I can discuss with you. Can you
suggest any topic of your choice that we can discuss?
(M1 was wearing plain synthethic, full sleeve white shirt. He was a medium built man with a white
complexion. He looked 50 plus.)
Me- Thank you sir. Sir, can we discuss meditation?
M1: Laughed. I never got time to meditate in my life. I beg your pardon we can not discuss it. Can we
discuss social issues like government schemes in social sector?

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Me- Sure sir. Why not.
M1: Tell me about food security bill. Are you aware of that?
Me- Yes sir.
M1- What is the basic idea?
Me- Sir.. M1 interrupted and said. What is your opinion why we are bringing such a bill?
Me- Sir, I think no person in our country should go to sleep empty stomach.

CP and FM laughed discussing with each other empty stomach. FM to CP Ayurveda must be having
something for this. CP to FM, yes Ayurveda must be having some drug.
Me- Excuse me sir. Can I?
CP- Yes yes please.
Me- Sir in history of Ayurveda there are some instances where soldiers used to fight for long without
having food, but even at that time that knowledge of those drugs was available to Rishis and Munnis.
So we can say that such thing has happened. But we are not aware at this time. Maybe in future we
come to know.
M1: Do you know about MNREGA?
Me- Yes sir.
M1- Ok, tell me is this for poverty alleviation or employment generation?
Me- Sir, I think it is working both ways.
M1- Is there any criteria in this?
Me- Yes sir. Men and women in rural areas who belong to BPL families and are willing to work are
given work for 100 days in a year.
M1- See when Haryana was created the basis was language. Earstwhile Punjab was a bilingual state.
Tell us about this.
Me- Sir, I think Haryana was created on the basis of development.
M1- Yes. Now tell me about Telangana issue. Why people are demanding for Telangana?
Me- (Tried to answer but could not frame the answer). Sorry sir, I am unable to frame it properly. Can I
take some time?
M1- Yes, you can take time.
Me- Thank you sir. Sir, there is disparity in the living standards between Telangana and rest of Andhra
Pradesh. The coastal Andhra is more prosperous while people in Telangana are not having economic
opportunities and there is lack of development. This I think is the reason for the demand of Telangana.

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M1- Ok, you know about right to education?
Me- Yes sir.
M1- Is this meant for a special group?
Me- Yes sir. For 6 to 14 age group.
M1- See corruption is so prevalant in our country. Tell me what government is doing? Are there any
institutions to curb corruption?
Me- sir CVC.
M1- Yes it is one among such institutions. Is this working?
Me- Sir, it may be working efficiently but the results are not visible before us.
M1- Are you satisfied with CVC?
Me- No sir, I am not satisfied.
M2- How will you define Ayurveda to a lay man?
(M2 wore a khadi white full sleeve shirt. He wore thick frame spectacles. He looked like a very harsh
personality.)
Me- Sir, the science that deals with longevity of life. Ayur means aayu, and Veda means to know.
M2- Are you satisfied with this definition?
Me- No sir. But if I were to define before a lay man then I can say this much only.
M2: Tell me about Vagabhatta? Where did you study it? (I mentioned it while telling subjects of
Ayurveda.)
Me- Sir, in Charak Samhita in Vimarsh.
M2- How can you study Vagabhatta in Charak Samhita?
Me- Sir, the author first translates sanskrit shlokas in hindi and thereafter explains in his own way to
discuss all the things available on that matter.
M2- So you mean to say you have read Vagabhatta in compilation form, not in original?
Me- Yes sir.
M2- Which is older Vagabhatta or Charak?
Me- Charak.
M2- Then how Vagabhatta can come in Charak Samhita.
Me- Yes sir, but we study commentry on Charak and the writer has written it recently. So he can use
referrence of Vagabhatta.
M2- So you did not study Vagabhatta?
Me- Sir, the students who wish to do MD study it in original, but we study it in commentry form or
compilation form.

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M2- So where you study Vagabhatta. Better you should have said in compilation form.
Me- Yes sir.
M2- We see in advertisements 'herbal ayurvedic medicines'. Is this term correct?
Me- Sir, there are many sources of Ayurvedic medicines. If the source is herb then advertisement can
indicate the source of medicines, otherwise it is not required.
M2- Tell me about single drug formulations in Ayurveda. Are there any?
Me- Yes sir, there are many.
M2- Name a few.
Me- Yes sir like amla, haritaki, and Bahera.
M2- Ok, can you tell me single drug formulations are a modern concept or a traditional practice, and
since when these are in use?
Me- Sorry sir, I do not know.
M2- What are the sources of Ayurvedic medicines?
Me- Sir, there are many sources like plants, herbs, rock salts and metals.
M2- Tell me about metal in Ayurveda?
Me- (could not hear properly) Sorry sir I did not get it.
M2- (In anger) In Ayurveda, we have to manufacture drugs. What are the metals used?
Me- Sir, there are many like paarad that is Mercury, gold, silver, copper and iron.
M3- What is the difference between Ayurveda and Unani?

(M3 wearing a coffee colour shirt with very thin shining red strips. He was the youngest, 40 or so, of all
the members. He always had a suspecious smile on his face. He wore specs similar to that of Harry
Potter's.)
Me- Sir, Unani came to India from Persia.....(interrupted)
M3- Is that so?
Me- Sir I have read this only. Further Unani emphasizes on 3 humors only, but Ayurveda talks of Panch
Mahabhutas.
M3- Name 3 Arab scholars who got fame out of Ayurveda.
Me- Sorry sir, I do not know.
M3- But you said you have studied history of Ayurveda.
Me- Yes sir. I have studied but I am unable to recall at this moment.

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M2- Listening Music is your hobby?


Me- Yes sir.
M2- You listen hindi movie songs or you listen something else also?
Me- Yes sir, I listen hindi movie songs, ghazals, bhajans, haryanavi folk songs, and raaganis.
M2- Ok, tell me the meaning of ghazals.
Me- Sir, it is style of mannerism.
M2- It may be but I want to know the scientific meaning. Dont you think there has to have some
scientific meaning?
Me- Yes sir. There should be but I know that much only.
M2- Ok, which ghazals you listen?
Me- Sir, Ghalib's ghazals sung by Jagjit Singh, and some ghazals of Gulam Ali.
Everybody laughed.
M2- One thing is ghazal and one thing is nazm. So you know the difference?
Me- Sorry sir, I do not know.
M2- Tell me about 2 poets in hindi music.
Me- Sir poets?
M2- Poets poets ok Lyricists.
Me- Sir Ghulzar and Javed Akhtar.
M2- Which is better?
Me- Sir I like both.
M2- Liking and comparisons are 2 different things.
Me- Sir, I think both are good and I like both.
CP- laughed and said ''she is highly diplomatic.''
M2- Again I say you have to choose one.
Me- Sir, if I were to choose then it is Ghulzar.

M2- Ok, tell me the problems faced by women.


Me- Sir, lack of exposure, lack of opportunities, and above all security.
M2- Not caste.
Me- I think sir it is for both man and woman.
CP- Laughed and said yes caste is universal in India.

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Me- Yes sir.
CP- Looking at my summary sheet ''ohhh! This girl is from Haryana, siiting alive before us. How she is
alive? (Laughed)
FM to CP- You mean to say she is a survivor. Then both laughed.
CP (not asking but just commenting)- What is this honour killing. I dont understand why media has
named it so, and what is honour in this, and the khap panchayats.
M2- Yes, caste, haryana and khap panchayats. Ok, you tell us about this.
Me- Sir, khap panchayats are caste based institutions and are unconstitutional, and these should be
curbed as soon as possible.
Me to chairman- Sir can I tell my personal experience?
CP moved his chair forward and said yes sure, why not, please.
Me- Thank you sir. And I told about my inter caste marriage, and the problems I faced.
M3- Is meditation your hobby?
Me- Yes sir.

M3- Is it your hobby or you do it regularly?


Me- Sir sometimes I do it regularly, otherwise it is my hobby.
M3- What do you get? What is your motivation?
Me- Sir, peace and joy.
M3- Name another Usha who is famous.
Me- Sir, P.T. Usha.
M1 to FM- Payoli Express!!
And they laughed.

M2- There are pathies like homeopathy, allopathy. How is Ayurveda different?
Me- Sir, Ayurveda first targets the cause not the symptoms, and Ayurveda intends to provide physical,
mental and spiritual health. There is Daivavyapashrya Chikitsa and Satvavjaya Chikitsa. These are for
spiritual upliftment.
FM- Ok, why you want to become an Indian Administrative Service officer.
(FM was very healthy, wheatish female, and always in jovial mood, wearing a grey saree with a black
border. She was wearing a chain made of stone beads which she kept pulling except when she was
asking questions.)

140
Me- Mam, I derive inspiration from the experiences I have had in my life, and from Ayurveda also. I
explained Sadvrit in Ayurveda.
FM- Ok, if you become DM of your district what you will do?
Me- Mam, I will work on woman security and for improvement of primary education in Government
schools.
FM- Woman security is very easy thing to say. How you will do it? Do you have any idea or plan?
Me- Yes mam, we already have police patrolling in public places except hospitals and colleges. We can
have electronic equipments such as CCTV cameras in all these places to avoid eveteasing. We can
install telephones from where with the help of free help line number, women can complain and we
can make redressal of grieviences in such cases faster sothat women have solutions very early.
Further, we can establish some schools or organizations which will teach marshal arts to women free
of cost sothat they can protect themselves.
FM- Self protection.
Me- Yes mam.
CP looked all members. Then members thanked the chairman.
CP- Thank you Usha. Your interview is over.
Me- Thank you sir, thank you mam, thank you sirs.
The whole interview went for 25 to 30 minutes.

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My interview in detail
Bit late in the day but here goes story from my side of encounter with Mr. Cool (Vijay Singh). First a
little bit bout me. Over 5 years of work ex (MTNL+MoD+FINO). BE+MBA(MDI,Gurgaon). It was 25
march forenoon session.
After taking my seat CM fired first salvo though a begnin one

CM: What is FINO


ME: it stands for Financial inclusion network and operations. It is a pvt firm based in mumbai

cm: what is financial inclusion


me: it is bout providing banking services like savings and credit facilities to underserved or not served.
so it is bout taking unserved or under served into financial services fold.

cm: what is ur role


me: I have set up company operations in Puri orissa and am responsible for entire operations there. I
am working with a team of over 150 operators and technical staff. these ppl go village to village
providing atm like smart cards based on biometric tech to villagers. I am responsible for overall
operations there and try to maximize no. of enrollments in the day.

cm: what other companies are there in rural mkt


me: sir in FMCG HUL has revolutionazied the rural mkt

CM(Latching on to the answer): what it has done


me: with its strategy to sell sachets in rural mkt it has penetrated it quite deep

cm(Nodding his head): yes yes, we are hearing bout it for long, what else
me: apart from this it has created SHGs for women in rural areas under its CSR activities and created
lot of employment

cm: ok, would u like to go in HUL if given a chance


me: sir it depends upon type of opportunity coming my way. if scope is good and there is chance to
increase my knowledge and apply my current strengths i will definately go.
cmk
Baton passed over to next member
turn of m1
m1: r u ppl also in micro finance field

142
me: we r basically a technology platform company providing our services to banks like ICICI, HDFC,
AXIS etc these banks are given mandate by govt. for financial inclusion which they carry out with our
help. So Micro finance is not out main business line but yes it is one of the off shoot though a small
one.

m1 (Nodding): ok, still u ppl disburse some loans


me: yes

m1: what is the rate is it 0% or 5% or higher


(I thought this one was like a carrot. He not only asked question but gave me options too which were
way off the mark. If i had taken the bait it was THE END)
me: no it is not 0 or 5% it is around 22%

m1: do u not think it is too high


me: it looks like but there are two factors here: 1. loans we disburse are very low generally around 10k
or at max 30k...... 2. frequency of repayment whicvh is generally weekly or fornightly. when these two
factors combine absolute amount they are paying per installlment is very low. hence customers are
more then happy to take loans

m1: how do u insure they pay back


me: our micro finance scheme is based on SHG model as propagated by Muhammad yunus of
grameen bank(Most of the members were nodding)..here it is not the individual capacity to pay back
but rahter capacity of group to pay back. If one member falters then others come to its rescue.

m1: how u gauge pay back capacity of customers


me: it depends upon their interest in what r they doing, their physical and vocational capability to do it
and market condition for the product they are manufacturing. We look into all these things while
giving loans.

m1: Do u know how many SHGs are working in india


me: I am sorry sir i m not aware bout that (this i said with ear to ear grin on my face as though i was
delighted in not knowing it)........Thank god he smiled back
it was turn of lady member
lm: so u were overall coordinator of engg college fest
me: yes

lm: what exactly was ur role


me: i with the help of team decided what kind of events would be there, who will conduct what,

143
timings, prizes etc

lm: ok, so what was ur stress in designing these events


me: we tried to make these events relevant to future professional career of all involved. We tried to
get events such that new ideas can be generated and can be implemented.

lm: ne particular model u liked there


me: as far as i can remember there was a model based on radio frequencies in which one of our
professors was also involved. I like it very much. It was mainly to uplod and download signals from
satellite. It had great practical utility. But i DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED to the model afterwards

lm: ok
that was the end of her. such a sweet lady. not a single one to bother or stress my mind. Or she
thought "U stupid.........ur level is this much only"
baton was now in hands of 2nd lady member
lm2: what is difference between leader and manager
thank god at least one from my optional
me: manager is more a technical concept. it isa bout managing resources both man and material.
there are certain techniques involved and jargon as well. while a leader is more a humane concept(I
looked at mr. cool.....bending on arm's rest with one hand on mouth he was epitome of attention)
Leader tries not only to manage situation but he goes beyond it. He tries to affect the group and
motivate it so that they can gear up for the job at hand. hence leader as a concept has much wider
connotation.

lm2: name one person for two categories


gandhi was one the greatest leader of last century as he motivated ppl so much that they were ready
to lay their life for him. Nandan nilkeni is really a good manager as he has shown during his stint in
Infosys and now doing tremendous job in UID under brand name AADHAR

lm2: what do u want to be: a leader or manager (mummy like smile she had.......so cute)
me: first a good manager then will graduate to be a good leader

lm2: name first festivals of haryana


me: festivals in haryana are mainly based on agricultural cycle. We recently celebrated Phaag, then
there is baishakhi which basucally is from punjab but adopted in haryana. then in rohtak there are
local melas (I stressed only on those which are exclusive to haryana)
(and yes mr cool in first round also asked one more question: if given a chance what will i sell in rural;

144
mkt. a sachet of shampoo or biscuit. first i did not get what he was trying. should i answer from
marketing angle so i asked him to repeat the question then it clicked to me "IT is CSE so hold on the
social thread" I gave lot of air on nutrition andn hence will sell biscuit. he nodded approvingly and said
yes it is better to have full stomachs)
turn of last member
he took the thread from oner my answer

m4: so u have seen real india while in FINO. what r the problems they r facing
me: working in fino and among rural poor was quite a revelation to me. earlier was of the view why
rural poor migrate to cities and congest already overwhelmed infrastructure here. Being a civil service
student i thought that through books i know quite a lot bout problems they r facing. But going there
and living among them was a revelation. There are no industries at all. they have nothing to fall back
upon. poverty is so severe that it is unbelievable. I saw an ocean of destitution there and realizesd that
kind of civic amenities we are enjoying in cities are not even in their dreams. hence they have no
option left but to leave the villages.

m4: u r talking bout industrial development only


me: agriculture is second part of the answer. After talking to local villagers i came to know that they
have just one crop per year or at max two. but due to any reason idf crops fail then they have no plan
b. it is starvation for them. Starvation is stark reality there. there are no proper irrigation facilities, no
post harvest mgt like cold stores, no mkt. faci;lities etc. hence these poor ppl cannot stick to the
villages and move to cities.
I looked at the lady member whop was nodding.

m4: what are advantages of corporate farming


me: 1. better management of agri
2. more capital
3. better tech

m4: so shuld we introduce it widely


me: blanket application will lead to loss of employment due to mechanization so strict monitoring is
required.
Now it was turn of Mr. cool again
cool: u were in MTNL also
me: yes sir from 2003 to 2005

145
cool: ok, ur post
me: I was junior telecom officer

cool: ur role
me: i was fortunate enough to be part of team which implemented broadband for MTNL in delhi
cool: ok (Now he became informal.......stated narrating his problems with broadband companies)
MTNL has been unable to penetrate mkt
me: yes sir. Even i had mtnl broadnband connection six months back but switched over to tata data
card

cool: is it good
me: yes sir, it is giving me seamless connectivity and connectivity is uninturuppted as well

cool: ok, what is issue with mtnl


me: main issue with mtnl broadband is the basic infrastructure on which they r relying. MTNL is using
ADSL i.e asymmetric digital subscribers line technology. In it they r provinding net on copper cables of
telephones. but these copper cables are in very bad shape. they r unable to support required
bandwidth. hence mtnl is unable to provide good services.
That was the end of it. lasted for around 30 minutes.

146

My Experience with Shashi UBen Tripathi's Board


I was slotted for the afternoon session on 6 April.I was alloted SUT ma'am's board.The board began
late and the first person called in was interviewed for 50 minutes (i was second in line).That is
probably why my interview resembled a highlight package of a t-20 match,and got over in 12-13
minutes.
Five member board including the chairperson asked me the following questions..
m1-If you look at the indian peninsula,it juts out into the ocean (makes a gesture of jutting out) What
limit would you then point out as the area of interest for India?
(i answer)

m1-so you mean the civilizational imprint form middle east to south east asia?

m1-what perspectives on the indian interests can you highlight?


(my answer-dependence,security,economic,s cientific)

m1-what country do you think will threaten our nation in the indian ocean?

m1-But China is so far away from the indian ocean,unlike the south china sea,how can it threaten us
from that far away?(i list the string of pearls)

m1-what economic perspective drives our interests in this region?

m1-What dangers or threats can you foresee to our island territories??


passes on to member 2
m2-lets move on to development and administration.
what are the reasons for naxal movement?(i give a passionate extempore)

m2-ok i agree with you,but how does the NE insurgency differ then??(extempore round 2)

m2-and what are the gorkhas doing?are they running around?are they fighting?
(i explain the statehood demand)
in all three i purposely brought in a historical perspective,that being my optional,and more
comfortable ground,i also kept dropping liberal hints like 'vidharbha problem' hoping to direct the
flow elsewhere but the member absolutely ignored all the very very obvious invitations.
passes on to member 3-

147
(background-he was a special member to ask three hindi medium candidates hindi questions.his
english is as good as my swahili.and it was accented to an extent that it made laloo prasad resemble a
BBC broadcaster!!i couldnt get a word of what he tried to ask at most times, and he surely understood
none of my answers.)

m3-whaat iit iss?Iit iss whaaat?(smiles at me encouragingly)


(i look back with a completely confounded expression,and obviously dont answer)

m3-Univesal declaration of human rights.what?(i have stopped trying to get his accent out,its
impossible)

M3-so they natural?rights natural?

m3-Where Indian Constitution Universal rights?

m3-Right to know is Fundamental?what is fundamental right?

m3-SC declare na but?(i explain how SC imports meaning to law)

m3-What constitution is law?

m3-no no law constitution what?

m3-no.Constitution ammendment what law?(i answer 368 article,that he does not want)

m3-how is president impeached?why is he impeached?(i answer shakily-because he keeps saying i


should quote constitution and not recall in my words-a thing i manage with limited success)

m3-ok,what constitution article,constitution law?


(i was seriously exasperated,not only did i make a fool of myself,i actually gave up trying to explain to
him,but he was not accepting my i dont know sir and kept saying no no no)
finally he got the idea that i would not utter a word more,so he passed on the baton with a half smiling
look at me as if i was a stinking fish or some skunk..
M4-what is carbon credit?how is it traded?

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M4-but this attitude of the developed countries is wrong na?

m4-Except for military and energy uses,where else is nuclear technology used?
(i answer medicine,science and industry)

m4-example of each

M4-but uses of nuclear trace to check for cracks is nuclear pollution na?
(i kept telling him its radioactivity level is minimal so harmless but he refused to buy it.so i said in a
way yes,but it is done to prevent further damage)

m4-where in agriculture is it used?

m4-two specific questions:


Was india right in going for the nuclear option?
are we right in continuing the nuclear option?
(i answer yes on both counts) (passionate extempore round 3 and 4)

m4-tell me,if i have a knife and you get a knife,does it mean i will not stab you?thats the logic of
nuclear deterrence?
passes on the baton to SUT

SUT-i will not waste much time,you just answer two questions and then go.(i smile)

SUT-what is strategic depth?(extempore 5)

SUT-(smiling as if shes about to stumpt me) What is clash of civilizations concept?(i just name the
author,she was pleasantly surprised i knew and asked if i had read him,i said only excerpts)
she assumed i knew the concept (correctly) and asked if i believed in it.
then i was shown the door.
all the places where i have written extempore,i spoke for aroung 45 seconds to a minute.most of
member 3 questions i tried my best understanding and answering but failed to do so,so his turn got
over very quickly indeed.and all the other answers were like rapid fire,and question were asked even
faster than my answers were.
i came out with a feeling that i had the chairperson happy,and m3 totally unhappy.M1,M2,M4 mostly
bought my answers so there was no sticky moment with them.
went in at 03 57 pm,came out and checked my watch it was 4.10 pm.

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so a months effort,and a hundred headaches for 12 minutes!
PS-the board was very very cordial and encouraging,i was allowed my time to be expressive though
the question were rapid,and anyone getting SUT board is lucky for getting one of the more warm
members as the chair.
no questions on my form,none on my option or service preferences,none whatsoever on why i want to
join,and nothing of what we usually expect,but this may be because of the paucity of time..

