[Topper’s Interview] Ram Krishnan R. (Rank-268/CSE-2015) Sociology, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu, 2nd Attempt

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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. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  8. Prelim accuracy
  9. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  10. Mains: Essay
  11. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  12. General studies (Mains) paper 2 & 3
  13. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  14. Mains answer-writing?
  15. Mains Optional Subject
  16. Before the interview
  17. During the interview
  18. CSE-2015 Marksheet
  19. Career Backup
  20. Views on UPSC reforms
  21. Insecurity about profile
  22. Wisdom
  23. Credit: Friends/family
  24. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

Q.Details
NameRAM KRISHNAN R
Rank in CSE-2015268
Roll No.0096757
Age26
Total attempts in CSE (including this one)2
Optional SubjectSOCIOLOGY
Schooling MediumENGLISH
College mediumENGLISH
Medium chosen for Mains answersENGLISH
Medium chosen for InterviewENGLISH
Home town/cityNAGERCOIL
Work-experience if any2.3 Yrs as R&D Engineer in Turbo Energy Ltd. ( TVS Group )
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failuresTNPSC Group 1 & 2 (result not declared yet )
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)SMARTLEADERS IAS ACADEMY, MANITHANEYAM IAS ACADEMY , SHANKAR IAS ACADEMY
Service preferences (Top-5)IAS , IPS, IFS, IRS (C&CE),IRS(IT)
state cadre preference (Top-5)TN, KAR, TELUGANA, AP, MAH.

Education

% in class 1094.00
% in class 1287.41
Graduation course and %BE ( MECHANICAL ) & 83.00
Name of college, city, passing out yearVELAMMAL ENGG COLLEGE , CHENNAI, 2011
Post-graduationMBA HR ( Through Distance Education ) UNIV. OF MADRAS
Any other professional courses
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievementsPOETRY WRITING, WATCHING POLITICAL DEBATES & MOVIES,MEME creation, Social Media.

Introduction

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

UPSC topper Ram Krishnan
Am Ram Krishnan R from Nagercoil (Kanyakumari dist.) My father is Mr.M.Ramaiah Pillai ,Retd. Driving Instructor from TNSTC. My mother Mrs.N.Athimuthulekshmi is a home maker & supported me a lot during my preparations, by staying with me in Chennai. I have an elder brother, Mr.R.Saravanan working as Asst. Manager in Canara Bank.
My father worked as a Driver during most of his career in TNSTC. & his hardships motivated me to achieve a reputed position in society. The idea of Civil services came to my mind during my college final years. But because of financial reasons ( Education Loan ) I took up job at Turbo Energy Ltd. for 2.3 years. My CS preparation started by Sep 2013 , once I quit the job.

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)
Yes, it’s true that there are enormous loads of e-materials available for CS preparation. Still I relied mostly on paper material (Books, newspapers, note making). I used blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds limitedly, like Economic Survey PDF, pib.nic.in, mrunal.org. I used to go through these online contents & consolidate in to notes for revision at the CLIMAX.. I followed mrunal.org very religiously during my initials years of preparation & that actually helped me a lot.. Especially the Economy topic was really awesome.. Later I visit mrunal.org to go through the “trending” areas of CS preparation…
Apart from this I used Internet Browsing extensively & only if I feel that the content is very important, then I take a note of it. I never flood my notes with less important data.

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?
It’s the biggest challenge in this preparation..Keeping ones preparation in a consistent state depends on the unique strategy for each individual..
For me I led a semi-saint life, isolating myself from my friends, relatives, Ex-colleagues etc.. when I feel the preparation is drowning then I used to spend time in movies, MEME creations(crossed 1000 MEME as of now J ), social media.. Even then if I feel the preparation as losing momentum, then I watch political debates, documentaries, historical/political movies, because all these somehow will help us in MAINS exam.. Actually it worked for me.. Certain questions I lifted points directly from these areas in CSE 2015 MAINS..

