(Interview) UPSC Interview By Abhishek Yadav [AIR - 428] (Dr. K.K. Paul Board)

UPSC Interview By Abhishek Yadav [AIR - 428] (Dr. K.K. Paul Board)

Board - K.K. Paul
Number - 2nd to go in

The Board was very cordial, and contrary to what I have read or heard about KK Paul, I found him to be a nice guy. No grilling, but yes, no smiling either. As you would see below, I found that quite a lot of it, stemmed from my bio-data and very few were absolutely un-related to me personally in some way. Of the four members, two were male and two females.

About the sitting arrangement, yes, it was semi-circular, but as everyone has been, two of the members, sit quite near on either side. But its quite normal. I mean, you don't really feel any pressure on that account atleast, nor do you have to strain your neck to see all of them while answering.

My Background

  • Electrical Engineer (2008)
  • Hobbies: Watching movies (fiction), Reading books (fiction)
  • Extra-Curricular: Chief Coordinator of the Literary Society..
  • Working: Income Tax Inspector, Delhi.

K.K. Paul

Went in, wished them all, took my seat. Dr. Paul looked at the Summar sheet, said or murmured, electrical engineer.

1. You are an electrical engineer. What is Plant Load Factor and what is efficiency of a power plant.

Ans. Sir, PLF is the ratio of plan't avg' output to its installed capacity. When we talk about efficiency, that may include a number of factors like the technology used, avalaibility of fuel etc etc.

2. But you know, in the end if efficiency is ultimately the only thing that matters, what is the use of Plant Load Factor.

Ans. Sir, PLF can be used to analyse the efficiency. By seeing the PLF over a period of time, it can be seen if efficiency is increasing or not.

3. You are from Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School, what is this Our lady of Fatima...

Ans. Answered about Fatima, the place in Portugal and it being a name for an apparition of Virign Mary and how it got its name.

4. You have the hobby of watching movies, fiction? Why did you write fiction. Aren't all movies fiction.

Ans.  Sir, there can be documentaries as well.

Q. Yes, but that won't be a movie.

5. What kinds of books do you read.

Ans. Sir, no specific genre, but I like Science fiction.

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6. Favorite author.

Ans. Isaac Asimov.

7. There was a movie in 1966-67, a very famous one, a book had also been written on it. What was it?

Ans. I am unable to recollect Sir.

KKP: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Me: Yes Sir, infact, the book was written after the movie had been released. 

8. Who was the author of the book. 

Ans. Arthur Clarke.

9. Where did the author live. (Since, despite being an British, he lived in Sri Lanka).

Ans. In Srilanka, post 1956.

10. You graduated in 2008, are you working somewhere.

Ans. Yes Sir, Since Dec 2011, I am working with the Income Tax Dept. as Income Tax Inspector.


1. Why is your tie red?

Ans. Sir, I felt it would suit my shirt.

2. No no, I mean, why is it looking red? 

Ans. Sir, that is because, when light is reflected of it, all colors except for Red get absorbed.

3. Why do we use red color as a warning sign?

Ans. Sir, I would say that maybe because of conventions. But I feel that Red being a striking color, it is used as it can seen even from long distances.

4. What do you think is the difference between Indians in India and Indians in America.

Ans. Sir, I believe the difference would be largely in terms of the socio-cultural context and this would be true for any two sets of people. The way they talk, they think and behave, would be dependent on the cultural environment.

5. What is the difference between Red Indians and Indians.

Ans. Red Indians are Native Americans, Indians are those who migrated from India. 

6. So where did the American population come from.

Ans. Sir, it was mostly populated by colonisers. After the American Revolution, a lot of the colonisers decided to stay back and hence they formed the population. (Should have talked about the Slaves as well)...

7. Where did the Colonisers come from.

Ans. Europe.


1. What is free press.

Ans. Mam, I believe it refers to the freedom of the press to present views that may be contradictory to the views of the dominant majority. That it is free to present views without censure. But, at the same time, the freedom also includes the responsibility to ensure that the news is published in a manner that does not cause problems. For e.g. if there are riots, the press should be free to report it but the press must be responsible in ensuring that it presents it in such a manner that it does not cause further riots...

2. In the papers today regarding CAG and the coalfields issue, the statement made yesterday was retracted (or something like that)... was this correct on the part of media. What could have been done.

Ans. Mam, I believe that one solution could have been that the publishing of the news could have been done by first consulting or contacting the CAG about it, since the CAG itself said that it has not prepared even a Pre-final report and the item indicts the govt with losses to the tune of 10Lac crore.

3. But all of what we see, happens after the mistake has been done. Shouldn't we do something about the sensationalising of news. I am not talking about gagging the press though.