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My civils interview : Prashant Agrawal


My interview was on 5th of April, afternoon session. After registration and other formalities, I was
sitting with 4 other candidates. We were 2 engineers and 3 doctors. It was first civils interview for all
the candidates. Initially we tried, but later decided not to discuss anything important. I was the second
candidate to be interviewed. When first candidate was called for interview, we came to know that its
K K Paul's board. I tried to recall any impression about that board, but cudn't. Later came to know that
his board was sitting for the first time. I grabbed a cup of tea, sat peacefully and talked to other 3
candidates while waiting for my turn. A peon came and took me to Paul's room. I was asked to wait
outside. I cudn't believe I wasn't afraid of the interview. A bell rang and peon opened the door for me.
I asked for permission to enter. The room was not as big as coaching institutes used to tell. I walked to
the chair. Besides K K Paul, there was a lady member and 3 other members. Members were sitting
closer to my chair than K K Paul's. Paul asked me to take seat. I wished ma'am first and then to all sirs
and took my seat.
(My background: Hail from a village in Surguja district of Chhattisgarh. Schooling: Navodaya Vidyalaya.
Graduation: Dual Degree in Electrical Engg from IIT Kharagpur. Passed out in 2006. Optionals: Physics
and Chemistry. Attempt: 2nd, cudn't clear Mains in first attempt. No job. Stayed in Delhi all this time
at Old Rajendra Nagar.)
KKP: Tell me your name.
Me: Sir, Prashant Kumar Agrawal.

KKP: Your roll number.


Me: 001924

KKP: Your date of birth.


Me: Sir, 12th of August, 1983.
(Thinking why is he asking all these, its already there in my biodata)

KKP: So, you are from Chhattisgarh.


Me: Yes Sir.

KKP: Ok, you have done engineering from IIT Kharagpur.


Me: Yes Sir.

KKP: You have taken physics and chemistry as your optionals.


Me: Yes Sir.

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KKP: Prashant, you play cricket or watch cricket.
Me: Sir, I play cricket.

KKP: You have played for any team?


Me: Sir, I used to play in college, but I haven't played for college team or any other team.

KKP: (With a sarcastic smile) Do you know anything about cricket?


Me: (With full confidence) Sir, I know everything about cricket. (Definitely an overstatement) I used to
play in college.
(I was expecting his swingers now, but with God on my side he changed the topic.)

KKP: Where have you done NCC?


Me: Sir, in first year of my college, as a part of curriculum.

KKP: Okay, tell me something about LCD tv, plasma tv and **** tv (I cudnt get tht one but was sure tht
i never heard tht before. It wasnt hdtv also).
Me: Sir, LCD tv uses liquid crystals which are liquids with some anisotropic properies like crystals do.
(He was asking abt LCD tv, not liquid crystals, anyway)

KKP: And what is plasma?


Me: Sir, its a fourth state of matter where gases are fully ionised.

KKP: So which tv is better and why? (The big man might be planning to buy one but he was asking the
wrong guy.)
Me: Sir, Plasma is said to be better. I dont know much about them.

KKP: Okay Prashant, recently there has been much talk about a tribal welfare bill. What is your opinion
about that?
Me: Sir, are you referring to Forest Dwellers Rights Act?

KKP: Yes, yes that only.


Me: Sir, I think this is a very good Act and will come a long way in addressing the grievances of tribals.
Their rights will be recognised and there exploitation can be addressed.

KKP: But there is also a view that there is nexus with mafia. And the exploitation will be continued,
rather legitimised.
Me: Sir, such cases has to be looked into and solved separately, but still the Act is very much needed
to solve the problems of tribals. It will recognize their rights over land. Their livelihood issues will be
addressed. They will able to sell minor forest produce at the correct prices. It is also going to be a big

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help in solving the problem of naxalism.

KKP: What are the causes of naxalism in Chhattisgarh?


Me: Sir, the root cause is the genuine grievances of tribals. In Chhattisgarh, two areas Northern
Chhattisgarh and Southern Chhattisgarh are heavily forested areas and inhabited by tribals. They have
been considered as encrochers upon the land. They have not been able to sell forest produce at the
desired prices. They have been exploited by forest officials also. Mining rights have been given to
companies in these areas which led to tribals' displacement without being given proper compensation.

KKP: Do you know how other countries have dealt with such problems of tribals like red indians, and
....(gives two three names) ?
Me: I'm sorry Sir. I'm not aware of that.

KKP: Doesnt matter.

Asks the next member to ask questions, a lady member. She was smiling a lot. Dont know for what. I
also smiled throughtout interaction with her even though I didnt answered her questions well.
Smiling Lady: Prashant, Mahatma Gandhi was known as the Father of the Nation. Sarojini Naidu was
known as the Nightingale of India.
Me: Yes Ma'am.

SL: Have you read Gandhiji?


Me: Yes ma'am. I have read about Gandhiji.

SL: Ok, I'm not going to ask about him. (Picks out a paper with some things written on it haphazardly.
Asks looking at it and smiling) Tell me what do you know about Sardar Patel, Rabindranath Tagore,
Vinoba Bhave and Captain Laxmi.
Me: Ma'am, Sardar Patel was known as the Iron man of India. (It took me few seconds to translate
from Lauh Purush.)

SL: What for?


Me: Ma'am, he was able to take quick decisions, tough decisions.

SL: Like?
Me: He took quick decisions while consolidating more than 500 princely states.

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SL: Consolidating ??
Me: I mean, to bring the princely states into Indian Union. (I was looking for the word 'integration'.)

SL: Anything else.


Me: No Ma'am.

SL: Ok now tell me about Sarojini Naidu.


Me: Ma'am, she was known as Nightingale of India because she used to sing well. She participated in
freedom movement. She was the first governer of Uttar Pradesh.

SL: Anything more about her?


Me: No ma'am.

SL: Ok about Vinoba bhave.


Me: Ma'am he was called Acharya Vinoba Bhave. He worked for the lower sections of the society.

SL: Anything specific?


Me: I'm not able to recall ma'am.

SL: Aren't you forgetting something? Bhoodan movement ??


Me: Yes ma'am. Bhoodan movement. I missed that. (How could I forget that? I had read abt the
movement few days back.)

SL: About Rabindranath Tagore?


Me: Ma'am I not able to recall what was he known as. (Guruji)

SL: Thats okay. Tell me what was he known for.


Me: Ma'am, he was known for literature. For Gitanjali, for which he won Nobel prize also.

SL: Anything else?


Me: Ma'am, I'm not able to recall anything more. (Jan gan man, Shantiniketan, had renounced
knighthood)

SL: Tell me about Jaiprakash Narain. (Now this person was not on the agenda.)
Member 2: What was he known as?
Me: (Minutes before I was handed over the letter for Medical tests to be taken at LNJP hospital) He
was known as Loknayak. He worked for the lower sections of the society.

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SL: Anything more?
Me: No. ma'am.
SL: Okay Prashant. You have done this physics, chemistry (my optionals), electrical engg (background).
How are these going to help you in administration? Means in place of history, political science etc. Tell
me, how are these physics, chemistry and electrical going to help you in administration. (Almost
repeated the question.)
Me: (well rehearsed answer) Ma'am, technical knowledge is only a part of my learning at IIT. IIT
education has inculcated in me the ability to perform under stress, habit of hard work, working in a
team etc. Such things are definitely going to help in administration. And as far as knowledge is
concerned...

SL: Knowledge I wasnt asking. Achcha, ok tell me about that also.


Me: Ma'am knowledge of electrical engg is going to help me if I get to work with Power Ministry.
Otherwise also, electricity being one of the most basic services to be provided to the common man,
the public, my knowledge can come to use.
SL: (Looking at her paper) Suppose you are posted as DM in an earthquake prone area. What steps you
are going to take?
Me: Ma'am, since there is no warning system for earthquake. I have to keep emergency services
ready.

SL: What emergency services? (Quickly picks up a pencil and starts noting down.)
Me: Ma'am first of all, medical services, ambulance etc.

SL: Ok. And?


Me: And Police. For security and transport.

SL: What else?


Me: (I wasn't getting anything really) Ma'am, in case calamity occurs, I have to be ready about from
where I have to source food etc.

SL: Okay, what else? Something more you would like to do?
Me: Ma'am general instructions have to be given regarding buildings, construction.

SL: Are you going to check houses and all ?


Me: No ma'am, but instructions are to be given regarding precautions to be taken while building new
houses and other construction.

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SL: Like?
Me: Like, how much cement is to be mixed. How much should be the window area, door area etc.
Such instructions are to be widely publicised.

SL: Have you heard of building code?


Me: Yes ma'am. I was talking about that only.
(Gives a big nod, a big smile and asks the next member (Member 2) to take charge. He was sitting right
beside me. I had to keep my head turned at around 70 to 80 degrees to talk to him.)

M2: You are from Surguja. I have come to know that there are no naxalite activities in Surguja. Isnt it?
Me: Sir, Surguja is a naxalite affected district. But since last 3 yrs, there have been no major law and
order problem there.

M2: Yes, yes. I meant that only. No activities now, that threat will remain. Now tell me, Bastar is also in
Chhattisgarh.
Me: Yes Sir.

M2: Surguja and Bastar both are tribal areas.


Me: Yes Sir.

M2: Both are in the same state.


Me: Yes Sir.

M2: So, how come naxalism has been contained in Surguja, but not in Bastar ? Why so?
Me: Sir, Bastar is in Southern Chhattisgarh, contiguous with Andhra and Orissa. It is in heavily forested
Dandakaranya region. Naxalites find it easy to launch operations from there, have been able to set up
training camps.

M2: But that goes for Surguja also. It is also contiguous with Jharkhand, a naxalite affected state.
Me: Yes Sir, that is true, but Bastar is contiguous with Andhra where naxalites have been more strong.
Also because of action taken by Andhra's police, they have been flushed to Bastar region.

M2: Tell me some reason other than this contiguity.


Me: Sir, 3-4 yrs back, when there used to be major law and order problem related to naxalism in
Surguja, one Indian Police Service officer was posted who did a commendable job.

M2: (Raising his voice a bit) Dont you think these are the institutions which bring change? Can one two
officers make such a difference?

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Me: Sir, ofcourse these are the institutions which bring the change, but if the officers are good, (gave a
look towards K K Paul) if the leader is good, he can also make a considerable difference. The officer I
am talking about, used to go to jungles on his bike for operations, and seeing his courage subordinate
policemen also used to feel motivated, and the operations were successful. And once the law and
order problem was contained, civil administration took the development activities at accelerated
pace.

M2: (Not so convinced still.) Ok tell me the hierarchy of Indian Police Service officers, starting from
district level.
Me: Sir, SP.

M2: Yes, that at district level. Above that?


Me: Sir, DIG, then IG, then ADG and DGP.

M2: Hierarchy of Indian Administrative Service officers. Okay, just tell me whom DM reports to?
Me: (Got a bit confused here on this basic question. No commissionaries in my state.) Sir, DM reports
to Chief Secretary.

M2: There are no people in between?


Me: Sir, there are in between, but they are departmental secretaries who rank above DM, but DM
reports to Chief Secretary.

M2: What about revenue commissioners then?


Me: (Got more confused. Gave up) Sorry Sir, I do not know.

M2: Okay, tell me how are the judges appointed? Judges of High Court.
Me: Sir, they are selected by a collegium of Supreme Court judges, involving Chief Justice of High Court
concerned.

M2: How are they chosen? Who is to be made, who is not to be made?
Me: Sir, based on the elegibility for High Court judges, the collegium decides. I do not know the exact
procedure.

M2: Okay, how is lower judiciary appointed?


Me: Sir, lower judiciary functions under the High Court of the state. Judges are appointed through a
competitive exam.

157
M2: Who exactly appoints them?
Me: Sir, I do not know.

M2: Okay, there was so much talk about RTI Act. Has it helped in any way?
Me: Yes Sir, its a very good Act. It has helped in bringing transparency and fixing accountability in the
administration.

M2: Can you tell me how exactly it has helped?


Me: For example, it has helped in speeding up the development projects.

M2: (Raising his voice a bit) How can it speed up the development projects?
Me: Sir, when some development projects had been sanctioned and were not being taken, people
have filed RTI applications, asking for the information regarding status of the project. Officials started
realizing that they are accountable to the people, and it really has speeded up the projects.

M2: Is there any time limit to give the information?


Me: Yes sir, its 30 days.

M2: What if he doen't provide the information?


Me: Then appeal can be filed to the information commissioner.

M2: Do you know about CIC and SIC?


Me: Yes Sir, Central Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioner.

M2: So, does the SIC functions below the CIC?


Me: I'm not sure Sir.
( Points to the next member to ask questions. For him, I had to keep my head turned to 70 -80
degrees, now on my right.)

M3: Do you know about Comptroller and Auditor General ?


Me: Yes Sir.

M3: What does he do?


Me: Sir, his function is to ensure that all the expenditure done by the government is as per the law, no
diversion is made.

158
M3: What about diversion?
Me: Sir, if any diversion is made, expenditure is not according to the law, then he includes it in the
report.

M3: To whom he gives the report?


Me: Sir, report is submitted to the parliament.

M3: Why was Union Public Service Commission provided for in the Constitution itself ? What does it
do?
Me: Sir, it recruits personnel for the administration.

M3: But that could have been done by it being under executive itself. What was the need for it to be
made autonomous, an independent body?
Me: Sir, it also gives reports and suggestions to the Parliament to enhance efficiency of the
administrative machinery. (Didnt handle this question well.)

M3: Have you heard of Srikrishna report?


Me: (Tried to recall but cudn't) Sir, I'm not able to recall.

M3: Okay, tell me what is your opinion about legalisation of prostitution.


Me: Sir, I think it should not be legalised.

M3: Why so?


Me: Sir, its not in consonant with Indian social values.

M3: But many social activists are demanding for its legalisation. Prostitutes are harassed. Their rights
are not protected.
Me: Sir, that can be done if some changes in present laws are made. At present, they are treated as
criminals. They should be treated as victims and we should try to prevent human trafficking in this
area.

M3: Under what act this is done?


Me: Sir, under Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.
(Looks towards K K Paul. He asks the fourth member to ask questions.)

M4: You have been to Singapore?


Me: Yes Sir.

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M4: What for?
Me: Sir, to present a technical paper in a conference. It was based on my BTech project, as a part of
curriculum at IIT Kharagpur.

M4: So, what did you like most about Singapore?


Me: Sir, attitude of people there, that was very cordial.

M4: Do you know how big is Singapore?


Me: Sir, its a city state. I do not know the exact area.

M4: How much is the population?


Me: Sir, its around 4 million.

M4: Its a developed country, isn't it?


Me: Yes Sir, it is a developed country.

M4: Do you know at what rate it is growing?


Me: Sir, I do not know the exact rate.

M4: Okay tell me, its more than India's or less?


Me: Sir, I think its less than India's rate of growth. Its base is high, per capita income is high, so it
cannot be 8-9%.

M4: Are you sure?


Me: No sir, I'm not sure.

M4: Okay, tell me why is it so developed?


Me: Sir its a small city state, small population. Its economy has been able to take care of everybody.

M4: But it doesn't have resources too.


Me: Sir, it has framed liberal laws, has attracted foreign companies to set up offices here. Its a financial
hub. Also, it has been able to tap full potential of tourism.

M4: (Not convinced.) Cant we develop like that?


Me: Sir, we can but that will take time. We have a large population.

M4: Okay, cant we develop some small place, say a district in Kerala, like Singapore?
Me: Sir, we can, if we make a different set of laws for that place. But that will create disparity. We do

160
not want that kind of development.

M4: What kind of political system is there? Is democracy there in Singapore?


Me: Yes Sir. Democracy is there in Singapore.

M4: What is the difference between India's democracy and Singapore's democracy?
Me: I'm sorry Sir. I do not know.

M4: Okay, you have done electrical engg. Tell me about the situation of India's power sector.
Me: Sir, demand for power is increasing at a fast pace, because of economic growth. But power
generation has lagged behind.

M4: (Interrupts) From what sources we generate power?


Me: Sir, majority of power comes from thermal, around 60%. Then, around 30% comes from hydel. 67% from wind energy and a small chunk of around 3% from muclear.

M4: It is said that we have a large potential of hydel power. Why haven't we tapped that?
Me: Sir, because of problems associated with hydel projects like displacement of people. Also, most of
potential lies in North-East. We havent been able to tap that.

M4: Which power is cheaper?


Me: Sir, it depends. Hydel will be cheaper if its a multipupose project, used for irrigation etc. Thermal
will be cheaper if coal is sourced from a nearby mine. Sir, per unit cost actually varies a lot.

M4: Okay, more about power sector.


Me: Sir, our transmission and distribution losses are very high.

M4: How much is the transmission loss?


Me: Sir, its around 15%.

M4: 15 only??
Me: Sir, only transmission loss is 15%. If we take total losses i.e aggregate technical and commercial
losses, it goes above 40%.

M4: So, we lose half our power that way?


Me: Yes Sir.

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M4: Why so?
Me: Sir, our focus has always been on more and more generation. Transmission and distribution
sector have been neglected.

M4: What should be done? As an administrator what will you do?


Me: Sir, to reduce T&D losses, we have to invest in this sector. Transformers and lines need to be
replaced or upgraded. Then we have to prevent theft also. Installing digital meters is good step in that
direction.

M4: What is your view about privatisation of distribution?


Me: Sir, thats a good step.

M4: They will take care that there is no theft. Isn't it?
Me: Yes sir, that is true. But we (like I'm in the government already) need to ensure that consumers
get electricity at the right prices.
M4 looks towards K K Paul.

KKP: Your interview is over. You can go now.


Me: Thank you, Sir.
Thank you Ma'am.
Made an exit thinking why they are sending me back so early. Didn't realize that 30 minutes had
passed by that time.
Now keeping fingers crossed for the final results.

162

First Day ,First Show !!! : Abhishek Mishra


On 17th march the civil services (main) 2007 result came out.I was surfing the net when a friend of
mine informed me about the results.I thought that as usual the Union Public Service Commission
website would not open as is the case usually once results are announced.But to my surprise it opened
and very soon i found myself going through the list of roll numbers and was elated to find my roll
number(after having twice missed the interview bus).But the joy soon turned into horror when on
19th afternoon i got a speedpost from Union Public Service Commission informing me that my
interview was on 31st march at 9 am ,i.e., first day first show.Panic set in and i prepared myself for
running against time.Some suggested be your natural self ,and some others told me to fake it ,leaving
me totally confused.Then there were mock(ing) interviews which were useful as well as
counterproductive.In fact ,my confidence took a nosedive on 27th after a late night mock session.Next
day i met Ravindran Sir(vajiram) and his words boosted my confidence.On 29th ,i went for my final
mock at Chanakya which went off well.
On 31st i got up at 6 am (very early by my sleeping standards)and by 8:20 i was on my way to Dholpur
House.I reached the Union Public Service Commission main gate at 8:45 am and found a crowd of
fellow 'sufferers' impeccably dressed and in high spirits. I met Sudhir(orissa),Pushkar(CISF,Bi
har),Rohit(BSF) and few others and we asked each other about the number of attempts and
optionals.A sense of camaraderie develops when you have the same optionals and more so if you have
made the same number of attempts.There were lot of third attempt 'veterans' ,so i felt at home.At 9
am sharp we were allowed inside the hallowed portals.After signing the register we were asked to
wait in a big hall.There were 7 round tables,everybody had been alloted a particular round table. In my
group, there were Harkamal(Chandigarh),Aastha(JN U,Patna),myself and Lalit Kumar(Delhi).Since of
the four i was the first one to arrive ,i assumed(wrongly)that there were three guys and one girl in our
group.But Harkamal turned out to be female(later on i told her about my misperception and we
shared a laugh).Very soon i was joined by the other three candidates and we started talking ,sharing
our fears and apprehensions and about various national and international issues which had the
potential of troubling us if asked by the Interview Board.We were served tea and biscuits and i
thought that having tea outside would be a good defence if panel offers me tea inside as i could
always say that "Sir/Madam i have just had tea outside".Soon after we came to know that we were in
Ms Parveen Talha's board and felt relieved as the adjacent board was of Prof.D.P.Agarwal. Anyway i
was scheduled to go third after Harkamal and Aastha.
I was called at 12:30 pm and was asked to wait outside.Just as i was waiting for the bell to ring (at
which point i had to go inside),instead the door opened and two
people came out of the room,the staff outside told me that they were Board members and were
taking a toilet break.Soon after the 'bell tolled' for me and i opened the door and went inside.As soon
as i entered Chairperson(Madam Parveen Talha)was reading my name, i wished her good afternoon
and also wished other members(all male,M1 M2 M3 M4).
Madam: Abhishek ,have you lived in Mahoba (my hometown) ?
Me: Maam ,I was born there but have since lived in Northeast.
Madam: Ok ,but do you know what Mahoba is famous for ? (after a pause she answered herself)Paan
,have u seen paan growing ?
Me: Maam , I have not seen paan growing in Mahoba but i have seen it growing in my home in
Itanagar,sorry Tezu where my dad was posted .

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Madam:Have u eaten paan ?


