[Topper’s Interview] Aman Samir (AIR-245/CSE-2014) Samastipur, IIT-R, ISRO Scientist, Geography Optional

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  1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Struggle of a Senior player
  7. Working professional
  8. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  9. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  10. Prelim accuracy
  11. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  12. Mains: Essay
  13. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  14. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  15. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  16. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  17. GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2014
  18. Mains answer-writing?
  19. Mains Optional: Geography
  20. Before the interview
  21. During the interview
  22. CSE-2014 Marksheet
  23. Views on UPSC reforms
  24. Insecurity about profile
  25. Wisdom
  26. Credit: Friends/family
  27. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile


Q. Details
Name Aman Samir
Rank in CSE-2014 245
Roll No. 094863
Age 28 Years
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 3rd (Third)
Optional Subject Geography
Schooling Medium Hindi (Till 8th), English (9th Onwards)
College medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Dalsinghsarai, Samastipur, Bihar
Work-experience if any 5+ Years; Reliance Industries Limited (Manager,1 Year 4 Months); ISRO (Scientist, ~4 Years)
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) Since I was Preparing with Job, Proper coaching was not feasible for me. Basic guidelines about preparation strategy I got from Kerala State Civil Services Academy, Trivandrum. However, For Mains Preparation, I came to Delhi in August 2014 and Joined Synergy for Mains Test series but could give only 5 tests. Overall, My preparation was mostly by Self Study.
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS-IPS-IFS-IRS(IT)-IRS(C&E)
state cadre preference (Top-5) Bihar-Jharkhand-MP-Rajsthan-AGMUT


fill the details here
% in class 10 84 (CBSE)
% in class 12 79 (BIEC)
Graduation course and % B.Tech; 8.18/10
Name of college, city, passing out year IIT Roorkee
Post-graduation None
Any other professional courses None
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Hindi Poem Writing, Teaching, Playing Crickets, Cooking (as Mentioned in DAF)


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?

Hello All, I belong to Gadobazidpur village in Samastipur District of Bihar. Did my schooling upto 8th class from Govt middle school in my village in Hindi Medium and thereafter experimented with English Medium ( to challenge some that I can do well in English medium school alsoJ) school in nearby town Dalsinghsarai. I have done my graduation (B.tech) in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from IIT Roorkee. My Father is a retired school teacher and Mother is a homemaker. We are 2 brothers and 3 Sisters.

Though, Preparation was in mind during last year of graduation but did materialize only in January 2012 (At that time, I was working as Scientist in ISRO). I was having a good career as Scientist in ISRO but I felt that I can contribute more to the society as IAS officer than being a Scientist. The reason being my inclination to work with people, understand their problems and help them with best of my ability rather than being engrossed in slightly one-dimensional work as a scientist (Having said this, I am in no way demeaning the contribution of scientists. It is just my personal belief about myself only)

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)

I think UPSC is all about doing smart study and knowing your strength and weakness. And electronic materials do help. Sometimes internet help to read between the lines. However, People need to be judicious in selection of electronic materials as they may get confuse and lose their precious time.

I relied on standard paper material available. However, for my optional and GS, I browsed topic wise to get clarity and for my personality test I was regular visitor of Rajyasabha TV on Youtube. Besides that I browsed regularly PIB, IDSA. Even I used Facebook as newsfeed by liking various newspaper pages (but Facebook may be distractive to some!)

Because of paucity of time, I have not made notes. I preferred underling, marking and writing in Book itself. However, I did note regularly the important topics of “The Hindu Newspaper” for GS preparation which I did separately with the help of Internet. While reading Newspaper I was conscious to utilize the relevant news or case studies in my answers. So I would advise people to make use of newspapers to make their answer more relevant (I think writing current themes can give you added advantage in optional also)

Tempo and style

Q. People know what books and syllabus points are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. So, how do you keep study momentum going on? How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?

To maintain momentum, the basic thing which I followed was never to skip Newspaper Reading. Barring few occasions, I was regular with Newspapers. Besides that, I used to write poems to fight against mood swings and distractions.

Struggle of a Senior player

Q1. How did you survive through this mental prison and what’re your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.

