UPSC Interview Transcript By Manikandan Board Purushottam Agarwal

Interview Board: Purushottam Agarwal
Name: Manikandan
Interview Date/Year: 05-04-2013


Graduation: Electrical and Electronics engineering
Hobbies: Photography, Blogging [none of the questions were from this part].
Optionals: Geography and Public Administration.
Session: Forenoon [Last candidate of my board in the morning session]

Board: Dr. Purushottam Agarwal

Note: Here I am giving a gist of my interview. I have tried to recollect and reproduce maximum possible questions. The answers given are a brief reproduction of what I answered there, not an exact reproduction [Vocabulary and construct were different then].


I entered the hall at around 12.40 PM, wished good afternoon to the Chairman and other board members, and got a good afternoon in reply from almost all the members. Then I was offered a seat where I sat thanking the chairman.


Chairman: Gesturing the member on his right to start the interview….
M1: Why did you choose public administration and geography as your optional when you could have taken electrical and electronics?


Me: In to Civil services considered public administration an obvious choice, as for geography which I last studied at my school level, so thought a recollection was essential since geography with environment is basic science affecting human life.


M1: So was this the reason and not mark constraints?
Me: No sir that was not my primary concern.


M1: ok, what do you know about Public sector broadcasting?
Me: explained about DD, AIR. [In my answer gave a term ‘telecast Programs in Public interest…’]


M1: what are public interest programs? Can you give some examples?
Me: Talked about education awareness, disaster awareness programs, information about schemes of govt. etc…


M2: What is the difference between physics and applied physics, math and applied math [being an engineering candidate you can answer this question was his statement]?
Me: Physics basic principles and laws, applied physics a vertical specialization studying practical to the point applications.


M2: Have heard of the term Cyber Knife?
Me: Sorry sir, I have not heard of it. [But it is “actually a robot guided system for performing radiotherapy with much higher precision than standard radiotherapy- associated with medical field” ]


M2: Do you know anything about Parkinson syndrome?
Me: Yes sir, a condition of degeneration of brain cells with age resulting in loss of memory and other complexities.

M2: What is a green field airport?
Me: Sir, generally when we establish an infrastructure for the first time afresh we call it a green field project, if we are adding to an established infrastructure or repair works are done to existing projects are called brownfield projects.


M2: Why don’t we call it a new airport?
Me: Sorry sir, I don’t know the exact reason [In my search the most returned answer for this– The new project being fresh has no constraints due to prior projects. Eg: If Microsoft develops an update for its existing OS like XP service pack 3 it has to see to that the software working in earlier version work on this too. But if develops an altogether new OS like windows 7/8, this new one has no constraints, it develops all sets of programs also new, from scratch ].


M2: What do you think are special features given to Jammu and Kashmir?
Me: Explained everything from article 370, to right to property, to residuary powers etc….


M2: Do you know about the recent demands of Dalai Lama?
With this he passed the Baton to Member 3.

M3: Now I will list some personalities. Tell me if you know them and if yes identify their fields.
The list went: [couldn’t remember many] Bismillah Khan, Satyajit Ray etc.….Finally, identify: Pandit Ravishankar, Ravishankar Shukla, Sri Sri Ravishankar….

M3: Draw a line from Delhi downwards – Tell me whether the places I list fall to its right or left?
Again a list: Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai etc…

M3: What do you know about Genetically Modified organisms?
Me: sir, the technology of genetic modification, which allows the flexibility to modify the gene make up of an organism, helps us engineer desired characteristics like pest resistance, nutrient fortification in plants.


M3: What is the current position of GMO crops [he was referring to the legislation] Me: Sir, as of now we have permitted GM in commercial crops, but in case of food crops it has been suspended as of now. We need strict monitoring and field trials before permitting them.


M4: What do you think of India China Relations? Are we enemies as projected?

Me: No sir, I think we are rather competing nations which at times makes us take different stands. And, then talked about improved cultural relations, rising economic interdependence etc,.


M4: Why do you think China cannot settle its boundary disputes with India alone?
Me: Sir, In my opinion I think we both are placed in equivalent status in size and economy, that may be a reason for both us to have some inertia to get down from our initial positions, but with a new leadership taking helm at china and showing interest in settling boundary disputes we can settle them in near future.


Finally chairman: Ok, Manikandan your interview is over.
Me: Thank You sir.

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