- Candidate Profile
- Electronic Vs Paper material
- Tempo and style
- Struggle of a Senior player
- Working professional
- Prelims (CSAT) General studies
- Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
- Prelim accuracy
- Mains: Compulsory language paper
- Mains: Essay
- Mains General studies paper 1 to 4
- General Studies (Mains) paper 1
- General studies (Mains) paper 2
- General studies (Mains) Paper 3
- General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
- Mains answer-writing?
- Mains Optional Subject
- Before the interview
- During the interview
- CSE-2015 Marksheet
- Career Backup
- Views on UPSC reforms
- Insecurity about profile
- Credit: Friends/family
- BOGUS Marketing Propaganda
|Rank in CSE-2015|| Cse 2015: 694,|
IFoS 2015: 65
|Total attempts in CSE (including this one)||6|
|Optional Subject||Mechanical Engg|
|Medium chosen for Mains answers||English|
|Medium chosen for Interview||English|
|Home town/city||Mahabub nagar(Telangana)|
|Work-experience if any|
|Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures|| 1.GATE-08: AIR-14,|
2. IES-10: AIR-107
3. IES-13: AIR- 52
4. IFoS-15: AIR-65
|Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)|
|Service preferences (Top-5)||IAS,IPS,IFS,IRS-IT, Customs& Excise|
|state cadre preference (Top-5)||Telangana, AP, KTK|
|% in class 10||94|
|% in class 12||96|
|Graduation course and %||87|
|Name of college, city, passing out year||Osmania University College of Engg, Hyderabad, 2009|
|Any other professional courses||–|
|Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements||Teaching, mentoring, robotics, swimming|
Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?
I hail from a rural agricultural family from a small village Amistapur in Mahabub nagar dist of Telangana state. The circumstances and environment in which I have grown up always compelled to study hard. I’m more of hardworking type with consistency which helped me to excel in studies since my childhood.
I always wanted to work in a prestigious position. So, for this, civil services seemed to be the right choice for me. Through which, I can inspire and motivate a lot of people in my neighborhood. After B.E, I headed to IIT Delhi (MTech)for civil services preparation in 2009. After an yr of MTech, I had to drop course in between to give mains. With the lack of clear guidance, I gave first 3 attempts without complete preparation. But from 2014 onwards, took the exam seriously by availing leaves whenever possible.
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 study life. 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)
Ans: In recent years most of the preparation is being done on internet. Important websites are mrunal.org, insights, and wiki pages.
From these sources making short notes helped me a lot in revision time.
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?
Ans: For most of us, Civil services exam is little gamble, unpredictable and of bit lucky. But perseverance plays crucial role in getting into it. With constant motivation received from success stories of fellow aspirants helped me a lot in maintaining hope and confidence.
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.
Ans: Avoid repeating mistakes.
Keep your efforts sincerely, true to your hearts, Then chances of success would be high.
Q2. What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?
Ans: In first 4 attempts, I was busy with my job in ONGC. Didn’t take much time out of job for preparation(Other thing is that, As it was first job and also very rich PSU, I got saturation in my mind with the salary I was getting over there). So, could not do the much needed enough preparation.
But in 2014 attempt, I took 3 months leave before mains exam. Everything went well and unexpectedly, I got low score in Mech Engg optional, just 180. So, Couldn’t make it to the final list(gave interview).
This year, I practiced more old question papers. May be that worked well in my optional.
If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with job
Ans: You can’t justify both preparation and job with 100% effectiveness. So try to have continous self motivation towards preparation and use the office time(liesure) effectively for preparation.
And take whatever leaves possible for serious and thorough preparation.
|History Ancient||11std tamilnadu ncert|
|History Medieval||Gk today handout|
|History Modern (Freedom Struggle)||NCERT, spectrum|
|Culture and society||Fine arts, nitin singhania|
|Polity (theory + current)||Laxmi kanth, Insights, google|
|Economy (theory + current)||Shankar ganeshan, Insights, mrunal, google|
|Science (theory + current)||–|
|Environment (theory + current)||Shankar|
|geography India||NCERT, Arvind kumar|
|geography world||NCERT, mrunal|
|other national/international current affairs||Newspaper and google|
|Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff||Google for new schemes, Newspapers|
Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2014 paper?
Paper was bit easy except few questions.
