[Topper’s Interview] Priytosh (Rank-495/CSE-2015) Law Optional, first attempt, Lakhisarai, Bihar

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Pavan Kumar
  1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Working professional
  7. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  8. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  9. Prelim accuracy
  10. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  11. Mains: Essay
  12. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  13. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  14. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  15. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  16. Mains answer-writing?
  17. Mains Optional Subject
  18. Before the interview
  19. During the interview
  20. CSE-2015 Marksheet
  21. Career Backup
  22. Views on UPSC reforms
  23. Insecurity about profile
  24. Wisdom
  25. Credit: Friends/family
  26. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

Rank in CSE-2015495
Roll No.0005855
Total attempts in CSE (including this one)1
Optional SubjectLaw
Schooling MediumEnglish
College mediumEnglish
Medium chosen for Mains answersEnglish
Medium chosen for InterviewEnglish
Home town/cityLakhisarai, Bihar
Work-experience if anyPart time at Career Launcher Education Private Limited and Knappily Media Private Limited
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failuresCleared CLAT in 2010 with rank 50
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)Took coaching and mock tests at Testcracker, Bangalore. No postal material
Service preferences (Top-5)IAS>IFS>IPS>IRS(IT)>IRS(C&CE)
state cadre preference (Top-5)Bihar>Jharkhand>Uttarakhand>MP>UP


fill the details here
% in class 1095
% in class 1282.8
Graduation course and %BA LLB(Hons) CGPA 4.13/7
Name of college, city, passing out yearNational Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, 2015
Any other professional coursesNA
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievementsReading fiction books, watching legal television shows


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

UPSC Topper IAS/IPS Priytosh Interviw & Tips
I was born in Bihar. Then studied till 2003 in Bihar. From 2003-10, completed class 6 to 12 at Rashtriya Military School Bangalore. Then did college at NLSIU from 2010 to 2015. Cleared civil service exam in first attempt. My father retired this January as Subject Matter Specialist from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sheikhpur, Bihar. My mother is senior teacher at girls’ high school in Bihar. My elder brother works as Bid manager at Mphasis, Bangalore. Sister in law worked as dietician. Younger brother is army officer. I entered in this field of competitive exams in November 2014 because it provides a unique opportunity to do a lot for the society.

Electronic Vs Paper material

I relied on electronic material for dynamic portion such as current affairs and on the paper material for static portion like history, geography etc. A typical day in my studylife would include reading, revising and making notes. I make notes sometime and sometime just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes-depends on mood. I don’t make make mindmaps on computer or follow any other xyz style

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?
I keep study momentum going on by taking periodic breaks. I fight against the mood swings and distractions by telling myself as to why I am writing this exam. Talking with friends, family also helps.

Working professional

If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with job
Since I worked part time only, I could easily manage studies with job. I took holiday during weeks before the exam. For full time workers, studies can be managed by studying in the mornings.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

History AncientNCERT
History MedievalNCERT
History Modern (Freedom Struggle)Spectrum. Had read Bipan Chandra earlier. Please keep reading spectrum till the end.
Culture and societyCoaching notes, Sri Teja videos, Unacademy
Polity (theory + current)Didn’t do much as I am from law background. Did parts of Laxmikant and for current, read newspapers.
Economy (theory + current)Economic survey, Mrunal, Yash sir’s class. Did current affairs from The Hindu.
Science (theory + current)Unacademy, NCERT
Environment (theory + current)Shankar IAS material, Mrunal, Unacademy
geography physicalNCERT, Mrunal-especially Rajtanil ma’am’s lectures
geography IndiaNCERT, Mrunal-especially Rajtanil ma’am’s lectures
geography worldNCERT, Mrunal-especially Rajtanil ma’am’s lectures
other national/international current affairsThe Hindu
Schemes, Policy & Filler StuffThe Hindu, PRSindia.org

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2015 paper?
It was very good and easy as it was primarily from NCERT and newspapers. Hopefully they follow the same pattern. One tip would be to be clear about basics rather than just mugging up.
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 reread the same books in more systematic manner.

