[Topper’s Interview] IFoS-2013 Rank-42: Sudhanshu Yadav, Working professional-IOCL, First Attempt, No coaching, B-Tech, Kanpur

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UPSC Paperset
  1. Biodata
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Working professional
  7. Prelims (CSAT)
  8. IFoS Mains English
  9. IFoS Mains GK
  10. IFoS Mains Optional subjects
  11. Civil Service Mains 2013
  12. Your Physical test
  13. Your interview by UPSC
  14. Final Marksheet
  15. Views on the merger of IAS and IFoS Prelims into CSAT
  16. Views About Aptitude paper
  17. State cadre Preference
  18. Career Backup
  19. Insecurity about profile
  20. Wisdom
  21. Credit: Friends/family
  22. Marketing Propaganda


IFoS 2013-AIR 42-Sudhanshu Yadav

NameSudhanshu Yadav
Rank in IFoS-201342
Roll No.176234
Age24 years
No. of previous attempts in Forest service examNil
No. of previous attempts in Civil service ExamNil
Home town/cityKanpur
Work-experience if any.Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (3.5 years)
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures:GATE 2010 (Rank 53), Engineering Services Exam 2012 (Rank 96)
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if taken)CSE prelims test series- Vajiram & Ravi


% in class 1070 %
% in class 1288 %
Schooling (Medium)Hindi
Graduation course and %B.Tech (Mechanical Engineering); 84%
Name of college, city and year of passing outKIET, Ghaziabad; 2010
Post graduationNA
Any other professional coursesNA
Hobbies & Extra curricular


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?-booklist-strategy questions given in a separate file-

I belong to an average middle class family from Kanpur. My father is a govt. employee with Health Department, Govt. of UP & mother is housewife. I am the first engineer from my family & will be first from the family to enter civil services. During my initial education my father was posted in a backward area, so I completed my primary education from a typical government school in Kasganj(UP). I could not decide the way I had to follow till I completed class XII. It was only after this I was exposed to the world of competitions. During my graduation I came to know about various career options available. My professors encouraged me to enter prestigious civil services. After completing my B.Tech I joined NITIE Mumbai for pursuing PGDIE course and to subsequently enter into corporate world. I declined job offers of Scientist in ISRO & Executive Engineer in NTPC. I left the course after 5 months only to discover that I have developed an innate desire to join government services and joined as Engineering Officer in Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. This seemed to me a wrong decision later, I should have completed the degree at least. After joining the service, for first one-two years I lost into the lure of good salary & whatsoever little authority obtained. Charm of service and expectations kept on dooming with the passage of time. Now I had to look for other options & I decided to prepare for civil services. Here expectations of my family, college professors & friends proved to be a motivating force.

Electronic Vs Paper material

Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, rss-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how much do you rely on electronic material and how much on the paper material (Books, newspapers)? If possible narrate a typical day in your studylife. What is your style of preparation (e.g. I continue making notes no matter what I’m reading, I just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes, I make mindmaps on computer …or xyz style)

  • In today’s scenario of dynamic questions asked by UPSC electronic material available over websites helps to broaden our perspective, whereas paper material like conventional books provide with basic foundation/skeleton over which you can build up.
  • Cyber space is flooded with diverse information & one has to make judicious choice of what to read & how much to read, in order not to get lost in this flood.
  • As I am a working professional, so I relied heavily on electronic material for GS portion, which I could also access during free time in office. Availability of electronic material for optional papers may vary with the chosen optional.
  • My style was to read multiple times. In my opinion same standard material should be revised multiple times rather than going to some new material on same topic.

Tempo and style

Q. On an average, how many hours do you study? How do you keep study momentum going on?

I never counted study hours. Being a working professional it was very difficult to maintain fixed study hours. What matters is quality of study not quantity. I used to make targets to cover specific topics in a day & used to strictly adhere to these targets, irrespective of the time it takes. Based on this my study hours may have ranged from 2 hrs a day to 8-9 hrs during weekends.

I had high expectations with my current job which were fading out with passage of time & my zeal to move out of it as soon as possible ensured that there is no momentum crisis.

Working professional

If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with job?