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 gone through more current affairs sources such as vision and insights current events. and revised the notes thoroughly.
|Topic||strategy / booklist|
|Maths||Old question papers|
|reasoning||Old question papers|
|comprehension||Old question papers|
|Decision Making||Old question papers|
Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS Aptitude 2015 paper.
Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?
No. I think old question papers are necessary.
Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2014
|attempted Q.||correct (Expected)||Official score|
|Compulsory language paper||Your preparation strategy / booklist?|
|English paper||Old papers|
|your regional language||Old papers|
Q. other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2015
Papers are ok type. Neither lengthy nor short. Don’t be too casual about these papers, at least for 2 hrs before exam, do practice local language hand writing and vocabulary for Indian language exam.
Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
Ans: Essay is the easiest target one should have to get through this exam. Wrote essays at Civil services chronicle institute for practice. The same essays I have shown to friends for suggestions.
Q2. Which two essays did you write and What key points did you include in it?
Section A: Education and values related essay and in Section B: Dreams of India doesn’t let India sleep
|Topic||How did you prepare?|
|Culture||Nitin singhania, fine arts, 11th ncert|
|Indian history||Spectrum,modern india ncert|
|world history||Old ncert(mrunal), wiki|
|post-independence India||Wiki, ncert|
|role of women, poverty etc.||Poverty from current affairs|
|globalization on Indian society||–|
|communalism, regionalism, secularism||–|
|world geo physical||Mrunal videos|
|resource distribution||Mrunal notes|
|factors for industrial location||Mrunal notes|
|earthquake tsunami etc||Ncert, mrunal|
|impact on flora-fauna||–|
|Topic||How Did You Prepare?|
|Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc.||Laxmikanth|
|comparing Constitution with world||Vision handout|
|parliament, state Legislatures||Laxmi kanth, vajiram notes|
|executive-judiciary||Laxmi kanth, vajiram notes|
|ministries departments||India yr book|
|pressure group, informal asso.||Laxmi kanth|
|Representation of people’s act||Laxmi kanth, vajiram notes|
|various bodies: Constitutional, statutory..||Laxmi kanth, vajiram notes|
|NGO, SHG etc||Current affairs|
|welfare schemes, bodies||Current affairs, mapspedia|
|social sector, health, edu, HRD||Current affairs, mapspedia|
|governance, transparency, accountability||–|
|e-governance||General notes on creent affairs related|
|role of civil service||–|
|India & neighbors||Current affairs from insight, newspapers|
|bilateral/global grouping||Current affairs from insight, newspapers|
|effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest||Current affairs from insight, newspapers|
|international bodies- structure mandate||Current affairs from insight, newspapers|
|Topic||How Did You Prepare?|
|Indian economy, resource mobilization||NCERT|
|major crops, irrigation||NCERT|
|agro produce – storage, marketing||Vision handout|
|e-technology for famers||Vision handout, own notes|
|farm subsidies, MSP||Mrunal, own notes|
|PDS, buffer, food security||Own notes|
|technology mission||Vision handout|
|animal rearing economics||Vision handout|
|food processing||Vision handout|
|land reforms||India after Independence by Bipin Chandra|
|Infra||Current frm insight|
|investment models||Current from insight|
|science-tech day to day life||Current affairs|
|Indian achievements in sci-tech||Current affairs|
|awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR||Current affairs|
|environmental impact assessment||Vision|
|non state actors, internal security||Puri sir notes, India’s security by Mr Singh|
|internal security – role of media, social networking site||Puri sir notes, India’s security by Mr Singh|
|cyber security||Puri sir notes, India’s security by Mr Singh|
|money laundering||Puri sir notes, India’s security by Mr Singh|
|border Management||Puri sir notes, India’s security by Mr Singh|
|organized crime, terrorism||Puri sir notes, India’s security by Mr Singh|
|security agencies- structure mandate||Puri sir notes, India’s security by Mr Singh|
|Topic||How Did You Prepare?|
|ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topics||GS score material|
|attitude, moral influence etc.||book on ethics by Mr Rao|
|civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc||GS score,Lexicon|
|emotional intelligence, its use in governance||Lexicon|
|moral thinkers of India and world||Gandhi, Nehru,Ambedkar|
|ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.||Lexicon|
|probity in governance, work culture||Lexicon|
|citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.||Synrgy notes|
|challenges of corruption||Lexicon|
|case studies on above topics||Lexicon, vision test series|
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?
