UPSC Interview By Ghanshyam Thor
UPSC Interview By Ghanshyam Thori
Hi Everyone. I am Ghanshyam Thori & I've secured AIR-25 in Civil
Services Examination, 2009. I'll get IAS & hopefully a cadre of my choice. I did
my graduation from Kirori Mal College, Delhi & MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute
of Management Studies, Mumbai. I worked with Kotak Life Insurance for 3 years
before getting selected into IAS.
KK: Your date of birth is 02-December-1984. What disaster occurred on the
ME: Sir, it was the Bhopal gas tragedy that occurred in the Union Carbide
factory. The reason was the leakage of water into the container holding Methly
Isocyanate. This increased the temperature of the tank enormously & there was an
explosion leaking the dangerous gas in which thousands of people died.
KK: What is the status on the Bhopal gas tragedy now?
ME: Sir, now & then the tragedy in news because the victims of the Bhopal
gas tragedy have not received their due compensation.
KK: What should have been done or what was done?
ME: Sir, the recommendations of the commission which goes into enquiry
should be implemented with full spirit. The commission should identify the
entire list of people & those people should get their rightful share of
KK:You are a student of Psychology. From a psychological point of view it is
said that the North Indian Males are more aggressive than their south Indian
counterparts. He substantiated this by citing more number of eve teasing cases
in north Indian cities like Delhi. What reasons do you see behind this.
ME: Sir I see low level of literacy levels in North India compared to
south India behind this. Both the male & female literacy rates are higher in
South India than North India. Higher literacy helps to empower females in South
India. Therefore in my opinion the male aggression has got to do with lower
literacy rates in North India.
KK: What about Urban Areas in north India where there is high literacy rate?
Still Urban areas like delhi see a higher number of eve teasing cases?
ME: Sir, Delhi has a lot of migrants coming from surrounding states like
Haryana, Rajasthan & U.P which have low literacy rates (lower than the national
average). This is the reason. Apart from these states are traditionally male
dominated. The condition of female is bad as seen from low female literacy
rates, high IMR, high MMR. Even you see isolated cases of “Sati” in these
states. Therefore in my opinion these are the reasons.
KK: You work with Kotak Life Insurance? What is your job profile?
Me: Blah blah blah…..
KK: What is the turnover of your company?
ME: 1000 Crore.
KK: Is your company listed on the stock market?
ME: Sir, kotak life insurance is not listed but Kotak Mahindra Bank which
has 74 % controlling stake in Kotak Life Insurance is listed.
You are an MBA? What is supply chain management?
Sir SCM is basically the management of vendors on the raw material side &
managing the buyers on the finished products side. An organization typically
sources a lot of material from different vendors & supplies the finished goods
to various buyers. Therefore it is linked to managing the vendors & the buyers
How does the organization maintain optimum levels of inventory through supply
Sir, an organization uses various SCM softwares to keep a real time track of
inventory. Lets take up the example of Shoppers Stop – Shopper Stop keeps a
track of daily sales of various apparels including jeans. At the end of the day
it will order Jeans which are low in stock though Levi’s (taking it as an
example). Now Levi’s would then order fabric from fabric mill like Arvind Mills.
Therefore tracking the stock in real time helps in better inventory management.
Why did the Indian Stock markets fell?
The Indian stock market fell because of demand crunch following the global
financial crisis as well as the huge withdrawal of funds by FIIs. The crisis
started with the Subprime housing market going bust. The FII’s had purchased
securitized instruments from the banks for higher interest rates but when the
default started happening the FIIs were forced to withdraw money from emerging
stock markets to make up for their losses in US.
Which is better FDI or FII?
Sir, FDI is better as it is not volatile like FII. FII is hot money which can
move in or out of any country anytime. FDI is more stable.
The member intervened as asked but Don’t you think we are commiting a lot by
allowing FDI in India? If FII is hot money it is good as there is no commitment
by the Govt side?