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.
Assuming myself as a Senior Player (2nd Attempt ) , 2015 Prelims was crucial for me that I should prove myself  after my failure in Prelims – 2014 .. Work “systematically”..Plan every day of your preparation…All plans may not succeed & it’s quiet natural that people may not achieve the target initially.. Never ever give up your planning… Trust me, if you follow this over a period of time you will become a SYSTEMATIC CS aspirant…
Go through the previous 2-3 years questions and you could derive a PATTERN on how the questions are been asked.. Once you catch that “PATTERN “, then 50% of your problem is solved.. After this if you read study materials or newspaper, you will automatically become a QUESTION PAPER SETTER in your mind…
Q2. What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?
In 2014 Prelims, my score was 198.. The biggest blunder mistake I did was – Not practising the CSAT- I & II papers… I wrote my first test only at the exam hall.. This pulled me down because I was not able to manage time & got tensed.. this spoiled the peace in my mind…
I analyzed this and thought of taking Test Series ( at SMARTLEADERS IAS ) – 32 Nos. very religiously and this worked for me very well.. When I wrote the 2015 prelims I really felt like writing test series 33 & 34.. J … Moreover I personally feel that the Smartleaders IAS test series were on the lines of UPSC Prelims… I got PAPER I – 133.34  &  PAPER II – 151.90
Total –  285.24

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

Topicstrategy/booklist/comment
History AncientOld NCERT
History MedievalOld NCERT
History Modern (Freedom Struggle)NCERT & Spectrum Modern India
Culture and societyNCERT culture
Polity (theory + current)Laxmikanth & The Hindu
Economy (theory + current)Sankar Ganesh book , mrunal & The Hindu
Science (theory + current)NCERT
Environment (theory + current)NCERT & Shankar Sir’s Environment Notes (Green Book)
geography physicalNCERT
geography IndiaNCERT & OXFORD Atlas
geography worldCertificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong & OXFORD Atlas
other national/international current affairsSmart Leaders IAS Test Series , The Hindu
Schemes, Policy & Filler StuffPib.nic.in , Smart Leaders IAS Test Series , The Hindu, INDIA YEAR BOOK , Economic Survey.

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2015 paper?
The Paper was easy to me as I was very confident when entering the hall.. I attended totally 96 questions in Paper I .. I think being strong in current affairs led me to attend so many questions..
My Tip : Current affairs gives the required edge over others in prelims…Remember Prelims is a stage of maximum eliminations.. only 15000 get through out of nearly 6.5 lakh aspirants… so put maximum effort on current affairs once you are “OK” with the Conventional areas.. Moreover the questions from conventional areas are quite simple & do not require too much expertise..
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-2016 (if you were going to appear)?
I would have followed the same SUCCESS FORMULA this time too… I honestly feel that my 2015 strategy will suit 2016 prelims too.
Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topicstrategy / booklist
MathsRS Agarwal
reasoningSmart Leaders IAS Test Series
comprehensionSmart Leaders IAS Test Series
Decision MakingSmart Leaders IAS Test Series

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS Aptitude 2015 paper.
I found the paper easy because I am a decent player in PAPER II ..
My Tip : Practise .. Practise.. Practise…

Prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?
Yes.. I attended Smart Leaders IAS Test Series. The test series are very useful if you follow them regularly.. They help us in time management , current affairs & self analysis.. after 10-15 test series you start to think from the point of view of a Question Paper Setter ( if you are sincere in test series)
One kind advise to aspirants.. Please do not attend more than 2 test batches.. Because you should have time to consolidate notes from the test series & revise that at the end.. That will fetch good results in your prelims.. Merely attending test series without revision is not of great use according to me..
Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2015

attempted Q.correct (Expected)Official score
GS96Sorry couldn’t recollect133.34
aptitude76Sorry couldn’t recollect151.90

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paperYour preparation strategy / booklist?
English paper      -Nil-
your regional language                    -Nil-

Q. other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2015
No.. I found them very easy..
If someone finds difficulty then a mere go through of the basics in the regional language is more than sufficient.. No special preparation needed..

