(Interview) UPSC Interview By Sandeep Manhas (Rajni Rajdan Board)

UPSC Interview By Sandeep Manhas

Interview Write-up : I was Second candidate to be interviewed in the morning session of that day. My board consisted of Board President Ms. Rajni Razdan(RR) and 4 male members( M1,M2,M3,M4). The Board was very cordial andcool. My interview lasted for about 30 minutes and was taken mostly by a member(M1) about 70%.

A UPSC official guided me to the interview room, I greeted the members and was asked to sit down,

I thanked and sitted down:

RR: Your Name
Me: Sandeep Manhas

RR: Roll number
Me: 126431

RR ( showing me my photograph pasted on one off my forms) : Is this you???
Me (Smiling): Yes mam, its me.

RR: You are from district Hoshiarpur, Punjab???
Me: Yes Mam.

RR: Manhas are from Jammu, isn't???
Me: Yes mam, You are right, but Manhas are setteled in Punjab also.

RR: then retired from questioning and sat down quitely on her chair listening passively to the rest of my interview.

M2: You are born in Kerala??
Me: Yes Sir, My father got retired form Indian Navy and were posted in Cochin when i was born.

M1 (looking at my DAF): You have traveled a lot first Visakhapatnam (Vskp), then Pathankot (Ptkt) then Amritsar (ASr)??
Me: Yes sir.

M1: Have you liked all the places you have been to ???
Me: Yes sir.

M1 (Putting some pressure on me) : Now, you tell me, why you liked each of the places with distinct feature each place that lead it your liking it??
First Start with Vskp.
Me: Sir, I have done whole of my schooling from Vskp and I have stayed in a Naval base in Vskp. As I have  my childhood memories associated with the Naval base Place, so out of the whole city that base is special for me. As during my schooling I was a bit indoor type and used to spend whole of my time inside the base, so that place is unique and special for me.

M1: what is the name of the place where Naval people stay in vskp??
Me: Sir, Nausenabaugh for Sailors and Naval Park for officers.

M1: Where is this place Nausenabaugh??
Me: Sir, in Malkapuram.

M1: Is it in Malkapuram??
Me: No sir, near to Malkapuram, in between Scindia and Malkapuram.

M1: yeah, that's correct.

M1: What else is in Vskp??
Me: Vskp is having PSU's, it is an Industrial town.

M1: Don't talk about Industries, you are more associated with Port so talk from Sea and port point of view.
Me: Sure Sir.

M1: Tell me about Vizag Port.
Me: Sir, vizag is a Natural deepest and protected Sea Port of our Country.

M1: What else.
Me: sir, it is one of the 12 Major Ports of our Country.

M1: In Vskp one phenomenon takes place as you are a science student you would definately be knowing it??
Me: sir, I am unable to get you.

M1: There is a weather related phenomenon occuring in Vskp.
Me: sir, i know that Vskp has Tropical savanah type climate which is equatable type climate.

M1: Do you know about temperature Inversion phenomenon in vizag??
Me: No sir.

M1: do you know what Temperature Inversion is, and do flights operate when such things takes place??
Me: Sir I have heard about temperature inversion but do not know what it is.
M1: it's Ok.

M1: What does Navy has in vskp??
Me: sir, Navy has One of its three naval Commands here, the Eastern naval Command.

M1: Yeah, that's right.

M1: what else does Navy has in vizag??
Me: sir, navy has NSTL( Naval science Technological Laboratory)

M1: what does it do??
Me: sir, it conducts research, trial and testing of the Naval Weapon System.

M1: It is good to mention about the training establishment of the Navy but you are missing an important thing about Navy and Vizag??
Me: Blank

M1: A pakistani Navy Submarrine was sunk in Vskp??
Me: Yes Sir, in 1971 Indo-pak war, a Pakistani Submarine was sunk near the shore of Vskp.

M1: That was the most important thing that you were missing, for which Vskp is important. You should organise your response and thoughts like this and speak. Anyways, It's Ok. no problem.

M2: Yes, its OK not to worry.

M1: what was the name of that Pakistani Submarine??
Me: PNS Ghazini.

M1: Does Vskp has a submarine unit??
Me: Yes sir, there are around 5 submarine in Vskp, one being INS SundhuDhawaj where ourr previous President A.P.J. abdul Kalam had a voyage.

M1: Does Mumbai also have submarine base??
Me: Don't Know Sir, but must also have one like Vskp.

M3: You talked about VSkp having PSU's name some.
Me: sir, BHPV, RINL, HPCL.

M1: Now let us move onto Pathankot(Ptkt), tell us about Ptkt??
Me: Sir, Ptkt. Well there is nothing much to tell about it. It is primarily a market and can also be called  shopkeeper's city and it caters to the need of people of Punjab, Jammu and himachal. It also has mamun cantt which is Asia's biggest Army Cantt and also have a Airforce Station.

