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. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  12. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  13. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  14. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  15. GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2013
  16. Mains answer-writing?
  18. Before the interview
  19. During the interview
  20. CSE-2013 Marksheet
  21. Career Backup
  22. Insecurity about profile
  23. Wisdom
  24. Credit: Friends/family
  25. Marketing Propaganda

Candidate profile

Name Dinesh Bishnoi
Rank in CSE-2013 481
Roll No. 145035
Age 21
Total attempts in CSE 1
Optional Subject philosophy
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Schooling medium English
College medium English
Home town/city Bikaner, Rajasthan.
Work-experience if any no
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures IBPS 2013. OBC Rank 13. (52.20 marks). Bank of Baroda allotted.
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) Patanjali for philosophy and for interview dharmendra sir and sri Narayana chaitanya


% in class 10 90
% in class 12 85
Schooling (Medium) English
Graduation course and % B.tech in ece
Name of college, city, passing out year ECB,BIKANER,2012
Post-graduation NO
Any other professional courses NO
Hobbies & Extra curricular WATCHING 20-20 CRICKET AND PLAYING BADMINTON.


Topper-CSE-2013-Rank-481-Dinesh Bishnoi

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

I belong to a middle class family from a small town bikaner.my whole education was completed in bikaner itself. From childhood I always loved the job of IPS and therefore cse was my natural preference.it was after graduation that I started serious preparation.

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?

  • I relied on websites such as mrunal.org, pib, ias forum which provide concise material. even Wikipedia was also referred.
  • I mainly used standard text books and 3 newspapers hindu,toi,ie+yojana.
  • I used to study for 10 hours .i always devoted 2 hours to newspaper daily  and 2 hours for revision daily.
  • i made notes on daily basis from newspaper and kept few cuttings which were very important.i always practiced answer writing for 1 hour daily.

Tempo and style

Q. On an average, how many hours do you study? How do you keep study momentum going on? How do you fight against the mood swings?

10 hours. I kept momentum by watching movies on weekend and old songs. I talked with my friends whenever I felt bored.my friends Shakti,Uday,Lalji ,Vinay,Basant helped me.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

Topic strategy/booklist/comment
History Ancient NCERT
History Medieval NCERT
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) BIPAN CHANDRA
Culture society INSIGHT NOTES
Polity (theory + current) NEWSPAPER+ LAXMIKANT
Economy (theory + current) MRUNAL+SHRIRAM NOTES
Science (theory + current) MRUNAL+NCERT+HINDU
Environment (theory + current) SHANKAR IAS NOTES
geography physical NCERT
geography India NCERT
geography world NCERT
other national/international current affairs P.D. + YOJANA + PIB
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff MRUNAL+ PIB+ I.Y.B.

Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelims.

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topic strategy / booklist
reasoning R.S.AGGARWAL
comprehension C.L. TEST PAPERS
Decision Making C.L. TEST PAPERS

Practice as many test papers as possible.

prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?


Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2013

attempted correct
GS 76 63
aptitude 77 71

Q3. Your score in prelim (when UPSC uploads it please mail me your score)

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Q1. Please fill this table

Compulsory language paper Your preparation strategy / booklist?
English paper Old papers
your regional language Hindi (Old papers)

Q2.other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2013

It was tougher than earlier years so I advice those who r weak in English should practice for a month atleast.

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?

No special prep. I relied on current affairs plus my optional.        

Q2. Which among the following essay did you write? What key points did you include in it?

I wrote about “Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.”

S&t.essay should reflect ones complete awareness about the topic.i introduced with a contemporary introduction that science and technology is essential for inclusive growth.then made subheadings such as role in defence,agri,rural dev etc.then security aspects such as terrorism ,border related problems ,cyber security,disaster management.then s n tech as double edge sword such as e waste,digital divide,n other health hazards n ethical aspects such as patent issue. finally wrote we need to use sustainable technologies for development and security such as nisarga runa. balance between science and ethics is needed for greater glory of nation.