I was preparing with a job and hence there was very less anxiety or stress. I just did what I can with time available. One advice I would like to give is that Civil Services Preparation is not the ultimate thing in life and hence have a little care-free attitude towards outcome (Expectation do kill your efficiency). So just give your best and try to reflect on: are you doing enough? If your method is not working then think about it and make necessary corrections rather than venting frustrations on god or luck. For senior players, I would advise them to meet the fresh aspirants, discuss with them to get required fresh air.

Q2. What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?

Attempt What went Wrong Correction done/required
1st (CSE-2012) Though I cleared prelims but could not clear mains because of lack of preparation. I could not finish half of Geography syllabus and could read only once fadia and fadia for Public administration. For General studies, I prepared only from papers. (Even, I could not complete history book by Bipin Chandra). However, My marks were promising: Geography-211/600, Pub Ad- 131/600 (butchering year J), GS~190/600 and Essay~87/200 I dropped Public administration as I had good marks in geography. I tried to complete the syllabus of geography and GS by looking at topics. This gave me some coherence with time available. However, Many weak links still remained: I could not complete geography Syllabus, World history not done, ethics somehow managed and many topics of GS untouched.
2nd (CSE-2013) With all missing Links, because of answer writing (I believe), I was called for interview. My Mains Marks were: Essay-120/250, Geography-181(72+109)/500, GS~295(61+62+85+87)/500. I think I wrote geography well but marks did not reflect. One reason I could analyze was that I bluffed in ~2 geographical perspective questions (in compulsory questions). Secondly in GS, History remain my weak link (left 7 questions out of 25) and I could not do justice to case studies in Ethics. I did not prepare well for Interview thinking that UPSC interview would be like any other and hence reflected in marks (143/275; Kilemsungla mam Board) and missed the list I revisited the Geography syllabus with more emphasis on conceptual part and looking the things from the point of view of geographer. I tried to create linkage between various topics while reading. I tried to focus on History but I suppose history is not my cup of tea (I could not create enough interest). While answering, I tried to focus on quality rather than quantity. For CSE-2014 mains, I did not have much writing practice but 5 synergy test that I gave, I tried to innovate during test and never tried to complete the paper (My marks were in the range of 50-60 J). For Geography Test, I did not like the Shabbir Sir way (First class and then Test based on discussed questions) and gave only 2 test because I felt in these 2 test I was writing his language and methods (I am little particular about my original answers)
3rd (CSE-2014) AIR-245; Not so good GS marks: 337 (81+80+85+91). Reason being in GS-1, I again left 6 questions (15 numbers could have been increased) and in GS-4, in many answers, I could not provide enough content e.g. multidimensional analysis of a case, quoting philosopher etc. My answers were simple.   Average Interview Marks (168/275) For the benefit of aspirants, I would to share takings from this attempt. I could not prepare GS thoroughly. Especially, in my view GS-4 needs good amount of analysis in answers (So prepare accordingly). While facing interview, I forgot some words and because of that I felt low which might have been noticed on my face. So even if you forget some words, One can go ahead confidently even by using Hindi words.

Working professional

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

It is always a challenge to manage time with Job. However, if one is strict with the schedule, even 3-4 hours of time in weekdays can get you along in preparation and average time can be enhanced by devoting more time on weekends. My office bus used to take around 45 minutes to office and I developed the habit of reading Newspaper in bus (though some pressure on eye J). In this way, with leisure time in office, I could finish my Newspaper. Other than that, doing Yoga after returning from Job also helped me to study till around 1am. Most importantly, if 2-3 working professionals are preparing around you, load of preparation of topics can be shared.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

Topic strategy/booklist/comment
History Ancient NCERT
History Medieval NCERT
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) NCERT+Spectrum
Culture and society NCERT
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikanth
Economy (theory + current) NCERT
Science (theory + current) NCERT+ Newspapers
Environment (theory + current) Environmetal Science 11&12 of CBSE+ Internet Search+Newspapers
geography physical NCERT+ Cheong Leong
geography India NCERT
geography world NCERT old Edition
other national/international current affairs The Hindu
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff Govt Ministries Website

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2014 paper?

Focus on elimination method. Many statements can be easily eliminated with logical thinking

Q. in GS-Prelims 2014, there was unusual questions from environment and agriculture portion. If you were to give the attempt again in 2015, what new strategy / books / sources would you focus?

I would try to focus on the basic concepts because many questions relating to environments are related to basic concepts. However, much time should not be wasted on unusual topics as prelims should be looked from the qualifying point of view and focusing on traditional topic can fetch you enough marks to clear prelims.

