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Interview of Chakresh Mishra,IAS

My IAS interview as it happened on 22th march 2012 Today I appeared for second UPSC interview of my life.

Last year was an average performance for me, hence a scope for improvement was there. I was the first person to be called by P K Mishra board. I sat outside the interview room for almost 10 minutes, drank a glass of water. With heart pumping like anything I decided to think about Sachin Tendulkar’s century, just like harry potter used to do when he faced dementors, happy memories, you know.

Finally the bell rang and below is what conspired in next 35 minutes. (cp: chair-person, m1, m2, m3, m4: members of board) me: May I come in, sir. cp: Yes, please come in. me: Good morning ma’am, good morning sirs. all: Good morning. cp: Please take a seat. me: Thank you sir (adjusted the chair a bit) cp: Please make sure you are comfortable. me: Thank you sir, I am comfortable. (smile) cp: So, you are from Aligarh. me: No sir, I am from Mathura, Aligarh was my birth place. cp: Oh, alright. (pause for few seconds) (with big smile) Tell us something about what is “Norway’s egg on delhi’s face story” (everybody else laughs) me: Sir, this was a headline in today’s newspaper. Story is related to custody of two children in Norway. The parents, who are Indian, requested Indian government to intervene in the issue as they argued that it is an issue of culture insensitivity.

