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. Solving previous year question papers also helps a lot J
  9. Accuracy in GS paper
  10. Descriptive paper
  11. Four Essays
  12. Argument For-Against
  13. Report writing?
  14. CAPF Physical Efficiency Test
  15. Interview by UPSC Panel
  16. UPSC Interview Transcript
  17. After the interview
  18. CAPF Marksheet
  19. Service preference
  20. UPSC CSE-2013 experience
  21. Career Backup
  22. Wisdom
  23. Credit: Friends/family
  24. Bogus Marketing Propaganda

CAPF Topper Profile

Name Santoshkumar Patil
Rank in CAPF-2013 210
Roll No. 289343
Age 24
No. of previous attempts in CAPF 0
Home town/city Talikoti ,Bijapur District ,Karnataka
Work-experience if any Samsung India Software Operations (SISO)
other competitive examsincluding success & failures CSE-2013 .Couldn’t clear Prelims .scored 240.34 in Prelims L
coaching/postal material (if used) Vajiram and Ravi
  • Hobbies
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
Watching and Playing cricket,reading novels and watching movies
Do you have NCC certificate? No


% in class 10      91.68
% in class 12      87.33
Schooling (Medium) Kannada (10th )English     (12th)
Graduation course & % B.E(Electronics & communication)76.98
College & batch-year BMS college of Engineering Bangalore ,2011 batch
Post-graduation NA
Any professional courses NA


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

CAPF 2013 Santosh Patil


I am from Talikoti ,a small town in Karnataka. My father is an educationist, seeing my father work all these years made me think that I should also make some contribution to the betterment of the society , So here I am,  preparing for CSE.

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)

e-material: The Hindu,epw,mrunal,gktoday ,Wikipedia and  e-books including NCERT.

Paper material: Standard books,class notes and any other important material in the market

So it’s a combination of both. But one should be careful as there is a possibility of studying same thing over and again in different books/blogs /sites (same content expressed in different ways), which is just waste of time .

Also filtering out the useful information that is related to syllabus is important.

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?

If you are preparing for any kind of exam you get frustrated or bored sometimes .So Mood swing is quite natural. I take a break to watch movies,listen to songs or meet/call up friends instead of forcing myself to study.It helps me to maintain momentum.

Working professional

If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with 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 Vajiram yellow book
History Medieval
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) GKtoday, spectrum
Culture society
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikanth
Economy (theory + current) Mrunal , sankarganeshSri Ram notes (selected topics)
Science (theory + current) NCERT
Environment (theory + current)  –
geography physical NCERT
geography India WIZARD Geography
geography world WIZARD Geography
other national/international current affairs Newspaper
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff
Maths I am considerably good at it.so no special preparation
Data interpretation No preparation
Reasoning No preparation

Solving previous year question papers also helps a lot J

Accuracy in GS paper

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

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.)

Overall I did well .I attempted quite a good number of questions with good accuracy .I donot remember exact number of questions that I attempted .I’ll send marksheet when UPSC uploads it.

Descriptive paper

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

Essay ,Precis  framework – Wren & Martin (just glanced through it)

Phrasal verbs – some random pdf having meaning and usage examples

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 For a disease a doctor can prescribe 100s of different drugs. So there is  a  stiff competition among pharma companies.They give freebies(gifts,paid holiday trip) to doctors to promote their drug (quid pro quo)High competition => more spending on freebies=> less money for R&D.Doctors prescribe costly drug => marginalization of poor
interstate water dispute Peninsular rivers dependency on Monsoon,Monsoon vageries => low lean period water availability  => Dispute –cauvery water issue (Karnataka,Tamil Nadu,Kerala and Puducherry)Dam height issues => again a problem between upper riparian and lower riparian states=> dispute

Inter-state water dispute tribunals and SLP in Supreme Court, hick up in Interstate relationship

social reformers in freedom struggle I Started with Raja Ram mohun roy –fight against sati and how it inspired others to take up issues of  unjust evil practices  ; use of journals  for  mass awakeningIshwar Chandra Vidyasagar &Jyotiba Phule – girls education => empowerment =>women participation in freedom struggle

Gandhiji – upliftment of untouchables (harijan) and tried to include them into mainstream => participation of harijans in freedom struggle

falling rupee & Indian economy
China’s aggressive policy
media publicity on terrorism I wrote both positive and negative aspectHow media can be used to brainwash people(Internet),how TV channels”live coverage” helped handlers sitting in Pak to control situations during 26/11 .How media can help to create awareness about terrorism,different forms of terrorism,differernt tactics of terrorists.

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 Vote bank politics and perpetuation of reservationNo check on the benefits of reservation.(rich using it to to get richer and ) Poverty link with caste.Poors usually sc/st/obc

No resources to compete with the rich upper class.So reservation brings them into mainstream(Affirmative descrimination).

women empowerment is urban phenomenon Socio-economic status of urban women in the society .Good Education ,awareness about   rights .

Participation in decision making process of  the family and also at work place

(rural women hardly take part)Negative aspect with respect to rural women –discrimination in education,job,society norms to restrict their freedom etc


Social empowerment through political and economic empowerment-Women farmers (rural women constitute higher % of workforce than urban women ),SHG

73rd Constitutional Amendment Act and participation in PRI institutions.

