UPSC Interview By Transcript Ajay Pal Board Dr K K Paul

Interview Board: Dr. K K Paul
Interview Date/Year: 2011
Name: Ajay Pal


My interview was on March 26, 2011

This year my optional are Public Admin and Punjabi Literature.

It was my second interview. Last year it was with Nirbhay Sharma board. This year there were some numeric coincidences.

26-last two digits of my roll no. , 26 is my date of birth, 26 is Diwali this year and 26 was date of my interview. I was conscious of this numeric thing and did prepare. (But of no use in interview as nothing such was asked).


I got around 5:40 (though didn’t had that sound sleep)


I turned on my internet and rapidly went through various major newspapers. (It did help I must say).


I went to the venue by 8:30 am


There were M1: dressed sincere aspirants, most of them with their i had experience of last year so was not getting any more conscious of the toughness of competition.


As this time my brother was with me so was relatively cool and calm and enjoying. Got into row and entered the building. Reached hall… Sat on a 4 table…


One of my known female aspirants was in same batch… On our table there were 6 candidates including me.

Then came person for formalities. I looked and relaxed on finding that this time am not last one in my batch to be interviewed (last year I was last in morning batch and my interview went for 12:20 to 1:05)… this I was third to be interviewed….


Then started thinking the million…rather bilion dollar question…which board? (Though had convinced myself not to think bad of any board but human nature)


After sometime around 10:04 I must say first candidate was called… and we got to know the soothing news that our board of K K Paul


I was not worried at that time much because had heard that he is reasonable person.


Also female who was known to me earlier shared with us the information that Paul sir doesn’t spoil career usually and he give you more than 140 normally though his range is 140-180….and she said he don’t ask much factual questions (it made me relax but what happened in real is a story now lol)


My optionals (mains written) has went quite M1:so I am expecting that with around 150 marks will get me in at least…


Then the interview of first candidate was over around 10:20 i think…I thought I will be called around 10:40 as interviews are running for 20 mins. And then I was called around 10:40 and had to sit outside for 6-7 mins. Person interviewed before me was a nice person with good personality…I was quiet this time and somewhat sincere or you can say serious while last year I was talking a lot and doing fun.


And my turn came………the moments which are going to impact my future in really great manner… Jai mata di bol ke i entered the interview hall…


Chairman: Paul sir three male members

One female member: tooooooo nice and smiling and was sitting on right side to candidate chair

Me: may I come in, sir


CH:  Come in and sit down (ab kya darwaaze mein he baith jaun)


I managed myself and didn’t thought much and entered with confidence… When I reached near chair. Smiling lady member very softly said” take your seat beta”


Me: good morning sir, good morning sirs and little more smiling good morning madam


I occupied my seat and “thank you sir, thank you madam”


CH:  Your name

Me:  Ajay Pal


CH: Roll number

Me: told


CH: Date of birth

Me: told


CH:  So you are from Ludhiana?

Me: Yes sir


CH: What is meaning of Ludhiana?

Me: Sir Ludhiana is made of two words Lodhi+ana. It was named after Ibrahim Lodhi who was a Mughal Ruler; I am sorry sir from Delhi Sultanate. It’s named after him.


CH: When was Ludhiana founded?

Me: Sir I don’t know exact year but earlier it was a village named Mir Hota.


CH:  No no, when was it founded?

Me: Sorry sir I don’t know the year.


CH: You have done BDS

Me: Yes sir.


CH: What is it?

Me: Sir its bachelor in dental surgery


CH: Oh, so you are a dentist.

Me: Yes sir


CH: Now you are working in LIC

Me: Yes sir


CH: As a dentist in LIC?

Me: No sir, I am working as assistant administrative officer.


CH: So you have left dentistry completely

Me: (jyada kahaniyan na banaate hue) Yes sir


CH:  (smilingly ) ok, every person gets aged and old with time and dental problems start erupting so everyone needs a dentist at a stage of there are many patients and so a good job. Anyways


CH: Ok then u have taken punjabi

Me: Yes sir


CH: There is something Gurmukhi also…soooo what’s the difference between Punjabi and Gurmukhi

Me: Sir, Gurmukhi is a script in which Punjabi is written


CH: Yes right!