  • Time management is a very crucial issue when you are preparing with job. You need to make full use of every single moment available with you for studies.
  • Your office may prevent you from reading books at workplace but no one can stop you from surfing websites & reading newspaper at office. So try to cover at least newspaper reading & make best use of idle time at office.
  • There may be many colleagues, who are regularly working extra hours and you may feel shy to leave office in time. Don’t bother; they may be inefficient (with all respect to serious work/emergency) if they can’t complete their work in allotted time. Be efficient, complete your work in time, avoid unnecessary activities & leave office in time.
  • Don’t try to be hero by taking additional work load. Don’t aspire to be top performer, be an average performer till the time you decide to settle with the current job itself. (It may seem unethical but you are doing it for bigger cause of serving mankind after entering into service, so goes with morality.)
  • Manage your leaves well to suit your study needs and make full use of time when you are on leave, don’t divert that time for other unnecessary activities.

Prelims (CSAT)

Q. Your booklist strategy for Paper I and paper II.


PolityIndian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
History: Modern IndiaOld NCERT, Spectrum Modern History. skipped Ancient & Medieval History
GeographyNCERT- Old & New (6th to 12th ), Certificate physical & human geography by Goh Cheng Leong
EconomicsNCERT- Indian Economic Development, Economic Survey
Environment & BiodiversityNCERT, Mrunal.org & other miscellaneous sources
S&TThe Hindu, mrunal.org & other miscellaneous sources over internet
Current AffairsThe Hindu & Internet


For Paper II most crucial thing is speed along with accuracy. Practice is the best way to improve both of them. I solved about 20-30 full length mock papers one month before prelims to ascertain my speed to solve complete paper in time & took corrective steps based on that.

Q. Approximate no. of attempted / correct answers.

  • Paper I- Attempted approx 130 marks; Correct approx 100-110 marks
  • Paper II- Attempted approx 190 marks; Correct approx 170-180 marks

IFoS Mains English

Q. Your booklist strategy for General English

General English paper consists of basic grammar, which can be easily answered by basic knowledge of English language. A critical part observed in previous papers is about name of kids (junior ones) of animals and about sounds of various animals, which could be easily found over internet (although it was not there in this year’s paper).
Q. In General English paper, four essays were asked: Value based education, PPP in disaster Management, Violence against women, Ecotourism. So, which essay did you write and what keypoints did you include in it?

I wrote essay on PPP in disaster management. Keypoints included in the essay were-

  • Nature, causes and variety of disasters
  • Aggravating issues pertaining to disasters
  • Govt. machinery for disaster management NDMC, NDRF etc. & need for people involvement
  • Various measures for disaster mitigation & PPP involvement taking latest Uttarakhand tragedy as a model
  • Benefits of PPP and how to promote and co-ordinate it

IFoS Mains GK

Q. Your booklist strategy for General Knowledge paper. What is your ‘analysis’ of the difficultly of this paper compared to previous years?

Same as that of Prelims. Compared to previous years, in this paper questions were divided section wise (like Q 1 all sub parts Geography, Q2 all sub parts S&T etc.) so there was no concentration of GK paper from a particular section of GS & all sections were adequately covered. Difficulty level of questions was moderate as in the previous years but there were dynamic questions in S&T and current section. It must be pertinent to mention here that question paper was very lengthy and speed practice is mandatory.
Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?

  • Question cum answer booklet (QCAB) as introduced by UPSC from this year is good from candidate point of view, in my opinion. Space provided for answers was more than sufficient.
  • Especially for science papers space can’t be decided in terms of no. of words (for numericals), which was very well taken care of by UPSC.
  • As all the subparts of a question has to be answered in continuation and if you get stuck or want to answer any subpart afterwards you can return later without any need to estimate space to be left.

Q. Did you attempt all the questions or did you skip a few? UPSC aspirant Community is divided over what counts as a ‘good’ paper. Some claim attempt all- even if it involves “making up” an answer with filler lines, some claim attempt only those questions you know perfectly. Where do you stand on this? [based on your experience and of your seniors/buddies]

I tried to attempt as many questions as possible but skipped a few as I had no content on some questions. I will stand with “attempt all questions”. For example you have a choice between answering one question perfectly (case 1) and answering two questions with average answers (case 2) (10 marks each) in same time. In case 1 there is no guarantee that your perfect answer will align with examiner’s ideal answer and he/she will be hesitant in awarding marks above say 7. In case 2 he/she may not be shying in awarding 4-5 marks for each answer. So you are in net gain of 2-3 marks for case 2.

