1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Typical day in your Online life?
  5. Style of Preparation and notes making
  6. Prelims (CSAT) Paper-1: General studies
  7. Prelims (CSAT): Paper-2: Aptitude
  8. Prelim accuracy
  9. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  10. Mains: Essay
  11. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  12. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  13. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  14. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  15. Mains answer-writing?
  16. Mains Optional Subject
  17. Before the interview
  18. During the interview
  19. CSE-2016 Marksheet
  20. Career Backup
  21. Views on UPSC reforms
  22. Insecurity about profile
  23. Struggle of a Senior player
  24. Struggle of Working professional
  25. Grand wisdom
  26. Credit: Friends/family
  27. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile




Manish Kumar

Rank in CSE-2017


Roll No.




Marital Status


Total attempts in CSE (including this one)


Optional Subject

Mechanical Engineering

Schooling Medium


College Medium


Medium chosen for Mains answers


Medium chosen for Interview


Home town/city


Work-experience if any

Worked at Bhel,Indian Railways-IRSME and IPS

Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures

ESE-2012-AIR22 and ESE-2013-AIR14,CSE-2015-AIR224,CSE-2016-AIR399

Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)

Mock Tests at Visonias ,Nextias,Triumphias

Service preferences (Top-5)


Preference for the first states in top-3 zonal cadres.




fill the details here

% in class 10


% in class 12


Graduation course and %

9.27/10 GGPA

Name of college, city, passing out year


Batch of 2007-11



Any other professional courses


Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements



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

UPSC Topper Manish Kumar IAS

I come from a family which work and worship mother earth . My father is engaged in farming and gram vikas. Mother being a homemaker nourishes and nurtures the family comprising of two younger brothers and ,my source of inspiration ,my nanaji- a 1971 war veteran. Born in holy yet one of the most backward district Kushinagar of UP,this place has immense reflection on my life. Light and electricity to his area has its tryst first in mid 90s,tap water supply started barely few years ago, industrialization is referred to by having few sugar mills and automobile workshops,and regularly been afflicted by notorious Japanese Encephalitis. But inspite of these challenges, this place and their inhabitants has been a source of inspiration ,the immense hard work, their ways of simple leaving and cohabitation has been a constant motivation and something which kept me unfulfilled an unsatisfied. While working in fields with my father I had the fortune to feel the physical pain and mental satisfaction of hard working, simple and dedicated farmer and their hopes and aspiration from administration.

Coming from a rural background and feeling the immense part administration had to play, be it allowing water in canals for irrigation or people in my village during dusty summers or asking Magistrate saab for posting a MBBS doctor to save their life from deadly diseases there had always been a desire to become part of system. However I hardly have any known person or my relative in such places and having heard the level of difficulty, time and socio economic standing required to prepare for ias (only privileged from my village and district has unsuccessfully attempted for cse) I barely gave preparation for ias a serious thought till some of my own friends of college and my place of working qualified the exam in 2014.I also saw some of my friends in Railways appearing for the exam. This was the time when I framed my mind to appear in CSE. After having a thorough consultation with my family and taking guidance from friends in college and friends made during my tenure in railways-selected through CSE Exam I started preparation. I gave my first attempt in 2014 while working with railway .Having got my strategy wrong I failed in prelims but post crisis analysis paved way for future success. I appeared again in 2015 CSE pre and this time plugging all loopholes and got AIR 224 in CSE 2015 and allotted to prestigious service -IPS.It was this time that two instances shaped my future course of action, one my maternal grandfather asked me to wqhy I became SP when I was giving exam for DM and people hopes by saying please dug sewerage, please build pakka road and list goes on.These incidents further motivated me to sit for the exam.But after a wait of CSE 2016 where my rank deteriorated to 399. I succeeded in CSE 2017 with AIR84.But it is just start of the journey.

Typical day in your Online life?

Online life


Daily hrs spent on online platforms for predicting cutoff / syllabus change / age-attempt limit change and other “peripheral-bolbachchan“ related to civil services.


