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

Rank in CAPF-2013 32
Roll No. 24045
Age 27
No. of previous attempts in CAPF 0
Home town/city RANCHI
Work-experience if any Worked at Wipro Technologies for 15 months
other competitive examsincluding success & failures SBI Bank PO 2012- Not qualified (missed by 2 marks)APFC Exam 2012- Not qualified

Civil Services Exam 2012- pre cleared

Civil Services Exam 2013- AIR 783

coaching/postal material (if used) General studies at Vajiram&ravi
  • Hobbies
  • Extra-Curricular Activities
Event ManagementCricket and Badminton
Do you have NCC certificate? No


% in class 10 84%
% in class 12 73.4%
Schooling (Medium) English
Graduation course & % B.E in Biotechnology & 67%
College & batch-year Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi – 2010 Passout
Post-graduation None
Any professional courses None


CAPF Topper Rahul Raja

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

I belong to a humble family.  My father is a sub-inspector in Jharkhand police and mother a supervisor in ICDS. After my graduation in 2010, I worked in a software company for over a year but felt an urge to pursue my childhood dream which to some extent was also inspired due to familial background. I wasn’t satisfied with my previous work profile and due to higher aspirations I came to Delhi in 2012 to prepare for civil services and other exams (including CAPF).

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 study life. 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 mind maps on computer …or xyz style)

While I was preparing for the competitive exams, my day began around 7 a.m. with The Hindu newspaper (2 hrs.) almost every day.  Apart from this, based on the need I would read regular subjects i.e. history, polity, economics, geography etc. from the very basic books based on my own discretion about the need for it.

As far as electronic materials are concerned, I am glad that my habit of browsing internet (relevant websites such as PIB, EPW, and also Mrunal.org for some sections) and social networking sites such as Twitter (following good twitter handles such as of newspapers, news channels, epw, pib, and other official govt. handles such as that of PMO and Planning commission to name some)& Facebook helped me a lot. At the end of the day I realize they all helped me answer few Questions that I wouldn’t come across in regular study materials.

I didn’t make any notes as such from these online sources

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?

The sole motivation was my will to excel. There were time when I felt agitated but talking to family members and friends helped a lot. At times thought of success and the life thereafter in terms of work satisfaction and growth prospects also helped me keep up the momentum.

Working professional

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

While I was working I found it difficult for myself to manage time hence I quit it before I started my preparations. Having said that many I know have achieved success while in job as well.

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 and Mrunal.org
History Medieval None
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Only NCERT
Culture society Mrunal.org
Polity (theory + current) Chronicle Nov2012 edition and The Hindu for latest updates
Economy (theory + current) Sriram’s notes and Economic survey
Science (theory + current) Mrunal.org
Environment (theory + current) Mrunal.org
geography physical It’s my optional paper in CSE, so relied on notes for all Geography section
geography India Do
geography world Do
other national/international current affairs The Hindu
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff Read Five year plan so it was covered
Maths Solved few CSAT papers and that helped
Data interpretation Do
Reasoning Do

Accuracy in GS paper

How many MCQs did you attempt? 75
How many of them correct (When solved at home)? 68
official score (when UPSC uploads) 134

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.)

I never saw CAPF paper before so couldn’t compare it with previous year paper but yes GS paper was doable given that I wrote prelims of Civil Services Exam few months back.

Descriptive paper

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

Luckily I joined Essay classes and wrote few essays around that time while preparing for Civil Services Mains Examination. For grammar, précis and report writing I relied on my school days though I did look in for the pattern over internet.

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 key points in them?

