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

CAPF Topper Profile

Name Hemant Sharma
Rank in CAPF-2013 118
Roll No. 130563
Age 25
No. of previous attempts in CAPF Nil
Home town/city Karsog (Himachal Pradesh) and Shimla
Work-experience if any Working in Gov’t Insurance company. OICL
other competitive exams

including success & failures

  • Topper In M Sc Microbiology at college and third at Himachal University Merit list( distinction)
  • Passed written of Himachal Selection board for Clerical cadre.
  • Passed CGL prelims 2012 (could not give mains because  attended CDS-SSB)
  • Passed CGL prelims 2013( would have passed mains as well if it weren’t for the quashing of entire exam)
  • Passed CDS- two times both times conference out on final day at SSB Allahabad.
  • Passed AFCAT – two times( again Couldn’t make it to the recommended list)
  • Passed 2012 Delhi police Sub Inspector Exam- marks 108 in prelims and 158 according to keys in mains( was not eligible for Physical efficiency test because I didn’t had Driving license)
  • Passed 2013 SSC CPO Sub Inspectors exam- 99 marks in prelims couldn’t qualify long jump in ground test.
  • Passed 2013 IBPS RRB  marks 132 (Did not join any Bank )
  • Passed NICL  Assistant exam from HP state- finally got a job here  Haha
  • Failed IB ACIO exam in 2013
  • Failed SBI PO 2013 exam By 4 marks
coaching/postal material (if used) No Coaching  No material , Only relied on good Books and The Indian Express/ The Hindu
  • Hobbies
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
Reading books, Walking , surfing the web and Listening good music

Got First Prize at Inter College level in Caption Writing and first position In Extempore.

Do you have NCC certificate? No


% in class 10 68.00
% in class 12 70.40
Schooling (Medium) English
Graduation course & % B.Sc Biotechnology 2010(75.4%)
College & batch-year  Chandigarh Engineering College Landran Mohali
Post-graduation M.Sc Microbiology 2012(76.14%) from HPU Shimla
Any professional courses Certificate Course in French from HPU in 2013


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

CAPF 2013 Hemant Sharma


I belong to a humble family background from a remote village of Mahunag in Tehsil : Karsog Dist: Mandi HP. I did most of my schooling from KV Shimla. My father serves in the Army as Subedar Major so the dress of Army personnel always brought Goosebumps to me.

We’re a family of four, my mother is homemaker and I’ve a younger brother who is an Engineer.

I always strived for a Force job- and after failing many times due to various reasons, when all hope was diminished I passed CAPF AC Exam and it made my dream come alive of joining defence and too as a Gazetted Officer. Many of my relatives and cousins serve the Defence but not as a Commissioned Officer so it was a special thing for me as well as for my entire family and relatives.

After passing MSc I had no choice but to prepare for competitive exams or go to Industry where the Pay packages were below than an uneducated person’s job profile so I stuck to hard work and regular sitting and it bore me fruit of success.

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)

The competitive environment is such that you need to study efficiently in lesser time and you can’t miss a single topic- which of course isn’t available in one book so I relied on Hard Copy Books as well as Online material ( especially your Site- where I kept coming almost daily to read notes and other highlights regarding fresh jobs as well as motivational Interviews to keep me on the path ) like Mrunal.org and Gktoday.in , Newshunt App and The Hindu online(as it isn’t readily available anywhere)

My daily schedule was getting up at 7 am, sleeping at 11pm and studying anywhere from 7 to 8 hours. The sitting doesn’t matter if you are not focused, during initial days of my study I used to study at the University Library and hundreds of students sat there for only competitive exams. I used to keep saying to myself that I’ve to beat everyone of them to achieve a good reputed job and for that I’d have to study as well as prepare better and more than them.

Tempo and style

Q. People know what books and syllabus topics are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. So, how did you keep study momentum going on? How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?

I kept myself motivated all the time by learning a new thing each day. If I got bored with History or Politics I used to shift to English or other subjects and vice-versa. My suggestion would be that one should prepare specifically for a particular exam – and read its entire syllabus and previous exam papers.

For fighting distractions and mood swings I would often listen to good music or watch a comedy movie or the best- go out with my friends. Few hours of break is also necessary after strenuous hours of studying.

Working professional

If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with job

I work with Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. At Chamba(HP) branch and believe me Gov’t Insurance sector is better than banking as you get 5 day week compared to 6 in a bank and also the work hours are fixed from 10 to 5, so I was able to prepare well alongside my job.

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  Mag Book Indian History
History Medieval Same as above
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Same as above
Culture society Nothing special
Polity (theory + current) Pearson GK manual
Economy (theory + current) The Hindu/ Economic times
Science (theory + current) The Hindu/ NCERT
Environment (theory + current) I am a BIO student so no much preparation
geography physical Pearson Gk
geography India Same as above
geography world Same as above
other national/international current affairs The Hindu/ The Indian Express
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff Same as above
Maths Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh verma
Data interpretation Competion in focus/ Banking and you
Reasoning Same as above( no special book)

Accuracy in GS paper

How many MCQs did you attempt? 104
How many of them correct (When solved at home)? 72
official score (when UPSC uploads) Will Mail you

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.)