Govt of India registered the protest, even sent an special envoy to Norway to resolve the issue and bring the kids back to India. But now the news report is that the issue was related to domestic problem of the couple. So, govt has to retract its intervention. That is why such a headline. cp: Do you think govt was wrong to intervene? me: Sir, I think it is proper for govt to intervene for interest of Indians abroad, but govt should have investigated a bit before getting involved in the issue. cp: What was the role of media in this case? Do you think that affects the decision of govt? me: Sir, media in general tend to put emphasis on the emotional content of issue without thinking about rational dimension. I think sir, govt should be careful and should consider the interest of our foreign policy. Otherwise such small issue can give rise to bigger diplomatic crisis, which is not very good for our position in the world. cp: Okay, what is this red-cross competition that you won in your school time? What was involved in that? me: Sir, it was a state level competition among various schools. I was part of the team of my school. Competition involved some practical tests based on the knowledge of primary basic treatment given to wounded person, tying the knots, preparing stretcher etc. cp: Who was the founder of red-cross movement? me: Sir, Henry Dunont from switzerland. cp: Okay, do you know what is the structure of red-cross at district level? me: Sir, i know that there is a committee at state level. But I am not aware of exact situation at district level. Sir, collector is in- charge of such operation. cp: (laugh) Yeah, collector is in-charge of everything, safe bet, isn’t it so? me: (smile) Yes sir. He is the co-ordinator of everything cp: So, What are the major works undertaken by red-cross? me: Sir, in India or in general? cp: Tell us first in general then in India. me: Sir, in general red-cross is UN authorized body to take care of wounded soldiers in battlefield. It works as a neutral body… (interrupts) cp: okay, okay, in India now. me: Sir, in India, red-cross has worked at the time of various wars like kargil war. It is also active in maoist affected areas. cp: You are missing a major work done by red-cross. me: (a bit thinking) Sir, they organize blood donation camps. cp: That’s alright, but I was pointing towards AIDS camps. They have done good work in that area. me: Yes sir, thank you sir. cp: So, you have written debating as hobby. Do you start to debate wherever you go? Would you start a debate right here if I provoke you. (big smile) me: (smile) No sir, I was part of debating team in my college time. cp: Did you win any competition? me: Yes sir, I won prizes in IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi in inter-college cultural festivals. cp: What kind of topics were there when you won those debates? me: Sir, there used to be many rounds in debate competitions. As I recall when I was in IITK, there was a topic on the emerging patterns in electoral politics of UP. This was right after 2007 election in UP. cp: Can you tell us few trends emerging in recent election without naming any party or person? me: Sir, first I would tell about +ve then -ve trends. cp: Yeah, go ahead. me: Sir, positive trends are, number one, election are violence free, they have higher voter turnout. Then sir, people are giving clear mandate. So the hung assemblies are becoming a thing of past. Then sir, most important trend is that shift is taking place towards developmental politics… (interrupts) cp: So you mean issue like bijli, sadak, paani are main issues now. me: Yes sir, however the traditional caste politics is still there but emphasis is shifting. Then sir, negative trends that I could think of, is related to communalizing the election un-necessarily. There was also a tendency to confront EC on various issues. cp: You are from UP, you must know what is social engineering? me: Sir, social engineering is a political concept where political parties try to form a coalition of social groups based on caste or religion and then use that as a vote bank. cp: Alright (points to next lady member) m1: Tell me name of any musician from south India? me: A R Rehmaan, ma’am m1: Right. Anyone older? me: M S Subbalaxmi, but she is more famous as singer. m1: Chakresh, why is kannauj famous in modern time? me: Ma’am, Kannuaj is famous for ittra industry. m1: Tell me the detail of this industry? Is it being exported? me: Ma’am ittra is made in kannauj from the locally produced rose, chameli and other such flowers. Factories for this are located in every street of kannauj. Then the products are exported, mostly to middle east and south-east asian countries. The local consumption is very small, if I recall it correctly. m1: What are the main problems of this industry these days? me: Ma’am, most important problem is related to the marketing and competition from products of other countries. In today’s globalized world this industry is not able to compete properly. In Kannuaj, the technology used is still very old and there is no organized efforts to increase the sell of ittra. m1: Can govt do something to face this situation? me: Ma’am, govt can provide basic infrastructure and can take care of supply chain. It can provide training for latest technology. Other than that, in today’s competition based economy, survival in dependent on market mechanisms only. m1: Do you know anything about co-operative moment in India? Tell us whether it is successful or a failure? me: Ma’am, this movement started at the time of national struggle for freedom. Co-operatives are formed by forming a group of small scale producers, farmers etc. They were very much popular in 70s and 80s, but now the influence of these co-operatives is reducing. One famous example of co-operative is Amul. m1: So, what is the main difference in a company and co-operative? me: Ma’am co-operative is formed by a community and profit is shared among members. While company is profit oriented organization. Co- operatives are mostly in rural areas, while companies are urban centered… (interrupts) m1: co-operatives are in cities also. me: Yes ma’am, but mostly in rural areas. m1: Okay, How do they work? me: Ma’am companies have a board of directors and CEO as its head. Co- operative are a mutual election based organization. I do not know much details about this ma’am. m1: Okay, how are they formed? me: Sorry ma’am, I do not understand the question. m1: I mean, under which act? me: Companies are formed under company act and co-operative under co- operative act (smile) m1: Good guess, was it