Topic your key points
doctor-pharma nexus Talked about ethical nature of the service, profit sharing by the nexus, impact on out of pocket expenditure, nexus leading to sale of expensive drugs even if cheaper remedy are available, how it impacts society and lives of people, ended with role of govt agencies capacity building for proper monitoring and I also highlighted that not all doctors indulge in such practices.
interstate water dispute Started with the cause of such disputes pertaining to size of India and interstate rivers, role of monsoon, regional disparity of water resources, relevance of agriculture in india, political will etc. I ended with role of role of tribunals and the quick resolution of water disputes, role of NGOs and civil society and need of conservation and proper utilization of water resources.
social reformers in freedom struggle
falling rupee & Indian economy The background of 2008 economic crisis in usa and Europe laid the foundation, then role of prolonged stimulus by Indian govt, policy paralysis in various sectors, rising debt of India due to heavy import of crude oil and gold, decline in export of service sector etc. I ended with possible solution in terms of cut in expenditure on diesel subsidy and promoting exports to check the fall.
China’s aggressive policy Talked about its rise as military super power supported by economic growth, talked about incursion in Indian territories and the boundary dispute, also mentioned the disputes with other south east Asian countries, string of pearls with small diagram was highlighted etc. Ended with Indian govt stance in strengthening the ties with south Asian countries and china as a whole.
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 key point in it?

I wrote 2 separate

  1. For:
  2. Against:

For both the topics

Topic Argument for Against
casteless society becomes distant through issues raised by reservation Began with the atrocities against the marginalized castes over the centuries, the humane aspects of equality of opportunities, and their poor social and economic condition, also about their poor representation in jobs. Started with need of doing away reservation based on caste as even those who are affluent avail reservation and deny opportunities to those who need it. Stressed on if reservation is needed it should be based on economic parameters, how it creates divide within society, disturbs harmony.
women empowerment is urban phenomenon Education standards, awareness level, Sense of security, nature of work, Role of NGO’s and Civil societies, police more prominent in urban areas. Etc Role of women at home is more visible in rural areas, they work hand in hand in agricultural fields with men, reservation in panchayat has empowered them too etc.

Report writing?

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

I couldn’t recall exactly but I think it was more or less as a typical newspaper article with a heading.

Topic Keypoints
Uttarakhand tsunami & Military Opened it up with the havoc that struck in Uttarakhand, how it happened,  people stuck in upper reaches, loss of lives and property, difficulty in carrying out relief operation by civil orgs. How it lead to deployment of military since they can act faster and in more organized way since they are more aware about the difficult mountainous terrain. Gave random facts about how many people are trapped and how many casualties expected, along with govt. announcing interim monetary relief.
Ethics crisis in cricket Craze for cricket, money involved, facilities available for the players, involvement of betting rackets, how they lure young cricketers, faith of people in game, why it must be ethical, role of ICC, model code of conduct for players.

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

The paper indeed was very lengthy but somehow I managed to attempt almost all questions except precis. Grammar section was doable.

CAPF Physical Efficiency Test

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

During my school and college days I have played cricket and badminton at state level, so I had this advantage of being an athlete. I started practicing in nearby ground almost 10 days before my PET by keeping timings in mind. I injured my ankle and tail bone while doing long jump and had to stop practicing in 2-3 days itself. 2 days before PET I went for small session of practice.  On the final day of PET I used lots of sprays and painkillers and I managed to clear it quite comfortably in the end.

Q2. Where was your PET held?

It was held at CRPF camp, Jharoda kalan, Delhi

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

The PET tests an individual’s physical ability as per demand in services. I think any athletic person or anyone with decent practice of 10-15 days can complete the PET. They are stringent on physical standards such as chest expansion, height, weight etc. One must be careful about the long jump as most in our batch struggled in it. If PET is being done in summer it becomes even more difficult due to heat.

Interview by UPSC Panel

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

I prepared the topics solely based on my DAF form right from meaning of my name to place of birth to schooling and college. I read again about basics of my graduation subject since it’s been a while I studied that. Special focus was on my hobbies such as event management, cricket and badminton. Apart from that I prepared general aspects of my home state. I also read about para military forces and the type of work that they do.

p.s- I had given 3-4 mock session for civil services interview prior to CAPF interview and an actual interview by UPSC board.

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 was already staying in Delhi as a paying guest. I had hand written notes on the topics I told above.

Q3. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Mr. Vinay Mittal

Q4. How long was the interview?

I was the first person to be interviewed and my interview was longer than usual. It was of about 30-35 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?]