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

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

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS Aptitude 2015 paper.
Please don’t take it very lightly as last year I was more worried about paper 2 than paper 1!

Prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?
Ya. I don’t think that they are necessary for success though they may be helpful.
Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2015

attempted Q.correct (Expected)Official score
aptitudeDon’t rememberDon’t remember144.30

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paperYour preparation strategy / booklist?
English paperUnacademy lecture
your regional languageUnacademy lecture

Q. other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2015
They seemed quite easy. Doing grammar section first will be helpful. Also, précis should be done at the last. Translation in hindi paper takes a lot of time. Please don’t begin with it. Please don’t ignore these papers. Otherwise, there is not much to worry.

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
I had written about 20 essays and got them checked by coaching staff and a friend of mine. Essay should follow a continuous flow and not a random sequence.
Q2. Which two essays did you write and What key points did you include in it?
Why making them learn is better than giving doles, dreams that should not let India sleep. My key points followed PESTAL model-political, social, economic etc. in first essay, I started and ended with case study. In second essay, I started with Nehru’s speech when India became independent.

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

TopicHow did you prepare?
CultureSri Teja videos, Unacademy
Indian historySpectrum
world historyMrunal, Unacademy, Yash sir’s class
post-independence IndiaBipan Chandra
Indian societyThe Hindu
role of women, poverty etc.The Hindu, Rohit sir’s class
globalization on Indian societyThe Hindu
communalism, regionalism, secularismThe Hindu
world geo physicalMrunal, Tushar sir’s class
resource distributionMrunal, Rohit sir’s class
factors for industrial locationMrunal, Rohit sir’s class
earthquake tsunami etcMrunal, Tushar sir’s class
impact on flora-faunaMrunal, Tushar sir’s class

After exam I realized that I should have prepared all topics in some detail. I couldn’t finish syllabus topics properly before exam because I was concentrating on my optional, I had expected UPSC to ask technical questions but they asked general questions.
I did not rely on any Xerox coaching notes but I followed insightsonindia.com very diligently and it was very helpful.

General studies (Mains) paper 2

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc.Covered as part of law optional, Tushar sir’s class
comparing Constitution with worldInsightsonindia.com
parliament, state LegislaturesCovered as part of law optional, Tushar sir’s class
executive-judiciaryCovered as part of law optional, Tushar sir’s class
ministries departmentsThe Hindu
pressure group, informal asso.Tushar sir’s class
Representation of people’s actThe Hindu
various bodies: Constitutional, statutory..Covered as part of law optional, Tushar sir’s class
NGO, SHG etcTushar sir’s class
welfare schemes, bodiesTushar sir’s class
social sector, health, edu, HRDTushar sir’s class
governance, transparency, accountabilityTushar sir’s class
e-governanceTushar sir’s class
role of civil serviceThe Hindu
India & neighborsRSTV Desh Deshantar, Rohit sir’s class
bilateral/global groupingRSTV Desh Deshantar, Rohit sir’s class
effect of foreign country policies on Indian interestRSTV Desh Deshantar, Rohit sir’s class
DiasporaRSTV The Big Picture
international bodies- structure mandatePart of law optional

After exam I realized that I should have prepared all topics in some detail. I couldn’t finish syllabus topics properly before exam because I was concentrating on my optional, I had expected UPSC to ask general questions but they asked technical questions.
I did not rely on any Xerox coaching notes but I followed insightsonindia.com very diligently and it was very helpful. I advice it for use by any serious aspirant.