IFoS Mains Optional subjects

Q. Your booklist strategy and analysis for the optional subjects.

Mechanical engineering

Theory of MachinesR.S. Khurmi, S.S. Rattan
Mechanics of SolidsStrength of Materials by R.K. Rajput
Engineering MaterialsA.K. Agarwal, W.D. Callister for selective topics
Manufacturing ScienceGhosh & Mallik
Manufacturing ManagementOperations Research by Heera & Gupta & Selective topics from internet
ThermodynamicsP.K. Nag
I.C. EnginesSharma & Mathur
Heat & Mass TransferJ.P. Holman
Refrigeration & Air ConditioningR.K. Rajput
Power Plant EngineeringP.K. Nag


I studied Mathematics only for one month before exam and also my maths score does not authorize me to share my strategy. Mrunal will definitely find someone better to guide for Mathematics preparation. Based on whatever knowledge I have on mathematics, I can recollect that this year it was an easy paper & there could have been appreciable downscaling of raw scores. Relying on my experience with mathematics paper, undergraduate (B.Sc.) standard books of any university, which cover whole syllabus, can do.

Civil Service Mains 2013

Q. Did you appear in Civil Service (Mains) 2013? If yes, share the experience and add study plan for the four GS papers.

Yes I have written CSE (Main) 2013.
Q. What Essay did you write and what points did you include in it?

Science & Technology is the panacea for the growth & security of the nation.

Q. In GS papers, Since UPSC came with those 100 and 200 words questions. what was your approach in the exam (I wrote all, I only focused on the questions where I could answer perfectly, I just not to high quality points to reach the word limit etc.)

I tried to attempt as many questions as possible even at the compromise of quality.

Q. Which optional did you keep for Civil service mains- how is its approach different from forest service optional preparation (of the same subject)? your analysis/wisdom on optional papers in civil service mains 2013?

Mechanical Engineering, Approach was same.

Your Physical test

Q. Physical test involves walking 25 kilometers in 4 hours in the case of male candidates and 14 kilometers in 4 hours for female candidates. So how did you prepare for it? Please narrate your experience of that day.

My walking test was slated on 18.12.2013. So after CSE Main exam I had time of about 7-8 days. Till that time my daily schedule & office work hardly involved walking more than a kilometer or two. I started my walking practice in those 7-8 days and starting from morning walk of 4 kms on day 1 went upto 12 kms on 8th day. This proved sufficient on the day of walking test.

On 18.12.2013, we were about 45 candidates at National Zoological Park (Delhi Zoo). We had to complete 10 laps (2.5 kms each) there. Walking test started at about 7:30 am after some formalities and address by Director, NZP. There were two check points, one at starting point and another at mid of the 2.5 kms lap. They take care of candidates during walk by providing glucose, lemon water, biscuits, banana, volini spray etc. at the check points and ambulance was also there to tackle any emergency. I felt no difficulty to complete 25 kms that day with 15 minutes to go. It was an unforgettable experience that day.
Q. Not much is known about medical standards for IFoS- so please narrate you medical checkup. What tests did they conduct? Person with glasses- eligible or not?

for detailed information on medical standards, read from page 22 onwards, in the following PDF file


Medical test is conducted in two parts for IFoS. Part 1 is done on next day after interview & part 2 is conducted only for selected candidates. Part 1 medical test comprises-

  1. Flat foot, hydrocele test
  2. Urine test
  3. Blood pressure, pulse check up
  4. Eyes test- color blindness (Ishihara test), myopia

Your interview by UPSC

Q. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Smt. Alka Sirohi

Q. How long was the interview?

Approx 30-35 minutes

Q. please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply?

Mine was the first interview in the morning session (09:00 am) on 17.02.2014. My detailed interview transcript (as it happened on 17.12.2013). Board- Smt. Alka Sirohi + 4 members

Me- May I come in ma’am.

Chairman- Please come in.

(I walked upto the chair on which interviewee was supposed to be seated.)

Chairman- (pointing to the chair) Please sit down Sudhanshu.
Chairman- Sudhanshu you are working somewhere, Indian Oil Corporation. OK what is coal and coke?

Me- Ma’am both coal and coke are used as fuel, coke is better fuel & derived from coal.

Chairman- Please elaborate.

Me- Coal is derived from earth as a mineral and coke is produced from distillation of coal. Coke has higher calorific value than coal, so it is a better fuel.

Chairman- What is Octane No?

Me- Ma’am Octane no. is a measure of quality & antiknock property of gasoline/petrol. % of iso octane in a mixture of iso-octane & n-heptane Higher the octane no. better will be antiknock property of the fuel & smooth engine operation.