Me: Yes maam ,i have eaten raw paan.
Madam o you know what all is put inside a paan ?
Me: (I had no clue how shud i say katha ,chuna etc)I m sorry maam ,i m not very sure.
Madam:fine,do u know what is facebook ?what can we do in it ?
Me: Maam,facebook is a social networking site ,used to make new friends,write about one's likes
,dislikes etc.Though orkut is more popular in India.
Madam:Since you have lived in northeast ,what do you think is the problem there?
Me:Maam,northeast is somewhat cut-off from rest of India and the pace of development has suffered
on that count as compared to rest of India.
Madam:what can be done about it ?
Me: Maam,we should try for emotional integration of northeast with rest of India by making them feel
cared for and looked after.People of northeast should be involved in development planning for
northeast.
Madam

pointed to next member)Aap poonchiye

M1:Which newspaper do u read regularly and why ?


Me:Sir, I read 'The Hindu' regularly and i like it because it gives due respect to its readers and i have
written letters to it and have got them published.
M1 o you read editorials ,what is the difference between editorial and rest of the newspaper ?
Me: Sir,i have been reading editorials regularly but for the last few days i have not gone through
it.Editorial contains the views of the newspaper on any particular issue and rest of the newspaper
contains news about various events.
M1:Have u played cricket(my hobby) and at what level?
Me:Sir,I have played the game but not at a competitive level and yes I do follow the game.
M1:Why the test match was drawn yesterday(Chennai Test,Sehwag's 319)?
Me: Sir,the pitch was very docile,the batsmen dominated completely and so there was no result.
M1:What about the other two test matches,what is going to happen ,do u know where the matches
will be played ?
Me:I am not sure sir.
M1:Well the next two matches are going to be hosted at Ahmedabad and Kanpur.what will happen
there?
Me:sir,kanpur is again known for its docile wicket so there may not be a result there ,but at
ahmedabad there may be turn for the spinners and result may be possible.

164

M1:Sachin has got injured and selection committee has recalled Kaif ,do u support it ?
Me

was totally unaware of kaif's recall)Sir,sachin is an irreplaceable kind of player.

M2 cuts me angrily)you mean to say he should be played even if he is injured?


Me: No sir,if he is injured he should not be played.

M1:What about Kaif ?


Me: sir,Kaif is a very good player in his own right and if he has been included in the team he should be
played.

M1

k (gestures to next member)

M2:You are from a technical background,can u tell me that with the rapid advancement in information
technology and also in biotechnology ,what are the ethical issues that have cropped up ?(question was
very vague)
Me:Sir,can u please clarify

M2 again said something about IT,Biotech and ethics,made me still more confused)
Me:Sir,due to IT revolution,there is lot of information being exchanged on the internet and there are
e-crimes (at this point he cut me off and told that no you are not understanding the question i m
specifically asking about the ethical issues)
Me:Sir,there are some websites which are putting up false propaganda on the internet which they
may feel is right but may be offensive to others(M2 nods)so there is a question of ethics involved
there.And Sir,in case of bio-tech there is the issue of cloning.while reproductive cloning is
unethical,therapeutic cloning is ethical.

M2:Is there consensus on therapeutic cloning?


Me:Sir,consensus is emerging on the issue.Even Indian govt. allows therapeutic cloning.

M2:should therapeutic cloning be used to create humans?


Me:No sir,it should be used only for creating organs.

M2

gestures to next member)

M3:You have talked about northeast problem ,and about emotional integration,how will you do it ?
Me:Sir,the people of northeast will have to be made stakeholders in development process.Planning
should not be done at the centre ,but at the grassroots and based on the needs of the people.

165
M3:Northeast is disaster prone area ,how u will use technology to solve the problems?
Me:Sir,i will make use of GIS to map out disaster prone areas and create awareness among the people
living in those areas about the steps they should take if disaster strikes and use networking to take
help of central agencies.I will do all this to mitigate impact of disaster.

M3

gestures to next member)

M4:Mr.Mishra since u have done your engineering from Jorhat ,can u tell me the name of two famous
saints of Assam ?
Me:Sir,Sri Sankar Dev and second i m not sure but may be his disciple Sri Madhab Dev.

M4:good.You have been talking about alienation in northeast but i do not think so,students of
northeast are studying in Bangalore ,Delhi and other places ,so there is no alienation.
Me: Yes sir ,but there is a sense of alienation among the people of northeast.

M4:No,the insurgency problem is because of Bangladesh's support,top leadership of ULFA is operating


from there.
Me:Yes sir,these factors are also there,illegal migration from B'desh has created social disharmony.

M4:The govt. is hand in glove with the insurgents,there is no alienation ,all is being done for
money,dont u know about Sibsagar Supt.of Police from whose house two militants were caught?
Me:sir ,one or two stray incidents should not make us think that .We should try to remove the root
cause of the problem.

M4:You are taking a soft stand (and he continued with his tirade against the system,i tried my best to
remain normal and smiling)(At this point Madam said"next question please",to which he said no more
questions)
Madam smilingly)Ok Abhishek,now do you have any question ?
Me:No,Thank you Maam.

Madam:Ok,but let me tell you about what all goes inside a paan .See first of all a paste of 'kattha'
,then some 'chunaa',then 'supari' and if the person so desires some tobacco .(smilingly)And when you
go outside,you eat a paan .You can go now.
Me:Thank you maam,thank you sirs.
I came out of the room in a positive frame of mind.Now i dont know whether it was good or bad ,but
the experience was great and madam was very cordial.Now hoping for a positive outcome ...

166

First day, frst show !!! : Sadayappan


My friend Sadayappan (BITS-Pilani, Dual degree - Chemistry/CompSci Engg) had his interview today.
This was his first mains, second attempt. He had worked with an IT firm for some time before taking
the exams. This is what happened inside Mr.E.Balaguruswamy's chamber today for about 40 mins, in
Sadayappan's own words.
"Chairperson:
Did you have anything outside? How was the tea?
Tell me about your district (for 1 min).
You should have got a good placement in campus? Then why did you leave the job?
What is dual degree?
Which is the by-product? Chemistry or computer science?
What are your hobbies?
1st member:
Tell me about food adulteration. How it can be controlled?
How did coco cola give different test results in the span of one week?
What are the methods done in for testing these kind of beverages?
How would you stop food adulteration as a bureaucrat?
Tell me some of the problems caused by computers.
What is impression finding? How well it is developed in India?
2nd member:
What is governance? (I had already mentioned about 'governance' in one of my earlier answers)
What is good governance?
'The government which governs the least is the best government'. Comment.
What is literacy rate in your State?
How often it is calculated?
Do you find any pattern of literacy in your district?
What is the burning issue 'today' ? (inflation)
What is the government doing today to tackle this issue ? (cabinet committee)
Tell me where who have come close to the government.
Do you know that your financial benefits (w.r.t fifth pay commission not sixth) will be less here when
compared to software job?
3rd member:
Tell me about Tanjore painting.
What was the issue of badminton and bird flu?
Which badminton event was stopped because of that?
What is your opinion about the coming up of malls?
Explain character, integrity and honesty.
4th member:
How is chemistry going to help computers?

167
Tell me about C 60 and its applications.
How computer is going to help chemistry?
If you become collector in your district which issue you would address which today's collector is not
able to solve?
How will you tackle political pressures?
Will you resign your job when you are harassed and will you go back to software sector?
Chairperson:
What Sadayappan is the interview over?
Do you have anything to ask us?
Be frank..Do you think we five (referring to the interview board) can solve any burning issues?
..thats how it ended.
Many technical questions I flunked. Overall it was cordial. The board helped me to keep myself cool."

168

My First Civils Interview : smarak


2nd April 2008. I gave my first civil service interview just two days back...i say 'first' because I am quite
optimistic that Union Public Service Commission will again make the mistake that it made this year. I
can't, in any case, say the last -because I am not one of those who give up that easy.
I
My interview was scheduled for the forenoon; i reached Union Public Service Commission well in time
before 9 AM and had a chance to meet some other candidates I knew. We were let in sharp at 9. What
I found surprising about the reception was that it was extremely cordial and student friendly. I had
expected a long line in which I would have to stand before my certificates are checked, other
formalities done etc. We were escorted into a huge circular hall in which some nine table-chair
configurations had been made. We were total thirty five in number, divided into seven boards. Mine
was the seventh board. We were seated into seven of the table-chair configurations as per our board.
Though the ambience was good, the atmosphere was tense. I got to meet other four of my boardmates and had a healthy chat. That partly reduced the tension. Part of the tension was reduced by the
presence of a cool chick in the sixth board. Unlike the other girls, her dressing sense was cool (all girls
had come in saris -something I think was dumb; a salwar could have been as suitable but more
comfortable for the situation). She had, it seems, invested heavily on a beauty parlour and looked
exceedingly gorgeous. Seriously, I rarely find girls look so yexy in sari.
I did, of course, decide not to hit on her... but what occurred to me was that she may get some 20-30
marks more than we guys just by her looks. Lucky her! Old men, though low on libido, appreciate
beauty as much as we guys do. (You may find my views on this pretty irrational, but many others will
agree)
Soon, the call for first candidates to appear before the boards came. It turned out that the chick-insari's board would be chaired by Miss. Parveen Tahla (he he he!). But my pleasure didn't last long.
Board 7, that is mine, was to be chaired by D.P. Agarwal.
DP! DP? DPPPppp... The dreaded ganglord from IIT Delhi with supposedly cannibal instincts. That DP?
His name brought back to my mind flashback of cruel times... of those days in laboratories of
department of electrical engineering, IIT Kharagpur -instrumentation lab, high voltage lab, power engg
lab et al -when I was subjected to third grade torture by a panel of ruthless professors. The memory of
such sends a shock down my spine till date. In deed, these aren't memories but nightmares (ok a little
exaggerated) that came back to my mind then. Is DP Agarwal like them? I could have consoled myself
with the false reasoning that IIT Delhi is a better, more humane place than IIT Kgp. Unfortunately,
deeds of DP have already reached far and wide. According to legends, he asks only factual questions,
wants only objective answers, conducts stress interviews, can grill you on any point you have made,
can ask you out of the room in the middle of an interview...and the list continues.
II
DP was unusually cool. Cool doesn't mean he was happy or cheerful etc. He was just neutral in

169
expressions and didn't seem to be ready to pounce upon me. His room was smaller than I had
expected it to be, due to which the other four members were sitting very close to me. DP was sitting
right in front of me at the other end of the table. To my left was sitting a lady at very close distance.
Henceforth, lets call her lady because she deserves the title. By her side and to DP's right was sitting
(rather sleeping over the table) a gentleman who looked like PV Narasimha Rao but slept like HD Deve
Gowda. Lets call him PV Deve Gowda. To my right was a smart, chill looking gentleman in his early
fifties. He was smiling mysteriously, the way P. Chidambaram used to before presenting his budgets.
Lets call him Chidumbaram. By his side and to DP's left was sitting a South Indian gentleman who
spoke not so clearly (in fact the chairman had to translate his words and communicate to me more
than once) but nevertheless a kind, pleasant guy. Lets call him Speaking Dravid.
I found DP's strategy of taking interview very maverick. He didn't seem to look at my biodata... nor did
he ask any of the traditional questions.
"So your name is Smarak Swain. What does Swain mean?"
"It is an Oriya title sir"
"Its a very popular oriya title" the lady observed "What does Smarak mean?"
"Ma'am it means a memorial"
"But you know, your title is very similar to an english word...have you heard of something spelling SW-I-N..." DP observed. Before he could complete, I said "S-W-I-N-E sir. It is a slang for pig"
"You know, this may create problems..." DP observed. I was looking at him right in the eyes and it was
he who wasn't maintaining the eye contact. I was playing offensive.
"DP if u r really interested, then listen. There is a school of thought that believes that my name is an
insult to pigs. Usually the good-for-nothing animal lovers have this view. Another school of thought
pertains to the fact that I am not so bad as to be called a pig. There is still a third school of thought
members of which call me just smarak" I did NOT say this. I simply looked attentively at him and he
dropped the issue.
"So, when did you decide to come for the services?"
"In my final year sir"
"What are you doing?"
"Sir I worked in Tata Steel for a year. I left it last year and am preparing solely for civils"
"Why?"
"I didn't get much time for studies plus I wanted to come to Delhi"
"Why Delhi"
"I could get better interaction with other students, library facilities and coaching"
"What coaching did you join?"
"Ramaswamy for Sociology and Vajiram for current affairs"
(Actually I didn't get much time for doing the full course in Vajiram, so somehow managed to get into
the current affairs that was meant only for ex-students)
"Since you want to do civils, you must be having an idea about the hierarchy of it. Brief me on any one
department's hierarchy"
I hadn't prepared this. But I had read Kishan Rana's Inside Diplomacy and so had good idea of foreign
ministry.
"Sir I can tell you about the hierarchy of foreign ministry" I said.

170
"Is that your first preference?"
"Yes sir"
"Ok. Go on"
I tell him about FSI, then first foreign posting as third secretary, learning new languages etc. He
doesn't seem to be interested and passes on to the lady.
"Which language would you want to learn if given a choice" she asked
"Ma'am I would prefer Spanish"
"Why?"
"It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world"
"Do you know Spanish? Anything about it?"
"Ma'am, I just know senor and senorita...nothing much"
"DO you find it a beautiful language?"
"Is it a sweet language?"
"Have you read any Spanish novel? Or seen Spanish movies?"
(I have read Paulo Coelho -who hasn't? -but that doesn't strike me. I mumble something about the
movie Spanglish...
"Any Spanish painter or musician you know?"
(I couldn't say Picasso bcoz I got no idea of what kind of painting he drew...in deed i didn't know if he
was spanish)
"Ma'am, I want to learn Spanish bcoz of the flexibility in posting it will give me; bcoz of the exotic
carnival I could participate in; bcoz of the Havana cigars I fantasize myself smoking after cheating on a
latin girl. What do you mean by sweet language? Is there any bitter language also? It is just a way to
communicate" I did NOT say this.
"Do you know which is Spain's capital?"
"Madrid ma'am"
"Is Spanish only followed in Latin America?"
I tell her about Portuguese in Brazil. I forget to mention that Hindustani is followed in Suriname and
Guyana...that would have been a plus...
Then she asks me about SAARC. I tell her all that I knew about SAARC, though see didn't seem to find
what she wanted. As she was a real lady, she wanted to give me a chance. She asked me what all
countries India shares boundary with. I tell all the names, including Afghanistan theoretically.
"Does Afghanistan share a boundary with India?"
"It has a boundary with a part of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistani occupation"
Here I was trying to direct the interview into Paki, kashmir issue. But the panelists were too damn
smart. She asked me some other things before passing on to the chairman.
DP: What will be your responsibilities once you become an Indian Foreign Service officer?
"Sir, in the country that I am posted I will look into bilateral relations, better people-to-people contact,
cultural diplomacy, see the market prospects for Indian industries in the said country, do research and
analysis of economic and strategic relations..."
Before I could finish, DP asked "How will you do research and analysis?"
"Sir, I will collect data from various sources...like ASSOCHAM...they must be having such a body in
their country, then there is the economic survey and statistical reports. In cases where data is not
available, I will employ market analysts to get me the data"

171

Now guys, I didn't say as fluently as you may feel. The problem in the board room was that it was
extremely difficult to form sentences. Secondly, I was surprised that no one was asking questions like:
'why do you want to do civils?', 'why civils after engg?', 'don't you think we will be losing a power
engineer' stuff on which I had invested lots of my limited literary talentin past few days -stuff that I
had mugged by heart and prepared in front of a mirror. What the pock is happening???
"Can you give any specific example of how you will increase trade between India and any south
American country? Answer only if you know something concrete" DP says
"I ain't doing no course in international trade ..." I did NOT say this
"Sorry Sir, I don't know". This is what I said.
Then he passes on to Speaking Dravid. Speaking Dravid asks me many questions in one go.
"When was UN formed? In what conditions? What is its organization?" and some more questions I
don't remember.
"Ach Cho0l, this is a personality test. Why are you asking me questions that I was very good at
answering when I was in school?" I did NOT say this.
I explain him some stuff about UN but am unable to say anything about the UN Charter. He then asks
me about the trusteeship council and its function. At times, DP had to interfere and repeat his
questions because he wasn't clear. Then he asked me about criminology (sociological theories
etc)...then about clemency. I tell him about President's power to pardon etc. Though my answer isn't
structured, nor am I fluent, he doesn't mind.
Then I am passed on to Chidumbaram. He is a smart fellow and knows a lot.
Chidu: "Recently there has been a debate between social justice ministry and supreme court. SC says
that if a father is non-Dalit and mother Dalit, son can't be. But Social Justice ministry says he can be.
Considering yourself a member of social justice ministry, give your arguments"
The news had come just a day back. Even though I hadn't thought over it, I managed to say a few
points about patriarchal families, about manusmriti etc.
He gets excited about Manusmriti and asks me about the type of marriages -anuloma, pratiloma etc mentioned in there. I give satisfactory replies but he starts an argument on whether hypergamy is
allowed between sub-castes within a caste or between castes. My stand point was that it is allowed
only between sub-castes -if a Brahmin marries a Shudra, the child is a Chandal. He becomes insistent
and I finally give up...
He then asks about matriarchal families etc...I give satisfactory answer.
PV Deve Gowda wasn't really in a mood to talk when DP encouraged him to do so. He looked at me
with dreamy eyes as if accusing me of forcing him to ask questions.
"Let me ask some questions on some different topic" he said slowly "Do you know Vikram Sarabhai"
"Sir, he was a pioneer in space research in India" I say. I know nothing more about him. He keeps
looking at me (or may be lost!) with out giving a response. Sensing that I may have to say something
more, I say "he was a founding member of ISRO"
After an instant he asks me "Who was Homi Jehangir Bhabha?"
"He was a pioneer of atomic research in India"

172
"Damn you! Why ask me such dumb questions I can't answer in more than one lines?" I did NOT say
that.
"Please name me some sources of power?"
Am I a kid? Or do I look like the dumbest graduate in electrical engineering? A Professor at Kharagpur
had once asked me "What's the difference between choke and starter in tube light?" Everyone in the
lab had laughed at him for this but as it turned out, he was smart. I couldn't tell him the difference. At
that time he had called me the dumbest of electrical under-grads...anyways, this question was too
simple for the son of one of the few power plant commissioning specialists in India. I started off and
listed the various sources.
Then he asked me questions like "Which is the cheapest source of power?" "What is multipurpose
project?" "Why is india power deficient if we have so much potential?" etc. I give quite satisfactory
answers but nothing extra-ordinary. PV Deve Gowda falls back to his sleepy posture. Getting the cue,
DP started off again.
"There are some people who believe Delhi Metro isn't the best option for Indian cities. What are your
views?"
I start with some broken sentences and give some arbitrary answers. Not satisfied, he says "Now-adays many IIT professors are complaining about Metro. One of them gives a new statement to the
press daily. I guess being from IIT yourself, you must be aware of the technicality"
I knew nothing about it...so I pass on. The lady member tries to give some hints by talking about the
metro loudly with Deve Gowda (who I am sure didn't care, even though I was maintaining eye contact
with DP).
"How will you go from Cuttack to the western Ghats?" DP asks.
"Sir, I will take a train to Mumbai and hire a jeep from there"
DP looks perplexed at my answer.
"Can you name some places on western ghats"
Guys, its ok if you think me dumb...I just blacked out. Not even a single name came to my mind.
"Sorry sir. I am unable to recall"
"You don't have to. Just visualize the map of India"
"Visualize a pocking map while five pairs of hungry eyes ogle at me? How do you think that's possible
DP?" I did NOT say this. I simply stayed quiet, trying to visualize the map of India which sometimes
looked round, sometimes like a square etc.
"OK. Thank you. Your interview is over"
When I was about to heave a sigh of relief, Chidumbaram requested DP to let him ask me some
questions. DP complied.
Chidu: India has a national emblem. Do you know?
I can't remember the word 'ashoka stambha'. So I say "there is a pillar in Sarnath constructed by King
Ashoka. The structure atop that is our emblem"
Chidu: India also has a national animal. Do you know that?
I: Sir, royal bengal tiger
CHidu: Is it royal bengal tiger or only tiger?
I: "I am not sure sir" I say, smiling.

173
(I said this because my strategy was to remain on the safe side and not to say any answer wrong)
Chidu: India also has a national bird. DO you know?
I: Peacock sir
Then he lets me off the hook. The chairman thanks me etc. 35 minutes all in all
III

While leaving Union Public Service Commission, my assessment was that if not very good, my
interview was 'above average'. Then I came back to my room, had my lunch etc. After seeing a movie
in my room, I went off to Siri Fort Auditorium for the last movie of Chinese FIlm festival. While on my
way, all those silly questions I couldn't answer came back to my mind. I concluded that my interview
went just 'average'. Average score, according to people, is 150 and that is what I should expect.
After seeing the chinese movie, I was coming back when something suddenly dawned on me. Why did
Chidumbaram ask me those silly questions in the end? It could be only because he considered me silly.
My appraisal of my performance fell down to 'below average'.
The next day i.e. yesterday, I had gone for my medical check. I got a chance to interact with others
who had given the interview. Everyone agreed that 'average' for DP is 130. And I am 'below average'.
So now you know why I have called this topic My First Civils Interview.

174

My Life's First Interview(Civil Services' Interview) : Abhijeet Agrawal


My interview was on 5th of April, morning session
I was the fourth candidate to be interviewed by K.K.Paul Board.....First candidate was my junior from
IITK ....second was an engineer from NIT Trichy(also my friend) and third was a lady from Bombay
(already selected in group B services)... fifth Candidate to be interviewed, was a lady from Rajasthan...
My profile:
Abhijeet Agrawal
Home state: Jharkhand
B.Tech in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 2005
Optionals: Physics and Chemistry
2nd Attempt (missed the interview call last time by a few marks)
Hobby: Cooking
Post held: Mess Secretary at IIT Kanpur
Now Lets start the interview
K.K Paul: What is your Roll No.?
K.K Paul: What is your date of Birth?
K.K Paul: What is Buckminster?
--- Is it a molecule or allotrope of carbon?
K.K Paul: What is Fullerene?
What are its uses?
K.K Paul: What are conducting Polymers ?
---- I replied Sorry Sir I don't know then He said You must be knowing
this as you are a material science Engineer"
K.K Paul: What you have been doing since two and half year after your graduation
(Well ,the same question was also asked from my engineering friends who
were in the same board on that session )
K.K Paul: How did you developed cooking as your Hobby

Passed on to Member1 (Lady Member)


Member1: What do you understand by the term Gender Disparity"
Member1: What is the level of Male and Female literacy rate of Jharkhand?

