- Study Momentum
- Strategy: CSAT (Aptitude)
- Strategy: General studies (GS)
- Mains 2013
- Optional Subject #1: Agriculture
- Optional Subject #2: Kannada Literature
- Optional Subject in Mains 2013?
- Compulsory papers
- Previous Attempts
- Insecurity about “Profile”
- Career Backup
- Family and Friends
- Bogus marketing propaganda
|Name||ANOOP A SHETTY|
|Rank (CSE 2012)||140|
|Number of Attempts||3|
|Medium for Mains Exam||English|
|Schooling (Medium)||Kannada (up to matriculation)|
|Centre for Prelim exam||Delhi|
|Centre for Mains exam||Delhi|
|Name of home town/city||Belthangady, Dakshina Kannada District, Karnataka|
|other competitive exams?||Indian Forest Service-2012—secured 3rd rank|
|% in class 10||75|
|% in class 12||73|
|Graduation course and %||B.Sc in Agriculture with 81% marks|
|Name of college and year of passing out||College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad (Passed in 2007)|
|PG (if applicable)||M.Sc. (Agriculture) from CCS HAU, Hisar (83% marks)|
|Pursuing Ph.D. in G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand|
|Any professional courses (if applicable)||–|
Provide details of extracurricular actives, achievements and hobbies.
- I was awarded JRF during M.Sc. and SRF during Ph.D. by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
- Represented university in athletics (High Jump)
- Hobbies are writing, reading books and “Yakshagana”(A theatre art of coastal Karnataka).
I’m from rural background and I have done my basic schooling in Kannada medium.
My father is a farmer and mother is homemaker. I have one elder sister. She is married. Ours is a lower middle class family. So there was no dearth of problems- both financial and emotional.
|Did you join any Coaching?||No|
|Did you join any postal courses?||No|
|Did you join any Mock test series?||No|
Note: I joined coaching classes for Kannada Literature in 2008 in Bangalore, but discontinued from the very beginning due to poor coaching.
I didn’t have enough resources to complete my education; neither did I have knowledge or exposure to pursue my career. Many people who were not related to me helped me in all these years. So I could reach this far because of help, support, guidance and encouragement extended by these people. My higher education was sponsored by government through fellowships. I’m of the opinion that it is my duty to serve the society as my entire education and personality is a contribution of this society. I think civil services is the best way to serve the society. In addition to this, the success stories of my seniors created interest in me and gave me the confidence that anybody can do this. Civil services were beyond my reach till I completed my graduation. It was only in 2007, I started thinking of trying civil services. So, late starters need not be skeptical about their success.
Q. Outside Delhi, it’s hard to dig how to prepare for civil service. So how did you gather the necessary information / strategy / booklist?
I started thinking about civil services after joining M.Sc. I did most of my preparation in Hisar (Haryana) and Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) which are near to Delhi. Since I had seniors and friends who were preparing for civil services, it was not difficult to get information. Recently I started getting updates from Mrunal.
If you have a strong reason for ‘Why you want to join civil services’, then there is no need of external motivation. So, one should find a reason to keep themselves motivated. In my case, it was my struggle in life that kept me motivated. I have faced a lot of problems throughout my life. After overcoming all those hurdles, I wanted to achieve the best. Whenever I get depressed, I used to think of my past and in the very next moment I’m back to business.
Q. On an average, How many hours did you study per day?
Ans. I don’t count hours. I fix target for the day or week and try to complete it within time. However, the last one month is crucial, so try to study as many hours as possible without compromising your health.
Q. How many months did it take you to complete the core syllabus of GS and optional subjects?
Ans. It’s a long and never ending process. I think GS syllabus can never be completed, it can only be managed in accordance with the time available. Strike a balance between different sections of syllabus. I used to divide the total time and prepare a schedule to cover optionals and GS.