a guess? (smile) me: No ma’am (smile) m2: Which country in Africa is famous for its co-operative movement? me: Sorry sir, I don’t know, but I can take a guess. m2: Yeah yeah go ahead. me: I recall faintly, It is Kenya. m2: (laughs loudly) nahi, galat zabab, it is Tanzania. me: Thank you sir (smile) m2: What is the full form of NHRC? me: sir, National Human rights Commission. m2: Who is the chairman? me: ex-CJI K G Balakrishnan. m2: Okay chakresh, you must have read about nuclear disaster in japan. So do you know any nuclear summit taking place on this issue? me: sir, I know there is a international meeting, but i don’t remember the details of this meeting. m2: Actually it is taking place in this month itself and our PM is also going there. What in your opinion would be the most burning topic in this meeting in context of japan incident? me: Sir, right now major issue is the security of nuclear reactors from the natural disasters and terrorist activities. There is a growing fear in public worldwide about the security. I think, the strategy to face this challenge would be the major issue in any such meeting. m2: Go on. How to remove these fears from mind of people? me: Sir, in my opinion, people must be made aware of the technical details of such reactors. New cutting edge technologies should be imported in developing country like India so that our reactors can be made with best security features in the world. Then the publicizing these security measures can remove fear from people’s mind. m2: Good, have you heard about 2G scam? me: Yes sir, It was a scam … (interrupts) m2: Wait wait, have you read anything similar in today’s newspaper? me: Yes sir, there is a news report about allocation of coal fields to private and public companies without following the proper procedure. CAG has estimated a loss of more than 10 lac crores. But I think sir, it would be pre-mature to comment on this issue without reading further about the issue. m2: That’s alright. m3: You have mentioned that you worked for tsunami relief fund in your college days. me: Yes ma’am. m3: What could be done in the field of disaster management in our country? me: Ma’am, disaster management involves four steps, mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation. The most loss of life occurs due to lack of pre-warning system and the diseases in aftermath of disaster…(interrupts) m3: Okay, lets go one by one. What should be done for preparedness? me: Ma’am we can face such disasters better if we follow certain steps such as installing pre-warning systems in case of tsunami, earthquake, floods. General public can be trained for such disasters by mock drills similar to one in delhi few weeks back. Then a important point is to establish the alternate, more secure mode of communication from districts to central national disaster management authority. Training special task force to face such disaster is also a good step. m3: Okay, what is mitigation? me: Ma’am mitigation is process by which we try to avert a natural disaster even before it takes place. Like banking of rivers, coastal area management to avert the effect of tsunami. m3: Okay, so what is the difference in leadership at the time of disaster and normal time? me: As in public administration theories ma’am, at the time of disaster leadership should be centralized and top-down, while in normal times it should be participative and bottom-up. m3: Why centralized? me: Ma’am at the time of crisis, time is most important factor and there is a need of quick decision making. This can be done in centralized leadership only. m3: Hmmm, okay tell me what is difference between aptitude and attitude? me: May I think a bit ma’am. m3: Yeah sure sure. me: (5-10 sec pause) ma’am aptitude is the technical and educational suitability of a person for a job and attitude is the trait of personality, which we showcase towards others in any normal condition. I am not sure ma’am how this definition match to the psychological definition (smile) m3: (smile) no no, its quite close. Attitude is this only, but definition of aptitude is wrong. me: May I try again ma’am? m3: No, its alright (points to m4) m4: What is CNG? me: Sir, CNG is compressed natural gas, it is used as fuel in vehicles. m4: Is it better than others? me: Sir, it is better in terms of pollution but it can be used for short distance only. So it is good for metropolitan cities as Delhi because distances are small here, but not so good for longer travel. m4: What are the other fuels used in transportation. me: Sir, other than CNG, petrol, diesel, coal, organic fuels are used. Now a days new technologies are coming with use of hydrogen and electricity also. Some vehicles use LPG cylinders also. m4: What is the main gases in pollution? me: Sir, pollution is caused by oxides of nitrogen, sulfur, carbon particles, ozone m4: Ozone! me: Sir, there is nascent oxygen present in pollutants which forms ozone. m4: So, do you think Delhi is very polluted? me: Sir, Delhi has high level of pollution compare to other cities in world. But level of pollution has come down after metro and use of CNG. m4: How many percentages of pollution is caused by transportation sector? me: Sir, I don’t know the exact figure, but I read an estimate in newspaper that it should be around 15%. m4: Hmmm, may be in rural areas, but in cities it is around 25%. me: Thank you sir. m4: So, tell me few factors that cause air pollution and few for water pollution? me: Sir, air pollution is caused by traffic, industrial units, rice cultivation. Water pollution is caused by industrial waste, dead bodies in rivers, fertilizers etc. m4: Okay, what is water harvesting? me: Sir, rain water harvesting? m4: Yes yes, the same. me: Rain water harvesting is a method of collecting water locally for use in irrigation and drinking etc. m4: (smile) what you mean by locally? me: Sir, rain water is collected in reservoirs or tanks locally before it can go to the river. Then it is used locally m4: Okay, water level is going down in whole of our country, do you agree? me: Yes sir. m4: Why? me: Sir, main reason is the excessive use or wastage of water in daily activities. Then there is lack of proper management of rain water… (interrupts) m4: Alright, good good, you are from UP? me: Yes sir. m4: okay, have a nice day. That’s it from my side. me: Thank you sir, nice day. cp: (with a cunning smile) Okay chakresh, answer my last question then you can go. Who was the most famous king of Kannauj? me: (smile) Sir, king Harsha Vardhan cp: (smile) Okay, interview is over, you may leave now. me: Thank you sirs, Thank you ma’am.