As it was my first attempt I found them of medium level. The GK questions were a bit tough though.

Descriptive paper

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

I didn’t prepare specifically for the Paper2 but kept reading The Hindu/The Indian Express to improve my English writing skills and comprehension and memorizing few facts and dates relating to the essays could prove to be really beneficial.

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 Gave points relating to more than required medicines being prescribed by doctors

Pharma companies also bribe doctors for their recommendation

I wrote about this noble profession being corrupted my this malpractise and the cost the poor and needy have to pay.

interstate water dispute
social reformers in freedom struggle I started with raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekanada, Dayanada Saraswati

Elaborated with few facts and the change they brought to our society.

falling rupee & Indian economy
China’s aggressive policy The Chinese aggression on the Arunachal Pradesh front, how they give stapled visas,

Issue of self immolation of Tibbetian Monks

They are asserting their rights in south China sea and dominating neighbouring nations and fighting for Senkaku island with Japan

They are helping Pakistan in their military requirements and built gwadar port there.

Also the economic warfare, heavy cheap exports to India

media publicity on terrorism Told about the recent incident of 26/11 attack on Mumbai where the evnt was being orchestrated by the masterminds of LeT from across the border and by watching live it on TV they were doing precision attacks.

Wrote about how media has lost some of it’s credibility and other filler stuff.

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 1.People get divided and classified

2.Even economically wealthy people are getting reservation

3.Only Hindus are getting reservation, Poor Muslims are not

1.there are actually poorer and weaker sections of people in requirement of reservation

2.Few upper classes have always enjoyed supremacy and to bring equality reservation is necessary for few more years

women empowerment is urban phenomenon There are many sectors like teaching, nursing where females have outnumbered males, but only in urban areas SHGs and lower rate interest loans are helping rural women to be self sufficient

They are getting proper education and respect – many of the Pradhans and members in village are females.

Report writing?

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

I wrote it in almost same way as of an essay but didn’t give my opinions as in case of an essay.

Topic Keypoints
Uttarakhand tsunami & Military How Airforce, NDRF and other forces helped the people

It was a large rescue operation

Thousands of people died and how the nature is still stronger than our Science.

Ethics crisis in cricket Gave example Of Sreesanth Incident and spot fixing

How fixing ended young careers of players from Pakistan- Salman Butt

Cricket has become a money earning phenomenon, talented players are not getting chances, diplomacy is working, politicians are heading BCCI.

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

Descriptive paper was not too tough but against my expectations it was really lengthy, but anyhow I completed it in stipulated time of 3 hours, my fingers were swollen but I was happy that I completed paper and that too with the same word limit as required. I used some good vocabulary and started essays with facts and data and tried to keep my neutral view point.

CAPF Physical Efficiency Test

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

As I’m a Pahari guy – running didn’t require much preparation.

But I prepared for long jump with my friend Sunil Kumar (Oriental Bank of Commerce) who gave me valuable tips for landing and high leap and of course accompanied me in Police training ground Chamba.

Q2. Where was your PET held?

ITBP Transport battalion Chandigarh on 21st may

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

It was hot sunny day and I had to travel 11 hours from my place to Chandigarh, But I kept my spirits high and ate a banana, a chocolate, juice and first of all Chest, weight and height measurements were carried out. Few Candidates couldn’t qualify in the first stage. I was always worried about my weight but thankfully my height rescued me (183 cm/ 78 kg). I saw many candidates being rejected due to overweight- although you get 20-25 days for appeal, but it’s enough to break your spirits.

50 students were called for PET that day and 38 reported.

The first stage was 100 m. I completed it in about 14 seconds

4 candidates couldn’t qualify despite being given an extra chance.

After few minutes we ran 800 m, it was a cake walk, I came 2nd

No one was disqualified in it

In long jump 2 candidates were disqualified

In short put everyone qualified

Medical was carried out in two days after PET. Some were rejected for color blindness, chest, height, overweight, so overall 13 passed PET as well as Medical.

Interview by UPSC Panel

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

I had idea about the UPSC interviews by reading the Interviews of previously selected candidates and also I’ve been to SSB interview 4 times so I studied my DAF carefully, worked on my hobbies, my qualifications, my job and forces history.

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 my friend’s home at Delhi, I didn’t bring any notes but I relied on Google and Wikipedia in my cell phone.

Q3. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Mrs Alka Sirohi mam

And three other members

Q4. How long was the interview?

35 minutes

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?]

An opportunity to serve the motherland alongside a good pay package, respect in society, family and an adventurous and thrilling life.

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. (Earlier some toppers only tell me their question but not their answer. I would appreciate if you give both Question + your original answers)

I entered the interview room and thoughts loomed in my head about the uncertainties and the fear of facing the UPSC Interview panel at UPSC Dholpur House was something which can be experienced only there. I wore a crisp Sky Blue Shirt with Brown black trowsers and a zero cut hair style( I bet they gave me few more marks because of my Fauzi like looks haha ). I wished good afternoon to the chairman but to my surprise all the panel members wished me back.

