Monday, June 29, 2009

My Interview

Now coming to my interview:

27th March, 2009, 2nd half

I reached UPSC by 12:15 pm. I kept waiting till we were allowed to go in. It was about 1:30 pm when I went in. I reached inside and saw the other candidates who were also there for their interviews. There were 7 tables around which 5 candidates were seated. The table decides which board you are going to be in. At around 2 pm, the candidates started going to their respective interview boards. We still didn't know our board. There were 4 other candidates with me who were going to be interviewed by the same board. There were 2 ladies, one from Maharashtra and one from Rajasthan, and there were 2 guys, one from IIT Chennai and the other I can't recall.

We kept waiting, meanwhile other boards had interviewed around 2 candidates. We were getting impatient and hungry too. The lady from Rajasthan opened her bag and got out a packet of biscuits. I thanked god and started eating them. we were speculating as to which board we would get. Finally someone came and told us that we were going to be interviewed by Mr. P K Mishra.
I was so disheartened. Last year, I had been interviewed by a new board member, Mr Purushottam Aggarwal. I was the 1st one to go in on the 1st day last year. In spite of having a wonderful interview, I got just 180. So, I was a little apprehensive as Mr P K Mishra was also a new member of UPSC.

Now, coming back to the table. Everyone was nervous. We were reading all the newspapers there, in case a question comes from any of the newspapers. Then we started talking and finally we were all relaxed.

I was the 3rd one to go in. So when finally the 1st guy was called to the interview, we heaved a sigh of relief. I was assuming that since the board had started late, they would not give us adequate time. I had been suffering from throat infection just before the interview, so was taking a vicks/strepsil all the time. When the 2nd guy from IIT Chennai went in, I started anticipating the interview.

Finally at 4 o clock, someone came to lead me to the board. Suddenly to my horror I realised that my mouth was so dry due to vicks/ strepsils. I didn't have water with me. I reached there and asked someone for water, but even after drinking water, my throat won't be better. I had about 3 glasses of water, that didn't help. I was cursing vicks/strepsils. I was thinking that a heavy throat was better than a dry one. What if I needed to drink water during the interview if my mouth dried again. Anyway, after 10 mins or so, the gentleman from IIT Chennai came out and told me that they were very cool. But that he had had just 15 mins with them.

Then they called for me. I composed myself, tried to forget my dry mouth and asked for their permission to enter the room. When I entered, I saw two lady members to the left of CM and 2 gentlemen to his right. I wished the ladies first and then the gentlemen. I stood next to the chair and waited for the CM's permission to sit down. He said "please be seated". I thanked him and sat down.

Now the interview starts:

CM: What's your name?
Me: Sir, My name is Shubhra Saxena

CM:Tell us about yourself
Me: I told them about my education, prof background, my family and so on.

CM:Can you tell us the immunisation schedule of children
(Now let me tell you v frankly that I was shocked and thrown off guard. Maybe he wanted to destabilise me to see if I maintained my cool.)
Me:Sir, I am not aware of the immunisation schedule of children. But I do know some vaccines for children.

CM: Fine, go ahead.
Me: There is DPT, that prevents Diptheria, Pertussis and Tetanus. And there is OPV, Oral polio vaccine.

CM: Can't you recall any more?
Me:Sorry Sir, I can't recall any more.

CM:Isn't there a vaccine for Hepatitis B?
Me:Sir there is, But I think it can be taken as an adult because I had this vaccine when I was in college.

CM: (Smiled) Yes but it is now given to children.
Me:I said, Thank you sir.

CM: Your hobbies include teaching. Can you tell us about that?
Me:Sir, I have liked teaching since childhood. I used to teach my younger siblings and the children of my colony. Now I teach some children of my maid servants.
CM:Tell us, who is a good teacher?
(I didn't understand the question but I nevertheless tried to answer.)
Me: A good teacher is the one who can conceptually explain topics to students. Someone who can motivate students to do better. Someone who can be a friend, philosopher and guide to students.
( He was apparently not satisfied with my answer.)

CM: No, tell me if you are teaching students in a class, how would you make sure that they followed what you were teaching?
Me: Sir, I would first try to understand the level of cognitive maturity of students. Then I would try to adjust the speed of teaching to suit most of the students because at any level of teaching not all students would be satisfied. I would include practical examples to make them understand the concepts better. The students who have somehow not grasped the things I taught them, I would give them time other than the class to make sure they understood it.
(he apparently was satisfied. So he let it go. He gestured to the 1st lady member on his left)

M1: Your hobby is teaching. So can you tell me about a few education schemes of GOI
Me: I told her about SSA. She inturrepted me.

M1: Can you tell us about SSA?
Me: I told her about a few provisions under SSA as I did not know all.

M1:Can you tell me if there are any provisions for handicapped children under SSA.
Me:Ma'm I am not sure if there are any. But there mustbe.

M1:(Looks at other members) aren' there? (Others nod)
Tell me about other education schemes?
Me: I told about MSA, MDM, KGBV , scholarship schemes for disadvantaged and backward students.