Me: Thank you, sir


CH: Tell me about treaty of Amritsar

Me: Sir treaty of Amritsar was signed between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Britishers (interrupted by CH)


CH: Maharaja Ranjit Singh? He was died by that time.

Me: (Damn I was totally taken aback. I had read it in NCERT but he said other way. I could not afford to mess with him) m sorry sir


CH: there were two treaties which were signed quite close to each other, treaty of Amritsar and treaty of Lahore. Tell me some treaty which is still relevant. Forget about Radcliffe Line…

Me: Thinking for a while (3-4 seconds) m sorry sir I don’t know.


CH:  Ok you play cricket?

Me: Yes sir


CH: You play these days too?

Me: (may be he wanted me to talk of world cup matches but i had not watched all but he had m sure so played safe) yes sir we friends play whenever we get time.


CH: Ok these days world cup is going on

Me: yes sir


CH:  Tell me what’s going on in world cup?

Me: India has won in quarterfinals defeating Australia and told about Pakistan as M1:as some other


CH:  Which team has reached world cup semifinals 5 times?

Me: (Thinking for two seconds) sir New Zealand


CH:  (Thinking for a while… while bending ahead a bit) yes you are right it’s New Zealand.


CH: How many times India has reached semifinal?

Me: Sir this year we have reached world cup semifinals, 2003 as M1:as 1983 world cup…


CH: No no… I am asking how many times?

Me: am’ sorry sir am’ not able to recall


Chairman now passes to first member….


He was a South Indian m sure


M1: Ajay tell me about world cup match of India now

Me: Sir India will be facing Pakistan in semifinal


M1: When is the semifinal?

Me: sir, 30 April


M1: Where

Me: Sir Mohali


M1: Ajay our prime minister has sent an invitation to someone for the match

Me: yes sir


M1: To whom?

Me: Sir our prime minister has sent invitation to Pakistan President Mr. Zardari and Pakistani Prime Minister Mr. Gilani


M1: Yes good, and this has been termed as cricket diplomacy

Me: yes sir


M1: Are you in favour of it

Me: Yes sir because talks can build the trust and confidence among two nations


M1: So we should invite then to every function or occasion

Me: Sir we can invite them in which they also have an interest


M1: Ajay how will you improve relations between India and Pakistan

Me: Sir people to people to people contact can be raised. For example on Wagha border there can be opportunity to talk among themselves.


M1: You have done Literature. How can literature be used to improve the relationship between India and Pakistan.

Me: (I knew it’s an opportunity) sir, Shiv Kumar Batalwi (when I took this name he nodded the head in yes and other members too gave positive response) is M1: Read in both east and west Punjab as M1: as in other regions too. Literatures connect the people of two nations. We two have shared common history and thus have various bonds connecting us. Sir in recent years Pakistani artists have come to India to perform certain plays and Indian artists have visited there.


M1: You have read Punjabi Literature. What’s definition of literature?

Me : (seriously felt running out of words on this ) sir literature is when through various means such as poetry stories novels the situations of society are expressed along with other feelings


M1: Can we consider novels of Sydney Sheldon and (one more name he took) as part of literature?

Me: m sorrysirI have not read their novels soam notable tocomment


M1: What is enlightenment?

Me: (again running short of exact definition, trying to answer) sir the social processes are explained…… (He interrupted)


M1: Ok, which are two novels you liked

Me: Sir, Chitta Lahu by Nanak Singh Navalkar and Ik Myaan Do Talwaaran.


M1: In Chitta Lahu from Literary aspect what you liked?

Me: Sir the novelist in this novel has touched various social problems at a time


M1: No no from literary aspect

Me: Sir the language as M1: as sir he has romanticised the novel with passion in it


M1: You used two terms romantic and passion. What’s the relation between two?

Me: sir when there is romance, passion comes itself


M1: (smiled) ok


Chairman passed to second member, Sardar Ji on my left, bluish eyes with specs… he was looking like an intelligent person…


M2: you are from Punjab it is said that there is only one culture and that’s (I spoke along humbly along with) agriculture

M2: do you agree with this?

Me: Sir in Punjab agriculture is m1: developed sector and large workforce is in this sector


M2: No no tell me only about culture

Me: sir culture of Punjab is very vibrant and dynamic because history of Punjab has been vibrant and dynamic… (He interrupted)


M2: What you like about Punjabi culture?

