(INTERVIEW) Interviewed by UPSC : Sudhanshu Shekhar
Today is 13th April 2007..two days have gone after the day when I was interviewed by UPSC for Civil Sevices Examination. My watch was showing 4:30 pm and my heart was beating fast in the body which was doing kumbhak, rechak and poorak while sitting on the chair placed outside Ms. Parveen Talha’s office. Suddenly the bell rang and peon told me to go inside. I went in, with a smiling( albeit nervous) face. I saw Ms Talha and said..good evening ma’m ..and thereafter..good evening sirs..
CW: Please take your seat .
S: Thank you ma’m ( after sitting)
CW: So, you are Mr.Sudhanshu Shekhar, a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Kanpur.
S: Yes Ma’m
CW: Mr. Sudhanshu, tell me what’s the difference between power and authority.
S: Ma’m, if the power is having legitimacy that is, if power is given by law then it is authority.
CW: As a civil servant, what will you have, power or authority?
S: It’s authority ma’m.
CW: Authority for what?
S: For serving the nation ma’m.
CW: But for serving the nation, do we need authority.(with a strict face)
S: Ma’m, authority to implement the policies of govt.
CW: Yes ..please continue M1.
M1: I will continue from this question. Tell me in case of delegation, what do you delegate, authority or responsibility or both?
S: Sir, we delegate the responsibility alongwith adequate authority to carry out that responsibility.
M1: So, we delegate responsibility.
S: Sir, we delgate both.
M1: Okay, tell me why is there a concern that the way govt is handling the inflation problem is going to come in way of economic growth?
S: Sir, RBI is mopping up liquidity from the market in order to address the problem of inflation. Now, in order to do investment, money is needed which will be less now and thus it will suffer. As investment is directly related to economic growth, it is going to hamper e.g.
M1: How to fight inflation?
S: There are three methods sir, on monetary front, fiscal front and supply front.
M1: Is govt. going on right track?
S: Yes sir, govt is exercising all the three options.However there is a need of greater emphasis on supply front by structurally changing the agriculture and supply side.
M2: You have a hobbey of reading Hindi novels?
S: Yes sir.
M2: Who is your favourite novelist?
S: Sir, it is very difficult for me single out one particular novelist….
M2(interrupts.): No..No..you must be liking somebody most.
S: Sir, I like Premchanda and Renu most.
M2:Why, since Renu is from your place(it is Purnea in Bihar), you like him.
S: No sir, it is because of his ability to depict the reality in a holistic manner that I like him more.
M2: Which novel of Renu?
S:Sir, it is Maila AAnchal.
M2:Why not Parti Parikatha?
S: Sir, it is another very good novel..However, in this a story is written in a unidimensional manner whereas Maila Aanchal is holistic.
M2: Which one of Premchand?
S: Sir, it is Sevasadan.
M3: Sudhanshu, have you worked in engineering field?
S: Yes sir, I have worked in Tata Motors for 3 months.
M3:Do you like to go in IT?
S:Sir, I have limited interest in IT and that’s why I want to confine myself to Mechanical Engg.
M3:People from all branches of engg are going to software engg..do you like it?
S: Sir, as India is set to become a knowledge superpower, we do need professionals in IT and if the modern India is to prosper, it needs to be done.
M3: But won’t the core braches suffer?
S: Sir, if there will be a demand for core engineers then market will have a pull for them. So, market will automatically adjust this demand and supply dynamics of engineers.
M3: Is this trend good?
S: It is desirable presently and in long run , it will be balanced automatically.
M3: Mr. Sudhanshu, why is it that family ties are breaking so easily nowadays..divorce rate is increasing..is it because of development..
S: Sir, it is one of the reasons. However, there are many more factors, for e.g. growth of nuclear family, urbanisation( other factors I don’t remember now) etc. are leading to this. But, as far as divorce is concerned, the reasons are different.
M3: What are they?
S: Sir, the lack of significant deliberations before marriage and lack of incorporation of needs and aspirations of spouse are the chief reasons apart from non-existence of counselling institutions.
M3: Why this is so?
S: Sir, I wouldn’t like to blame one single factor responsible but a number of factors..for e.g. urbanisation, nuclear families etc.
M4:Mr. Sudhanshu, you are from Bihar. If you are made CM of Bihar what three steps you will take, prioritize.
S: Sir, it is-
1. Law and order problem.
2. Development in agriculture.
3. Infrastructure development for improving investment climate
There are other steps also…
M4: what is 4th step?
S: Sir, it is investment in health and edu and 5th one is elimination of caste based discrimination and fighting naxalism.
M4:How will you improve law and order situation?
S:Sir, as the data suggests, in Bihar, out of 1600 persons there is one police pesonnel whereas in India on average it is 800. So, improving the number of police personnel and infrastructure of police is one..apart from that there are allegatins of criminalization of pol….
M2: So, you don’t believe that criminalization of politics is there.
S: Sir, I do agree that this is there apart from patronization of criminals by politicians. But there is a need to emphasise on policing front.
M2:Why this crimalization is there?
S: Sir, because of lack of bottom up pressure.
M2: Is Nitish Kumar following your prescriptions?(!!!!!)
S:Sir, as we know that Bihar has become the first state to implement police reforms and he is taking other significant measures, I do feel that Nitish Kumar’s govt is on right track. ( He nodds).
M4:You said that you will fight caste system..how?
S: May I beg your pardon sir, I said elimination of caste based discrimination..
M4: Yes,yes ..I mean that only.
S: Sir, in the developmental process, some castes are left behind and they then attribute their lack of development to their caste. So, unless and until, the developmental process is made broad based and inclusive of all castes, the caste based discrimination is going to persist. So, if we want to eliminate this discrimination, we will have to incorporate all castes in the developmental process.
M4:If you have to sell Bihar, i.e. if you have to projrct Bihar, what will you project?
1. Culture of Bihar
2. Agricultural potential of Bihar
3. Human resources of Bihar
M4:Why, won’t you project Nalanda, Patliputra, Rajgir etc…religious tourism.(laughs), you don’t know your strenghts.
S: May I beg your pardon sir, I said culture which is an all inclusive term.
M4: Yes, but that includes Bhojpuri songs as well..(diverts the topic)
S: Sir, may I add that Bihar observes kind of festivals which every person of India must see.
M4: Which festival?
S: Chhath pooja sir.
M4: What is Chhath pooja?
S: It is a festival observed twice a year where the devotees pay obesciences to Sun.
M4: Lord Sun?
S: Yes sir. And although Bihar is criticised to practise worst form of casteism, there are great unifiers like Chhath pooja in which people from all caste practise this and there are instances that people from other religion practise this.
M2: Mumbai also observes this, thanks to Sanjay Nirupam(smiles)
S: Sir, may I also point out that it is also practised in Mauritius and Surinam.
M4:Yes,yes..wherever Biharis are there, they practise it.(Ms. Talha is smiling with surprise).
M4: Okay Mr. Sudhanshu, your interview is over.
S: Thank you sirs(getting up and sliding the chair), thank you Ma’m.
Here I started walking and when I came out, saw the watch..it was 4:50 pm…
That’s all ladies and gentlemen…