UPSC Interview By Dhaivat Dhruv
My UPSC interview was on 18th of april 2013. i reached delhi
on morning of 17th and later on repented on my travel schedule as i was not able
to get good sleep the previous night - that ruined my entire day. nevertheless i
was committed to do my best in interview. As always happens with me- the night
before the battle is always full of nervousness and tension. i was able to catch
some sleep at Gujarat Bhavan in chanakyapuri - New delhi. I could see Arunachal
pradesh bhavan from my balcony and i also relished the sights of some embassies
of the countries like vatican, Australia and UK on my way.
The interview day:
I was half awake through the entire night, i had set the
alarm for 7 AM, as my reporting time to dholpur house was at 9 AM - but i woke
up at 6 AM :). After conducting all necessities i put on myself a crisp white
linen shirt and black trousers. I was advised by some of my mentors to put on a
blazer and tie as that would hide any casualness i might have, but the only
thing on my mind then was to be as comfortable as possible also i considered
suits and tie as colonial heritage which we have accepted without considering
its utility, so i ignored those suggestions. i checked and double checked all my
documents and letters that were required. i was also told to read the headlines
of newspaper before interview but i was in no mood of reading anything. I
reached dholpur house at 8:15, slowly the candidates started arriving. Some were
in impeccable suits while some were just contented with sober tie and yet few
were dressed like me. they were all from different parts of india. Sadly there
were only 2 candidates from gujarat that day - myself and a IRS officer who is
commissioner of ahmedabad airport. the guy wanted the coveted title of IAS so
was still trying his luck. i also noticed that there were only 2 girls in total
which sadly reflects the position of women in our country and their dwindling
absence at the leadership positions in government.
We entered the gates at 9 sharp and were stripped of all our
belongings at the entry doors. we were only allowed to carry our documents -
they even took my watch and pen. the next thing i saw was the long open corridor
which took us to the waiting room. there was a beautiful dome and round tables.
each of us were allocated to a table. After checking our documents we were given
a paper which said that we would be interviewed by rajni razdan panel. on
hearing this an IPS probationer who was sitting right opposite to me lamented
that she gives very eccentric marks. I was unfazed and wanted to see it bravely
right through the end. My turn was 3rd on our table. after about an hour or so a
gentleman came calling me and said its my turn next and escorted me to the doors
of panel room. after a while i was told by him to go in.
I knocked gently on doors and said "may i come in mam". rajni mam just nodded
in affirmative - there were other 4 members too in the panel, and i greeted them
all individually and then i was told to sit down.
Rajni madam : you have worked somewhere??
Me: Yes madam i worked in the capacity of Assistant Manager in Adani
Rajni Madam smiled and passed the buck to the member on her right.
M1: You have studied political science. could you tell me what are the
problems in south asia.
Me: Sir the major problems lies in political fragility of nations also
they all face common problems like poverty, infrastructure deficit, low HDI and
M1: No No, i intend to know about regional
co-operation. (here another member interrupted and said he means SAARC).
Me: Sir, The SAARC as regional grouping is not able to work efficiently
as the 2 largest member of SAARC that is India and Pakistan have political
differences, moreover other SAARC nations are wary about big brotherly attitude
of India and its huge industrial base.
M1: you have heard about SCO?
Me:: shanghai co-operation organisation.
M1: why china is not facing similar issues there?
Me: Sir, china has resolved its border disputes with russia and moreover
it does not have major political differences with other SCO members. Moreover
other members wants to benefit out of china's huge economy.
M1: what is difference between computer engineering and IT?
Me: (i didn't knew the answer but still tried ) Sir IT is more focused on
software development and CE is more focused on computer architecture and machine
M1: what's is information systems?
Me: Sir its application of IT in business organisations. like say ERP and
M1: why there is more innovation in western countries
compared to india. companies like Facebook are created overnight there.
Me: Sir. firstly they have well funded universities and government
intervention in functioning of universities is absent. they also work as
breeding ground of innovation. You mentioned FB, now FB was invented in harvard
university (M1 shouts - NO NO FB was not invented in harvard) - i said- Sir Mark
Zukkerberg was student of harvard when he created FB.(M1 was unconvinced and
asked me where is Harvard). I did the BIGGEST MISTAKE of my interview here and
said : sir there are many campuses of harvard (i confused it with NYU). M1
shouts again: NO NO harvard does not have multiple campus. tell me where it is?.
I said I dont know sir.
then he passed the buck to M2.
M2: what is SEZ?
Me: Sir its foreign delimited territory where general economic laws of
country does no apply. moreover the industries there are also provided tax
relief in income tax, sales tax, VAT and CENVAT. No custom duties for importing
raw material that would be used to make products for export.
M2: what are drawbacks of SEZ?
Me:: displacement of people, environment degradation, hoarding of lands,
and smuggling too.
M2: name some industries in Mundra SEZ?
Me: tata umpp, sanghi cement, jindal saw pipes, DP world...