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

Topic How did you prepare?**
culture Insight Academy notes
Indian history Ncerts + insight academy notes
world history Insight + synergy + ncert
post-independence India Didn’t prepared therefore suffered
Indian society Ram Ahuja
role of women, poverty etc. Newspaper and internet
globalization on Indian society Internet
communalism, regionalism, secularism Internet
world geo physical Ncert
resource distribution Mrunal+internet+shriram notes
factors for industrial location Vajiram notes
earthquake tsunami etc Ncert
impact on flora-fauna Internet+current affairs

General studies (Mains) paper 2

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc. Laxmikant
comparing Constitution with world Internet WIKIPEDIA mainly with uk,us,japan
parliament, state Legislatures Laxmikant
executive-judiciary Laxmikant
ministries departments Internet (all govt ministries website)
pressure group, informal asso. Yojana(old versions)
Representation of people’s act Vision IAS notes
various bodies: Constitutional, statutory.. Laxmikant
NGO, SHG etc Yojana
welfare schemes, bodies Internet+newspaper(HINDU + TOI)
social sector, health, edu, HRD 12 five year plan
governance, transparency, accountability Vision IAS notes
e-governance ARC report
role of civil service Newspaper+common sense
India & neighbors Rajeev sikri
bilateral/global grouping Newspaper+spectrum book
effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest Newspaper and any good coaching notes
diaspora Vajiram+mrunal
intl.bodies- structure mandate Spectrum

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian economy, resource mobilization Shriram notes
inclusive growth Shriram notes
budgeting Shriram notes
major crops, irrigation Shriram notes
agro produce – storage, marketing Shriram notes
e-technology for famers Shriram notes
farm subsidies, MSP Shriram notes
PDS, buffer, food security Shriram notes
technology mission Shriram notes
animal rearing economics Shriram notes
food processing Shriram notes
land reforms 12th FYP
liberalization Internet+common sense
infra 12th FYP
investment models Vajiram notes
science-tech day to day life Hindu+TOI+NCERT
Indian achievements in sci-tech Internet especially those terms which were in newspaper in hindu+Wikipedia main achievements of nobel prize winner of last 5 years.
awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR Hindu+shriram science notes
environmental impact assessment Internet,website of moef
Disaster Management Govt. website
non state actors, internal security Internet(only took main points from different websites)
internal security – role of media, social networking site Internet+newspaper+common sense
cyber security Internet,very imp all aspects done in very comprehensive way.phishing,pharming,spamming.n denial of service attack done each n everything very well n took help of newspaper.
money laundering Internet(times of india there were repeated articles about hawala)so use newspaper very effectively I would suggest 3 newspapers
border  Management Internet,simple topic use knowledge of international relations
organized crime, terrorism Internet+arc where terrorism is dealt in detail.
security agencies- structure mandate Internet very well given at wikipedia

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

Topic How Did You Prepare?
ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topics Patanjali notes+synergy
attitude, moral influence etc. Patanjali notes
civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc Patanjali notes
emotional intelligence, its use in governance Patanjali notes+synergy
moral thinkers of India and world Patanjali notes
ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc. Patanjali notes
corporate governance Patanjali notes+Ramesh arora
probity in governance, work culture Patanjali notes+Ramesh arora
citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc. Patanjali notes
challenges of corruption Patanjali notes
case studies on above topics From chronicle magazine

Any other comments, word of wisdom after going through the mains-2013.

GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2013

Q. Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with such crisis of conscience and how you resolved the same.

Such incident happened during my class 10.when one of my friend was cheating from my copy sitting behind me but since it was unethical I thought of complaining to  the teacher.but since he was my best friend I thought it may hamper my friendship with him. but later on I decided not to show my answer though I didn’t complained to teacher. after exam he was very unhappy with me but I explained him that we must achieve success through hard work n not through unethical ways. today our roll no are near but in future some one different will sit in front of you n he will not help you. here there was crisis of conscience because I m honest n such act was against my principles. also here wrong doer was my friend.so ethics vs friendship.but I took middle path n resolved the problem through explaining him. Today he is also in the final list of upsc 2013 result. he complimented me yesterday because had I helped him that day he would not have work hard in his life.

