1. Introduction
  2. Educational Background
  3. Extra C
  4. Work Ex
  5. Family background
  6. Coaching
  7. Inception
  8. Study Momentum
  9. Hours
  10. Strategy: CSAT (Aptitude)
  11. Strategy: General Studies
  12. Mains 2013
  13. Public Administration
  14. Commerce and Accountancy
  15. Optional Subject in Mains 2013?
  16. Compulsory papers
  17. Essay
  18. Previous Attempts
  19. Insecurity  about “Profile”
  20. Career Backup
  21. Family and Friends
  22. Interview
  23. Marksheet
  24. Wisdom
  25. Bogus marketing propaganda


Roll number 035222
Rank (CSE 2012) 500
Optional Subjects
  1. Public Admin
  2. Commerce
Number of Attempts 2
Medium for Mains Exam English
Schooling (Medium) English
Centre for Prelim exam Chandigarh
Centre for Mains exam Delhi
Name of home town/city Rohtak, Haryana

Educational Background

% in class 10 80%
% in class 12 83.4%
Graduation course and % B.Com(Hons.) 72%
Name of college and year of passing out Pt. Neki Ram Sharma Govt. College, Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak,2008
PG (if applicable) NA
Any professional courses (if applicable) NA

Extra C

  1. Played State Level cricket in 2002 and 2003.
  2. Secured Rank 1 in the merit list of the University in B.Com(H).

Work Ex

  1. Provide details of your job experience, name of post, months/years.
  1. Presently working with the Reserve Bank of India as a Manager(Grade ‘B’) in Jaipur. Joined RBI in January this year.
  2. Worked in SBI as a Probationary Officer from March,2011 to March, 2012
  3. Worked with the CAG as an Assistant Audit Officer (Commercial) in 2010.
  1. Did you leave the job to prepare for upsc yes/no

Yes, I did leave my SBI job in march,2012 for an exclusive and focused preparation.

  1. Your advice to fellow working professionals who’re preparing for upsc simultaneously.

Well I personally found it difficult and that’s the reason I left my job for a period of about 7 to 8 months.

Family background

My father is a businessman and mother is a homemaker. I have two sisters and a younger brother. My sisters are studying in college and brother is in school.


Did you join any Coaching? No
Did you join any postal courses? No
Did you join any Mock test series? Yes, Vajiram Test series for Commerce.
Did you appear in any other competitive exams? Many. and I’ve been selected in

  1. RBI Grade B officer
  2. SBI PO
  3. Assistant Audit Officer (Commercial) in CAG


AIR 500 CSE 2012 Dagar

No specific inspiration, actually after getting success in other competitive exams such as SSC and BANK PO, I thought of giving civil services a try.

Study Momentum

It is very obvious for an aspirant to feel a bit bored during preparation because of the huge syllabus but I think if one keeps the ultimate goal in mind it becomes a bit easy to maintain one’s focus.


Q. On an average, How many hours did you study per day?

Ans. It varied from 3-4 hours to 9-10 hours.

Q. How many months did it take you to complete the core syllabus of GS and optional subjects?

Ans. Can’t exactly put a timeframe on it as I had covered a lot syllabus during my preparation for other exams and some of the portions like the science and world geography haven’t been completed by me till date.

Strategy: CSAT (Aptitude)

Topic Books/sources
Maths Notes from one of my friends who is a master at aptitude
Reasoning MK Pandey from Banking services Chronicle Publications
Comprehension Did previous years papers from competitive magazines
Decision making No specific preparation
  • Comprehension is all about having good reading skills. UPSC  gives passages from different areas viz science, environment, economy, polity etc. So one should read articles from newspapers pertaining to all these fields rather than just reading from a particular area of one’s interest. It helps you a lot when you actually deal with the comprehension in the examination hall.
  • Apart from this one can practice from the different practice papers that are available in the market.

Strategy: General Studies

Book/ source
History Ancient Didn’t prepare thoroughly, just went through some jholachaap notes
Medieval Same as above
Modern Bipin Chandra and Spectrum’s Modern History
Culture Didn’t prepare thoroughly, but prepared some topics for mains from Spectrum
Mains Same as above
Polity Basics Laxmikant’s Polity
Current Mrunal.org
mains Same as above
Economy Basics NCERT(11th & 12th) and I must say mrunal is very good in this section.
Current Newspaper and mrunal.org
mains Same as above
Geography Physical NCERT
Indian NCERT
World Didn’t prepare( Physical geography from 11th NCERT)
mains Same as above
Environment, Biodiversity Basics From internet
Current Internet websites of UNEP,UNFCCC,CBD etc, newspaper and mrunal.org
Mains Same as above
Science Tech Basics NA
Current The Hindu’s Thursday special on S&T and mrunal.org
Mains Same as above
Yearbook / Govt. schemes etc. Govt. schemes from mrunal.org
IR/diplomacy Notes of one my teachers( Mr. Shankar Choudhary, IPS) and internet( MEA website, IDSA website) and newspaper

Everybody has his/her own strategy and approach to tackle the exam and a thing which worked for me may not work for others, but still as far as my strategy for mains is concerned I gave lot of my time for reading the newspaper and focussing on current affairs as now-a-days UPSC is adamant on not asking much from the conventional topics in mains (in prelims exactly the opposite is happening).