M1: (Interrupts)..That's fine. Your extra curricular activity said Debating. I will give you a topic. Can you debate on that.
Me: Yes ma'm.

M1: The topic is "Women should empower themselves"
Me: Ma'm should I debate in favour or against the topic?

M1: Whichever way you want
Me: May I speak both in favour and against the topic?

(I was a little apprehensive if this gamble would pay off. But it did. She didn't look offended.)

M1: Yes, go ahead.
Me:Argued first against the topic. Then later in favour of the topic.

M1:(looking very happy) Excellent Shubhra. You have argued well in both directions. But you forgot to mention the role of husbands.
Me:(I smiled) yes Ma'm. Thank you.

She now passed the charge to the next lady member..

M2: So Shubhra, you have stayed in many states. Which state have you stayed maximum in?
Me: Ma'm I have stayed for 16 years in Jharkhand and 12 years in UP and 2 years in AP.

M2: So can you please compare Jharkhand and UP?
Me: Yes Ma'm. Jharkhand and UP are topographically very diffrent states. Whereas JH has a hilly and forested terrain, UP is part of the Gangetic plain and very sparsely forested. UP is densely populated whereas JH has a low population density. JH has a sizeable tribal population mainly consisting of tribes like Santhal and Munda whereas UP has a low tribal population. Both the states primarily speak Hindi. In terms of HDI, both perform poorly.

M2: No, tell me what diff did you find on a personal level?
Me: Ma'm both states are culturally complex and offer a variety of ways of life. While I was growing up in Jharkhand I used to stay in isolated forested lands where sometimes wild animals like tiger would come into our colony. This is something I have never come across in UP. The food of these 2 states is more or less the same with a few regional variations. The people in both the states are very tolerant and loving and make one feel at home.
(Everyone smiled at the tiger comment)
She nods then asks.

M2: Tell me what is India's equation with Nepal?
Me: Ma'm Nepal has traditionally been a good friend of India's and India has always supported Nepal in many ways. But with the coming of Maoist government in Nepal, the equations are changing as Maoists are more sympathetic towards China. And therefore the hegemony of India in Nepal is weakening.
(She draws her eyebrows together as if frowning at me. I am telling you it was a scary moment)

M2: Do you think we should be using words like hegemony in context of international relations. India is a big country and shouldn't it allow her neighbour countries autonomy rather than dominating them?
Me: Ma'm, (how to redefine the meaning of hegemony???) , I didn't mean hegemony in the sense of controlling a smaller country for one's vested interests. I meant primacy in international relations.
India is a very big country and that is the reason most of her neighbours are insecure about India's intentions. But India is a very peaceful country and instead of dominating its neighbours she extends whatever support it can to her neighbours.

(again frowning....I am so scared now...)

M2: It is you who are saying that India is a peaceful country.But other countries don't think so.
Me: Ma'm, I have had the fortune to work abroad in many countries and everywhere I meet people they always say that India is perhaps the most peace loving country in the world.

(She looks satisfied now...I heave a sigh of relief)

M2: Tell me about India's relations with Myanmar.
Me: Relations between India and Myanmar haven't been very positive ever since the military junta took over control of that country since India had never supported the junta's rule in Myanmar. But lately, the contours of relations are changing for the better because India needs Myanmar for access to ASEAN route, for development of NE and to curb insurgency in NE. But even despite many efforts, Myanmar is more inclined towards China, that is using Myanmar territory for its naval base as a part of its String Of Pearls strategy to encircle india in the Indian Ocean. This is a concern in Indo Myanmar relations.

(She looks much happier now....Passes the charge to 3rd member.

M3: So, you have been a student of IIT Roorkee. Can you tell me the history of IIT Roorkee?
Me:Yes Sir. IIT Roorkee initialy known as Thomason College of civil Engg.It was named after Lt Governor of Agra Province whose name was Thomason. It was created in 1847 after a famine in British times led to large revenue losses. The British decided to construct a canal from Haridwar to western UP to irrigate these lands. Therefore a need was felt for Civil engineers. And therefore under Lord Hardinge, this instn was created. After independence it was renamed University of Roorkee. In 2000, after Uttarakhand was separated from UP, it was named IIT Roorkee.

M3: Can you tell me what is this structure in Roorkee where there is a canal over river?
Me: Sir, it's called aqueduct.

M3: Tell me about Ganga Canal.
Me:I told him about the famine of 1837-38. The canal consists of an upper ganga canal from Har-Ki-Pauri in Haridwar to Aligarh and Lower Ganga Canal from Aligarh to Kanpur. Told them the distance of Canal and which governor general started its construction(now I can't recall)

M3:What is the river over which the canal is passing?
Me:Sir it's known as Solani. Similar to the aqueduct structure there are structures like superpassage wherein river flows over canal and a structure called siphon.

(He is looking visibly impressed..am glad all the research paid off)

M3: So you are an engg in Paper technology?
Me:Yes sir.

M3:Can we make paper out of weeds?
Me: Yes sir, if the weeds have vascular structure that will yield fibres.