First, please provide the list books/sources used for preparation for following topics.
|Reasoning||Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal|
|Comprehension||I practiced some passages from magazines|
|Decision making||I did not study anything for decision making|
- Practice comprehension of passages from magazine/coaching/books. Use timers while practicing comprehension. It will improve your comprehension speed without your notice.
- Never apply your knowledge while answering questions based on passages (comprehension). Answer only on the basis of information given in the passage.
- For those who are writing in English medium, I suggest you to solve ‘English comprehension’ first as they are comparatively easier than other passages.
- No need of study for decision making; use common sense.
- I recommend you to solve decision making questions first, but in minimum possible time as they yield good marks and are very easy.
- Use of internet is crucial in preparation for GS
- I read the book ‘Pax Indica’ by Shashi Tharoor before mains. I recommend it for starters in diplomacy as it gives basic idea regarding Indian diplomacy and India’s relations with other countries.
- Read general books especially on history and polity in your free time, that will broaden your personality and add to your GS preparation.
- http://mrunal.org/ (Special focus on Economy and foreign affairs)
- http://pib.nic.in (Focus on ‘features’ section)
- http://www.idsa.in/ (Especially for mains)
- http://www.prsindia.org/ (for new ordinances, bills and acts)
Q. UPSC has changed the GS syllabus for Mains 2013. So if you were to prepare for it, what’d be your approach/strategy/booklist?
- Earlier optionals were crucial, but in new format performance in GS papers is more important. So, focus more on GS.
- Read NCERT book on World History for new mains syllabus.
- I’m sure Mrunal is working on the strategy for 2013 and he will come out with the right approach for new syllabus.
- Optional papers have become lengthier. Sometimes they increase number of sub-questions. So, try to attempt all questions. I would say writing above average answers for all the questions is better than the best answers for few questions.
Booklist for Agriculture
- Plant Breeding Principles and Methods- B.D. Singh
- Fundamentals of Genetics- B.D. Singh
- Plant Physiology-V.K. Jain
- Introductory Soil Science- D.K. Das
- Economics of Farm Production and Management-V.T. Raju and D.V.S. Rao
- Principles of Agronomy-T.Y. Reddy and G.H.S. Reddi
- Textbook of Applied Entomology- Srivastava
- Handbook of Horticulture (Selected chapters)
- Plant pathology- P.D. Sharma
- Introduction to Agriculture- A.K. Vyas
- Makes notes from any book with respect to the Agricultural Extension topics listed in the syllabus.
- Prepare notes regarding new trends and issues related to agriculture.
- My preparation for Kannada Litt. was mainly based on guidance given by seniors and friends.
- Choose this optional only if you are interested in literature.
- If you are not from the literature background I would recommend you to join good coaching centre in Bangalore ( Narahalli or Marulayya). But coaching is not a must if you manage to get their notes. I joined coaching but dropped that idea later. I studied Narahalli’s notes supplied by my friends and seniors.
- Develop attractive writing style in Kannada.
- This year paper was lengthy. So it’s important that you attempt all questions. There was a funny incident in Kannada paper. I had to write two questions (30 markers) in last 5 minutes and I started answering both the questions simultaneously on two different pages because I didn’t want to leave any question unattended.
Booklist for Kannada Literature Paper 1
- Narahalli’s notes
- Kannada Bhasha Shastra- R.Y. Dharwadkar
- Kannada Sahitya Charitre- R.S. Mugali
Booklist for Kannada Literature Paper 2
- Narahalli’s coaching notes
- Pampana Samasta Bharata Kathamritha—L. Basavaraju
- Vikramaarjuna Vijaya of Pampa (Introduction, cantos 12 & 13), (Mysore University Pub.)
- Vachana Kammata, Ed: K. Marulasiddappa K.R. Nagaraj (Bangalore University Pub.)
