1. CAPF Topper Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. GS and Aptitude paper
  7. Accuracy in GS paper
  8. Descriptive paper
  9. Four Essays
  10. Argument For-Against
  11. Report writing?
  12. CAPF Physical Efficiency Test
  13. Interview by UPSC Panel
  14. UPSC Interview Transcript
  15. CAPF Marksheet
  16. Service preference
  17. UPSC CSE-2013 experience
  18. Career Backup
  19. Wisdom
  20. Credit: Friends/family
  21. Bogus Marketing Propaganda

CAPF Topper Profile

Name S Bharath Vaishnov
Rank in CAPF-2013 185
Roll No. 131876
Age 25
No. of previous attempts in CAPF 0
Home town/city Hyderabad
Work-experience if any
other competitive examsincluding success & failures
  • UPSC mains 2011,12,13
  • Selected as SBI PO in 2012,13
  • SSC CGL 2011- got Central excise Inspector
  • CAT 2013: 97 percentile
coaching/postal material (if used) Mrunal.org :P
  • Hobbies
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
Blogging, volunteering, Speedcubing
Do you have NCC certificate? No


% in class 10 86%
% in class 12 86%
Schooling (Medium) English
Graduation course & % B.Tech[ECE] 8.12 CGPA
College & batch-year Amrita school of engineering, 2010
Post-graduation Pursuing MA public administration @IGNOU
Any professional courses


Q. Tell us something about yourself and your family. When and why did you enter in the competitive exam field?

CAPF 2013 Topper Bharat Vaishnov Amrita School of Engineering

Civil services has been my childhood dream and as soon as I completed graduation I Decided to pursue my dream. So I entered into this competitive exam arena. My father works in a CPSU and my mother is pursuing masters in Law.

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

  • I extensively relied on online material. I make notes and mindmaps on various issues.
  • I use diigo tools to marks out important points from newspaper articles following which I copy and compile these points in onenote which allows for arranging notes topic wise. Mrunal’s style of writing has helped me understand how to simplify and understand things .
  • My diigo notes can be accessed on diigo https://www.diigo.com/user/bharathz24
  • Some of my mindmaps are shared here: http://iasblogz.wordpress.com/category/mind-map/

Tempo and style

Q. People know what books and syllabus topics are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?

Yes, this is a common problem in every civils aspirant’s life. I kept writing various competitive exams which have syllabus similar to civils at regular intervals to keep myself on my toes. Otherwise civils exam cycle is too long to keep oneself motivated throughout the cycle particularly when preparing on our own.

GS and Aptitude paper

Q1. Please share the list of resources you used, your strategy and other tips for benefit of future aspirants.

Topic Input
History Ancient NCERT
History Medieval NCERT
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Spectrum
Culture society CCRT website
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikanth
Economy (theory + current) Ramesh singh
Science (theory + current) Newspapers and spectrum
Environment (theory + current) UGC book by Barucha
geography physical NCERT
geography India NCERT
geography world NCERT
other national/international current affairs Newspapers
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff PRS, Year book, Newspapers
Maths Didn’t prepare specifically
Data interpretation Didn’t prepare
Reasoning Didn’t prepare

Accuracy in GS paper

It has been a long time since I have written this exam. So I don’t remember regarding my attempts. But I’ll certain share the marksheet when it comes.

Q. What’s your overall experience with GS paper? (E.g. it was on expected lines as per my preparation, it was quite tougher than earlier years etc.)

The paper level was simpler than that of civil services exam. However time management is key in this exam as number of questions are more.

Descriptive paper

Q. How did you prepare the Essay, grammar, précis and report writing?

No specific preparation for this exam .

Four Essays

This time, UPSC required the candidates to write 4 out of 6 essays. Which of the following did you attempt? And what were your keypoints in them?