175
Member1: What do you understand by Adverse Sex Ratio"
Member1: Is female infanticide a Crime?
Member1: are there any law regarding Female infanticide and female feticide
Member1: What do you mean by communally sensitive areas and as a DM how will
you handle such areas
Member1: What you generally cook...What is your favourite dish...
Member1: As the mess secretary whose interest you will protect: the person who are
making food or the person who are eating the food..( I said that I will try
to protect the interest of both of Them)
Member1: and if there is a clash of interest then?
-----Member2: Right from district to State to the centre, how will you remove corruption from the system
and what steps have already been taken.
Member2: Which agency tackles with the charges of corruption?
Member2: What are the constitutional provisions for S.T.s and S.C.s
Member2: Is there any right to prevent the atrocities of S.T.s and S.C.s
Member2: Do you know about Administrative reforms Commission?
Member2: Have you gone through any of the report of Second ARC
( I said No Sir)
Member2: What do you know about Sachhar Committee?
----------Member3: Who chairs Rajya Sabha?
Member3: How the Vice President is Elected?
Member3: What is our national bird
Member3: Who wrote My Experiments with Truth
Member3: Who wrote Good Earth

176
Member3: Can I ask you something from Chemistry ( I said with confidence yes Sir)

Then he asked me What is Avogadros principle


I said sir can I make a guess he said No.
Member3: What are the constitutional rights of arrested persons
Member3: Do you know about Sri Krishna Commission.
Member3: What are the laws to protect the Environment?
Member3: What are the functions of U.G.C?
---------Member4: It is said that India is a good and vibrant democracy so you tell me that apart
from India which other democracies in the world are good and vibrant?
Member4: What is the Difference between Indian Democracy and U.S. Democracy
Member4: Which one would be more suitable for India (Parliamentary form or
Presidential form of government)
Member4: Do you know Obama and Mccain
Member4: Who is Hillary Clinton?

177

My Civil Services Interview) : Gangadhar


my interview (full version)
my interview was on 8th.
i got tripathi madams board.i knew this will be her first time experience of interviewing for Indian
Administrative Service before this she has take
for Indian Foreign Service.
i had no idea about this board but knew that its very cordial.
introduction...
optionals ; commerce and economics
qual ; b.com
hobbies ; cycling, body building, volleyball
preference ; Indian Police Service,Indian Administrative Service,Indian Revenue Service,Indian Foreign
Service =0
begining.....
as soon as i entered madam and all panel member addressed me and permitted me to sit with a
charming smile, i was really
happy to see the mood.
madam : what do ur freinds call u.
me:ganga and sometimes gangadhar also
madam:tell me ur roll no and date of birth
me:025507 and 9th march 1985
madam:why have u given Indian Police Service as ur first option.
me

i knew this question will be there, i answered straight away.)

1st member:u does not look like going for body building, todays body building is more about 6 packs
and all is not it...
they laughed.(i also smiled)
me; i think body building is not only about muscel building its more about mental and physical fitness.
Q: do u go for jogging
me: sir i do cycling
Q: do u know there is one champ called ntini who runs for 10 km.how many hours u do cyclin
me

ne hour on regular basis and also use it as means of transport, rather than bike of car.

Q:how will u use ur knowledge of commerce and economics in civil services?

178
me:i said sir, whatever knowledge i have gained is only by reading books within four walls so my
exposure to practical life
is very far.with my understanding i can use commerce for dealing with funds and i also said about my
plans of using
economics in policing and policing through economics...
Q:stop.. stop.. what is that idea of economics in policing.
me:i explained it
Q:are we following the system of accrual or cash management
me:i said accrual
Q:accraul!
me:no.. no.. cash management
Q:yes.. tel me what will be problem if we follow accrual system
me:i said, probably the problem of recognition and tracing.
Q:have u given a thought to it
me:yes,, but i could find only this reason
2 member
Q:tel me what is preamble of india;
me:i was fumbling democratic, socialis, secular and
Q:he interupted and said is not india that is bharat..
me:yes... but sir dont remember exactly
Q:what is the difference between bharat and india
me:bharat is orginated from our country and emotionally close to us.. i think this is the reson
Q:tel me the meaning of secular and socialist
me:i answered
Q:tel me which part of directive principle u like
me:i said about gandhian philosphy
Q:tel me about fundamental duties and name some of them
me:i mentioned about 4 of them and said cannot recall..
3 member

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Q: what would u sugest for indias development, agriculture or induatrialisation
me:i said mix of it
Q:what do u feel about bringing common petroleum pricing
me:i answered in vague terms
4th member
Q:tel me is there any noble prize for economics
me:yes sir 1967
Q:who has won from india
me:amartya sen 1997
Q:tel me about amartya sen
me:i told about p index and his writing on bengal famine
Q:name any four economist from india
me:bhagwati, amartya sen, our prime minister, y v reddy and .....
Q:who is y v reddy..
me:rbi governor
Q:do u know samuleson
me:is he an economist
Q:i dont know u must tell me
me:i know only one samuleson who plays for west indies cricket team..
Q:everyone laughed...
me:i also joined
Q:tel me another economist name..
me:a...... ... cant recall
Q:do u know about means and ends chain, tell me about that and what was gandhijis view on that
me:i knew it very well and was able to answer calmly
Q:do u know brahmananda..
me:sir i dont know
Q:he is an economist from kanataka, u check it on google
me:i said certainly
madam

180

Q:tel me about capitalism


me: i answered it comfortably
Q:what do u mean about decentralisation
me:i answered it.
madam: ok thank u very much.
madam: ok thank u very much.
my response: the board was very co operative, the vibes given by them were worth appreciating.they
kept smiling without
giving any stress.even when i was fumbling the gave me time to rethink.throught the interview
madam was smiling and everyone
else was cordial.i wish everyone get such kind of environment where the candidate is able to
communicate what he feels.
wish u all very best.
Courtesy: Gangadhar Patil

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The second Union Public Service Commission interview


Same city. Same place. Same time of the day. Separated by a year.
Exactly a year after my first Union Public Service Commission interview, I was standing again in front of
Dholpur house. A host of other aspirants, in smart formals and charming sarees, were roaming around
in front of the front gate. Many were reading newspapers, a few deep in discussions, almost all tense,
and those not tense trying real hard to suppress their anxiety. The date was 28th of March 2009.
Nothing had changed. It is fondly said that nothing changes in the bureaucracy, and being the cradle to
the bureaucracy Union Public Service Commission is least expected to change. Well then, something
has changed about me since my first interview (click here). Due to sheer luck I managed to get an
interview call in my very first attempt, and the interview board was generous enough to give me 210.
It all seemed to happen by a master strategy to some benevolent divine being, considering the fact
that none other than Prof. DP Agrawal had presided over my board last year.
As a result of the multiple twists of fate today I am in the Indian Revenue Service, and confused as
usual. I didn't have any specific hunger, or zeal to strive for a good performance this year. Am not
desperate to get into the Indian Administrative Service. This had brought in me the nothing to lose airs
in me. Yes, this year the interview happened in a much different than it was last year. I was cool, free
of anxiety, and confident: in deed slightly reckless. This time around my primary motivation of giving
an interview was to have the experience... to feel the thrill of being interviewed by an Union Public
Service Commission panel. I was there to enjoy every moment of it.

****

I got Mr. Nirbhay Sharma's board. I wasn't especially pleased about it. I was hoping to get
Purushottam Agrawal or Parveen Tahla who are known to take stress interviews, or Prof.
Balaguruswamy who makes you do some weird activities (and gives a chocolate as consolation in case
he decides to give you 75 out of 300). You see, I was searching for excitement. Anyways, a retired
lieutenant-general from the indian army will be no less fun. So with an AK-47 in hand, I was fully
prepared to dash in and shoot all board members down.
Well, that may be an exaggeration. I walked in with style and poise, as a class 1 gazetted officer is
expected to do. I had a confident gait, and had put on a bold attire. I was in my best suit, a slimfit reid
& taylor black made specially for me, and a cool red tie to contrast over my white shirt. To speak in
brief, I was nirbhay (meaning fearless) when I walked in.
"Why have you come in a suit in this heat?" that was the first question Nirbhay Sharma asked me.
"Because sir, I feel good when I look smart"
Oops! Did I cross the line in the very first minute of mu interview? All other board members laughed
out at this, but Nirbhay boss didn't seem to be impressed. May be he saw through my act and
understood that I had anticipated the question and had come prepared.

182

After this the interview went on predictable lines. I was grilled on many issues. Most questions were
opinion based, and the panel members touched on wide-ranging issues ranging from India's Myanmar
policy to underdevelopment in Kalahandi. I would like to narrate one googly thrown at me that I
couldn't defend against. To the question why Indian Administrative Service over other services, I said
that it is because of the kind of managerial responsibility one gets at a very young age that motivates
to go for it. A DM heads some 40-50 departments in a district and gets to experience lot of diversity
(and this wasn't untrue. My first preference last year was Indian Foreign Service and I had changed
over to Indian Administrative Service this year as much because of convictions as because of parents'
preferences).
Nirbhay sir is a smart man. Immediately he catches the word 'young age' and asks me: "Giving so much
responsibility to a young man is akin to giving lots of power also. Don't you think a person with much
experience, expertise, and specializations will do better in the role?"
This was the googly. And this is where I flunked. Promptly and fluently I replied "Sir, a young person is
full of energy. The kind of creative and innovative solutions he can bring in an older person can not.
The youth have greater power of lateral thinking. Besides, it has been seen that the scope of
entrepreneurship and taking initiatives is always greater in people of younger age group"
It is only after I end this passionate speech that I realize all the members in the board were old.
Nirbhay sir seemed to be the youngest of them all, having just retired from the army. All others
seemed to be octogenerians. The lady member looked as if she may die any moment (no dissrespect
intended, just an honest appraisal). The gentleman sitting to my right seemed to be weak in the heart,
and I feared any inflammatory remark from me may lead him to a heart attack. After having a closer
look at the interviewers I wished I had taken my words back. But like an arrow that has left the bow, I
couldn't take back my words.
Nirbhay sir felt a little piqued by my eloquent defence of the youth. But you see, he was smarter than
me. He said, "I totally agree whith whatever you said about the youth. See, there are certain problems
that are bugging me for a long time now. Being a young man -you passed out
from IIT Kharagpur in 2006 -I guess you can give me some innovative solutions"
This is where I was trapped. Now I had to perform! Show my creativity. And I failed. But failed in style.
He asked me to give an innovative solution to the Indo-Pak problem. Oof! After beating around the
bush for a long time, I accepted that I really don't have any innovative solution. After this, he looked
triumphant, and passed on to other members. I answered most of the questions posed by other panel
members. Since most of the questions were opinion based, I talked a lot (they were surprisingly good
listeners: guess some trait people pick up at old age!) and explained many things at greater details. On
issues that I had little knowledge, I said "I don't have sufficient knowledge on the issue to form an
opinion"
Questions asked

183

A few issues that I was grilled about were:

What is India's Myanmar policy? Is it right?


What all missiles have been inducted into the army?
Do you think democracy is bad for us? Why do people choose so inefficient people as members of
parliament? then I brought the issue to caste based politics, role of middle class etc
Is coalition politics good or bad for our country?
At which places seccessionist movements are taking place in India
Give a history of the Naga Movement? (I couldn't answer this)
Of what use is your engineering skills in administration? (I explained this with a situational example)
What about the grid connectivity to various parts of India?
What are the problems in Kalahandi? (the way I listed out the problems the member must have
thought that I had mugged up the whole thing, even though it was spontaneous)
What solutions do you propose for the Kalahandi problem?
Explain the root cause of communalism in Orissa... recent riots
Do you think religious conversions have to be stopped? (I say forced conversion is bad but because of
that genuine conversions can't be barred because it will violate fundamental rights)
Is conversion a fundamental right?
Tell me something about the temple in Puri (how dumb! and how dumb of me for taking a long time
to answer it)
Outsiders know Orissa for all the wrong reasons. Do you think the media is responsible for it?
Is the media always right? (here I take example of Aarushi case to highlight the psychological wound
that news reports inflict)
What should be done to restrict the media from crossing the line?
What should be done to stop tax evasion?
Should taxing income be replaced by taxing expenditure?
Was Voluntary disclosure of income scheme good? Is it good now?
Then back to Nirbhay Sharma. He asks a very interesting question: "We find that the middle class in
India is very self-centred. It is concerned only about rising above and not about larger issues. It only
pays lip service to issues of common interests. Even voters' turnout is low for the middle class. How do
you think their behaviour can be changed?"
This was a profound question involving both psychology of human and group behaviour and sociology
(incidentally both my mains subjects). I couldn't think of any answer to this. He asks me to think over it
and informs me that my interview is over.
How did my interview go?
I have been bugged an umpteen times regarding how my interview go. The point is no one can say
how his/her interview went. Only results speak. I got 210 after a bitter interview last year. Many
people landed with 75 or 80 marks after so called 'good interviews'. What they see in you, what they
infer from that, and what insights into your personality they get no one can say.

184
All that I can say for sure is that what answers you give to factual questions doesn't make a difference.
'I don't know' is perhaps the best answer when you aren't sure about the answer. Be honest about
your ignorance. Don't be ashamed of your ignorance. Your reaction to ignorance reveals a lot about
your personality. Be true to as much extent as possible; it is appreciated.
In my case, I had gone into the board with the primary aim of getting the feel. So I talked in an
uninhibited manner. I talked a lot (which may backfire... only results will tell) and had a slightly casual
body language. But I don't recommend the same for you.

185

My UPSC Interview Kashish Mittal


My Union Public Service Commission Interview
June 24, 2011 by Kashish Mittal
I was allotted Prof. Chalams (written below as CM) board for the Union Public Service Commission
Interview, in the afternoon session. There were four other members in the board (written below as
M1, M2, M3, M4, where M3 and M4 were ladies).
CM:
- Why did you opt for civil services after leaving your professional line?
- What is more important public services or improving public services?
- What was your degree all about?
- What is the difference between a mobile phone and a computer?
- What is the difference between IT and ICT?
- Which Indian invented the chip?
- Why do Indian engineers/IT professional mostly go abroad in the Silicon Valley?
- Why is India not doing well in Hardware?- What do you know about e-governance in Punjab?

M1:
- The UNSC recently passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone on Libya. What is Indias reaction to
this, and what is you say on this matter?
- Tomorrow they may do the same in Kashmir at the pretext of misgovernance, or violence by the
Govt. So is the UNSC resolution right? Or is it wrong?
- Is India only worried/concerned only because of the civilian casualties in Libya?
- Have you heard about the ongoing piracy by Somalian people?
- Even after so much military and naval power in the world, why is this Somalian piracy still continuing
as a global menace?

186

- Have you heard of a country called Myanmar?


- Why is India not concerned about democracy in Myanmar?
- Suppose you are on a train, rushing for your Union Public Service Commission interview, but you do
not have a ticket. You give the Ticket-checker some money to let you ride the train (w/o ticket). Do
you support this action? What is your say? What would you do?

M2:
- You have an interesting name. What is the meaning of your name?- What does the word Punjab
mean? What are those five rivers?
- How many Indians have won Nobel Prizes so far? How many categories are the Nobel Prizes awarded
for? What are these categories? Which Indians won in these categories?
- Why dont many Indians win Nobel Prizes? Why wasnt Mahatma Gandhi awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize?

M3:
- What work was CV Raman awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for? What is Raman Effect? What
apparatus is used in Raman Effect? How does spectroscopy work?
- What is Archimedes Principle?
- What work was V. Ramakrishnan awarded his Nobel Prize for? Which molecule did he work on?
- What is Proteomics?

M4:
- You have filled Hindustani Classical Music (HCM) as your hobby. Do you just listen to it or have you
been learning sometime as well? From whom? Have you performed somewhere?
- What is your view on the status of Hindustani Classical Music today? As an artiste yourself, how
much do you feel that the young generation is absorbing/being influenced by HCM?
- How did you manage Classical Music practice with studies at IIT?

187

- Who is/are your favourite Classical Music exponent(s)?


CM: Thank you, you may go now.

188

An IAS Officer's Blog: My Interview


My Interview
Now coming to my interview:
27th March, 2009, 2nd half
I reached Union Public Service Commission by 12:15 pm. I kept waiting till we were allowed to go in. It
was about 1:30 pm when I went in. I reached inside and saw the other candidates who were also there
for their interviews. There were 7 tables around which 5 candidates were seated. The table decides
which board you are going to be in. At around 2 pm, the candidates started going to their respective
interview boards. We still didn't know our board. There were 4 other candidates with me who were
going to be interviewed by the same board. There were 2 ladies, one from Maharashtra and one from
Rajasthan, and there were 2 guys, one from IIT Chennai and the other I can't recall.
We kept waiting, meanwhile other boards had interviewed around 2 candidates. We were getting
impatient and hungry too. The lady from Rajasthan opened her bag and got out a packet of biscuits. I
thanked god and started eating them. we were speculating as to which board we would get. Finally
someone came and told us that we were going to be interviewed by Mr. P K Mishra.
I was so disheartened. Last year, I had been interviewed by a new board member, Mr Purushottam
Aggarwal. I was the 1st one to go in on the 1st day last year. In spite of having a wonderful interview, I
got just 180. So, I was a little apprehensive as Mr P K Mishra was also a new member of Union Public
Service Commission.
Now, coming back to the table. Everyone was nervous. We were reading all the newspapers there, in
case a question comes from any of the newspapers. Then we started talking and finally we were all
relaxed.
I was the 3rd one to go in. So when finally the 1st guy was called to the interview, we heaved a sigh of
relief. I was assuming that since the board had started late, they would not give us adequate time. I
had been suffering from throat infection just before the interview, so was taking a vicks/strepsil all the
time. When the 2nd guy from IIT Chennai went in, I started anticipating the interview.
Finally at 4 o clock, someone came to lead me to the board. Suddenly to my horror I realised that my
mouth was so dry due to vicks/ strepsils. I didn't have water with me. I reached there and asked
someone for water, but even after drinking water, my throat won't be better. I had about 3 glasses of
water, that didn't help. I was cursing vicks/strepsils. I was thinking that a heavy throat was better than
a dry one. What if I needed to drink water during the interview if my mouth dried again. Anyway, after
10 mins or so, the gentleman from IIT Chennai came out and told me that they were very cool. But
that he had had just 15 mins with them.
Then they called for me. I composed myself, tried to forget my dry mouth and asked for their
permission to enter the room. When I entered, I saw two lady members to the left of CM and 2
gentlemen to his right. I wished the ladies first and then the gentlemen. I stood next to the chair and
waited for the CM's permission to sit down. He said "please be seated". I thanked him and sat down.

189

Now the interview starts:


CM: What's your name?
Me: Sir, My name is Shubhra Saxena
CM:Tell us about yourself
Me: I told them about my education, prof background, my family and so on.
CM:Can you tell us the immunisation schedule of children
(Now let me tell you v frankly that I was shocked and thrown off guard. Maybe he wanted to
destabilise me to see if I maintained my cool.)
Me:Sir, I am not aware of the immunisation schedule of children. But I do know some vaccines for
children.
CM: Fine, go ahead.
Me: There is DPT, that prevents Diptheria, Pertussis and Tetanus. And there is OPV, Oral polio vaccine.
CM: Can't you recall any more?
Me:Sorry Sir, I can't recall any more.
CM:Isn't there a vaccine for Hepatitis B?
Me:Sir there is, But I think it can be taken as an adult because I had this vaccine when I was in college.
CM: (Smiled) Yes but it is now given to children.
Me:I said, Thank you sir.
CM: Your hobbies include teaching. Can you tell us about that?
Me:Sir, I have liked teaching since childhood. I used to teach my younger siblings and the children of
my colony. Now I teach some children of my maid servants.

CM:Tell us, who is a good teacher?


(I didn't understand the question but I nevertheless tried to answer.)
Me: A good teacher is the one who can conceptually explain topics to students. Someone who can
motivate students to do better. Someone who can be a friend, philosopher and guide to students.
( He was apparently not satisfied with my answer.)
CM: No, tell me if you are teaching students in a class, how would you make sure that they followed
what you were teaching?
Me: Sir, I would first try to understand the level of cognitive maturity of students. Then I would try to
adjust the speed of teaching to suit most of the students because at any level of teaching not all
students would be satisfied. I would include practical examples to make them understand the
concepts better. The students who have somehow not grasped the things I taught them, I would give
them time other than the class to make sure they understood it.