Chairman : So kid you’re from Himachal and you’ve done B.sc In biotech and the M.sc in Microbio, why did you shift stream after B.Sc

Me: Mam I wanted to pursue a good career in medicals and Biotechnology was having a boom during those days  but after I finished BSc the pay packages were too low so I shifted towards an industry specific degree.

Ch: But you joined general insurance after your Msc

Me: Because again too low pay packages and 12 hour shifts and no holidays

Ch: Differentiate b/w viriods and prions

Me: Prions are certain proteins which can act as viruses and viriods are dna/rna strands which acts as viruses in foreign host body

Ch: what’s a cryptomegalovirus?

Me: sorry mam I don’t know ( with a stern stare at her but with confidence)

Ch: What is principle of subrogation? ( a question related to my job profile)

Me: I have heard about it , but I’m not sure

M 1 : What are your views on corruption?

Me: Gave the best possible explanation at my level how Politicians and bureaucrats are eating into the roots of our nation.


Name few pending bills relating to corruption?

Me: I failed to name any

M1: Ok have you heard about whistleblower?

Me: yes sir, they are people from a particular gov’t organizations who raise their voices against malpractises prevalent in their department

M1: yes, but they can also be from a private organization. And have you heard about Whistleblower’s act?

Me: yes sir. And I told few highlights about the bill, how it was supposed to help people who try to benefit society by raising their voices against corruption and malpractices.

M2: So you like to read books, tell me how books have helped you to be a better person?

Me: Sir, books and novels like fiction or biographies have helped me to understand life and people better. How to look for good qualities in other people and ignoe the bad ones and have a better perspective of the world( I think I went way too philosophical)

M2:which paper you like to read

Me: The Hindu or The Indian Express

M2: What are the headlines of today’s paper?

Me: Sorry Sir I didn’t get time to read it.

M3: Name few differences and similarities in Microbiology and Biotechnolgy

Me: As it was a question related to my background I was able to efficiently answer it.

M3: What are the three most important qualities of a police Officer?

Me: Ability of decision making at crucial times, mental ability and leadership abilities.

M3: Don’t you think discipline is also necessary?

Me: Sir, discipline can be taught in a year of training but mental strength cannot be.

M3: name few sports leagues in India

Me: IPL, Indian hockey league and Indian football league( I don’t know whether it exists or not)

M3: Who won recently IHL?

Me: don’t know Sir, ( He himself told me I was Ranchi Rhinos)

The end

After the interview

Q1. 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?

Mine interview didn’t go too well according to me but after getting a good rank I feel satisfied. They asked too many degree related questions which I failed to answer as I had started solely preparing competitive.

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

Be sure to bring NOC from current employer and in case of just pass out candidates don’t forget to bring your provisional Degree.

CAPF Marksheet

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

Surely will

Service preference

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


Q2. How/Why did you pickup that order?

CISF as we all know gives you a comparatively better life and ITBP was my second choice as I belong to Himalayas so I thought I’d get a chance to be in the Himalayas and possibly in future be at my homestate-Himachal Pradesh.

UPSC CSE-2013 experience

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

Q1. Your marksheet for prelims and mains

Didn’t appear.

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

Can’t comment.

Career Backup

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

I was going to appear for CGL mains as by going official keys for CGL re exam I got 119 marks and I was sure of getting a good post in mains and also I was working in OICL

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

If I had failed CAPF I’d have prepared for CGL mains 2013

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

Overage- no chances left being a general category candidate.


Q1. Through this journey and success, what wisdom did you gain about life and competitive exams?  What is your message to new aspirants?

Life is not about enjoying only. The happiness can be felt only by a person who has done hard work. Never let go attitude can take you to new horizons. There will be people who will discourage you and some will encourage you, just ignore the earlier ones and be efficient and motivated.

Q2. UPSC had cleared nearly 2500 candidates from CAPF-prelims. You’re selected but many others did not. They’re feeling dejected with this whole competitive exam business. What is your message to them?

My message is that perseverance pays off in the end; keep on doing the hard work. The fear of falling will not allow you to soar high, so open your wings, let go of the sadness and prepare again with a fresh zeal. The best example is of mine itself, although it was mine first attempt at UPSC AC but I tried many times for ARMY CDS and Afcat Airforce entry, and finally in final attempt when everything felt slipping off my hands, I was caught off guard by being selected for a Grade A Gazetted post.

Credit: Friends/family

Q. Behind every 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 incidence that you would like to share with the readers?

I’d like to thank my Father and my Mother first of all who helped me reach here. I’m blessed by the almighty and my Lord Shiva. A special thanks to my friend and classmate Gyan Dhara Sharma who always motivated me in stressful times.

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.

Your website was a one stop destination for me to prepare for CGL and CAPF AC . I followed study plans and read the books that you recommended. You played an important role in my success and I’m very much thankful to you, I constantly recommend this website to my friends and other people who are preparing for competitive exams.