Case study my approach/ keypoints
1: RTI: To hide or not to hide Followed practical approach and supported that as an administrator we must reveal info. With full transparency
2: Engineer: Bogus flyover vs deadline We must show sensitivity towards common people and we must stand against unethical activities of seniors
3: Child Labourers in Sivakasi explained legal aspects + said that there is need to take help of media ,CSO and common people in eradicating Child Labour and there must be a proper monitoring system
4: Nepotism in Job recruitment Supported ethical aspects. Merit should be given importance in appointment
5: Leaking information Organizational ethics must be followed

Overall, my answer format was

  1. First view the case study from ethical view and then give practical answers which are feasible.
  2. Don’t be too much idealistic.
  3. Use knowledge of day to day life, general studies and combine them with points from organizational ethics, code of conduct, code of ethics.
  4. Also, give legal aspects such as what are laws there to solve problem and how to make them more effective.

Mains answer-writing?

Q1. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?

I think it is good stuff and help one to write precise. But I wrongly interpreted the more space given as criteria of200 words n wrote answers in more than 250 words.

Q2. 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.

  • It depends on question. Never follow one-size-fit-for-all approach
  • But, I think it was my mistake was not to write in points. this was biggest problem because paragraphs take more words to explain.
  • So always write in point’s because it facilitates examiner.

Q3. In GS papers, Since UPSC came with those 100 and 200 words questions. What was your approach in the exam (I wrote all, I only focused on the questions where I could answer perfectly, I just not to high quality points to reach the word limit etc.) Because the UPSC aspirant Community is divided over what counts as a ‘good’ paper. Some experts claim you should attempt all- even if it involves “making up” an answer with filler lines, some claim attempt only those questions you know perfectly. Where do you stand on this? [Based on your experience and of your seniors/buddies]

  • I made a mistake here attempted questions which I don’t know also.. UPSC emphasize on quality. “Just as power flow from barrel of gun, marks flow from quality of answer”. Questions like tax expenditure where I had no idea I just filled up few lines hoping teacher will reward something.
  • Main mistake was India after independence and because of it I missed 30 marks.
  • I attempted many questions which I didn’t knew example FRP material waala, this creates negative impression.so only attempt what you know else it may irritate teacher.
  • Another mistake was not to read ARC reports completely for GS paper 2.
  • I realized mistake of not reading questions properly. Ex I wrote about green energy corridor but didn’t wrote how it will eliminate problem of conventional energy. That is problem of power deficit, coal import, and rural electrification n off course energy security.
  • So please study questions properly you can make answers within seconds but use common sense here no coaching or HINDU,TOI nothing will help.
  • Marking is rational n they will award marks only on basis of content myself got selected despite not attempting 14-15 questions in GS.

Q4. How many marks worth questions did you skip/couldn’t finish in the GS papers?

About 150 marks worth question left unattended.

Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?


Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)

Yes whenever possible especially geography temperature inversion.

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?

By hand

Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?

Blue pen ofcourse

(Mrunal – since readers keep mailing such queries, therefore I’m asking the topper to clear all the air haha.)


My optional was Philosophy and I followed Patanjali class notes and following books:

  1. Indian Philosophy. – Dutta and chatterjee
  2. Western Ph.- Y. Masih
  3. Religious – Hick and Y. Masih
  4. Socio political- Internet + O.P.Gauba

Please solve papers in stipulated time of last 3 years.FIRST prepare basics from dutta n Chatterjee then move to cd sharma for enriching your answers.for contemporary western philosophy use Stanford website to complete all the topics which are not easily found . for religious use knowledge of paper1 and write answers of 15 year old questions.plz use current affairs for socio political philosophy,use hindu editorials on various topics of socio political philosophy.for women and other topics go to united nations website. Key for optional is answer writing practice. Atleast write 100 answers before giving mains. If you ask for coaching, Patanjali’s Dharmendra sir is best.

Before the interview

Q1. How did you prepare for the interview? Particularly college graduation subjects related questions?

Focused on current Affairs + home state + optional

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 mock interviews?

Vajiram + Shri Narayana chaitnya… Chaitanya was very good and helpful and Vajiram was not helpful in anyway . Guidance of Dharmendra sir helped me

Q3. What did you wear? Some experts say coat is must, some say tie is must, and some say black shoes must. What attire did you pick up?

Simple pant shirt and tie and nothing is necessary but tie is a symbol of elegance

Q4. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?