190
(he apparently was satisfied. So he let it go. He gestured to the 1st lady member on his left)
M1: Your hobby is teaching. So can you tell me about a few education schemes of GOI
Me: I told her about SSA. She inturrepted me.
M1: Can you tell us about SSA?
Me: I told her about a few provisions under SSA as I did not know all.
M1:Can you tell me if there are any provisions for handicapped children under SSA.
Me:Ma'm I am not sure if there are any. But there mustbe.
M1 Looks at other members) aren' there? (Others nod)
Tell me about other education schemes?
Me: I told about MSA, MDM, KGBV , scholarship schemes for disadvantaged and backward students.
M1: (Interrupts)..That's fine. Your extra curricular activity said Debating. I will give you a topic. Can you
debate on that.
Me: Yes ma'm.
M1: The topic is "Women should empower themselves"
Me: Ma'm should I debate in favour or against the topic?
M1: Whichever way you want
Me: May I speak both in favour and against the topic?
(I was a little apprehensive if this gamble would pay off. But it did. She didn't look offended.)
M1: Yes, go ahead.
Me:Argued first against the topic. Then later in favour of the topic.
M1 looking very happy) Excellent Shubhra. You have argued well in both directions. But you forgot
to mention the role of husbands.
Me

I smiled) yes Ma'm. Thank you.

She now passed the charge to the next lady member..


M2: So Shubhra, you have stayed in many states. Which state have you stayed maximum in?
Me: Ma'm I have stayed for 16 years in Jharkhand and 12 years in UP and 2 years in AP.
M2: So can you please compare Jharkhand and UP?
Me: Yes Ma'm. Jharkhand and UP are topographically very diffrent states. Whereas JH has a hilly and
forested terrain, UP is part of the Gangetic plain and very sparsely forested. UP is densely populated
whereas JH has a low population density. JH has a sizeable tribal population mainly consisting of tribes
like Santhal and Munda whereas UP has a low tribal population. Both the states primarily speak Hindi.
In terms of HDI, both perform poorly.

191

M2: No, tell me what diff did you find on a personal level?
Me: Ma'm both states are culturally complex and offer a variety of ways of life. While I was growing up
in Jharkhand I used to stay in isolated forested lands where sometimes wild animals like tiger would
come into our colony. This is something I have never come across in UP. The food of these 2 states is
more or less the same with a few regional variations. The people in both the states are very tolerant
and loving and make one feel at home.
(Everyone smiled at the tiger comment)
She nods then asks.
M2: Tell me what is India's equation with Nepal?
Me: Ma'm Nepal has traditionally been a good friend of India's and India has always supported Nepal
in many ways. But with the coming of Maoist government in Nepal, the equations are changing as
Maoists are more sympathetic towards China. And therefore the hegemony of India in Nepal is
weakening.
(She draws her eyebrows together as if frowning at me. I am telling you it was a scary moment)
M2: Do you think we should be using words like hegemony in context of international relations. India
is a big country and shouldn't it allow her neighbour countries autonomy rather than dominating
them?
Me: Ma'm, (how to redefine the meaning of hegemony???) , I didn't mean hegemony in the sense of
controlling a smaller country for one's vested interests. I meant primacy in international relations.
India is a very big country and that is the reason most of her neighbours are insecure about India's
intentions. But India is a very peaceful country and instead of dominating its neighbours she extends
whatever support it can to her neighbours.
(again frowning....I am so scared now...)
M2: It is you who are saying that India is a peaceful country.But other countries don't think so.
Me: Ma'm, I have had the fortune to work abroad in many countries and everywhere I meet people
they always say that India is perhaps the most peace loving country in the world.
(She looks satisfied now...I heave a sigh of relief)
M2: Tell me about India's relations with Myanmar.
Me: Relations between India and Myanmar haven't been very positive ever since the military junta
took over control of that country since India had never supported the junta's rule in Myanmar. But
lately, the contours of relations are changing for the better because India needs Myanmar for access
to ASEAN route, for development of NE and to curb insurgency in NE. But even despite many efforts,
Myanmar is more inclined towards China, that is using Myanmar territory for its naval base as a part of
its String Of Pearls strategy to encircle india in the Indian Ocean. This is a concern in Indo Myanmar
relations.
(She looks much happier now....Passes the charge to 3rd member.

192
M3: So, you have been a student of IIT Roorkee. Can you tell me the history of IIT Roorkee?
Me:Yes Sir. IIT Roorkee initialy known as Thomason College of civil Engg.It was named after Lt
Governor of Agra Province whose name was Thomason. It was created in 1847 after a famine in British
times led to large revenue losses. The British decided to construct a canal from Haridwar to western
UP to irrigate these lands. Therefore a need was felt for Civil engineers. And therefore under Lord
Hardinge, this instn was created. After independence it was renamed University of Roorkee. In 2000,
after Uttarakhand was separated from UP, it was named IIT Roorkee.
M3: Can you tell me what is this structure in Roorkee where there is a canal over river?
Me: Sir, it's called aqueduct.
M3: Tell me about Ganga Canal.
Me:I told him about the famine of 1837-38. The canal consists of an upper ganga canal from Har-KiPauri in Haridwar to Aligarh and Lower Ganga Canal from Aligarh to Kanpur. Told them the distance of
Canal and which governor general started its construction(now I can't recall)
M3:What is the river over which the canal is passing?
Me:Sir it's known as Solani. Similar to the aqueduct structure there are structures like superpassage
wherein river flows over canal and a structure called siphon.
(He is looking visibly impressed..am glad all the research paid off)
M3: So you are an engg in Paper technology?
Me:Yes sir.
M3:Can we make paper out of weeds?
Me: Yes sir, if the weeds have vascular structure that will yield fibres.
M3: That would solve the problem of weeding then.(smiles to himself )
Me: I smile back.
M3:So where was paper first made.
Me:Sir, it was first made in Egypt from a plant called Papyrus, that's why the name paper.
M3:But people say it's China.
Me:Yes sir China later followed this practice and made it more sophisticated so that paper came in
daily use.
M3: When was this?
Me: Sir it was around 2nd or 3rd century BC.
M3: Tell me something, who invented printing?
Me AAAAAAAAARRRGH) Sir I don't know. But I know that the person who invented the prniting
press was Gutenberg.

193
M3:No, you tell me one thing. Why did it take printing to travel from China to Europe 400 years?
Me I am thinking...what?.. what is this question. The CM i slooking impatient as well) Sir,I am not
aware of the reason.
(Thankfully the CM interrupts and said it's ok.)
M3:Tell me your hobby is teaching. Why does ragging take place ? there was a committee created for
tackling ragging.Me:I told him it was Raghavan committe. I told them the psychological and
sociological reasons for ragging.M3: Since your hobby is teaching,Tell me, what was the committe
recently created for higher education reforms? (I am wondering why they are all fixated on my hobby
only)
Me: Sir I am not very sure. But I think it was Yashpal committee.
(Everyone murmurs..yes yes)
M3: What were it's rcommendations?
Me: I told him about improving UGC affiliations, Deemed univ and so on.
CM interrupted- Enough. He gestured to the last member to start.
Somewhere I was getting apprehensive why the CM was getting impatient. Did he think I was no good
and wanted to end the interview? But I found the answer in the end. You will also see that)
M4: Your extra curricular activities include athletics. What all did you participate in?
Me: I told them the activities I had participated in.
M4: Can you tell me some type of athletic events in which more than 2 types of athletic events are
there.
Me: I told them 2.

M4: What are the special features of Indian Democracy?


Me: Parliamentary democracy, quasi federal structure, Independednt judiciary, Written constitution,
supremacy of constitution etc etc.( I explained these also)

M4: Can you tell me the independent agencies under Indian Constitution?
Me: Told him SC, HC, EC, CAG, Union Public Service Commission(along with the articles)

CM interrupted and said " enough". He apparently wanted to ask more questions.

CM: So you are from UP. Tell me the districts in Bundelkhand.


Me: (I remembered only 3) Sir, they are Jhansi, Mahoba and Banda. There are 2 3 more But I can't
recall them.

194
CM: There are 4 more. Can you recall them?
Me: Sorry Sir, I can't.

CM: Do you know Hamirpur?


Me: Yes sir, its in Bundelkhand ( He then told me 3 more distts)
Me:Thank you sir.

CM: So, UP has been bifurcated . Most of the forest cover has gone to Uttarakhand. How would you go
about reforestation in UP?
Me: Since the land-man ratio in UP is very low, we will need to find fallow land that can't be used for
agricultural purposes. Also, we can promote social forestry.
Agricultural land can be bordered with trees. That would not just reduce soil erosion but also improve
the water table. In addition, the local populace can benefit from Minor forest produce and timber.

CM: No Shubhra. These are conventional measures. I am looking for an innovative solution. An out-of the-box solution. If you give me an innovative solution, you will make my day.

(To be honest, I had not felt this much pressure in the entire interview. My entire performance would
be gauged by this last answer. I tried to think of a novel and innovative solution. But nothing
worthwhile came to my mind. I took about 2 min to think but they seemd like hours as the board was
waiting for my answer)
Me: Sir, i think we can make planting and maintaining trees an incentive scheme from the govt side.
For eg, if one planted and maintained a tree, they can get subsidies on land, property, govt. schemes.
There could be monetary incentives for people who took ownership for planting and maintaining
trees.

(I was nervous if this solution clicked. To me, it was a very mediocre solution. In fact on my way back
home, I thought of much more innovative solutions for this problem. But under that pressure, that
was the best I could do. )

He smiled and said. "Thank you. Your interview is over."


I thanked them, got up and left.
The interview lasted 35 mins.
I got 210 out of 300.

195

UPSC Interview By Aravind Menon : AIR -201 (Smt Alka Sirohi's Board),
CSE-2011
Name : Aravind Menon
Interview Date: 16/04/2012
Interview Board: Smt Alka Sirohi
Place: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Attempt No.: 2nd Attempt
Rank (CSE 2011): AIR 201
Interview Marks: 183 marks
Optional Subjects : Public Administration, Malayalam Language
Details of Graduation: B.Tech in Electronics & Communication from College of
Engineering,Trivandrum Extracurricular activities, hobbies, achievements etc. : Cricket , Photography
My interview was on 16th in the afternoon session. There were only 6 boards for our session , so each
board had to interview 7 candidates each. As a result , each interview lasted for 20-25 minutes.
My interview was no different. I was the third person to be interviewed by the board chaired by Smt
Alka Sirohi (CM) . When I was asked by the attender to enter the room, I asked permission to do so
from the board . I was granted that and I went in. All the 4 members (M1,M2,M3 & M4) other than the
chairman were male members. So didnt had any confusion regarding how to wish. But even before I
could wish them , CM asked me to be seated . Anyway , I wished them and took my seat. Everyone
was busy doing something and was not giving much attention to me. That informal nature eased my
tension .
CM started the proceedings by asking me to list out 2-3 things that occurred in the past decade which
suited the description Much ado about nothing . My mind went blank and even after she explained
the question, I was not able to recollect any such events. Later she told me that what she intended
was Y2K and WMD.
M1 asked me about Chinmayananda Swami of Chinmaya Mission and his contributions to the society(I
had my schooling in a Chinmaya Vidyalaya). I mentioned about his Jnana yajnas- spiritual knowledge
to common man, opening of schools, social activities of its volunteers etc. then he asked about the
essence of gita.
Me: man should do his duties(karma) without the expectation of any result as it will lead to
disappointment.
He was expecting Aham brahmasmi and it was his next Qn.
Me: Each soul is part of the universal soul. He was not completely satisfied.

196
Question: Bertrand Russel's statement that all human beings are rational but he is yet to find such a
person.
Me: most of the people I met were rational.
Question: then why world is like this
Me: a minority of people may be irrational causing hardships , but since majority are rational world is
still existing
Question: Current political situation in Arab Spring countries
M2
Question : Is there any conflict of interest b/n india and china in indian ocean as both are energy
hungry nations.
I did not understand it completely. When he explained it , I thought it was regarding string of pearls
and replied accordingly. I told about protecting our economic & security interests while maintaining a
good relation with them. He kept on repeating the same Qn and CM intervened and asked M3 to start.
M3
Question: Current status of the 'treasure' in SreePadmanabhaswamy temple and how to use it ( I am
from kerala)
Answer: need to use modern techniques to open the vault B w/o destroying anything else .
It cannot be used for developmental purposes as it is part of our culture and history.
Question: in case of bop crisis?
Me: in that case it can be used for pledging but has to recovered when situation improves.
Question: will a 1991 type crisis recur in india
Me: No. diversity of trade, 300bn$ forex etc
M4 : Asked about the details of the recent SC judgement on RTE which I answered.
CM
Question: satellites in india and their uses.
Me: didnt remember much . Told abt insat, metsat, risat.
Question: remote sensing and its uses.
Me: replied but not satisfactorily.
Question: rocket launching centre?
Me: sriharikkota

197
Question: why?
Me: earth's rotation aids the launch when it is launched in the easterly direction
Question: Any security aspects?
Me: in case of failure it will fall in ocean.
She smiled and said thank you.
I took a few seconds to understand that interview was over. Then I thanked everybody and got out.
Though some members were not satisfied , I am happy that too much technical Question were not
asked. "

198

UPSC Interview By Rajesh Meena : AIR 316 (Mr. K.K. Paul), IAS 2011
Name of Examiner : Rajesh Meena
IAS Interview Board : Mr. K.K. Paul
Your Native City : Dausa (Rajasthan)
Attempt No. : 2nd Attempt
"Hi, I am Rajesh Meena. I got AIR 316. My interview was on 23 April 2012, morning half. The interview
panel was that of Mr. K.K. Paul. I have tried to keep it as original as possible so that the aspirants can
get a clear idea.
CH Chairman (Mr. K.K.Paul). Members - M1, M2, M3, M4 (lady). CH sir was more serous of them all,
rarely giving a smile.
CH: What is your roll number?
Me: Sir, 303441.
CH: Date of Birth?
Me: Sir, 15 August 1987.
CH: (Smiling) so you were born on a very great day?
Me: (Smiling) yes sir (other members were also sporting smile on their faces)
CH: So, your hobby is stamp collection. What stamp collection is known as?
Me: Sir, Philately.
CH: What is the oldest stamp that you have?
Me: (After long thinking) Sir, it is a 10 paise stamp which was released many decades
back....emm...after independence (I was not confident in this answer as I was not able to recall the
year, but when I came back home I saw that those stamp at that time didnt bear year of release,
hence I was foxed.)
CH: After 1957?
Me: (Puzzled)..emm,,,yes sir, I think it was after 1957.
CH: Why 1957 is famous in philately.....?
Me: (Thinking) Sir, I dont know.
CH: .........or for that matter any reason?
Me: (Thinking) Sir, I am unable to recall. (I was beginning to lose confidence by now as the starting was
not that good. :( )

199
CH: OK..(He was not looking very satisfied). In 1957 government of India shifted from the ana system
to decimal system.
Me: (Nodding) thankyou sir.
CH: Do you know what is the happiness index?
Me: Sir, it the index which measures the happiness level of the people of a country.
CH: So how it is calculated?
Me: I dont know exactly sir.
CH: If you leave this interview hall with very good feelings, what will be your happiness index?
Me: (Smiling) sir, it will be very high.
CH: How HDI is calculated?
Me: Sir, it is calculated by taking an average of three components like literacy level.....emm
education....
CH: ...(interrupting) Why then we havent adopted happiness index instead of HDI?
Me: Sir, I think HDI is a much broad index and it include happiness index in itself. Hence it is also a
reflective of happiness level of the people.
CH: Which country has adopted happiness index?
Me: Sir, Bhutan.
CH: (Nodding.....now he was looking little satisfied and passes it to the M1)
M1 was more friendly than the CH.
M1: Recently a bill is in the parliament...the Pensions Bill...can you tell what are its provisions?
Me- (Thinking) I m sorry sir, I dont know.
M1: Do you know what is a Param computer?
Me: Sir, It is a super computer, which can perform very fast calculations, hence can be used in many
places like defence, research etc...........like SAGA 220 which was developed by DRDO..(Actaully it was
developed by ISRO :( )
M1: Can they be used in remote sensing?
Me: Yes sir, they can be used, because in remote sensing huge amount of data has to be processed
and analysed.
M1: OK..how can it be used in the Agriculture?

200
Me: Sir, in Agriculture, they can be used for weather monitoring, crops monitoring, giving warnings
etc, so that farmers can be provided early and timely information. Hence they can play a great role in
increasing agriculture production.
M1: OK....(and passes the baton to M2. He looked satisfied with my answers.)
M2 was also a little bit extra serious, but his questions were simple.
M2: What is the difference between DRDO and ISRO?
Me: Sir, they are the two most important institutes in the field of Defence and Space research. DRDO
looks after the defence of the country while ISRO manages the department of Space....
M2- (Interrupting)...so why do we need two bodies for them....cant a single body do it?
Me: Sir, both the departments are very large and critical for our country, hence if one institute looks
after one department, they can give specific attention. (he looks satisfied now)
M2: You are from Allahabad, so what places are there near Allahabad?
Me: Sir, there is the most famous Sangam...other places are Anand Bhavan, Alfred park etc.....in the
vicinity of Allahabad there is chitrakoot at the border of uttar Pradesh and madhaya Pradesh.
M: Hmm (and passes on to M3)
M3 was more happy with himself and was enjoying in imparting knowledge not only to me but to the
entire panel.
M3: As we were discussing about Allahabad.....what is the name of your college?
Me: Sir, it is NIT Allahabad.
M3: So it seems that its name has been changed? When did it was changed?
Me: Sir, earlier it was a Regional Engineering College....and in 2002 it was made a National Institute of
Technology...
M3: .....(interrupts)what is this MNNIT then?
Me: Sir, It stands for Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology. Earler it was called Motilal Nehru
regional engg college and now it is called motilal Nehru national institute of technology.
M3: So this motilal name was from earlier time?
Me: Yes sir, actually it was the name given to it by Jawaharlal Nehru after Motilal Nehru who lived in
Allahabad for a long time and made it his home.
M3: What are other educational institutes in Allahabad?
Me: Sir, IIIT, Medical college, Allahabad University etc.
M3: ok...so why IIIT is famous for?

201
Me: (Thinking) Sir, it is also a very good technical college of India, but it gives degree only in computer
science and IT.
M3: (With a victorious smile) no no it is something to do with nobel prizes.
Me: (After mechanical thinking) Sorry sir, I dont know.
M3: (Highly delighted)...it is the only college of the city ...infact one of the few colleges in the entire
country which attracts nobel laureates......there is somethings special about it (and kept on imparting
this knowledge to the entire panel)
Me: Thank you sir.
M3: Recently some person from allahabad was in news...who was it?
Me: (after thinking) sir very recently?
M3: Yes, very recently (smiling)
Me: (Again thinking) sorry sir, I am unable to recall.
M3: (Highly delighted again).there is a girl from Allahabad who has won this years pantaloons famina
miss India.
Me: Oh..thank you sir.
M3 satisfied with himself...and passes the baton to the lady member. She was very cheerful and
always had an encouraging smile on her face which helped me in my interview.
M4: Rajesh what are these 2G, 3G, LTE etc, which are so famous nowadays?
Me: Mam they are the generations of telecommunications which are being used recently. For example
2G means second generation of telecommunications, 3G means third generation of
telecommunications. 4G has also been launched in India very recently.
M4: What are the advantages of 4G over 3G?
Me: Mam, the most important is the speed of operation, in 4G it will be about 20mpbs where as in 3G
it was only 2mbps. Hence it means that downloading, video chatting, video conferencing etc will be
much faster in 4G.
M4: You mean data streaming will be very fast.....
Me: Yes mam...(actually this was the term I slipped and used speed of operation instead....she did
notice it)
M4: What is so special about the 2G? which was also in the news for so long?
Me: Mam in 2G, there was a significant amount of spectrum which was sold by the government at
very low prices, hence it resulted in to huge loss of revenue to the government.

202
M4: No no ...what is the special thing about 2G...you know..which was in the media for quite a long
time?
Me: (Thinking), I dont know mam.
M4: It was that it helped in transmission of voice and data...(bla bla bla.....i was not getting what she
was saying....she was actually trying to know the technical speciality of 2G, but maybe I misunderstood
the question...but still she looked satisfied with my answers)
M4: Rajesh what do you do in your leisure time?
Me: Mam I do read novels, I also read and write poems.
M4: You also write poems?
Me: Yes mam...(with a broad smile)
M4: What type of poem you generally write?
Me: Mam I write poems which are rich in Veer ras and Karunya ras.
M4: (Delighted and admiringly)..Karunya ras!!! Good!!
(She happily handed it over to CH, I was more happy then her by now.)
CH: (With a little smile)There are increasing news about eve teasing in the northern states in
comparison to the southern states...what do you think is the reason?
Me: Sir, I think the level of education has to do a lot with this. The literacy rate in northern states is
less in comparison with the southern states....
CH: ....but even the well educated people are also indulging in these activities?
Me: (Thinking) Sir, I think administration has not taken sufficient steps towards this direction.....
CH: (Interrupts...seems little annoyed) .......do you think we should deploy a policeman with every
female members on the road?
Me: (In a damage controlling mode) no sir, what I feel is that if strong punishment is given to
somebody involved in this act, then it will act as reminder to the other people, hence it may play a
great role.
CH: (Nodding)...OK rajesh....(he looks towards other members)...your interview is over you can go.
Me: Thank you sir.

