1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Struggle of a Senior player
  7. Working professional
  8. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  9. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  10. Prelim accuracy
  11. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  12. Mains: Essay
  13. Mains General studies paper 1 to 4
  14. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  15. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  16. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  17. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  18. GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2014
  19. Mains answer-writing?
  20. Mains Optional Subject
  21. Before the interview
  22. During the interview
  23. CSE-2014 Marksheet
  24. Career Backup
  25. Views on UPSC reforms
  26. Insecurity about profile
  27. Wisdom
  28. Credit: Friends/family
  29. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

Kranti Singh

Kranti Singh: Rank 417, CSE-2014, Geography Optional

Q. Details
Name Kranti Prabhat Singh
Rank in CSE-2014 417
Roll No. 000022
Age 27
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 3
Optional Subject Geography
Schooling Medium English
College medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Kurukshetra
Work-experience if any 1 year
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures SEBI(Interview),NABARD(Phase 1 cleared, Didn’t appear for Phase 2)
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) Vajiram for Geography
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS,IPS,IFS,IRS(IT),IRS(C&E)
state cadre preference (Top-5) Haryana


fill the details here
% in class 10 84
% in class 12 74
Graduation course and % 58
Name of college, city, passing out year St Stephens College,DU(2008)
Post-graduation Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management,Delhi(2011)-67%
Any other professional courses
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Sports-Cricket,Football, Badminton,Chess


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?

I was born in Mussorie,did my schooling from Campus School and St Sophia School Hisar, Graduation from St Stephens College and PG in Management from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. I have a work experience of 11 months in Insurance Broking and Risk Management.

My father,Prem Singh, is Registrar in SGT University(Gurgaon). My mother,Shakuntla Singh, is Home maker. I have two elder sisters(Shalini, Priyanka).Both of them are happily married and are working professionals.

I never thought of Civil Services till I turned 25 and then I got too much attracted towards it which forced me to quit a well paying job. With Civil Services, you can have a much wider impact and contribution towards the society which can be a motivating factor for a person to work hard for the next 30 years.

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)

I prefer reading Books and paper material over electronic material but at the same time, electronic material saves time and energy which is very vital in Civil Services Preparation. Electronic material should be supplemented with Paper Material.

Tempo and style

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

This is most difficult aspect of the preparation as mood swings are bound to take place. There are days when you question your abilities to crack the exam. I am too much into sports and I used to play football for an hour everyday during early days of my preparation. Later on, I switched onto Chess to freshen myself up. This is how I used to keep myself away from the distractions.

Struggle of a Senior player

(Answer only if you’re a senior player.)

After 1-2 failures in any competitive exam, a phase of mental saturation comes. The person knows the booklist, he knows what is necessary to succeed. But it doesn’t yield result. The armchair ‘experts’ would point out UPSC is ‘testing’ emotional intelligence of the candidate or UPSC wants to break the backs of senior players, daily conspiracy theories on orkut….…Not to mention all the emotional struggle-against those irritating neighbors and relatives who keep asking your mother “aap kaa betaa kya karta hai” (What does you son/daughter do?)

MY question are two:

Q1. How did you survive through this mental prison and what’re your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.

I consider myself lucky as my parents, sisters,my brother-in-laws, friends supported me immensely throughout my preparation. Sense of positive energy was imposed on me making me believe that I can achieve what I want to. I used to run away from all those who used to say”ye nahin ho payega,bahut difficult hai etc etc”. Failures should motivate you more than successes. Once I got 51/250 in Geography test and I pasted the first paste of answer sheet in front of my desk so as to remind myself everyday of my poor performance. My dear friends, Hard work pays. I got 127(Optional paper 1 and 2 combined) in CSE 2013 and I managed 99 and 164 in CSE 2014 owing to perseverance and hard work.

Q2. What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?

In my first attempt, I went with zero preparation just to experience the exam(Left job one month before the exam). In my second attempt, I went for the rattafication route and it was a disaster. In my third attempt, I focused on analysis of topics and minimum rattafication and it paid dividends.

Working professional

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

I left my Job with Marsh and Mclennan group in 2012.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

Topic strategy/booklist/comment
History Ancient Left this part
History Medieval Gk today
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Spectrum,Bipin Chandra
Culture and society Nitin Sighania notes, Balyan Sir Notes
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikanth,Current Affairs
Economy (theory + current) Ramesh Singh,Economic Survery,Current Affairs
Science (theory + current) Current Affairs
Environment (theory + current) Shankar IAS
geography physical Optional
geography India Optional(Khullar)
geography world Sriram IAS notes
other national/international current affairs IDSA,Newspapers
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff Internet

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2014 paper?