M1: why these army and air force station in Ptkt??
Me: Sir, it is having strategic location with international border being only about 35 kms away.

M1: Only 35 kms??
Me: Yes Sir.

Everyone Surprised.

M1: what else is its importance from defence point of view???
Me: Sir, as it is gateway to J&k so it is like neck our country.

M1: Yes, now you are right.

M1: Now tell about the Amritsar city(Asr).
Me: sir, Asr is a historical town and have places like Golden Temple, Jalliawala baugh, Guru nanak Dev University, Bagha border and is good for food items especially "Lassi"

M2: Are you fond of eating out and outside food.
Me: Yes Sir, but not always , only sometimes on weekend with my friends i used to visit Bharawa Da dhaba( BDD) and have outside food.

M2: what sort of Punjabi food is available in BDD?
Me: Sir all famous Punjabi foods.

M1: Was it a Veg/ Non-veg Dhaba??
Me: Veg Sir

M1: Are you Veg??
Me: yes sir, but i take only eggs in Non-veg.

M1: What else is in asr??
Me: Sir temples.

M1: In a sikh town, there are temples also??
Me: yes Sir, Durgiana Temple and lal mata Temple.

M1: what else.
Me: blank

M1: How far is Lahore form Asr?
Me: Sir about 35-40 kms.

M1: what has been made along the Asr-lahore road??
Me: Don't know Sir.

M1: which Punajbi Indian Ruler had ruled Lahore??
Me: sir, Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

M1: What else is in Asr, Don't tell the obvious places that everybody knows, tell about palces you have found and discovered??
Me: Blank

M1: Ok, tell more what does Asr has??
Me: sir it has Attari border, where trains from both sides halts.

M2: In Bagha Border what ceremony takes place, name it??
Me: sir, flag Hoisting.

M1: which force is stationed in Bagha Border??
Me: Border security force.

M1: How did you liked the parade??
Me: Sir, it was so encouraging and it filled everybody with enthusiasm and patroitism.

M1: Were you also filled with enthusiam??
Me: Yes Sir.

M1: What you say about the action of the jawans??
Me: sir ,it is aggressive.

M1: what about the action of jawans of other side of border??
Me: sir, it is also equally aggressive.

M2: There is a english word specifically for such action??
Me: Hostile??

M2: No, have you heard the word ........ and .........???
Me: no sir.

M2: But you have done English in your Graduation, you should had known.
Me: I don't know Sir

M2: Ok you see these words after the end of the interview.
Me: sure Sir.

M1: have you heard the word antipathy, what does it mean??
Me: sir, antipathy is a negative word it means when feelings of two people doesn't match, it's a sort of disliking.

M2: Hey, don't guess around, speak only if you know otherwise say I don't know.
RR: Yes, say only if you are sure and know the answer.

Me: ok mam, ok sir.

M1: you are working as inspector in central Excise, tell me something about Goods and Service Tax( GST).
Me: sir, GST is an entirely new indirect tax levying system being sought to be introduced in our country and is targeted to be introduced by April 2012.

M1: that everyone knows, you are an officer of Excise Dept, tell me more, what you have said is general.
Me: Sir it is being introduced to avoid cascading effect of taxes. And to overcome the present problems in our system.

M1: How that will take place??
Me: Sir, now there is no harmony between states and Centre in Indirect Tax levying. Once GST is out, there is going to be harmony between state and Cente govt in indirect tax collection.

M1: I didn't got you, explain me how this will take place.
Me: sir, suppose we have a factory M/s. HZL that takes Zinc(Conc.) as its raw material.

M1: Don't take specific example, take general case suppose there is a factoy XYZ like wise??
Me: Yes sir, suppose we have a facory XYZ that takes raw material ABC as input. in the present system our Dept( Central Excise) only consider ABC from this point onward and will not bother how XYZ has aquired ABC and what all state taxes XYZ has incurred in getting ABC. For Central Excise, the whole chain will begin from this point and the previous taxes paid and incurred will not be entitled for credit for XYZ in the present system but the same will be entittled once GST is rolled out.

M1: So you mean to say GST will ensure Credit for the state excise duties paid??
Me: Yes sir.

M1: What else are the benefits of GST?
Me: Sir the assessee base will increase.

M1: how?
Me: sir, when there will be coordination between state and center in levying of the state taxes then those assessee's who were under the state excise collection would also be accountable to the Central Excise hence
increase in assessee's base.

M1: A lot is spent on your training to teach you about GST and also this is your future,
i mean if you stayed in this department.
Tell me what is cascading of taxes?
Me: sir, it is tax on tax.

