Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First Day ,First Show !!!

On 17th march the civil services (main) 2007 result came out.I was surfing the net when a friend of mine informed me about the results.I thought that as usual the UPSC website would not open as is the case usually once results are announced.But to my surprise it opened and very soon i found myself going through the list of roll numbers and was elated to find my roll number(after having twice missed the interview bus).But the joy soon turned into horror when on 19th afternoon i got a speedpost from UPSC informing me that my interview was on 31st march at 9 am ,i.e., first day first show.Panic set in and i prepared myself for running against time.Some suggested be your natural self ,and some others told me to fake it ,leaving me totally confused.Then there were mock(ing) interviews which were useful as well as counterproductive.In fact ,my confidence took a nosedive on 27th after a late night mock session.Next day i met Ravindran Sir(vajiram) and his words boosted my confidence.On 29th ,i went for my final mock at Chanakya which went off well.
On 31st i got up at 6 am (very early by my sleeping standards)and by 8:20 i was on my way to Dholpur House.I reached the UPSC main gate at 8:45 am and found a crowd of fellow 'sufferers' impeccably dressed and in high spirits. I met Sudhir(orissa),Pushkar(CISF,Bihar),Rohit(BSF) and few others and we asked each other about the number of attempts and optionals.A sense of camaraderie develops when you have the same optionals and more so if you have made the same number of attempts.There were lot of third attempt 'veterans' ,so i felt at home.At 9 am sharp we were allowed inside the hallowed portals.After signing the register we were asked to wait in a big hall.There were 7 round tables,everybody had been alloted a particular round table. In my group, there were Harkamal(Chandigarh),Aastha(JNU,Patna),myself and Lalit Kumar(Delhi).Since of the four i was the first one to arrive ,i assumed(wrongly)that there were three guys and one girl in our group.But Harkamal turned out to be female(later on i told her about my misperception and we shared a laugh).Very soon i was joined by the other three candidates and we started talking ,sharing our fears and apprehensions and about various national and international issues which had the potential of troubling us if asked by the Interview Board.We were served tea and biscuits and i thought that having tea outside would be a good defence if panel offers me tea inside as i could always say that "Sir/Madam i have just had tea outside".Soon after we came to know that we were in Ms Parveen Talha's board and felt relieved as the adjacent board was of Prof.D.P.Agarwal. Anyway i was scheduled to go third after Harkamal and Aastha.
I was called at 12:30 pm and was asked to wait outside.Just as i was waiting for the bell to ring (at which point i had to go inside),instead the door opened and two
people came out of the room,the staff outside told me that they were Board members and were taking a toilet break.Soon after the 'bell tolled' for me and i opened the door and went inside.As soon as i entered Chairperson(Madam Parveen Talha)was reading my name, i wished her good afternoon and also wished other members(all male,M1 M2 M3 M4).
Madam: Abhishek ,have you lived in Mahoba (my hometown) ?
Me: Maam ,I was born there but have since lived in Northeast.

Madam: Ok ,but do you know what Mahoba is famous for ? (after a pause she answered herself)Paan ,have u seen paan growing ?
Me: Maam , I have not seen paan growing in Mahoba but i have seen it growing in my home in Itanagar,sorry Tezu where my dad was posted .

Madam:Have u eaten paan ?
Me: Yes maam ,i have eaten raw paan.

Madam:Do you know what all is put inside a paan ?
Me: (I had no clue how shud i say katha ,chuna etc)I m sorry maam ,i m not very sure.

Madam:fine,do u know what is facebook ?what can we do in it ?
Me: Maam,facebook is a social networking site ,used to make new friends,write about one's likes ,dislikes etc.Though orkut is more popular in India.

Madam:Since you have lived in northeast ,what do you think is the problem there?
Me:Maam,northeast is somewhat cut-off from rest of India and the pace of development has suffered on that count as compared to rest of India.

Madam:what can be done about it ?
Me: Maam,we should try for emotional integration of northeast with rest of India by making them feel cared for and looked after.People of northeast should be involved in development planning for northeast.

Madam:(pointed to next member)Aap poonchiye

M1:Which newspaper do u read regularly and why ?
Me:Sir, I read 'The Hindu' regularly and i like it because it gives due respect to its readers and i have written letters to it and have got them published.