Candidate : Anju RK yep…im done with my interview too…was the 2nd one..and ws interview by Prof. Purushottam Agarwal’s board. It was a very cordial affair. Bsids the chairman, there was 1 lady member and 3 male members. I’m not 2 sure of th time it took, but must have been around 20-25 mins. I do not remmber all my answers,but I could share th ques with u.

First a brief biodata: -from kerala -did schooling abroad(in Bahrain to be exact) -Btech in ECE in NIT,Calicut

After all the formalities were over,and after they hurriedly asked me to take a seat.

C:So, you graduated in 2010. what have you been doing for the last 2 years. A:I was preparing for the civil services sir. C: So I hope you have been keeping yourself updated. What do you know about the recent NCTC contrversy. A: (told the whole story bout coordinating intelligence,and oppn sayin ut violates federal structure.) C:OK,so do you think we are a federal nation. Are we tilted too heavily to the centre. A: (i sed something bout the centre having 2 take a strong stand in case the issue concerns national security, and bout the states and other stakeholders taken on board in case it is a matter which concerns the states. he seemed satisfied. He asked a quick question on the sch 7 n the 3 lists. amd then passd 2 the next member)

M1:So do you have any role models from the political leaders of our long history. A: I admire certain char of some of the leaders,but no role model in particular. M1k who r some of them then? A: said about Gandhiji(and about his values like honesty,his leadership skill to mobilise the nation,and nonviolence to the extent possible) as well as EMS Namboothiripad(kerala’s 1st cm,who was communist and led many labour and land reforms) C: Since you talked about EMS, what is nokkukooli? A: (mallus wud b the only ones who need kno this,and im sure they would. its ‘looking wages’ and i tried 2 explain it in the subtlest possibl way!)

M2: Since you are an engg student please tell me why did the 2g scam occur at all.? A: (told bout the FCFS and auctioning etc. and the change in th policies since it was realised 2 be a very scarce resource and should be auctiond) M2k,im a layman. explain spectrum 2 me in plain english. A: (it was a lil diff….i didn think i answered proprly,but he went on 2 th next q) M2:how are thes diff operators allocated spectrum A: (from what i have read, it had sumthn 2 do with the 2g being in 900/1800 MHz range with a bandwidth of around 100MHz…and they r given the spectrum in bundles within this bandwidth…..i hope im rite…he didn argue anyway!)

M3(lady member): so since you were abroad 4 so long wat is the basic diff u find b/w wat u have learnt there and ur cousins here. A: (talked bout teaching being more or less the same since im also cbse. talked bout bahrain having better infrastructure facilities. and sed that the basic diff was tht v were taught 2 be indians first, and were brought up wid no discrimination of gender,caste,race etc……they all agreed on tht 1 an nodded) M3:so will you work in other states…even NE? A:Sure i will M3:what do you think must be done to make NE ppl feel less alienated. A: (talked bout topography being main issue…need to step up road,rail,air links….provide economic security and political freedom.) M3: ohh…like even if they say they want independence. A: (said tht they r also an integral part of india.just as other states’ issues find favour with the centre, their probs must also be brought into th limelight in the centre.) M3: yes thts true. also we can bring in more ppl 2 interact. A: (told bout increasing tourism in th area. refered 2 th various ads being seen these days)

M4:Recently Arab spring was spread 2 Bahrain as well. why did it hapen. A: (talked bout religious sectarian discrimination.he asked me specificaly, so i said bout shia majority-sunni rulers.then contined talkin bout unemployment and slow pace of democratization.he was constantly interuptin and askin me details bout each point and i answerd) M3: and what is being done now?the ruler is al faleh isnt it. A: (told bout various reforms by the king shaikh hamad bin isa al khalifa) C: OK Thank you. A: thank you sir. thank you ma’m thank you sirs.

Yep..it finished pretty fast,and wasnt asked 2 many confusing things hope they were happy wid it! all th best guys!

Candidate: abhikrt Hmm , pheww done with interview.

Mine board was I.M.G Khan and i was 4th person to be interviewed. I was taken to interview room and before i knew i was in front of panel. I almost forget to wish the panel and was asked to take the seat. After some basicinquiry about my form (there were some discrepancies) interview started.