Daily hrs spent on whatsapp and telegram studygroups


Daily hrs spent on online for exam prep.

2-3 hrs

Primary Device for online study: desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile

Laptop & tablet

Style of Preparation and notes making

Q. What is your style of preparation and notes making?

Since I was a working professional I had paucity of time.So I used to write in the book itself if I found something important.i also used evernote to make notes for few topics.i don’t have any special strategy for notes making.But I will recommend people to make their notes as it saves a lot of time.

Prelims (CSAT) Paper-1: General studies



History Ancient

NCERT and tamilnadu history book -11-12th

History Medieval

NCERT and tamilnadu history book -11-12th

History Modern (Freedom Struggle)


Culture and society


Polity (theory + current)


Economy (theory + current)


Science (theory + current)


Environment (theory + current)


geography physical


geography India


geography world


other national/international current affairs


Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff


Q. Candidates are complaining that compared to earlier years, Prelim 2017 and 2018’s GS papers were very tougher, Tickmasters’ 90+ strategy and E-learning materials had limited utility. What are you views and wisdom on all these? If you were to prepare for the Prelim-2019, what changes would you make in the strategy?

CSE is a game of unpredictability, while one year when trend is known and we feel paper to be easy, cutoff reach sky high and when the question are a bit off-track from previous year, paper becomes tough but cutoff falls .This year due to less no. of vacancies ,the situation and competition are indeed tougher. But this is what UPSC is known for .

One need to fix his resources and revise it again and again and supplementing it with a good test series .looking at trend of 2018 one also need to focus on remembering some raw facts, to a point till it is possible specially in history.

Prelims (CSAT): Paper-2: Aptitude


strategy / booklist


Solved 2 test series by visionias


Solved 2 test series by visionias


Solved 2 test series by visionias

Decision Making

Not practiced

Q. In the recent prelims, the comprehension portion becoming quite tough and lengthy. Candidates struggle even to finish the paper-II. Kindly provide some words of wisdom:

Practicing last year papers in a time bound manner and attempting few Test series will suffice.

Prelim accuracy

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

Yes , mock tests help to guage our preparation and know our performance. They also help to know weak areas.They help in pinpoint preparation and provide a direction.so I advise aspirants to take moke tests.

Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in Prelim-2017

attempted Q.

correct (Expected)

Official score



Don’t remember




Don’t remember


Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paper

Your preparation strategy / booklist?

English paper

No special preparation

your regional language

No special preparation

Q. other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2017?

I did not have any special preparation this year except reading some hindi newspapaer and remembering some synonyms from hindi grammer book by bharti bhawan 10th level.But if one is attempting for first time he/she should solve last year paper atleast once.

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?

In Essay I have consistently improved my score over the years. Many aspirants feel that this paper does not require special preparation ,however ,I will say that the essay paper do require a thorough preparation. There are two aspects how to start and then how to improve. To start , I read some good essays and followed strategy of previous years toppers.To name a few Gaurav Agarwal sir blog-supermanreturns , Chandramohan garg essay notes on insigtsofindia came handy helped me to frame different parts of essay namely introduction, Body and Conclusion.Use of quotes,anecdotes,poems etc do give essay an appealing character and good taste to examiner, but it has to be used wisely. However if one is not comfortable with quotes etc ,one can skip and can give good arguments and cover multitude of dimensions for essay and fetch good marks.

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

I attempted the following two essays:

1. Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for majority of farmers in india .

2. Fulfilment of NEW WOMEN in India is myth.

For essay1:I started with slogan “jai jawan jai kisan”and gandhian thoughts of self sustaining grass root democracy aka panchayats and its dependence on farming.Then I mentioned how there has been tremendous growth in production of cereals milk vegetables horticulture products mentioning rough data form few, over the years(temporal dimensions).In next paragraph I mentioned how farming has lost source of subsistence –giving cause such as division of fields over generations, falling productivity due to various reasons etc.Repurcussions of falling subsistence on other sector of economy. Futher, discussing do we have got time to reverse the trend –again arguing with facts.Challenges in the way to make farming move from subsistence to profitable—I used a diagram to show it.. Approach and steps to make farming profitable. finally ,concluding essay with quote.