- Janapriya Kanakasamputa, Ed. D. Javare Gowda (Kannada and Culture Directorate, Bangalore)
- Nambiyannana Ragale, Ed., T.N. Sreekantaiah (Ta.Vem. Smaraka Grantha Male, Mysore)
- Kumaravyasa Bharata (Mysore University)
- Bettada Jeeva-Shivarama Karanta Madhavi-Arupama Niranjana Odalaala-Devanuru Mahadeva
- Kannada Sanna Kathegalu, Ed. G.H. Nayak
- Shudra Tapaswi-Kuvempu. Tughalak-Girish Karnad.
- Devaru-A.N. Moorty Rao
- Janapada Swaroopa-Dr. H.M. Nayak.
- Kannada Janapada Kathegalu-Ed. J.S. Paramashivaiah
Q. Instead of two, now UPSC will have only one optional subject. So if you were to give Mains 2013, which optional would you keep and why?
Ans. I would prefer ‘Literature of Kannada Language’ because it is consistently scoring good marks.
Q. Your booklist/strategy for compulsory Regional language paper.
I never prepared for this paper (Kannada).
Q. Your booklist/strategy for compulsory English language paper.
I never prepared for this paper.
Q. How did you prepare yourself for the essay?
I did not do any special preparation for essay. My GS preparation was sufficient for essay paper. But I collected some good quotes of famous personalities (especially Gandhiji). Few suitable quotes can be incorporated into the essay.
Q. Which Essay did you write in Mains-2012?
In the context of Gandhiji’s views on the matter, explore, on an evolutionary scale, the terms ‘Swadhinata’, ‘Swaraj’ and ‘Dharmarajya’. Critically comment on their contemporary relevance to Indian democracy.
Q.Provide some keypoints/highlights of your Essay.
- It’s hard to remember. Make a list of all the points related to the essay topic in the last page of answer sheet. In another page arrange those points in correct order giving good structure to your essay.
- An attractive introduction and a mature conclusion are also important. I took 10-15 minutes to choose the topic and then 45 minutes to list all the points related to the topic.
- Do not concentrate on quantity, focus on quality of writing. Let me tell you I wrote only 13 pages (I was shocked to see some people taking extra sheets…..!).
Q. When you look back in the past, what were the deficiency in your preparation in the previous attempt? How did you rectify them this time?
- First attempt (2010): I could not prepare well for mains due my academic activities (Ph.D.).
- Second attempt (2011): In prelims, I concentrated more on quantitative aptitude and maths which was a minor component of Paper-II.
- In previous attempts I also neglected International affairs and Indian culture.
Q.Many aspirants have the (unnecessary) fear of interview, thinking that “my profile is not good because I’ve low score in class 10/12/college/ I’m from unknown college, I’ve no work experience etc.etc.etc.” So, how important or relevant is the profile of a candidate during interview?
Ans. They will assess your personality and not profile. However, nothing matters until you justify your position. Be it your college or work experience if you can convince them….there is no problem.
Let me clear one thing, nobody notices your score in interview. Even if your English is poor, that too doesn’t matter.
Q. How much portion of your interview (in terms of minutes and no. of questions) was centered around your profile?
Ans. Around 6-7 questions
Q. Did they ask any uncomfortable question from your profile during the interview?
- Many Agricultural graduates are coming into civil services. Don’t you think they should continue in their field and contribute to the research in agriculture?
- Don’t you think you are wasting your professional degree by coming into civil services?
I was trying Indian Forest Service (IFS) which I cleared this year (3rd Rank). In case I fail to make into IFS, I was planning to make a career in the field of agricultural research.
Q. Behind one topper are many people who stood by him/her 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 motivational/inspiration incidence that you would like to share with the readers?
I dedicate my success to my friends and seniors who were the driving force behind me. Their support, encouragement and guidance was the key. I was in touch with seniors and my friends in Delhi, who helped me during my preparation. I thank all those people who supported me financially and emotionally. I’m also grateful to ICAR for its financial assistance during my education.
Q. How did you prepare for the interview?
I made a list of topics related to current issues, academic background, hobbies, sports, home state, district, my village etc. Then I collected information about these topics mainly through internet.
