UPSC topper-Piyush Thorat (CSE-AIR-912-2014) Geography, B.Tech, sub-engineer in Mumbai muni., hails from Amravati

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Pavan Kumar
  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 Subject
  20. Before the interview
  21. During the interview
  22. CSE-2014 Marksheet
  23. Career Backup
  24. Views on UPSC reforms
  25. Insecurity about profile
  26. Wisdom
  27. Credit: Friends/family
  28. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

PIYUSH THORAT

PIYUSH THORAT

Q.Details
NamePiyush Thorat
Rank in CSE-2014912
Roll No.105252
Age26
Total attempts in CSE (including this one)3
Optional SubjectGeography
Schooling MediumMarathi
College mediumEnglish
Medium chosen for Mains answersEnglish
Medium chosen for InterviewEnglish
Home town/cityAmravati Maharashtra
Work-experience if anyMunicipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai – Sub Engineer (3.5 years )
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failuresMPSC  2013 Mains failed.
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)No coaching, no mock tests, no postal  material, no mock interviews
Service preferences (Top-5)IAS>IPS>IRS C&CE> IRS IT
state cadre preference (Top-5)MH>GJ>KN

Education

fill the details here
% in class 1084.40%
% in class 1294.83%
Graduation course and %B Tech Mechanical.

7.53 out of 10 CGPA

Name of college, city, passing out yearCollege of Engineering Pune.

2010

Post-graduationNo
Any other professional coursesNo
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievementsReading, Sketching, Poetry (Asper DAF)

Introduction

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

I am from  Amravati, Maharashtra. I did my schooling in Amravati. I have done my Engineering from College of Engineering Pune. My father is a retired govt servant and mother is a housewife. My younger sister is studying medical.

I belong to a middle class family, where they expect every bright student to join a good govt job.  So, as I was  good in academics my father wanted me to become an  IAS. But after 12th std I went with the flow and completed my engineering (this  flow converted into overflow in recent years). My father retired just after my graduation and I was in dire need of a job. So going to Delhi and joining coaching was out of question. I started preparing on my own. Starting was pretty tough. Totally trial and error based approach but I learned through my own  mistakes.

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)

Internet :  You start searching for some definition and you will find yourself watching a funny video on youtube after an hour. So, please avoid random searches. Download authentic reports, pdfs etc. and prepare your own notes. Then forget about the original report and revise from your notes. I think just reading random stuff on internet is waste of time, you must note it down. I have prepared notebooks for separate GS topics and I literally copied entire Mrunal.org in those notebooks.

Everyday I  studied for 3-4 hours. These hours I mostly spent in preparing notes. I tried answer writing on insightsonindia.com but found out it is very time consuming. So just read all their compilations and prepared notes from that. I took one month leave before mains and revised all these notes.

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?

Consistency and mental toughness is the key to success. I had a burden of my  job and that pushed me to work extra hard. Few things I sacrificed to avoid distractions like weekend get-togethers , parties, deactivated my fb account, etc.  I am very stable person so no mood swings .

Struggle of a Senior player

(Answer only if you’re a senior player.)

After 1-2 failures in any competitive exam, a phase of mental saturation comes. The person knows the booklist, he knows what is necessary to succeed. But it doesn’t yield result. The armchair ‘experts’ would point out UPSC is ‘testing’ emotional intelligence of the candidate or UPSC wants to break the backs of senior players, daily conspiracy theories on orkut….…Not to mention all the emotional struggle-against those irritating neighbors and relatives who keep asking your mother “aap kaa betaa kya karta hai” (What does you son/daughter do?)

MY question are two:

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.

As I have failed in 2 attempts and I have seen the epic orkut era, I qualify as a senior player. As I was earning money, interacting with very wide range of people (including rowdies and so called social workers) as a part of my job, I survived through this mental prison. If you are preparing full time,self  motivation is really necessary.

