UPSC Interview By Rajeshwari B
UPSC Interview By Rajeshwari B
Name: Rajeshwari B
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
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
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
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.
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
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
S3 - People will take part more..?
Me - Yes sir. ( he was kind of acknowledging my answer so I did not
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.
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
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.
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