Once in a Century -IAS Interview
My IAS Interview 2010
It was the culmination of 5 yrs of sustained, dedicated; hard-work and many sacrifices .I started this endeavor from scratch only to bring good name to my guru Patriji. Only to prove that The Master is Guiding millions of souls towards proper path…
My wife has been a rock pillar support throughout; we withstood many pressures and made many sacrifices towards achieving this goal…
I thank my mentor and my good friend Hari Kiran (rank 16 2009) for his good efforts in polishing the diamond …and giving valuable inputs…without which I wouldn’t have crossed the Toughest Mains Exam of all times (2010) with ease !
I’m putting my interview experience only to make my many well-wishers know what exactly happened and for posterity.
Actual Interview Day
After getting through one of the toughest papers in mains in the recent years, obviously my confidence was enhanced — and I was aiming to get into service to give No-Nonsense Governance to the People (even if I’m eliminated after brief duration); there was no fear of the present nor the future , nor of death in the service to the Lord ; only One Vision — Vision of Best Governance stood in front of me !
Thoughts maketh man …and my very intrepid ideas Radiated a Powerful Energy and Glow around me… this energy on that day was so Peaceful yet so Powerful that my batch mates, staff, support staff, every employee who was lucky enough to be present there in UPSC…were in awe looking at me….!!!
This in fact started from the entrance gate! The security guards gave me very warm alert salute — they thought that I was an in fact an Officer! I went inside , my own batch-mates thought that I was an Officer and in fact after a while I got used to these reactions .And when the supervisory staff for the interviews each one saluted me as though I was top official from Govt. of India , on duty for the interviews -I started enjoying it !
Deep in my mind I know there are 2 possibilities from here -that I can lose if God hasn’t willed to take the risk of joining the services or if I cross this last hurdle , then I decided for myself then and there that no force in future can stop me until I improve the system..,..
With this idea in my mind, and with a volcano of tension inside me, I knocked the door, but was happy that My head was still cool above my shoulders…There was no panic nor fright , but just a flow with the moments ….It all happened very quick from then on one by one …
First word from my mouth —” Good Morning Madame… Good morning Sir”.
They all look at me …and are in awe for certain.
Chairman replies — Please take your seat.
I thank him profusely and drag the chair, careful not to make any noise and sit quietly ..I wait for them to ask…
But they all are taken back by my Energy, Gait, steady head and CONFIDENCE!
They all shuffle in their seats, I noticed it…
They pause for few seconds …again they shuffle in their seats…
They are shell shocked! Seconds fly….No voice still (I can understand their dilemma… A dove has entered into the area of the thugs!
Finally one more empty second, I thought the Interview was mine, just then Chairman recoups all his strength and just barely blurts weakly –” tell me about yourself”?
Me: Pause for a while …” Sir I’m an MBBS Doctor, 5 yrs. ago from scratch I aspired to be the top most Administrator for India , and so I’m here at the threshold of achieving my Life time goal , and this itself speaks about myself more than my words do!
Madam nods her head with happiness, 2 other gentlemen also feel the same, I Notice this from my corner of my eyes…!
Chairman: He gets all the joy in the world (sarcastic Joy) — jumps in his seat and with more energy shouts with joy —” Oh so you are a medical man!
Me: I nod my head — yes sir!
Chairman-So do you know anything about another medical man –that appeared in today morning newspaper…
Me: yes sir…the MCI chief was arrested for taking bribes in granting permissions to private medical colleges!
Chairman: was he arrested or charge sheeted!
Me: (Pause) arrested sir…
Suddenly Chairman becomes more aggressive, shouts with top of his voice, comes forward aggressively unto my face…and shouts ” why you want to come to the services — are you not wasting money that Govt. has spend on you for your medical degree…
I was about to respond –
He stops me, mocks at me, laughs with all the other members – tries to insult me, says” if you and your family decision see is costing the govt. many lakhs?!!
I was about to respond again —
He interrupts me again…sarcastically laughs …turns to other members, as though they are having a group discussion, leaving me all alone!
Here I do the Unthinkable! Really unthinkable! He might not have seen such cool reaction in all his career!
I take stock of the whole situation, here is a guy, mean looking , corrupt looking , deriving sadistic pleasure of not giving the opp to reply — Is the interview fixed? Is there no single seat for real merit? Should I leave the room, as there is no point sitting there without the right to reply? I thought of my wife, my future, is it gone? …My gut feeling was its Gone! Having felt so I thought I would be going out with a good fight…thinking it the last day in my office!
I politely and my heart in my mouth ask him in the midst of his outbursts “Can I reply Sir”
He is shocked, stops! didn’t expect such guts to stop him in between and poise a cool question…he knows that If he gets more angry than this, I would surely walk away and that to morally victoriously… so he has no other choice — hence hesitatingly says “yes go ahead“, “go ahead“—leans forward unto the table and says “go ahead”
Me: Sir 2ARC, 6th PAY commission recommends specialization of generalist IAS officer and recommends Training in domain fields. I being already a specialist would fit more aptly into these roles…As far as wasting of money is concerned, I saved in fact lot of it by not being part of the BRAIN DRAIN. I would still be serving the people of my country and the benefits I would bring for the next 25-30 yrs. would far outweigh the costs borne by the Govt. on my medical education.
Moreover Govt. of India doesn’t think in the first place its waste of money, as they want to tap talent from all fields or else they wouldn’t have sought applications from us, and therefore I have every right to be here!