Yes. This time ethics paper was quite unpredictable when it comes to case study part. But theory part was good and general. When it comes to answering, Firstly our writing speed has to be very much faster so that we can cover each and every question of ethics paper. Secondly, whatever basics we know in ethics subject, we have to analyze the questions on these lines and present the discussion well on paper. Then it surely helps us, however the paper and questions may be.
Please tell us how many marks worth attempt did you give? along with comments if any, in the following cells:
|Paper||Best attempted||Average quality||namesake answer||Total attempt|
|GS1||One question left|
|GS2||Full(but one answer was entirely wrong)|
|GS3||One question left|
|GS4||20 marks left|
Almost all the questions are in my knowledge. So tried to attempt all. But due to time constraint, I had to skip one question in each paper.
Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?
Ans: Not at all a problem
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.
Ans: Mostly bullet format
Q. Did you follow the “introduction-body-conclusion” format? because some mains-qualified candidates claim they simply wrote the points they could recall within the time, instead of bothering with proper introduction and conclusion.
Not exactly by giving headings. But answer overview contains all these.
Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?
Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)
Ans: Not many.
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?
Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?
Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?
Ans: Mechanical Engg
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)
Ans: Please don’t take this optional. As I feel effort to benefit ratio is more here.
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.)
Mostly own notes, made easy booklets for some topics and old question papers
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?
Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?
Ans: 2 months
Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?
Ans: Regular practice is required
Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?
Ans: Yes, Mostly on paper
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?
Nas: Paper 2 was difficult. But due to normalization, marks are almost same in both papers.
Q1. How did you prepare for the interview? – for college grad, hobbies, place of origin, current affairs at national and international level?
As I have given many UPSC interviews by this time, college, hobbies, place of origin etc are well versed for me. For current affairs, I read news paper regularly.
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?
Ans: Samakalp, Khan. Yes they are helpful as a practice measure.
Q3. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?
Delhi. Madonna hotel J
Q4. Any words of wisdom about Medical checkup?
Must check medical call letter for instructions a day before medical.
Q5. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.
Black Suit , white shirt, tie
Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
Mr Vinay Mittal
Q2. How long was the interview?
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?]
Civil services provides me the diversity of work profile. Social respect and also I can work in various fields which are crucial for Our country’s development such as Health,Education, Poverty related isues directly.
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)
Ans: Interview was mostly on my job profile but very deep into the topics , I didn’t have much knowledge into them. I could recollect some of the questions.
- Why irsme(Indian railway service of mech engg) to irts?
Ans: Better career prospects in IRTS ad also IRTS provides me the diversity of job profile.
2.do you think railways need reorganisation? If so..As an young officer in railways tell me what reorganization is required at entry level.
Ans: Yes sir it needs reorgaisation. At entry level, There has to be reorganization at various stages such as deparmets as per Debroy committee. Railways has to focus on core areas of operation and outsource the non core areas. ICT technology must be inducted into more of it’s operations.
- Can u compare our railways with chinese working model ?
Sorry sir. I don’t know
- Don't u follow other country's railway system of working?
Sorry sir, I didn’t follow any country’s so far.
- Mechanical point view, does railways need to gradually go for electrification or stay with disel locos?
Ans: Yes sir, We should go for gradual electrification as it provides better hauling capacity and energy efficiency. Most importantly, less GHGs will be released which helps in achieving sustainable development.
6 . Railway minister recently done something which contradicts this.. u know?
Ans: Sory sir, I don’t know.(Probably I should have told about two new diesel loco factories approval for GM and another French company)
7. U want to become ias, why?
IAS provides me the diversity of work profile. Social respect and also I can work in various fields which are crucial for Our country’s development such as Health,Education, Poverty related isues directly.
- Mentoring. . Wat u do?
Ans: Sir, I takeclasses to children when I go toschoolsand guide them about their doubts and ambitions and also personal issues. Many children take guidance from me.
- Ongc.. wat did u do? And regarding wind project
Ans: As part of our Wind energy team, I assisted in construction of 102 MW WPP at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
- Ongc projects abroad.
Ans: OVL which is ONGC is external arm is handling 35 projects in 17 countries. Example: Sakhalin in Russia, Farzad in Iran etc
- field in kajakistan?
Ans: Sir, I remember it as Satpayev sir.
- Any importance of caspian sea..in view of hydrocarbons ?