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
I didn’t even practice a single essay before the exam.. The reasons are  1. I had no time as I had to put more time for my optional subject..  2. I am very good in story writing, poetry, language.
So I went without any preparation..But its always better to write atleast 5-10 essays before you go for the exam..

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

  • Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever devil.
  • Dreams which should not let India sleep.
  • Education Essay : started from ancient  Gurukul education , Mughals , British, Independent India.. How Education has changed over times.. 1945 Nuclear Bombing of Japan how technology(education) killed millions of people..even today the devil in the form of radiational damages is seen in Japan… environmental degradation..mining..pollution etc are educational advancements but we forgot the value of equality of living for the animals,plants,tribals etc .. Gandhiji’s value system education.. ISIS militants killing innocent people in the middle east, though they are highly educated but lacked human values ..how education has become a commercial business where only the marks/placements matter & no space for values.. used some sociological points too..
  • Dreams Essay : why should India dream ? Can India dream? How Indian dream of independence didn’t let our national leaders to sleep & finally led to our independence .. what kind of dream should we dream ? inclusive society..harmony in the society.. environmental sustainability .. free of corruption.. etc etc.. for all these dreams to happen you be the change that you want to see in others.. this is the best way one can pay homage to the father of the nation (Gandhiji) & youth icon of the nation (APJ sir)

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

TopicHow did you prepare?
CultureNCERT ( didn’t prepare well..planned to go through “spectrum culture” in next attempt )
Indian historyNCERT , Spectrum Modern India
world historyArjun Dev ( Too many facts .. avoid them.. remember only very important facts ..)
NCERT
post-independence IndiaNewspaper ( The Hindu )
Indian societySMARTLEADERS IAS Sociology notes
role of women, poverty etc.SMARTLEADERS IAS Sociology notes
globalization on Indian societySMARTLEADERS IAS Sociology notes
communalism, regionalism, secularismSMARTLEADERS IAS Sociology notes
world geo physicalCertificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong & OXFORD Atlas
resource distributionNCERT
factors for industrial locationNCERT , mrunal
earthquake tsunami etcNCERT
impact on flora-fauna       –

General studies (Mains) paper 2 & 3

I relied on “the hindu” & “smartleaders ias mains test batch” for gs-2

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude –

For ethics paper I went without any preparation because of lack of time .. but later realized that it was a big mistake..For Part A, I spent most of the time (nearly 2 Hrs.) because I was thinking..thinking..thinking.. in the exam hall for points.. finally had 1 hr left for part B, which was the scoring area.. I had to leave 60 marks (3*20) unattended at the end..my ethics score was just 80 ..So I feel some basic preparation for Ethics paper Part A is needed so that we could save more time for the Part B section..
Q. Many candidates found Mains-2015 Ethics paper very peculiar and “out of the book”. What are your observations and tips for future aspirants regarding preparation of this paper?
Strategy : Attend Part B first & then move to Part A ( But I did the vice versa L )

Mains answer-writing?

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

PaperBest attemptedAverage qualitynamesake answerTotal attempt
GS1153220
GS2106                218
GS3134                320
GS483                –11
Opt-P1415
Opt-P2415

Based on my experience its better to answer all questions… If there is totally no idea about the question then leave it..Because making up answers with filler lines will surely irritate the evaluator…
Even if I could make a single good /relevant point about the topic, then I do attempt the question.. The logic is EVERY SINGLE MARK COUNTS HERE… J

Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?
I felt comfortable with the fixed space answer sheet because the time is so scarce that, it is challenging to fill the whole space given in the answer sheet..
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.
I wrote 80% of my answers in bulletins because they help to save time by writing more points in lesser time .. but some questions like DISCUSS, EVALUATE etc. I wrote in paragraph..
But if time is very less never worry about all these.. just use bulletins.. they would save you more time..  J
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.
Yes.. I wrote most (95%) of my answers in that format.. I felt that would give a good feel to the evaluator.. In few papers where I had no time I directly wrote the points (in bulletins) without proper introduction and conclusion.
Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?
No.
Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)
No.
Q7. If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?
-NA-
Q8. Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?
-NA-
Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?
Black

Mains Optional Subject

Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?
Sociology.. The paper is very realistic & the syllabus is pretty good.. Had the feel that however tough the paper is still we could manage, because it’s all about the society in which we live…
I also had the good guidance of Mr.Sivaraja Vel sir for sociology options ..

