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. UPSC CSE-2013 experience
  19. Career Backup
  20. Wisdom
  21. Credit: Friends/family
  22. Bogus Marketing Propaganda

CAPF Topper Profile

Rank in CAPF-2013 99
Roll No. 271207
Age 25
No. of previous attempts in CAPF 0
Home town/city GHAZIPUR(U.P)
Work-experience if any 2 Years in MARUTI SUZUKI INDIA LTD.(MSIL)
other competitive examsincluding success & failures Civil Services Prelims 2013(Failed)
coaching/postal material (if used) No Coaching, but yes I did take help from my friends who have done coaching.
  • Hobbies
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Reading newspapers & cooking.
  • I had participated in skits in cultural festival of my college.
Do you have NCC certificate? NO


% in class 10 82.8%
% in class 12 91.4%
Schooling (Medium) English(CBSE Board)
Graduation course & % Mechanical Engineering & 75.96%
College & batch-year Harcourt Butler Technological Institute &2012
Post-graduation No
Any professional courses Had done Advance FEM in IIT Delhi sponsored by MSIL.


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

CAPF 2013 Topper Ravi Sharma Harcourt Butler Institute

  • I belong to a rural cum Army background .My father is a farmer(retired from Army).I have two siblings. My brother is also a farmer and is a helping hand to my father. My sister is married and my mother is a house maker.
  • After completing my graduation , I joined MSIL as an assistant manager and working in CAE dept(R&D).
  • I have always dreamt of becoming a civil servant and have a passion to interact with the down trodden people of our society. I always try to bring smile on their face and it feels good to me to work for them. In pursuance of this aim I started preparing for competitive exams, after my graduation though I had always inclination towards civil services, so used to read Pratiyogita Darpan in my college days intermittently.

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.

  • It is true that changing patterns of examination have made the use of  electronic materials inevitable. One cannot  find all the materials needed in a hardcopy formats(books).
  • However, to cover the conventional portions of this exam ,one has to go through the recommended books.
  • Since I am a working professional my dependence on both is some what 50-50.
  • Typical day  for me was consist of the following:
  • 9am-6pm(working in company, but able to read relevant articles from The Hindu, Indian Express,EPW and atleast two articles  from Mrunal.org mostly economics and IR).
  • 6pm-8pm roam with best friend of mine to fresh our minds by looking at girls ,but this time too we discuss on topics of current importance.
  • 8pm-9pm(revision of previous day)
  • 9pm-10pm (eating + listening to All India radio(this is the best part of my day, bcoz in News Analysis which comes at 9:15, they use to discuss the matter of current importance with experts of the respective fields sitting in a panel.))
  • 10pm-1am(study hours)
  • Given the paucity of time I relied on reading multiple times and very rarely maintain notes.

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?

This happens to every one. Nobody is born perfect but one should always keep in mind that the time which we are wasting in doing unnecessary things that may give pleasure at that moment but the same time is utilizing by some body else who is also preparing for the same examination and directional hardwork pays off always. With this thing  in mind after watching movie or a program on laptop, I come back to study.

Working professional

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

  • I would suggest make a judicious use of time,try to complete reading newspapers  atleast.
  • There would be some days with loads of work and you cannot read as per your plans, then try to read at home and cut your leisure time.
  • It is also inevitable that you have to make compromises on your professional front during your tenure but if you r able to achieve the desired result on your personal commitments then it is ok and one should not mind what your boss is telling (like you will not be promoted,or you will not get good grades) bcoz you also know you r not going to stay there for long.
  • I am also an average performer in my company, but I never think of all these things. (Try to cut the work assigned to you
  • make excuses, show them that you r not so efficient as others. You may be feeling wrong that you r not doing justice with them but keep this thing in mind they are just profit seeking entity exploiting your people ,exploiting your resources, exploiting your environment.
  • After coming to home I would suggest study as much as possible but on a regular basis. It should be a focused one(directional).

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 Sriram class notes
History Medieval Did not study.
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Sriram class notes+ Bipan Chandra(NCERT old one)
Culture society Did not study
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikant+ The Hindu
Economy (theory + current) Mrunal.org(Nothing else)
Science (theory + current) Did not study(relied on my memory of school days)
Environment (theory + current) Did not study
geography physical NCERT(Class XI-Fundamentals of Physical geography)
geography India NCERT(Class XII)
geography world GC Leong
other national/international current affairs The Hindu,Mrunal.org,EPW, Indian Express.
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff Did not study.
Maths Mrunal.org(Aptitude section in my working hours when used to feel bore of studying The Hindu.
Data interpretation Nothing specific.
Reasoning Mrunal(aptitude section)

Accuracy in GS paper

How many MCQs did you attempt? 103
How many of them correct (When solved at home)? 73
official score (when UPSC uploads) Expecting(125)

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.)

