UPSC Interview Transcript By Abhay Chauhan Board P K Mishra

Interview Board: P K Mishra Name: Abhay Chauhan CSE Examination Year: 2014 Interview Date/Year: 2015


  • Board : PK Mishra Ji
  • Hometown : Dhampur, Bijnor UP
  • Place of Birth: Sujanpur, Himachal Pradesh
  • Profession: Merchant Navy
  • Optionals: Geography and Pali

As I went in, I was asked by the Chairperson to take the seat, which was diametrically opposite to his seat on a round table. After exchanging wishes the interview started.


CP: Are all these awards yours? Essay writing, best orator, best footballer etc. (had mentioned about variety of awards I won during school and college days)

Me: yes sir


CP: when you won all these?

Me: Sir, essay writing and oration award in school, I think it was in 8th or 9th standard, all sports related awards in college.


P: Ok, from which position you used to play in football? (My mistake: I thought I have enough time to explain him since the time I started playing football how I improved etc. etc. and finally made a place in the team)

Me: Sir, I never played football till 10th standard.


CP: (interrupts) I am asking from which place you used to play football.

Me: Sir 11th and 12th, only in extras, and during college days from left and right wings.


CP: (looking suspiciously towards me)

Me: (gauging he is not satisfied with my answer) Sir, My both legs work equally good.


CP: Ok, this may be a new format, but we heard of formations, tell me about traditional formation

Me: Thinking


CP: Heard of formations before?

Me: Yes sir, There are defenders, midfielders, and strikers and we used to play with 4-3-3 formation


CP: Ok, but if you include goalkeeper also in that, traditional formation is 1-2-3-5. (Also confirmed it from the member sitting towards his left, the member nodded positively)

Me: Thankyou Sir, I did not know that


CP: Tell me about “Hand of God”

Me: Thinking


CP: It’s related to football

Me: Sir, Maradona one


CP: Yes

Me: Sir, Maradona had scored a goal using his hand, that goal was counted instead of it being a foul.


CP: Was it right?

Me: Sir, result matters.


CP: Oh!! Result matters in this way anyone can score goal in whatever way they wish.

Me: Sir, if it has happened as a part of the game and player is not aware of it; there is nothing wrong in it.


CP: But, he was aware of that, He himself told the world that it was hand of god.

Me: sorry sir, I did not know that, if that’s the case he should not have done that.


CP: Why, but he did it for his country?

Me: no sir, he is not a sportsman, as per me


CP: Even if he did for the nation, you call him so

Me: What I see as a sportsman, sportsmanship is something bigger.


CP: Tell me a name of a cricketer, who sometimes did not wait for the umpire decision and left the field if he felt he is out.

Me: Sir, Sachin Tendulkar during Sharjah (interrupted by CP)


CP: Yes, 2-3 times he has done so.

CP: Tell me another name of Table Tennis.

Me: Sir, Ping Pong


CP: What is Ping pong diplomacy?

Me: Sir, I never came across this term.


CP: It’s a diplomacy going on between America and china.

Me: Thankyou Sir, I did not know that


CP: Ok listen to this statement carefully he read the statement. (I am not sure of exact statement, it was something like” what happened on 16th December is symptomatic of two views prevalent in India about women in clash with other” comment. (Could not make out anything except that it is related to Delhi rape case, it was a long sentence with some words I found difficult to understand)

Me: Sir, can you please repeat that phrase in between?


CP: Repeated the phrase

(Me: just understood” Clash of two views” and that it is related to Delhi rape case, took a great risk of going ahead without understanding the question)

Me: Sir, two views are one says that the girls should not have boarded the bus at late night. The other says that woman has all freedom that a man has. Sir, Today there is cultural and structural violence against women, for example, today if I get married I’ll ask my brother that your bhabhi is ” MAA samaan” while I myself will call my sister in law as “Adhi gharwaali” this is cultural and structural violence. A woman will never be secure till man is insecure, man has to give up his insecurities to make the woman secure, today when I see me family… (CP interrupts)


CP: What your family has to do with this?

Me: Sir, it is about women


CP: Ok

Me: Sir, when I see my family, I find woman has no freedom, she needs freedom, freedom in decision making, freedom to sex, freedom to reproduce


CP: Speak more

Me: (since I never expected that even after speaking this much, he’ll ask for more, mistake: got emotional, so while I was thinking, the pity condition of woman that is there in our society got reflected on my face, CP took it as if I am nervous)


CP: Can speak in Hindi too


M1: (Sitting on the left side of CP, pointing towards glass of water kept in front of me) can have water also.

Me: (ignoring what they said started again) Sir, we need societal evolution. (CP interrupts)


CP: What is societal evolution?

Me: (Cautiously) Sir, I mean the background in which those criminals were brought up.