Q. Now that Aptitude paper has become qualifying, obvious more attention needs to be paid on the GS paper so apart from the books that you already have gone through, what else would you have tried for CSE-2015 (if you were going to appear)?

I would go for regular revision of whatever studied to minimize the negative marks

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topic strategy / booklist
Maths R S Agarwal
reasoning R S Agarwal
comprehension R S Agarwal
Decision Making Discussion with friends

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS Aptitude 2014 paper.

One should focus on increasing the accuracy than attempting more than 80 questions. This is because, to get 100 marks, you need only 50 correct answers

Prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?

I did not attend mock tests. However, Mock tests may help you become regular with studies and may help you cover syllabus. But it should be individual choice because less marks in mock tests may lead to low confidence.

Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2014

I don’t remember exactly. But attempt in GS-1 was around 68 and In CSAT was around 64.

Q3. Your score in prelim (when UPSC uploads it please mail me your score)

  • GS-1 : 100
  • CSAT : ~108

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paper Your preparation strategy / booklist?
English paper Not Prepared
your regional language Not Prepared

Q2.other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2014

In both Compulsory paper, one should focus on Essay writing. Take your time, use appropriate words to write good essay. Secondly, one should try to complete the paper.

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?

I never prepared for essay writings. However, my poem writing and blogging helped me a lot in looking for various dimensions and making thought synchronous.

Q2. Which two essays did you write and What key points did you include in it?

  1. Competition among Youth
  2. Tourism

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

Topic How did you prepare?
culture NCERT + http://ccrtindia.gov.in/
Indian history Spectrum
world history NCERT + Synergy Class notes
post-independence India NCERT
Indian society NCERT
role of women, poverty etc. Discussion with Friends
globalization on Indian society NCERT
communalism, regionalism, secularism NCERT
world geo physical NCERT old editions
resource distribution Not prepared
factors for industrial location Economic geography K Sidhhartha
earthquake tsunami etc NCERT
impact on flora-fauna Savinder Singh

General studies (Mains) paper 2

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc. M Laxmikant
comparing Constitution with world M Laxmikant
parliament, state Legislatures M Laxmikant
executive-judiciary M Laxmikant
ministries departments Not prepared
pressure group, informal asso. VisionIAS notes
Representation of people’s act VisionIAS notes
various bodies: Constitutional, statutory.. VisionIAS notes
NGO, SHG etc VisionIAS notes
welfare schemes, bodies Govt Websites/ VisionIAS notes
social sector, health, edu, HRD Govt Websites
governance, transparency, accountability VisionIAS notes
e-governance Random articles
role of civil service VisionIAS notes
India & neighbors Newspapers/IDSA
bilateral/global grouping Newspapers/IDSA
effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest Newspapers/IDSA
diaspora Newspapers/IDSA
international bodies- structure mandate Wikipedia

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian economy, resource mobilization Newspapers/Random articles
inclusive growth Newspapers/Random articles
budgeting IGNOU Notes
major crops, irrigation Khullar
agro produce – storage, marketing VisionIAS notes
e-technology for famers Random articles
farm subsidies, MSP VisionIAS notes
PDS, buffer, food security VisionIAS notes
technology mission Not prepared
animal rearing economics Internet search
food processing Ministry website
land reforms Majid Hussain
liberalization Random articles
infra Khullar
investment models Not Prepared
science-tech day to day life Newsapers/Vision IAS
Indian achievements in sci-tech Newsapers/Vision IAS
awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR Newsapers/Vision IAS
environmental impact assessment Ministry Website
Disaster Management One article on PRS
non state actors, internal security TMH book on Security
internal security – role of media, social networking site TMH book on Security
cyber security TMH book on Security
money laundering TMH book on Security
border  Management TMH book on Security
organized crime, terrorism TMH book on Security
security agencies- structure mandate TMH book on Security

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

Topic How Did You Prepare?
ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topics My preparation was based on searching on Internet. For Example BBC chapters on Ethics, An approach to ethics by Dr. V Vivekanandan, IRS etc.  For Few Topics, I did refer to materials by VisionIAS.