Topic your key points
doctor-pharma nexus
interstate water dispute Talked about growing water crisis in beginningDiscussed some of current disputes

Suggested for a permanent water dispute resolution commission to ensure continuity and use previous precedents to quickly resolve disputes

social reformers in freedom struggle
falling rupee & Indian economy Discussed the reasons for fall and various positives and drawbacks of fall in rupee. Provided some suggestions like boosting exports, curbing imports to curb slide in rupee
China’s aggressive policy China an important neighbor. Age old relations. Need to handle this issues carefully. We need to strengthen both our hard and soft power vis-à-vis china. Strengthen border surveillance. Deepen people to people ties to understand each other better
media publicity on terrorism Started with media coverage of 26/11 attacks and how it helped handlers in pak. 9/11 visuals which sent shock waves across world. Use of media by terrorists deliberately. Media needs to exercise restraint. Follow supreme court guidelines

Argument For-Against

This time, UPSC required candidates to write both arguments for and against the given statements. so what were your keypoint in it?

Topic Argument for Against
casteless society becomes distant through issues raised by reservation
  • Reservation has further deepened differences
  • Castes , sub castes fighting in a race to the bottom
  • Merit overlooked
  • Even within caste, increasing disparity. Benefits cornered by few, not penetrating to lower sections
  • Caste is an age old evil. Reservation has helped reduce differences. Several people from lower castes have reached higher positions. This is thanks to reservation.
  • Reservation policy needs to be persisted with
women empowerment is urban phenomenon
  • Women empowerment seen mostly from prism of urban  women. Today urban women are more free, independent than ever before. Women are breaking the glass ceiling in many fields.
  • On other hand rural women continue to be chained by age old traditions and patriarchal mindsets
  • Rural women have also benefited. Many have become panchayat members, heads. SHG movement proves the emergence of rural women.
  • They are more enterprising.

Report writing?

Q. Did you write report the same way you wrote essay? or did you apply any special format/structure here?

ans. No, I Just wrote like essay

Topic Keypoints
Uttarakhand tsunami & Military
  1. Militiary personnel phenomenal role in rescuing people from inhospitable terrain
  2. Expertise and timely response
  3. Effective coordination between all arms
  4. Delays initially due to logistic issues
  5. Need to place army contingents closer to areas threatened by natural disasters
Ethics crisis in cricket
  1. Cricket – a religion in india
  2. Recent spot fixing episode has dented credibility of cricket
  3. Growing role of money in sport has blurred the priorities of cricketers
  4. Also overall decline in moral levels of society is a reason
  5. Need to educate and regulate the sport

Q. What is your overall experience with descriptive paper (e.g. too lengthy paper, grammar tougher than previous paper etc.)

The 4 essays was a surprise. Time management became difficult. I ended up having only 5 minutes for precise.

CAPF Physical Efficiency Test

Q1. To pass Physical Efficiency Tests (PET), what preparation did you do at home?

I have never been involved in athletic activities ever in my life. So PET was a big challenge for me. So I started with jogging  in march. After written result. I joined a sports authority of India facility. Coaches there helped me out on how to go about with various events particularly 800m and long jump which requires specific strategies and techniques

Q2. Where was your PET held?

It was held at National industrial security academy, Hyderabad on 23rd may 2014

Q3. Please narrate your actual experience PET test with readers.

  • We were asked to report at 9. Document verification, biometrics and stuff took 2 hours. At around 11 AM events started.
  • Started off with 100m followed by 800m, long jump and shot put. Managed to complete 100m just in time.
  • 800 m I was last but one. Thanks to my earlier practice , I was never tensed about not finishing in time as I was confident that if I kept running even at slow pace, I would be able to make it. In the end I made it in 3 min 35 sec. 3-4 people couldn’t clear this.

Long jump

During practice I had problem with the line. I kept overstepping it. Fortunately on PET day I managed to do it correctly in first attempt itself. But many of them couldn’t clear it in first attempt. In the end around 6-7 people were eliminated in this round


This is supposed to be the easiest of all tests. I had practiced thinking that there would be 3 chances like in long jump. It was only one day before PET that I came to know that there’s only one chance. So I was a bit worried but I managed to clear it. Everyone in my batch cleared. Some made minor mistakes like stepping on line, but judges were lenient

Interview by UPSC Panel

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

I worked on topics in my DAF. Some topics in my DAF I neglected which could prove costly for me. So I suggest everyone to work on every small topic mentioned in your DAF

Q2. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?