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
Indian economy, resource mobilizationMrunal, Yash sir’s class
inclusive growthMrunal, Yash sir’s class
BudgetingMrunal, Yash sir’s class
major crops, irrigationMrunal, Rohit sir’s class
agro produce – storage, marketingMrunal, Yash sir’s class
e-technology for famersMrunal, Yash sir’s class
farm subsidies, MSPMrunal, Yash sir’s class
PDS, buffer, food securityMrunal, Yash sir’s class
technology missionMrunal, Yash sir’s class
animal rearing economicsMrunal, Rohit sir’s class
food processingMrunal, Yash sir’s class
land reformsMrunal, Yash sir’s class
LiberalizationMrunal, Yash sir’s class
InfraMrunal, Yash sir’s class
investment modelsMrunal
science-tech day to day lifeThe Hindu, Rohit sir’s class
Indian achievements in sci-techThe Hindu
awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPRThe Hindu
environmental impact assessmentThe Hindu
Disaster ManagementUnacademy, Mrunal, Yash sir’s class
non state actors, internal securityRohit sir’s class
internal security – role of media, social networking siteRohit sir’s class
cyber securityRohit sir’s class
money launderingPrevention of Money laundering Act, Yash sir’s class
border  ManagementRohit sir’s class
organized crime, terrorismRohit sir’s class
security agencies- structure mandateMrunal, Rohit sir’s class

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topicsMrunal-Kavan lambasiya sir’s lectures
attitude, moral influence etc.Mrunal-Kavan lambasiya sir’s lectures
civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etcMrunal-Kavan lambasiya sir’s lectures
emotional intelligence, its use in governanceMrunal-Kavan lambasiya sir’s lectures
moral thinkers of India and worldHow many thinkers did you prepare? Not many-Gandhi, Kant only.
ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.Mrunal-Kavan lambasiya sir’s lectures
corporate governanceYash sir’s class
probity in governance, work cultureYash sir’s class
citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.Tushar sir’s class
challenges of corruptionTushar sir’s class
case studies on above topicsMock tests at Testcracker and yash sir’s class

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?
My observations would be that it is supposed to be very peculiar and “out of the book”. Future aspirants must develop their own true real life examples while preparing this paper and start answering from part 2 of the paper first instead of part 1. They can also avoid tabular method of answering part 2 of this paper.

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
GS4Don’t rememberDon’t rememberDon’t rememberAll
Opt-P1Don’t rememberDon’t rememberDon’t rememberAll
Opt-P2Don’t rememberDon’t rememberDon’t rememberAll

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 UPSC 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]
I wrote all the answers though focused on the questions where I could answer perfectly. Even when I did not have high quality points- to reach the word limit, I tried writing decent answers. There was only one part in one science question of gs3 where I was clueless. Otherwise, I had clue about rest all questions. The AFSPA question in gs3-I had filled up the space and still had content to write! I don’t think that one should attempt all if it involves “making up” an answer with filler lines whereas on the other hand one should not attempt only those questions which you know perfectly. My stand is to follow Gautam Buddha’s middle approach-try attempting all questions with focus on those which you know. Please don’t do blind guess work.
Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?
It was a very good experience as it stopped me from overflowing at times. Also, it gives one mental picture of how much to write e.g. I had decided beforehand that my answers should be confined to two pages.
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 answers mostly in bullet points, not in paragraphs. However, I did not write entire paper in bullet points, so it doesn’t matter much how you write. When examiner is asking ‘examine, comment, discuss or xyz’ I don’t think that one should simply write in bullets and points. It all depends on the question and what you are comfortable with. I had practice of writing in bullets, so I preferred it most of the times. Though, bullets bring out points easily for examiner to check and make our lives easier.
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.
I followed the “introduction-body-conclusion” format. However, all were not proper introduction and conclusion. Most of the times, it was just a one-liner.
Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?
LOL-I don’t think anyone has that much time.
Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)
Ya-wherever I could, but especially in Geography, International Relations
Q7. If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?
Q8. Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?
Just by hand-I don’t really think that we have luxury of time in exam hall
Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?
Black pen-mains are all about differentiating. I think that black pens stand out among sea of blue pens in gs. However, I wrote using blue pen in essay.