They actually asked me this question

I answered “I dropped my plans for pursuing higher education abroad in Biotechnology in my final year of graduation as I wanted to stay within India. Paramilitary forces are involved in challenging environment and diverse activities. Apart from that it has better career growth prospects hence I chose 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.

I couldn’t recall many Questions that were based on my bio data but I do remember most of the situational ones that were asked to me.

My interview board was of Mr. Vinay Mittal and I was the first candidate among others to be called in for the afternoon session on 23rd june.

After verification of all documents we in group of 7 candidates were waiting for session to begin. I must admit that I was anxious and a bit nervous about the interview. After sometime the person asked me to come along with him and he asked me to sit outside the interview room on a comfortable chair till I was called inside.

The bell rang and I was asked to go inside. I knocked the door and asked for permission to get inside.  I saw a lady member in the panel and while walking towards my chair I nodded my head to wish the members. On reaching the chair I stood feet away and wished the lady member first and then other members including the chairman next. (All of this happened in around 15-20 seconds)

The chairman asked me to sit, I pulled chair a bit and made myself comfortable.

This is how it went thereafter….

Chairman had the summary sheet of DAF and while turning the pages he informally introduced other members about me to begin with. He showed me the form and the photograph from his place and asked, is this you? I answered in agreement with a gentle smile.

He went on to say, so Rahul you have done B.tech from BIT Mesra in Biotechnology and also worked in Wipro technologies. You have held various positions (president of few societies in college, Institute captain of college in badminton, and student coordinator of annual cultural festival of BIT Mesra etc) and your hobby is event management, playing badminton and cricket….


Q Why did you choose to become Assistant Commandant in spite of doing graduation in Biotechnology? I heard it has great scope ahead.

Ans: Sir, Biotechnology indeed has bright scope. But during my college days I thought why go abroad, instead I chose to stay within India. Assistant commandant as a job attracted me because of its challenging nature and diverse work environment. And it offers me great career prospects too.

Q. What is this event management?

Ans: Sir, It is an act where one engages himself with available resources to organize the task for a cause along with others.

Q. What did you so as a student coordinator in your college?

Ans:  Sir, I represented students of our college. I was acting as a bridge between college administration and other student societies. At the same time I along with other office bearers of the event chalked out plan to conduct the annual cultural event in best possible way while ensuring all the logistics and resources are available for the smooth running of the event.

Q. Suppose I am a chairman of some big software company but I forgot to bring my admit card and the security guard at the gate is not allowing me to enter even if I tell him who I am. I feel offended and ask you (Me being the security in charge of the campus) to take action and fire the security guard. What will you do?

Ans:  Sir, since I am the in charge of the security of the campus it’s my duty to ensure the security of the campus. To make sure no one other than those entitled to enter the campus the provision of Identity card is laid down. I as per the protocol has instructed security guard to follow the rules and hence his action. So I don’t think h should be fired for his action.

Q. But I am the chairman and he should have let me in and I want him to be fired.

Ans: Sir, with due respect I still won’t fire him. Rather I would explain the chairman regarding his commitment towards the organization. I think he should be lauded for setting a good example that no one in organization is above rules.

Q. How do you ensure safety in any corporate organization?

Ans: Sir, Based on my experience of working in a corporate organization, I noticed people have biometric cards that enables access as per his role. His or her entry is allowed right from entry at the gates to his cubicle only after due verification. Moreover at many times any electronic device such as pen drives and camera phones is restricted in certain departments so as to secure the propriety of the company.

2ND Member

Q. What if I, the chairman of the company asks you to provide me extra security guard with guns even if government didn’t provide me. What will you do if you are the assistant commandant and security in charge of the organization?

Ans: Sir, Government provides just enough security staffs based on need and perception for the organization. If there is no provision for the extra security personnel for the chairman as per govt order then I would politely explain the situation and deny it to him.

Q. What if he tells that he would complain about you at higher level and get you transferred?

Ans: Sir, still I would go by the rules and deny that request.

3RD member (Lady)

Why should we recommend you for Assistant commandant?

Ans: Ma’m I am a confident person and can lead by example.