It was on expected lines . I found it little bit difficult than CS(Prelims-2013) but that was compensated by the aptitude portion that the paper was having.

Descriptive paper

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

Frankly speaking I had not prepared for the descriptive paper specifically and that proved costly to me as I was not able to complete the paper on time and left almost 22 marks(preci + one comprehension) in descriptive paper.

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?

It is almost 8 months now since I wrote this exam , I could recollect some points which are mentioned below.

Topic your key points
doctor-pharma nexus Unholy nexus b/w pharma & regulator,harmful to universal health coverage,recommendation of whole lot of costly medicines and lab tests by doctors  to fetch commission from pharma,supported with examples, avoid giving generic medicine to patients, giving outdated medicines or banned drugs,making the downtrodden people more vulnerable, they fall in debt trap,moral degradation of society,low level of ethics in medical industry, low level of strict regulation(not a single license has been cancelled so far), compared with the medical practices prevalent in US, UKNeed to have stringent regulation and supervision
interstate water dispute Started with spatial and temporal variation in water across India, scarce resource, water as state subject, inter state water dispute act, dispute tribunals,gave examples with littlebit elaboration, stress on interlinking of rivers.
social reformers in freedom struggle Started with Indian renaissainse, principles of humanism,rationalism,emphiricism,individualism, gave examples of various stalwarts like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Vidya Sagar etc, wrote about their respective contributions
falling rupee & Indian economy Reason for falling rupee(quantitative easing, fed tapering), crude imports, gold imports,its consequence on indian economy,rising CAD, imports costlier its cascading effect on Indian economy,cost push inflation, less demand,unemploymentBoost to export but bcoz of global recession no demands for indian exportSteps to be taken by the RBI and govt.
China’s aggressive policy
media publicity on terrorism

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 Politicisation of caste,Gujjar agitation on reservation,etc Afirmative action by state, art.14,16 etc
women empowerment is urban phenomenon Collective mobilization and politicization of women, prevalent of good colleges in urban areas, more employment opportunity to women in urban areas, less dependence on men , gave examples of some noted women like Chanda kochar,  Naina Kidwai, Indira Nooyi etc Talks about the women SHG in rural areas, Some schemes like Janani Suraksha Yozna, prevalent of female foeticide in urban areas, crime against women are more in urban areas , gave some examples of noted women from rural areas like PT usha etc.

Report writing?

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

I did not write in special format and wrote it like essay bcoz I had not prepared for descriptive paper or report writing but I would suggest to please write this thing as per the format of report writing.

Topic Keypoints
Uttarakhand tsunami & Military wrote about the Uttarakhand flash flood, its causes, consequences, role of military,ITBP, NDRF etc
Ethics crisis in cricket Recent spot fixing in IPL, disintegration of Pakistan cricket team bcoz of this,cricket and India etc.

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

I found it very lengthy. I was not able to complete around 25 marks. I left one preci+comprehension.

CAPF Physical Efficiency Test

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

  1. Since I used to play cricket and volleyball during my school days,did not do any physical exercise during my college days and after coming to Maruti also, so I was lacking confidence in it but I relied on my school days fitness and started preparing for my PET before 20 days. Toppers interviews at this stage helped me a lot.
  2. I used to go to a nearby children park with my friend and a measuring tape(to measure my long jump and chest expansion).
  3. After warming up, used to run for 5 min continuously with avg. speed and just after that sprint of 80m(as it was a children park, it was not having a straight path of 100m. and was able to complete that in 14 sec.)
  4. The biggest hurdle for me was the long Jump as I was not having anything to practice it. But used to jump for 3m(as I was also to save myself from getting injured) but the  jumping on flat ground cost me and I got myself hurt in initial days of my PET preparation. Therefore, I would suggest to keep urself  fit atleast till PET.
  5. Then after a week I came  again to practice but this time only for(800m & sprint of 80m) and work on the techniques of long jump like finding your takeoff leg((in mine case it was my left foot)  , try to give flight to your self so as to reach maximum , no of steps to be run before takeoff etc also saw some vedios on long jump techniques.
  6. I did not prepare for shotput as every toppers interview I read before my PET was saying that “no need to prepare for it ,as it is the easiest one” and it proved true also no body was out in it.

Q2. Where was your PET held?

ITBP Tigri Camp ,Delhi(27th June 2014).