Sir FDI has a lot of benefits as it generates a lot of employment & brings in
new technology to the country. Also if see the historical trend since the
liberalization of economy since 1990 (the member intervened & said 1991 to which
I said Yes sir in 1991) we have seen a surplus on the forex reserve & a booming
GDP growth along with increased employment.
But China has been growing faster than India?
Sir China started the economic reforms way back in 1979 when Den Xiaoping led
the country to market reforms. Therefore they have an edge as they started
early. India might see double digit growth rate in the coming decade.
The member said the starting early was not the early reason as it has also
got to do with Chinese policies also?
Yes Sir, the Chinese government has laid a lot of emphasis on building up core
infrastructure to boost economic production.
What is Greenfield Investment & Brownfield Investment?
Sir “Greenfield Investment” is investing in a project from starting. It is like
building from scratch. Brown Field Investment is adding to an existing project.
What is the difference between Merger & Acquisition?
Sir, in case of merger two entities join to form a third entity but in case of
acquisition the new entity is the same as the acquiring company. Compensation
might happen either wholly in cash or in cash plus stock deal.
You have defined Supply Chain Management for business? What is SCM in
Sir SCM in education would mean that an institute should try to source better
students, train them with the best possible inputs so that the product (which is
the student) contributes to the society in the best possible manner.
SCM in education by which the Schools act as raw material sources for college
& the college students act as raw material or inputs for Higher Institutes? What
is the problem with higher education in India?
Sir the problem with higher education in India is that we don’t have sufficient
number of quality institutes offering higher education. Therefore to tackle this
the government has taken the decision to expand the number of IITs, IIMs, NITs
But for quality higher education we should also have quality students?
Sir, we do have quality students for higher education. The problem basically
stems from the large population of India. Because of the large base we have very
high number of students who deserve quality higher education.
What is the enrollment rate at primary level in India?
Sir I don’t know the exact figure.
What is the enrollment rate at the higher education level?
Sir I don’t know but I have read that for every 100 females enrolled at the
primary level only one reaches the post graduation level.
What is the National Literacy rate?
Sir it is 65 % overall 53.7 % for females & 75 % for males.
What is birth rate of India?
Sir it is 26 births per 1000
Sir it is 2.6 %.
You have studied at a lot of places. Which place do you consider best for
Sir I did my schooling till 10th from my Tehsil (Raisinghnagar), XI & XII from
my district & graduation from Delhi. I would consider Delhi as best because when
I came to Delhi I could not speak English Properly & whatever communications
skill I have today I picked up during my graduation at Kirori Mal College.
Moreover I stayed in hostel & got to learn a lot of things from my peers while
staying at the residential facility.
Any problems apart from Communication that you faced in Delhi?
Sir I had my own apprehensions at the initial stage but I was accepted well
& did not face any problem.
What suggestions do you have to improve schooling in your tehsil?
Sir though my school was affliated to CBSE & the medium of instruction was
English but most of the teachers used to teach in Hindi. Therefore I would like
the Education Standard to be improved. Moreover they emphasize only on getting
into engineering or medical field as there is lack of awareness about other
domains like MBA, Actuaries, Aviation etc. Therefore the awareness part needs to
I’ll give you the number. The number of people enrolling in higher education
is 13 million. Now calculate the percentage.
I said it would be approximately 1.3 % (as population is 1027 million).
Then he said that it was low as the eligible population for higher education is
What is Micro Finance?
Madam Micro Finance is basically lending money to the low income section of the
society at liberal interest rates to meet their needs. It is basically a step
towards financial inclusion.
Have you heard of Mohd Yunus?
Yes Madam, he is from Bangladesh & he started the Micro Finance movement there
trough grameen banks. For this he also won the Nobel Peace Prize.
What Micro – Insurance policy would you recommend for the poorest of the
Basically madam, I would recommend a term plan as it is designed for covering
the risk only & the premium rate is the lowest. For eg. if today you buy a term
plan for Rs. 25 Lakh cover the premium would come close to Rs. 5000. Now if you
want to ensure the poorest of the poor with a 2.5 Lakh cover the premium would
come down to Rs. 500. If you take out the profit it would further come down to
Rs. 400. Now this premium can be borne by the Central Govt & State Govt combined
& the policy could be offered to the poor family.