Besides Swami Vivekananda, I did not prepare on any other thinker

attitude, moral influence etc.
civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc
emotional intelligence, its use in governance
moral thinkers of India and world
ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.
corporate governance
probity in governance, work culture
citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.
challenges of corruption
case studies on above topics

GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2014

Q. in GS4 ethics papers, please give a sketchy overview of your case study answers:

case your approach/ keypoints
case1: your friend preparing UPSC
case2: Rameshwar the uptight UPSC topper.
case3: no bribe no contract.
case4: corrupt subordinates file bogus rape complaint against you.
in  the remaining bol-bachchan type questions (e.g. why ethics important, why probity difficult etc).

Mains answer-writing?

Please tell us how many marks worth attempt did you give? along with comments if any, in the following cells:

Paper Best attempted Average quality namesake answer Total attempt
GS1 190
GS2 250
GS3 250
GS4 230
Opt-P1 250
Opt-P2 250

I tried to answer questions which I felt confident about. I tried to avoid bluffing. However, there is difference between bluffing and logical assumption. I would certainly vouch for logical assumption. I don’t understand the filler line or making up an answer. I believe your answer would be then a repetition and you would be wasting your time. Many questions I have finished in about 100 words. Despite leaving 6 questions, my GS-1 mark is 81. So for me anytime Quality matters. Quantity should not be irritating to examiners.

Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?

I write compactly. So no issue.

Q. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Some players (who cleared mains and got interview call letter) were claiming that they wrote entire paper in bullet points, so it doesn’t matter….whether examiner is asking ‘examine, comment, discuss or xyz’….simply write in bullets and points.

It was both. For example, there was a question on marine pollution in geography. I wrote this question in bullet points. Many person have raised this bullet vs paragraph debate and I think this is overhyped. The only concern for me is that your answer should be easily readable and comprehensible. People should know their strength i.e how they can express well? And a little bit of tweaking can be done to make answer more effective.

Q. Did you follow the “introduction-body-conclusion” format? because some mains-qualified candidates claim they simply wrote the points they could recall within the time, instead of bothering with proper introduction and conclusion.

Not in all questions. But many questions demand critical analysis or examination, there I followed I-B-C format.

Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?

I highlighted some and in rush of writing forgot to highlight J

Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)

Yes in Optional (Geography) only

Q7. If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?

Pen only

Q8. Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?

Made by hand

Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?

Black Pen (I wrote every exam in black only J)

(Mrunal – since readers keep mailing such queries, therefore I’m asking the topper to clear all the air haha.)

Mains Optional: Geography

Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?

Geography. Initially I wanted to take Physics but managing Physics with job was a tedious task. Since, Geography paper-1 is bit technical and geography have added advantage in GS-1, GS-3 and Essay. And I sincerely thank my friend Narendra Kumar Gangwar for bringing out positives of Geography and for advising me to opt Geography

Q. If a new player wants to pick this subject, would you advice for it or against it? (e.g. every senior player in Public Administration seems to be advising against pub.ad)

I would certainly advice for it.

Q. First the essential book/resource list. (Also mention which one is the “Base book” for covering the theory? + Whatever comments you’ve for a particular book e.g. “my seniors said read xyz book but I found that ABC book was better”.  “xyz topic not given properly in this book, so prepare from xyz website or book…” OR and so on.)

Readers can visit this (Because I would not like to repeat similar things. Only thing I would like to share is I have not read from any teachers note. All my resources had been reference books (I buy book mindlessly J)

[Strategy] Geography Mains Booklist, Study plan, Answer-writing Tips and Maps Preparation for UPSC

Q. How much of internet-research / current affairs is necessary for this optional? OR can one simply rely on the books and be done with this subject?

Internet search can be done to get better clarity i.e with respect to getting better pictures, watching videos etc. For example, for understanding Coriolis force, one can watch videos or read well explained articles

Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?

~4 months would be sufficient but regular revision is required to finish the syllabus in short time after prelims.

Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?

Though I did not write much. However, best time would be after prelims result

Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?

No self-notes. I marked in books only and revised directly from book

Q. Your observation about the difficultly level of 2014 mains vs previous papers. And what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional subject?

This year Geography Paper-1 was easier than that of last year but Paper-2 required more analysis than last year

Before the interview

Q1. How did you prepare for the interview? – for college grad, hobbies, place of origin, current affairs at national and international level?

For each and every word mentioned in DAF, I tried to gather information and maintained a diary. I discussed DAF with my friends (Thanks to Rahul, Amit, Jwala). I was regular with 3 Newspapers (Hindu, IE and Mint) and In the last 10 days day, TOI was also in the list.