Mains Optional Subject

Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?
Law. I chose it because I like it and it was also my graduation subject. I did not choose something else because this is one subject about which I have some clue. Others, I would have been clueless and made to study from scratch.
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 advice for it because it is very interesting, though it has a long syllabus of around 84 topics. If nothing else, it may help you in your real life.
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.)
Essential book/resource list which I used(“Base book” for covering the theory)

  1. Constitution-V N Shukla
  2. International law-Kapoor
  3. Torts-Bangia
  4. Contract-Avtar Singh
  5. IPC-Pillai
  6. For partnership, negotiable instruments etc-bare acts

My seniors had said to read these books and I feel that they are more than enough. The topics are given properly in these books.
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-research / current affairs are necessary for contemporary legal developments part in paper 2. In fact this time, even international law questions in paper 1 were partly from current affairs. One can simply rely on the books and be done with this subject in other areas.
Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?
3 months
Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?
Zero!-wrote first and last time in exam
Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?
Yes. Paper format.
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?
It seemed slightly easy-at least the first paper. One must not get bogged down by the huge syllabus-deep inside, it is very logical. Doing some practice papers before exam won’t harm.

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 prepared for the interview by doing Ph.D on my DAF. For college grad-read about current happenings in law, hobbies-tried answering questions like the last book I read(which was asked in interview also), place of origin-googled it, current affairs at national and international level-The Hindu
Q2. Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching class? How were they similar / different than official interview? Do you believe it is necessary to attend such mock interviews?
Yes-Samkalp,Chanakya,Byju. They were very similar to the official interview. I don’t believe it is necessary to attend such mock interviews.
Q3. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?
Friend’s home-Thank you Prabhakar once again. I did not bring books/material for the ‘revision before interview’-just read the newspapers given to us by UPSC.
Q4. Any words of wisdom about Medical checkup?
Please don’t get drunk the night before medical checkup. Also, carry prescription if you wear specs.
Q5. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.
Off white colour full sleeved formal shirt, blue trouser,black belt,black shoe.

