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

CAPF Topper Profile

Name Varinder Kataria
Rank in CAPF-2013 94
Roll No. 002266
Age 23
No. of previous attempts in CAPF 0
Home town/city Bathinda
Work-experience if any None
other competitive examsincluding success & failures I.A.S. 2013, didn’t cleared Mains
coaching/postal material (if used) Yes for economics – Sriram notes, I feel it’s the best source for Economics Basics
  • Hobbies
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
Gymming (wrote this in CAPF  D.A.F. also and some interesting questions were asked about it)
Do you have NCC certificate? NO


% in class 10 81
% in class 12 71
Schooling (Medium) English
Graduation course & % B.Tech Computer Software with specialization In Ethical Hacking—71%
College & batch-year Baba Farid College of Engg. And Technology, Bathinda, Punjab
Post-graduation NO
Any professional courses NO


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

CAPF 2013 Varinder Kataria


My name is Varinder. I have studied till my engg. in Bathinda. I always wanted to be a Civil Servant so after my B.tech straightaway went to delhi in 2012. There I started preparing for I.A.S. 2013 from Vajiram & Ravi I.A.S. Institute. After giving Prelims there I came back to Bathinda and continued my preparations at home. In 2013 i gave the CAPF exam for the first time and with god grace cleared it. My Father is a Govt. employee , working in Punjab Police and my mother is a homemaker.

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)

Ans. I feel searching through too many blogs and websites is waste of time because at the end of the day information supplied about the topic is mostly same.

I only relied on two websites-

  1. Wikipedia
  2. PIB (Press Information Bureau)

I don’t believe in hectic net searching.

Books are the best source and printed notes can complement your reading. Notes I make only for newspaper as I find it difficult to keep newspaper cuttings intact for long time.

Also, one advice which I would like to give is that one must stress on conventional subject matter like freedom struggle, economics basics, polity for OBJECTIVE TYPE papers because no matter whether they ask you current affairs or not, there will always be quite a good number of questions from these. So first make yourself good at these.

A typical day starts with studying for 3-4 hours as mind is at its best in the morning after a good sleep. Then a break of 1-2 hours. Then study 2 hours again. Then Gym in the evening. Then rest for 1 hour. Then 2-3 hours study and then a movie. After that a good night sleep of atleast 8 hours.

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?

Ans. I study for an average 8 – 10 hours daily and everyday watch a movie before sleeping. Also gymming for about 30- 45 minutes helps me relieve of mental stress and keeps me healthy.

Working professional

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

Ans. N.A.

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 Old NCERT 11th
History Medieval Old NCERT 11th
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Spectrum- a brief history of modern India
Culture society Didn’t prepared, because I can’t remember it even if I try
Polity (theory + current) Lakshmikant…this book is ultimate
Economy (theory + current) Sriram Economics
Science (theory + current) Ncert 10th
Environment (theory + current) A Special Issue of Chronicle magazine, 2012
geography physical Vajiram Class Notes of Manocha Sir and Shabbir Ahmed Sir + G.C. Leong
geography India Vajiram Class Notes of  Shabbir Ahmed Sir
geography world Wikipedia
other national/international current affairs The Hindu
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff The Hindu + PIB + Wikipedia
Maths  R.S. aggarwal
Data interpretation R.S. aggarwal
Reasoning R.S. aggarwal

Accuracy in GS paper

How many MCQs did you attempt? I don’t remember exactly but around 95 out of 125
How many of them correct (When solved at home)? Didn’t tried at home
official score (when UPSC uploads) Will tell

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.)

Ans. Expected Lines and was an average paper (not too easy, neither too dificult)

Descriptive paper

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

Ans. High School English grammar by wren and martin

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 We face it every day in every city, so wrote actual scenario
interstate water dispute Almost every day in news — Kaveri water dispute
social reformers in freedom struggle Wrote Spectrum chapter 2 as it is
falling rupee & Indian economy Sriram Economy given as it is
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 Only keypoint for both is don’t take extreme position and use words which don’t hurt the reader (Imagine yourself to be a civil servant and speaking in front of public and then write) Same
women empowerment is urban phenomenon Here I quoted exact figures for women participation in skilled and unskilled job in rural and urban both which I had CRAMMED from newspapers and talked only about economic aspects Same

Report writing?