M1:Do you read editorials ,what is the difference between editorial and rest of the newspaper ?
Me: Sir,i have been reading editorials regularly but for the last few days i have not gone through it.Editorial contains the views of the newspaper on any particular issue and rest of the newspaper contains news about various events.

M1:Have u played cricket(my hobby) and at what level?
Me:Sir,I have played the game but not at a competitive level and yes I do follow the game.

M1:Why the test match was drawn yesterday(Chennai Test,Sehwag's 319)?
Me: Sir,the pitch was very docile,the batsmen dominated completely and so there was no result.

M1:What about the other two test matches,what is going to happen ,do u know where the matches will be played ?
Me:I am not sure sir.

M1:Well the next two matches are going to be hosted at Ahmedabad and Kanpur.what will happen there?
Me:sir,kanpur is again known for its docile wicket so there may not be a result there ,but at ahmedabad there may be turn for the spinners and result may be possible.

M1:Sachin has got injured and selection committee has recalled Kaif ,do u support it ?
Me:(was totally unaware of kaif's recall)Sir,sachin is an irreplaceable kind of player.
M2:(cuts me angrily)you mean to say he should be played even if he is injured?
Me: No sir,if he is injured he should not be played.
M1:What about Kaif ?
Me: sir,Kaif is a very good player in his own right and if he has been included in the team he should be played.
M1:ok (gestures to next member)

M2:You are from a technical background,can u tell me that with the rapid advancement in information technology and also in biotechnology ,what are the ethical issues that have cropped up ?(question was very vague)
Me:Sir,can u please clarify
M2:(again said something about IT,Biotech and ethics,made me still more confused)
Me:Sir,due to IT revolution,there is lot of information being exchanged on the internet and there are e-crimes (at this point he cut me off and told that no you are not understanding the question i m specifically asking about the ethical issues)
Me:Sir,there are some websites which are putting up false propaganda on the internet which they may feel is right but may be offensive to others(M2 nods)so there is a question of ethics involved there.And Sir,in case of bio-tech there is the issue of cloning.while reproductive cloning is unethical,therapeutic cloning is ethical.
M2:Is there consensus on therapeutic cloning?
Me:Sir,consensus is emerging on the issue.Even Indian govt. allows therapeutic cloning.
M2:should therapeutic cloning be used to create humans?
Me:No sir,it should be used only for creating organs.
M2:(gestures to next member)

M3:You have talked about northeast problem ,and about emotional integration,how will you do it ?
Me:Sir,the people of northeast will have to be made stakeholders in development process.Planning should not be done at the centre ,but at the grassroots and based on the needs of the people.
M3:Northeast is disaster prone area ,how u will use technology to solve the problems?
Me:Sir,i will make use of GIS to map out disaster prone areas and create awareness among the people living in those areas about the steps they should take if disaster strikes and use networking to take help of central agencies.I will do all this to mitigate impact of disaster.
M3:(gestures to next member)

M4:Mr.Mishra since u have done your engineering from Jorhat ,can u tell me the name of two famous saints of Assam ?
Me:Sir,Sri Sankar Dev and second i m not sure but may be his disciple Sri Madhab Dev.
M4:good.You have been talking about alienation in northeast but i do not think so,students of northeast are studying in Bangalore ,Delhi and other places ,so there is no alienation.
Me: Yes sir ,but there is a sense of alienation among the people of northeast.
M4:No,the insurgency problem is because of Bangladesh's support,top leadership of ULFA is operating from there.
Me:Yes sir,these factors are also there,illegal migration from B'desh has created social disharmony.
M4:The govt. is hand in glove with the insurgents,there is no alienation ,all is being done for money,dont u know about Sibsagar Supt.of Police from whose house two militants were caught?
Me:sir ,one or two stray incidents should not make us think that .We should try to remove the root cause of the problem.
M4:You are taking a soft stand (and he continued with his tirade against the system,i tried my best to remain normal and smiling)(At this point Madam said"next question please",to which he said no more questions)

Madam:(smilingly)Ok Abhishek,now do you have any question ?
Me:No,Thank you Maam.
Madam:Ok,but let me tell you about what all goes inside a paan .See first of all a paste of 'kattha' ,then some 'chunaa',then 'supari' and if the person so desires some tobacco .(smilingly)And when you go outside,you eat a paan .You can go now.
Me:Thank you maam,thank you sirs.