CP: ok, speak more

Me: (After a pause for few seconds) Sir, Our system is not different from society rather it’s the reflection of society, because it’s we only who go and serve in the system. We need to be proactive, for example there were statements from the victim’s friend that people came, saw them on road side and did not provide assistance, but later after the news broke out, there were protests all over Delhi.


CP: Yes, moreover most of rape cases are the ones in which known ones are involved or of child abuse.

Me: Yes sir


M1: What do you know about operation green hunt?

Me: Sir, is this, the same one related to Naxalism


(both chairperson and M1): This you have to tell

Me: Oh! Sorry sir, this is related to Naxalism


M1: Tell about it

Me: Sir, I came across this term long time back.


CP: But this is still going on

Me: (looking for some help here and there, as I did not know what to answer)


M1: Okay tell us what is famous about Sujanpur (my birth place)?

Me: Sir, I think there is only one ground in whole Sujanpur Tira which belongs to Sainik School (at this moment the person sitting between me and M1, i.e on my right (M2), said yes yes), and for the purpose of interview I have read about Holi festival which has been upgraded to national level festival.


(M2 again nodded positively,the moment I said ” for the purpose of interview” smile appeared on the face of M1, don’t know why I said it, or how the board will take it)


M2: So you have not lived there in Sujanpur.

Me: Sir, I was there only upto 2nd standard.


M2: You had such a nice job then why Civil services?

Me: Sir, there is a background behind this decision.


(CP nodded to go ahead)

Me: Sir I studied in Sainik School up to 2nd standard, I did my 11th and 12th from Translam Academy International (my School name), Sir, the motto of that school was quite touchy. It was” Don’t ask, what your country has done for you, ask what you have done for your country”. I wanted to join NDA after 12th , My father said go for IIT, I tried secured low rank, he said you have a good rank in regional college go there, i thought he is not sure what I have to do, and sir since all my education has been in quality schools , my father had out stretched himself for providing me quality education, I thought if not NDA, I’ll go for financial stability and I filled the form of this institute without his knowledge as eligibility was through IIT entrance only and later convinced him with the help of my mother to go for merchant navy, and sir today I am financially stable and looking forward to serve the nation.


CP: Why you left the Sainik School?

Me: Sir, my father got transferred


CP: Ok, Ok


M3: Is the right to property a fundamental right?

Me: No sir, it’s a constitutional right


M3: Ok listen this carefully, if you are a deputy collector and asked to take over a land for some project, what all things you consider before taking over the land.

Me: Thinking


M3: (added) there is no market compensation available

Me: (Still thinking)


CP: Speak out whatever comes to your mind

Me: Sir, I’ll see if the land belongs to poor people or rich people, if poor people without any alternate source of livelihood, I may seek other alternatives, if there are rich people with alternate source of livelihood and project is going to serve the larger interest of the society, I’ll go ahead with the project.


M3: Environment??

Me: yes sir, environment also


M3: Look East Policy?

Me(since the accent of M3 was not clear, I took it as north east policy and thought that it may be about how we are developing north east)

Me: Started on north east, but from the face expression of other members sensed that something is wrong, stopped immediately.


M3: no, Look East Policy that we started in 1991 with ASEAN and tell us about developments that have taken place since 1991.

Me:(Hurriedly started) sir after the breakup of soviet union when opportunities were risen for us to look forward toward these nations we started building relations with them and have signed FTA with ASEAN ,recently an agreement on services and investment has been signed, two days ago a car rally from Kolkata took off towards these countries.


M3: tell me about some projects we are doing with ASEAN countries.

Me: Sir, Kaladan River project


M3: Yes

Me: Then explained Kaladan project


M3: More

Me: Sorry sir (throughout this discussion with m3, I was very uncomfortable, first his accent was unclear, 2nd I had misinterpreted him in the beginning, there was a sort of rush while answering as if I was trying to show that I know about it but don’t know what you wish to listen)


M4: tell me the countries to which these players belong: Zinedine Zidane, Messi and Pele?

Me; sir, Zidane-France, Messi-Argentina, and Pele-I think brazil.


CP: Yes, Brazil


M4: Barca, which country?

Me: After a pause, Sir I am not sure(was thinking is he asking about Barcelona, or some other Barca)


M4: Tell me why in India there is dominance of only one sport, while others are lacking?

Me: Sir, there are two-three reasons behind it, first one is media focuses only on those sports in which we perform well, so we are performing well in cricket so 24 x7 there are programs about cricket, and media generates perceptions among the people.


CP: But, we won 8 Olympic medal when media was not so vibrant.

Me: (the answer was given in a situation where I did not expect a counter, it was in a very light tone) Sir, there might be some other mode of news to reach to the people that we are winning in these games. (M4 did not wait for other reasons and jumped to next question)


M4: Tell me the significance of Pali.