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)
But before taking sociology kindly go through the syllabus & previous year question papers.. Only if the aspirant feels comfortable then he/she can proceed…
After all , Sociology is a simple & super paper.. J
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.)
My one & only Sociology material is SMARTLEADERS IAS Academy’s Material by Mr.Sivaraja Vel sir.
I initially bought the Harlombus (Red) book ,but later found the Smartleaders material as very simple & the best..
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?
I relied mostly on the Smartleaders materials .. but I used to take note of some Sociological editorials in The Hindu newspaper…
Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?
4 months
Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?
3 months
Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?
No. I underline/highlight  the Smartleaders material for my revision.
Q. Your observation about the difficultly level of 2015 mains vs previous papers. And what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional subject?
2015 paper was more based on current affairs. So a thorough reading of newspaper is very crucial for the mains.
Ethics paper was little bit lengthy. Writing practice is very essential.

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?
I went through my DAF very deeply..Line by line.. Looking for every possibility of any question.. Also went through my basic mechanical engineering, Work profile, MBA HR basics, Native district & State..
I had spent more time on my hobbies too.. but unfortunately no question came from that.. L
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 4 mocks in 3 different institutions ( SMARTLEADERS, SHANKAR, MANITHANEYAM ) .. I believe Mocks are vital because they give an opinion about the kind of questions that a BOARD asks us seeing our DAF.. ( For.Ex. In all the 4 Mocks I had questions about MAKE IN INDIA, MECHANICAL CONCEPTS .. in the final interview also I had similar questions)..These mocks helps us to be cool & comfortable in the Final D-DAY..
( Note : TOO MUCH of Mocks may ruin your ORIGINAL PERSONALITY .. people may tell different opinions on your personality & may even ask you to change few.. )
Q3. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?
TamilNadu House at New Delhi. I brought some current affairs notes & mechanical engineering notes for final revision.
Q4. Any words of wisdom about Medical checkup?
-Nil-
Q5. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.
Coat Suit (Navy Blue), Red Tie, White shirt, Black shoes.

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
Mr. Vinay Mittal sir
Q2. How long was the interview?
30 Min
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?]
Reputation & Service to the nation.
Though there are chances of doing social service in private sector, still it is very minimum… Civil Service provides more scope for national service along with high reputation in the society.
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)
Areas of Questions : MGNREGA Act- when ? why so special? Recently WB appreciated it.why? , why you quit private R&D? why in INDIA R&D is poor? Solution?
GHI Gross Happiness Index, Indo-Bhutan relationship-political & economic ? India’s neighborhood policy is arrogant.Agree?, Tamil fishermen –Srilankan navy.whom you support?,
India energy sector contributions, solar power not developed.why? Make in India,Skill India,Digital India, Demographic Dividends, Age of youth as per Demographic Dividends
TPM,5S concepts in Mechanical engg., minerals from sand? CPSU in  Kanyakumari dealing with monazite sand? Tiruvalluvar statute in kanyakumari?
Education loan process is cumbersome. any reforms you suggest? , why so many poor infra engg colleges in TN.solution?
(sorry, couldn’t recollect the rest!)

