UPSC Interview Transcript By Kumar Ashish Board Dr K K Paul

Interview Board: Dr. K. K. Paul
Name: Kumar Ashish
Interview Date/Year: 19 March 2012


Name: Kumar Ashish

Interview Date: 19th March 2012

AIR: 363 CSE-2011

Dr. K. K. Paul Sir’s Board


KKP: What’s your name? Is it Ashish Kumar or Kumar Ashish?

Me: Sir, my name is Kumar Ashish…


KKP: Why it is Kumar Ashish? Are you also inspired by Saas-Bahu Serials having a fascination about “K” letter?

Me: No Sir, it isn’t inspired by any serial. Please allow me to quote that my Father is a big fan of Rajendra Kumar, yesteryears Hero of Bollywood. He is having a son named “Kumar Gaurav” and the year when I was born, a new film of his was in the market “Love-story”. So, I think taking inspiration from his name, my Father put my name as “Kumar” first, then “Ashish” (Everybody laughed at this juncture except KKP sir)


KKP: your optional are Geography and French Literature, right?

Me: Yes Sir, but I have read them only for UPSC preparation, while I have read French Lit., culture, civilization, history in my Graduation years.


KKP: Ok, do you know Siachen? Which are the two rivers who get melted water from Siachen glacier?

Me: Sir, I am not very sure about them.


KKP: which is the biggest river in that area?

Me: Sir, its Indus.


KKP: and what are the two major tributaries of Indus in that region?

Me: Sir, they are Shyok and Nubra.


KKP: So they are those two rivers. Have you heard about Ganga? Name its tributaries from North, sequence wise from west to east.

Me: thank you Sir. Yes sir, I have heard about Ganga River. Her tributaries from west to east are: Ramganga, Rapti, Sharda, Kali, Gomati, Gandak, Baghmati, Kosi….


KKP: Ghaghra is there?

Me: yes Sir, Ghaghra is also there.


KKP: one more is there….

Me: Sir, I am unable to recall it now.


KKP: what is Fault Line+ Double trap+ 2-3 more topics..?

Me: I do not remember it now sir…


KKP: what are L-waves?

Me: Sir, this is the third wave-type generated during a seismic activity. It runs through the surface and causes huge destruction.


KKP: what are other waves? What are the characteristics of these waves?

Me: Sir, they are P-wave, S-wave and then L-wave. P-wave (Primary wave) originates at the focus and travels with a speed more than 7-8km. While S-wave (Secondary wave) comes later at almost half speed of that of P-wave. It can’t cross any liquid or molten area. The main destructive activities are caused by L-wave (Love wave) on the surface.


KKP: why L-wave causes destruction on surface? Any particular reasons?

Me: hmmm… I don’t know Sir…


KKP: How an earth quake is measured?

Me: sir, on Richter scale and Mercailli Scale.


KKP: Do you know the difference between them?

Me: Yes Sir. One measures the magnitude while the other measures the intensity of an Earth-quake.


KKP: you are from Bihar. Tell me what is the reason behind high Floods occurring in North Bihar?

Me: Sir, its high rain in Himalayas, siltation in rivers… (Cut short by interruption…)


KKP: What’s being done for that?

Me: Process of siltation removing is being done. Besides we have Hanumannagar Barrage to prevent the Floods…


KKP: what is difference between a Dam and a Barrage?

Me: Hmm, Sir, I don’t know…


KKP: name the tributaries of Brahmputra River.

Me: Sir, they are Lohit, Sankosh, Tista……hmm… (I was not ready to make any guess)


KKP: There are some more. Ok. You have written “Travelling” as your Hobby. Which places have you visited so far?

Me: Sir, I have visited India and abroad also. I went to France and adjoining western European Countries… (Cut short by interruption…)


KKP: tell me about places in India.

Me: Ok sir, in India, I have gone to Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand… (Cut short by interruption…)


KKP: Which places in Himachal?