Madame and one more gentleman laughs loud with happiness, chairman and other 2 are stunned by this gentle but laser precise rebuke!
Chairman is forced to agree —” yes you are right , you have every right , you have right to be here !he sincerely appreciates my bold answer… cools his head off , and tries to see the highest merit in me!
From now on the tone mellows down drastically, it becomes soft, and pleading, they know that the person sitting opposite to them doesn’t not come daily in their career but is a rare talent!
Chairman hands over to the member…he wants to recoup his thoughts I suppose!’
1st Member: “If you become an IAS officer in what 3 fields will you do outstandingly best.
Me: Pause for a while, want to get off the tension, I ask for a glass of water… they offer me paper and pen also … I reply after a deep pause …” Sir, as I would be in-charge of many departments, and I would be doing justice if not outstandingly best in all the fields assigned to
Me: namely law and order, implement policies, coordinate different departments etc. says very good…
2nd Member: Do you know what’s happening in Myanmar…
Me: pause for a while — yes sir.
2nd Member go ahead.
Me: (pauses) – sir in Myanmar pro Democratic forces led by Ms Suy ki is bringing in silent support for her cause in the international community and this is making the Military Junta rulers to think of releasing her from her house arrest , just to gain credibility.
2nd Member — very good thank you.
3rd Member Lady: You said your hobbies are Meditation — what is meditation…
Me: According to Pathanjali — meditation is Ashtanga raja yoga — i.e. 8 step path –
Lady Member: Can you name them…
Me: yes madam– very quickly 1- 8 names asna, pratyahara, dharna, dhyana, samadhi
Lady Member: Very good lady member- how will you motivate your employees.
Me: quick answer with minute pause— ” Integrated holistic approach ” systems approach to motivation— hold out carrots like pay , perks , allowances and also sticks like punishments, censors, reprimands , and also personally set an example and have personal interaction and easy accessibility with them !
Lady Member: personal interaction —?! How much time will you take for this?
Me: bewildered by this cross – question! Take a deep breath and say madam I will take “reasonable” amount of time to meet the representatives of my staff depending on the size, nature of the organization.
Lady Member: feels happy … tones down her voice — asks what books did I follow for Public administration. I though this question is for her personal purpose — maybe to guide her own kids!
Me: Madam its Nicolas Henry, Mohit Bhatachrya, mainly and all other Std text books.
4th Member: Tell me about Telangana…
Me: Sir it comprises of 10 districts, ruled by the Nizam for 200 yrs. and therefore were excluded from any devp that was seen in the British ruled neighboring areas of Andhra and Rayalseema.
4th Member: What do you think smaller states should be formed.
Me: pause Sir Sri Krishna Sir and his commission is going exactly into this issue holistically.
4th Member: Do you think Telangana must be given.
Me: If the grievance is that of lack of devp. We must ensure that this is rectified in time bound manner. devp projects should be instituted on war- footing basis. If it is for seeking power– I’m against it –as then every district in India would be seeking a separate state , but having said this the voice of the people of Telangana should be listened to and channelized in the right direction Sir.
4th Member and Chairman: – yes you are right …India will then be broken into district size states…you are right!
Interview handed over to Chairman…
Chairman: Do you get angry?
Me: I act angry but to get really angry would take lot of effort from my side Sir!
Chairman: No, we daily see on roads, everybody gets angry with everybody …do you get angry —
Me: No sir …it’s not civilized behavior..
Chairman: Do you get angry with your employees…
Me– no Sir…
Chairman: but if someone doesn’t do the work, we all get angry do you?
Me- No sir, there are still better ways to make the work completed and anger may be the least resort Sir…
Chairman: Again becomes his original self- spins my answer — Anger doesn’t work in India …you have got it wrong!
Me: I pause /stunned I haven’t said anger must be encouraged at any time! He goes to the next question…
Chairman: Why you preferred IRS over IPS…
Me: Sir every service is a service to the nation , there is no higher or lower service , but just it’s an individual preference — And my aptitude is more for the administrative service — as I want to give An India — Hunger Free, Corruption Free, Disease Free, Illiteracy, Underemployment, poverty free above all a Developed nation to the next generation.
Chairman: -Softly with cajoling voice –don’t want IPS aa?
Me: As I said Sir Every Service is a service to the nation …but my preference is more for IAS.
Chairman: What if you don’t get…
Me: I’m sure I will get it Sir and I’m confident about it or else can still poke syringes all my life!
Chairman: The interview is over! Now whatever is asked or said will not be used for evaluation.
Chairman: Do you have any questions for me?
Me: Pause -Sir Can we Discuss Ideas instead?
Chairman: Raises tone—if you have questions you ask or else say sorry sir I don’t have any questions!
Me: Sorry Sir I have Ideas to discuss can we!
Your interview is over you can leave now.
Me: Sorry Sir, you said interview was over few minutes ago! So as the interview was over how does it matter if I ask a question or discuss an idea?
You can leave now reluctantly say thank you sir, thank you madam. (Stereotyped Board expecting stereotyped answers within 4 closed walls, door locked from inside, with no cameras….just remembering My Father of Public Administration Woodrow Wilson’s -” Corruption thrives in secret places”- I walk away far, very far, very very far away thanking God that I did not work with these thugs and mafia all my life!
I excelled in my academic performance -got 30 more marks than the topper of my batch in theory but got 120 marks less than him in the interview.