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?
The interview was good & comfortable. Most of the questions were unexpected but answerable. Few expected questions were also there. There was nothing like stress interview in my board.
Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?
-Nil-
Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
-Nil-

CSE-2015 Marksheet

Q1. Please attach both prelim and final marksheet
Prelims mark sheet-

Subject Marks obtained
Paper 1133.34
Paper 2151.90

Mains mark sheet-

Subject Marks obtained
Essay – Paper-1135
General Studies – Paper 2101
General Studies – Paper 374
General Studies – Paper 4107
General Studies – Paper 580
Optional Paper – Paper-1102
Optional Paper – Paper-2134
Written total 733
Personality Test 168
Final Total901

Q2. After looking at the marksheet, suppose you had to prepare again next time, what changes will you make in your studies?
Concentrate on Optional , Prepare for Ethics , Go through more Online Contents for GS 2 & 3

Career Backup

Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?
Taking up State PSC exams was my first back up. Banking Sector was second in the line.
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 thought of executing it if I couldn’t clear at my 4th attempt, so that I could enter a State service or Bank & then give my remaining 2 attempts comfortably.

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 give uneven Advantage to few groups.. The concept of scaling is still questioned..
The syllabus of optional are not so exhaustive that one can become an expert in that field.. So why to continue with options when a common paper more oriented towards Civil Services can be kept ?

Q. Your views on the decision to make CSAT paper 33% qualifying?
Right decision. Though am very much comfortable in CSAT Paper II , still its not right to keep it at equal footings with that of the CSAT Paper I.. for Civil services the CRUX is PAPER I & not Logical/Analytical.. So keeping a Qualifying level for Paper II is in the right direction.
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 Mains-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 with this. The system has to give ample time between prelims & mains so that we could at least make some Self Study & a decent revision. Once this is done the need for students to go after Delhi Coaching Factories will reduce. Hope UPSC takes a note of this issue.
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).
IFoS must have separate prelims because the aspirants preparing solely for IFoS need to go through a vast amount of topics in their Preliminary stage, but most of them are not linked to their Mains exam pattern. Instead IFoS can have a separate Prelims oriented towards its core stream.
Q. UPSC should disclose official prelim answerkey and cutoffs, immediately after prelim is over, instead of postponing it till interview phase is over.
Yes. This would give a clear cut idea to aspirants immediately whether they will pass or fail . They could start preparing for their next course of action immediately rather than waiting for the results. Moreover releasing keys after an year will not have much enthusiasm to analyze the answers among the aspirants.
Q. UPSC should be conducted online like IBPS and CAT exam to shorten the duration of exam.
Yes. This would lead to quick processing of Prelims results & this could lead to more time for Mains preparation.
Q. If you are made the UPSC chairman, what other reforms would you initiate for the civil service exam?
Online Exam for Prelims, More time between Prelims & Mains , Remove Optional subjects.

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?
I had some good Back-ups – BE MECHANICAL Degree (First Class with Distinction) , 2.3 years work experience as RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Engineer in TVS Groups (Rs. 35,000 p.m.) , MBA HR Degree . So I didn’t feel any insecurity. Even if things go worst, I was very confident of Rising my Life from Scratch …
To aspirants who feel insecure about their career, kindly update your profile side by side.. For Ex. I did my MBA HR through Distance Education only during my CS preparation. I was also giving my State PSC exams side by side.. So once you feel you have some strong hold in UPSC, start to update your career backups.. This is an Unpredictable field in which many Veterans have lost. So “EXPECT THE BEST & BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST”

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?
I always remember two sayings in my mind during my preparation stage :

  1. “There would be many to share your victory ; but its only you who will share your failure”
  2. “Take one IDEA in your life; Make that IDEA your life”   ( Swami VIVEKANANDA )

Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2015. They’re feeling cynical, hopeless and depressed- what is your message to them?

Though it’s very hard to come out of failure, still there is no other way around.. Thinking about your past & worrying will only pull you down.. After a failure, Sit peacefully & Analyze yourself… It’s only you who knows you better than anyone in this world..
This is not like any other JOB… Be ready for any kind of sacrifice to get this prestigious service..The moment you find your name in the final list, all your worries will disappear in a second..
Even if you fail, still feel proud that you have lost only to a VETERAN called UPSC…  “Some Dreams are so big that even failure makes you feel proud”
It’s only you who can shape your future.. ONE LIFE ; MAKE IT BIG.