Mains 2013

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?

Ans. Frankly speaking as of now I don’t have any strategy for this years’ GS mains, infact I would be relying on mrunal’s suggestions for the new portions that have been added by UPSC.

Public Administration

Public Admin: Paper-1

  • Administrative Thinkers by Prasad & Prasad( read it again and again)
  • Sharma and Sadana
  • Maheshwari


  • IGNOU notes
  • Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora
  • Fadia and Fadia
  • Topics from yojana and kurukshetra magazines that are important for paper-2.

Well I suggest every aspirant to read Prasad & Prasad  4-5 times to get a firm grip on the thinkers as they are the building blocks for any further preparation of Public Admin.

Reading of newspaper and magazines such as yojana is also important for giving examples in paper-2. As suggested by mrunal IGNOU material for the MPA program is also worth reading to get that extra edge( if u can get one in pub admin hahahaha).

Commerce and Accountancy

It has a huge syllabus and I was not able to revise the whole syllabus before the exam because of which I couldn’t score well in paper-1.


  1. Financial Accounting- JR Monga and DK Goel
  2. Cost Accounting- Maheshwari & Mittal
  3. Financial Management- Khan and Jain and Rastogi(Thick one)
  4. Income Tax,Service Tax and VAT- Girish Ahuja
  5. Auditing- Dinkar Pagare
  6. Financial Markets& Institutions- Material from college days


  1. Organisational theory- TN Chhabra& BP Singh
  2. Organisational Behaviour- SP Robbins
  3. Human Resource Mgt- CB Gupta
  4. Industrial Relations- TN Chhabra & Suri or Mamoria& Mamoria

Optional Subject in Mains 2013?

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?


I would keep Public Admin as my optional because of its compact syllabus as compared to my other optional and also because a lot of the topics that have been added in the GS papers can be prepared from pub admin.

Compulsory papers

Q. Your booklist/strategy for compulsory Regional language paper.


Q. Your booklist/strategy for compulsory English language paper.



Q. How did you prepare yourself for the essay?

No specific preparation

Q. Which Essay did you write in Mains-2012?

I wrote on “Is the criticism that the ‘Public-Private-Partnership’ (PPP) model for development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context, justified?”

Previous Attempts

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?

In my 1st attempt I was not able to cover the GS mains syllabus and consequently got very low marks in both the papers.

Insecurity  about “Profile”

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.”  what’s your advice to them?

Ans. I don’t think your profile can prevent you from clearing this exam as I myself did my graduation from an obscure govt. college of a small city.

Career Backup

I would have continued with my present job at RBI.

Family and Friends

The support of the family and friends was always there for me and they always egged me on to do better and better.


Q. How did you prepare for the interview?

I didn’t get much time to prepare for my interview because of two reasons, firstly I was undergoing my Induction training at Reserve Bank when the result for the main exam was declared and secondly I had my interview on the very second day i.e. on 5th march. But still I brushed up my bio data as I expected a lot of questions to be asked from my present job at RBI. Revised current affairs from the net.

Q. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Dr. Venkatrami Reddy

Q. How long was the interview?

About 30-35 minutes.

Q. Provide the list of questions asked (and if possible answers also)

CM- Why do you want to leave your present job at RBI?

Ans-  Although RBI offers a great opportunity for me to work for the country but it does so only in a particular field i.e. Central Banking whereas in the civil services I would be able to contribute in a much larger way to the society and touch upon the lives of the people directly.

CM- ok ok. Do you think there’s corruption in banking?

Ans- yes sir there’s corruption in commercial banking ( on this the CM interrupted and said not in central banking….) I replied no sir there’s no corruption in central banking in India and this can be corroborated from the fact that there have been no allegations regarding the same and even a person of the integrity levels of Shri Narayan Murthy has praised RBI and said that if we can have more institutions like RBI we can very well have a corruption free system in a short span of time.

CM- Why are the industrial houses able to get loans easily and the poor people just seem to be running around for even small credit needs?

Ans- It is because the industrial houses have the financial muscle and the negotiating power and they directly deal with the top management of the bank whereas the small borrower i.e the poor are not even able to approach the lower management. The poor are considered as an unwanted commodity who would never return the money. Then quoted a axiom that is used in RBI “ if you give loan to a poor guy it becomes the headache of the guy but if you lend to a corporate then it becomes the headache of the bank” ( on this one of the members said as is happening now-a-days, probably referring to loans given by banks to Kingfisher Airlines)

M1- so you have worked with the CAG also( I nodded my head and said yes) how was your experience and what kind of audit did you do there?

