(Interview) UPSC Interview By Chakresh Mishra (P.K. Mishra Board)

UPSC Interview By Chakresh Mishra

Today I appeared for second UPSC interview of my life. Last year was an average performance for me, hence a scope for improvement was there. I was the first person to be called by P K Mishra board. I sat outside the interview room for almost 10 minutes, drank a glass of water. With heart pumping like anything I decided to think about Sachin Tendulkar’s century, just like harry potter used to do when he faced dementors, happy memories, you know. Finally the bell rang and below is what conspired in next 35 minutes. (CP:: chair-person, m1, m2, m3, M4: members of board)

Me: May I come in, sir.

CP:: Yes, please come in.

Me: Good morning ma’am, good morning sirs.

All: Good morning.

CP:: Please take a seat.

Me: Thank you sir (adjusted the chair a bit)

CP:: Please make sure you are comfortable.

Me: Thank you sir, I am comfortable. (smile)

CP:: So, you are from Aligarh.

Me: No sir, I am from Mathura, Aligarh was my birth place.

CP:: Oh, alright. (pause for few seconds) (with big smile) Tell us something about what is “Norway’s egg on delhi’s face story” (everybody else laughs)

Me: Sir, this was a headline in today’s newspaper. Story is related to custody of two children in Norway. The parents, who are Indian, requested Indian government to intervene in the issue as they argued that it is an issue of culture insensitivity. Govt of India registered the protest, even sent an special envoy to Norway to resolve the issue and bring the kids back to India. But now the news report is that the issue was related to domestic problem of the couple. So, govt has to retract its intervention. That is why such a headline.

CP:: Do you think govt was wrong to intervene?

Me: Sir, I think it is proper for govt to intervene for interest of Indians abroad, but govt should have investigated a bit before getting involved in the issue.

CP:: What was the role of media in this case? Do you think that affects the decision of govt?

Me: Sir, media in general tend to put emphasis on the emotional content of issue without thinking about rational dimension. I think sir, govt should be careful and should consider the interest of our foreign policy. Otherwise such small issue can give rise to bigger diplomatic crisis, which is not very good for our position in the world.

CP:: Okay, what is this red-cross competition that you won in your school time? What was involved in that?

Me: Sir, it was a state level competition among various schools. I was part of the team of my school. Competition involved some practical tests based on the knowledge of primary basic treatment given to wounded person, tying the knots, preparing stretcher etc.

CP:: Who was the founder of red-cross movement?

Me: Sir, Henry Dunont from switzerland.

CP:: Okay, do you know what is the structure of red-cross at district level?

Me: Sir, i know that there is a committee at state level. But I am not aware of exact situation at district level. Sir, collector is in-charge of such operation.

CP:: (laugh) Yeah, collector is in-charge of everything, safe bet, isn’t it so?

Me: (smile) Yes sir. He is the co-ordinator of everything

CP:: So, What are the major works undertaken by red-cross?

Me: Sir, in India or in general?

CP:: Tell us first in general then in India.

Me: Sir, in general red-cross is UN authorized body to take care of wounded soldiers in battlefield. It works as a neutral body… (interrupts)

CP:: okay, okay, in India now.

Me: Sir, in India, red-cross has worked at the time of various wars like kargil war. It is also active in maoist affected areas.

CP:: You are missing a major work done by red-cross.

Me: (a bit thinking) Sir, they organize blood donation camps.

CP:: That’s alright, but I was pointing towards AIDS camps. They have done good work in that area.

Me: Yes sir, thank you sir.

CP:: So, you have written debating as hobby. Do you start to debate wherever you go? Would you start a debate right here if I provoke you. (big smile)

Me: (smile) No sir, I was part of debating team in my college time.

CP:: Did you win any competition?

Me: Yes sir, I won prizes in IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi in inter-college cultural festivals.

CP: What kind of topics were there when you won those debates?

Me: Sir, there used to be many rounds in debate competitions. As I recall when I was in IITK, there was a topic on the emerging patterns in electoral politics of UP. This was right after 2007 election in UP.

CP:: Can you tell us few trends emerging in recent election without naming any party or person?

Me: Sir, first I would tell about +ve then -ve trends.

CP:: Yeah, go ahead.

Me: Sir, positive trends are, number one, election are violence free, they have higher voter turnout. Then sir, people are giving clear mandate. So the hung assemblies are becoming a thing of past. Then sir, most important trend is that shift is taking place towards developmental politics… (interrupts)

CP:: So you mean issue like bijli, sadak, paani are main issues now.

Me: Yes sir, however the traditional caste politics is still there but emphasis is shifting. Then sir, negative trends that I could think of, is related to communalizing the election un-necessarily. There was also a tendency to confront EC on various issues.

CP:: You are from UP, you must know what is social engineering?

Me: Sir, social engineering is a political concept where political parties try to form a coalition of social groups based on caste or religion and then use that as a vote bank.

CP:: Alright (points to next lady member)

M1: Tell me name of any musician from south India?

Me: A R Rehmaan, ma’am

M1: Right. Anyone older?

Me: M S Subbalaxmi, but she is more famous as singer.

M1: Chakresh, why is kannauj famous in modern time?

Me: Ma’am, Kannuaj is famous for ittra industry.

M1: Tell me the detail of this industry? Is it being exported?

Me: Ma’am ittra is made in kannauj from the locally produced rose, chameli and other such flowers. Factories for this are located in every street of kannauj. Then the products are exported, mostly to middle east and south-east asian countries. The local consumption is very small, if I recall it correctly.

M1: What are the main problems of this industry these days?

Me: Ma’am, most important problem is related to the marketing and competition from products of other countries. In today’s globalized world this industry is not able to compete properly. In Kannuaj, the technology used is still very old and there is no organized efforts to increase the sell of ittra.

M1: Can govt do something to face this situation?

Me: Ma’am, govt can provide basic infrastructure and can take care of supply chain. It can provide training for latest technology. Other than that, in today’s competition based economy, survival in dependent on market mechanisms only.

M1: Do you know anything about co-operative moment in India? Tell us whether it is successful or a failure?

Me: Ma’am, this movement started at the time of national struggle for freedom. Co-operatives are formed by forming a group of small scale producers, farmers etc. They were very much popular in 70s and 80s, but now the influence of these co-operatives is reducing. One famous example of co-operative is Amul.

M1: So, what is the main difference in a company and co-operative?

Me: Ma’am co-operative is formed by a community and profit is shared among members. While company is profit oriented organization. Co-operatives are mostly in rural areas, while companies are urban centered… (interrupts)

M1: co-operatives are in cities also.

Me: Yes ma’am, but mostly in rural areas.

M1: Okay, How do they work?

Me: Ma’am companies have a board of directors and CEO as its head. Co-operative are a mutual election based organization. I do not know much details about this ma’am.

M1: Okay, how are they formed?

Me: Sorry ma’am, I do not understand the question.

M1: I mean, under which act?

Me: Companies are formed under company act and co-operative under co-operative act (smile)

M1: Good guess, was it a guess? (smile)

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Interview board was very cordial. Everybody was smiling the whole time. So, Harry potter came out of azkaban waving his wand happily. Now the wait for marks and result begin. I hope the smile is still there after the result

Courtesy : chakresh.com