Me: sir I like open mindedness of Punjabi culture, always helpful. Sikhs Muslims Hindus are there in large number and living in harmony.


M2: ok, Punjab has been an important role player in green revolution especially with Ludhiana at center from where you belong. There is also Punjab Agriculture University which has played immense role. But productivity has stagnated in you agree?

Me: sir Punjab has played very important role in green revolution. Sir, the productivity is increasing by less amount but it’s still increasing. For example crop intensity is 196 and… (Interrupted)


M2: ok what can be done to increase productivity?

Me: sir optimal funds for research and development…


M2: What? (He couldn’t get what I said)

Me: Sir sufficient funds should be allocated for research and development in agriculture should be provided…sir I would like to use an example from this year budget. For example for pulses production 52rs 300 crore have been allotted to 60000 villages and when we calculate it turns out to be just rs.50000 villages which could be rather more funds for less number of villages (interrupted)


M2: But that’s arithmetic calculation you have done. But it’s not going to be implemented like this.

Me: yes sir but I think it would have been better if it could be implemented with more funds to less number of villages and then could be replicated.


(Suddenly something clicked to my mind, moving my head and also giving a look at chairman I said) sir only yesterday in newspaper I read that 30% of fruits and vegetables in Punjab go waste because of lacking proper storage facilities and thus we need to work on the storage facilities, warehouses


I think they nodded head on this…


Chairman passed to third member…a very very nice smiling lady member


LM: Ok, Ajay your hobby is blogging

Me: Yes mam


LM: Do you have you own website?

Me: Answered


LM: Narrated a long Que… But she felt she messed up and then said ok name two social networking sites.

Me: Ma’am Facebook and Twitter


LM: What’s difference between two?

Me: Ma’am twitter is microblogging site where we can type only short texts


LM: How short? I mean how many letters?

Me: (thinking for 3-4 sec) am’ sorry mam I don’t remember LM: its 140 (then she started confirming from m1) lm o we count the space? Me (don’t know in what flow) no mam


LM: We count.

Me: I‘m sorry mam


LM: You play carom.

Me: Yes mam


LM: Do you play it seriously?

Me: Yes mam


LM: There was recently a movie on carom, (I nodded in yes) can u name that?

Me: mam carom was also played in Munnabhai MABBS (I was not getting name of that movie so tried buying time to recall)


LM: No no in Munnabhai it was in sideline… but in a movie the game was at centre

Me: ma’am I know there was but am’ not able to recall the name


LM: Ok it was striker

Me: (because I knew the movie so unintentionally came out of my mouth yes mam striker)


LM: ok Ajay u were discussing cricket diplomacy with sir, there was also one ping pong diplomacy

Me: Yes mam


LM: It was between which two countries?

Me: (Thinking) mam it was between china andddd… (LM: Yes yes China and yes you are right china and) ma’am, Taiwan (damn i went in flow again)


LM: No its USA…between China and USA\

Me: Ok mam thank you mam


LM: (chairman signaled her something I feel though m not sure) ok Ajay I would ask you one more question, one last question..(She made a long statement and the she realized it got messed and then she broke it into parts. Ajay people blog and use sites for so many hours a day and daily. isn’t it wastage of time?

Me: Ma’am I don’t blog for many hours but for (interrupted saying no no not just you but many young ones)


LM: Ok, tell me is it necessary to blog?

Me: (making serious facial expression) mam bout necessity I would say we have around 40% population below poverty line who don’t have any account on blogging/social networking sites so it depends upon personal will.


LM: ok Ajay can it be dangerous sharing personal info on these sites?

Me: mam sharing too much personal info with a stranger can be at times dangerous too


She was ok and then chairman passed on to fourth member…he was looking not in very good mood when I even entered…may be some personal matter. He showered questions on me


M4: You were talking about Wagha border. Have you been there?

Me: No sir, I haven’t been there


M4: Ok in Punjab agriculture has impacted upon the environment…how?

Me: Sir ground water level has dipped too much and that’s reason Punjab govt. has banned sowing of paddy before 10 May sir the same cropping pattern over so many years has depleted soil of nutrients


M4: Ok, what’s happening in Libya?

