[Topper’s Interview] Narender Singh Bhandari (Rank-228/CSE-2015) 1st Attempt, Sociology, Snapdeal executive, hails from Dehradun

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  1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  7. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  8. Prelim accuracy
  9. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  10. Mains: Essay
  11. Mains General studies paper 1 to 4
  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

NameNarender Singh Bhandari
Rank in CSE-2015228 (contact me at [email protected],
i would be glad if i can help you )
Roll No.0064049
Age24 yrs
Total attempts in CSE (including this one)1st prep
Optional SubjectSociology
Schooling MediumHindi -> English
College mediumEnglish
Medium chosen for Mains answersEnglish
Medium chosen for InterviewEnglish
Home town/cityUttarkashi/Dehradun
Work-experience if anySnapdeal , 1 year
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)Vajiram, vision notes
Service preferences (Top-5)IAS   IPS  IRS(IT)  IFS  IRS
state cadre preference (Top-5)UK  UP  RAJ MP BIHAR


% in class 1090.8
% in class 1295.4
Graduation course and %B.tech , 94.3
Name of college, city, passing out yearIIIT-Allahabad , 2013
Any other professional courses
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievementsFootball  ,Marathon, Reading


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?
UPSC Topper 2015 Narender Singh Bhandari
My Father  is a retired Indian Army Soldier and Mother is a housewife. We are a family of four , including my younger brother. I thought of CSE during  my engineering years. I fully devoted to it by resigning from Snapdeal. I entered this field because of the scope of development we can make in basic fields such as education , health etc  and added to it that it is a good service/career with decent standard of living.

Electronic Vs Paper material

Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how much do you rely on electronic material and how much on the paper material (Books, newspapers)? If possible, narrate a typical day in your studylife. What is your style of preparation (e.g. I continue making notes no matter what I’m reading, I just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes, I make mindmaps on computer …or xyz style)
I tried making paper notes but could not manage.  So I read books thoroughly and tried to memorize in the first reading itself.  Read  basic books which all aspirants read and then added online maps(geog) , images (env), mrunal(eco ),  quora(polity , eco ) etc
In a normal day I would shuffle generally between two subjects  , atmost three. It helped to maintain concentration.  Would read newspaper in the evening  , so as not to waste much time. I would finish it in 45 minutes avg ( 2 hrs in the starting phase ) .  So I had a vague target of 2-3 subjects in a day and would finish it around 60-70%.
I generally avoid making notes , I take memory into confidence. The most important part : Current Affairs , I would read Vision , Mrunal , insights . For eg if I am reading MDG vs SDG , so I would search : “MDG vs SDG insights/mrunal” etc to get to some good answers available. Insights has a QnA format which helps  a lot.

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 suffered  , I watched serials , movies  etc when bored , but got sincere around May 2015 ( for Pre ). Then I deleted all things , avoided interactions , had targets for each day etc. sticky notes were everywhere on my wall. Made notes out of Env , Geog , History just for pre ( 10 pages each ). Scored good 142/200 in paper 1.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

History AncientRead 2-3 sources for ancient : ancient NCERT book by R.S. Sharma if I am correct , ccrt website : made notes on a wordfile , liberal arts 11th ncert.
History MedievalI avoided it initially as all suggested that it had less cost to benefit ratio. But later I loved this part . It was very interesting. Old Ncert book and some good quora answers. Just type your question and quora.
History Modern (Freedom Struggle)Bipin Chandra for background/contect or foundation and spectrum  for next reading. Spectrum is almost a summary of the former.
Culture and societyAbove only
Polity (theory + current)Laxmikant , newsp
Economy (theory + current)Mrunal.org – notes and videos , newsp , visionias , Shriram IAS GS economy notes , NCERTs
Science (theory + current)Ncerts , newsp , visionias
Environment (theory + current)Shankar-env book , some current affairs notes on env available in market (get courrier fron delhi otherwise)
geography physicalG C Leong , NCERT , youtube
geography IndiaNCERT  ( should buy khullar ,one reference book is a must )
geography worldGCL , NCERT , youtube helped a lot
other national/international current affairsVisionias
Schemes, Policy & Filler StuffSome random compilation in market just before pre

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 was prepared with other subjects, only environment current affairs could have been updated.