I stayed at a hotel. I took some notes I made on issues relevant to my DAF

Q3. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Professor Hem Chandra gupta

Q4. How long was the interview?

Around 20-25 mins

Q5. Why do you want to become an Assistant commandant? Why don’t you continue in your graduation field? [Since I don’t know whether they asked you this question or not. But if they had asked- what will be your reply?]

I felt it was a challenging and rewarding career option

UPSC Interview Transcript

Q. Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview.

I have posted interview transcript on my blog http://iasblogz.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/central-armed-police-forcesassistant-commandant-2013-interview/

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?

It was based on my DAF, so it was on expected lines . Members were cordial and cooperative. Towards the end it became like a quiz contest which was a bit surprising.

Q2. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?

Nothing specific to mention. I think all necessary information is given in interview call letter. I forgot to get photocopies of my tenth and graduation certificates. UPSC staff were cooperative and got it photocopied themselves. So nothing to worry incase you forget some stuff for interview

CAPF Marksheet

Mail me your prelim, essay and interview marks, when UPSC uploads.

Sure will do it

Service preference

Q1. What is your service preference order BSF,CRPF, CISF, ITBP?


Q2. How/Why did you pickup that order?

I had come across job description in various forces in comments section of this site. That played a major role in deciding my preferences. Also feasibility of studying for civils was also one of the deciding factors

UPSC CSE-2013 experience

If you had appeared in UPSC civil service exam 2013, please reply following

Q1. Your marksheet for prelims and mains

  • Prelims – 110+160
  • Mains- 514

Q2. Your overall experience and words of wisdom about CSAT, GS, Aptitude, optional and essay

  • In prelims, go with a open mind. Don’t get bogged down by fear of negative marking , cut offs etc. Many of the questions can be solved with some application of mind.
  • So keep cool and think
  • In mains with changed pattern, I was hoping GS would play a major role in success.
  • But final result suggests that optional continues to remain the decider. So please focus on your optional as well.

Career Backup

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

I just joined central excise department as Inspector

Q2. When were you going to execute that backup plan (e.g. after third attempt, after dad retires, after girlfriend dumps me etc.)

Already executed [After third attempt]

Q3. If you were to re-appear in CAPF-2014 then what modifications would you make in your studies?

Never thought about it as I was no longer eligible for the exam


Through this journey and success, what wisdom did you gain about life and competitive exams?  What is your message to the aspirants?

  • I believe what  bhagvadgita says “ Karmanyeva-adhikaarastey Maa Phaleshu Kadaachana Maa Karma Phala Hetubhoor Maa tey Sangostva Akarmani”
  • Keep faith in yourself and continue with your effort irrespective of results. Someday your efforts will be richly rewarded. So keep persisting with your goal . If you have the “WILL” to do it, you will do it.

Credit: Friends/family

  • I would like to thank my parents for their unstinting support throughout this process. They have been a source of motivation and support for me. My near and dear ones also deserve a mention for their continued support and cooperation. Both online and offline friends have been of help in tough times. So thanks all.
  • A special thanks to Gopal Krishnan sir, a retired IAS officer who has been selflessly offering guidance to civil services aspirants for over last 2 decades.

Bogus Marketing Propaganda

Q. You are well aware for the sacred rule. The last question in topper interview,  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.

Mrunal.org has played an important role in my journey . I started my preparation in 2010. I was fortunate that this site started evolving since then. The first article I read from this site was WTO for dummies. Since then there has been no looking back. I have referred to this site for various topics particularly during my mains preparation. The manner in which Mrunal presents information makes it interesting and easier to grasp.

It’s an excellent work. Mrunal has kept evolving with changing times. He knows the needs of aspirants and will surely meet them in future as well

Thanks and best wishes to all.