203

UPSC Interview By Kumar Ashish : AIR -363 (Dr. K. K. Paul Sirs Board),
CSE-2011
Name: KUMAR ASHISH
Interview Date: 19th March 2012
AIR 363 CSE-2011
Dr. K. K. Paul Sirs Board
KKP: Whats your name? Is it Ashish Kumar or Kumar Ashish?
Me: Sir, my name is Kumar Ashish
KKP: Why it is Kumar Ashish? Are you also inspired by Saas-Bahu Serials having a fascination about K
letter?
Me: No Sir, it isnt inspired by any serial. Please allow me to quote that my Father is a big fan of
Rajendra Kumar, yesteryears Hero of Bollywood. He is having a son named Kumar Gaurav and the
year when I was born, a new film of his was in the market Love-story. So, I think taking inspiration
from his name, my Father put my name as Kumar first, then Ashish (Everybody laughed at this
juncture except KKP sir)
KKP: your optional are Geography and French Literature, right?
Me: Yes Sir, but I have read them only for UPSC preparation, while I have read French Lit., culture,
civilization, history in my Graduation years.
KKP: Ok, do you know Siachen? Which are the two rivers who get melted water from Siachen glacier?
Me: Sir, I am not very sure about them.
KKP: which is the biggest river in that area?
Me: Sir, its Indus.
KKP: and what are the two major tributaries of Indus in that region?
Me: Sir, they are Shyok and Nubra.
KKP: So they are those two rivers. Have you heard about Ganga? Name its tributaries from North,
sequence wise from west to east.
Me: thank you Sir. Yes sir, I have heard about Ganga River. Her tributaries from west to east are:
Ramganga, Rapti, Sharda, Kali, Gomati, Gandak, Baghmati, Kosi.
KKP: Ghaghra is there?
Me: yes Sir, Ghaghra is also there.
KKP: one more is there.
Me: Sir, I am unable to recall it now.
KKP: what is Fault Line+ Double trap+ 2-3 more topics..?
Me: I do not remember it now sir

204
KKP: what are L-waves?
Me: Sir, this is the third wave-type generated during a seismic activity. It runs through the surface and
causes huge destruction.
KKP: what are other waves? What are the characteristics of these waves?
Me: Sir, they are P-wave, S-wave and then L-wave. P-wave (Primary wave) originates at the focus and
travels with a speed more than 7-8km. While S-wave (Secondary wave) comes later at almost half
speed of that of P-wave. It cant cross any liquid or molten area. The main destructive activities are
caused by L-wave (Love wave) on the surface.
KKP: why L-wave causes destruction on surface? Any particular reasons?
Me: hmmm I dont know Sir
KKP: How an earth quake is measured?
Me: sir, on Richter scale and Mercailli Scale.
KKP: Do you know the difference between them?
Me: Yes Sir. One measures the magnitude while the other measures the intensity of an Earth-quake.
KKP: you are from Bihar. Tell me what is the reason behind high Floods occurring in North Bihar?
Me: Sir, its high rain in Himalayas, siltation in rivers (Cut short by interruption)
KKP: Whats being done for that?
Me: Process of siltation removing is being done. Besides we have Hanumannagar Barrage to prevent
the Floods
KKP: what is difference between a Dam and a Barrage?
Me: Hmm, Sir, I dont know
KKP: name the tributaries of Brahmputra River.
Me: Sir, they are Lohit, Sankosh, Tistahmm (I was not ready to make any guess)
KKP: There are some more. Ok. You have written Travelling as your Hobby. Which places have you
visited so far?
Me: Sir, I have visited India and abroad also. I went to France and adjoining western European
Countries (Cut short by interruption)
KKP: tell me about places in India.
Me: Ok sir, in India, I have gone to Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand... (Cut short by interruption)
KKP: Which places in Himachal?
Me: SHimla, Kullu, Manali, Rohtang Pass
KKP: What is the height of Rohtang Pass?
Me: to the best of my knowledge, Sir, it is 4250M.
KKP: No! Its not so. It is lesser than that.
Me: Sir, I am not sure about it

205
KKP: how did u go there?
Me: we hired a cab from Manali, Sir.
KKP: Ok, tell me the names of villages that come in the way from Manali to Rohtang Pass.
Me: Sir, I am unable to recall them now
KKP: normally when you visit a place, you tend to know about the local village names, local food and
local specialty.
Me: Sorry Sir
(Then, he passes on to a lady sitting just right to him).
Lady1: you have French Lit. as optional. Do you know who Jean Paul Sartre is? What was his
philosophy? Can you explain that?
Me: Yes Mam. His philosophy is known as Existentialism. In this, he argues that it is our existence
which precedes essence, i.e. any type of moral-social values. Its our existence which decides how we
are going to lead our life. Nothing is pre-determined and everything can be changed according to
existence. There are no moral-social values which can define a life. It is our sole discretion to decide
what to do and what not to do in our life
Lady 1: any other work by Sartre
Me: Nausea, les mots, the Dirty hands . (cut short by interruption)
Lady1: tell me about the basic idea of the Nausea.
Me: Nausea is a story about a person called Rotenger who thinks life is absurd. He is aghast to any
positive thinking and so fed up with life that he even gets the feeling of nausea at seeing a stone. He
picks up a stone, perceives it and got the nausea. Basically it talks about the idea of Existentialism- no
reason of being; one is condemned to live a life.
Lady1: was that his original philosophy?
Me: No Maam! He borrowed that Idea from Soren Kierkegaard and elaborated that up to new height.
Lady1: Do you know any other French author who wrote in the same line?
Me: Sir, it was Camus, Albert Camus.
Lady1: but he was not French?
Me: yes mam, he was a born Algerian but later naturalized in France and became French
Lady 1: Name some of his works.
Me: The Stranger, Man, Caligula
Lady1: tell me about the dilemma through which the protagonist of the Stranger was going through.
Me: Maam, the dilemma which is faced by the protagonist was that he is totally neutral to any
feeling, idea or anything. He is quite emotionless when he hears about the death of his mother. He..
(Cut short by lady 1)
Lady1: what was his feeling at the end? Was he sad? Happy? Why?
Me: Mam, he was neither sad nor happy. He was not remorseful for whatever he has done. He
refuses to meet the priest as he doesnt believe in religious affairs. He did not apologize for his act

206
Lady1: Have you seen some French Cinema? What is the main difference between French and Indian
Cinema?
Me: Yes Maam. The main difference between them is that French Cinema started Shooting in outdoor
in 1960s on a greater canvas. The concept of closed door shooting and film making was broken by
French cinema and(cut short by interruption)
Lady1: can you name some prominent French Movie Directors of that time?
Me: Yes Maam. They are Francois Truffaut, Godard, Alain Resnais.
Lady1: Good
(Then, she passes on to a Member sitting just left to me)
M1: can you tell what is going in Afghanistan?
Me: Sir, in Afghanistan, pro-talebani forces are on rise and they are trying to capture the power with
the help of anguished local people who are now coming to confront the US soldiers. Just we have seen
recently that 16 US soldiers were killed. Afghani people are now fed up with US occupation and they
are trying to overcome of this problem as soon as possible. Earlier, it was US who created some
terrorist outfits there for its own sake and now these Bhasmasurs are against the US. They want to
establish their Talebani regime.
M1: Ok, what is going on in Pakistan? How it is going to affect the US interests in that region?
Me: Sir, Pakistan is facing the some sort of internal war in which the pro-talibani forces like Tahrik-eTaliban et al are trying to capture a good hold in Pakistan. They are against the presence of US soldiers
in Pakistan and want them to leave their land immediately. US has a lot of interests in this region as
Pakistan provides them with a Military Base which quite essential for the US to keep its stronghold in
the Middle-east region from where it can have a vigil on India, Iran and China as well.
(Then, he passes on to a lady sitting just right to me)
Lady 2: You have done BA, MA, Mphil. You must be continuing your Ph.D?
Me: Yes Maam.
L2: I would ask from where Sir (KK Paul) has left you in geography. What do you know about
Interlinking of Rivers? Why this project was being delayed so far? What are their implications?
(Till now, I started sweating and was obliged to take permission from KK Paul to wipe out my sweats.
He was kind enough to put on the AC which he had switched off when I have entered in the room)
Me: (after wiping out my sweats with my hanky), Maam, it is project regarding linking all the major
rivers of India in order to make the water resources available to the drought prone areas especially
where rainfall is very less. For this purpose, some projects of linking are being dealt upon. It will
provide us with potable water, increased irrigation facility, better transportation and hydro-power
generation as well. As far as the delay is concerned, mainly it was delayed due to States objection,
ecological problems which may arise by linking different river-valleys and a huge sum of investment
was required

207
L2: one last question from my side, which site from India was recently recommended for World
Heritage site? What is the current status?
Me: Maam, it was Western Ghats Mountains. But it got rejected to get that
L2: good
(Then, she passes on to a Member 2 sitting just right to her and left to KK Paul sir).
M2: How many world Heritage sites are there in India? Who recognizes that status to any site?
Me: HmmI dont know about the exact no. of world heritage sites in India Sir. Its UNESCO who
recognizes that status to any sites.
M2: Ok how many world heritage sites you have visited in India?
Me: Sir, Taj-Mahalrecently sir I have visited the Mahabalipuram Group of temples. (Cut short by
interruption)
M2: but that is not a world heritage siteis it?
Me: yes sir, it is one of the very first World heritage site recognized in India in 1983 with Taj-Mahal.
M2: Ok Mr. Ashish. You have written in your Form that you were Hostel President in JNU. Tell me who
was the Provost at that time in JNU?
Me: (surprised a bit), Pardon me Sir, are you asking about the Dean of Students at that time?
M2: No no, tell me who was the Provost at that time? Can you name the person?
Me: hmm, sir, it was Sachchidanand Sinha Sir
M2: ok, if your provost tells you that you are a man of Integrity and your fellow students call you as a
man of credibility, what does that mean? What is difference between these two? Can you explain?
Me: Yes Sir. According to me, a Man of Integrity is person who fulfills whatever he promises or says.
While in the other case, a person who fulfills his duties enjoys the trust of his fellow students, is a Man
of credibility. He is entrusted by his peers
M2: ok.
Then KK Paul again took the charge.
KKP: Elections have been finished recently in some states. Tell me how the election symbols are
allotted to political parties? And what are the criteria for being qualified as a National Political Party?
Me: Sir, symbols are allotted by the Election Commission of India. And to the best of my knowledge
Sir, in order to qualify as a National Political Party, a party needs to secure at least 6% vote in 4 states
during national elections or at least 4 seats in 4 states legislative assemblies
KKP: in India, there are only two west flowing rivers who are they?
Me: Sir Narmada and Tapti
KKP: ok, tell what is that phenomenon under which they flow westward?
Me: Sir, they flow in rift valleys.
KKP: only rift-valleys? Is there any other thing related? Why they flow westward?
Me: Sorry sir, I dont know

208
KKP: Ok, Thats all. (Wondering it happened so fast I was about to get up then at once KKP again
strikes)
KKP: By the way, can you name the girlfriend of Jean Paul Sartre? (Everybody started smiling at this
question)
Me: (Smiling) Sir, it was Simone de Beauvoir
KKP: and what was the name of the Caf where he used to write his philosophy?
Me: Sorry Sir, I am unable to recall it now
KKP: Ok.
Me: Thank you sirs, maam.
Exam Interview Details:
Date:19-Mar-2012
Interview Board: Dr. K. K. Paul Sirs Board
Result of Interview: Qualified

209

UPSC Interview By Gautam Singh Chaudhary : AIR 297 (Alka Sirohi


Board), IAS 2011
Name of Examiner : Gautam Singh Chaudhary
Attempt: 1st Attempt
"Board consisted of 5 members including Alka Sirohi, 4 male members.( 2 on my left side may have
been proffs and the 2 on right hand side were from administrative side because of there dressing and
question asking. style).
As I entered the room the board greeted me and asked me to sit. straight away they started asking
questions.
Question : 1. Do you know about financial meltdown that happened in the world?
Answer: I told about the current meltdown that happened in usa.
Question : 2. What was the underlying cause?
Answer : Sub Prime crisis told.... but they asked another question.
Question : 3. Tell us earliers meltdown you remember?
Answer: Asian, us 1930's meltdown told.
Question : 4. What is the difference between the come back of 1930's meltdown and today's
meltdown.
Answer : Abut India and China being the growth stories.
Question : 5. What is the difference between Indian and Chinese economy?
Answer: About Chinese being export led economy whilst India being much of self consuming
economy.
Question: 6. Do you really think India Does not export much?
Answer: It Does Specially in IT, gems and stones, textiles and Parma, but not in manufacturing
industry.
Question: 7. why india is lagging behind in this sector?
Answer: Labour laws (asked later Q 15 ), electricity crunch, economies of scale, govt support,
exchange rates control.
ma'am passes to another member
Question : 8. Gautam Singh you have lived in border districts, specially in bikaner (skooling), barmer
( working cairn energy), what are the problems related to communication?

210
Answer : Jamming of mobile networks, and TV relays of other countries channels being aired.( Did 'nt
understand the question much)
Question: 9. Your Birthplace is Pali, Rajasthan. Tell us about the famous Temple there?
Answer : Ranakpur Temple.
Question : 10. How many pillars are there?
Answer : 1444
member 1 (professor type)
Question : You have been involved in blood donation camps? tell us universal donors and acceptors?
why you cant give just any blood?
antigens and everything answered.
member 2 (proffesor lyk)
Question : has private players coming into oil exploration helpd india? what developments specially in
barmer are going on... after this discovery?
local empowerment - 25% -- to barmer citizens. 25%-- to rajasthan ppl 25% -- to indians 25%-- world
the hiring policy of the company justified??
yes as highly skilled labour from anywhere in the world.
local residents get unskilled job... but in few years with education can change the scenario.
Question : Cairn energy stakes right now? is vedanta deal beneficial?
Question : India-iran pipeline status? what is TAPI?
member 3
Question : Labours laws in India should be there or not?
Question : In india lots of iron ore is extracted, why then the chinese import of steel costs less
compared to indian counterparts?
Question : what is personal marketing?- Amway and all
Question : What is ponzi scheme?
member 4 ( senior official types).
Question : sam dam dandh bhed--- explain?
Question : willl you use dem all after you become an ias?
Question : in todays scenario is indian democracy liberal?
had no clue..... waited and asked ma'am to repeat...
Question : (reframed) right to dissent ... is being missused? argue

211
Question : do you know about argumentative Indian ?
yes... told about the book.
Exam Interview Details:
Interview Marks: 225
Qualified Rank: 297
Total Marks : 1130
Interview Board: Alka Sirohi Board
Date:29th March 2012
Place: Rajni Razdan (Jaipur)

212

UPSC Interview By Vishal Gupta


It has been an extremely gruelling phase with as yet uncertain outcome. It was taxing physically,
mentally and emotionally. For a few days before the interview, I had been a nervous wreck. The most I
have ever been in my life.
Till the final minute, I was trying to make sure that nothing, absolutely nothing goes wrong with my
preparation and things seemed to be falling in place until I entered the interview room.
Surprisingly, while I was waiting outside the room, I was not nervous at all. I was confident and
cheerful.
When I entered the room, the setting seemed a little too dominating. The lavish furniture, neat
arrangements, immaculately dressed officers and suave chairperson. I was in awe.
The chairperson seemed a serious, no-nonsense personality. The other member looked highly
experienced and learned.
Brief introduction for strangers:
Profile:
B.E.(Hons) Computer Science, BITS, Pilani.
State: Rajasthan
Optional Subjects: Psychology, Public Administration.
Board: Rajni Razdan (RR).
And here is what happened inside:
V: May I Come in, Maam, Sirs?
RR: Please come in. Have a seat.
V: Good Morning maam, Sirs.
(They didnt seem to care at all. I carefully pulled my chair, got settled and thanked them.)
RR: Your Name?
RR: Your Roll Number?
RR: Your DoB?
RR: (Showing me my photo) Is this you?
V: (Smiling) Yes Maam.
RR: What is scrapbooking? (My hobby. Explained.)
RR: Why do you want to shift from engineering to civil services?

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(Responded but gave an impression that I quit because I was bored with my job. Another member
would later tear me apart on this issue.)
RR: You chose Psychology. Give me examples of Neurosis.
V: Maam, Cyber neurosis is one.
RR: This is very new. Anything else?
V: Maam, neuroticism. I can not recollect others.
RR: (Moving on) Who authored A theory of conditioning?
V: Maam, Pavlov, But I am not sure.
(A google search, later on, did not give an answer either. There seemed to be no such book.)
RR: What was the medium of his research?
V: Maam, he conducted his research on dogs.
RR: Ok. (Passes on to the next member.)
M1: What is the difference between Psychosis and Neurosis?
V: (Blabbered something.)
M1: Which is more amenable to behavioural therapy?
V: Neurosis.
(M1 gave me a puzzled look. )
M1: What are your strengths?
V: 1. Dedicated towards the goal. 2. Adequate experience of both rural and urban conditions.
(The second point dictated the rest of my interview.)
M1: How can we develop rural areas?
V: Sir, while we focus on urbanisation and rural development, we should also try to reduce migration
by providing more amenities and services in rural areas by running schemes like PURA.
(M1 did not press on. But another member would later pick on this thread.)
M1: Do you not think honesty and integrity are important in a civil servant?
V: They are paramount, sir.
M1: But you did not mention these in your strengths?
V: Sir, these are general traits. All people usually claim to possess them.
M1: If that were so, why would there be so much corruption?
V: Sir that is because, some of these people, later on, try to take short cuts for personal gains.

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(M1 did not look happy with the answer. I could have used my words in a better way.)
M1: You have been a treasurer and a secretary in your college. Did your position offer challenges to
your integrity?
V: (I explained about my role as a treasurer) I did not give anyone any opportunity to question my
honesty or integrity.
(M1 looked somewhat satisfied with my conviction and even said good, only time that happened
during my interview!)
M1: Okay. How do you see Indias position evolving towards international water issues? Take three

examples.
V: Sir, we have a well-functioning Indus Water treaty with Pakistan. While lack of adequate
framework, still hampers resolution of issues with Bangladesh and Nepal. Moreover, We also need to
resolve our domestic political issues to solve these international problems.
M1: What do you mean by domestic political issues? Give me an example.
V: Sir, while we wanted to sign the Teesta water sharing agreement, our domestic political
environment did not allow that.
M1: Any water issues with China?
V: Yes sir. There have been reports that China is trying to divert the water of Brahmputra river but
both the countries have denied this and China claims that they are constructing only run of the river
projects.
M1: Are they diverting waters from Tibetan rivers?
V: Sir, there have been reports that China is diverting water of its southern rivers towards the waterdeprived northern areas.
(M1 looked satisfied and passed on to M2.)
M2: Regarding water, what do you think is the fundamental hurdle behind inter-linking of rivers?
V: Sir, we are yet to resolve various inter-state river disputes. The inter-linking project may not be
technically feasible..(interrupted.)
M2: I am sure we have brilliant engineers who will figure all this out. You discuss the main issue. I will
give you a hint, why would somebody share water..

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V: (Emphatically agreeing) Yes sir indeed. (Though I had already mentioned it in form of inter-state
disputes) Surplus water states would not be willing to share water with the deficit states.
(M2 now looked satisfied.)
M2: What are the challenges before Rajasthan?
V: Sir, there is desertification. Then there is, lack of water resources(interrupted)
M2: What are the causes of desertification?
V: Sir the main causes are: one, indiscriminate mining, two deforestation, and three, lack of irrigation.
(M2 passes on to M3.)

M3: You said, you want to prevent migration?


V: No sir, what I meant was that we need to follow both the strategies: reduce migration as well as
promote urbanisation.
M3: Can you give me an example of a society which has a higher share of rural population, yet is called
developed?
V: (After thinking for a few seconds) Sorry sir, I cannot recollect any.
M3: That is because, there is none. So isnt urbanisation important?
V: Yes sir, as I have said, it is as important as providing services to rural areas.
M3: What is the competitiveness problem that the big urban-rural divide is presenting India with?
V: (I wasnt able to appreciate the question much yet decided to respond) Sir, I think the rural talent is
not being utilised effectively. The rural youth and energy could be better used by training them.
M3: So you want to link them to towns?
V: Probably yes sir.
(He seemed satisfied.)
M3: Okay you have two options to develop rural areas. Either connect them with internet or spread
highways. What will you choose?
V: Sir, in fact, we need both of them.
M3: There is no right answer here. Do not answer diplomatically. I want you to think and then reply.
V: (Paused) Sir, in that case, I would choose internet over highways.
M3: Why?
V: Sir, highways take a long time to develop. It may be too late by then.
(M3 looked satisfied.)

216
M3: Okay. You told maam, that you left your job after 19 months because it was boring. That way,
you will also leave civil services.
V: (Smiling) No sir, I wanted to convey that I did not find my job content as impressive as I had
imagined it to be. I was not bored with it. Civil services match my aptitude.
M3: What do you understand civil servants do?
V: Sir, they handle the entire functioning of the country.
M3: What did your computer science education teach you?
V: Sir, computer sciences teaches us to test, implement, evaluate and modify our programs, this
methodology is also applicable to governmental projects.
M3: How do you think your education can be used in administration?
V: Sir, governments at various levels are increasingly using technology. At national, state and even
district level, we are implementing various e-governance initiatives. Most departments use
technology. We also have dedicated departments for IT etc.
M3: What is our flagship initiative in e-governance?
V: Sir, it is National e-Governance Plan, under which we run 27 mission mode projects.
M3: Any examples of such initiatives, at national, state or district level?
V: Yes sir. e-Sanchar and e-Mitra projects of Rajasthan government. (Explained both.)
M3: Okay, can you identify any two areas where we could implement e-governance but are not
already doing it?
V: (Paused and thought) Sir, we can deliver basic services like birth and death certificates in digital
form which can be printed by the customers/clients.
M3: But some states are already doing it?
V: Yes sir. We can have such initiatives at national level.
(I also proposed another initiative which I cant recollect now. However, M3 did not look adequately
satisfied with this answer.)
M3: Okay. Tell me one social and one economic challenge our country is facing today.
V: Sir, in social area: Malnutrition (I had the twelfth plan in mind).
M3: Socialmalnutritionokay (I continue now.)
V: In economic area: I see inflation as a challenge.
(Chairperson seemed flabbergasted and even suggested poverty and unemployment. I was trying to
present an answer thinking of current challenge. I may have miscalculated here and I did not get an
opportunity to defend it.)