Hotel. My prepared notes for interview + took two classes at patanjali

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Madam Alka Sirohi

Q2. How long was the interview?

20 min

Q. Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply? (earlier some toppers only tell me their question but not their answer. I would appreciate if you give both Question + your original answers)

Q1. Why do you want to join IPS?

Passion+dedication+law and order imp for peace n dev of society.childhood dream of mine n I frankly told this.we must always be honest during interview n should tell our original thoughts.

Q2. What is stealth tech.?

Technology through which aircrafts are difficult to target or trace.uses combination of tech n very essential for nations defence.

Q3. What is difference between tree and plant?

You can plant a plant but not tree.trees are part of plant therefore all trees are plant but not viceversa.all the trees are autotrophic but plants may be heterotrophic.

Q4. What is logical positivism?

Lp is a form of empiricism supported by moritz schilik.it emphasis on elimination of metaphysics and make philosophy free from speculations.

Q5. Role of philosophy in administration?

Philosophy makes one empathetic towards common people.in philosophy we have to follow rational,critical approach which helps in administration. Religious philosophy teaches us all religion are equal therefore it helps a administrator to tackle problem of caste discrimination. Moreover shankar says each jiva is part of ultimate reality brahma, therefore it makes one open minded towards every section of society.

Q6. Syria issue?

Democratic movement against autocracy of bashar al assad.people don’t have political freedom,economic freedom,n basic human rights.but because of terrorist groups such as al-nusra,aqim movement became more violent.it is also part of larger shia sunni conflict.

Q7. Bhagwati sen model?


Q8. Arabless spring?

It means the whole episode going in arab nations is projected by west nations n usa.it is more a fabricated spring sponsored by and helped by outside nations like usa. therefore it has been said arab-less spring.

Q9. Situation in Middle East?

I narrated the events happening in various Arab countries during the recent times.

Q10. Indian foreign policy and problem with neighbours?

Problem mainly domestic issues such as west bengal,Tamilnadu which hinderes faster resolution of matter with neighbours such as srilanka,bangladesh .ex teesta water issue ,tamil issue.so our foreign policy must be pragmatic+rational n emphasis on connectivity with neighbours.

After the interview

Q. 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? If yes, how did you handle it?

Yes. It was not a stressed interview. Board was cordial.

Q. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document, or you’ll face problem”?


Q. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?

It was a routine procedure and nothing to worry

CSE-2013 Marksheet

Essay 92
GS1 80
GS2 76
GS3 84
GS4 84
Philosophy Paper 1 118
Philosophy Paper 2 92
Written Total 626
Interview 165
Final total 791

Career Backup

Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?


Q2. when were you going to “execute” that backup plan?


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?

What matters is hard work and dedication. I m from a small college too and from small city and if I can do in first attempt,every one can do it. board generally do not ask such questions which make you uncomfortable,boards are mostly coordial and honestly evaluates candidate on what you speak at that moment.


Q. Through this journey and success, what have your learned? What is the wisdom of life and competition?

Life is all about hard work and fighting against odd conditions. Luck matters a lot in competition but don’t be disheartened by this. There is a case of my friend who got mere 60 marks in interview once but later on he became a IAS.

Q. What is your message to the future aspirants?

Just focus on your dreams and give your all into it. Competitions are meant for those who do not get bogged down by failures. I myself, will not get IPS this time but next year i will give my all to fulfill my dream.

Credit: Friends/family

My  parents and my friends Shakti, Navneet ,Uday,Lalji,Mahi, Sitaram,Shri And Of Course My Sir Dharmendra Of Patanjali Institute.it was Shakti who always believed that I will get through .though I was little afraid  because my interview didn’t went well but Shakti And Uday always motivated me.

Marketing Propaganda

Q. You are well aware for 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 publish your answer without tempering/editing it.

Yes mrunal.org for economy section and current affairs. Mrunal teaches a topic in such a way that even first timers can easily understand the most difficult topics.

Mrunal: Thank you Mr. Bishnoi, particularly for sharing your preparation methods, mains answer writing experience and case studies. This will be of good help to future aspirants. We wish you the best for your service allocation. Keep in touch.