For essay 2:I started with a quote and introduced essay with giving achievements of women in different fields highlighting how Indian women is excelling in different fields.But in subsequent paragraphs discussed how majority women in india has been victimized.i gave plenty of data from different reports to support my argument. In subsequent paragraph I discussed causes for such deprivation and voiceless ness.Further I analysed how it’s a loss for all in society-economic socio politico cultural.(i gave example that we are yet to get a women cabinet sec and women police dgp took 70 years).hera also I mentioned challenges for role reversal of women to be New Women.Next I diagrametically represented steps to be taken at local national and international level-ex women reservations,heforshe,Beijing platform for action etc.Finally concluding it with quote of vivekanada”a bird can not fly on …”

General Studies (Mains) paper 1


How did you prepare?


Nitin singhaniya notes,visionias 360

Indian history

Spectrum modern history,NCERT 12,Pratik Nayak videos

world history

Baliyan sir class notes,NCERT Arjun Dev, Pratik Nayak videos

post-independence India

Politics in india since independence-NCERT,selective reading from Bipin Chandra india after Gandhi,Pradhanmatri series-ABP news.

Indian society


role of women, poverty etc.


globalization on Indian society


communalism, regionalism, secularism

selective reading from Bipin Chandra india after Gandhi

world geo physical

Mrunal geography lecture,pmfvidieos

resource distribution

Mrunal geography lecture,pmfvidieos

factors for industrial location

Mrunal geography lecture

earthquake tsunami etc

Mrunal geography lecture,pmfvidieos ,M Puri notes

impact on flora-fauna


General studies (Mains) paper 2


How Did You Prepare?

Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc.

LAXMIKANT,Constitutionally yours-RSTV

comparing Constitution with world


parliament, state Legislatures

LAXMIKANT,M Puri notes,Visonias


LAXMIKANT,M Puri notes,Visonias

ministries departments

LAXMIKANT,M Puri notes,Visonias

pressure group, informal asso.

LAXMIKANT,M Puri notes,Visonias

Representation of people’s act


various bodies: Constitutional, statutory..

LAXMIKANT,M Puri notes,Visonias

NGO, SHG etc


welfare schemes, bodies


social sector, health, edu, HRD


governance, transparency, accountability




role of civil service


India & neighbors


bilateral/global grouping

Visionias wikipedia

effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest




international bodies- structure mandate


General studies (Mains) Paper 3


How Did You Prepare?

Indian economy, resource mobilization

Visionias, sriramias,Mrunal economy video lecture

inclusive growth




major crops, irrigation

Pdf from gaurav agarwal sir blog

agro produce – storage, marketing


e-technology for famers


farm subsidies, MSP


PDS, buffer, food security

Mrunal economy video lecture,visionias

technology mission


animal rearing economics


food processing

Mrunal economy video lecture and visionias

land reforms

Bipin Chandra india after Gandhi,visionias


Sriramias ,visionias



investment models


science-tech day to day life


Indian achievements in sci-tech


awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR


environmental impact assessment

Shankar ias environment book and visionias

Disaster Management

Visionias mrunal videos and ndma website

non state actors, internal security


internal security – role of media, social networking site

Newspapers visionias mrunal internal security videos,idsa pdfs,securityscan RSTV

cyber security

Visionias,security scan and big picture on rstv

money laundering


border Management


organized crime, terrorism


security agencies- structure mandate


General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude


How Did You Prepare?

ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topics

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

attitude, moral influence etc.