M3: That would solve the problem of weeding then.(smiles to himself )
Me: I smile back.

M3:So where was paper first made.
Me:Sir, it was first made in Egypt from a plant called Papyrus, that's why the name paper.

M3:But people say it's China.
Me:Yes sir China later followed this practice and made it more sophisticated so that paper came in daily use.

M3: When was this?
Me: Sir it was around 2nd or 3rd century BC.

M3: Tell me something, who invented printing?
Me:(AAAAAAAAARRRGH) Sir I don't know. But I know that the person who invented the prniting press was Gutenberg.

M3:No, you tell me one thing. Why did it take printing to travel from China to Europe 400 years?
Me:(I am thinking...what?.. what is this question. The CM i slooking impatient as well) Sir,I am not aware of the reason.
(Thankfully the CM interrupts and said it's ok.)

M3:Tell me your hobby is teaching. Why does ragging take place ? there was a committee created for tackling ragging.
Me:I told him it was Raghavan committe. I told them the psychological and sociological reasons for ragging.

M3: Since your hobby is teaching,Tell me, what was the committe recently created for higher education reforms? (I am wondering why they are all fixated on my hobby only)
Me: Sir I am not very sure. But I think it was Yashpal committee.
(Everyone murmurs..yes yes)

M3: What were it's rcommendations?
Me: I told him about improving UGC affiliations, Deemed univ and so on.

CM interrupted- Enough. He gestured to the last member to start.
Somewhere I was getting apprehensive why the CM was getting impatient. Did he think I was no good and wanted to end the interview? But I found the answer in the end. You will also see that)

M4: Your extra curricular activities include athletics. What all did you participate in?
Me: I told them the activities I had participated in.

M4: Can you tell me some type of athletic events in which more than 2 types of athletic events are there.
Me: I told them 2.
M4: What are the special features of Indian Democracy?
Me: Parliamentary democracy, quasi federal structure, Independednt judiciary, Written constitution, supremacy of constitution etc etc.( I explained these also)
M4: Can you tell me the independent agencies under Indian Constitution?
Me: Told him SC, HC, EC, CAG, UPSC(along with the articles)
CM interrupted and said " enough". He apparently wanted to ask more questions.
CM: So you are from UP. Tell me the districts in Bundelkhand.
Me: (I remembered only 3) Sir, they are Jhansi, Mahoba and Banda. There are 2 3 more But I can't recall them.
CM: There are 4 more. Can you recall them?
Me: Sorry Sir, I can't.
CM: Do you know Hamirpur?
Me: Yes sir, its in Bundelkhand ( He then told me 3 more distts)
Me:Thank you sir.
CM: So, UP has been bifurcated . Most of the forest cover has gone to Uttarakhand. How would you go about reforestation in UP?
Me: Since the land-man ratio in UP is very low, we will need to find fallow land that can't be used for agricultural purposes. Also, we can promote social forestry.
Agricultural land can be bordered with trees. That would not just reduce soil erosion but also improve the water table. In addition, the local populace can benefit from Minor forest produce and timber.
CM: No Shubhra. These are conventional measures. I am looking for an innovative solution. An out-of -the-box solution. If you give me an innovative solution, you will make my day.
(To be honest, I had not felt this much pressure in the entire interview. My entire performance would be gauged by this last answer. I tried to think of a novel and innovative solution. But nothing worthwhile came to my mind. I took about 2 min to think but they seemd like hours as the board was waiting for my answer)
Me: Sir, i think we can make planting and maintaining trees an incentive scheme from the govt side. For eg, if one planted and maintained a tree, they can get subsidies on land, property, govt. schemes. There could be monetary incentives for people who took ownership for planting and maintaining trees.
(I was nervous if this solution clicked. To me, it was a very mediocre solution. In fact on my way back home, I thought of much more innovative solutions for this problem. But under that pressure, that was the best I could do. )
He smiled and said. "Thank you. Your interview is over."
I thanked them, got up and left.
The interview lasted 35 mins.
I got 210 out of 300.

110 comments:

  1. owsome reading this post...thnxzz

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  2. Crafted really well...even I could feel the tension, and thrill as i read along..superb

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  3. Your posts always make a very good read.......just goes on to show how adept you are at writing.....
    this too is wonderfully written ma'am
    it really was such a thrill reading it, I am waiting for the next part like one waits for the climax of a thriller....only difference here is that we now the "end".....
    Thanks...
    Shaveta

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  4. Amazing post as always....I was feeling as if I was facing the questions and answering.... will be waiting for the rest of it.

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  5. Thanks. I will try to finish it in a day or 2.

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  6. wonderful!!!Just can't wait for the concluding parts.Thanks ma'am for sharing.It is of immense help.Regards.

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  7. Dear Madam,
    I first of all congratulate u for becoming the CSE'09 topper and securing one of the coveted profession in the world.
    I request you to continue to share ur wisdom, experience, thoughts & guidance such that they will be helpful for the people who aspires like you to be one among the creamy layer.
    Your way of description/narration of each post is really good, and I can just tell that this is the outcome from the expertise you gained.
    I Wish U All The Best for Ur All Success Hereinafter In The Coveted Profession.