Piyush baba’s words of wisdom:  Open your facebook once  in a while ,see those IIM passouts  and people doing PG in foreign universities. Think this in your mind “I can beat them  all with one positive result.” And start studying again.

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

It will not be worth talking about 2012 as pattern is totally changed. That year I missed  final list by 15 marks.  In 2013 I mugged up a lot of facts and used them liberally in answers. Even if question doesn’t demand my facts, I put them in. Compromising actual demand of the question. (Like Crime master Gogo- Ratt ke aaya hu, kuchh to likh ke jaunga). Is liye kripa ruki hui thi :D

This year I wrote very simple, to the point answers. Answered sub questions with separate subheadings.  Whatever i I wrote, I connected it with  the question. Presented answer sheet as a decorated thaali for evaluator. Aur Is bar Nirmal baba ki kripa ho gayi. :D

Working professional

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

Focus on few standard books. Prepare your own notes.  It takes time to prepare notes but when you start revising you will find out their importance. They save a lot of time.

Remember this thing, not going to Delhi for coaching is  a blessing in disguise.

You can skip The Hindu. I have never read it in my entire life. There is a substitute for everything. I find insightsonindia.com’s secure series a good substitute for newspaper.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

Topicstrategy/booklist/comment
History AncientDidn’t prepare
History MedievalDidn’t prepare.
History Modern (Freedom Struggle)Bipinchandra
Culture and societySpectrum
Polity (theory + current)Laxmikant
Economy (theory + current)Datt & Sundaram, Mrunal
Science (theory + current)Wizard
Environment (theory + current)Didn’t prepare
geography physicalG C Leong
geography IndiaNCERT
geography worldG C Leong
other national/international current affairsMrunal
Schemes, Policy & Filler StuffMrunal

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

I performed very badly. So, can’t comment.

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 think one should expect more environment questions as IFoS is merged with CSE. One should focus on environment and culture part. I would read that Shankar IAS  Environment book

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 can’t survive without CSAT aptitude. I know my limitations. But still, if I was going to appear I would have followed this strategy:  basic books that I read and more focus on environment and culture  (which I skipped last year.)

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topicstrategy / booklist
MathsDidn’t prepare
reasoningDidn’t prepare
comprehensionDidn’t prepare
Decision MakingDidn’t prepare

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

Practise, even if you are good in aptitude. Overconfidence is dangerous. In 2013 I got 179 in aptitude. In 2014, I went to write exam like a hero, came back like a zero :D (I could just clear my category cut off)

Prelim accuracy

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

I didn’t attend any mocks (I was too overconfident about my aptitude skills). But I think writing few full syllabus mocks a month before exam will  boost confidence.

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

attempted Q.correct (Expected)
GSAround 70
aptitudeI couldn’t complete the paper.

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

Paper 1: 75

Paper 2: 115

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paperYour preparation strategy / booklist?
English paperNot Prepared
your regional languageYou are not allowed to fail  in Marathi, if you live in Mumbai. Jai Maharashtra ;) (Not Prepared)

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

Just try to attempt all questions. Practise writing in your regional language

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?

Last year I got 78 marks in essay. This year I prepared broad outline for few topics. Wrote 2-3 full essays and read a lot of essays from insightsonindia.com (none of these topics  were actually asked in exam :D).

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

  1. Competition  among youth

Wrote a philosophical one. Included examples from day to day life.  Included a short story too. Tried to include  many dimensions like urban vs rural youth competition, competition between genders, competition on social networking sites  etc.

  1. Tourism

Wrote a factual one. Because  of my optional I had a lot of points to talk about. Used headings and subheadings in this essay.