Ans: Sorry sir, Im unable to recollect.
- Turkmenistan? Tell me about TAPI line
Ans: TAPI line is in construction stage. ADB is helping in finance. And Construction agency is Turkmenistan company.
- Wind project in jaisalmer.. wat r the problems?
Ans: 1. Land acquisition
- Have to layout dedicated wires for electricity transmission to grid.
- Robbery of copper wires in transformer nd turbine
- Birds killed due to rotation turbines
- Jaisamer located near by ak border, so every project there needs Airforce NOC.
- Can ongc transfer oil from sakalin to india as per it's stake 15% ? Is it possible
Yes sir, we need oil to fulfill our domestic demand, so wherever is available, we have to send it to our nation.
- Wat are the cautions that countries take in international agreements?
Sorry sir, I don’t know
- Soft diplomacy?
Ans: Relations between countries by using commonalities between nations such as movies, language, religion, yoga etc.
- Constraints of soft diplomacy?
Ans:Countries are to have commonalities
And mostly limited to democratic countries.
Sorry sir, I don’t know much about the constraints apart from what I said.
- How do u make the schemes better implementated?
Ans: Creating awareness among the eople about their their entitements and rights, and also schemes.
Motivating the employees
Adopting technology such as ICT to improve the effectiveness.
- What makes you happy in ur job?
Ans: When I complete my work on time and that works is helpful to larger section f the society.
- Wat do u prefer.. money or job satisfaction?
Ans: I prefer job satisfaction. It is the reason why I left ONGC(which is a lucrative job) to Railways.
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?
Ans: No. Yes Many of the questions were uncomfortable. But before this, in four of the UPSC interviews it was on expected lines. Said ‘NO’ confidently for many questions.
Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?
Photos and call letter.
Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
Go through instructions beforegoing to interview about fast and photos.
Q1. Please attach both prelim and final marksheet
Prelims mark sheet-
Mains mark sheet-
|Essay – Paper-1||118|
|General Studies – Paper 2||81|
|General Studies – Paper 3||87|
|General Studies – Paper 4||92|
|General Studies – Paper 5||91|
|Optional Paper – Paper-1||128|
|Optional Paper – Paper-2||123|
Q2. After looking at the marksheet, suppose you had to prepare again next time, what changes will you make in your studies?
Ans: More writing practice for both GS and optional.
Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?
Ans: I am working during my entire prep. Presently, Indian Railway Service (ME) probationer. Also selected for IFoS this time.
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.)
Executed back up plan from starting only.
What are your views on following issues
Q. Your views on the decision to make CSAT paper 33% qualifying?
It made the exam much tough. I think some weightage around 40% is to be given to CSAT as well.
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.
Though coaching institutions getting much popularity, but in reality candidates who sincerely prepared their notes and constantly worked are getting the success.
But one needs to have decent speed internet connection in the present age competition atmosphere to be in touch with reality.
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).
Ans: I support this merger move.
Q. UPSC should disclose official prelim answerkey and cutoffs, immediately after prelim is over, instead of postponing it till interview phase is over.
Yes it helps us all. But UPSC never does it.
Q. UPSC should be conducted online like IBPS and CAT exam to shorten the duration of exam.
Q. If you are made the UPSC chairman, what other reforms would you initiate for the civil service exam?
1. Limit the age
2. Interview weightage has to be reduced to limit the subjectivity.
3. Category should not be shown on interview summery / DAF sheet.
4. No space limit for engineering optional papers.( As they are providing unscientific spacing.. one page contains question in half part.. and we are forced to write the answers and all steps in the remaining half page)
5. Give weightage to prelims marks also J
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 didn’t face any such insecurity. But ultimately confidence matters, how we are answering.
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?
Perseverance is to be there to clear this exam. Luck definitely helps hard work. Arise awake and stop not till the goal is reached !!!
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?
Ans: UPSC is certainly unpredictable. We should have optimism until the last minute. Fortune surely favours hardwork some day.
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?
ANS: Friends such as Pratap, Hari both, fortunately, were also co aspirants made my prep easy.
And especially my friends success stories such as Rishav Gupta inspired me a lot.
My parents, Uncle always motivated me for this.
Last but not the least Mrunal, Insight success stories helped me.
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 used mrunal.org regularly for last three years. It helped me a lot. But in the last yr, mrunal didn’t upload the sufficient material for mains revision.