Me: Sir, Pali is a way of life. I have not read any religious text but have acquired few quotes from Pali in my life.


(Observing that M4 is about to jump on to next question, and my answer was not yet over) Sir, may I quote one verse.


M4: Yes

Me: sir there is this quote “veren veraani na samanti kudachana”, which means enmity can never be overcome by enmity; this applies in personal life as well as in India- Pakistan relations too.


M4: Tell me about major cargo ports of the world and why ports of gulf of Aden, Sudan and Maldives important.

Me: Sir, first important cargo ports?


CP: Yes

Me: Shanghai, Singapore, Colombo, Valladaparam (the real name is Vallarapadam) in India, stretched a bit on Valladaparam, Sir, it’s not yet equal to other major ports but we are focusing on it, Rotterdam .(taking one or more seconds) Sir, that’s all major ports I have been to, not to the American continent. (Second part I fucked up, the importance of these ports was to be answered independently, I thought of answering all together) Sir, I think these ports are important for energy security of nation and piracy because if we make the ports of Gulf of Aden secure, we can channelise the aid towards the Somalia region and can address the root cause of piracy.


CP: No, like Tehran recently said of blocking the route. What importance does this has?

Me: yes sir, same energy security, or these ports also become important for china’s string of rings policy (yes I said “rings” instead of “pearl”)


(CP: not satisfied, but gave up on this question)


M4: You talked so much about women’s freedom, but don’t you think that westernization also has to do with these increased rapes, are you aware of this fact that the rape cases in America are more than in India, (I thought he has finished so started, but realising that he has to say more immediately stopped just mentioned after about half a word “si of “sir”) what the kind of society you aspire , if everyone follows what one should do then what is the need of law and order. Etc. etc.… (Well the tone was as if he is making fun of my viewpoint expressed about women)

Me: Sir, I have gone through this report of UN OFFICE on DRUG and there is pattern that follows in that report, all the countries with high HDI have high reporting of rape cases, for example sweden, Finland , all above 100 cases per million or lakh women (as I was not sure of lakh or million) and countries like Egypt some zero point something cases per lakh or million, What I inferred from that report was that where woman enjoys more freedom there the reporting of rape cases are more.


(M4: his expressions as if he is sorry to have compared rape figures of India and America or I have said something that dishonoured him, his face down for 1-2 seconds)

(M1: smiling)


CP: You don’t worry about persons sitting here; you say what you have to say. (Here, I don’t know what wrong did I say, my brain started running here and there, have I offended someone, was my tone of countering the view okay, etc. etc…)

Me: (anyhow gathering courage started) Sir, Women empowerment is reflected in high reporting of rape cases and (desperately seeking CP’s affirmation for my viewpoint, looking toward him, in a pleading manner) Sir, there is structural and cultural violence in the society.


CP: Smiling as usual


CP: Tell me 3 constitutional bodies

Me: UPSC, CAG and National commission for SC and ST.


CP: (Checking in his brain memory if National commission for SC/ST is a constitutional body or not) yes, okay now tell me about duties of any one.

Me: (taking a pause of 2-3 seconds) Sir, I’ll go for CAG


CP: Nodded to go ahead

Me: Sir, it audits the expenditure from Exchequer of GOI and also of states, (thinking while answering if I could recollect something more), it presents its report to PAC and also does performance appraisals like the one it is seeking for RIL for KG basin.


CP: Whose domain lies the policy making?

Me: Sir, Govt.


CP: Then, why these Constitutional bodies interfere in their task, and tell the govt. to do this or that.

Me: I think, govt. is not doing what it is supposed to do.


CP: Is it okay?

Me: For the time being


CP: So can the executive also interfere the judiciary that you’re 5 crore cases are pending?

Me: (thinking, as I was aware of Soumitra Sen case, where executive interfered in judiciary but was not convinced that for 5 crore cases it’s the fault of judiciary, committed a mistake here, should have said what all was going on in my mind but said this —) Sir, but To provide the infrastructure and appointment of judges lies in the domain of executive


CP: Can’t the judiciary pass the order to provide these things within 10 days.

Me: (thinking) Sir, I think these things are interrelated.


CP: What’s the name of this interrelation?

Me: (Stunned) As I said it in different sense and thought that he’ll ask- how, then I’ll present my view point, but when he asked name of interrelation, I thought I might have landed in right place but now , at that moment there was only relation that I could think of and that was separation of powers.)


Me: very cautiously, sir, separation of (CP interrupts)


CP: Checks and balances.

Me: Yes sir checks and balances…


CP: Okay your interview is over.


(Another mistake, while leaving the room I was pushing the door, and struggling to open it when M1 with a smile on his face said “pull”, I too with smile replied back “Thank you sir.”)

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