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

emotional intelligence, its use in governance

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

moral thinkers of India and world

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

corporate governance

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

probity in governance, work culture

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

challenges of corruption

Pawan and baliyan sir class notes,lexicon book,visionias test series

case studies on above topics

Insightsofindia secure, visionias and nextias testseies

Q. In ethics, Most of the serious candidates have received marks in similar ranges. What are your observations and tips for future aspirants regarding preparation of this paper?

Ethics paper is scoring one .One need basic understanding of different key words and ability to relate what one has studied in different papers to support his view point while answeringquestions both case studies and part 1 questions.this paper require a good amount of writing practice rather than mugging books.

Mains answer-writing?

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


Best attempted

Average quality

namesake answer

Total attempt





























Q. What was your approach in the exam 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?

I will suggest that a candidate should try to attempt all the question .But about those in which he is clueless, he should avoid unnecessary filling of answersheet .All answers couldnot and will not be of same quality while writing due to tremendous pressure of timeline attached for answering and limit of knowledge of a particular topic.

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

It’s a good approach but also challenging. In case we have read a topic appearing in paper wee tempt to write more and when we are clueless we struggle to fill a single sheet.

Q. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Some players 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.

I used both bullet points and paragraphs.It depends on taste and comfort of an individual.

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.

Yes,I do.it give a structure and completeness to answers

I don’t like asking following rudimentary questions, but these are the most frequently asked questions by new aspirants.

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?

Ruler most of the time .

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

Both blue and black.

Mains Optional Subject

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

Mechanical Engineering.I chose because I have been previously familiarized with topic(cleared ESE)and lack level of intellect and command over language for humanities☺

Q. If a new player wants to pick your subject, would you advice for it or against it?

I will just suggest choosing optional based upon ,whether he would be able to stick to it if one has to prepare for more than one time,interest,good material and a test series for practice.

Q. First the essential book/resource list.

For both papers I used a) Madeeasy notes,nptel.ac.in/mechanical,ias34.com,wikipedia and following books selectively:

1.production engg:–

A)book on production engg. And operation research by Swadesh sir.for operation research notes by Mr.saurabh Pandey-Made easy and book by Hira n Gupta for problem solving,Amitava Ghose book on metal cutting.

B)Some theoretical topics like TPM,Lean Manufacturing,Quality control,JIT etc took help of nptel and Wikipedia.

C)SOM/Mechanics of materials—krishnan sir-made easy notes and rajput’s book.

D)kinetics of Machine/KOM—notes by Mr.Kakkar—Made Easy and RS Khurmi book

E)Material Science—notes by shashtri sir-made easy,nptel videos on topics,swadesh singh sir production book.

2.Thermal Engineering:

A)Thermodynamics:-PKnag book,Mr.Praveen kulkarni notes

B)Heat Transfer:Dr.DS Kumar book selective reading,Kakkar sir notes

C)RAC:used RS khurmi book for theory,Kulkarni sir notes-made easy,NPTEL IIT Rorkee videos

D)Steam eng.:-Saurabh pandey notes-made easy,Rajput book-thermal engineering,P K Nag –power plant book—its numerical appear verbatim in exams so plz practice.

E)Compressible flows:Saurabh Pandey Notes,PK nag has one chapter by the name, S M Yahya compressible flows –selective chapters

F)Fan blower and compessors:SM Yahya –selective reading based on questions mainly proofs asked in cse from previous year.

G)Selective fluid mechanics reading –ex different dimensionless nos.,bernaullis theorm from a book by laxmi publications.

#3) SOLVING 10 YEARS QUESTION IS MUST : Vishal 10 year question bank and nextias 10 years guide may prove useful.

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?

For few topics I mentioned earlier one has to use net.nptel.ac.in is indespencible.

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

After 4 year of gradution it will take atleast 7 months.

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

Just after prelims and till mains.

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

No I did not but suggest others to please do it.i used notes available on ias34.com by Taranjot singh and akshay tripathi.

Q. Your observation about the difficultly level of 2017 mains vs previous papers. And what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional subject?