Try and Attempt maximum number of questions. Smart guess work is advisable.

Q. in GS-Prelims 2014, there was unusual questions from environment and agriculture portion. If you were to give the attempt again in 2015, what new strategy / books / sources would you focus?

I wasn’t thorough with Environment Portion. I would read Shankar IAS for better coverage of Environment topics. Agriculture was manageable.

Q. Now that Aptitude paper has become qualifying, obvious more attention needs to be paid on the GS paper so apart from the books that you already have gone through, what else would you have tried for CSE-2015 (if you were going to appear)?

I am appearing for CSE 2015. I would emphasize on Environement, Art and Culture, International Affairs so as to strengthen my chances for clearing the exam.

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topic strategy / booklist
Maths Solving Test papers
reasoning Same
comprehension Same
Decision Making Same

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS Aptitude 2014 paper.

Practice one/two tests before CSE Pre-2015 just to be in touch.

Prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?

I attended mock test and these weren’t very useful but it can help you in comparative performance analsis. Question Banks are much more beneficial.

Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2014

attempted Q.
GS 82
aptitude 84

Q3. Your score in prelim (when UPSC uploads it please mail me your score)

  • CSE 2013: Paper 1 -111 + Paper 2-189
  • CSE 2014: Paper 1- 111.34 + Paper 2-128.33

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paper Your preparation strategy / booklist?
English paper None
your regional language Focusing on Grammar as it is scoring. Try and write a page atleast 7-8 times before mains.

Q2.other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2014

It is manageable.

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?

I wrote 7-8 essays during my preparation last year and got it checked from teachers and friends. Based on their feedback, I tried to inculcate the suggestions for future essays .

Q2. Which two essays did you write and What key points did you include in it?

Essay 1 -With greater power comes greater responsibility.

Key points: I focused on covering as many dimensions as possible eg Social(Role Parents,Teachers,Leaders play in development of the country), Economic(IMF,World Bank, USA Hegemony), Environmental(Common but Differentiated Responsibility), Military(Misadventures in Afghanistan,Iraq,Israel-Palestine,Syria) and finally India’s growing status and responsibility in 21st Century.

Fifty GOLDS in Olympics: Can this be a reality for India?

Key Points- I focused on the factors responsible for pathetic condition of sports in general in India, Why Cricket has marched ahead, What needs to be done(Infra,Financial Security, Coaching, Grass root mobilization etc). Comparison of Chinese model of Sports development and USA model of producing world class athletes, talked about rapid rise of Badminton,Wrestling, Shooting. IPL model for other sports.

Mains General studies paper 1 to 4

I’ve created a table, so you can quickly point out what you referred. Alternatively you can write a separate standalone “Strategy” article in a wordfile.

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

Requests while you fill up the following tables

  1. apart from your book/resource list, also comment on your own strategy after mains-2014 (e.g. after exam I realized that I shouldn’t have prepared xyz topic in so much detail, I couldn’t finish xyz syllabus topics properly before exam, I had expected UPSC to ask xyz from but they asked abc……etc.etc.etc.) [Same request for each table given below for gs2, gs3, gs4]
  2. If you used “internet” as source of preparation in xyz, then provide website name as and where possible.
  3. Since mains-2013 had new syllabus and many people relied on Xerox of some coaching notes. so If you used such resource, please attest comment on quality e.g. “it was too deep, but I did only selective study/ It did not cover xyz. OR its quality was not upto the mark, so I suggest future players to avoid it and use ABC instead…..etc..”

Anyways, here starts the list:

Topic How did you prepare?
culture Nitin Singhania, Current Affairs,Balyan Sir Notes
Indian history Spectrum,Bipin Chandra
world history Norman Lowe
post-independence India India Since Independence
Indian society Sriram IAS notes
role of women, poverty etc. Vision IAS notes
globalization on Indian society Vision IAS
communalism, regionalism, secularism Vision IAS
world geo physical Optional Notes
resource distribution Sri ram Ias
factors for industrial location Optional Notes
earthquake tsunami etc Same
impact on flora-fauna Same

General studies (Mains) paper 2

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc. LAxmikant, Current Affairs
comparing Constitution with world Internet
parliament, state Legislatures LAxmikant,Current Affairs
executive-judiciary Same
ministries departments Same
pressure group, informal asso. Same
Representation of people’s act Same
various bodies: Constitutional, statutory.. Same
NGO, SHG etc Same
welfare schemes, bodies Current Affairs
social sector, health, edu, HRD Current Affairs
governance, transparency, accountability Vision IAS
e-governance Vision IAS
role of civil service
India & neighbors Newspapers
bilateral/global grouping NEwspapers
effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest Newspapers
diaspora Vision IAS notes
international bodies- structure mandate Internet