Q. Give an example?

Ans: Ma’m during college days I held many positions in clubs and societies. We worked as a team and I was leading them right from planning to implementation of small and big events including the annual cultural festivals as well as the sports tournaments. Even in work I used to organize team outings and small get together.

Q. Have you heard about Himalayan tragedy of uttarakhand?


Q Suppose you are the incharge of carrying out relief operation there and it happens that local crowd gathers and at times hinders the whole operation. How would you use them?

Ans: Ma’m I would take there help by engaging them in small small activities to assist the forces.

Q. But we did hear during the Himalayan tragedy that locals instead of offering help snatched ornaments even from dead bodies and took away food packets meant for victims. How would you ensure their constructive role in relief operation?

Ans: Ma’m that’s unfortunate, but the small force to assist in relief operation is never sufficient in such a massive tragedy. To ensure their constructive participation, I would form small teams with some locals and members from forces would be leading the whole group. This would ensure speedy relief work with local inputs and also curb such unwanted incidents.

4th Member

Q You are an Assistant commandant already, you came to meet us here in the office and there were sound of bullet fires. Tell me in brief, what would you do?

Ans: My first duty is to ensure your safety and I would make sure that all doors are locked and we take shelter at the safest possible location in room. Then… (He interrupts and asks me tell me in brief)

Sir, I would ask everyone to stay back in room and block the door with heavy furniture in room so that they don’t take you hostage. Once this is done, I will try to go out safely and help the security personnels in every possible way.

Q But you are unarmed and you might even get killed.

Ans: Sir, since I am a assistant commandant, I have been adequately trained with or without arms and in this situation the first thing I must do is ensure safety of as much people as I can. (He laughs)

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 as per my preparation except the fact that number of situation based question surprised me but it was to my advantage as I could comfortably answer them. At times they did try to trap me in ethical dilemma but I stuck firm politely to my answers with conviction.

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

The list of documents required are clearly mentioned in the call letter and I don’t find anything as such to mention explicitly.

CAPF Marksheet

  • GS paper 1: 134
  • English : 79
  • Written total: 213
  • Interview: 108
  • Final: 321.

Service preference

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


Q2. How/Why did you pickup that order?

Based on general preference of services as I read on mrunal.org

UPSC CSE-2013 experience

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

Q1. Your marksheet for prelims and mains

I made it to final merit list with AIR -783 & service allocated is IRS (C&CE)- here is my marksheet

essay 125
gs1 76
gs2 65
gs3 91
gs4 94
geography1 64
geography2 97
written total 612
interview 149
final 761

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

  • CSAT is relatively easy to score than GS but in the end UPSC tests you in a good way in all aspect so no running away from GS.
  • Optional plays the decisive role even in the new format for better rank.
  • Essay is all about skill of writing. I stuck to basic format, simple English and proper chronology. It has a bit of luck factor as well.

Career Backup

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

Didn’t think of that but yes I always had a chance to fall back to software industry or pursue higher education in biotechnology.

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

After 3-4 attempts for civil services.

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

Not appearing. But if I had to appear then I would ensure I would know do quick revision of basic formats of writing a report, argument and few portions of grammar.


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

If we are committed and sincere in our effort life always throws us opportunities one after the other. No matter how hard it seems to move ahead we must keep faith in god and believe in our abilities. Never get bogged down by negativity as there are many things in  life to cheer about.

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?

These exams or I must say most exams are about exclusivity and not inclusivity. There would always be many who didn’t make it to final merit list. All I can suggest is “Don’t worry about the failure, instead think what went wrong, and make it a challenge to self to overcome it and then work hard to achieve it.” In the end success is what matters and hard work never goes as a waste.

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?

For me, my family has been immensely supportive in every decision I took and without their support it wouldn’t have been possible. Apart from this my friends & many others have contributed a lot in my success, without their guidance and motivation it would have been very difficult to traverse this long and arduous 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.

Apart from what I mentioned earlier, I did access mrunal.org usually for reference in matters of polity, economy and general science. I must appreciate it as a good source for current content and information.