Since I have written 3 mains and each mains paper was unique with its own share of difficulty.

For Optional subject mantra is PRACTICE REVISE PRACTICE.And making good notes of formulas for revision.

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?

Since I was busy with my training at police academy and schedule beingn very tight I just read newspaper-indian express and watched rstv youtube videos selectively.Rest I left to god.

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 dikshaias mock interviews @ Hyderabad and narayanaias mocks at Hyderabad.i took help from my wife on economic topics and friends in police academy on political and job related topics.

Pressure in mocks is lesser but they enable a candidate to know his strengths and weakness and improve upon .So,I believe few mocks will be useful.Maybe 2 or 3.

Q3. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?

Stayed with my brother in delhi.Just read the newspapers of a week back.

Q5. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.

Full sleeve navy blue shirt,deep blue tie,black oxford shoe,deep blue pant.

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Mrs. Sujata Mehta Maam.

Q2. How long was the interview?


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.

This question was not asked.

Indeed private sector is playing its role and doing social service but their domain of work is limited.Civil service offers versatile profile and dynamism in job.it gives an opportunity to work with and learn from people.so early in career it is difficult to imagine a position, offered through civil service, could be offered by private sector.And as a person coming from rural and agrarian background, sometimes living and sometimes feeling the problems and challenges,I can say civil servants play a catalyst and lead role in improving lives of billions.

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.

Mine interview was in Morning.I was 2nd to be interviewed.

I entered the hall:

C:Manish introduce yourself

Ans:Ma’am I am coming from a family…..introduced.

C: (a serious look on DAF)so are u posted or undergoing training?

A: Maam undergoing training.

C:How long you been in training?

A:4 Months.

C:Which cadre?


C:Peoplefrom north east feel insecure in mainland,they are not treated well in society,they feel marginalized.so Mr. Manish what you feel about that?

A:I feel bad maam.It shouldn’t take place afterall we all are Indians nothing more nothing less.

C:how you wish to tackle it?

A:Maam until we know about culture and place of a person we have illusions about people looking different ,speaking different language or dressing differently.So acclaiming people of mainland to culture and tradition of northeast becomes essential. Moreover laws need to be implemented. Recruiting people from northeast east in police,civil administration and different wings of govt. will help in mainstreaming them in mainland society.Inclusion of topics on culture of northeast along with different culture in school curriculum help to ward off misconceptions of both parents and pupil.so multipronged approach need to used.

She passed baton to M1:

M1:what is zero cadre state refer to and why so?

A:Sir I don’t know exactly.


A:Sir state cadres where officers don’t want to stay and this is because of multiple challenges one has to face,desired expectation from service and actual achievements etc.

M1:correct.ok tell me what are common challenges police has to face in todays world?

A:Sir ,Many both bodily like Harm hurt and white collar like economic offences>

M1:Recentally we heard an mla from your state was accused of rape and murder.do you think we don’t have laws?or is it not severe to command deterrence?

A:that was unfortunate that people like him holding such high place by virtue of being beholder of the place commit crime.But law has taken its course.Sir we have ample laws what we lack is will to impliment the law.and sir what has been over the yearis,certainity of law is more important then severity of law.

M1:How will you tackle the situation?

A:as per law and as per training I have received till now .

M1:But people like him who are privileged and holding such high office how will youhandle:

A:nowhere in Crpc or IPC ,it has been written that a rajneta has to be treated differently. I wull just ensure I do what I am expected to do.

M1:what isprocedure to impeach a high court judge?


Passes baton to M2:

M2:what is two bid system?

A:explained technical and commercial bid.

M3:what is presidential and parliamentary form of government?


He passes to M3:

M3:what is high speed train system and should we have bullet train in india?

A:trains running at speeds above 250kmph.yes sir we should have and gave mains type answer to support my viewpoint.no counter questions.

M3:how will you disburse a riotous mob?please tell your approach from non lethal to lethalone?