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian economy, resource mobilization Economic Survey
inclusive growth Vision IAS
budgeting Same
major crops, irrigation Geography optional
agro produce – storage, marketing Same
e-technology for famers Same
farm subsidies, MSP Economic Survey,Vision IAS
PDS, buffer, food security Same
technology mission None
animal rearing economics Geography Optional
food processing Internet
land reforms Geography
liberalization Ramesh Singh
infra Internet
investment models Internet
science-tech day to day life Mrunal,Newspapers
Indian achievements in sci-tech Internet
awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR Mrunal
environmental impact assessment Geography Optional
Disaster Management NDMA site
non state actors, internal security Vajiram notes
internal security – role of media, social networking site Vajiram Notes
cyber security Same
money laundering Vision IAs
border Management Same
organized crime, terrorism Same
security agencies- structure mandate SriRam Notes

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

Topic How Did You Prepare?
ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topics For all these topics, I read Mishra Sir notes, Vajiram Class notes, Synergy Class notes and summarized all of these in my own words. It helped me in revision and clear understanding of the topics.
attitude, moral influence etc.
civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc
emotional intelligence, its use in governance
moral thinkers of India and world How many thinkers did you prepare? I prepared around 7-8 thinkers which I think is a good enough number. But it may vary from aspirant to aspirant.
ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.
corporate governance
probity in governance, work culture
citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.
challenges of corruption
case studies on above topics

GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2014

Q. in GS4 ethics papers, please give a sketchy overview of your case study answers:

case your approach/ keypoints
case1: your friend preparing UPSC Sorry Sir, I don’t Remember. But followed a framework which is as follows:

  1. Stakeholders
  2. Options –Positive as well as negative aspects for all the options available.
  3. Conclusion
case2: Rameshwar the uptight UPSC topper.
case3: no bribe no contract.
case4: corrupt subordinates file bogus rape complaint against you.
in the remaining bol-bachchan type questions (e.g. why ethics important, why probity difficult etc).

Mains answer-writing?

Please tell us how many marks worth attempt did you give? along with comments if any, in the following cells: Approximate figures

Paper Best attempted Average quality namesake answer Total attempt
GS1 80 100 70 250
GS2 60 120 70 250
GS3 80 70 100 250
GS4 100 150 250
Opt-P1 100 80 70 250
Opt-P2 130 70 40 240

Q. What was your approach in the exam (I wrote all, I only focused on the questions where I could answer perfectly, I just not to high quality points to reach the word limit etc.) Because the UPSC aspirant Community is divided over what counts as a ‘good’ paper. Some experts claim you should attempt all- even if it involves “making up” an answer with filler lines, some claim attempt only those questions you know perfectly. Where do you stand on this? [Based on your experience and of your seniors/buddies]

I tried to attempt the entire question paper as time limit wasn’t a problem in CSE 2014. I devoted less time on questions that I knew very well(like 7-8 concrete bullet points). For the tricky ones, I tried to write more with whatever information I had at that point of time.

Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?

It is a good move from UPSC as you can neither write more nor less and focus is entirely on quality of answers.

Q. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Some players (who cleared mains and got interview call letter) were claiming that they wrote entire paper in bullet points, so it doesn’t matter….whether examiner is asking ‘examine, comment, discuss or xyz’….simply write in bullets and points.

It was a combination of both. Bullet points were used when I knew a lot about the topic . And to be honest, when I wasn’t sure of the answer then I used to write in paragraphs hoping that bare minimum marks are given for that answer.

Q. Did you follow the “introduction-body-conclusion” format? because some mains-qualified candidates claim they simply wrote the points they could recall within the time, instead of bothering with proper introduction and conclusion.

No introduction because of paucity of time . But I tried to conclude every answer in a line or two.

Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?


Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)


Q7. If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?


Q8. Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?

Free hand

Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?

Blue pen

(Mrunal – since readers keep mailing such queries, therefore I’m asking the topper to clear all the air haha.)

Mains Optional Subject

Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?

Geography. I chose it because I found Indian Geography very interesting and I could relate to it. Moreover it has good overlap in GS and Essay also.

Q. If a new player wants to pick this subject, would you advice for it or against it? (e.g. every senior player in Public Administration seems to be advising against pub.ad)

It should be based on your liking for the subject as the interest in the subject has to be carried till the time you clear the exam.
Q. First the essential book/resource list. (Also mention which one is the “Base book” for covering the theory? + Whatever comments you’ve for a particular book e.g. “my seniors said read xyz book but I found that ABC book was better”. “xyz topic not given properly in this book, so prepare from xyz website or book…” OR and so on.)

