UPSC Interview By Dr. Purushottam Agarwal
My interview was on 28 April 2011 in morning session at Dholpur
House, UPSC. I appeared before the panel with Dr. Purushottam Agarwal as
Chairman. I was 4th in line for appearing before board. Here I would
like to share with you interesting thing. When I entered the Historic dome
ceiling waiting hall for interview candidates I was assigned the same round
table no. 13 that I was assigned in 2009 interview. So I got strange feeling
that this interview also I will perform fairly and may miss selection narrowly
like last year. But I remembered almighty and prayed for the best…cheered
myself.. and started rushing through newspapers..
Interviews started at around 10.20 am.. when 3rd candidate went in
after some time I was taken to corridors and asked to sit on chair outside
interview room. I was feeling my impounding heartbeats and finally candidate
came out of room. I saw towards his face.. he was normal..n he smiled little. I
felt confidant and got up from chair it was 11.45 am...attendant opened the
door and I entered the room and wished good morning sir , good morning madam..(
chairman was at center and 2 members on each side including 1 lady member.)
Dr. Purushottam Agarwal ( chairman):
Yes prashant and he nodded his head and raised his hand towards chair . I sat
Q1) prashant where are you working as tehsildar?
Sir I am working as tehsildar of vikramgad taluqa of Thane district in Maharashtra…( chairman asked for how long?) I said , I am working as tehsildar since November 2009.( again he asked where is Thane
district). I said, sir Thane is located in northern konkan coastal belt bordering
Q2) what are problems of your tehsil?
(A) Sir since my tehsil is having predominant tribal population malnutrition , unemployment and inaccessibility are major problems
Q3) Do you know the name of adjoining district in Gujrat?
(A) ( I took few seconds to recollect..) sir Vapi district is adjoining Thane
Q4) Who is the District Collector of Vapi?
(A) ( again I gave confused looks..) sorry sir I don’t know
( chairman laughed and said to me how you will coordinate relief operations in disaster if you don’t know even name of collectors.?)
( I felt little low but I smiled ..i wanted to say something but next question came.)
Q5) what new activity you have undertaken in your tehsil for development? And please don’t tell those government programs
(A) Sir my collector has started program of increasing area under floriculture so as to provide employment round the year to underemployed tribal farmers and I have worked on this program.
I along with taluqa agriculture officer gave government subsidy for one to two acre plot for plantation of exotic varieties of flowers like Carnesium and Jalbera in green houses. Sir each flower is sold for eight to twelve rupees in markets of Mumbai..so each day tribal farmer gets income of rs. 1000. sir this scheme has helped to increase income and standard of living of about 35 beneficiary farmers
Q6) Does scheme help floriculture farmers in marketing?
(A) No sir, flower vendors in Mumbai arrange for transportation and pay farmers cash on there fields.
Q7) You are an engineer. So isn’t your knowledge wasted in non technical service?
(A) No sir. I think as a civil engineer I can monitor civil infrastructure projects like road, water supply, sewage treatment in a better manner. Since major public expenditure is on civil works like in Jawaharlal Nehru urban renewal mission my technical knowledge will help me to execute projects in time bound way with good quality control.
Q8) Why do you want to join IAS because you will have to leave your state, when you are serving as S.D.M. in our own state and serving your own people?
(A) Sir working as District Collector offers opportunity and more autonomy of decision making to implement developmental schemes for benefit of larger population than as a S.D.M. sir IAS offers opportunity to work with different departments of Government with rich job profile and exposure that is not available for state services.
Sir and although I may have to go outside my state anywhere in India , ultimately I will serve the people of my country
Q1) What is meant by G.E.R?
(A) Sir G.E.R. means gross enrollment ratio.( member and all other members laugh…member said that I mean define it?) Sorry sir I don’t know definition of GER
Q2) can you tell me how much percent of students that are enrolled at primary school complete graduation?
(A) Sir I am not aware of this figure. Sir with your permission I can guess it..( member immediately nodded his head) I said sir around 15 percent students that are enrolled at primary school complete degree .
( and I was looking at members face for his reaction whether it is right or wrong…and I simply member didn’t react..now I deciced not to take chances by disastrous guessing.)
Q1) What do you know of I.N.A.?
(A) Sir , Indian National Army was formed in singapore under leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose during second world war, with aim to liberate India from British Raj with the help of Japenese forces.
Q2) Who called M.K.Gandhi as Mahatma?
(A) I thought for many seconds..and said..) Sorry sir I am not able to recollect it. ( member answered it as Subhas Chandra Bose). I smiled slightly an said thank you sir
Q3) Do you support demand for separate Vidarbha state? If yes or no explain it?
(A) Sir, I don’t support demand Vidarbha statehood. Although there is little discontent among the people of Vidharbha majority of population want development under the statehood of Maharashtra
Q4) Do you support the creation of small states Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Uttarakhand?
(A) Sir creation of new states should be based local conditions, prospects of growth and financial feasibility of the new state. Since Chattisgarh has unique problem of interior location, predominant tribal population with underdevelopment and naxalism. And Jharkhand with rich mineral base has good prospects of economic growth and uttarakhand having problem of mountainous terrain., separate statehood will give impetus to the development of these states. Hence I support formation of these states.