Increasing enrollment ratio and literacy levels =>  growing awareness and assertion of rights

Report writing?

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

Topic Keypoints
Uttarakhand tsunami & Military I answered based on Newspaper reports. Fragile ecosystem,flash floods, colonization of flood plains and river bed, stranding of pilgrims ,army and CAPF role in evacuating people
Ethics crisis in cricket Newspaper, (sreesanth &co case of spot fixing , match fixing..etc), also how gentlemen’s game is corrupted with practices like sledging ,ball tampering etc. Civil Service Mentor ( August 2013) gave good fodder points

I wrote them on the lines of essay.I didn’t follow any  special format

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

It was bit lengthy .But one shouldn’t leave any section. Completing the paper is a must. Grammar part is easy to score with little preparation. Précis writing practice will help. Even if you don’t practice just go through some précis to get the idea .

CAPF Physical Efficiency Test

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

I started preparing well before 2 weeks of my PET date at Ramjas ground,west Patel Nagar(Best place for people staying in ORN,Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar ). You can practice 100m,800m and long jump over there .

I did 100m and long jump every day and 800m on alternate days .

Long jump is the most difficult one. So proper preparation is required.

One day before PET complete rest.

Q2. Where was your PET held?

ITBP Tigri Camp.

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

It was a good experience. ITBP personnel were very cordial. After we all went in,document verification was done ,after that  they checked height,weight and chest expansion.(If possible check these things at home.If you are overweight or if your chest expansion is not happening then you can work on it before PET. one or two guys got disqualified in chest expansion). All the guys who cleared were made into 2 groups and events were conducted(order : 100m -> 800m-> Long jump -> shot put).5 got disqualified in 100m ,surprisingly none in 800m and almost half of the remaining in long jump and 2 guys in shot put(so don’t take anything for granted!!!).

Interview by UPSC Panel

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

I relied mostly on electronic material.Knowing everything about DAF is a must. So I read about historic events related to my native and home district,home state (it helped me in interview) and pdfs on key areas of graduation.

And regarding naxalism,red corridor,mandate for various forces and current affairs related to armed police forces –blogs,Wikipedia .Also watched videos about cisf ,bsf ,itbp on youtube (It helped me to know  them better).

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 stay in Old Rajinder Nagar,Delhi . I briefly  read whatever information I had gathered while preparing for the interview

Q3. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Chattar Singh  board

Q4. How long was the interview?

20-25 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?]

Security and stability are of paramount importance for the growth  and prosperity of the country , Assistant Commandant post gives me an excellent opportunity to contribute to the nation by ensuring security and stability ,Hence I wanted to become an Assistant commandant .

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)

My interview was taken by Chattar Singh Board.Board was extremely cordial,mine was the last interview of the day.

CS  read out some details from my DAF and then….

CS : So u watch movies ,What kind of movies?

CS : Do you watch Kannada movies?

CS: who is your favourite hero in kannada movies?

CS : what kind of roles has Dr.Rajkumar  played ?

CS : So you are an Electronics and Communication Engineer.What is communication?

CS: What do you think is the most important requirement of communication?

CS: what are the obstacles in communication?

He handed over to M1

M1: do you know what Bijapur is famous for?

M1: Adil Shah dynasty was a part of some other dynasty initially, which was that dynasty?

M1: where was Bahamani kingdom located?

M1: why did you leave the job, despite such a good salary? (43k)

Then handed over to M2

M2: what is self-esteem?

M2: full form of UNICEF, POLICE?

M2: As an assistant commandant what qualities do you think you should possess?

Some 2-3 questions related to ethics which I’m unable to recollect now

M3: difference between CIA and FBI?

M3: which institutes in India work on the similar lines?

M3: difference between R&AW and IB?

That’s it

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?

Mostly expected questions and  few unexpected ones .Overall It was a normal interview.

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

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?

CISF and CRPF have all india presence .So diverse location and diverse nature of work prompted me to give preference to them.ITBP and BSF just randomly.

UPSC CSE-2013 experience

I could not clear the preliminary exam. My score was 85.34 in GS, 155 in Aptitude, total 240.

Career Backup

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

Everyone should try to move up in position and try to achieve something bigger than what has been already achieved.So I am going to prepare for CSE till I join CAPF.

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

I have started working on it already.

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

I would solve previous year CSE prelims question papers(some 10-15year ) as many questions directly or indirectly repeat and  structuring of essay and report writing .


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

“Mehanat Itani khamoshi se karo ki safalata shor machaye”

“Hard work,willpower and Dedication”- For a person with these qualities ,sky is the limit – Milkha singh

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?

Don’t be disheartened. I know how it feels to fail even after all the hardwork. I have also gone through this phase. CAPF or any other exam , GIVE YOUR 100% and leave the rest to  GOD. (Gita –“Karam karo phal ki chinta mat karo “)

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 owe it all to MY FAMILY, my teachers and my friends J

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.

Yes I used Mrunal.org for my preparation.I am a regular visitor.I like the way Mrunal explains economics concepts . Also Mrunal provided me a source of inspiration and  guidance for PET preparation (last year toppers PET experiences and interviews.