Toppers: Interview With Dr. Basant Gard, IAS
Topper 2005 (2nd Position)
Q. What is the secret of your success in this examination?
A. I stared preparation three years back during my MBBS course. This
allowed me to prepare steadily and kept things stress-free at all times.
Q. How much time do you think one requires for serious preparations
for this examination?
A. Two years of dedicated hard work is necessary. If one starts
preparation during one's studies, it may be three years.
Q. Which journals and newspapers have you been reading for the General
Studies and other papers?
A. Newspaper : The Hindu, Magazines : Competition Success Review, General
Knowledge Today, Yojana, Frontline, Hindu Year Book and CSR Books.
Q. Do you remember any remarkable incident of your life that motivated
or promoted you to go for a career in the Civil Services?
A. Once I complained to my father that there were very few seats for
Medical entrance. He said, "You need only on". There is always room at the
Q. What prompted you to chose Civil services as your career?
A. Civil Services provides to the aspirants the opportunity to serve the
people from a position where on can influence decision making.
Q. How did your parents, family and friends contributed to your
A. My father ahs been a big motivator. My mother and my brother have been
great supporters. Besides, friends and relatives have also contributed by
giving me a lot of time for preparation, often taking the burden upon
Q. Had you not been selected in the Civil Services examination, what
would have been your reaction? Which other service/career would you have
gone in/opted for?
A. I would have been unhappy and would have continued in my field.
Q. How do you visualize your success?
A. My success is the success of my parents' efforts. It reflects upon my
schooling, my teachers and the society I come from. There are God's blessing
to me and my family.
Q. What were your optionals at the Civil Services Examination?
A. Prelims : Medical Science, Mains : Medical Science and Zoology.
Q. How many attempts had you made earlier before you got selected?
A. This was my first attempt.
Q. What was your criterion for the selection of the optional subjects?
A. In order of priority : 1. Background, Interest, Availability of
quality material, Syllabus - how specific.
Q. how did your prepare for the compulsory papers?
A. I largely depended on my schooling, newspaper reading for English
Paper. For Hindi Paper, I read Hindi newspaper for about a week.
Q. What is your impression about the Interview Board?
A. The Interview Board was friendly and comforting since I largely
presented balanced and rational views.
Q. What do you think is a better way of preparation between selective
intensive study and wide extensive study?
A. One should be highly selective for optionals. in General Studies, one
can be selective with respect to History and Polity. Rest of General Studies
requires extensive study, especially Economy and Current Affairs.
Q. Is this pattern of the examination appropriate for selection? Would
you recommend any other improvement?
A. I think it is appropriate for selection, since each step of the
examination brings out certain strengths and endeavours of aspirants.
Q. Do you feel that there should be no restriction on the number of
A. I feel the number of attempts should be restricted so that
unsuccessful candidates can move on in life and be productive to the nation.
Q. To what extent, you think, Model Test Papers can be useful for the
aspirants of Civil Services?
A. They, sometime, give you an idea of the pattern of the question paper,
thus helping in time management during exam.
Q. What is your advice to the future aspirants?
A. Start preparing early, plan accordingly, develop a perspective about
various issues, interact with various people and peers with due care. Be
selective in the optionals.
Courtesy : rajputbrotherhood