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

I knew the report writing structure so applied it

Topic keypoints
Uttarakhand tsunami & Military From Wikipedia I had downloaded an article about this and wrote that as I remembered most part of it
Ethics crisis in cricket Anyone can write this topic if u know what is T-20 cricket

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

Easy but Lengthy

CAPF Physical Efficiency Test

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

Ans. On this I can write a book. As I was preparing for mains and due to my gym with NO CARDIO,  along with high carb, high protein diet,  I was 89 kg(very much overweight as per CAPF requirement) when call letter for PET came. I started hectic, infact VERY HECTIC jogging, very hectic dieting, lost 20 kg before PET. Believe me, every time I ran, I felt today I will get a heart attack. On the day of my PET I was 69 kg. Only advice for those who want to appear in CAPF- running, dieting(if you are overweight and most of the time we are) and Practice 100 m and Long jump daily because most of the guys/ girls get rejected in these.

Q2. Where was your PET held?

Ans. ITBP, Chandigarh

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

Ans. They were very fun loving people. It was an enjoyable experience except the 100 m and 800 m run because of scorching heat of sun. Also since I was well prepared so I didn’t faced any problem.

Interview by UPSC Panel

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

Ans. My only focus points were my State and Hobby related questions. Rest I don’t think you can prepare for interview in a pin-pointed way as the questions can be asked from any field. What so ever you have studied during your preparation will surely come handy.

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

Ans. Friend’s home

Notes which I had prepared about my state like issues in state and other G.K. facts

Q3. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Ans. Manvir Singh

Q4. How long was the interview?

25 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?]

From day one I have always aspired to be a Civil Servant. Frankly speaking, this is more of a backup rather than the final aim. But still it is much better than sitting whole day behind a computer(remember I am a computer engineer). You get to fulfill your aim of public service in one of the best forces of India and I am now proud to be a part of it.

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.

Chairman: Varinder,  you have done ur 12th from?

Me: St. Xavier’s Bathinda

Chairman: and your B.tech from?

Me: Sir from BFCET, Bathinda

Chairman: So all ur studies you have done from Bathinda?

Me:  Yes sir

Chairman: what is the reliance KG d6 basin price issue?

Me: Former RBI governor C Rangarajan came out with a formula which has been followed nowhere in the world, which has resulted in Reliance  getting a price on import parity basis. It will raise the price of gas to double from present of $4.2 mmBtu to 8.4. But the UPA govt had put on hold the decision to raise the price.

Chairman: ok varinder, so tell me about the various social ills prevailing in Punjab which are in news

Me: Sir foremost there are two

One is the growing drug menace and other is the increase in the number of farmers’ suicide

Chairman: What are the steps taken by state govt. to curb drug menace?

Me: Sir recently govt. has announced Drug De-addiction and Rehabilitation centers in five districts at the cost of 25 crore

Second is the setting up of narcotics bureau and drug de-addiction and rehabilitation board under C.M.

Rehabilitation barracks setup for prisoners in jail

Launch of special drive by police against drug peddlers

Chairman: why Police is slow to act against these drug peddlers?

Me: Sir, recently a drug lord was arrested who revealed the names of some high profile persons involved in this drug racket and name of a very senior politician cropped up who is very well connected to ruling government in Punjab. So police is bound to face problems in acting against such persons.

Chairman: but not every drug peddler is a senior politician??

Me: yes sir you are right but then we need to look at the ground realities that when such powerful persons are linked to this trade, even the petty ones can hide behind the names of such persons. Also sir the drug peddlers are present even at the grass root level i.e. villages. So gathering evidence and acting against them will take time.

Chairman: don’t you think you are justifying the slow action of police?

Me:  No sir, infact I think that police is not slow in acting. Recently a D.S.P. was dismissed along with some lower officials and an enquiry was initiated against an S.S.P. , all of whose names have been linked to drug trade. So I think that police is trying to curb this drug trade with a strong determination but we should be practical and accept the reality that it will take time for the justice to prevail.

Member 2: Suppose you are the SSP of Bathinda and you come to know that two of your DSP are involved in drug trade. What will you do?

Me: Sir , first of all I will initiate an enquiry against them and….(I between asked next question)

Member 2: will you immediately dismiss them?

Me: No sir. Going by the laws of natural justice I will give them a chance to present their case…(again question asked)

Member 2: Suppose they are found guilty, then what?