    Chidambar Rao Bhukya, Mahabubabad.

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  8. Hi Shubhra Ma'm,

    Thanks a lot for spending so much time to give us the insight about the interview.

    It was really very informative and interesting as well( like a friend telling his/her experience in a very candid way).

    Waiting for the rest of the interview now :-)

    Thanks,
    Vinay

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  9. Mam, Can I use hindi in interview as I opt English medium. This will effect my marks or not ?
    Thank you

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  10. Nice tips and it is immence help.

    --------------------
    Good luck to all...
    --------------------
    From:- UPSCPORTAL

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  11. @ Saptarshi Sir

    Could you also share with us your interview experience in your blog.

    Ashwin

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  12. Ma'am, I know you still haven't finished narrating this interview experience; but after this can you share with us your first interview experience as well.

    Ashwin

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  13. i will try to recall my 1st interview. whatever i can recollect, i will put it here. but plz give me time.

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  14. u can give interview in Hindi.
    Ms. Kiran Kaushal got 215 this yr with hindi medium.

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  15. Mam Thanks for the reply but I opt English medium for written papers & Now,I want to use Hindi only for the interview....

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  16. Wow, PART 2 ...... this is like a thriller. Awaiting for the climax!

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  17. nice mam real nice !!!

    You are a true source of inspi for me mam

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  18. The thrill just keeps mounting, and the way you create a visual picture of your answers and the panel's reactions to them.....amazing....
    You write so well, may be you should try your hand at creative writing as well....

    waiting for the rest of it desperately....

    Thank you so much....

    Shaveta

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  19. Hello Ma'm
    Its very pleasant to hear abt ur success in cse having air 1. I am really inspired frm ur articles, I also want to say that this blogger of urs is going to be very helpful for the aspirants. Though I m not preparing for Civil Services, I have an interest in Engineering Services. Currently I m pursuing M. Tech. in Communication Engineering frm NIT KURUKSHETRA.

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  20. That was an excellent piece. Surely I will be very helpful to the future aspirants of Civil Services.

    Thanks & Regrads Ma'm.

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  21. Mam obviously this is fruitful for aspirants, and u are a stimulation for the womens but I cant even thing u didn't left even a single topic to study . BRILLIANT

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  22. really, its very useful mam, especially for the new aspirants like me.
    Thanks a lot

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  23. Very well written. Looking forward for the remaining part.
    Thanks,
    karthik

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  24. Ms. Shubra, it was as if i am reading a nail-biting suspense story, not a civil-service interview .... very interesting

    Mr. IIT Chennai guy, the person interviewed by the same board... if you are reading this blog pls share your experience as well.. what questions were put to you and how come your interview lasted for just 15 mts? which service was offered to you etc.?

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  25. Shubhra saxena Rocks....!!!! She may have many inpirations, but she is one of my inspiration.

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  26. Congratts maam..!! very well done and best of luc fr ur future.........

    And it was very nice reading ur post.......

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  27. u have a great taught process...

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  28. Really informative ! I am rather wondering, you remember all the questions asked !
    But really helpful for those looking towards this profession.. a good insight into what they can expect in crunch situations and also how to keep one's cool..
    Do post the conclusive part of the interview soon.

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  29. HEY U ANSWERED REALLY WELL .......I M REALLY IMPRESSED WITH UR ANSWERS......HEY FRND ALL THE BEST FOR UR BRIGHT FUTURE

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  30. it looks here that that u read all about india in detail and u knew alot of other stuff also.Please can u tell how u prepared..

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  31. maam, do they always expect us to talk of both sides of the coin ?
    the above post simply proves , even if we don't know some answers , it does not make any difference !
    they examined the approach , i cleared a similar interview of INDIAN ARMY for military engineering services.
    just one question ----> can coaching classes give guidance to go into this detail ?

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  32. Dear Mme,

    Congratulation for becoming topper in CSE 2008. You are an example of women empowerment. By the way what argument you placed against women empowerment? One more thing let me tell you have used a few words which are different like cognitive maturity... But its quality answers. Keep it up and keep on guiding us.

    Thanks,
    Manoj Kr. Nirala
    French language professional
    JNU, New Delhi

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  33. Dear Ms.Shubhra Madam

    Congratulation and thanks for sharing your experience. I suppose you have started you service before getting into the job. very helpfull. Once again thanks for your great job. wish u all d very best.

    with regards
    M.Lavanya

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  34. hello mam'
    i felt how sincerely you hv answered and your presence of mind, otherwise facing such a big interview is not a joke.
    congrats for your success.

    regards,
    Ar.Santosh

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  35. MAM ,THEY DID NOT ASK YOU ABOUT THE COACHING (NAME OF INSTITUTE)HAD THEY ASKED ,WHAT WOULD BE YOUR REPLY

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  36. mam there are advertisements showing your photo with a little note (signed by you),(carrer plus)
    did you take coaching from there or are they fake

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  37. mam there are advertisements showing your photo with a little note (signed by you),(carrer plus)
    did you take coaching from there or are they fake

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  38. congratulations.......
    mam u were really wondrful ..hats off to your spirit and courage....keep blogging to inspire..
    thanks
    praveen kumar
    TGT SSt DSB International school, Rishikesh

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  39. mam there are advertisements showing your photo with a little note (signed by you),(carrer plus)
    did you take coaching from there or are they fake

    *************************************************

    I didn't take classes there. I taught there for 2 months. And yes, the coaching is pathetic. The teachers there are horrible( that's what my students told me.)