Ans:announcement” apka mazma asamvaidhanik or gairkanoni hai….”then watercanons then….end resort firing.

M3:Maan lo phir bhi kuch na hua to?

A:he then himself said can we call armed forces I then recalled my lessons and replied.

He passes to M4:

He asked few questions from hobby.

M4:He asked about magadh mahotsav in bihar?

M4:He asked about some festival in arunachal Pradesh?

I couldnot reply both.

M4:Which place u last visited and what you learnt?

Answered this question.

Again back to C’man;

C:What is human shield?do you support it?

A:explained human shield and I don’t support it.

C:What is your take on jnk incident?

A:it was a oneoff incident and purely besed on sudden provocative circumstances and was conditionally right.

C:But latest report says otherwise,the person tied was innocent and came to cast his vote?

A:if it is the case then I didn’t support the act .

OK your interview is over.do you want to know something from us?

No thank you maam and left the room.

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?

Not a stressed interview.On expected lines except knowing of several festivals .

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

Just show your true personality don’t fix yourself in others suit. Be yourself.

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

Drink plenty of water before medical.

CSE-2016 Marksheet

Q1. Please provide both prelim and final mark sheet:

Subjects (Max. Marks)

Marks secured

Cutoff ranges

(PH to Gen.)

Prelims P1-GS (200m)


Cutoff: 40-105.34

Prelims P2-Aptitude (200m)


Passing Marks: 67

Mains Subjects

Marks secured

Essay (250m)


Passing Marks: 25

GSM1 (250m)


Passing Marks: 25

GSM2 (250m)


Passing Marks: 25

GSM3 (250m)


Passing Marks: 25

GSM4 (250m)


Passing Marks: 25

Optional Paper-1 (250m)


Passing Marks: 25

Optional Paper-2 (250m)


Passing Marks: 25

Written Total (1750m)


Cutoff: 578-809

Interview (275m)



Final (2025m)


Cutoff: 830-1006

Career Backup

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

I would have continued in IPS.

Q2. When were you going to “execute” that backup plan? (e.g. after __ number of failed attempts/ after I cross __ age/ after dad retires/ after girlfriend dumps me etc.)

Already executed.

Views on UPSC reforms

Q. Although Political science and sociology are both humanities subjects, yet in 2016, one of this subject got very favorable scaling-treatment than the other, consequently some candidates were denied even interview calls, despite having good marks in GS and Essay parallel to toppers. So, optional subjects should be removed altogether. The present scenario is helping no-one, except coaching-owners, book publishers.

Optional subjects should be removed altogether to bring parity and end confusion among aspirants.

Q. After Mains-Syllabus change of 2013, initially some candidates got very high ranks, despite scoring poorly in interviews- thanks to their tall scores in written (mains). So in recent years, it seems UPSC has tweaked the mains-evaluation process in such manner that everyone gets similar range of marks in Essay, GSM2 and GSM4. Thus, selection is majorly dependent on optional scaling and interview score. In CSE-2017, total 990 successful candidates in a spectrum of mere ~296 marks. Yes, UPSC does have internal mechanisms to reduce panel-wise variation of interview marks, yet many candidates didnot make it just because of a 'strict' interview panel. So, what should be done to reform A) the mains-evaluation system and B) the interview evaluation system?

Marks of interview should be reduced to 200 marks. For rest I support UPSC pattern.

Q. Despite what UPSC has done in last seven years in syllabus and pattern change, it has failed to curb the nuisance of Delhi’s coaching factories and the readymade e-material sellers. In fact, it’s increased under the new Mains-syllabus post-2013. Let’s face it, UPSC added so many topics and so many random questions, even fulltime student struggles to gather and process all standard reference books and material himself within the short time available to him. So, apart from revamping the mains-evaluation system, the mains-Syllabus needs to be compressed.

Curbing or promoting coaching is not role of UPSC.Its mandate is well defined and it is doing its job very well . But yes more clarity on syllabus will certainly be useful for aspirants rather than putting “etc”.