Chairman- How it can be improved?

Me- Octane no. can be improved by addition of chemical Tetra Ethyl Lead (TEL) in petrol and when octane no goes beyond 100, a new measure of fuel quality is performance no.
Chairman- What is similar measure for diesel engine?

Me- Maa’m its Cetane no.

Chairman- What is ATF?

Me- ATF is Aviation turbine fuel, which is used to propel aircraft jet engines. It is highly purified kerosene.

Chairman- OK (Points to next member)

M1- Sudhanshu u belong to UP. Are you aware of recent judgment of Lucknow bench of High court against UP Govt?

Me- Yes sir. This judgment was against UP Govt’s decision to take back terrorist cases against some criminals which were imposed during previous govt. High court ruled that it is exclusive purview of central govt. & state govt. is not empowered to do so.

M1- What was the case at Rampur due to which these people were charged of terrorist activities?

Me- Actually there are two main rival political parties in UP. Some innocent muslim youths were charged for terrorist activities for some political reasons during previous govt. (I was not knowing the actual case at Rampur) Current govt. decided to take those cases back, when they came in power.

M1- Was this part of election manifesto of the present ruling party?

Me- Sorry sir, I am not aware of it.
M1- How will you utilize your Mech. Engg. Knowledge in forest service?

Me- (There is no direct use of Mechanical Engg in forest as such but I had to answer) Sir now a days forest & environment is a growing concerns of mankind, there are a no. of international treaties of which India is also party. A no. of green technologies are coming up under instruments like CDM & NAPCC, being a mechanical engineer I can contribute to their development & implementation, for safeguarding our environment.

M1- (Smiling) Mind it you are a mechanical engineer not civil engineer.

Me- Yes sir. I don’t have that much scope as a civil engineer has but I will contribute to the extent possible using my knowledge.

M1- Can you point out some uses of plastic in forest?

Me- Plastic can be used for packaging of marketable forest produce. It is used to contain saplings used for plantation. It may also be used to create environment suitable for green house farming.

(finished with M1. He points to M2)

M2- Sudhanshu We have a huge population in young segment who have non technical qualifications but are unemployed. How can you create employment opportunities in your organization (IOC) for such people?

Me- Sir our company has three divisions- Refinery, Marketing & Pipelines division. Refinery is somewhat technical division & requires skilled manpower for its operation. Pipelines require moderate skills. I am in marketing division, where we have supply locations to cater to requirements of Retail/consumer Outlets (Petrol Pumps, Army, Railways etc.), which does not require muck skills in operation. In our supply locations these people can be employed under qualified engineer/operations manager, after proper training. Also we have a no. of new projects coming up like Paradip refinery, where they can be employed as manual laborers & supervisors & other allied economic activities.

M2- What do you understand by delegation of authority (DOA)?

Me- Under this a higher placed official down delegate authorities, specially financial authorities to his subordinates for effective functioning of office.

M2- Whether responsibility is also transferred with authority or not?

Me- Sir, accountability is transferred with authority but ultimate responsibility lies with the official from which authority flows. Transfer of responsibility to subordinates depends on individual also.

M2- What’s your view? You will transfer responsibility to your subordinates or not?

Me- It depends on the kind of subordinates I have. I think subordinates feel more empowered if responsibility is also transferred with authority & implementation of work plan becomes fast. I will transfer responsibility along with delegation of authority & will impose accountability to oversee whether they are using that authority in the right direction or not.

M2- What is CSR?

Me- Sir its corporate social responsibility, under this companies voluntarily undertake community development activities as an acknowledgement that they have impacted environment & local communities for their business activities and they must do something for them in return.

M2- Are you aware of the recent amendment in Companies Law regarding CSR?

Me- Yes sir. In recent amendment to companies law parliament has made it mandatory for companies having book profit of more than 5 crore for three consecutive years to spend certain % of their profit to CSR activities.

M2- What kind of CSR activities your company does?

Me- Sir our company builds facilities for primary education in backward areas, develop parks in urban areas & offer scholarships in field of education and sports.

M2- How you decide sites for such CSR activities?

Me- For example we have about 15000 kms length of cross country petroleum pipelines. We build facilities for education of children in the adjoining areas through which these pipelines passes. This helps us build trust between us & community and also helps in protection of our pipelines through their mutual contribution.
(M2 points to M3)

M3- Sudhanshu, you have mentioned music as one of your hobby (I was fearing he may ask questions like types, techniques, style etc., I filled it as hobby as I love listening music). What kind of music classical, rock etc. you like?