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
Prof. David Syielmieh
Q2. How long was the interview?
Don’t know
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?]
They had not asked me this question. However, they had asked me similar questions and would have easily figured out the answer to this question. If they had asked-my reply would have been- I want to join civil service because it provides a diverse work opportunity and leadership at a very young age. It is also very prestigious in society and where I come from-this is the highest you get. I did not continue in my graduation field because the work would have been restricted to one filed only. Social service can be done from private sector too but after a point, you can’t do much.
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)
Cm-you are leaving a very highly remunerative job (smiling and pointing to my DAF which mentioned that I earned 1000 rupees per month)
Me(smiling)-sir, nothing like that.
CM-you could have done for free?
Me-sir I could have but they were paying. What could I do?
Cm- okay. Why did you do law?
Me-sir I wanted to do something for society
CM-repeats and then says, I am asking for third time
Me (still shocked because unlike others I was not made to sit outside interview room for some time. The peon had just brought me before interview room and opened the door while I was still praying to God)-sir I wanted to study from a good college. It provided me an opportunity.
cm- okay and then asks M1-yes please
M1-Dharmendra married Hema Malini even though he had a previous wife and this is factually true. How was that possible?
Me-sir I believe that is because the first wife didn’t complain
M1-what do you call those offences when police needs warrant to arrest?
Me-non cognizable
M1-can you name any non cognizable offence?
Me-Thinking (murder,rape are cognizable)
M1- okay. What about child marriage?
Me- Sir I believe they are cognizable.
M1-Is it so?
Me-Sir I believe so. I have seen police arresting people who organize child marriages.
M1-this was not the case when I was in rajasthan. Okay but anyway you may be right. what is the difference between cognizable and non cognizable offence?
Me-in cognizable you don’t need warrant by magistrate to arrest a person unlike non cognizable offence.
M1-anything else?
Me-cognizable offences are mostly non bailable but non cognizable offences are mostly bailable.
M1-that is obviously there. Any time limit for sentencing?
Me-sir, don’t know.
M1-What is this Maria Sharapova controversy?
Me-I told about her taking a drug that was banned from this year.
M1-can you name the drug?
M1- tells the name of the drug. What would you have told me if you were Maria Sharapova and I was defeated by you?
Me(imagining myself to be Maria Sharapova) -told myself that I will tell you to work hard. Though I don’t remember what I exactly said.
M1-do you think that she did it?
Me-going by media reports, I am unable to answer that question. I believe that relevant people are best to judge her.
M1-you have to be decisive but you can be wrong. So if it was January 2015 what would you decide?
Me-she is not liable as the drug was not banned then.
M1-but media reports show that she would have not been able to play such tennis if she had blood deficiency or problem. Anyway what will be your decision now?
Me-she will be liable as she cannot take the defence that she did not open her mail and see the entire list even though many times we don’t open our mails or see the entire list of attachments.
Cm-pointing towards m2-yes please
M2-you have studied from military school. How are they run?
Me-they are run by MT 15-ministry of defence.
M2-how is their administration?
Me-there is a principal of lieutenant colonel rank, one administrative officer of major rank supported by one master in charge of education…
M2-what is the difference between military school and sainik school?
Me-basically two. Military schools are directly under central government but state governments as well as central government jointly run sainik schools. Also, there are only five military schools but sainik schools are in very state.
M2-what are some reasonable restrictions to free speech?
Me-those mentioned in article 19(2) of our constitution such as contempt of court
M2-what are your views?
Me-I believe in walking stick theory where if I am walking on road and moving my stick-the moment it touches your nose, my rights end and yours begin(everyone started laughing)
M2-what are personal laws?
Me-those which cover personal aspects of our lives like marriage, divorce,adoption,guardianship,maintenance.
M2-what if there is a conflict between them and fundamental rights?
Me-usually they will prevail unless they are against norms of morality e.g. in Baluswami Mudaliar case, there was a custom in parts of Andhra Pradesh where grandfather used to marry granddaughter. Court held it to be unconstitutional.
M2-what are bt crops?
Me-crops which are genetically modified
M2-does India permit them?
Me-India does not permit them in food crops but allows in commercial crops like cotton
M2-what is the problem with them?
Me-terminator seeds (he nods approvingly) which means that farmers have to buy them new for every season from companies like Monsanto and they cannot use their previous seeds. That is why farmers are protesting against them (should not have said this)
M2-farmers are protesting or their organizations?
Me-sir, don’t know.
Cm-pointing towards third member-yes please
M3-you are from Bihar. Does it have electricity problem?
Me-yes sir
M3-what is the problem?
Me-sir, either there is lack of connection or if there is one, there is no electricity as I myself witnessed when I went to my village last month.
M3-why is it happening?
Me-there is not enough production. If there is production, there is transmission and distribution problem. If it reaches, neighbours use it by using something called aunksi in hindi-don’t know what it is called in English
M3-government has recently done something to solve this problem. There is a scheme?
Me- yes sir, uday scheme.
M3-what will it do?
Me-it will be financing of discoms as they are unable to buy due to low revenue.
M3-who will finance them? Centre or states?
Me-sir I am not sure about that.
M3- okay.
Cm-pointing towards fourth member-yes please
M4-you have mentioned that you like reading fiction books. Which is the last one you read?
Me-the lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
M4-she recently started writing in some other language
Me-thinking…guessing about Bengali
CM-it was in news also
Me-sir don’t know
M4-you have also mentioned that you played hockey in school. What was your position?
Me-left in
M4-who is current world champion in hockey?
Me-thinking about men’s and women’s champions..
M4-it’s okay. What is the meaning of your name?
Me-someone who is full of love (he started laughing, I think others also)
M4-you have studied from national law school bangalore. You did not sit for placement?
Me- no sir, even though I was on recruitment coordination committee.
M4-so you and some of your friends decided to not pursue law and study for civil services. After 5 years of studying law, were you so frustrated and fed up with law that you decided to not do law any more(laughing)?
Me (smiling)-no sir. We decided to give it a try. We could always go back to law.
M4-what is the salary that people get at nlsiu?
Me-at least one lakh per month
M4-how much will you be getting here?
Me-sir, I have some idea
M4-how much?
Me-sir I have heard that it is around 40 thousand per month
M4 (smiling) and you still want to join?
Me (smiling) yes sir
cm-so there was this rule recently that banned some drugs from being sold. What if I live at some distant place..have you heard of it..
Me- yes sir
Cm- told the names of some drugs..so what if I sell these drugs and being a person living in distant area I have not heard of these new rules
Me- sir the law is quite clear on this point..ignorance of law is not an excuse..otherwise I will kill someone and say that oh I didn’t know that killing someone was a crime
Cm- okay Thank you. Your interview is over. All the best for your future
Me-thanks a lot (while telling myself when he said all the best-beta tumse ye na hoga(son you can’t do this)..Do something else in life). Then I got up and without showing my back to them took four steps back. Then I turned around and went out and gently closed the door. The chairman was looking at me till this point as he was looking at me through the entire interview with same expression.
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?
My interview was on the expected lines of what I had prepared and they did not ask totally unexpected questions. It was not a stress interview and they did not ask any uncomfortable questions
Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?
Make sure you bring original as well as photocopy of class X which shows your date of birth and your degree certificate
Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
It takes till evening and eye checking can get tricky especially colour blindness part.