I came out of the room in a positive frame of mind.Now i dont know whether it was good or bad ,but the experience was great and madam was very cordial.Now hoping for a positive outcome ...

Postscript: I got 180/300 , a decent score but i was hovering near the cut-off in mains score ,so missed out from being in the final list :(

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think ur interview has been excellent. u handled the north east questions well..u will surely come out wid flying colors..all d best.
n thx for such a detailed account..it will surely help first timers.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting sir............
but i think-it could be better if could explain abt 'PAANS'.

for me surprising ques is of facebook !!!

let's hope for +ve.

(sir-would you pls tell us ur optionals?)

bk.rahul.g@gmail.com

mazak said...

@anonymous1 ... thanx for ur gud wishes ...now i can only hope n pray that some good comes out of it ...in any case it was a memorable experience....

@bk.rahul.g ... yes in hindsight i do think that if i cud answer the paan question it wud have been better but it was not meant to be ...
facebook question was asked as my hobbies were 'Quizzing,Cricket and Blogging'...
Optionals:Psychology and Public Administration

Viraj said...

Ur interview was very good..i thank u for posting such a detailed account..helpful for me and others appearing for first time..though, i am preparing for prelims...it was a good experience for me to read it..

I am sure u would be selected in top ranks.....

sandeep said...

haan bhai mazak .... kya detailed info hain .... i must say u were great n ur idear of sharing ur experience is amazing .... all d best ....

mazak said...

@Viraj ...thanx for ur gud wishes ...

@Sandeep ... haan yaar kuch jyada hi detail mein likh diya ,i just hope that i hv been true to what actually happened,though i must have used different words but the essence was
more or less what i have stated....thx !

mansi said...

hey..ur interview was goood.
atleast u knw how to give details of interview , d others on orkt r dumb.thy dnt even knw how to share their experience..

mine is on 17 april..since i have time,u recommend anything..mocks,books etc??

Atul said...

Hello Sir,

Congrats for nice interview of yours and thanks for sharing your experience. By the way, do you think the chairperson figured out that you were shy of speaking words like 'chunna' etc. ? Besause to i think thats the reason she said them at the last.

Atul said...

Hello Sir,

Congrats for nice interview of yours and thanks for sharing your experience. By the way, do you think the chairperson figured out that you were shy of speaking words like 'chunna' etc. ? Besause to i think thats the reason she said them at the last.

digdarshak said...

Hi Abhishek,

thanks for sharing your experience, hope it will benefit other people and all the best for final result !

cheers !

mazak said...

@mansi ... thx ,it is my first interview experience n was in d same boat as u,so in general i can say that be prepared on ur bio-data ,giving a few mocks wud be gud but take the positives frm mocks n dont focus too much on negatives,abt books ,i didnt read any for interview purpose,so its ur choice...end of the day board is generally cordial and not knowing an answer is not a crime ...so all the very best to u !!!

@atul ... thx yaar ,i m not sure why madam told me about the ingredients of paan at the end ,u may be right or it was just to make me feel comfortable as the last panelist tried to kill me by his verbal volleys ...she was smiling all d time while saying it so i felt ok ...now only marks will tell,my friend had a very nice interview n got 150 so one cant say ....

@digdarshak ....thanks ,i can only pray now...

geet said...

when would you get the result ???

mazak said...

@geet ... result wud be out sometimes in may ,most probably by 2nd week ...i just hope that 'der aaye par durusht aaye' ...but both possibilities ie selection or rejection are on d cards ....so hoping 4 the best ....

Antariksh Singh Rathore said...

First of all thank you so much abhishek sir for revealing such a great experience of yours.

I think you should have answered questions about paan,But its ok a Bureaucrat has nothing to do with paan.Because you have answered the North-East issues successfully and satisfactorily I think you will get thru this time.
And it would me my sincere pray to god to make you enjoy LBSNAA and label of "I.A.S" as a suffix after your name soon.

all the very best sir !