Me- (I wanted to escape questions related to technicalities of music) Sir, actually I love to listen contemporary music. Whenever I get free time I like to listen to songs (Yo yo…. type).

M3- Ok so you only listen songs. You know a good listener is a good manager also, how can you use music to improve efficiency in your organization? (He will not let me go without music)

Me- Sir, rhythmic music tones can be used to create harmony in working of employees at workplace. Music can be used to relax the mind and improve concentration also.

M3- (Big Smile) Which music rock or pop?

Me- (Big smile) Sir, classical melody tones without lyrics is used for improving concentration & relaxing of mind.

(Board Chairman was noting down something, she comes to the action again)

Chairman- How music can be used for treatment of diseases?

Me- Maa’m, Music can be used for treatment in neural sciences. It can be effectively used for treatment of diseases like depression and migraine. (she seemed satisfied with my answer, she also mentioned two three other diseases)

M3- At IOC what safety measures you adopt at IOC to prevent environment degradation?

Me- Sir we are slowly progressing towards cleaner fuels like CNG, LNG and also reducing sulfur content of fuel to reduce pollution. Apart from that we are using other safeguards like we use LDPE (Polyethylene) sheets underneath petroleum tanks, during fabrication, so that any oil seepage to earth can be avoided. We also use a bacteria to clear oil spills at sea & earth.

(M3 tranfers to M4)

M4- Sudhanshu, what is mangroves & what is its utility?

Me- Mangroves are plants, which can survive adverse saline conditions at sea shore. These plants provide an obstruction to sea waves, high tides and protect coastal structures & habitations against adverse weather events like Tsunami.

M4- You may not be knowing but IOC is destroying a lot of mangroves in coastal area, being an engineer in IOC how you will justify it?

Me- Sir, we are a national oil company & work in public interest without solely profit motive as private companies do. As you may be knowing, we are providing huge subsidies on LPG & Diesel despite running in losses. Ours is an energy deficient country & this would have been done to enhance energy infrastructure of the country in public interest, so this is very much justified. Also being a PSU all the relevant laws, statutes would have been followed & environmental clearance obtained from appropriate authority.

M4- (Smiling) Sudhanshu It is very easy to say that but you will understand the need of balanced perspective 15-20 years down the line when you will sit on this chair (pointing to his chair).

Me- (Smiling) Sir, I do agree with you. A balanced perspective to protect the environment is very much required but in our national interest energy sufficiency is also very important. We do undertake Environment Impact Assessment by experts in the field & environmental cost benefit analysis before going for such projects.

M4- You have mentioned (pointing to DAF) that you have organized education awareness camps. I will give you a case. Let’s see how you react to it. (I organized those camps in slum areas when I was NSS volunteer in class XII.) In a village, a particular endangered bird species is harming crop of farmers. The villagers are killing those birds to protect their crops. How will you create conservation message for that bird among villagers?

Me- First I will collect detailed information about that bird species and analyze that information to frame out the advantages offered by that bird. (birds do help in agriculture in various aspects) I will highlight those advantages among villagers to cover up the harm it does. I will tell them “this bird may do little harm to crop but also help in betterment of your crop in various ways.” This bird is heritage for us being very less in number & we must conserve them.

M4- Will you not offer any incentives?

Me- Definitely sir. If I will have some financial powers at my disposal, I will surely offer incentives also for the purpose. Incentive is the best way to encourage public participation while rewarding the good work.

(M4 transfers to chairman)

Chairman- Sudhanshu you have also participated in Pulse Polio Camps. What role have you played there?

Me- Ma’am we used to co-ordinate with district health authorities and as volunteer of NSS (National Service Scheme) participated in delivery of vaccine to kids at their doorsteps and at camps outside schools, parks etc.

Chairman- What is the shape of vaccine bottle?

Me- It is cylindrical with conical tip.

Chairman- At the tip there is square shape inside the circular profile, why such arrangement is there?

Me- Sorry ma’am, I am not aware of the reason.

Chairman- Thank you! Sudhanshu.

Me- Thank you ma’am

— end of UPSC interview transcript–
Q. Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared or did they ask you totally unexpected questions? was it a stress interview? If yes, how did you handle it?