CSE-2015 Marksheet

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

Subject Marks obtained
Paper 1130.66
Paper 2144.30

Mains marksheet –


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

Career Backup

Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?
Would have again written the exam
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.)
After the results of this attempt

Views on UPSC reforms

Q. Optional subjects should be removed altogether. The present stalemate is helping no-one, except coaching-owners, book publishers.
Optional subjects must be removed altogether as they give an unfair advantage to some.
Q. Your views on the decision to make CSAT paper 33% qualifying?
Good decision as it will ensure that people don’t qualify by getting low marks in paper 1 and very high in paper 2
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 2015. Let’s face it, most candidates who gave Mains-2015 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 don’t think so. Mains syllabus is very general in nature and can be covered from newspapers.
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).
I don’t know enough to comment on it.
Q. UPSC should disclose official prelim answerkey and cutoffs, immediately after prelim is over, instead of postponing it till interview phase is over.
Yes. Sooner the better
Q. UPSC should be conducted online like IBPS and CAT exam to shorten the duration of exam.
Yes. It will reduce the ridiculous time it takes now
Q. If you are made the UPSC chairman, what other reforms would you initiate for the civil service exam?
Make it less time consuming, give some job to all those people who qualify for interview, exempt people who appeared for interview from next prelim

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?
Please don’t fear about profile as it does not matter whether you are from a big college or not from English medium or don’t have work-experience. If they ask some stressful questions in the interview about this, it means that your interview is going on well and they want to check how you react under stress. I never suffered from such insecurities as I am from a big college and from English medium.


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 have learnt that we all should follow what is written in Gita-do your karma and do not worry about results. The wisdom of life and competition is that in the end we all will die-so nothing really matters. My message to the new aspirants is that deep inside you should know why you are doing this and never lose your heart
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?
Please don’t feel so as one exam cannot and should not determine our lives. This is just an exam-nothing less, nothing more. Please don’t make it an ego issue.

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?
These people in my case would be god, family and friends. When I was in school, one teacher Mr. G Vishwanathan who used to teach us social studies told me to go for this exam. I can never forget that.

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.
I did use Mrunal.org for my preparation and yes, it was extremely helpful because the concepts are covered in very simple terms. Thanks a lot Mrunal team. It would not have been possible without you.

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

37 Comments on “[Topper’s Interview] Priytosh (Rank-495/CSE-2015) Law Optional, first attempt, Lakhisarai, Bihar”

  1. All yhe best for your future! Very nicely amd simply framed answers. Thank you Priytosh and Mrunal.org

    1. thanks a lot opti

    1. plz share yr optional notes and strategy.