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  40. I did not avail of any coaching classes for interview. All I did was to attend 2 mock interview sessions. ( It is a simulation exercise)

    No coaching can help you give a better interview. I will tell you how to prepare for interview in the next post.

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  41. MAM ,THEY DID NOT ASK YOU ABOUT THE COACHING (NAME OF INSTITUTE)HAD THEY ASKED ,WHAT WOULD BE YOUR REPLY

    coaching for interview? I did not take classes for coaching. I just attended 2 mock interviews at Samkalp. That's all.

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  42. By the way what argument you placed against women empowerment?

    ********************************************

    I didn't argue against women emp. The topic was "women should empower themselves".

    That means that it's women who have the job of empowering themselves.

    This is not the debate that I presented there. But just the thought behind that.


    In Favour: For every discrimination and atrocity on a woman, there is a woman involved in the form of mother, mother-in-law etc. So all the institutional mechanisms would fail if the women can't free themselves from the clutches of slavedom. The 1st step towards empowerment starts in mind. First I need to free myself and then the external freedom would follow.



    Against:
    When we say that it's women who have to empower themselves, we are giving a very simplistic solution for a complex social malady that has been existing for quite a long time now, namely thousands of years.

    Expecting a woman, who has grown up as a girl child being discriminated against at every step of her life, to all of a suddent break all clutches that her self esteem is in is ridiculous. There have to be corrections made in all spheres - social, political, economic, legal, psychologal, for the real empowerment to take place. Placing the onus of empowerment on women is like society extricating itself from its biggest responsibility.

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  43. maam, do they always expect us to talk of both sides of the coin ?
    *****************************************
    No, I did that to not look partisam and emotional. I wanted to show them that I was rational to look at both the sides of the matter objectively and dispassionately even though it is an emotive issue for me, being a woman.


    the above post simply proves , even if we don't know some answers , it does not make any difference !

    *************************************

    It doesn't as longa s you can honestly admit that. If you try to guess in an oversmart manner, they get pissed off.


    just one question ----> can coaching classes give guidance to go into this detail ?
    ******************************************

    NO....NO....NO.......
    I will give you the tips that one of my friends whos an IPS now shared with me. Those helped. Whenever possible try to talk to someone who has been thru this process before.

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  44. Hi Shubra Ma'am,

    Firstly i wish to congratulate you for the achieved success. I sincerly wish to put forward that you have not only become the cynosure to all aspirants but a mentor and a 'Guru ' to me and few people who are following your blog.

    I am to sit for my first attempt in 2010. Can you please explain how did you plan your course and what breakdown of the 24hr day was devoted for preperation.

    Is effective reading of the course sufficient or mugging up of the exact detils (years, article numbers vital).

    Also Ma'am can we have the notes that were prepared by you for Pub Ad or the ones that you followed. I shall be everso grateful for your kindness and support.

    Also Ma'am for posing your efforts & experiances incorpoted in this blog for us i humbly thank you and promise that i shall definately crack the exam with my best efforts.

    Respect & Regards,
    Akhil Rana
    Friday, 3rd July 2009

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  45. really informative and a honest report. thanks a lot.

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  46. Well done Shubhra. Congratulations. Don't you think that the civil service examination pattern should be more oriented towards quick decision making (i.e. inclusion of objective type mental ability, analytical ability tests, etc.) in addition to psychological test which judge the persons principled response to various situations? Current selection system does not filter out power hungry, corruption prone individuals.
    Civil services require quick decison making, public service orientation and human touch.

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  47. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! While reading this article i was feeling how tensed the ambience was? but great.............

    Ranjana

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  48. Ma'am
    Regarding the debate you mention : "I was a little apprehensive if this gamble would pay off. But it did. She didn't look offended." What are the possible negative impacts of deciding to argue on both sides of a motion ?

    Ashwin

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  49. thank u for sending me .the interview of the civils topper ..its very useful for students ...thank u

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  50. What are the possible negative impacts of deciding to argue on both sides of a motion ?
    ************************************
    They might think I was acting oversmart.

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  51. Don't you think that the civil service examination pattern should be more oriented towards quick decision making (i.e. inclusion of objective type mental ability, analytical ability tests, etc.) in addition to psychological test which judge the persons principled response to various situations? Current selection system does not filter out power hungry, corruption prone individuals.
    Civil services require quick decison making, public service orientation and human touch.
    **********************************************
    Well, everyone knows that the system needs changes. But this is probably not the place to discuss these matters.