Q2. Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes? How were they similar / different than official interview? Do you believe it is necessary to attend such mock interviews?

I attended few mocks. They are different from the official mocks in the sense that anxiety level of candidates and expectation of board members are different in official vs mock. However, I believe one should attend mock to know ones strength and weakness.

Q3. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.

Laced black shoe+ Light blue Shirt, Dark Blue Tie with Suit

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

David R. Syiemlieh

Q2. How long was the interview?

35 mins

Q3. Why do you want to join civil service? Why don’t you continue in your graduation field? Social service can be done from private sector too.  [Since I don’t know whether they ask you this question or not. But if they had asked- what will be your reply?]

I have given answer in introduction itself

Q4. Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview. (Earlier some toppers only tell me their question but not their answer. I would appreciate if you give both Question + your original answers)

My Interview was highly technical: Related to Space Science, Related to My work at ISRO, GPS, IRNSS, Cryogenic Engines, GSLV vs Other nation vehicles, Dark side of moon,  Bionics, Nanomaterials and its medical applications, Efficiency of photovoltaic cell, Comparison of Solar thermal vs Photovoltaic, Artificial intelligence, Biomaterials etc. There is no use of writing my answers as readers can google and find correct answers.

Q5. 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, did they ask any uncomfortable questions? If yes, how did you handle it?

On expected lines barring few questions but they went far in technical sense. It was very comfortable and interactive board.

Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?

Just follow the instructions. Even if you miss, UPSC give enough time

Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?

During Interview Preparation phase, maintain a good BMI and health to avoid medical reassessment.

CSE-2014 Marksheet

Q1. Please attach both prelim and final marksheet. (when it comes)


GS 100
CSAT 108

Final Marksheet:

Essay 133
GS-1 81
GS-2 80
GS-3 85
GS-4 91
Geography 291 (135+156)
Interview 168

Q2. After looking at the marksheet, suppose you had to prepare again next time, what changes will you make in your studies?

I would try to improve GS-1 and GS-4

Views on UPSC reforms

Q. Optional subjects should be removed altogether. The present stalemate is helping no-one, except coaching-owners, book publishers.

Yes, Optional subject should be removed.

Q. Your views on the decision to make CSAT paper 33% qualifying?

I think it is a step in backward direction. Better thing would have been introducing weight for GS and CSAT to have much needed balance (People from rural, art background do clear PO exams)

Q. Despite what UPSC has done in recent years, it has failed to curb the nuisance of Delhi’s coaching factories. In fact it’s increased under the new syllabus in 2014. Let’s face it, most candidates who gave Mains-2014 have relied on (authentic OR Xeroxed) coaching notes because there was hardly any time left to prepare so many topics in such short time. This system work against an individual preparing from far-away area, without any financial resources, high-speed internet or contacts in Delhi.

I agree but with UPSC questions more oriented towards opinion and analysis, many disadvantages can be minimized. But I believe that many people join coaching for fear of losing race and that fear is going to benefit coaching factories always.

Q. Half-merger of IFoS with CSE is a bad move because it has raised the cutoffs for players who’re solely dedicated to IFoS only (and not to IAS/IPS). Adding salt to the wounds, many who had applied for both jobs, cleared the prelims- they did not even bother to appear in all the papers of Mains-IFoS. (atleast that was the scene in 2013).

There should be change in this arrangement.

Q. UPSC should disclose official prelim answerkey and cutoffs, immediately after prelim is over, instead of postponing it till interview phase is over.


Q. UPSC should be conducted online like IBPS and CAT exam to shorten the duration of exam.

Can be done.

Q. If you are made the UPSC chairman, what other reforms would you initiate for the civil service exam?

I don’t know it is possible or not but it is a wish : Wish as UPSC chairman I could help set ethics paper wherein the marks of a candidate and his ethical values are synchronous because this ethics filter is not working properly J

Insecurity about profile

Q. Many candidates prepare sincerely but constantly live under fear about ‘profile insecurity’. I’m not from a big college, I’m not from English medium, and I don’t have work-experience. What if they ask some stressful questions in the interview about this? Did you suffer from such insecurities? What is your message to these candidates?

UPSC is all about understanding the need of examination and executing your plans. And anybody can do it. It is not a rocket science and People who qualify are mere ordinary creatures. So there should be no insecurities about anything.