In case of candidate with work experience, a no. of questions emanate from work profile & allied areas. In my interview a good no. of questions were related to my current work (oil & energy sector). There were other diverse questions also. Mine was not a stress interview. If they are asking stress questions, they want to check your patience & ability to respond under pressure. I would have answered stress questions with calmness, using my acquired knowledge.

Final Marksheet


Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination 2013




Penalty Marks0
Written Total1400537
Interview Marks300210
Final Total1700747

Views on the merger of IAS and IFoS Prelims into CSAT

Q. As per RTI, barely ~300 people attended all papers in IFoS Mains exam. Many senior players complaint- how the merger CSAT and IFoS prelims has raised the cutoffs and hurting the players who’re solely dedicated to IFoS only (and not to IAS/IPS). So what are your views on this?

Ans. Merger of prelims is right. This year it was done at a very short notice to dedicated players, so this merger harmed them largely, which is unfair. In order to weed out non serious players from ticking “Both CSE & IFoS”, UPSC may consider adding one extra paper relevant to IFoS only, along with CSE prelims. This may limit IFoS (Main) to serious players only. Complete merger may not be right as MOEF states specific requirements for service & enumerate “Scientific management of environment & Forest” as its policy. This limits eligibility to science graduates only.

Views About Aptitude paper

Certain groups are demanding removal / reduction of aptitude paper in CSAT exam- as it hurts non-engineer and rural candidates. Your thoughts?

Every competitive exam has a syllabus over which participating candidates have to compete. Candidates of all the backgrounds are aware of syllabus beforehand then any issue of advantage & hurting candidates from any particular background is totally baseless. Such excuses are against spirit of competition.

State cadre Preference

Q. What was your preference for state cadres (only top three and bottom three). and why did you pick that preference?

Top three-

  1. Uttar Pradesh- being my home state
  2. Madhya Pradesh- good forest area, great power/authorities
  3. Uttarakhand- same as above & adjacent to my home state

Bottom Three-

22. Assam-Meghalaya

23. Manipur-Tripura

24. Nagaland

Career Backup

Q. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?

I was already in job and was allotted Central Public Works Dept. (CPWD) trough Engineering Services Exam. I would have continued with CPWD then.

Insecurity about profile

Many candidates prepare sincerely but constantly keep fearing about ‘profile insecurity’. I’m not from a big college, I’m not from english medium, I don’t have work-experience. what if they ask some stressful questions in the interview about this? Your message to these candidates?

I have faced three interviews with UPSC and my experience says that Interview board does not ask such questions directly which could dishearten candidate about his profile. I am not from English medium, I had my primary education in a typical state govt. school and also have relatively less (70%) marks in high school examination. That way I also don’t have a very good profile but never had any kind of insecurity rather I had opinion that whatever good I will speak there, will add to my impression on interview board. Your reaching upto the interview stage proves your capability among the available candidates. Stressful questions, if any, must be answered with calmness & positive mindset. The best part about interview is that you are available in person to justify & prove yourself as against a written test where you have to depend upon examiner’s evaluation of the written things without having any chance to defend your stand.


Q. Through this journey and success, what have your learned? What is the wisdom of life and competition?

Human is one of the species for which aspirations keep on increasing as he progresses forward. Human wants are unsatiable and he leads whole life in quest of satisfaction. In my personal opinion satisfaction is not absolute but theoretical concept. In order to realize it in practice one needs to set some barriers & compromises needs to be made with one’s aspirations, while hoping for the best. Competition is just a tiny part of life. One must put in honest efforts to get through any competition he/she aspires to but there are other things also in life which are even more important than these competitions. We should derive learnings from our failures & successes as this contribute to our overall personality development. I remember an inspirational address by President (Rear Admiral) of Navy SSB board, where he told that our former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam could not clear SSB (Service Selection Board) interview for Air Force but later went on to become supreme commander of the three forces. The learning is “if u can’t get thru any competition, don’t lose hope, be positive take life as it comes and perform your best in whatever endeavors you pursue in your life”.

Q. What is your message to the future aspirants?

Competition is all about doing better than other fellow aspirants. You can’t ascertain preparation of your fellow competitors & competition is not like any university examination where you need to prepare certain 9-10 chapters to get passed. So prepare for the competition till you get satisfied with yourself as it is a vast everlasting sea & you may get lost otherwise. Be confident, believe in your capabilities & never take any pressure of competition. Best performance usually emanate when you are relaxed & without fear.