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  52. I am to sit for my first attempt in 2010. Can you please explain how did you plan your course and what breakdown of the 24hr day was devoted for preperation.
    *********************************************
    I used to study for 8-10 hrs on an average. During exams about 10-12 hours.
    i used to study 2 subjects in a day, about 3 3 hours to both and about 2 hrs to newspaper and magazines.

    rest of the time- sleep, tv, phone.

    Remember that you can not sustain the pace of this preparation if you don't take adequate breaks. Decide what is adequate for you. For eg. I would study for 8 10 days straight w/o meeting anyone outside. Then I would get out from my house for a movie/pizza. This would motivate you again to start prep with vigour.
    --------------------------------------------

    Is effective reading of the course sufficient or mugging up of the exact detils (years, article numbers vital).
    ********************************************
    Both.

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  53. Thank you Mme for replying back my question. Wish you all the very best in your challenging career. People will have lots of expectation and my God give you wisdom and strength to full fill them.

    Bonne chance ! Et nouvelle fois Felicitation.

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  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  55. Shubra Saxena, thank you for the post...
    really i came to know way of answering of great people....( To b frank i am motivated)

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  56. maam i'm new to civil services exam and just gave my final year exam..i would've been very confused if it was not for your guidance..it is very nice of you to help out other aspirants..i'm very thankful for your support..i've few doubts
    is it imperative to take coaching(especially for psychology),if not how can i get my answers evaluated
    and will it help if i study both optionals and GS side by side or whether i should concentrate on optional 1 and GS first...thank you maam

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  57. @vikas
    have already answered these questions before.

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  58. brilliant interview, pls also post the first interview so that we can learn from that as well

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  59. ThankYou Shubra Ma'am for replying to my questions..

    I am following the same techniques as for now.
    One last query that i have is that of Pud AD. I had asked you if your notes could be availed somehow from anywhere. Please let me know on the same.



    Sincere Regrds,
    Akhil Rana

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  60. Well, that would be difficult.

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  61. Hi

    Wat do u thnk worked for u in the interview this time arnd?U said u had given a good interview the last time too.

    thanks
    Sayan

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  62. I thought so ma'am but nevertheless with all these details i guess we have sufficent guidance to prepare a framework of how to go about the preperation.

    I hope even when you are on the OJT you carry on with this blog.

    Sincere Regards,
    Akhil Rana

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  63. I am very dissapointed in the kind of comments people are making here. Someone calld me a "sly fox". I do not know why people have to vent their frustrations here.

    Someone called yajnavalakya had asked me why I don't do anything other than eposing the unscrupulous character of the people in coaching inst. But Mr Yajnavalakya and Ms Mrinalini(who called me a SLY FOX), please learn some manners before asking anything. Also, I know that you are preciely the people who can't be happy about someone helping other people.

    Tell me one thing. I enrolled in those places but didn't find them good. Its totally legal for them to publish my photo and say that I attended their classes. Even CSR and Competition refresher have bought interviews from other magazines/newspapers. So I can't challenge them on that front as they are in a perfectly legal position.

    I am doing what I thought was my way of saving more students from being victimised..

    Instead of trying to accept reality, you 2 are imposing the onus of bringing those people to book who are standing on firm legal ground.

    Ms. Mrinalini( the self proclaimed social scientist), this forum is not for people like you. You have an inherent inferiority complex and need to bash people and their characters. I am not going to publish such useless and frustrated comments here on my blog. Just because i have started this blog doesn't give ANYONE the right to perform my character assessment or assasination( like your case).

    You are no more welcome on my blog.
    Please Mr yajnavlakya and Ms. Mrinalini, leave my blog and do not post any comments. You are not welcome anymore. Nor is anyone who has such malicious intentions.

    Thanks you!!!

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  64. Ms. Mrinalini has threatened me. She has said that she will deal with me. deal with me for what? For trying to help fellow aspirnts??????????

    This is beyond ridiculous.

    But I can understand why you are doing so. Either you are an agent of coaching institutions that I have bashed and automatically made enemies. Or you are a disgruntled prson frustrated with eeverything in your life.

    In either case, I can handle you. I am sure that when I work honestly in this system, I am going to make enemies like you who will threaten me.

    In fact I am enjoying the very fact that it has already started.I have to thank you and Yajnavalakya to have given me the very first taste of the kind of challenges I am going to be confronting from now on. I hae to thank Ms Mrinalini and Mr. Yajnavalaya for this.

    I will not grace your threatening words with a retaliation that you are hoping for. I am out to do something good. And I will not be bogged down and close this blog because of people like you.

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  65. Hi Shubra Ma'am,

    Its sad to know that the curious money melting entities of the society who believe that they are actually helping people with their carreers are trying to give you a hard time.

    Everyone is skeptical of these coaching institutes and frankly speaking i don't recall any one trying to speak courageously about it as you do...

    But thankfully aspirants have mentors like you to guide and show them the appropriate way of sitting in the exam.

    Please ma'am never close this blog and to people like yajnavalakya and mrinalini i would say ' PUSH OFF ' .

    Akhil Rana,
    Roorkee.