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topicstrategy / booklist
MathsSample paper
Decision Making-do-

Prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?
Yes . I think they are a must . Just purchase and solve in your room, but be sincere. Improve accuracy with every next sample paper. Also try to assess your rank in the test series , if you have a friend giving the actual test-series.
“Unacademy” made a good video on how to score more in MCQs ,in any exam. it helped. Search on youtube.
Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2014

attempted Q.correct (Expected)Official score
GSAround 91Around 76142

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paperYour preparation strategy / booklist?
English paperGeneral English , Unique publishers
your regional languageSamanya Hindi ,  – do-

Q. other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2015
I found Hindi a bit tough.

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
Wrote around 5-6 essays before mains. The strategy which helped me a lot is : read past topper’s essays on visionias . It has a large collection of good essays. It helps to learn how to write good introduction  and conclusion. We can learn how to link the paragraphs , ideas etc. Write an essay and show it to your friend and ask for smoothness and context of the essay.
Don’t leave this for “after pre” phase like me . You will regret. Write easy essays but please do write atleast 2 in a month. Essay writing will build gradually and it is easy.  Just read some essays and write some.
The worst and most common mistake in an essay is completely going out of context. Each paragraph in your essay should revolve around the topic and not digress from it.
mrunal.org has good compilation of topic wise essays , try to prepare as diverse topics as you can.
Q2. Which two essays did you write and What key points did you include in it?
I – it is better to provide helping hand , than giving doles.
II – Capitalism..
Scored 130.

Mains General studies paper 1 to 4

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

TopicHow did you prepare?
CultureI Read a lot for this : ccrt , liberal arts class 11 ncert , ancient ncert by r s Sharma . also some bits of nitin singhania as well. But if have time , should read each of above  sources. All give different points.
Indian historyModern history – bipin Chandra : becomes boring sometimes but it is all we have. Then spectrum for anyday quick revision.
Medieval : only imp chapters on social , economic and political life under sultanate , akbar , Marathas etc. Bhakti /sufi movement  , policy of akbar , downfall of mughals – big themes for mains. It never bores you .Should have read medieval earlier. I read it at the last moment for prelims .
world historyClass 9th and 10th world history NCERT – Story of Civilization . Vajiram class notes . Norman lowe book just for psychological satisfaction.Never got time to read it. Always purchase important books , even if you never read them.
In mains nothing was asked from this part so wasted a lot of time here. But never believe in predictions and prepare all parts.
post-independence IndiaPurchased bipin Chandra , wasted crucial hours after pre. Huge waste. Just purchase it in case needed but read from ncert – political science class 12 and market  notes , there are good summarized notes in market..dont read bipin Chandra for this. No concrete points come even after reading it the whole day.be smarter.
Indian societyRead sociology ncerts 11 and 12 . In 11th only the relevant part , leave theories and thinkers aside( it is for optional subject )
For society part read Social problems in INDIA by Ram Ahuja. A good book.
role of women, poverty etc.Collect stats from hindu , visionias is the best . Schemes and facts – makes a good answer for this.
globalization on Indian society
  • Same –
communalism, regionalism, secularismPol sc ncert will do , plus history books . did not read specifically for this part.
world geo physicalGCL + NCERTS + vaji class notes
resource distributionOnline maps , ncert maps ( 10th I think ) , was my weak area. Vaji Yellow book on this is good.
factors for industrial locationInternet
earthquake tsunami etcVaji class notes  , youtube  just to watch Japanese earthquake and tsunami – its disastrous. It fuels you to learn more !
impact on flora-faunaNothing . I was equally vulnerable on this.