Questions were started by lady member.

M1 – IP rights act in field of agriculture.

Me – Seeds act ,

M1 – Close but still think about it.

Me (after some thinking) – Sorry mam, i cant remember.

M1 – Told about some protection of traditional knowledge of farmers and asked me if i knew of that.

Me – I kept on nodding and told about protection of traditional knowledge of farmers about seeds, farmingtechniques.

M1 – IP regime favorable to India ?

Me – (2 mins of extempore) M1 – IP regime in medicine ?

Me – (Again 2 mins of extempore)

Passed to M2

M2 – Asked about LTTE ? Me – LTTE as of now is defeated and dont exist. Passed to third member

M3 – Asked about FDI in retail, supply chain management and in the end if i will still favor ?

Me – Said benefitable to farmer, will eliminate intermediaries in supply chain and problem of monopoly, should ensure competition. And in the end said i will like to prefer farmers over intermediaries. (He insisted on making a choice).

amit kumar – Mar 20 interview questions this year.. interview 2012.. I M G Khan board questions asked —- 1. are we treating children badly in our society.. opinions. ( context- Falak) 2. what did u read in english literature that u later on also found in political science? 3. implication of economic relations in international relations? 4. role of wto in international relations? 5.anti defection law- implications? 6. is india a case of democracy or oligopoly? 7. what is oligopoly? 8.why did u opt art stream as u had done ur 12th with splendid marks in science stream 🙂 9. news paper reading hobby.. well, ” budget this year came with a whisper not with a bang” do u agree.. give reasons? 10. what was in the budget that disappointed you? 11. bipolarity, multi polarity, uni polarity in international relations? 12. present world order..? 13. india’s role in it? 14. what is RTE? 15. well u r in customs,excise.. tell us changing trends in customs and excise over the years? 16. what is the rationale behind service tax, how would u convince layman about service tax as u urself are a tax man? 17. what is better – GDP growth rate or Equitable distribution, why?

1-2 questions miss ho rahe hai.. yaad nahi aa rahe.

GAURAV PRAKASH – Mar 22 Vijay Singh Board: 19th march , first person in afternoon session. 1.      M1-You like watching television, what you watch on tv?2. M1-What is your current source of information, if you don’t watch TV? 3.      M1-What sites you browse on internet?4.      M1- who you will rate as the number 1 civil engineer? 5.      M2- how will your knowledge of civil engineering will help you as an administrator? 6.      M2-what is your opinion on interlinking of river project? 7.      M2-We can protect environment if we guide it along the road? 8.      M2- Who is the professor at IIT Delhi who teaches meditation? 9.      M2- What is the difference between the type of yoga taught by patanjali and those taught by ramdev & ravishankar?10.   M3-what type of education system should we have in India? 11.   M3- do you like reading books?12.   M3-which one was the last book you read .

13. M3-what is the name of the main protagonist?14. M3-what you learn from his character?15. M4-tell about any one good project you did as an NSS Secretary?16. M4- was there no map of campus from before? 17. M4-what is spic macay? 18. M4-what is the name of IIT delhi prof who heads it?19. M5- what is there in the budget this time? 20. M5- Is service going to affect poor, how?21. M4-what qualities of Visvesvaraya should an administrator have?22. M1- have you been to Bihar recently?23. M1- what change you see in Bihar?24. M1-what about roads?25. M1- do you believe that if political will is there transformation can be brought about in a very short span of time? 26. M1- what lesson does it have for the people?

xyz . – Mar 22  Socha na tha!!!!: PLS share ur experience with us if possible …thks