Sir I have also been pursuing BE(elect n commn)final yr.wid optionals INDIAN HISTIRY(p & m) & PSYCHO(m).

Sir can you give me some tips at this stage as.As an engineer what precautions I should have with me.I'll be very thankful to you.

mazak said...

@ antariksh ...thx yaar for ur gud wishes ...only time will tell which way the dice is going to roll ... i m a computer science engineer and that has been no hindrance in pursuing this exam ...choice of optionals shud be based largely on ur interest and availability of gud study material ... all d best (if i cud be of any more help, feel free to ask me)...

Ashish said...

Hi mazak
I think ur interview was good....no seriously...especially the way u handled the north-eastern and bio-ethical issues...the PAAN still remains one aspect where u could have answered...though IMHO its not a critical aspect at all...after all we r all humans ;-)
All the best to u..and do hope u make it this time....
I am another aspirant...will be landing in Delhi shortly....in MAy...if u r around..would love to have a chat with u...till then...
Keep the faith....
Regards
Ashish.

mazak said...

@Ashish ...thx yaar ,i wud be in delhi in may ,so we can meet up or chat .... tk care

Smarak said...

Hey... urs has been a good performance ... u will get flying colours :)

Surajit said...

Hi Misharjee, your interview details imressed me . Thanks for details of each question . Definitely it will help other people willing for the same position . What can i do, a pray for your success . You will get good result of your hard work.

geet said...

my best wishes are with you :)

Jadu Kumar Saikia said...

Definitely it will be +ve this time.
All the best.

//Jadu

mazak said...

@smarak ...thx yaar and i wish d same for u ....

@surajit,geet,jadu ...thx a lot for all of ur gud wishes !

Atul said...

Sir, I have a question. Do they need certificates for things mentioned in positions of responsibilities etc. Because I ahve mentioned that I was captain of school cricket team in the mains form. Thanks in advance.

mazak said...

@ Atul ...no ,u r not required to carry any certificate as such inside the interview room ,but if u want to show it to them u can always carry it ....generally candidates are not carrying anything with them inside the room ....so its ur call ....

Ranjit@IIMB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ranjit@IIMB said...

Hey buddy, u handled the NE related questions really well..Specially the saint question..U should try to answer the "PAAN question" as u know the basic compositions..And I expected u to answer the Test match venue question too..Overall it was good..Hope for the best...And b ready with the Treat.. :-D

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Amrit said...

Good Luck way to go :)

bhargab said...

really yaar, u handled the situation in a positive way,,,,,,,
the interview starts with paan,,,,,,,,,,then north east,,,,thanx yaar for your detail description of your interview,, it is really different from what generally they published in CSR... one more thing , i also agree with u abt what u told in interview regarding NE. ,,,,,,, hope u will come out with flying colours.
.................

Chakoli said...

A loooong read...
but finally completd it;-)))

good one... ur interviewer was quite linent is what I guess.....:-)))

As far as you answered it seems you may get selected :-)))


good one:-))

mazak said...

@amrit ...thanx !!!

@bhargab ... thx yaar,CSR interviews are something else,there its pretty difficult to speak such long ,coherent answers for ordinary mortals ,and in any case the board wont allow one to go on explaining without interruption in normal course...hoping 4 some positive outcome ,lets see how it goes !!!

@chakoli...thx ,result wud be out in a week or so ...for now praying n keeping fingers crossed !!!

joshua chadwick said...

sir, you are interview experience was great... n post more blogs to direct us in de road of sucess . gud luck for next time..

Abhishek said...

@joshua chadwick ...thanks 4 ur gud wishes, i hv started a blog 4 upsc prelims aspirants ,u can check it out at
www.upsc-prelims.blogspot.com
:)

Anonymous said...

sir ur interview was excellent ..but how much u scored in that. plz tell us..and share something about pub. ad. optional for PT.

thnx

pushpendra meena said...

sir ur interview was excellent ..but how much u scored in that. plz tell us..and share something about pub. ad. optional for PT.

thnx

mazak said...

@Pushpendra... thx , i scored 180 in interview ... u can refer my friend anoop's article to get an idea how to prepare public admn from prelims point of view ...
http://upsc-prelims.blogspot.com/search/label/Public%20Administration

gud luck

Anonymous said...

gud one interview.. u give ur answe in confident

Surendra said...