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  66. Hi,

    Many congratulations on your success.

    Can you please tell us how would you have answered this question:
    Why civil services ? especially after considering your background (A degree in engineering, working in IT industry for 4/5 years).

    I am asking this because i feel, it is a tricky question to answer. There are some arguments against iitians & similar grads entering in civil services and 'wasting' the government resources given to them during their graduation. However, personally i don't agree to these arguments.

    Thanks,
    Vivek

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  67. I don't know if one is allowed to give links to other sites here (if not then forgive me). Got this link from an Orkut Community; its the personal [NOT CSE Interview] interview of some successful candidates.

    http://chasingthebeacon.blogspot.com/

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  68. "sly fox" :o, a very disrespectful comment ...

    Anyway Ms. Shubra, I reckon this is the kind of attitude you and other highly placed officers should nurture and would really like to see your stature 20-25 years down the line... you are going to have many many big challenges in life and your comments say that you are prepared...

    all the best

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  69. Hi ma'am, this is the second time posting the question. I understand you have a busy schedule. But please try to give me an answer. I am graduate of English Literature, and also a civil service aspirant. I plan to select political science as my first optional, because I studied it for plus two and as a subsidiary for UG. But I am confused as to what I should opt for as the second optional. I am not very confident to select English Literature because it is very vast and it is difficult to get notes on this subject as far as I came to know. Could you suggest me an easy subject that I can select as my second optional? What about selecting History? I hope you will give me an answer this time.

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  70. I didn't answer because I can't give an answer to this.

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  71. CSE (2008) Interview of Mr.Ghanshyam Thori
    All India Rank: 277
    Interview: 186 (KK Paul’s Board)

    http://ghanshyamthori.blogspot.com/

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  72. hats off to u maam..
    i wud like to share some of my difficulties with u, shall i post my queries here?

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  73. gud evng mam.
    i know this is not directly related to prep!
    but how to overcome all yhe wrong steps taken in the past which in some way or the other has hampered any ones progress?
    i mean to say mentally.bcos it takes away ur energy in present times

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  74. @monu

    if we don't make mistakes, if we don't fail, we do not learn.

    Failures and Mistakes give you such lessons in life that nothing can erase them That's the best learning you can get in life.

    It's upto us how we transform the energy in life. I like to transform the negative energy of my failures and mistakes into something positive.

    Just believe that Failures are just places before success that you HAVE to visit. It's a journey. Enjoy it and make the best of your failures.

    Everyone is sad when they fail. What you can do different is by fighting harder when failure strikes.

    watch this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT4Fu-XDygw
    That's what I do.

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  75. I missed your question.

    Why civil services ?

    Ask yourself. If you really want to serve country, say that. Nothing is better than an honest admission of truth.


    If you don't, then I can't advise you.

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  76. Sorry, i did not put the question correctly. Let me re-phrase the question.

    This is not a query regarding cse preparation. I wanted to know how would have you answered if the interviewing panel asked you the following :

    IITs and similar institutions are created by indian government to promote research in science and technology. A large part of our goverment expenditure goes in to these institutes of higher studies. So, is it fair for an IIT graduate to opt for civil services, rather than giving chance to a fellow student? Considering that competition in both the exams (JEE and UPSC) is really tough and very small percentage of applicants succeed eventually.

    I want to make it clear here that personally speaking, i think there is nothing wrong with it. But i just want to know, how to justify my viewpoint in a rational manner.

    Thanks,
    Vivek

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  77. This question was asked in last interview.

    I answered that the quantum of returns that I feel I would give my country by being in the ias would far outweigh the cost incurred on me studying in an IIT. And further, today administration requires people with technical expertise. so I don't think I have wasted govt expenditure in any manner.

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  78. Dear madam,
    I'm a student studying in X grade. I desire to write the civil examination(for IAS).. Many of my relatives say that its better if i start my preparations now itself...But I actually dont know what to prepare..I think you are the best person to help me out..Can you please tell me what is to be done??? I would be grateful if you do so.

    Thank you

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  79. Dear madam,
    I'm a student of Grade X. I too desire to write civil service examination (for IAS). Many of my relatives say that its better if I start my preparations now itself. But I actually do not what to prepare or study. I think that you are the best person to help me out. Can you please tell me what is to be done??? I would be grateful if you do so.

    Thank you

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  80. well done shubra...mam

    ur experinces, the way u shared is marvelous.

    an inspiration for the aspirants of CSE.

    ur doing a good job.

    continue it..

    it well make u very effiicient in all the things u do.

    thank u.

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  81. I'm a student studying in X grade. I desire to write the civil examination(for IAS).. Many of my relatives say that its better if i start my preparations now itself...But I actually dont know what to prepare..I think you are the best person to help me out..Can you please tell me what is to be done??? I would be grateful if you do so.
    ****************************************************

    For now, study your school subjects well so that you get conceptual clarity.
    Make newspaper reading a regular habit. Try to know what's happening in the country and the world.

    For now that's enough.