Credit: Friends/family

Q. Behind every topper are many people who stood by during those uncertain times when he/she was merely an ‘aspirant’. Would you like to tell the world, who were those people in your case? Any specific incidence that you would like to share with the readers?

First of all I am indebted to my parents for giving me good education, values, freedom to decide my course of action & standing by me in taking some tough decisions in life so far. My teachers & friends at college helped in boosting my confidence. I take this opportunity to thank my college professors Dr. V.K.Dwivedi sir, J.K.Yadav sir & H.K Rai sir for always believing in me and encouraging me to take these exams. They had confidence in me more than I have with myself. My former boss Pranav sir also supported me & helped in taking off work tensions. He is the only person in office with whom I used to share all my plans & he always encouraged me to get into better services. My friend Preeti is the person I lean to whenever I feel low due to personal or work related reasons. She celebrates all my small achievements with joy and shares frustration of failures. I express deep gratitude for all of them & will request them to keep blessing me always.

Marketing Propaganda

Q. Did you use Mrunal.org for your preparation and if yes, how did it help you? And you can even reply “No”. I’ll publish your answer without tempering/editing it.

I am an active follower of mrunal.org. I used this site extensively to understand various concepts of economics, S&T, Environment & Biodiversity. All the articles available over mrunal.org are relevant to the exam, succinct, logical, easy to grasp and revision friendly. For dynamic portion of General Studies I relied on internet & this was probably one site where I spent most of my time.

–end of Interview–
For more interviews of Toppers, Visit Mrunal.org/toppers

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

53 Comments on “[Topper’s Interview] IFoS-2013 Rank-42: Sudhanshu Yadav, Working professional-IOCL, First Attempt, No coaching, B-Tech, Kanpur”

  1. sudhansu sir , want to know that do they give step marks in numerical of mechanical engineering problems or if there is slight mistake the whole marks is deducted,

    1. This no one can tell with certainty as there may be scaling of raw scores. Seeing your final score u may not determine whether it is due to downscaling or wrong attempted numericals. I suppose it depends on the examiner.

      1. Sudhanshu Sir, Its great to see someone who has reached echelon of success opting mechanical engineering.
        Sir, I have two queries.

        1. How much did you attempt in Paper I & II of Mech. in IFoS? Are your marks in expected lines?
        2. You tasted success in both IES & IFoS. Have you experienced any difference in marking scheme in the Conventional Papers of IES & Optional Papers of IFoS in Mechanical engineering?

        You may be busy with CSE Personality Test preparation. I am ready to wait for your answer.
        Best of luck for your future.

        1. Om prakash… here is point wise answer to your queries-

          1. My attempt in Mech. I (130) & Mech. II (155). Final marks are less than what I expected.

          2. You may get marks on expected lines in IES with a margin of +/-15-20 marks, whereas it is not so in IFoS. I guess reason may be scaling of raw score to bring parity among various optionals in IFoS, on the other hand result of IES is independent of other streams.

          As UPSC doesn’t disclose anything related to marking scheme, these are unvalidated statements based on my personal opinion.

  2. Sir , please upload The Hindu sci-tech related current affairs(Dec, Jan , Feb) series.

  3. sir i am a bpharmacy student,should i eilgible for ifos exam

    1. Yes any science graduate is eligible for this exam, provided you take any two of the optionals available in the list for the purpose.

  4. many many congratulations sudhansu.

  5. Congrats Sudhashu Sir…………you have showed a way for working professionals that they also can do it and set high standard for us…..and all the best for your civil services interview…..we are hoping to read your success story of IAS in Mrunal…… Enjoy your success.

  6. sir please suggest to me which book is better to do practice for ssc cgl tire-1

  7. Congratulation Sir.
    Your interview is really helpful to working professional aspirant.

  8. wat abt cs mains?

  9. congrats sud….. wish loads of success to come in ur life…..

  10. Congratulations Sudhansu. I can relate my problem with you, the difficulties we have to face. But I should try to follow u religiously because something more important in my life is waiting than office work.

  11. Mrunal sir i am following you from jan 2013 i want to ask regarding cse 2014
    I have studied some books like
    In history – ncert(6-12),gs manual,spectrum for madern part
    In Geography-ncert(7-12),gs manual
    In polity-laxmikant ,dd basu
    Science-ncert(7-10),gs manual
    Economy-ncert(11,12),ramesh singh

    Sir i want to ask that what are the other essential books which are required for csat and mains

  12. congrats for your spectacular success!i want to know if a candidate having defective color perception both grades can get any allotment in IFOS. i myself got air-52 in ese-2012(mech engg).but couldn’t get any service alloted(was left out).kindly reply asap.