Ans- told about my experience of auditing the electricity companies of Rajasthan and the problems associated with them like why are facing losses and what can be done to improve the same( M1 had asked me to specify the problems faced by those companies)

CM- Recently our PM made a statement that the CAG is interfering with the policy making function of the govt. What is your opinion regarding the same?

Ans- According to the CAG( Duties, Powers and Conditions of service) Act,1971 the CAG has every right to conduct a performance audit and comment on the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of a program or scheme and while doing so if it is inferred that it is interfering with the policy making than sorry but the CAG cannot help it.

M2- What is social audit?

Ans-  It is a technique to understand, measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of the organization.

M2-ok ok suppose Mr. Dagar you are made the District collector then how would you use social audit for the betterment of your district.

Ans- sir,as social audit includes people from all the levels including the marginalized sections of the society it can be effectively used to root out corruption. It ensures transparency, accountability and thus has a impact on local governance. Moreover I would make sure that there’s adequate representation of women, SC’s,  ST’s in the social audit teams to ensure participation of all sections more effective.

M3(female)- you like playing cricket ramdhan(I had mentioned it as my hobby) so, do you think cricket deserves the front page headlines that it gets?

Ans- mam, certainly there are much more important social and economic issues in our country and they deserve more attention than cricket but I think cricket is one sport which binds the people of our country and in a way it acts as a bonding factor for us ( the chairman interrupted)

CM- so it means IPL leads to global bonding.

Ans- no sir it doesn’t.

CM- but dear they play like brothers in IPL.

Ans- sir they are getting a lot of money for that( at this the chairman smiled and pointed towards the 3rd member)

M3- have you heard about naxalism?

Ans- yes sir.

M3- what all areas are affected by it?

Ans – gave a detailed list of areas like the districts of chattisgarh, West Bengal etc.

M3- suppose the govt. decides to fix some 50 mobile towers in a naxal affected area, whether it is going to be beneficial or harmful.

Ans- sir it is a two edged sword on the one hand it can be used to by the security agencies for intelligence sharing and foiling the attacks by the naxals but at the same time it can be used by the naxals to perpetrate further attacks and coordinate more effectively. So it depends on how well our agencies are able to make use of it.

M4-tell me what can be done to develop India in 5 years.

Ans-(with a smile) to be very candid sir it is just not possible to develop India in a span of 5 years.

M4-(smiled) accepted, so what could be the time in which we can develop and tell me what steps do we need to take in that direction.

Ans-atleast 15-20 years. Taking a cue from our neighbor China we also need to invest in infrastructure (M4 interrupts)

M4- why infrastructure.

Ans- because it creates both permanent and non-permanent employment. Non-permanent when the infrastructure is actually being set up and permanent after it has been set up, a perfect example of this is the DMRC. Plus we get the utility. Also compared China and India in terms of Railway expansion after both countries had attained independence. Gave the example from John Knight and Sai Ding’s book titled “China’s remarkable growth”.

M4- what more?

Ans- we need to shift our surplus labour from agriculture to manufacturing.

M4- why not services sector?

Ans- because services sector requires more educated and skilled manpower as compared to manufacturing sector. Manufacturing sector requires semi-skilled labour and as such it is easier to shift people from agriculture to manufacturing.

Note- there were two three more questions but I don’t exactly remember them.

Q. Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared?

I think it went on expected lines.


Essay 100
GS1 89
GS2 143
Commerce P1 92
Commerce P2 119
Public Administration Paper 1 102
Public Administration Paper 2 108
Written Total 753
Interview 196
Final 949

Mrunal comments: you’ve three digit marks in Paper 1 of Public Administration. *RESPECT*


Q. Through this struggle and success, what have you learned about life and competition? What is your message to future aspirants?

Ans. Well I would just say that work hard and always remain positive whatever be the circumstances. And finally remember life is much more than UPSC, so don’t get disheartened if you are not able to do well in this particular exam.

Bogus marketing propaganda

You are well aware of the unwritten golden rule of conducting toppers’ interview: Final question has to be about the bogus marketing propaganda. So,

Q1. 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, unlike certain magazines hahaha.

Ans. i came to know about your site from one of my friends in october 2011 and from then onwards there hasn’t been even a single day when I have not visited your website.

Q2. How did Mrunal.org help you in your preparation?

Ans. Beyond words Mrunal. The economy part is the best and I would suggest people to read it again and again as it is better than most of the outdated coaching material that is available.

Only after reading your suggestion on the strategy for public admin that I decided to read IGNOU notes and I must say they have immensely helpful( although the marks suggest otherwise this year) A complete solution for all your problems regarding the CSE exam.