217
M4: So you are a product of Birla institute.. (I replied affirmatively and smiled, drew no
response)..what have they taught you.
(I blabbered about the virtues of college education.)
M4: What is the structure of a district.
V: District. Block. Villages.
M4: What is the role of DC?
(I replied but did not include PRIs.)
M4: What about PRIs? Is DC above Zila Panchayats?
V: (It seemed to be an incorrectly framed question, yet I responded.) Sir, the structure varies state by
state.
(M4 did not seem pleased and said thank you.)
RR: Thank you.
(I thanked them and strolled out.)

218

UPSC Interview By Dr. Lalit Kumar (Dr. K.K. Paul Board)


my UPSC Interview
my interview is with KK PAUL board.
my biodata optional 1. animal husbandary and veterinary science 2. anthropology
state- bihar
studied in Indian veterinary research institute IVRI, Bareilly
hobbies- newspaper article collection, blogging, farm animal care
sports- playing chess

CH. What is your name?


CH. Your roll number?
CH. Date of birth?
A. 15 jan 1982.
CH. then what is on 15 th jan, any thing
A. sir, army day
CH. why so.
A. sir I dont know.
Ch. It is K M kariyapas birth day
Ch. News paper article collection is your hobby.
A. yes sir
Ch. Which type of article you collect?
A. issue related with environment and article related with animal husbandary and veterinary science
Ch. You have also given horse riding?
A. Yes sir
Ch. You ride it frequently or not?
A. sir, now a days I m not riding
ch. What are different types of horse pace?

219
A. sir it is walk, trot, cantor and gallop
Ch. What are different types of trot?
A. sir I dont know
Ch. What is after trot is?
A. cantor
Ch. What is speed of gallop?
A. sir it is 40 50 km per hour
Ch 40-50 miles or km
A. km per hour
Ch. Ya it is right, but little more (he opined)
Ch. Do you know shompan
A. tribe of Africa (actually I misunderstood with similar tribe with African)
Ch. No it is andmans and nicobars tribe
This is of my mistake, I disappointed little bit, perhaps he misunderstood that I was bluffing.
Ch. Do you know hammendrof
A yes sir, he was anthropologist
Ch what is his contribution
A. he done work in india, study on tribles, written many monographs of tribes, many case studies,
Q. tell me some specific contribution
A. sir I dont know
Ch. He worked on Madhya Pradesh
a. yes sir
ch. Do you know verrier elvin
A. sir, he was anthropologist, worked in Madhya Pradesh, helped Nehru to prepare tribal panchsheel,
Ch. Yes yes, he was very close to Nehru
Ch. What was his approach
A. sir, he favoured tribals to protected from out side, he suggested some short of tribal sanctuary to
protect them

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Ch. Did india followed his advice
A. no sir, after 1960, india followed policy of tribal development, gave the modern and western
education, and road rails etc created
Ch. Yes yes
Passed to first member
M1. Have you heard of iim
A. yes sir, it is Indian institute of management
M1. Why they are charging more fees, govt is providing subsidy to them
A. pardon sir I am not getting your point
Explains in detail..
A. sir they are hiring good faculty of foreign, good infrastructure, other things as well like more
operating cost(interrupts)
M1. No no, they are getting subsidy by government
A. I again told same thing, added that subsidy of govt may less than they require
M1. Govt should curb this practice, (talks with chair man) after coming out student getting 10- 12 lakh
package
I was helpless only nodding. All was unexpected and I was unable to understand what is going on
means chairman asking very specific in anthropology and M1 irrelevant question to me
Passed to next member, he was Dr MP Yadav (ex director of IVRI). I later known about him from Ravi
sir
M2. I have heard human right, what is animal right
A. sir, it is some basic rights to animals.. like not beating excessively, mutilating.. Just a human
treatment on certain principles(interrupts)
M2. Yes yes.. what government is doing
A. sire govent done legislation and (intruppts)
M2. What is
A. prevention to cruelty to animals act 1060-61
M2. Yes yes.. any organization working for this not of govt
A. society for prevention of animal
M2. What is water born disease?

221
A. sir diseases that are transmitted by water
M2. Name some of disease?
A. cholera, diphtheria, diarrhea (I did not remembered more)
M2 other
A. sir not able to recall
M2 hepetitis
A yes sir
M2 what is cause of antibiotic resistance
A due to indiscriminate use of AB
what govt is doing to prevent
i told about clinical establishment bill
Chairman then asked other member ask.. a lady member..
M3. She talked me lot about bihar itself finally asked about the agriculture in bihar. What govt is
doing.
A. Prepared answer I tell in details with confidence.. told all things.. cabinet committee on agr, agr
road map, organic farming, increase in productivity, rainbow revolution
M3 what is rainbow revolution
A. sir, increase in agriculture production with help of organic farming, sustainable agriculture so that
not comprising productivity in past. Like use of dhaicha..
M3. yes yes..migration in bihar cause?
A. in bihar 85-90 % people dependent on agriculture and it is marred by various disasters like flood,
drought, and dependence on monsoon
Q. bihar having so many learnt personality, what is status of the literacy or education
A. bihar is among bottom of all the states. (Chair man said some thing regarding) literacy of bihar is
only 63-64 percent and women is still low only 53 percent
Chairman passes to next male member
M4. You talked about disasters tell me what are the disasters of the Bihar.
A. sir flood, draught, hailstorm, fire in villages in summer, and sir earthquack.
M4. Can you classify
A. (I did not understand how to classify but I told) flood and drought are related to monsoon and river,
earthquack to geological activity..

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M4. No no something different, tell difference between dought and earth quack
A. sir draught occur due to less precepation..(interrupts)
M4. Tell me on preparance point of view
A. sir earthquack affect a large area in quick time, drought occurs progressively and limited area..
(chairman nods and said more devastation in fraction of second in earthquack) I said--- yes
M4. Yes what strategy for disaster
A. long term short term medium term (interrupts)
M4. Tell me what govt is doing
A. sir, govt estb dept of disaster mgt, state disaster mgt authority, NDRF near patna, SNDRF,
formulating standard operating procedures for drought flood earthquack etc
M4 what for flood
A. treaty with Nepal, evacuation of people, boats and equipments, food packets, shelters, planting of
tree in encatchment area, embackments..(interrupts)
M4. Yes yes, tell what is the demerits of embackment
A. sir, it causes water logging, if broken causes more devastation, (interrupts)
M4 tell me specific regarding silting
A sir, causes more accumulation of the silt and further adds in the flood
CHAIRMAN said ok, you may go now.

223

UPSC Interview By Dr. Satyavenkath


Once in a Century -IAS Interview
My IAS Interview 2010
It was the culmination of 5 yrs of sustained , dedicated , hard-work and many sacrifices .I started
this endeavor from scratch only to bring good name to my guru Patriji. Only to prove that The Master
is Guiding millions of souls towards proper path ...
My wife has been a rock pillar support through out , we withstood many pressures and made many
sacrifices towards achieving this goal...
I thank my mentor and my good friend Hari Kiran (rank 16 2009) for his good efforts in polishing the
diamond ...and giving valuable inputs ..without which I wouldn't have crossed the Toughest Mains
Exam of all times (2010) with ease !
I'm putting my interview experience only to make my many well wishers know what exactly happened
and for posterity.

Actual Interview Day

After getting through one of the toughest papers in mains in the recent years , obviously my
confidence was enhanced -- and I was aiming to get into service to give No-Nonsense Governance to
the People(even if I'm eliminated after brief duration) ; there was no fear of the present nor the future
, nor of death in the service to the Lord ; only One Vision -- Vision of Best Governance stood in front of
me !

Thoughts maketh man ...and my very intrepid ideas Radiated a Powerful Energy and Glow around me
.. this energy on that day was so Peaceful yet so Powerful that my batch mates, staff, support staff,
every employee who was lucky enough to be present there in UPSC ..were in awe looking at me ....!!!

This in fact started from the entrance gate ! The security guards gave me very warm alert salute -they thought that I was an infact an Officer ! I went inside , my own batch-mates thought that I was an
Officer and in fact after a while I got used to these reactions .And when the supervisory staff for the
interviews each one saluted me as though I was top official from Govt. of India , on duty for the
interviews -I started enjoying it !

224
Deep in my mind I know there are 2 possibilities from here -that I can lose if God hasn't willed to take
the risk of joining the services or if I cross this last hurdle , then I decided for myself then and there
that no force in future can stop me until I improve the system..,..

With this idea in my mind , and with a volcano of tension inside me , I knocked the door , but was
happy that My head was still cool above my shoulders...There was no panic nor fright , but just a flow
with the moments ....It all happened very quick from then on one by one ...

First word from my mouth ---" Good Morning Madame... Good morning Sir".
they all look at me ...and are in awe for certain .
Chairman replies -- Please take your seat.
I thank him profusely and drag the chair , careful not to make any noise and sit quietly ..I wait for them
to ask ...
Bur they all are taken back by my Energy , Gait , steady head and CONFIDENCE !
They all shuffle in their seats , I noticed it ..
They pause for few seconds ...again they shuffle in their seats ...
They are shell shocked ! Seconds fly ....No voice still ( I can understand their dilemma ... A dove has
entered into the area of the thugs !
Finally one more empty second , I thought the Interview was mine , just then Chairman recoups all his
strength and just barely blurts weakly --" tell me about yourself"?
Me ;Pause for a while .." Sir I'm an Mbbs Doctor, 5 yrs ago from scratch I aspired to be the top most
Administrator for India , and so I'm here at the threshold of achieving my Life time goal , and this itself
speaks about myself more than my words do !
Madam nods her head with happiness, 2 other gentlemen also feel the same , I Notice this from my
corner of my eyes...!

Chairman - He gets all the joy in the world (sarcastic joy )-- jumps in his seat and with more energy
shouts with joy ---" Oh So you are a medical man !
Me - I nod my head -- yes sir !
Chairman-So do you know anything about another medical man --that appeared in today morning
newspaper...
Me - yes sir ..the MCI chief was arrested for taking bribes in granting permissions to private medical
colleges !

225
chairman- was he arrested or chargesheeted !
Me-(Pause ) arrested sir ..
Suddenly Chairman becomes more aggressive , shouts with top of his voice , comes forward
aggressively unto my face ...and shouts " why you want to come to the services --- are you not wasting
money that Govt has spend on you for your medical degree...
I was about to respond -- He stops me , mocks at me , laughs with all the other members - tries to
insult me , says" if you and your family decisicon see is costing the govt many lakhs ?!!
I was about to respond again --- he interrupts me again ..sarastically laughs ...turns to other memebers
, as though they are having a group discussion, leaving me all alone !

Here I do the Unthinkable ! really unthinkable ! he might not have seen such cool reaction in all his
career !

I take stock of the whole situation , here is a guy , mean looking , corrupt looking , deriving sadistic
pleasure of not giving the opp to reply -- Is the interview fixed ? is there no single seat for real merit ?
Should I leave the room , as there is no point sitting there without the right to reply ? I thought of my
wife , my future ,is it gone? ...My gut feeling was its Gone ! having felt so i thought i would be going
out with a good fight ... Thinking it the last day in my office !
I politely and my heart in my mouth ask him in the midst of his outbursts " Can I reply Sir "
He is shocked , stops! didn't expect such guts to stop him in between and poise a cool question ...he
knows that If he gets more angry than this , I would surely walk away and that to morally victoriously...
so he has no other choice -- hence hesitatingly says " yes go ahead" , "go ahead"---leans forward unto
the table and says " go ahead"
Me - Sir 2ARC, 6 th PAY commission recommends specialization of generalist IAS officer and
recommends Training in domain fields. I being already a specialist would fit more aptly into these
roles...As far as wasting of money is concerned , I saved infact lot of it by not being part of the BRAIN
DRAIN . I would still be serving the people of my country and the benefits i would bring for the next
25-30 yrs would far outweigh the costs borne by the Govt on my medical education.
Moreover Govt of India doesn't think in the first place its waste of money , as they want to tap talent
from all fields or else they wouldn't have sought applications from us , and therefore I have every
right to be here !

madame and one more gentleman laughs loud with happiness, chairman and other 2 are stunned by
this gentle but laser precise rebuke !

Chairman is forced to agree ---" yes you are right , you have every right , you have right to be here !he
sincerely appreciates my bold answer ... cools his head off , and tries to see the highest merit in me !

226
From now on the tone mellows down drastically , it becomes soft , and pleading , they know that the
person sitting opposite to them doesn't not come daily in their career but is a rare talent !

Chairman hands over to the member ...he wants to recoup his thoughts I suppose !'

Ist member..." If you become an IAS officer in what 3 fields will you do outstandingly best .
Me -- pause for a while , want to get off the tension , I ask for a glass of water ...
they offer me paper and pen also ...
I reply after a deep pause ..." Sir , as I would be in-charge of many departments , and I would be doing
justice if not outstandingly best in all the fields assigned to me - namely law and order , implement
policies , coordinate different departments etc.
says very good ...
2nd member -- Do you know whats happening in Myanmar...
me - pause for a while -- yes sir .
2nd member go ahead.
me - (pauses) - sir in Myanmar pro Democratic forces led by Ms Suy ki is bringing in silent support for
her cause in the international community and this is making the Military Junta rulers to think of
releasing her from her house arrest , just to gain credibility .
2nd member -- very good thank you.

3rd member Lady- You said your hobbies are Meditation -- what is meditation ..
me - According to Pathanjali -- meditation is Ashtanga raja yoga -- ie 8 step path -lady member- can you name them ..
me - yes madam-- very quickly 1- 8 names asna, pratyahara, dharna, dhyana, samadhi
lady member- very good
lady member- how will you motivate your employeesme - quick answer with minute pause--- " Integrated holistic approach " systems approach to
motivation--- hold out carrots like pay , perks , allowances and also sticks like punishments, censors,
reprimands , and also personally set an example and have personal interaction and easy accessibility
with them !
lady member -- personal interaction ---?! how much time will you take for this ?

227
me - bewildered by this cross - question ! take a deep breath and say madam I will take " reasonable"
amount of time to meet the representatives of my staff depending on the size , nature of the
organisation.
lady member -- feels happy ...
tones down her voice -- asks what books did I follow for Public administration ?
I though this question is for her personal purpose -- maybe to guide her own kids!
Me - madam its Nicolas Henry , mohit bhatachrya , mainly and all other std text books.
4th member- tell me about telengana ...
sir it comprises of 10 districts , ruled by the nizam for 200 yrs and therefore were excluded from any
devp that was seen in the British ruled neighboring areas of Andhra and rayalseema.
4th member- what do you think Smaller states should be formed.
me - pause Sir Sri Krishna Sir and his commission is going exactly into this issue holistically .
4th member -- do you think telengana must be given.
me- if the grievance is that of lack of devp. we must ensure that this is rectified in time bound manner
. devp projects should be instituted on war- footing basis. if it is for seeking power-- I'm against it --as
then every district in India would be seeking a separate state , but having said this the voice of the
people of telengana should be listened to and channelized in the right direction Sir.
4th member and chairman--- yes you are right ...India will then be broken into district size states...you
are right !

Interview handed over to Chairman...


Chairman---- do you get angry ?
Me - I act angry but to get really angry would take lot of effort from my side Sir !
Chairman--no , we daily see on roads , everybody gets angry with everybody ...do you get angry --Me -- no sir ...its not civilized behavior..
Chairman-- do you get angry with your employees...
Me-- no Sir ...
Chairman--but if someone doesn't do the work , We all get angry do you ?
Me- No sir , there are still better ways to make the work completed and anger may be the least resort
Sir ...

228
Chairman---again becomes his original self- spins my answer --- Anger doesn't work in India ...you have
got it wrong !
Me -- I pause /stunned I haven't said anger must be encouraged at any time ! he goes to the next
question...
Chairman why you preferred Irs over Ips ..
Me - Sir every service is a service to the nation , there is no higher or lower service , but just its
an individual preference -- And my aptitude is more for the administrative service -- as I want to give
An India --- Hunger Free, Corruption Free, Disease Free, Illiteracy ,Underemployment , poverty free
above all a Developed nation to the next generation.
Chairman--- softly with cajoling voice --dont want IPS aa?
Me-- As I said Sir Every Service is a service to the nation ...but my preference is more for IAS.
Chairman--what if you dont get..
me- I'm sure I will get it Sir and I'm confident about it or else can still poke syringes all my life !

Chairman--the interview is over ! now whatever is asked or said will not be used for evaluation.
Chairman- do you have any questions for me ?
me- pause -Sir Can we Discuss Ideas instead?
Chairman--raises tone---if you have qsts you ask or else say sorry sir i dont have any qsts !
Sorry Sir I have Ideas to discuss can we !
your interview is over you can leave now.
me - Sorry Sir , you said interview was over few mts ago ! So as the interview was over how does it
matter if I ask a question or discuss an idea?
you can leave now
Reluctantly say thank you sir , thank you madam.( Stereotyped Board expecting stereotyped answers
within 4 closed walls , door locked from inside , with no cameras....just remembering My Father of
Public Administration Woodrow Wilson's -" Corruption thrives in secret places"- I walk away far, very
far, very very far away thanking God that I did not work with these thugs and mafia all my life !
I excelled in my academic performance -got 30 more marks than the topper of my batch in theory but
got 120 marks less than him in the interview.

229

UPSC Interview By Pawan Kadyan (Sh. I.M.G. Khan Board)


Interview/Personality Test Date: 22nd March, 2012.
Slot: Afternoon; Reporting Time 1315 hours.
Interview order: Last of the 6 persons to be interviewed by that board in that slot.
The Board was known at 1445 hours when the first candidate to face the board from our group
(name: Vivek Chaudhary) was told about it. Our board was that of Sh. I.M.G. Khan.
Time passed...after Vivek it was Rupak, then Hari, then Nidhi, then Jackson...and then my turn. By the
time Jackson went it was 1640 hours. In a few minutes all other candidates left in the waiting hall had
also gone for their interviews in their respective boards. Mine was the last interview of the day across
all boards. I was called to come and sit outside the Board's Room after about 15 minutes from when I
was the only one left in the Waiting room. The guards by then, one male and the other a lady, had
become acquaintances. We had even shared a joke or two and laughed with the Voice-repeating-cat
application on the mobile. They wished me luck and smiled. The guy who came to call me for the
interview too by then had seen enough of me to share a smile and good wishes, and he too wished me
good luck. He had a squint and big glasses, and was a nice man to talk to. I thanked him and asked him
what time it was. He replied, 5 baj gaye hain. I asked whether it'd be better if I greeted the board
with a 'Good Evening' rather than a 'Good Afternoon' to which he nodded in the affirmative and with a
smile said, Aap chinta mat keejiye, Khan Sahab achhe se interview lete hain. (I wondered how he
reached the inference that he drew from my question, but his reply did help me :)) We reached the
Board room and he asked me to sit on a chair outside it. I realized Jackson was still inside and I asked
how long had the previous candidate (Jackson) been in? He said it had been 15 minutes. Tea was being
prepared for Mr. Khan while I sat on the chair. The guy who was preparing tea offered me some kajus
and biscuits. I picked one and said, Thank you. Candidate ko to chai nahin di jaati hai na. He said,
Kya aap chai lenge?. I said, Nahin nahin, main nahin loonga, and smiled. Khan Sir ki chai mere
andar jaane se pehle de dijiyega. And he nodded with a smile, Theek hai, and in a few moments
went inside the Board room with the tray.
I practiced sitting into and standing off the chair a few times (by the way I was wearing a deep blue
suit), focused my attention and thoughts for a few minutes, asked myself why I was here, and thanked
God for the opportunity and felt happy for it.
In a few minutes Jackson came out of the Board room. I mimed to ask about how was it. He looked at
me looking a little nervous but happy, and nodded positively as he walked away.
The time had arrived and I asked the big glasses guy who had escorted me there about the time. He
showed me his watch which read 1710 hours. The chimes of the bell rang. It was my turn. He opened
one of the two planks of the door and I stepped forward....
(A note: The demeanor of the conversation was very cordial and conversational and I was most of the
while smiling as if talking to friends.)