Me: Then sir I will immediately suspend them, register a case against them and recommend their dismissal to state DGP and State CM.

Member 2: ok varinder, so you have written your hobby as gymming. Do you think it is an incentive to train with girls in gym, I mean does it provides you some kind of motivation to train more as girls are watching you training?

Me:  No sir, definitely not. But at the same time there is nothing wrong in training with girls as we are studying in co-educational schools and colleges. Also I feel it provides you a kind of gender sensitization to as it is in an informal environment that your personality gets shaped better.

Member 2: What kind of music should be played in gym?

Me: Sir, since you need to put in your maximum strength in gym I feel music should be such that it makes your blood goes rushing,  like Rock music.

Member 2: so gazals should not be played? and he smiled and other members also

Me: with a bigger smile—“ no sir not gazals”

Member 3: What is multi Commodity Exchange?

Me: it is a platform which provides trading in commodity futures.

Member 3: diff bw futures and options?

Me: Sir in future there is a liability to buy and sell but in options it is not so.

Also sir in futures you don’t need to pay an upfront premium but in options you do pay

Member3: have you heard of credit rating agencies?

Me: yes sir

Member 3: Name some

Me: sir Moody’s, standard and poor’s

Member 3: Have you heard of ICRA?

Me: Yes sir (But I was not asked any question about it)

Member 4(Lady member) : Varinder can you tell me about the types of satellites?

Me : Yes madam

Low Earth Orbits

Sun-Synchronous orbits

Geosynchronous satellites

Geostationary satellites

Member 4: what are these used for?

Me: madam these are used for Studying poles, for defense and security uses, for exploring universe and other planets, for studying crop patterns, for navigational uses, for atmospheric studies, for weather prediction.

Member 4: you have just mentioned about weather prediction. I want to ask you that don’t you think they are of little use as the predictions made by our meteorological deptt about oncoming weather are seldom true?

Me: Madam climate is a very complex phenomenon just to be understood by satellite images. Also meteorological deptt. Forecast are not always wrong ad they provide a great help for govt to prepare for adverse weather conditions as is prevailing now due to the El-nino conditions.

Member 4: do you think weather affects human behavior?

Me: this was perhaps the funniest answer I gave because everyone laughed at this. “Yes madam, in summer we become more aggressive because rise in temperature also makes our mind’s mercury rise (in a lighter tone I said and madam smiled) and cold conditions keep us calm”.

Member 4: What weather you like and why?

Me: madam I like winters because you can protect yourself from cold by wearing sweaters and jackets but in summers you cannot escape the heat of the sun until and unless you have A.C. in your home, in your Car, in your work environment which is not possible for everyone.

Chairman: asked other members “ anyone wants to ask something”?

Me: In my heart I prayed “oh god save me”

Thankfully everyone said no

That’s all and believe me after coming out of interview room I was feeling like I have wrestled wih some sumo as I was tired like anything

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?

Ans. No, it was totally different except few questions but I think I nailed it. I was quite happy and satisfied and knew it that my name will be in the final list just after my interview.

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

Everything is written in interview call letter you receive but do Bring your original certificates along with two photocopies of each. Dress up properly with no fashion accessories in your ears, wrist, neck etc.

Service preference

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


Q2. How/Why did you pickup that order?

Ans. No particular reason except CRPF for second choice because I find its working more fascinating (No offence to BSF and ITBP, Its my personal view)

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 : 283 (112 + 173)

Mains: 508

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

Ans. In optional (Public administration) I scored 196 which I think is a decent score and for that I would say making notes and stressing on PAPER 1 THINKERS helped me.

Career Backup

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

Ans.  None

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

Ans.  Nothing like this

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

Ans.  More stress on ancient and medieval history


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

Ans. If u want to succeed in these U.P.S.C Exams study daily for atleast  8- 10 hours and have patience because the only thing in your hand is to study as much as you can.

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?

Ans. In U.P.S.C. there are many more failures (I am one of them) than success stories. So only thing u can do is sit tight and start preparing again because thinking about failure isn’t going to change your results. Also remember that you failed because someone else had worked harder than you. So learn from failures.

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?

  1. Oh god tussi great ho
  2. My Parents
  3. My Friends – SUYOG , Sharad, Sarvendra and Ashish.

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.

Ans. Yes for current affairs I’ve used your site.