Building your personality is long time process. Don’t be pessimistic about any issue. Develop constructive thinking from the very beginning and have positive approach towards problems. This will help you to avoid attending mock interviews.
Q. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
IMG Khan sir.
Q. How long was the interview?
Q. Provide the list of questions asked (and if possible answers also)
- Are you doing Ph.D.?
- When are you completing Ph.D.?
- What’s your research topic?
- So you are working on tomato breeding. In Europe they grow tomatoes in polyhouse and transport from Spain to UK n’ all. We produce large quantity of tomato, why can’t we export to Europe?
- Is there any GM variety in Tomato in India?
- Relation between GM crop and organic farming?
- Are we producing tomatoes organically?
- Do you recommend organic farming in India?
- You have mentioned your mother tongue as ‘Tulu’. Where it is spoken?
- Whether ‘tulu’ has script?
- India has huge diversity in languages? What needs to be done to promote regional and neglected languages?
- There was news about a language which is spoken by only one person. Do you know the region where that language is spoken?
- Which schedule of the constitution has provision for languages?
- Name some of the recent varieties released by UAS, Dharwad (Univ. where I graduated from)?
- You know red chillies. Do you know long chilli variety introduced from Brazil?
- Why ‘Kisan Mela’ is required? Don’t you think it’s a waste?
- (He read some statistics from a survey made by India Today regarding corruption in India) So, how to control corruption? Tell me in points.
- Tell me what is the basic thing in controlling corruption?
- In 1960’s Secretary for John F. Kennedy has told ‘China is the biggest threat to the World’? Though Russia was the biggest threat to USA at that time, what may be the reason that made him to say that?
- Tell me why many are against Israel? Tell me in historical perspective?
- Why China is ahead of India in grabbing opportunities around the world? E.g. In Srilanka, Maldives, Africa. Why are we lagging behind?
- (He read some statistics regarding income disparity explaining percentage of millionaires and poor in India) Why this income disparity exists in India?
- Which country has highest population?
- So China does not have such disparity despite having highest population. Why India has such income disparity?
- What is lacking in sports administration?
- (Based on my answer) So you are saying we are not doing well?
- Which sports you play?
- You know recently IOC has decided to drop wrestling from Olympics. What do you think about that?
- Do you know about housing problem in police service?
- Have you ever had an encounter with Karnataka police? (Everybody laughs at the use of word ‘encounter’)
Q. Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared?
Did they ask you totally unexpected questions?
Most of the questions were unexpected, but from expected areas. I managed to answer majority of the questions though not in a perfect way.
Mains + Interview
Anoop’s IFS Marksheet (All India Rank#3)
Roll No. : 002241
|Indian Forest Service Examination 2012|
|AGRICULTURE PAPER I||200||106|
|AGRICULTURE PAPER II||200||049|
|BOTANY PAPER I||200||125|
|BOTANY PAPER II||200||091|
Q. Through this struggle and success, what have you learned about life and competition? What is your message to future aspirants?
Ans. Your struggle is your strength. Turn your problems into positive energy that makes you work hard. Don’t forget! Hard work always yields good results. You may fail once but not always. If I can do this, anyone can do this
Civil Services preparation is about handling the huge mental pressure. Everyone has problems……No matter what your problems are…….keep going.
Q. Were you a subscriber/ regular reader of Mrunal.org. If yes, since when? And You can even say “no”, I’ll publish it without editing.
Ans. Yes, I’m a regular reader and subscriber since March 2012.
Q2. How did Mrunal.org help you in your preparation?
Ans. Posts of Mrunal are brief and to the point. So it saves lot of time. It is accessible to all free of cost, so no need of coaching. Posts related to economy and international affairs were very useful. Site was also useful for my interview preparation. For example during my interview preparation, I read Mrunal’s recent post on Israel-Palestine issue. The question asked in interview was “Tell me why many countries are against Israel? Tell me in historical perspective?” which I answered confidently.
After my selection I mailed Mrunal thanking him for his help. He invited me for an interview. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to express my views.