These are the questions that I was asked – (My background – Mech Engg, currently a scientist in Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, optionals – Pub Admn and socio)What is your name? You are from Delhi? What is Bernoulli’s Theorem? What is “new” in new and renewable energy? What are the different parliamentary committees? What are the different ways in which parliament can hold the executive responsible? What is “cut motion”? What is traditional medicine and what policy steps do you envisage so as to promote and strenghten this sector? How can traditional medicine be of economic importance? IP related issues with traditional medicine? What do you propose? Why has solar energy not picked up in India and Africa in all these years? What is the money required for setting up solar plants? What is the area requirement for setting up solar plants? what do you know about BRICS ? When and where is the BRICS summit scheduled to be held? What interdependence do you see in the process of automobile and textile industry? What do you understand by culture? what is wider culture? What do you know about M.N. Srinivas? What do you understand by westernization and sanskritization? Which states have a high wind power potential? What are the problems faced while connecting wind power to grid? Why are solar pumps not being used for pumping underground water in rural areas? What is fuel cell technology? What are the by products? What are the efficiencies of solar plants and how do you envisage the future scenario to be? Situational question – there is a sincere and erudite CEO who is very hard working but is unable to avoid the failure of the company. There is a cunning CEO who is corrupt and practical and brings success for the company and himself. The first is fired and second is rewarded – Do you agree with the management’s decision? What would you do?

Abhishek Yadav – 6:01 PM My Interview – 23.03.2012 K.K. Paul Board (2nd to go in)

The Board was very cordial, and contrary to what I have read or heard about KK Paul, I found him to be a nice guy. No grilling, but yes, no smiling either :). As you would see below, I found that quite a lot of it, stemmed from my bio-data and very few were absolutely un-related to me personally in some way.

My Background

Electrical Engineer (2008) Hobbies: Watching movies (fiction), Reading books (fiction) Extra-Curricular: Chief Coordinator of the Literary Society..

K.K. Paul 1. You are an electrical engineer. What is Plant Load Factor and what is efficiency of a power plant. 2. If efficiency is ultimately the only thing that matters, what is the use of Plant Load Factor. 3. You are from Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School, what is this Our lady of Fatima… 4. You have the hobby of watching movies, fiction? What is this fiction. Aren’t all movies fiction. 5. What kinds of books do you read. (Science fiction). 6. Favorite author. 7. There was a movie in 1966-67, a very famous one, a book had also been written on it. What was it? (2001: A Space Odyssey – though I didnt know it and Paul Sir told the name). 8. Who was the author of the book.  (After I said that yes, I know about the book and the movie and that infact, the book had been written after the movie). 9. Where did the author live. (Since, despite being an British, he lived in Sri Lanka). 10. You graduated in 2008, are you working somewhere. (Since working as Income Tax Inspector)

M1 1. Why is your tie red? 2. No no, I mean, why is it looking red? (Since, I had misunderstood and said that I felt it would suit my shirt). 3. Why do we use red color as a warning sign? 4. What do you think is the difference between Indians in India and Indians in America. 5. What is the difference between Red Indians and Indians. 6. Who settled America. (which people that is)…

M2 1. What is free press. 2. In light of the clarification in the papers today regarding CAG and the coalfields issue, how do you see the freedom of press. 3. Shouldn’t we do something about the sensationalising of news… 4. But the Press Council isn’t doing anything. (Since I had mentioned it). 5. Give me an example of his activism (Since I had talked about the acitivism of Markandey Katju). 6. We find that kids in smaller classes, have these events like story telling, drawing etc etc. Does it serve any purpose. 7. What did you do as the CC of your literary society.

M3 1. We have so much atmospheric pollution nowadays from thermal power plants, what are we doing to curb it. 2. Where is this Coal Gassification being done. (Since I had mentioned the technology) 3. Are we doing anything on the Waste treatment front. 4. What about Solar. (Since I mentioned Renewable but didnt expand).

M4 1. You mentioned solar energy. What mission do we have for it. 2. What incentives is the govt. giving for them. 3. Do you know about Renewable Energy Certificates (Since I had said that I am unable to recall the specific provisions). 4. It is said, ” The Sun is still clouded when it comes to the solar industry” – What does this mean. 5. You said, you like Sci-fi books. Name some indian authors on Sci- fi. 6. I am not talking about movies. (Since I had mentioned Satyajit Ray. Thank God, M2 said that he did write sci-fi books as well, or M4 might not have believed me :P)

KK Paul 1. Ok, one last question. Who was the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey. 2. Any other film he made (after I named the director) 3. What happened to that movie (A Clocwork Orange)

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