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

  • I reached there at 8am, was asked to wait outside the gate. After half an hour we were allowed to go inside and were escorted by an ITBP official to a place. After document verification there , one by one we were to go for chest and height measurement. Almost six candidates were failed in chest expansion, so I wud suggest to practice relevant yoga like deep breathing, pranayam etc.
  • After going through this, we were given chest nos(mine was 3).Around 10 am we were divided into a group of 10 each.
  • Then the real ordeal started ,we were asked to stand for 100 m sprint. I came last in boys  and was able to complete in 16 second(thanks to a girl who was running in front of me for few seconds, then to save my prestige I ran fast J).
  • Then after few minutes (at max2-3 min gap)we were to run 800m but this time I came third(was second but at last surpassed by one).
  • One was disqualified in this.
  • After this came the biggest hurdle ,the long jump(3.5 m). I was able to clear it somehow in second attempt.
  • As said earlier shotput was the easiest one and nobody failed in it.

Interview by UPSC Panel

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

  • I prepared on all the relevant details that I had given in DAF and made a series of questions based on them. Prepared the answers to those questions in bullet form so that it should look natural while speaking.
  • I did not prepare any thing from my graduation subjects but I had phoned to one of my friends who is preparing for IES and asked him some basic concepts of mechanical engineering.
  • I did prepare a lot related to my company but their questions were lot deeper than what I had prepared about my company.

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

  • Since I was staying in Gurgaon so I went to interview from my room itself. The very day of my interview was very hectic  I was to get my interview letter attested by a gazzeted officer(at one place ,in the whole material which had come along with interview call letter ,it was required).At last one of my college seniors came to my help and signed that.  So I wud suggest to complete all these formalities before the interview day.
  • I was carrying newspaper along with me. But I did not get time to read that. I relied solely on my DAF preparation which I was doing for last seven days.

Q3. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Mr. Chhatar Singh

Q4. How long was the interview?

It lasted for around 30-35 min.

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?]

Yes, they asked this question. Given my Army background and I belong to a place where you will find most of the people are either in Army or police forces ,so all these things had an impact on me and therefore I always wanted to feel their pride by joining defence/police forces.

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.

C-is this u?(he showed me a photo)

Me- Yes sir.

C-ok, So your name is quite big(Ravi Kumar Rai Sharma), what your friends call u, he smiled?

Me- Ravi

C-ok Ravi, you belong to a place(Sherpur Khurd-my village name), what does this khurd means?

Me-I guess sir it is Chota (small) as my village is also called as chota sherpur.

C-So ,there must be Sherpur Kalan?

Me-Yes sir, (then he started explain me the concept behind it)

C-So your salary in Maruti is 45000, y do you want to leave it?

Me-Sir,since I belong to army background so I always had an inclination towards the defence/police forces.(He interrupted, asked what else other than your father had motivated you to join the police forces?.)

I told him about my place that most of the persons are in defence/police forces that I had an impact on me.

C-why dint you join Army?

Me-sir,I wud definitely join army if I get the chance .

C-had you ever tried for Army?

Me-Yes sir, I had tried.

C-So,tell me about the Maneser incident which took place at your company? you wud be having first hand information.

Me-Sir, I joined  Maruti in August 2012 while the incident took place in July2012 so I am not having the first hand information.

However Maneser incident was basically a labour management conflict which arised due to contractualistion of labour .The contract workers were demanding the parity in their salary structure with that of the permanent workers as contract workers were also doing the same work as that of the permanent workers.

C-So, tell what happened that day?

Me-sir,contract workers went violent and were furiously attacking the management people and in this incident we lost one of our top management people.

C-What should Maruti have done to prevent such strike?

Me-sir,Maruti should  provide training to these contractual workers and gradually work towards the decasualization of labour. We should also involve them in the decision making process while formulating policies for them.

C-As far as I know there was a communication gap between labor and management people, that’s why there was a distrust that was brewing among the labours.

Me-Yes sir.

C-Why  there was large  reshuffle at the top management level recently?

Me- Yes sir, three top posts held by Indian guys(Ishould not have used this word(guys))were abolished.

They have been offered the post of advisors.Since Suzuki has 56.2% share so all the top posts are now occupied with the Japenese guys.

C-What are the institutional mechanism to curb these type of violence?

Me-Sorry sir, don’t know.

C-Why did labour strikes only middle mgmt..?

Me- I was unable to answer it and was silent on this, did not say sorry sir(so one should say sorry if do not know the answer)

C-tell me how will you handle the same situation in armed forces,though it very rarely happened?

Me-sir, as you pointed out that these conflicts occur bcoz of communication gap, so I will try to fill that communication gap(he started laughing J)  and asked me how will you fill the communication gap?

Me-By giving my mobile no to my subordinate to register their grievances  with me directly.

He smiled again, told soldiers are so disciplined that they hesitate to call their superiors.

C- What else will you do?

Me- I was dumb( did not say ny thing).

M1-Why the people of North-East don’t feel integrated with the mainstream India?

Me- Sir, apropriate infrastructural developments have not taken place as it is evident from the fact that we are just having one railway station in Gwahati connecting all seven sister states.

M1- Their terrain is like that , we can not built much infrastructure there and he told me about the chicken neck.