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

TopicHow did you prepare?
cultureSpectrum
Indian historyBipinchadra, selective chapters from Gover
world historyOld NCERT
post-independence IndiaBipinchadra
Indian societySkipped. Can be answered by observation and common sense.
role of women, poverty etc.Skipped. Can be answered by observation and common sense.
globalization on Indian societySkipped. Can be answered by observation and common sense.
communalism, regionalism, secularismSkipped. Can be answered by observation and common sense.
world geo physicalMy optional
resource distributionMy optional
factors for industrial locationMrunal’s article #Godlike
earthquake tsunami etcMy optional
impact on flora-faunaMy optional

General studies (Mains) paper 2

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc.Laxmikant
comparing Constitution with worldLaxmikant
parliament, state LegislaturesLaxmikant
executive-judiciaryLaxmikant
ministries departmentsSkipped
pressure group, informal asso.Skipped
Representation of people’s actMrunal’s current affair article
various bodies: Constitutional, statutory..Laxmikant
NGO, SHG etcGaurav Agarwal’s evernote
welfare schemes, bodiesMrunal’s current affair, Insights Secure 2014 compilation
social sector, health, edu, HRDMrunal’s Economic survey articles
governance, transparency, accountabilityMade notes from 2nd ARC, Yojana march 2014
e-governanceMade notes from 2nd ARC, Yojana march 2014
role of civil serviceMade notes from 2nd ARC, Yojana march 2014
India & neighborsInsights Secure 2014 compilation
bilateral/global groupingInsights Secure 2014 compilation
effect of foreign country policies on Indian interestInsights Secure 2014 compilation
diasporaInsights Secure 2014 compilation
international bodies- structure mandateMrunal’s articles on WTO, IMF, AIIB

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
Indian economy, resource mobilizationDatt & Sundaram
inclusive growthDatt & Sundaram
budgetingDatt & Sundaram
major crops, irrigationDatt & Sundaram, Khullar
agro produce – storage, marketingMrunal’s articles #Godlike
e-technology for famersskipped
farm subsidies, MSPMrunal’s articles
PDS, buffer, food securityMrunal’s articles
technology mission
animal rearing economics
food processingMrunal’s articles #Godlike
land reformsDatt & Sundaram
liberalizationDatt & Sundaram
infraInsights Secure 2014 compilation
investment modelsGaurav Agarwal’s evernote
science-tech day to day lifeInsights Secure 2014 compilation
Indian achievements in sci-techInsights Secure 2014 compilation
awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPRInsights Secure 2014 compilation
environmental impact assessmentInsights Secure 2014 compilation
Disaster Management2nd ARC Report
non state actors, internal securityVajiram Notes (Waste), Insights Secure 2014 compilation (saviour)
internal security – role of media, social networking siteVajiram Notes (Waste), Insights Secure 2014 compilation (saviour)
cyber securityVajiram Notes (Waste), Insights Secure 2014 compilation (saviour)
money launderingVajiram Notes (Waste), Insights Secure 2014 compilation (saviour)
border  ManagementVajiram Notes (Waste), Insights Secure 2014 compilation (saviour)
organized crime, terrorismVajiram Notes (Waste), Insights Secure 2014 compilation (saviour)
security agencies- structure mandateVajiram Notes (Waste),Insights Secure 2014 compilation (saviour)

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topicsMaai baap Lexicon
attitude, moral influence etc.Maai baap Lexicon
civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etcMaai baap Lexicon
emotional intelligence, its use in governanceMaai baap Lexicon
moral thinkers of India and worldCouldnt go beyod maai baap
ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.Maai baap Lexicon
corporate governanceMaai baap Lexicon
probity in governance, work cultureMaai baap Lexicon
citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.Maai baap Lexicon
challenges of corruptionMaai baap Lexicon
case studies on above topicsMaai baap Lexicon, Mrunal ethics articles

GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2014

caseyour approach/ keypoints
case1: your friend preparing UPSCAll my answers were very average. Tried to become sant mahatma in all the case studies (Very idealistic)
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?