Ans. Yes Mam, I believe that the press needss to have a moral self-regulation but I would not suggest a regulatory authority because there are dangers of arbitrary powers and since it would involve subjectivity on part of the regulator, it is not a good solution. We have the Press Council of India which...

4. But the Press Council isn't doing anything.

Ans. Mam, actually in the recent days it has been some active with the Retd. SC Judge, Markandey Katju.

5. Give me an example of his activism.

Ans. Mam, his action in the case of the killing of journalists in Maharastra last year, J Dey - Jyoti Dey.

6. We find that kids in smaller classes, have these events like story telling, drawing etc etc. Does it serve any purpose.

Ans. Mam, I would say it serves two purposes.
1. It gives the kids the opportunity to be creative.
2. Today, the parental and peer pressure on children with regards to education is too much. Every parent wants their child to be the No. 1. I think we must use such activies even at the higher level to give them areas to de-stress.

7. What did you do as the Chief-Coordinator of your literary society.

Ans. Mam, in most of the colleges, the literary society is one that consitutes a select few people. So was it in ours. We tried to expand that base by... (interuppted)

M2:  Link it to your previous answer.

Me: The one about creativity?

M2: Yes

Me: Mam, actually, in my college, or in general at the college level, students are more interested in the placement scenario. And simply suggesting creativity would not have brought them to the open. So, we suggested that participating in debates and GD, one would be able to remove the fear of speaking in front of many and you would be able to face the interview better.


1. We have so much atmospheric pollution nowadays from thermal power plants, what are we doing to curb it.

Ans. 1. Using Super-critical Technology.
2. Renewable and Nuclear energy - moving to emission free energy.
3. Biogas - being promoted in rural areas.
4. Coal Gassification technology.

2. Where is this Coal Gasification being done.

Ans. Sir, I am unable to recollect where but I know BHEL is doing it.

M3: What else.. Anything else?

Ans. Sir, I think we can improve our technology further. For e.g., we now have Ultra-Supercritical Tech with even better efficiency.

4. Hmm, No, I mean, are we doing anything on the Waste treatment front.

Ans. Sir, I am not sure but I think we are having treatment plants.

5. Yes, but what is it doing.

Ans. Sir, in thermal powe plants we have the waste, slug or slush which carry a lot of pollutants that used to be sent to the seas or rivers directly. But now using the waste treatment plant, we ensure that they do not reach the water front and thus we can control both air and water pollution.

6. What about Solar. (Since I mentioned Renewable but didnt expand).

Ans. Yes Sir, even on that front, the govt is incentivising the use of Solar energy. We have a National mission on Solar Energy with the target of 20,000 MW by 2022. We are also promoting Wind energy, especially in the coastal areas where the potential is high.

7. Where is the govt incentivising.

Ans. Sir, for e.g. the govts. of the states of Rajasthan an Gujarat where the potential is quite high.


1. You mentioned the national mission. What is it.

Ans. National JN Solar mission. No Mam, JN Solar Mission. I think I am missing something...

M4: JN National Solar Mission

Ans. Thank you Mam.

2. What steps are we taking to incentivise solar energy. What incentives is the govt. giving for them.

Ans. Mam, I am unable to recollect the specific provisions right now.

3. Do you know about REC (Renewable Energy Certificates)

Ans. Mam, Rural Electricification C (stops, understanding that it is noway related to solar and the expression of M4 said that you are wrong buddy)

M4: Renewable Energy Certificates

Ans. Mam, these are certificates where we are providing financial incentives... I am sorry Mam, I don't think I am sure about this.. (Realised that I was going to bluff,hence backed out)

4. It is said, "" The Sun is still clouded when it comes to the solar industry"" - What does this mean.

Ans. Mam, I am not sure, but I can interpret it. Since the technology used in solar generation is still very expensive, it is not as yet a profitable venture for the indistry and may be that is why it is still clouded.

5. You said, you like Sci-fi books. Name some indian authors on Sci-fi.

Ans. Satyajit Ray.

6. I am not talking about movies.

Ans. Mam, I think, SR did write on Sci-fi as well. Here, M2 interjected to agree with me and say that yes, he did.

KK Paul

1. Ok, one last question. Who was the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Ans. Stanley Kubrick.

2. Any other film he made (after I named the director)

Ans. A Clockwork Orange.

3. Do you know what happened to that movie (A Clocwork Orange)

Ans. Sir, I am not sure, but I know that, today the movie is considered, if I may call it so, a cult movie due to its socio-cultural depcitions (used a simpler much more useless word, I am sure).

KKP: Actually, the movie was withdrawn by the Director and Producer of the movie.

Me: Thank you Sir." 

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