General studies (Mains) paper 2

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc.Read only Laxmikant , purchased D D Basu just for my satisfaction
comparing Constitution with worldVisionias material – pdfs
parliament, state LegislaturesLaxmikanth ( L )
ministries departmentsWiki
pressure group, informal asso.L , wiki
Representation of people’s actClearias.com has good article on this
various bodies: Constitutional, statutory..L , internet
NGO, SHG etcInternet
welfare schemes, bodiesVisionias
social sector, health, edu, HRD-same-
governance, transparency, accountabilityVajiram governance notes are good
role of civil serviceInternet , quora
India & neighborsChokalingam notes – gives good outline , add Current affairs from visionias
bilateral/global grouping
  • Same –
effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest
  • Same –
DiasporaQuora , internet
international bodies- structure mandateWiki , quora

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
– mrunal.org is implicit for most of the sections.
Indian economy, resource mobilizationMrunal.org archives and videos – you know wgy, very good material for economics , Sanjiv Sir’s book on Indian Economy , Ramesh singh for the table , Shriram IAS is good .ECONOMIC SURVEY – read first chapter if less time , else read it fully -think as if you have to plan the policies in future .
inclusive growth
  • Same –
BudgetingPolity – laxmikant
major crops, irrigationGeography part for crops , Shriram IAS GS notes
agro produce – storage, marketingVisionias value added material pdfs
e-technology for famersVisionias
farm subsidies, MSPVisionias , vaji class notes
PDS, buffer, food securityVisionias , vaji class notes
technology mission
animal rearing economics
food processing
land reformsVisionias , vaji notes
InfraVaji notes by sanjiv sir and shriram notes are good
investment modelsSame
science-tech day to day lifeVisionias current affairs and editorial/comment page of hindu
Indian achievements in sci-tech
awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR
environmental impact assessment
Disaster ManagementVisionias
non state actors, internal securityFor internal security – a good book is in market by an IPS officer , it is according to the mains syllabus. I read it for the interview , its very good.
internal security – role of media, social networking siteCurrent , just analyse the role of various segments in day to day riots , terrorist attacks , maoist problem  , infiltration etc
cyber securityVisionias has a good material on this. search the net .
money launderingYoutube
border  ManagementSame as internal security-by IPS
organized crime, terrorismSame as above
security agencies- structure mandateSame as above , the mentioned book is a must purchase.

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

TopicHow Did You Prepare?
ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topicsSubbarao and chronicle . former for detailed prep and later for revision , like bipin-spectrum pair.  I just enjoyed the case studies given in these books. Just read 1-2 case studies before sleeping , good for subconscious mind- maybe 😉
Read newspapers from ethical viewpoint too. For eg a teacher asks a dalit child to clean the classrooms , or child labour still prevalent , famous corruption cases  etc . Use these examples in your answers , but this will happen when you will start having an ethical point of view on important issues. For eg ethical viewpoint on IPL and water-crisis. Is the high court correct etc or dams built but villages nearby have no water , it is just to feed the city population.have an ethical eye.
attitude, moral influence etc.Chronicle
civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etcChronicle
emotional intelligence, its use in governanceChronicle
moral thinkers of India and worldHow many thinkers did you prepare?  – read something of every thinker , subbarao
ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.Subbarao
corporate governanceSubbarao is best
probity in governance, work cultureSubbarao
citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.Subbarao
challenges of corruptionSubbarao
case studies on above topicsSubbarao  – inside chapters and in the end also , chronicle

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?
Prepare quotes of important thinkers and try to explain them in 150 words. Use examples a lot .time management is the key in this paper as all questions can be attempted .
Practice definitions of keywords in your own words.
Have atleast 3 bureaucrats in mind whom you admire and their qualities , work , achievement.Prepare 2-3 page on them. Try to have current bcrats in the list,including bcrat of opposite gender would be a good choice.
Prepare 2-3 political leaders similarly , obviously they should not be controversial.
What are your morals ? where from you derive them ? Can you write down your own principles which guide your action ? – try this activity. What were the past situations where you displayed good conduct and resolved the ethical dilemma etc. Ask yourself such questions.
your role model and why.
Solve case studies of every type you can encounter. More types you solve , better your prep.