Me: SHimla, Kullu, Manali, Rohtang Pass…


KKP: What is the height of Rohtang Pass?

Me: to the best of my knowledge, Sir, it is 4250M.


KKP: No! It’s not so. It is lesser than that.

Me: Sir, I am not sure about it…


KKP: how did u go there?

Me: we hired a cab from Manali, Sir.


KKP: Ok, tell me the names of villages that come in the way from Manali to Rohtang Pass. Me: Sir, I am unable to recall them now…


KKP: normally when you visit a place, you tend to know about the local village names, local food and local specialty.

Me: Sorry Sir… (Then, he passes on to a lady sitting just right to him).


Lady1: you have French Lit. As optional. Do you know who Jean Paul Sartre is? What was his philosophy? Can you explain that?

Me: Yes M’am. His philosophy is known as Existentialism. In this, he argues that it is our existence which precedes essence, i.e. any type of moral-social values. It’s our existence which decides how we are going to lead our life. Nothing is pre-determined and everything can be changed according to existence. There are no moral-social values which can define a life. It is our sole discretion to decide what to do and what not to do in our life…


Lady 1: any other work by Sartre

Me: Nausea, les mots, the Dirty hands …. (cut short by interruption…)


Lady1: tell me about the basic idea of the Nausea.

Me: Nausea is a story about a person called “Rotenger” who thinks life is absurd. He is aghast to any positive thinking and so fed up with life that he even gets the feeling of nausea at seeing a stone. He picks up a stone, perceives it and got the nausea. Basically it talks about the idea of Existentialism- no reason of being; one is condemned to live a life.


Lady1: was that his original philosophy?

Me: No M’aam! He borrowed that Idea from Soren Kierkegaard and elaborated that up to new height.


Lady1: Do you know any other French author who wrote in the same line?

Me: Sir, it was Camus, Albert Camus.


Lady1: but he was not French?

Me: yes m’am, he was a born Algerian but later naturalized in France and became French…


Lady 1: Name some of his works.

Me: The Stranger, Man, Caligula……


Lady1: tell me about the dilemma through which the protagonist of “the Stranger” was going through.

Me: M’aam, the dilemma which is faced by the protagonist was that he is totally neutral to any feeling, idea or anything. He is quite emotionless when he hears about the death of his mother. He….. (Cut short by lady 1)


Lady1: what was his feeling at the end? Was he sad? Happy? Why?

Me: M’am, he was neither sad nor happy. He was not remorseful for whatever he has done. He refuses to meet the priest as he doesn’t believe in religious affairs. He did not apologize for his act… 206

Lady1: Have you seen some French Cinema? What is the main difference between French and Indian Cinema?

Me: Yes M’aam. The main difference between them is that French Cinema started Shooting in outdoor in 1960s on a greater canvas. The concept of closed door shooting and film making was broken by French cinema and…(cut short by interruption…)


Lady1: can you name some prominent French Movie Directors of that time?

Me: Yes M’aam. They are Francois Truffaut, Godard, Alain Resnais….


Lady1: Good… (Then, she passes on to a Member sitting just left to me)


M1: can you tell what is going in Afghanistan?

Me: Sir, in Afghanistan, pro-Talebani forces are on rise and they are trying to capture the power with the help of anguished local people who are now coming to confront the US soldiers. Just we have seen recently that 16 US soldiers were killed. Afghani people are now fed up with US occupation and they are trying to overcome of this problem as soon as possible. Earlier, it was US who created some terrorist outfits there for its own sake and now these “Bhasmasurs” are against the US. They want to establish their Talebani regime.


M1: Ok, what is going on in Pakistan? How it is going to affect the US interests in that region?

Me: Sir, Pakistan is facing the some sort of internal war in which the pro-talibani forces like Tahrik-e-Taliban et al are trying to capture a good hold in Pakistan. They are against the presence of US soldiers in Pakistan and want them to leave their land immediately. US has a lot of interests in this region as Pakistan provides them with a Military Base which quite essential for the US to keep its stronghold in the Middle-east region from where it can have a vigil on India, Iran and China as well.