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Me: May I come in Sir. (while I noticed that the table was to the right of the door with the
Chairperson, Mr. Khan, facing away from the wall having the door; that I had to walk a circular arc of
90 degrees to face them, and that there was a lady member in the board.)
Mr. Khan: Come in, come in.
Me: Good Evening Ma'am. Good Evening Sir. Good Evening to you Sirs.
Mr. Khan: Take a seat.
Me: Thank You Sir. (I jovially sat down and acknowledged all the members and the Chair by eye
contact)
Mr. Khan: (he was turning over my summary sheet at that time and had reached the last section
having job details). Oh! You worked somewhere (and started reading the address) PP Service..where
was this Nagothane?
Me: Sir it is in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.
Mr. Khan: What does it manufacture? (he would have read the words 'Manufacturing Division' in the
address)
Me: Sir, it manufactures low and high density polymers.
Mr. Khan: So why did you leave the job? Didn't you like it?
Me: No Sir (happily), it was immensely satisfying and I liked it. But while I was there I used to go to a
school nearby to help students. Slowly I started feeling more inclined towards that, so I decided to
pursue a career that is more challenging and where I can connect directly with people.
Mr. Khan: So Pawan, (smiling) what have you been doing since then?
Me: Sir, I've been preparing for the civil services.
Mr. Khan: You left the job in 2009. Its more than two and a half years, close to 3 years now. You could
have done so much at a school by now!
Me: Yes Sir, (emphatically & empathetically) I feel that pain too and want to start contributing as soon
as possible.
Mr. Khan: (smiles) But some countries do not have a Civil Service. Like the US (a member intervened
to add that a few services do exist in the US but not a civil service) and some other countries like (he
told a few names that I don't remember) do not have a permanent civil service. Shouldn't India also
abolish the civil services?
Me: Sir, every country has its own parameters to judge that. India has evolved in a manner that we
need a civil service. The US has had a long history and time to develop (Mr. Khan interrupts: But we've
had a longer history.) Sir, I mean since independence. We need more time before we can do away
with the civil service if that is indeed needed. Civil services are the drivers of the car the country is. We

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play a critical role, perhaps the most critical role in taking the country forward. (M4 interrupts while
looking at Mr. Khan: Sir, he is identifying with the services.)
Me: (in an embarrassed, humble, jovial & conversational tone with a smile) Sir, I didn't mean that. I am
extremely sorry (and a big smile).
Mr. Khan: I never thought of this analogy before (looks excited and inquisitive). So, if the civil services
is driving the car (smiled) then what are the politicians doing?
Me: Sir, they along with many others are sitting in the back of the car. Civil services decide how well
and at what speed the country moves forward.
Mr. Khan: Hmm...(and acknowledges with a bigger smile. And asks inquisitively..) So, when did the civil
services start in India?
Me: Sir, they started in the British era. The Office of the District Collector came up in the 1770s.
Mr. Khan: But the names Tehsil, Taluka, Zilla, Mansabdari still exist. What are they then if the services
started in the British era?
Me: Sir, the names exist to mark a continuity in the governance system. So that people feel connected
to it. There were administrative systems before too, but the present day professional civil services
started in the British era.
Mr. Khan: So we have them because of the British legacy?
Me: No Sir. We have them because we need them...(He interrupts me here, smiles and says:
OK..OK..you are sticking to your point. Good. He now looks at Member 1 as if to tell him that he can
ask questions now)
M1: What is the Indo-US Strategic partnership?
Me: Sir, if my memory is serving me right it started in 2004. I might be incorrect. It is a partnership
covering many areas from defence, science & technology, education, trade, civil nuclear energy and
many more.
M1:What benefit is India getting out of it?
Me: Sir, the US is the world leader in technology, defence equipment and many other areas. We can
learn from them in these fields.
M1: So, what benefit is the US driving from it?
Me: Sir, every country has its own experience and share of successes & failures. India too can offer the
US such knowledge, and this knowledge sharing can create a new synergy and a higher level of
progress for both the countries. India is also an emerging world leader and the US would benefit from
this engagement.
M1: Wasn't it because the US wanted to use India against a particular country?
Me: No Sir. No one can use India for its interests. We entered the partnership on our own terms.

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M1: What is AFSPA? What are the controversies related with it?
Me: Sir its the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which came into force in the late 1950s. Its applied in
disturbed areas, declared so by the Governor of the State. It was applied initially to regions in the
North-East and extended to J&K in the 1990s. It gives the Army the power to take suo moto action in
matters of national security, countering terrorism and other such activities which include searching
premises, opening fire etc. The recent controversies relate to the human rights violations in J&K by the
Army and the decade long fast by a lady (I intentionally didn't name Irom Sharmila to avoid questions
on her or Manipur) in the North-East.
M1: What are the problems in the civil aviation sector?
Me: Sir, the individual operators in the sector have different problems and business models, but their
business models are not the ones that are best suited to make profit. In case of Air India it being the
national carrier, it has to operate flights between less profitable or liability creating routes and
airports. Kingfisher's Mr. Mallya is funding his airlines from his other avenues. His model was never
profitable and required him to pump money from his other avenues. The operators in the sector are
more than what India requires in terms of demand. The induced competitiveness has led to very low
fares but the losses have begun to show. (I could feel the answer was getting long and the Member
was losing attention).
M1: So in short what is the problem?
Me: Sir, its the improper business models of the different operators.
(M1 acknowledges that positively and looked at Member 2 to hand it over to him. M2 had a stern look
to begin with but that changed soon)
M2: Pawan, you are a sportsperson. You come from a sports school. You have been doing sports
regularly. Tell us, what according to you are the problems in Sports in India?
Me: Sir, the biggest problem is in the way we perceive sports. Its seen as a hindrance to academics.
Sports is not seen as an economically viable career. Then the Govt incentives and focus on sports has
been low. Sports infrastructure is lacking. Private investment in sports is also low. But Sir, the past few
years our sportspersons have performed very well in various international competitions and have
shown us the way ahead.
M2: What can be done to tackle these problems?
Me: Sir, the first thing we need is a strong & balanced Sports Policy and Sports Law. Also academics
should integrate sports in it for the overall development of children. The government spending should
increase and infrastructure be built using existing schemes and new schemes. And the private sector
should promote sports persons as role models through advertisements and sponsorships. Talent
hunting and improvement in coaching facilities should also be important focus areas.
M2: What about hockey?

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Me: Sir, in hockey we did not adapt with the changes that happened with the coming of the Astroturf.
Our physical fitness also didn't meet up to other teams. But after Micheal Nobbs has become the
hockey coach, this is improving and we've recently qualified for the Olympics too.
M2: Do sports keep us fit?
Me: (almost sounding obvious and smiling) Yes Sir, both mentally and physically fit.
M2: But in our country so many people are malnourished. How can sports keep us fit when we don't
have food?
Me: Sir, nutrition is a critical necessity. Without it not just sports but every activity we undertake
suffers. But sports is not a competing factor. In fact sports can help give the confidence that can
translate to all other activities, like to take more risk in economic ventures, wage & self employment
etc to earn a better living and nutrition levels. Sports will also find a way for itself if we can provide
better nutrition.
(M2 looked at Member 3, who was also the lady member. She started looking at what was written in
her diary. I could see a lot of scribblings in it as if it were a rough work diary)

M3: Pawan, you seem to be a talented young man. What in your opinion are the three big problems
of India? How can they be tackled?
Me: Ma'am, in my opinion the biggest challenge before India right now is of how to ensure that we
reap our demographic dividend. The second is that we still haven't achieved inclusive growth. And the
third is (I am thinking...) that the status of women is still not at par with men.
M3: What is corruption? (She might have been expecting I would say corruption, but somehow it didn't
come to my mind then!)
Me: Ma'am, any activity done with malafide interest is corruption in my opinion. If there is an illicit
purpose involved and loss to the public at large.
M3: Doesn't it have to be monetary?
Me: No Ma'am. Not necessarily, in my opinion.
M3: Give an example where it is not monetary.
Me: (affirmatively) Ma'am say someone connives with someone else to accrue power or favours. That
too would be corruption in my opinion.
M3: What is demographic dividend?
Me: Ma'am more than 50% of our population is young and less than 30 years of age. They have a lot of
energy and creativity to offer. That is demographic dividend. Being able to tap that energy and
channelize that in a positive direction is the challenge.
M3: What were the other problems you told.

234
Me: Ma'am, lack of inclusive growth and the status of women.
M3: What is the status of employment in India? How can we address it?
Me: Ma'am 60% of the people are employed in Agriculture. Roughly 20% are in the Services sector,
and the rest in MSMEs (she looks as if wanting to ask what that is. I continue..) ie Micro, Small and
Medium scale industries and Manufacturing. I do not recall the figures exactly.(to which Mr.
Khan says:No..no. We don't need figures. We want to know what you think.) (I acknowledged him
and smiled) (Now I am addressing both Mr. Khan and M3)We need to divert people from agriculture.
40% of farmers don't want to be in agriculture. We can provide them skills & training so that they get
employment in small scale industries and agro-based industries that can be setup in and around where
they live. (Mr. Khan was nodding positively and smiling while I said this).
M3: What model has China adopted for this? (I understood that she was hinting at what can be done
in the Manufacturing Sector in India)
Me: Ma'am, they have invested in building large scale infrastructure like roads and SEZs and these
have created large scale employment.
M3: So what is India doing on that front?
Me: Ma'am India has formulated a new National Manufacturing Policy which will create around 10
crore job in the next 10-15 years. We also have plans to set up National Manufacturing Investment
Zones and various SEZs. We have launched schemes like NRLM and National Skill Development
Mission.
M3: So, is NREGA a solution?
Me: Ma'am, its a solution but only in the short term, not in the long term because it does not impart
skills or create productive & permanent assets.
M3: Yes, (nods affirmatively) NREGA is only a transient solution. (looks into her diary and looks back
at me from between her eyebrows and her glasses) Are our policies a failure then?
Me: No Ma'am, (smile) our policies aren't a failure. It is their implementation and the awareness about
them that is still lacking.
Mr. Khan: It is easier said then done.
Me: Yes Sir, I agree, (empathetically) and therefore we need conviction and commitment in the civil
services.
(She looked at Member 4, who looked indifferently towards me while he was laid back in his chair)

M4: You mentioned Agro based and MSMEs. What are the Food Processing related incentives in the
Budget? You must be following the Budget?
Me: Sorry Sir, I did follow the Budget but I do not recall these provisions right now.

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M4: But this seems to be your interest as you mentioned them. There seems to be a discrepancy
in your knowledge and your interests.
Me: Sir, I remember the essence of what was said, but not the details. Should I tell that?
M4: OK.
Me: Sir, the Finance Minister in his Budget speech gave incentives for attracting investment and
generating employment in the Food Processing industry.(He looked satisfied now)
M4: The entrepreneurs and businessmen are responsible for creating a lot of jobs but they
don't seem to get the respect as the civil servants and politicians do. Why is that?
Me: Sir, people respect entrepreneurs and businessmen too. I don't feel that they are not respected.
M4: I am not talking about the downtrodden. They respect everyone. I am talking about those who
matter. Who among those sections respects these entrepreneurs and businessman?
Me: Sir, in my opinion the downtrodden matter too, but the other sections like civil servants and
politicians, and the middle class also respect the businessmen. Especially since the advent of Indicative
Planning they have been given even more respect. They are now called to help with plan formulation
and preparation of the budget too.
M4: (looks satisfied and smiles). Suppose you are the District Magistrate of a district. Two politicians,
an MLA and a MP, are tossing you around for political gains. What will you do?
Me: (almost jokingly) Sir, I can't imagine something like this happening. I believe politicians are
rational people. (M4 starts to grow a humorous smile on his face) And even if this happens, I will
follow what the law suggests me to do. I will also consult my seniors and colleagues if the need arises.
M4: Law is always the last resort. (Everyone started laughing, including me)
M4: (from what I felt) (Gave a long speech on relations between politicians and civil servants
and stopped without asking a question).
Me: Yes Sir.
Mr. Khan: You didn't seem to have got the question. (looked at M4 and said) Be more specific.
Me: (looking at M4) Sir, I am extremely sorry. I didn't get the question.
M4: (in a smiling and relaxed tone) How is the RTI a boon for civil servants? Or is it not a boon?
Me: Yes Sir, it is a big boon. Now the civil servant can demand things in written from the politician if he
feels the need for it. RTI also streamlines office procedures, interdepartmental communications and
coordination. It helps record keeping and improves efficiency in implementation also.

Mr. Khan: (Gave a monologue on RTI and its positives for politicians too).
Me: I intermittently affirmed and subscribed to his view and thanked him.

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Mr. Khan: A new reform of Performance Review of Civil Servants has been proposed. You must be
knowing about it. (I nod affirmatively). Suppose I suggest that there should be a 10 year contract for
the civil servants and then a compulsory performance review, and if not found meeting the
standards set the civil servant will be thrown out. What would you suggest?
Me: Sir, the reform you suggested is similar to the one being proposed. (Mr. Khan
interrupts: No..no. The civil servant will be thrown out!)
Me: In that case Sir, I prefer your suggestion. That will create positive performance pressure, increase
healthy competition and efficiency in the service.
Mr. Khan: But do you want to be thrown out directly?
Me: Sir,(emphatically) if I don't perform, I don't deserve to be in the service.
Mr. Khan: Thank you. (smiled). Your interview is over. You may go.
Me: Thank you Sir. (I get up from the seat). Thank you Ma'am. Thank you Sirs. (while looking at
the respective members, and move towards the exit briskly. At the door, turn back for the final eye
contact and see that Ma'am is still looking at me. I acknowledge her with a smile & a nod and exit the
room.)

I left the room. Went and collected my belongings and came out of the UPSC Building, the last
candidate to appear out of the gate.

PS: I have intentionally not written the various facial expressions & gestures the Board members had or
I made, as that didn't seem to be needed. The overall atmosphere and the mood everyone had was
cordial and I was smiling most of the time which was not a forced one. I have tried to write what
transpired in the fashion that it did. Some words or instances may have changed, but I 've tried to stick
as much as I could to what happened in the interview.

237

Some probable questions that are asked generally in the UPSC


Interview:
Some initial questions are generally asked based on your bio-data; about your career choices and
why exactly you want to opt for the civil services.
To start the interaction, the in IAS interview board generally ask a candidate to briefly describe
about himself/herself.
Some questions are asked relating to your name. You might be asked some questions about the
meaning of your name, surname, the reason for carrying a long surname or surnames if anybody has.
You should also prepare some important events on the year or the date of your birth. A big portion
of the UPSC Interview questions are mainly from what you have filled in your form including your
subjects, hobbies, service preferences etc. Thus you are supposed to put more emphasis on the
interview as a test of logic and presentation and awareness rather than a pure subject knowledge.
You need to reasearch well on your hobby that you mention on your biodata. Questions are asked
on the reason for your pursuing such a hobby.
You are supposed to be aware of the hot topics of the present world. You will be asked on some
burning issues and you will be judged your opinions regarding the same. Thus you need to have a fair
base on the current topics as well as an analytical mind to answer the interview board.
Questions are asked on your profession/professions also if you have had any. If you are a doctor,
than you might be asked questions on any ongoing health issues. If you have an economy background,
than you might be asked questions on the current economic scenario. The board may also ask you
about the applicability of your current profession in the civil services. So, you are supposed to prepare
well on all the possible questions relating your past and present careers.
Some situational questions may also crop up in the interview. As for example, the interviewers may
ask you a question throwing a situation in front of you and they would ask you how you would be
dealing with the particular situation. The question might be something like if you were the Collector/SP
of Ajmer, Rajasthan, what would you do after the bomb blast in the city? So, you are supposed to
develop an analytical and foreseen thinker mind to face the IAS interview.
UPSC Interview questions range from the questions about your choice of subjects to why you want
to join the civil services. Thus, a thorough and overall polish up of your career and personality as a
whole are to be considered when you prepare for the IAS Interview.
Some initial questions are generally asked based on your bio-data; about your career choices and why
exactly you want to opt for the civil services.
To start the interaction, the in IAS interview board generally ask a candidate to briefly describe
about himself/herself.

238

Some questions are asked relating to your name. You might be asked some questions about the
meaning of your name, surname, the reason for carrying a long surname or surnames if anybody has.
You should also prepare some important events on the year or the date of your birth. A big portion
of the UPSC Interview questions are mainly from what you have filled in your form including your
subjects, hobbies, service preferences etc. Thus you are supposed to put more emphasis on the
interview as a test of logic and presentation and awareness rather than a pure subject knowledge.
You need to reasearch well on your hobby that you mention on your biodata. Questions are asked
on the reason for your pursuing such a hobby.
You are supposed to be aware of the hot topics of the present world. You will be asked on some
burning issues and you will be judged your opinions regarding the same. Thus you need to have a fair
base on the current topics as well as an analytical mind to answer the interview board.
Questions are asked on your profession/professions also if you have had any. If you are a doctor,
than you might be asked questions on any ongoing health issues. If you have an economy background,
than you might be asked questions on the current economic scenario. The board may also ask you
about the applicability of your current profession in the civil services. So, you are supposed to prepare
well on all the possible questions relating your past and present careers.
Some situational questions may also crop up in the interview. As for example, the interviewers may
ask you a question throwing a situation in front of you and they would ask you how you would be
dealing with the particular situation. The question might be something like if you were the Collector/SP
of Ajmer, Rajasthan, what would you do after the bomb blast in the city? So, you are supposed to
develop an analytical and foreseen thinker mind to face the IAS interview.
UPSC Interview questions range from the questions about your choice of subjects to why you want
to join the civil services. Thus, a thorough and overall polish up of your career and personality as a
whole are to be considered when you prepare for the IAS Interview.

239

Dos for the IAS Interview


In the UPSC Interview board, generally there are five members with the Chairperson seated at the
centre. Enter confidently and greet the Chairperson, and pleasantly nod at other members. However, if
there is any female member in the interview board, greet her first to show your politeness.
Wait till you are asked to sit. Take your seat calmly after you are asked to sit, saying thank you to
the board members as a whole.
Have an eye contact with the person you are interacting with. This will help you to be attentive.
Moreover, having an eye contact will show your confidence also.
In answering any question, judge the required patience shown by the member/members talking to
you and cut short your answer according to the demand of the situation. Listen carefully and think for a
few seconds before you start answering the question. This will show that you are organising your
thoughts in mind before starting to speak.

If you do not know any of the answers to any question, say politely and firmly that you do not know
the answer. This will show that your approach is clear and straight forward.
If the interview board gives complements on any of your answers, do express thanks.
A pleasant look and a pleasing smile certainly help to make a good first impression. Formal clothing
is preferred in the interview. Do have trials at home with the same pair of clothes that you wear on the
day of the interview so that from any angle you dont look uncomfortable or first time user of such
clothing.
Leave some room for difference in opinions. Do take a stand, but dont be or at least dont look
adamant or unwilling to appreciate the board's opinion if you feel that the boards opinion is nicer.

240

Donts for the IAS Interview

Do not make unnecessary movements of your hands, head and your body. But at the same time
keep in your mind that you are not sitting unnaturally stiff. Your posture should be attentive and
relaxed. Do not crouch or bend forward toward the table.
Do not make wild guesses or speculations. First listen carefully and then come to the central issue of
the enquiry immediately. Moving around the bush will irritate the interviewer.
Do not go for an argument deliberately with the interview board. In case an argument arises, argue
logically and generalise correctly.
Do not try to read too much between the lines.
Say less to convey more. Answer with right expressions and right body language.
Never try to bluff the interview board. The board members are senior and experience holder. It is
always better to be honest in front of the interviewers.
Do not show over confidence or arrogance in replying to anything even when you are sure that you
are 100% right and you are very much comfortable in dealing with the issue on which you have been
asked.
Avoid wearing anything shiny, glossy or extra bright in the interview session. Wear decent and
modest attire.
Do not relate unnecessary jokes just to be friendly with the interviewers. However, a situational
light joke is fine if at all you can relate it sensibly.
Do not leave the interview hall till you are asked to do so. After you are asked to leave the hall do
express thanks with a nice smile on your face.

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Objective of UPSC Interview


The objective of Union Public Service Commission interviews is to assess the personal suitability of a
candidate for the service he has applied for. The candidate is interviewed by an interview board. The
interview is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate of not only his intellectual qualities, but
also his social traits and interests in current affairs.

The technique of the interview is a natural one. It consists of a direct and purposive
conversation, which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The Interview preparation process is continuous. All knowledge a candidate has acquired
during his academic as well as his personal life contribute in the preparation of the interview.
This involves a wide reading of books, journals, magazines and newspapers etc. The interview
test is not meant for judging the candidates academic knowledge only, rather it is a test of the
candidates overall personality. That is why appropriately it is called a personality test rather
than an interview.

In addition to the academic preparation, the candidate should also put emphasis on how to
improve his/her conversational skills with right body language and expressions. Candidates can
hold group discussions with friends and seniors to point out each other mistakes and thus can
work on them to improve and present themselves in front of the interview board.

The candidates fill the examination form with the required columns of his/her interests and
hobbies. During the interview, the interview board keeps the information provided by the
candidate with them and they do ask a number of questions based on the candidates biodata. So, a candidate should be prepared to answer questions which could arise from their biodata. In addition to that the interview board tests the candidate his knowledge and grasp on
the optional subjects on which he/she has passed the mains examination.

Thus an overall preparation of the candidates academic as well as personal front is needed to
face the IAS interview.

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Other Advice
In the IAS interview, a candidates confidence, personality and understanding of the things and
happenings all around the society and the world as a whole are judged. The interview round is quite
subjective in nature rather than objective. Questions asked to a candidate by the interview board are
well framed to judge the candidates overall personality. Thus, answers to the questions should be
provided taking into consideration all possible views. A candidate should make a balanced approach
while answering any question.

The UPSC interview board is highly experienced and knowledgeable. In case, a candidate is not
aware of something about which he/she was asked, it is always better to admit the non-awareness
with politeness.
A candidate should proceed answering only after understanding properly about the question
he/she is asked. If the question put in front of him/her is not clear enough the candidate should politely
ask for clarification. It is not the factual knowledge; but the interviewees views which are on test in the
interview.
Interview etiquette should be maintained. One should be honest, polite, convincing and modest.
The candidates focus on the issue on which he/she has been asked is immensely given importance. So,
arrogance, rigidity, flicking round the issue should be avoided.
A candidates confidence and honesty are also judged along with his/her general awareness about
the world. It is better to say no if the candidate is not aware of something, than to bluff around.
In the process of preparation for the interview, group discussion is a must. Though, Personality is a
life time asset, yet, efforts can be made to overcome major deficiencies and polishing of views and
opinions of the candidate.
One can take part in the mock interviews held by friends, seniors and teachers. One can also
approach some IAS coaching institutes where they are guided by experienced teachers. In the
institutes, candidates can also polish up their views and opinions regarding various topics with the help
of group discussions.