PaperBest attemptedAverage qualitynamesake answerTotal attempt
GS1allLeft one
GS2allall
GS3allall
GS4allall
Opt-P1all
Opt-P2all

Q. 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.) Because the UPS aspirant Community is divided over what counts as a ‘good’ paper. Some experts claim you should 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]

My strategy was to attempt all the questions. All average quality. Left Taxila question in GS 1 , as I was totally unaware of it. Else wrote something RELATED to question in all other. High quallty points were few but never deviated from question’s demand. I Bluffed in few questions.

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

Enough space even if you draw maps and diagram.

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.

Two types of answers,  1. Bullets, where I really knew the answer 2. Small paragraphs which looked like bullets,  where I was bluffing.

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.

In first 3-4 questions I wrote structure d answers with “Introduction-body-conclusion” ,“Headings and subheadings” just to create first impression. After that jo jaisa yaad aaye

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

No.

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

Yes. mostly in all Geography questions.

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

Pencil.

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

By hand.

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

Blue Cello Gripper.

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

Mains Optional Subject

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

Geography meri jaan. As it covers 1/3rd of GS 1 and it is technical. From last 2 years papers were tough. I got 53 /300 marks in  paper 1 in 2012. But I am in love with this subject  and I am loyal in my all relationships ;)

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)

Go for it. Very interesting subject. Specially Human Geography, Models in Geography etc. And you can impress ordinary people with your Geo knowledge ;)

I suggest, pick optional as per your interest. Scoring and non-scoring optionals are all myth.

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.)

Savinder Singh and  3 books from Majid Hussain (Models in Geography, Human geography and Evolution of geographical thoughts are enough for theory in paper 1. Khullar is enough for paper 2 theory.

For paper 2 which has become very dynamic, try to relate everything you read with geography.

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?

Paper 1 can be done entirely from book. In paper 2, current affairs need to be covered with geographical angle eg. They asked smart city and make in india in geography optional this year.

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

Difficult to answer as I have been reading Geography from my first attempt.

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

2 months.

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

Yes. Concise  handwritten notes  of basic theories .

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?

Easier than previous  two years. But paper 2 is becoming more analytical. Relate all the current affairs with geography.

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?

Read basic Mechanical Engineering, collected information about home town, watched Rajyasabha TV for current affairs after Mains result.

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?

No. But looking  at my marks I  think one should try attending mocks :D

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

White shirt, Dark Grey pant, blackeshoes, tie

Q4. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?

Maharashtra Sadan. Brought Geography books and atlas.

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

David R. Syiemlieh.

Q2. How long was the interview?

30-35 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?]

Though my father wanted me to become an IAS , my interest developed after I joined my job. I am working in my graduation field that too in Govt setup. I realized I can only implement the project as an engineer but very rarely I will get a chance to make any policy decision. Joining civil services will give me that opportunity to make some decisions . Decisions to make few lives better. So ultimately I want to join civil services  to  gain power to change lives of people surrounding me.

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)

Me narrating my interview will not serve any purpose. I was very very casual in my approach. They didn’t like it. Not one bit :D

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?

It was very factual and I am very bad with facts. So it was not at all on the expected lines. Look at my marks, you can guess how I handled them :P

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

Bring all the documents as instructed. Even if you miss anything dont panic, UPSC gives time to submit it later.

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

Nothing special. Enjoy the procedure. Dont discuss your interview :D

CSE-2014 Marksheet

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

  • ESSAY (PAPER-I) 149
  • GENRAL STUDIES -I (PAPER-II) 091
  • GENRAL STUDIES -II (PAPER-III) 078
  • GENRAL STUDIES -III (PAPER-IV) 071
  • GENRAL STUDIES -IV (PAPER-V) 086
  • OPTIONAL-I (GEOGRAPHY) (PAPER-VI) 114
  • OPTIONAL-II (GEOGRAPHY) (PAPER-VII) 136
  • WRITTEN TOTAL 725
  • PERSONALITY TEST 135
  • FINAL TOTAL 860

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

As my preparation was very  average I got all average marks. Need to do more value addition to get higher marks in GS2 and GS3. Need to look beyond maai baap Lexicon to score better in GS 4

Career Backup

Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?