(Then, he passes on to a lady sitting just right to me)


Lady 2: You have done BA, MA, Mphil. You must be continuing your Ph.D?

Me: Yes M’aam.


L2: I would ask from where Sir (KK Paul) has left you in geography. What do you know about Interlinking of Rivers? Why this project was being delayed so far? What are their implications? (Till now, I started sweating and was obliged to take permission from KK Paul to wipe out my sweats. He was kind enough to put on the AC which he had switched off when I have entered in the room…)

Me: (after wiping out my sweats with my hanky), M’aam, it is project regarding linking all the major rivers of India in order to make the water resources available to the drought prone areas especially where rainfall is very less. For this purpose, some projects of linking are being dealt upon. It will provide us with potable water, increased irrigation facility, better transportation and hydro-power generation as well. As far as the delay is concerned, mainly it was delayed due to States objection, ecological problems which may arise by linking different river-valleys and a huge sum of investment was required… 207

L2: one last question from my side, which site from India was recently recommended for World Heritage site? What is the current status?

Me: M’aam, it was Western Ghats Mountains. But it got rejected to get that…


L2: good… (Then, she passes on to a Member 2 sitting just right to her and left to KK Paul sir).


M2: How many world Heritage sites are there in India? Who recognizes that status to any site?

Me: Hmm…I don’t know about the exact no. of world heritage sites in India Sir. It’s … UNESCO who recognizes that status to any sites.


M2: Ok… how many world heritage sites you have visited in India?

Me: Sir, Taj-Mahal…recently sir I have visited the Mahabalipuram Group of temples. (Cut short by interruption…)


M2: but that is not a world heritage site…is it?

Me: yes sir, it is one of the very first World heritage site recognized in India in 1983 with Taj-Mahal.


M2: Ok Mr. Ashish. You have written in your Form that you were Hostel President in JNU. Tell me who was the Provost at that time in JNU?

Me: (surprised a bit), Pardon me Sir, are you asking about the Dean of Students at that time?


M2: No no, tell me who was the Provost at that time? Can you name the person?

Me: hmm, sir, it was Sachchidanand Sinha Sir…


M2: ok, if your provost tells you that you are a man of Integrity and your fellow students call you as a man of credibility, what does that mean? What is difference between these two? Can you explain?

Me: Yes Sir. According to me, a Man of Integrity is person who fulfills whatever he promises or says. While in the other case, a person who fulfills his duties enjoys the trust of his fellow students, is a Man of credibility. He is entrusted by his peers…


M2: ok.


Then KK Paul again took the charge.


KKP: Elections have been finished recently in some states. Tell me how the election symbols are allotted to political parties? And what are the criteria for being qualified as a National Political Party?

Me: Sir, symbols are allotted by the Election Commission of India. And to the best of my knowledge Sir, in order to qualify as a National Political Party, a party needs to secure at least 6% vote in 4 states during national elections or at least 4 seats in 4 states legislative assemblies…


KKP: in India, there are only two west flowing rivers… who are they?

Me: Sir Narmada and Tapti…


KKP: ok, tell what is that phenomenon under which they flow westward?

Me: Sir, they flow in rift valleys.


KKP: only rift-valleys? Is there any other thing related? Why they flow westward?

Me: Sorry sir, I don’t know… 208


KKP: Ok, That’s all. (Wondering it happened so fast… I was about to get up then at once KKP again strikes…)


KKP: By the way, can you name the girlfriend of Jean Paul Sartre? (Everybody started smiling at this question)

Me: (Smiling) Sir, it was Simone de Beauvoir…


KKP: and what was the name of the Café where he used to write his philosophy?

Me: Sorry Sir, I am unable to recall it now…


KKP: Ok.

Me: Thank you sirs, m’aam.

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