M1-How would you mange to live in such extreme conditions if you don’t get CISF.? There are so many hardship involved ,what are they?

Me- sir, I would not call it as a hardship but a challenge, but an opportunity to serve  our mother land.

M2- So Ravi, your hobbies include Cooking and reading newspaper, tell me the ingredients of Garam masala?

Me- mam , I cook using readymade MDH masala(every one started laughingJ)

M2-Ok tell me how will you cook omlete for me?

Me- mam can I speak in hindi to explain this(she replied ofcourse, no body wud be knowing all the cooking stuff in English)

I answered this question in Hindi.(after that she told me to sit comfortable)

M2-tell me some editorial which had impacted your thinking a lot?

Me- mam, as such nothing like that but recently I had read about the Iraqian Crisis.

M2- so tell me whats going on there?

Me- I explained it very clearly.

M2-What India should do?

Me- the foremost priority for Indian govt. is to make a safe return for those Indian guysL who  are stranded there ,mostly nurses and workers.

After that India should also look at renewable sources of energy, told her about solar potential that india have,so that to save ourself from rising crude oil prices and contain our CAD.

M3- So apart from The Hindu ,which newspaper do you read?

Me- sir, mainly I read  The Hindu, but sometimes I read the articles written by C. Raja Mohan from Indian Express,

M3- There is one column in Hindu, Know Your English, do you find it interesting?

Me-Yes sir, it had increased my comprehensive power, vocablory  etc

M3-Tell me about AFSPA

Me-I had prepared on it during my preparation days, so explained it .

M3-should it be repealed? What is your take on it?

Me-sir ,  It was enacted in 1958 and till then it has not been successful, Seccionist tendencies,separatist group, maoist, naxalites all are increasing.People are feeling alienated with unaccountable behavior of our soldiers . Gave the example of Irom Chanu Sharmila, then talked about Sanjeeva Reddy committee and its recommendation

At last concluded that we must revisit this law.

M3-ok, What about article 370?

Me-Explained it.

C-ok ravi your interview is over you can go now,

Me-I thanked them.

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?

  • Yes it was on expected lines but had not thought that mr. chairman would go so much deep into manesar  incident.
  • It was a kind of stress interview in the beginning but later on I was able to answer all the questions so not stress at all but came out with the feeling that I would have done better.

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

Just bring the four photographs and photocopies of all the required materials. UPSE professionals will take care of other things.

CAPF Marksheet

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


Service preference

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


Q2. How/Why did you pickup that order?

I chose the order keeping  the safety concern in  mind. Other than this one of my  cousin brothers is in ITBP so gave it as a second preference after CISF.

UPSC CSE-2013 experience

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

Q1. Your marksheet for prelims and mains

Could not clear prelims.

Roll no:443830

Paper1: 96.66


Total:240 (could not clear the prelims for 1 mark)

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

Not in a position to comment on this.

Career Backup

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

  • I have put the resign  papers in the company and serving a notice period of 3 months. I would be finally relieving   from my company on 4th Aug. 2014.
  • frankly saying I am keeping this(CAPF) as my career backup if I dont make it to civil services.

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

BY getting selected into this I had already executed my career backup plan.

(Your third option is tempting me to write something but I cant.) I would just like to say that

“Kuch to  rahi hongi unki mazbooria kyo ki yu hi koi bewafa ni hota”

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

I would have focused more on my descriptive paper and would have not left anything in it.


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

No exam is easy , you have to work consistently to get through the exam.

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?

Yes, everyone feels bad when his/her name is not in the merit list, that is natural but guys it does not mean the end of the world.It is just a small feat that somebody has gain and you have lose. Have faith in your self,if someone can do it ,you can also do it. I have seen some of the guys who did not clear this but have cleared CSE. Keep yourself motivated. The one who has cleared that exam is not better than you,one is just different from you.Do consistent ,directional,and focused study you will win.

“In the boxing ring no one is declared defeated till one refuses to get up”

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 would like to thank my brother who has always supported me, he was the one who has always believed in me. He has always motivated me when I was lacking in confidence with his  inspirational quotes.
  • I would also like to thank Mr. Saurabh Tripathi (my best friend) who has always been like a dynamic mentor for me, without his support this success may not have been achieved. The best thing I like in him is outrightly pointing out my mistakes and correcting that then and there only.
  • I would like to thank all my friends  bcoz without you all this success has no meaning for me. Thanks for being with me throughout this journey.

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.

Of course  Mrunal, you are the one who has made the economics concept so simple that any one can master those concepts. Mrunal.org was in my daily routine and being a working professional it has helped me a lot  and till date I have not read anything else in economics other than on your blog. Now, I am planning to go through Sriram booklet on economics. You are doing a great job by providing guidance to new entrants in this competitive world. I salute your spirit Mrunal.