Is there any existing scheme which is doing this.
Yes madam, the Aaam Aadmi Bima Yojana is covering the poor family under this.
What is your view on initiative on Health Insurance
Madam the govt has launced “Rasthriya Swasthya Bima Yojana” under which it
provides health insurance cover to the poor families. The problem which I see in
it is the high claims ratio because of which the premium is high & the
government cannot provide high cover. To facilitate further the government has
also planned to issue identity cards to the poor families for cashless
transaction at the hospitals.
You are from Sriganganagar which is a border district? What challenges to
National Security do you see from border (not just Rajasthan but the entire
Sir there are various challenges to National Security because of the long
international border of India.
The border with Bangladesh is highly porous which leads to a lot of illegal
Bangladeshi immigrants. Many illegal Bangladeshis have also been apprehended by
the police in bomb blast cases.There is increase of terrorism originating from
Pakistan & Bangladesh in India in the form of increasing bomb blasts as well as
recent attacks like the one witnessed in Bombay.
The problem of counterfeit currency.
The problem of illicit drug trafficking.
What problem does counterfeit currency create?
Sir, the presence of counterfeit currency creates a parallel black economy. The
black economy does not contribute to the taxes of the government. Moreover
counterfeit currency is also being used to finance terrorist activities in
What step has the government taken to curb this?
I started with Money Laundering Act but the member intervened and said “To
tackle the overall security situation & not just the problem of counterfeit
currency”. Then I said that the government of India is taking various steps like
fencing the international border (esp Bangladesh border), it has legislated
National Investigation Agency Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Your hobby is “Internet Surfing” I presume as you have mentioned “Computers &
Internet” in your form? Can you explain.
Sir, I’m a bit deeper into my hobby. I wanted to learn how to build a website &
therefore started my own portal http://www.iasguru.com/. Basically it is a
knowledge sharing platform where I have posted my own notes for free sharing. I
got inspired by wikipedia for taking up this initiative. A couple of my friends
have also joined me in this initiative & are helping me in digitizing & posting
the notes. Apart from this I suggested the use of file sharing platforms like
rapidshare in my company for sending large files (greater than 10 MB as you
cannot attach such big files on email) instead of burning CDs & sending it
across to the branches. It leads to saving of cost as well as time.
I don’t see you having any professional degree in computers. How do you do all
Sir I don’t have any professional degree. I have learned this totally out of my
Do you use You Tube?
Yes sir I do use it.
It was in news recently….Any idea on that.
Yes sir. You tube was in news a couple of days back (the member intervened &
said…not a couple of days back…..it is as recent as yesterday…& might be in
I said I don’t know sir.
The member explained that China has banned youtube because a video showing
police atrocities on Tibetans was posted on it. What is the Tibetan problem?
Sir, Tibetans are demanding greater Autonomy which is the Chinese government is
unwilling to yield. Moreover the Chinese government has settled ethnic Chinese
population in Urban areas of Tibet which the Tibetans are resenting. The Chinese
government is unwilling to relocate the ethnic Chinese population from Tibet
How do you see the Tibet issue vis-à-vis India?
Sir the Tibet issue cropped up between India & China when in 1958 India gave
political asylum to Dalai Lama & his followers in Dharmshala. Being a country
which cherishes democratic values, India had to give political asylum. But China
saw this move as meddling with the internal affairs of the country. The Chinese
side went to the extent of thinking that It was a plan by the then Prime
Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru to attack & sieze Tibet with the local support.
Inspite of the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai slogan & the “Panchseel Principle” a war
could not be avoided between India & China.
Now we have moved four decades since then? Has India recognized Tibet?
Yes Sir India has recognized Tibet.
What was the “Quid Pro Quo” if you want to term it as one.
Sir in return China recognized Sikkim as Indian territory on its official map.
Exam Interview Details :
Subjects Taken : Psychology
Date : 26-March-2011
Interview Board : Dr. K. K. Paul Board