      1. i live in bangalore. you can take a photocopy of my notes.i had made notes from the standard books i have mentioned and followed a time table strictly which was made by mr. antekhab hassan

        1. Cong.
          Priytosh sir
          Where sited in benglore

        2. Hi Priytosh!
          Though I am excruciatingly late in conveying my greetings to you, I wish you heartiest congratulations on getting selected in the service.

          Hope you are having a wonderful time in training and arming yourself with wisdom to serve the people in your district.

          I am new to civil services preparation and while searching about law optional, I incidentally stumbled upon your interview. It truly guides one in the right direction.

          I would be extremely thankful to you if you can e-mail me your notes of Law optional. My email id is [email protected].

          Eagerly waiting for your reply,
          Thanking you,

      1. wowwww thxs for reply brother,how can i get yr notes {photocopy}.i live in lucknow.plz reply as soon as possible.thanku.

      2. hello,pritosh sorry to disturb u abhi tak notes nahi meela,plz send on my mail id as soon as possible.thanking you.

  2. Hello Priytosh, 1st of all congratulations.. i have recently shifted to bangalore, could you please help me as in where can i get the study material for UPSC.

    1. thanks a lot sone.you can get all of them online


  3. Congratulation for your risk with hard labour and don it. I am desire to done it but fear of take risk in this exam that what will heppen because much precious time and money needs for that. From Begusarai

  4. hi Priytosh, congratulations for your success. You told to Vivek that to take photocopy of your notes. can i also because i am really finding it difficult with Public international law. If so how can i get in touch with you. my mail ID is [email protected].

    thank you.

    1. hello,kamal bro notes meele aapko mujhe abhi nahi meele.plz share agar nots meele aapko.

  5. Lakhs of people attempt the UPSC prelims and only a thousand get selected for the main written exam. Which are the prime skills and expertise required to crack the prelims?

  6. Hi Priytosh, many congratulations on your success.
    Can you tell what was the time schedule you followed, which you mentioned in one of the earlier comments?

  7. Hello Priytosh! Congrats for your success. I want to know your answer writing startegy in law optional? Like how should we write intro , which specific cases to cite, how to add current judgements to the naswer, if any… etc etc

  8. Hello sonu.thanks a lot 😊 I didn’t write the introduction.cite landmark relevant cases.read newspaper to add recent case.for all the people who want the notes,please don’t borrow from some one else.please make your own.
    Ravi jha-time schedule was one law topic daily
    Sanjay -please don’t fear 😱
    Chupacabra-skills are confidence and self belief

  9. history ncerts for which classes should be read?

  10. congrats to Priytosh for your success…if anyone get notes from Priytosh Please share with me also …. and Priytosh was studying in same CSE batch of Test cracker which I attended..seeing his intellect i was thinking that he is working in some government ministry :) and also he had already given some attempts..this was all i was assuming … but now come to know more about your background…feeling motivated …good luck :)

  11. I have also Law optional ….plz send me all notes made by u ,Priyotosh! as m too from Law background…my mob no : 09563555554 mail id: [email protected]….HAVE A CHALLENGING CAREER!#@

  12. Hii my optional sub is law but I am preparing in Marathi medium so If you have idea about marthi law books so send me book list.

  13. Great to see your crisp answers. I wish you good luck. Congratulations. I am still nervous about law optional though!

  14. Congrats Brother… I too want to opt for law as optional paper in my cmng state civil service Exam, but very much apprehensive about it cos here we don’t have any institutions or person who can guide us… so I have to think again but if Possible could U email those Notes for me too?? From Itanagar… Arunachal Pradesh

  15. Respected sir,
    Could you please send notes to me on my gmail. I need your notes . & also please send book name .

  16. sir,tell me the best book list from starting

  17. Hello, Priytosh sir,
    My hearty congratulations for u sir..
    I’m studying 3Rd year B.E Mechanical
    My dad is an Advocate, dad suggested me to take law as optional
    & said syllabus was very easy .. Can I choose law sir..

  18. Sir.. Reading the law books based on syllabus is enough (or) we want to know more information about law..?

  19. Thank you sir

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