  1. Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
  2. Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Che Leong
  3. Human Geography by Majid Hussain
  4. Evolution Of Geographical Thought by Majid Hussain
  5. Indian Geography by Khullar
  6. Indian Geography-Majid husain
  7. The Orient blackswan Atlas,TTK Atlas,Oxford Atlas
  8. Spectrum’s geography guide.
  9. Made Simple series of Rupa publications(Economic and Social Geography,Physical Geography)
  10. Shabbir sir’s class notes. He is such a motivating figure and has played a very important role in my preparation.
  11. Insights of India-Current Affairs.
  12. Geography and You magazine.

Q. How much of internet-research / current affairs is necessary for this optional? OR can one simply rely on the books and be done with this subject?

I got 164 in Paper 2 thanks to my habit of internet-research and current affairs analysis on daily basis. It’s a must in Geography Paper 2.

Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?

6-7 months

Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?

4 months

Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?

If I have to give one advice to aspirants in general then I would say that self made summarized notes is a key to success in UPSC. I summarized my optional notes(paper 1 and paper 2) in 110 pages.

Q. Your observation about the difficultly level of 2014 mains vs previous papers. And what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional subject?

It was manageable as compared to previous years. I am relieved that it wasn’t butchered this year.

Before the interview

Q1. How did you prepare for the interview? – for college grad, hobbies, place of origin, current affairs at national and international level?

I focused on my previousjob profile,hobbies, places of origin and current affairs. Didn’t give too emphasis on Graduation and PG(Mangement) and just prepared the basics.

Q2. Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes? How were they similar / different than official interview? Do you believe it is necessary to attend such mock interviews?

Yes, I attended Vajiram Mock Interviews. It was more or less on similar lines. The feedback given to me by Vajiram Mock Interview panel was very insightful and useful. Yes, I think ,mock interviews polishes your preparation and one should give atleast 2-3 mock interviews as possible.

Q3. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.

I wore light blue shirt and dark blue pant. No tie.

Q4. 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 Delhi only. So, everything was available in the vicinity.

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Shri Chattar Singh

Q2. How long was the interview?

40 minutes(First Day,First Show)

Q3. Why do you want to join civil service? Why don’t you continue in your graduation field? Social service can be done from private sector too. [Since I don’t know whether they ask you this question or not. But if they had asked- what will be your reply?]

It wasn’t asked in the interview. Civil Services can help you achieve your professional and personal goals. The best feeling is when after a hard day’s work at office, there is sense of contentment,satisfaction in whatever you have done that day. It gives you a platform to give it back to the country, to the society and you can have an impact not only on your life but on others life as well. The prestigious and challenging nature of this job is a supplementary factor.

Q4. 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)

The questions were largely from my DAF only. Questions :

  1. Tell me something about your work profile, What was your role in the organization, Why people are moving towards government sector leaving their well paying jobs in private sector?
  2. Hobby(Sports)-IPL, Superover, What happens in case of tie in super over(Couldn’t answer this),Football leagues around the world, Favourite team and why(FC Barcelona and team spirit), Significance of team spirit in real life( emphasized on the importance of Sum and Whole concept), 5 factors which can take football at par with Cricket(Infrastructure,Grass root mobilization,Financial Security,World class coaching system,Sports bodies to be managed by Sports persons and not politicians), what role chess has in everyday life.Managed this part well.
  3. Current Affairs- Section 66A( Answered it well along with info on Section 69A,79), Stephens Controversy(Devansh Mehta one), India’s image as a donor country( Gave regional and International scenario on this), Was it a good diplomatic effort on part of India to help Nepal immediately after earthquake(I said it was done on humanitarian grounds and diplomatic gains are secondary), Compare Education Scenario in Kerela and Bihar( Talked about qualitative and quantitative aspects,ASER report, Learning by level)
  4. Optional- Nepal Earthquake, Types of Earthquakes, Plate tectonics, Speed at which plate is moving northwards(That days TOI helped me answer this question). Was prepared on this and managed it decently.
  5. State- Agriculture Insurance and what needs to be done to promote agriculture insurance in India(Talked about NAIS, WBCIS and gave the solution),Why Haryana has very good economic indicators but poor social indicators. This section could have been better prepared.

Q5. 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?

It was on expected lines.

Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?

Please carry your eyesight prescription.

Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?