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
Opt-P21all but 1

Attempt all. practice writing fast. Mains test series is a MUST.
Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?
It stops us from being emotional and wasting time on a single question.
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.
Paras and bullets. When you have abundant  can write in bullets , but 4-5 points cant be sacrificed like this. Play well.

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 .
Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?
Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)
Yes. Geography only.
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?
If you don’t know 5-6 questions use ruler to pass time.else hand.
Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?
Bleed blue.

Mains Optional Subject

Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?
Sociology , chose for syllabus- caste  , religion , tribes , women  etc
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)
If it interests you , go for it. Takes less time , reliable – gives decent scores , short 3-4 months , helpful in CSE as well as life too – can be said for many subjects 😉
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.)
start with ignou – evolution , founding fathers and thinkers
then go for ncert
then orange book harlambos – tab size
then blue book harlambos – tray size for few chapters on gender , patriarchy which you missed in earlier books.
Giddens for bedtime stories. Helps a lot. Read much of it after interview. Its good for bedtime.

I attended optional subject coaching without reading the basics so I would advise others against this step. Also don’t read blue book before orange one , trust me .

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?
Books and notes . current affairs for examples in  paper 2.
Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?
3-4 months
Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?
2 months
Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?
Mahapatra sir’s class notes are good.

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?
Made a register – divided it into sections  for each of these things and asked friends to ask a lot of questions from these topics and tried to answer them in simple words.
Improved my lifestyle . Morning run , healthy food  , no stress and more mocks for less nervousness during the actual interview.talk  to some bcrats : young and old , to remove any psychological obstacle.
Start interacting with more people , say hi to aspirants you find at Xerox shops , juice corners etc.
Ask friends to take your mock interviews sincerely.

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?
Yes . helped a lot for my first interview.
Q3. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?
My register and that day’s newspaper.
Q4. Any words of wisdom about Medical checkup?
If you have BMI close to 30 , reduce your weight .
Q5. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.
Sky-blue shirt , black pant , tie