Q. (in context of my earlier question on transparency vs litigation) UPSC should disclose official prelim answerkey and cutoffs, immediately after prelim is over, instead of postponing it till interview phase is over. Your thoughts?

Yes I do feel the same.

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?

Everyone has some or other fear about this exam.Best way to overcome the fear is to know it,challenge it and move ahead.I was Hindi medium student not even have marks in 80’s percentage in class 10th and 70’s in class 12th while i found most of people who were recommended to be toppers in their career.Having work experience sometimes become challenging as interview board expects one to be knowing nitty gritty of his job and organisation.since interview is done to assess the personality for the job one should be prepared for stressful questions.Insecurities are part of human life ,everyone has some insecurity, those having job fear of being transferred or getting low bonus or adverse remarks of bosses due to perceived image not doing full service to job and those not having job fearing of losing golden years in numerous attempts if they fail to make it.so just keep looking to the final goal.

Struggle of a Senior player

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

I qualified the exam in my second attempt and got IPS(though i was already working in Indian Railways prior to IPS) but I never let my dream to become IAS die. To survive this mental prison kept reminding me the reasons why i want this particular service.

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

In my first attempt I couldn't prepare well because of late starting of preparation and not knowing complexity and strategy for prelims.for the rest three attempts I secured ranks.

Struggle of Working professional

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

I was working with railways when I decided to prepare .In railways one has to travel a lot during training so i utilised the period.i used public holidays and evenings well.i had routine chalked out.During commutation to office i used to read news in online format or from newspaper.During lunch i used to watch RSTV news and other videos.I have to use my earned leaves for appearing in mains examination and used casual leave for completing my self made time line.so one has to use his time while in job very wisely and a lot depends upon your boss and organisation.so use time wisely and as per your job timings.

Grand wisdom

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?

To be consistent make your plans(which should be achievable) and try to accompalish that,give yourself breaks in between studies,talk to family member whom you fell free to talk and have friends who can help you in difficult times.Have a group of like minded people preparing for exams and read toppers interviews.

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?

None of the examinations on earth can judge true potential of an individual.Ones life and health is on a much higher pedestal than any examinations on earth.Take examinations as examination and not as a matter of life and death.i hear often from people that ias nahi to kuch nai,log kya sochenge,apne aaqp ko proof karna hai etc.Friends in everyday life if you see your routine you will find every moment you are doing something or the other to sustain you life ,we are facing a number of challenges and succeeded in most of them.we need to pat ourselves for this and give a good treat to ourselves.its only that they have become routine that we don’t give them emphasis or appreciation.Friends just ork hard ,hard to a limit that you don’t have any regrets thet you didn’t gave your best.still if something else is in destiny just grasp that with both hands and keep moving.

Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2017. They’re feeling cynical, hopeless and depressed- what is your message to them?

Success and failures are part of same coin,every failure makes us wise and every success bring some or other form of challenge.Though none is permanent and neither is in our own hands.Rather than wasting time in being cynical,helpless and depressed one must come out if this state and keep himself on path of continuous improvement.i know how hard it is to tackle such situations and no gyan seems fruitful. But being optimistic ,hopeful,and recovering quickly is thing we need to keep going.

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?

Indeed My parents,My younger brothers Manoj and Sanoj,my maternal grandfather, my wife Shachi Rai,My in-laws, my gurus and some really good friends -Javed,Deepak Palecha,Ashish Kr,Abhishek kr and many of my dear friends who helped me one or other ways.

BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Q. You are well aware of the sacred rule of conducting toppers interview- 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.

I used Mrunal for Economics,Geography,Internal security,World History,Modern history exhaustively.i regularly read about toppers and used the site as a time keeper to know how much time is left for pre,mains. Specially Mrunal sir way of explaining and making short forms helped to remember and recall information during the exam.I am thankful to entire Mrunal team.

Visit Mrunal.org/Toppers for More Success Stories and Motivational Interviews!