    1. IFS is a service having medical standards at par with technical services. so there may be problem in your case. You can check that on link already provided in this post, regarding medical requirements.

  13. IFS is a service having medical standards at par with technical services. so there may be problem in your case. You can check that on link already provided in this post, regarding medical requirements.

  14. congratulation bro…

  15. i am btech electrical, 2013 batch, working in power psu as executive trainee.
    is electrical engineering sub available as optional available for this exam??? if not ,then wat can be possible alternatives?

    1. No, electrical engineering is not in the list of optional subjects for the exam. You may refer to notification of the exam & choose any of the two optionals available for the purpose.

  16. Thnx bhaiya, ur sucess story nd ur guidance would lead me some way ahead.

  17. sir, , is it a good idea to prepare for ias after completing 12th taking admission in any of the degree college…..

  18. Congrats Sudhanshu
    How did you manage the work and studies in the work pressure of the job .
    When you have to have work late hours in office,then how?????
    Did your boss knew that you were preparing…….

  19. Sir is colourblindness a major concern in medical test for ifos

  20. hi sudhanshu………congrates for ur sucess……i was really happy when i saw a word”kasganj”..in your interview experience..becoz i am from kasganj….congartes again..and best of luck for ur new journey.

  21. Thank u sir for your kind advise and congrats for your success with honest efforts.

  22. sir can a medical science graduate(mbbs) give ifos???

  23. congratulation and thnx for you give me you sucess story and guidens

  24. Sudhanshu Sir,
    Could you please briefly share your UPSC mains Mechanical optional paper experience and marks too, information regarding engineering subjects is hard to come across.

  25. Dear Sudhanshu sir, how is the working procedures in your current posts, are IFoS official lives in forest always or lives in cities also, please answer me I also want to become IFoS officer one day

  26. Dear Sir, I’m preparing for ifos and also doing job. I came to know about the physical fitness for ifos. I have flat foot problem and searched for a long time but i couldn’t get the answer in yes or no that am i eligible for ifos exam or not. Wherever i read about it, that gives like it ll depend on your luck as some govt hosiptal do it and some not. It ll be a great relief for me if you could tell it bcoz its taking a lot of effort to work and study.

    Waiting for your reply.

  27. sir, please give preparation tips, guidelines about IES mech exam….

  28. sir have you joined any coaching for gate or ies

  29. Sir can we give Indian Forest Service interview in Hindi……….

  30. please, tell me writers name of all the subject that includes IES and GATE

  31. sir
    how different is mechanical engineering paper of ese from cse mains in terms of difficulty?
    since the syllabus overlap around 7o percent only..so what materials would be enough for that 70 percent and what separate for those 30 percent?
    currently i am following nptel for theory for both of them…..
    kindly suggest asap

  32. Sir, congrats for getting into IFOS…..
    Sir, which one is better? – IFOS or indian railways through IES exam…?

  33. Sir i had flat foot,so am i eligible for ifos.please guide me ,i am very confused.

  34. Sir i had flat foot,so am i eligible for ifos.or they allowed me.

  35. congrats sir.jesus saves you and your family

  36. Sir,I am now currently pursuing B-Tech. in Mechanical Engineering (3rd semester) and I have got a lot of motivation from you. Sir I want to also clear IES and Ifos without coaching like you. Sir, please tell me something for strategy of preparation.

  37. sir i am recently complted BA statastics can i apply ifs

  38. Sir what motivated you to go for IFoS, even after being an engineering service officer ?
    thanking you in advance

  39. Sir i m also btech in mech.how u prepared maths optional

  40. congrats for your success and then i want myself as like sir can i contact with u plz

  41. Sir, i am persuing in btech (mechanical). I want to prepare for civil services. So sir please guide me to what should i take for optional subject (i am asking because mechanical itself contains 9 subjects which is very huge. So should i take any other like history. Because i am good in history)

  42. sir,my height is just more than 5ft 4inch 168.587cm .am i elligible for ifosc

  43. I am unable to downloads notes or book pls help me.

  44. HI, How betterly we can contribute as an Engineer. As I am Mechanical engineer.

  45. How betterly we can contribute as an Engineer. As I am Mechanical engineer in IFoS.

  46. sir how have u prepared mathematics subject ?

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