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
Shri Chattar Singh
Q2. How long was the interview?
Around 40 minutes
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?]
Explained to them that did engineering as was the best option at that time(12th science )  but later when I got to know about the service ( IAS , IPS ) I liked the kind of impact we can make on development sectors , initially in the field and later in policy formulation. Made them emotional by sharing that I come from a hilly area , have experienced the difficulties we face , so it was a big boost for me that I can be an agent of change in varied sectors.
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)
I was the last person to be interviewed .The concerned attendant/peon did not ask for permission and almost pushed me to enter the room. I guess the members had not read my DAF properly by that time , they were having casual conversation over a drink and snacks.  SO a  point to remember , generally do not ask may I come in – as the board will not say NO in most cases. Better is to tell the attendant  to ask for permission. That way they will call you when they are” ready”.
The chairman (CM ) started
Me : Good afternoon Mams , good morning sirs
All : good afternoon.
CM : so you are an engineer  , you read ECE and you have good marks  So you must know about it ?
Me : ( with a pause and smile ) yes sir
CM : tell me the history of communication , till now ?
Me : ( a pause , I didn’t expect this )  sir at first we signaled with fire , then wire , then wireless etc with examples of each. ( I didn’t have any technical answer so used vague route )
CM : you are missing something !
Me : yes sir Letters or postal network came before the wire.
CM : yes yes ( ok you are not an idiot ) I wanted to hear that. You talked about wireless , which was the first wireless communication ?
Me : ( I was blank , some marconi  tesla flashed in my mind I was sure I would be wrong, but gave a long pause almost 4-5 seconds ) Sir the first intelligible wireless communication is when humans started talking to each other , like we are doing right now.
CM : ( Sir suddenly had a glow on his face ) yes good , that was the first communication ( either I was right or cm thought that I would check it later , lets go with the flow )  ( I was relieved for a few seconds , that I saved myself from embarrassment )
CM : so what is the future of electronics – how much can mobile phone sizes be reduced ?
Me : ( instantly ) sir there is a limit to further reduction in technology , future of electronics is large scale automation , wearable gadgets ( gave one example ) , internet of things etc ( did not take pause , so gave very inappropriate answer )
CM : wearable gadgets ! ?
Me : explained with example , like health gadgets on wrist to monitor patients .
CM : you said size has a limit so what can be done ?
Me : ( pause , nothing came to mind ) use better protocols which use simpler hardware .provide limited functionality ( though about my moto-g phone ) ( feld guilty for not studying this )
CM : no no what about data , think on those lines .
Me : ( pause ) yes sir cloud services , where we need not have much functionality on our device , but need high data speed.
CM  : yes cloud services is one way. Ok you told this with my help . now give one more on your own.
Me: ( thought , went blank , than a pause ) sorry sir , at the moment I have the limited answer only.
CM : ok no problem. ( pause ) What is a transistor ?
Me : technical answer ( pnp ,base emitter collector etc )
CM : no , like you will explain to a layman .
Me : it is a device which will help as a switch , in amplification of the signal , as a filter .basis of electronic circuits.
CM : ( sir added some point , which I agreed to avoid further electronic questions )
Why you want to join civil services anyway?
Me  : same answer as in above paras somewhere.
CM : ( looked satisfied with the answer )
Member 1 ( M1 ) : have you heard of ham radio ? what is it ?
Me : sir I do not have exact definition but is a localized radio service by amateurs for community purposes .
M1:  I am director of *some govt ham radio organization* ( I was smiling )
So you havenot done any ham project in college ? Me : No
M1 : what was your inspiration for CSE ?
Me : hilly area background , difficulties , but confidence that I could clear etc.
M1 : what are 3 diff between dehradun and delhi ?
Me : environment , culture , infra . Some easy questions on the same.
CM : pollution ? Me : sir it comes under environment
M1 : some hypothetical scenario as a DM . Answered well.
M1 : what will be your key areas ?  Me :  education and health . female literacy is very impand also skilling the population.
M2: GS round ( Njac vs collegium , india-bangladesh agreement : why not similar with china , pak ? , problems with these countries , what is pendency of cases , how many cases pending , problems of higher judiciary , if you become part of govt how will you solve these )
M3 : ( Bengali lady , never satisfied with my answers )
Name uttarakhand tribes ? ( I had sociology )
Details about these tribes ?
Caste vs tribe ?
What is ‘dalit’ ? are tribes not oppressed ?  answered that tribes were independent even in historical Indian texts , almost no interference with caste. But dalits were at the bottom strata ritually , everywhere oppressed. These are two different worlds ( I regret that I missed tribe-caste continuum here ! )
As a DM how will you analyse problems of an area in uttarakhand ? I said discuss with zilla panchayats , ground level demand of population , see socio economic indicators  etc
How will you address them ?
UK SC population ? answered that 19% population is scheduled caste in uk and named various castes ,with their population share.
Diff between UK SCs ad UK STs ? same as caste vs tribe