Q. Through this struggle and success, what have your learned? What is the wisdom of life and competition? What is your message to the new aspirants?

Only advice I would like to give is that treat IAS or other jobs are made to make your life enjoyable, productive, enriching and satisfying. Don’t make IAS your life. Just do you best and enjoy the failure and success alike. I believe that any person doing his duty honestly is worth more than a corrupt, insensitive, arrogant officers.

Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2014. They’re feeling cynical, hopeless and depressed- what is your message to them?

“The flame visible dead from here is not very far,

brother why are you sitting tired,destination is not far”

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?

When success comes, it sparkles with happiness and joy. But if we remember the moments when this success was shaped, the happiness and joy becomes even sweeter. And there are many who were there for me during my formative years to shape my success. The reason for my existence, my parents, need special mention because they have reacted without much emotion to my success and failures. Besides that my brother, my 3 sisters have always been there for me and taught me the meaning of word ‘Support’ even if you are not penniless. I would like to thank my dear and brother “ Kumar Rahasyam” who stood by me during my struggles and without whom my IIT dream would have been very difficult. Big Thank you to my friend “Arvind Kumar Verma” for sowing and nurturing the seed of civil services in my mind during my graduation days at IIT Roorkee. Thanks to “Narendra Kumar Gangwar”-We studied together, in fact strengthened IAS dream together and thank you again for suggesting geography to me. Special thanks to my dear friend “Priya” for believing in me and standing beside me. Thank you “Amit”, “Jwala”, “Rahul” for your continuous encouragement and having faith in me. Thankyou Abhishek (Your car really made my interview experience comfortableJ). I Know I have missed many names…Big thanks to you all J

BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Q. You are well aware of the sacred rule – the last question must be about self-marketing. So, Did you use Mrunal.org for your preparation and if yes, how did it help you?  And you can even reply “No”. I’ll still publish your answer without tempering.

I was not a regular reader and in fact, I got to know about mrunal.org very late and wish I could have known earlier. However, I have used Mrunal.org for my Environment related current affairs and I must say the explanation are lucid.

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19 Comments on “[Topper’s Interview] Aman Samir (AIR-245/CSE-2014) Samastipur, IIT-R, ISRO Scientist, Geography Optional”

  1. One thing I can’t understand !!!!
    Why all engineers (except few) opt for humanities like sociology , psychology , philosophy , history etc despite they are having good academic record like from IIT , PSU and now Scientist in ISRO .
    They already have prepared their B. Tech subject well that’s why they cleared these prestigious exams like JEE , GATE , PSU , ISRO , IES etc.

    Ya I know that lack of coaching , material , motivation , additional benefits in GS and Essay are the reasons but still they should value their past acquired knowledge in this exam. ( not needed a diplomatic or fabricated answer)

    Secondly Regarding Optional removal , As rightly said by Gaurav Aggarwal optionals should not be removed as it will benefits humanities BA MA students solely. How can you force engineers , doctor to study only humanities .
    If this compulsion happens then most of student will opt only BA MA.
    Instead of this there should be compulsion that a person should take his graduation and post graduation subjects only as their optional subjects. Benefits will be that people will study their graduation seriously and not for just time pass or just sake of degree . Former Chairman of UPSC said this in a function that students should take their optional fro graduation and should not opt for coaching.

    1. and lit optional must be scrapped or only those who are b.a/m.a in that lit optional. this one paper is a smorgasbord of unfair practice within a highly ethical exam…
      The scrapping of paper-2 in the civil services preliminary test will usher in a new form of distress to aspirants. As in soccer, where there is a group of death and a few bad matches can spell ruin, the new pattern of CSAT will knock out many in a trifle. When a single optional has been retained in the mains and still continues to be the decisive game-changer in an otherwise level field it is quite amusing. The optional in the prelims was taken out at the behest of the “aptitude” lobby which felt crammers benefit from it. The bias is very much evident in the mains and in the eventual outcome the “scoring” optionals do emerge as a crucial pivoting factor. When most science/engineering students opt for humanities subjects and scores of others take literature as optionals, it renders the entire exercise futile.