I am already working in MCGM.

If not selected → Appear again → not selected → Appear again → Get selected

Q2. When were you going to “execute” that backup plan? (e.g. after __ failed attempts/ after I cross __ age/after dad retires/ after girlfriend dumps me etc.)

I was already executing my backup plan.

Views on UPSC reforms

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

Optional should be removed  and Geography should be made compulsory ;) Kidding, yes optional should go.

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

I could never score beyond 80 marks in paper 1. So It is very bad decision for me ;)

On a serious note both papers marks should be counted and there should be high min. cutoff in paper 1. eg You must get 70 marks in paper 1.

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 am totally against this thinking. I never used any coaching notes, never attended any test. I had full time  hectic job. I am good 1100 kms far from Rajinder nagar. Still I cleared it.

P.S. Mrunal.org and insights both work well on low speed internet .

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).

This is serious issue and should be sorted out as soon as possible.

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

Agree.

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

Ideally yes.

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

I think there should be a separate exam for few services especially IPS.

Second, reduce interview weightage or use other systems like GD to supplement it.  It looks like 275 (interview) versus 1750 (GS+Optional + essay). But when you see average marks it is something like 170 versus 700.

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?

Try to  think like this,  I am not from big college, I don’t have work experience. So they will not expect much. I will give answers above their expectations. So will get marks above expectations . Problem solved.

Wisdom

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?

This is very unpredictive exam. I have seen many serious candidates suffering because of it. So prepare a backup plan  before diving in this sea. I hope most of you will clear in first attempt. But if not then join a job after 2 attempts. Don’t worry it will not hamper your preparation.

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?

Many hardworking candidates keep repeating the same mistake again and again. Rectify your mistakes. As said earlier join any job. Salary will fix depression problem. Don t just follow others blindly. Everyone should develop his own kung fu technique to fight UPSC :P
And lastly, this is over rated exam. People give it larger than life image. Every year more than 1000 candidates clear it. It is not that difficult to be part of these 1000s. So just enjoy the process, you will not get these years back. Studying ,waiting for results, speculating on forums, successes, failures are all part of it. Cheers.

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?

I am indebted to my family, specially my mother. She was always there for me. If you talk to her you might think she has given 2-3 attempts :D.  My younger sister who still believes  I cheated in exam.and My father who is the starting point of this journey. There is always a woman behind every successful man, in my case she is Apoorva. And last but not least Swapnil Ubale, the only friend with whom I can talk about this exam. Thank you guys for making this process simple and entertaining.

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.

Mrunal, big fan sir _/\_.  Your style I try to copy. Everything you write is simple to understand and as per  UPSC’s demand. You are a beacon of light for aspirants like me.  Now I have praised you so much that people will think you have paid me for this :D

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

11 Comments on “UPSC topper-Piyush Thorat (CSE-AIR-912-2014) Geography, B.Tech, sub-engineer in Mumbai muni., hails from Amravati”

  1. congrats sir…….

  2. Congrats sir. Very well performed in essay. I also like your booklist for GS and will follow it. Thanks for sharing you interveiw experience on Mrunal.

  3. Congratulation Sir
    and thank you for sharing your view’s and experience.

  4. 912 rank will get what post?
    Friends, what should be post preference after IAS,IPS,ifs..

  5. congrats sir….can I have your mail I’d please…

  6. sir is 3 books ffrom majid hussain enuf for modal theory thought wala part ?
    from where i get mrunal land resource n pds wala part?

    1. 3 books are minimum requirement. You can read as many book as you want. Pds and other things are scattered on mrunal. Use Google to find them

      1. sir…can you share some geography optional answers ?

  7. congrats sir.
    nic interview .
    it clears lots of doubts . thanx

  8. This guy is funny as well.

  9. I am impressed ur success and motivated, I learned new thing from u thank u sharing us ur exeperience
    Good luck ur future journey

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