M4 : why did you leave snapdeal ?
Me : it was preplanned step , to analyse if really wanted to be a civil servant and also due to financial reasons i.e. to return b.tech loan and save some for prep.
M4 : role of analyst ? ( prepared answer )
M4: did you like snapdeal ?
Me : ( did a mistake here  , praised snapdeal work culture too much , that it is a startup , young work force etc etc ) was a long answer.
M4 : so how will you adjust in the “system” , the long chain command of bureaucracy ? ( CM bent forward , he was eager to listen a good answer )
Me : ( I went blank  after a pause ) mam hierarchy is functional for proper functioning  , it’s its misuse that is harmful .
M4 : but how will you adjust ? ( I had the feeling that this question will cost me dear )
Me : ( no idea of lbsnaa training came to mind ) I said that I am eager to serve the people as best I can and hierarchy is needed in such a large system for proper functioning. I added that Indians are family centric people so no problem to adjust in hierarchical systems (m4 smiled but said that you are dodging the question )  I finally said  : “ I agree mam that it is my assumption at present , but I think I will do well “
CM was least satisfied ( cost me the final impression )
( so don’t overpraise principles opposite to civil services )
M4 : what is encryption ? whatsapp news ? answered well
Aadhar Bill controversy , can whatsapp like encryption can be used in aadhar ?

Explained all this . CM said your interview is over , thank you. I was satisfied .
Got 179 . the bureaucracy question caused me a loss. But it could have been prepared , if I would have focused more on HR type questions from job sector.

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?
Very comfortable .sir gave enough time , though it was almost 2pm.our board started very late , so I was last in that whole batch.thanks to CM sir.

Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
Check your BMI ( body mass index = weight in kgs divided by (height(m)*height(m))  Should be less than 30.

CSE-2015 Marksheet

Q1. Please attach both prelim and final marksheet
CSE 2015 mark sheet-

Marks obtained
Paper 1142
Paper 2

Mains Marksheet

PaperMarks obtained
Essay – Paper-1130
General Studies – Paper 2101
General Studies – Paper 372
General Studies – Paper 4108
General Studies – Paper 5102
Optional Paper – Paper-1106
Optional Paper – Paper-2107
Written total726
Personality Test179
Final Total905

Q.  After looking at the marksheet, suppose you had to prepare again next time, what changes will you make in your studies?
Improvise GS paper 2 and essay

Career Backup

Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?
No backup . Maybe Analytics or Banking sector for the moment.
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 Result.

Views on UPSC reforms

What are your views on following issues?
Q. Optional subjects should be removed altogether. The present stalemate is helping no-one, except coaching-owners, book publishers.
Increase GS papers  and remove optional . It is equally important that the exam be “seen” unbiased.
Q. Your views on the decision to make CSAT paper 33% qualifying?
Bad for engineers and mba people but good for  civil services anyway. The CSAT paper should be qualifying but  some marks should be there , say 50 . Remove English but let aptitude,logical ability also count.

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).
Yes , why should we read random species info !
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 should.

Q. UPSC should be conducted online like IBPS and CAT exam to shorten the duration of exam.
That is the future . The rural angle is to be accommodated by some training as they do in banking sector.

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?
No . Believe in yourself. Even if it is true , how does it matter if you worry about it ? Just make yourself better everyday . Interview can be easily prepared for in around 1-1.5 months.


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?
Life is uncertain like this exam. Give your best shot and be happy. But do try to give the best shot , don’t get distracted from your goal.Always remind yourself why you started this journey.

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?
Start again , analyse your weak areas –build on them. Take this as an opportunity to learn more and experience more.

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?
Many  people – teachers , parents and friends. Mrunal sir you and your team is doing great work , if possible try to have blog posts too in addition to videos. Maybe give it as an assignment to students to summarize the video in words.

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. It helped in learning basic economics with lively examples . I think sir should publish a book on basic economics . They are already selling the xerox in market , why not publish a book so that class 11th and 12th students also benefit. Go for it sir. There is a huge market and needy school students. RBI Governor said that most students dont know the basics well . Thats a challenge fir you sir , take it 😀

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  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

So far 4 Comments posted

  1. aastha

    congratulations to you man…feeling great as I am also from IIIT Allahabad..feeling motivated…

  2. DB

    Liked your challenge to Mrunal sir. Sir go for it.


    thnks a lot for such a precious information and motivation…………..

  4. dhiraj

    It took a lot of time to see someone from UK giving Interview here! Congratz Sir!

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