      A few thorough reforms that can make an impact:

      1) Bring back the elective subject in the prelims. In effect it means reverting back to the old pattern where the General studies paper also had numerical aptitude and logical reasoning questions.
      2) Disclose the extent of scaling in the optional. Now that UPSC releases answer scripts and the answer keys, this should not be a hindrance.
      3) An extremely progressive move was proposed to be implemented last time; it was to enable only literature students to take their subject as an optional in the mains exam. This is the sign of true reform where genuine contenders are given a fair chance and one that categorically empowers the rural and subaltern youth. Else it is a sleight of hand and is reduced to a farce where the slick ones learn to “manage” their Lit. Optional.
      4) It is commendable that the government did not yield to the “efficiency” lobby and reduce the minimum age. This is a sickening symptom of ageism and would have been hugely unpopular. Advanced age does not necessarily suggest ossification and candidates bring in attributes like work experience and many who could not attempt the exam at an earlier age are given a fair chance.

    2. Many graduation subjects of engineering graduates are not given as optional Eg Computer Science or IS , So what do those people do?

    3. vivek i would like to tell you that most of the engineers working in their core fields (mostly field job, NTPC,BHEL,ONGC etc..etc) are not able to study their technical subjects as it requires lots of practice and to do mastery over subjects it requires solving of complex questions… in my view (my personal experience)… i would also opt for humanities subject (instead of mechanical eng) because with my job its very difficult to study ur technical subject.. and my technical subject would also overlap with GS papers… in this case humanities subject is a clear winner (i wish i had opted for BA or smthng else :P )

      i think i have cleared your doubt… congrats aman sir…ur studyplan is concise.. (thumbs up for that) :D

      1. correction : technical subject will not overlap with any GS papers

  2. Hello sir, I have completed my graduation this year in commerce … I am appearing nxt year in civil services.. I am taking geography as optional. But I am preparing self for it.unable to join coaching.. Will it be difficult for me to take geography as an optional?? I have interest in geography that’s why i opted for it.. Please reply sir thankusir!

  3. first of all heartly congratulations to you sir.

  4. Engineering graduates can handle humanities subjects really well because these humanity subjects can be managed in less time as compared to engineering subjects also the difficulty level of engineering subjects is higher than humanities subjects. Secondly many engineering subjects are not there in optionals list so its natural choice to select humanity subjects. One more thing many engineering graduates dont have thorough knowledge of their engineering subjects.

  5. I don’t think there is undue advantage given to literature subject.My personal experience is different.If a student has extraordinary literary writting skills with sufficient mug up capacity(+ good handwriting ),then only he will score good marks or above average marks in literature. Literature syllabus is huge and required much efforts to get commond.I could not get good marks in 2010 ,2011 mains in Marathi lit despite good preparation with sufficient writting practice.scored good in pol Sci with less prep.

  6. U can manage geography without coaching also. So dont worry. For any help u can mail me at aman [email protected]

  7. congratulations sir, you have made india/ISRO proud THAT THEIR scientist are joining ias ips as we have a lot of scientist with great amount of patent registered and our country has overflow of scientific temprament and thus we dont need them rather we need large number of bureacrates………..do you really waant nation to grow????????…sorry to be true.

    1. hahahaha………well said…

  8. Yes geography is really a good subject for good scoring

  9. @Himanshu gupta….rather than thinking about others and brainstorming on other priorities, set your own and do something about country and help nation grow. It is very easy to judge others…what appears true to you may not be to others.

    1. Really inspirational…..

  10. well, thanks for such a detailed analysis of your mistakes during previous attempts. we learn more from failures than success of others. these interviews are more helpful than those for whom everything goes well in their very first attempt. thanks a lot for sharing this valuable experience.

  11. Thanks sir…., for sharing your views, those views were always inspired us a lot.. also congrats sir for such a great achievement in your life.. . Lots of good wishes to u sir for our upcoming india ,thanks

  12. hi sir how are you i am study iiit kadapa ,i am interst cse to good rank please give some information about cse

  13. @Aman sir ,I am Raja , I got selected as technical assistant in vssc Trivandrum ISRO but I have a thought of preparing Civil Service exam as a working professional ..
    1) I came to know that ISRO is not allowing any electronic device inside the company premises then how people like you were managed their studies inside their working environment in duty time??
    2) And also in cse preparation point of view which ISRO campus is very suitable for studies SHAR or mahendragiri or VSSC or Bangalore ISAC,? Since I have recruitment in all these ISRO branches…

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