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  82. I appreciate your effortS .... warmest congrutulation on your success. suyash

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  83. madum ,What i refer for gen science

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  84. plz post your questions in relevant post.

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  85. Dear Shubhra:

    I have been preparing for this exam since some time. My father works for Karnataka St. Govt. as a Stenographer. He and his colleagues were telling me a lot that influence, clout, and money are sometimes the deciding factors in this exam (during interviews too). I was shattered. But I do not have anybody to advise me on these matters. Can you please help people like me by replying to this comment?

    Thanks,
    Deepak B M

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  86. It's false. That's all I have to say.

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  87. Many Congratulations Shubhra Ma'am!!!

    How advisable is it to share personal experiences/incidents with the interview board specially with respect to what motivated an aspirant take up the examination? While it may come across as a more candid admission, it might also negatively prejudice one's chances.

    Many Thanks,

    Nishant

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  88. If it is something that might give an unfavourable dimension, being so candid might not be such a good idea.

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  89. Thanks Ma'am.

    While going through the post, I found the conversation on 'hegemony' really interesting. But dont you think India, being a peaceful state, should refrain from aggresive diplomacy with its neighbours?

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  90. WOW.!! For me reading ur interview has been an enlightenement in itself. - garima razdan

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  91. Hey Shubhra...Ashish here...I wanted to know that you choose hindi or english as a medium for mains and interview?

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  92. Good Even. Mam . Its so long that you have topped the IAS ,however its also very nice to read ur blog today. Cogratulation to you on your success.

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  93. A very good afternoon mam,
    firslty, a big congratulations.
    it was a awesome answers for the awesome questions.

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  94. Shubhra madam,firstly plz accept my heartful congratulations on this topclass success. May God give u good health all ur life !

    Till nw,i had read many of the intrvws of successful candidates of CSE. Bt d post of ur intrvw xperience in ths blog is really a bettr note for the aspirants.

    I had an xprience of an intrvw[SSB-SERVICES SELECTION BOARD] in d process of selection into NDA. We were given chest numbrs at selection board b4 intrvw and (un)luckily my chst no ws 1. So i ws called into d room first. Out of immense pressure i went into d room. I wished the board nd introduced myself. I told them that my aim ws to become an IAS officer. As d intrvw startd,an official among them askd me "u r an IAS officer. U r given an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- nd askd to spend it in 3 different ways.wat wud u do ??"
    (frankly speaking,i had no idea that such questions are also askd in d intrvw til that minute. My mind had gone blank hearing that question.) I took around 15sec time and answerd it. Although i cleared the intrvw wid gud score, my answer dint seem to satisfy them. Is it true that such questions are askd at UPSC ??
    If yes,wat wud be ur answer ??
    I felt u wud be d correct person to tel me wat the board had expected frm me. Plz do reply madam !!

    With reguards,
    Bhagath Chandra, Warangal,
    Andhra Pradesh.

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  95. mam i am entirely new to blogspot , found your interview on upscportal , since it was half so i followed here and enjoyed it thoroughly. the emotions you have added in the write up have added life to it. it all seems real life . probably i have messed up the mains this year , will try once again. thank u so much. hats off to your gesture of helping others. please continue. all the best to you

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  96. @Bhagat
    These kind of questions do not have a standard answer. They are supposed to test your personality. So even if you prepare questions such as these, it wont help..so relax

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  97. Hi Shubhra!!
    Hope your training is going well...the mains went gr8...ur tips worked...right now preparing for interview...I have a question regarding interview viz as you enter the board do you wish each member invidually or otherwise?

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  98. Congratulations Shubra ma'am...
    I was really very eager to meet you when you were in Windsor's apartment... because I am residing at vijay nagar which was near your place... I am also preparing for civil services exam.. I was seeking you guidance... and I too want to take the initiative to meet you...

    But It could not be possible due to now a day..
    you are on the top of apex...
    please give your email id sothat I able to contact you... ma'am... I will to grateful to you....

    this is Ashok Kumar
    right now working with EXL BPO
    Mobile : 9958 366 166

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  99. @shivanu
    wish them together. first the lady members and then the gentlemen.

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  100. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience mam:)

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  101. hi mam
    while gng through the entire interveiw i was so nervous and imagined i m ly attending the interveiw.thanx a lot for narrating us in a nice way.i always worry abt the interveiw more than anything.

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  102. Hello maam
    I am also preparing for civil services exam and my hobby is also teaching.before i reading your blog i was thinking whether i will not write teaching as hobby or not.after reading your blog i am so happy and confident about it.thank u a lot mam.again as i am an odia medium student i want to write the paper in odia.some times i m feeling i cant do it.i m not very strong in english.but maam i m comfortable in odia.so in that respect i need ur advice maam.please give your email id so that I able to contact you... maam... I will to grateful to you....
    with regards
    Prahlad kumar sahoo
    sprahladkumar@gmail.com

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  103. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience. It will help the people who prepare for the interview.

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  104. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience.
    It will be helpful for the people who prepare for the interview.

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  105. too good maam ..... really helpful !!!!

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  106. Simply No words.....

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  107. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE .

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