M2: what is umpp?
Me: sir central govt came up with this scheme to create 5 umpp at
different location in country and one of them is in mundra.
M2: No No..why it is called UMPP.
Me: sir because of its significantly large power generation capacity of
5000 mega watt.
M2: what is migratory pattern of Gujaratis?
Me: sir first they migrated to countries like uganda and south africa.
after iddi amin's persecution in uganda some of them went to UK, nowadays the
trend is towards US and australia. many patels of charotar are owners of motels
M2: what are the changes in gujarati society due to this western
Me: (started bullshitting) - sir, the predominantly vegetarian society
has now becoming tolerant to non vegetarians , moreover the trading instincts
has given way to vision based industrialism.
M2: what is gujarat model of development?
Me: Sir it is private sector lead model of growth where govt primarily
plays role of facilitator, moreover the projects are done on mission based
targets where all the officers from cross-departments whether it be IAS, IPS,
education officers etc are brought on same platform to complete the task. beti
bachao abhiyan is classic example of that. again- it also about strong
leadership, for example the approval to tata nano project was completed within 3
M2: but HDI indicators of gujarat does not pose this rosy picture.
Me: yes sir the statistics says we have not achieved inclusive
M2: so do you consider it development?
Me: No sir, we need to amend the model to get inclusive development- and
state govt is aware about this fact- the recent state budget has allocated
maximum resources for social development sectors.
he was satisfied and passed the buck to M3.
M3: Mr dhruv. what are your ideas on issues we are facing on citizens
right of freedom of expression?
Me: Sir, are you asking specifically about section 66a of IT act?
M3: No No, in general
Me: sir the constitution gives every citizen the right of freedom of
expression under article 19 of COI, there are however some limitations to that,
the right must be exercised subject to morality, decency, national security and
foreign relation. however certain laws like sec 66a which empowers the authority
to prosecute people for insulting somebody are not in line with our democratic
M3: if you were the collector of some district and this type of case
comes to you, what will you do?
Me: Sir, i would try to figure out if its genuine case of harrassment,
whether the act has infringed any fundamental or civil rights of petitioner - if
so then i shall first take preventive steps and in case the accused is note
deterred by it and continues with his illegal act then i would have no option
but to order his arrest and present him in front of judicial magistrate.
M3:: what if his act is going to disturb public order?
Me: Sir if his act is in congruence with art 19, i would not be unfazed
by public order and would order police to maintain PO but shall not try to gag
the person exercising his right of FOE,
M3: (gave a shrewd smile) - easier said than done.
i remained stone faced and did not smiled.
M3: should media regulations be done in india?
Me: No sir, media is the fourth pillar of democracy,
when all the 3 pillars(i.e. executive, judiciary and legislative) fails its the
media as the fourth pillar that protects democracy. we saw that in pakistan when
Mr musharaff was dictator, pakistani media did wonderful job in reviving
all members chorus : No No, in pakistan too nowadays there is issues of media
trials, wht should we do about media trials.
me: Mam, media trials may b possible in jury system, we have learned
judges adjudicating the cases who cannot be swayed by public opinion. moreover
judges has to act according to laws of land.
rajni mam was not convinced,
M4: Mr dhruv, it is generally believed that western society is
disciplined and organised on the contrary its is believed that indian society is
unorganised and undisciplined. can we harness this unorganised skills to create
something in field of IT?
Me: Sir, with all due respect. i don't agree that western society is
organised and disciplined and Indian society is undisciplined and unorganised.
its the wrong perception.a generalisation without any scientific evidence.
M4: ok, let me rephrase, can we use fuzzy logic in
field of IT.
Me: (gave it some thought) sir we can create national knowledge network,
where teachers, students, professors can upload randomly whatever data they
create that could be used for academic purpose and then we could sort it and
deliver it to students using cloud computing through akash tablets.( M4 hushed
my stupid answer and waved his hand to shut me up).
M4: you have studied sociology?
Me: (smiled) yes sir.
M4: what is the name of tribe that migrated to gujarat from africa?
Me: siddi sir.
M4: where are they located?
Me: junagadh sir.
M4: its sasan.
Me: yes sir, jungles of sasan. they have distinctive negrito features.
M4: which country they came from?
Me: dont know sir.
M4: you worked in navrangpura. the place is famous for its educational
institutes, can you name some?
Me: (blank) sir gujarat law society..ummmmmm...
M4: there are many cept, guj university, hl commerce college.
Me: yes sir, many famous institutes in ahmedabad sir, like iim,,,,
M4: i asked about navrangpura not ahmedabad.
Me: (embrassed and quite).
M4: travelling is your hobby. which placed you liked the most?
Me: sir srinagar.
M4: Ok, your interview is over.
I got up from my chair and greeted them all. walked nervously towards door,
tried to open the door but it didnt opened, M1 said pull the left door. it
opened and i said "thank you" to him. walked out and i realized that i was
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