CSE-2014 Marksheet

Q1. Please attach both prelim and final marksheet. (when it comes)

Prelims Marksheet
Paper1 111.34
Paper2 128.33
Total 240

Mains and Interview
Subjects Marks
Essay (Paper-I) 113
General Studies -I (Paper-Ii) 89
General Studies -Ii (Paper-Iii) 87
General Studies -Iii (Paper-Iv) 79
General Studies -Iv (Paper-V) 114
Optional-I (Medical Science) (Paper-Vi) 99
Optional-II (Medical Science) (Paper-Vii) 164
Written Total 745
Personality Test 165
Final Total 910

Q2. After looking at the marksheet, suppose you had to prepare again next time, what changes will you make in your studies?

I would try and write more number of essays as scope of improvement is huge in essays. Moreover, I would concentrate more on Optional Paper 1(Geography).

Career Backup

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

No back up plan was in place. But If I wouldn’t have been selected this year then I would have taken a government job for sure this year. But somehow, I could clear it(Thanks to Almighty God)

Views on UPSC reforms

Q. Optional subjects should be removed altogether. The present stalemate is helping no-one, except coaching-owners, book publishers.

I think optional should be removed and 2 more GS papers can be added in its place. It would nullify the butchering scenarios.

Q. Your views on the decision to make CSAT paper 33% qualifying?

Either it should be removed or the qualifying marks should be increased to 50%.

Q. Half-merger of IFoS with CSE is a bad move because it has raised the cutoffs for players who’re solely dedicated to IFoS only (and not to IAS/IPS). Adding salt to the wounds, many who had applied for both jobs, cleared the prelims- they did not even bother to appear in all the papers of Mains-IFoS. (atleast that was the scene in 2013).

IFoS aspirants should have a separate paper to tackle the above scenario.

Q. UPSC should disclose official prelim answerkey and cutoffs, immediately after prelim is over, instead of postponing it till interview phase is over.

It hardly matters.

Q. UPSC should be conducted online like IBPS and CAT exam to shorten the duration of exam.

For Prelims, UPSC should move towards conducting exams online but the same cant be replicated for mains.

Q. If you are made the UPSC chairman, what other reforms would you initiate for the civil service exam?

UPSC interview process should be made much more transparent as some of the genuine candidates got very low marks despite decent interviews which is beyond comprehension. May be they can have a average score of two interviews per candidate.

Insecurity about profile

Q. Many candidates prepare sincerely but constantly live under fear about ‘profile insecurity’. I’m not from a big college, I’m not from English medium, and I don’t have work-experience. What if they ask some stressful questions in the interview about this? Did you suffer from such insecurities? What is your message to these candidates?

Yes, there were lots of insecurities. I suffered from this syndrome as I scored 58% in my graduation. I was always an average student and my profile was hovering around sports which added to my anxiety before interview. But thankfully, UPSC Board panel was very forthcoming about sports and appreciated my achievements . But at the same time , they questioned my inability to score good marks in graduation. I accepted by mistake and also conveyed the fact that I corrected it during my PG. So,don’t worry about your profile and work on your shortcomings. That’s the best possible way out.


Q. Through this struggle and success, what have your learned? What is the wisdom of life and competition? What is your message to the new aspirants?

There is no substitution of hard work in life. Keep working hard and keep pushing the limits set by you. It will make you happy,satisfied after hard day’s work. And remember, Civil Services is only a mean to achieve the desired ends. Visualize yourself as an Officer giving it back to the country.

Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2014. They’re feeling cynical, hopeless and depressed- what is your message to them?

Work on your shortcomings(writing skills, presentation,content etc), work even harder as compared to last year and success is just one year down the line. Perseverance is the key which will separate you from the rest. Please have a look at marksheet CSE 2013 and CSE 2014.


Credit: Friends/family

Q. Behind every topper are many people who stood by 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?

Without the support of my parents ,sisters,brother-in-laws,Rathee family,friends(Vijay Behra,Sanjeet Singh,Jitin Yadav,Sakshi Khurana,Runul Pratap,Vivek Pandey,Tanuj Syal..list is endless), it wouldn’t have been possible. My esteemed teachers from School,College,PG and Vajiram(Shabbir Sir) inculcated so much confidence in my own abilities that I tried achieving things that I thought I never could. I want to thank all those who have supported me throughout my journey.

BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Q. You are well aware of the sacred rule – the last question 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 still publish your answer without tempering.

Mrunal Sir, I was a regular visitor of your site. There wasn’t a day during my preparation last year when I didn’t visit your site for some exceptional yet simplified articles. I thank you and your team for the support you provide to the aspirants. Keep guiding aspirants the way you have been doing till now.