Wish you veru god luck Sir. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

mazak said...

@Surendra ... thanks :)

lalan said...

Hi sir,
I was very confused about interview..i have faced many interview like ISI kolkata ,NDA..but due to fluency problem in english i couldn't able to express my view..finally after getting into IIT i have again dream for facing interview for IAS...I am trying to improve my skill ..your blog gives a great help to me ...your interview material is simply great..thanks for such kind of guidance ..i wish you all the best for your this year result and interview ...

ganesh said...

To comment on people who have reached the ability to go to the interview of upsc exams is beyond my ability.

but as a reader and imagining the situation u wer in i feel u have done the best.

u maintained utmost cool that helped in getting marks.The answers were perfect.The ethics part - the examiner had some idea in his mind but wen asked as a qtn it created confusion.thats wat happened i feel

best of luck for ur future

Rishabh said...

Hi,

This is a great narrative. I am sure a lot of aspirants will gain from this.

Thanks for sharing!

Ishkee said...

Hey..Hi!!
D Day came!!
Wats the result?!!

Ashwin Soni said...

Hi,

It is very nice of you to start this blog. The interview description is vivid and amazing.

Only by reading it I could get the feel of the environment.

63n1 said...

Hi Abhishek,

Pleasure going through your post about the UPSC interview. It was a pleasant surprise to know that you have lived in Itanagar and Tezu, because those were the places where I grew up too! So for all you know, we might have had been the same schools also (GHSS).

Bitten by the IT bug, I abondoned my childhood aspirations to appear for CSE. But after having worked in some of the biggest and glitziest cities in the world, I have finally come to realize that unless you serve your country and its people, personal wealth and well-being don't mean anything. To that end, I've decided to appear for UPSC before I get too old!

Thanks for your other blog (upsc-prelims). Hope to benefit from that.

Cheers!

Abhishek Nair said...

Hi Abhishek,


Your blog is truly awesome. Thanx for posting all the valuable info. BTW i wanted to know if u have finally become an IAS officer after appearing for the 4th time(as written on your blog).....

Regards,

Abhishek

Syed Nisar said...

i went through whole interview and it has been very good.

tushar said...

your interview was excellent i think you handle it very well but it can be better that u will tell your ans well explain...........

kavitha said...

hai abhishek. this is rupa. iam preparing for upsc prelims.can u tel me is it really necessary to go through 5-6different books for each subject? as time may not be sufficient and is it really possible to memorize all that data or information from so many subjects and various text books?

chitra said...

Sir, u had an excellent interview.It is so nice of u to put your interview experience open for all of us. But I would like to ask u were u afraid of going in D.P.AGRAWAL's panel, just because he is the chairman of upsc or some other reason.

Anonymous said...

Hello abhishek,
Read ur experience about ur interview. i think it was handled greatly. wish u all the best. actually reading ur interview gave me an idea of it. Since am too prepareing for IES exams and appeared for the same in june, i wanted an overall idea of personal interview of which u have given a detailed description. thanks a lot once again.

Durga Prasad said...

hi abhisekh...ur interview is unpredictable like, questions ranging from saints to pan and den again to cloning..u r extra ordinary, hope u had put de best...anyways let's be positive...All de best dude..!!!

sagar said...

man u described the the interview exceptionally well. The whole picture came in front of my eyes.and had a laugh on 2 to 3 occasions
all the best for ur career

SARVAR said...

am a first timer at the upsc exams presently residing in mumbai where getting ias coaching classes is like asking for the moon. have to shift base in delhi for the coaching period. since i am a fresher what optional subjects would you suggest.

SETUNI said...

BRO!I HAVE AN QUERY.
IS IT NECESSARY TO TAKE ONE OF THE OPTIONALS IN MAINS FROM ONE'S DEGREE SUBJECTS?
IF YES,WHAT KIND OF SUBJECT?

DEEPRAJ JHA said...

i may not feel d complete heat of dat moment...ya sure explaining paan seems to be awkward,but they just want to check that the person is comfortable at all issues or not..he he...

Avi said...

very nice description !i thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it :)) what was your result ??