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?
My mother Mrs. N.Athimuthulekshmi , father Mr.M.Ramaiah Pillai ,Brother Mr.R.Saravanan , My well wisher Shri.Damodaran uncle& family were instrumental in my success..
I am very thankful to Mr.Sivarajavel sir ,Mr.Sadik sir & team of Smartleaders IAS Academy for their mentoring & guidance. I also convey my sincere thanks to Mr.Shankar sir & Manithaneyam Free IAS Academy for their contributions to my success.
My dear friends Mr.N.P.Sivabalan, Mr.S.Krishnakumar & other friends , relatives & well wishers for being a motivating force behind my success..
Thank You UPSC !
LAST BUT NOT LEAST , I like to thank MYSELF for all the efforts ,perseverance, confidence that made me what I am today !

BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Q. You are well aware of the sacred rule of conducting toppers interview- 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.
Yes… Mrunal.org is a very big contributor for my success. I still remember the initial days when I was struggling with the basic economy concepts, like the exchange rate, foreign reserve, inflation, WTO/IMF, P-notes etc.. the way you characterized the concepts using bollywood stars/hollywood stars/politicians etc was very useful.. the SELFLESSNESS & DEDICATION of you at FREE of COST is really  INSPIRING..
The website is a very big hit… It has actually become a big BRAND..Keep moving with the same phase.. HATS OFF TO YOUR GREAT EFFORTS sir!

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

19 Comments on “[Topper’s Interview] Ram Krishnan R. (Rank-268/CSE-2015) Sociology, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu, 2nd Attempt”

  1. You certainly deserve this success Ram ! Which service have you been allocated?

    1. thank u rajesh.. awaiting service allocation.. :-)

  2. I have seen your all videos but recently you upgraded them. Please continue doing this way. It is more comfortable than the previous ones. Thanks a lot.

  3. Hello sir,
    I am also from nagercoil.i have written this year mains but couldn’t clear it.my mains marks were 644. can you give your mail id or phone number so that I could clear my doubts.Thanks in advance Ram Krishnan sir

  4. Congrats for your selection…Can I get your email id as my optional is also sociology n I need your help.

  5. Ram brother, I want some clarification about preparation please reply me in facebook

  6. sir please let me know where i would get smartleaders sociology material please

    1. If you are from chennai , I think you can get it directly from Smart leaders IAS institute office.. If not ,kindly contact the institute( google it for contact no details ) ..think they may arrange you the materials.. All the best.. :-)

  7. What is your Message? Search before asking questions & confine discussions to exams related matter only.

  8. Ram sir ,you said that you wrote your 1st essay in d exam hall and u still got like one of the best marks ,.so my question is -“is it really sacrosanct/important to take up mocks for essay writing”.i would be very grateful if u reply.thanks in advance.

  9. Hi NISHANTH,

    Yes its definitely important to have a writing practise . As I mentioned clearly ,I didn’t do any essay writing practise bec
    1. I had no time ( as I dedicated most of my time for sociology optional ) 2. I was confident in essay ( as I felt I am good in language, oration , poetry etc . )

    If I were to give another attempt , definetly I would try to write few essays for practise ( bec I believe I would have time for practising essay writing this time!! )

    All the best !

    -Ram Krishnan R

  10. मैं इंटरमिडिएट में था। अब बीए एडमिशन लेने जा रहा हुॅ ।आइएएस ऑफिसर बनना चाहता हुॅ। कृपया बताएं कि इस स्तर के लक्ष्य को हासिल करने के लिए मुझे अपनी तैयारी किस तरह से आरंभ करनी चाहिए ।

  11. Bro..so motivated bro
    All the best for upcoming CSE exam

  12. Sir, I need some guidelines form you sir so kindly give your mobile number and I am interesting to speak with you sir and share my thoughts sir. Thank you

  13. Thank you sir,, got clarity and motivated after reading this……

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