M1: that's correct, but tell me how it will be implemented, what will be the structure of GST.
Me: Sir, it will be dual in nature, state GST and Central GST and Sir, I don't know it in great detail, because GST is still in discussion stage where Centre and various states are still discussing about GST.
I am a executive officer in the department and  I am not involved in the making of GST.

M1: Still you should had known, anyways tell what are the states agitating for??
Me: sir, states are fearing that they may loose their tax collection.

M1: What will be the implication on the revenue once GST is rolled out.
Me: As per my knowledge Sir, initially the states may be at loss for which the Center will pay back, but the Center's collection would be more.

M1: what more?
Me: sir, in the present sysytem, CST is levied and there are Octorio tax both will get abolish once GST is rolled out.

M1: how much is CST?
Me: Sir, as state levies this I don't know.

M1: It is 0%.
Me: Ok sir, I don't know it.

M1: Does state levies it, i think center levies it.
Me: No sir, it is not so, it is levied by the States.

M3: what are the other taxes levied by the stataes?
Me: sir, i know about Sales tax.

M3: And?
Me: sir i am from Central Excise Department so i know less about State part.

M1: does a process comes under manufacturing?
Me: Yes Sir.

M1: Yes?? are you sure?
Me: Sir, as per the definition of 'manufacture' in Central Excise law,  anything anciliary or auxilary to the completion of final product is manufacturing.

M1: So, a process is called manufacturing?
Me: Yes sir, if a process makes product that are marketiable and have distinct property and also have minimum threshold shelf life period.

M1: what all taxes does Center levy??
Me: Sir, Basic excise duty, Higher education cess, secondary Higher Education cess.

M1: That is correct but tell me the process as to what happens in your department, tell me the whole chain.
Me: sir, first a manufacturer who has a turnover crossing a minimum threshold set by our department is liable to pay the tax. He is liable to pay on the activity of manufacturing and on the event when he clears those good.

M1: what is the specific term used in your department to call such places from where goods are removed or the factory gate??
Me: Sir, Place of Removal.

M1: Ok, Now tell next what happen
Me: Sir then the manufacturer clear such manufactured goods to either 1st or 2nd stage dealers, or to distributers on the payment of duty. The purchasers can avail the credit of the tax paid by the seller.

M1: who is the ultimate user of the goods.
Me: sir the public.

M1: what does the dealers do to the good?
Me: sir they add value to the good and pay tax on further clearance.

M3: What is the equivalent tax called in the state?
Me: blank

M3: VAT.
Me: Yes Sir, you are right.

M1: Your department issue license to the assessee??
Me: License?? I don't know about it.

M1: when they come to your department. don't you people issue license. 15 digit code??
Me: Sir, Assessee ask for registration and our department issues Assessee's registration Number.

M1: Don't you keep it with you and use it always or you just don't see it at all once it is issued??
Me: sir, it is one time process and is done at the higher level i.e. division level. we are at present only concerned with their number.

M2 ( looking at my DAF) : You have participated in Public Speaking??
Me: Yes sir.

M2: give a 30 Seconds speech on the topic ' nuclear energy as a clean source of Energy'
Me: spoke whatever came to my mind at that time and when i felt i had spoken for more than 30 seconds i stopped and said with a smile " I think i have exceeded my 30 seconds limit.

M2: Ok.
M2: Do you know about Jaitapur?

Me: Yes Sir, it is a palce in maharashtra where french Company 'Area' is planning to make a 9000+ MWe Nuclear Power plant which the locals are opposing.

M2: what is 'Cash for Vote scam'?
Me: Sir in 2008, during the crucial voting in the parliament over the Nuclear bill issue, Mr. amar singh tried to bribe some MP's to abstain from voting so that the Congress could go ahead with the bill.

M2: what is the name of that Voting?
Me: Sir,it is a sort of assent vote, ....

M2: It is called confidence Vote.
Me: yes sir

M2: So what has happened to Amar Singh.
Me: sir, he was arrested and is in Tihar jail.

M3: Germany has decided to stop Nuclear energy production, in your views what should India do??
Me: sir, india is a big country with huge power requirement. Germany has declared this only after seeing the tragic event of quake and tsunami in Japan. If we use our scientific expertise well to find
places that are away from the shore and are less prone to earthe quakes then i think there is no harm in using such a clean source of energy.

M3 ( trying to ask more questions but interrupted by RR)

RR: thank you ( with a smile)
Me: thankyou madam, thankyou Sirs.

Left the room.

i am awaiting my result. Please assess my interview and also provide the feedback.

Exam Interview Details:

Exam Interview Details : UPSC CPF AC 2010
DATE : 07-Sep-2011
Interview Board : Rajni Razdan
City : Visakhapatnam