Me: Explained


M4: What’s happening in neighbouring countries of Libya?

Me: I explained


M4: What’s no fly zone?

Me: explained


M4: What’s sustainable development?

Me: Sir sustainable development is use of resources in such a manner so that needs of future generations are not compromised


M4: What?

Me: Explained again


M4: So we should stop the using resources?

Me: sir we should use them optimally


M4: what is climate change?

Me: Explained and also talked of climate talks


M4: (Don’t know what happened while I was answering above que, he asked is USA developing nation?

Me: sir USA is developed nation


M4: Climate change is said to be good. Russians are saying that more land on arctic will be available and thus more of resources

Me: sir climate change may cause sea water level rise which will submerge large land are and countries like Maldives…moreover climate change can impact cropping pattern thus bringing large scale migration among people which will not be good


M4: ok


Now chairman got back to him….he was all the time very attentive


CH: Have you read Punjab history?

Me: (Having no other choice and don’t know from where confidence came) yes sir


CH: (again) have you read Punjab history?

Me: Yes sir


CH: When Maharaja Ranjit Singh died?

Me: Sir 1839


CH: When did Maharaja Ranjit Singh signed treaty with Britishers?

Me: Sir in 1839


CH: (looking down to his pages) ok, yes there was treaty that both sides won’t cross Sutlej

Me: yes sir


CH: Tell me about Anglo-Sikh Wars.

Me: sir there have been two Anglo-Sikh Wars, first was fought in 1845-46 and second in 1849 and sikhs were defeated by Britishers


CH: What happened after that?

Me: (two three conflicting thoughts started popping in my mind and I found not answering as best option) m sorry sir I don’t remember


CH: Can u name few places of the wars?

Me: Sir Battle of Sabhrawan (I had read it sometimes in Punjabi)


CH: Battle of Sabharao

Me: ok sir thank you sir, sir Samrala


CH: Ok

Me: m sorry sir I am not able to recall more names (This was what I had read so many times but interview time is tough I feel)


CH: Chilchilyanwala

Me: ok sir


CH: Are you sure?

Me: m not sure sir


CH: Ok, (then he looked at wall clock and then on his wrist watch and said “ok we have time so we can talk more” (what else I could say)

Me: yes sir


CH: ok tell me something about union public service commission (I was delighted that he will ask me opinion based question now but in vain) ch: when was union public service commission founded?

Me: sir it was founded in 1926


CH: (thought) yes right, good but then its name was something else. What was its name?

Me: sir its name was federal public service commission


CH: Yes right, why was it established?

Me: (Finding appropriate word for 2 seconds but then went on) sir to appoint people on posts of high responsibility


CH: Yes right but why it was founded only then?

Me: sir it was founded on recommendation of a commission


CH: Yes but on recommendation of committee not commission

Me: ok sir


CH: What was name of that committee?

Me: I’m sorry sir I have read but i am not able to recall right now


CH: Ok, tell me origin of River Beas?

Me: (I had prepared Sutlej Yamuna Link so m1: that Sutlej started popping in my mind, I tried suppressing it and finding origin of Beas but after 3-4 seconds) I’m sorry sir am not able to recall


CH: Have, you read it?

Me: Yes, sir


CH: Then you must be having some idea whether it’s in Punjab Haryana Himachal, J&K, Tibet)

Me: (Tibet and Sutlej ghoomne start fir se) sir if I have to make a guess I will say Tibet (the answer was Beas Kund and when I came out of room it immediately came in mind)


CH: Ok thank you and moved back from his forward attentive posture.

Me: (Feeling good) got up thank you sir, thank you sirs, and again smilingly thank you mam


There was a pink file on table…I was little puzzled because of Beas wala answer and could in that puzzled mind pick that file but then i got attentive that yet I have to walk out of room and till I walk out interview is not over… and I walked out without any mistake


When I came out same female who was known to me was sitting and my first words were “he is asking factual only”


My assessment is that maybe he will realise I am not student of history but still answered at least few questions m1…


Some answers I really felt proud of like that of Gurmukhi, do u have your own site, some data related to agriculture, union public service commission year ( that has a story which I will share ) ad optimal use of resources, treaty of 1839 etc.


Rest waiting for result. That’s it!!!!

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