Interview: I do not remember the exact answers I gave in my interview so I will only give you the gist of my interview. My board was Rajni Razdan madam’s. First thing she said was ‘you don’t look like you do in your photograph’… I smiled and said, but ma’am it was only taken a month back. She showed the pic to me and said do you feel you look like this now. Immediately after your interview go and get new photos and give to my assistant. I said ok ma’am I will do the needful. All this time I kept my smile.
Finally she asked me my name, roll number which I answered.
RR – What do you cook (my hobby)?
Me – Ma’am depends on what I feel at that moment.
RR – Don’t tell me that, tell me what you prepare.
Me – Yes ma’am, rice is our staple food so I prepare rice items more, like veg pulav , fried rice , biriyani and some regionally specific dishes like bisi bele baat , vaangi baat.
RR – Tell me the recipe of that.
Me – Ma’am it is a brinjal based dish with spices. (I was trying to give an introduction of the recipe before giving the details, like as if this was a written exam.)
RR – when you see a recipe book is that how you find the recipe, won’t there be ingredients and measurements? Now tell us how you will prepare for the five of us (members).
Me – I started ma’am I will require 3 cups of rice. Somewhere at the end she cut in and said ok, (maybe she didn’t find it that tasty..!! 😛 )
RR – You have done MA in Pol Sci & IR, tell me about the situation in Libiya right now.
Me – Presently the NATO forces are implementing the UNSC Resolution 1973. But the leader Muammar Gaddafi is not ready to let go of his power and is retaliating to these NATO forces. There is a lot of chaos going on. (This was the weakest point of my interview. I could have given a much better answer.)
Then she gestured the next sir to ask. I was passed on. Sir1 – Have you heard of Self Help Groups?
Me – yes sir I have.
S1 – What do they do?
Me – Sir , they are a way of generating a regular income among women , especially in the rural areas. Women come together and form various enterprises through which they can gain some profit. Many small and cottage industries are based on this. Crafts and edible items.. etc are marketed by them.
S1 – Do they have savings?
Me – Yes sir, they are encouraged to go for savings and they also give out loans to the newcomers to establish their own groups and enterprise. Now a days some banks like SBI (not sure if this is right) also give out loans to these groups.
S1 – You are from Karnataka , Recently the arecanut farmers from there visited the PM for some reason. What are their problems?
Me – (I forgot the more important reason and gave the general one first). Off late the arecanut yield is suffering due to insufficient irrigation and power cuts..etc. And recently the Kar. gov. has banned gutka and supari due to which the arecanut prices have taken a steep dip. Their demand is to bring some stability to the prices of arecanut.
S1 – Don’t you think it is good that such a thing which causes oral cancer and all has been banned?
Me – Definitely it is a good thing sir. But arecanut itself is not the biggest cause of oral cancer. Tobacco is more hazardous ot heath but it has not been banned. and many people are dependent upon arecanut for their livelihood, so the issue has to be thought about.
S1 – Can’t we encourage the arecanut farmers to go for alternative crops?
Me – We can do that sir, But we must keep in mind that arecanut is an intensive investment sector. A lot of investment goes into buying the plants and fertilizers. It also requires heavy irrigation facilities like drip irrigation which is quite expensive. So it will be difficult to convince them to go for a change now. And even if they do , they must be given adequate returns for their investment. also the soil suitablility has to be researched for alternative craops. So this will need more time and research.
S1 – Have you seen any arecanut farms?
Me – Yes sir my father comes from an agricultural family . So I have seen arecanut farms. He nodded and said okay. then Sir 2. A really very old and sweet uncle.
S2 – You mentioned supari in you answer. Do you know the other meaning of supari? they say supari de dunga no….
Me – Yes sir (big smile). It means something like hired assasins.
S2 – said yes you are right, with a smile. And asked you have done your schooling in coorg and then you did it in Mysore. Why?
Me – Yes sir , my father was in govt service and we had changed a few schools during my early years in school. To bring some stability my parents thought it would be better to put us in a hostel.
S2 – why Coorg?
Me – When I was studying in Udipi , we (automatically I included my bro also but luckily he din’t realize) were under the guidance of a particular principle who was very good.When he went to coorg to head another school we also shifted there as we wanted to continue to be under his guidance.
S2 – Then why Mysore?
Me – Sir after staying for so long in hostel , I wanted to be at home so decided to continue my studies in Mysore itself.
S2 – Smiled and said that explains everything. Looked at my application and asked , Why did you go for distance education for you degree?
Me – Sir I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis during the final months of my plus two. And I had some difficulty with walking in the early mornings, but I wanted to continue my studies so decided to go for distance education.
S2 – Oh, that’s very sad, are you still under medication? Me – No sir, I was for one year but I am better now.
He said that’s good. And Sir 3, sitting on my left started. S3 – What you know about regional planning?
Me – Sir we are already having problems of regionalism in India. This is because of development
disparities among regions. So to help in development of a particular region a particular plan is laid out keeping in mind the advantages and disadvantages of the region. India is a vast country with each region having different resources and different needs, so we cannot have a single plan for the whole country. That is why we have regional planning.
S3 – What are the benefits?
Me – By having regional planning we can give focus to every region and help in faster development of India itself. More importantly the local people will be involved in it. I think that just like grassroot democracy even administration must go to the grass root and regional planning helps in doing this.
S3 – People will take part more..?
Me – Yes sir. (he was kind of acknowledging my answer so I did not elaborate).
S3 – What is diff between rural planning and urban planning?
Me – Sir , through rural planning we are still trying to give our rural areas some of the basic amenities such as electricity , water and schools. Some of our villages do not even have schools yet , so we are focusing on providing them these kind of development through the plans where as in urban area we are focusing on improving the infrastructure , increasing economic output and attracting more FDI..etc. This is the basic difference.
He said okay and passed me on to the nest Sir.
S4 – We have launched the PSLV recently (it was done just the previous day). Why do we need it , what is the use?
Me – Sir we have launched 3 sats through this launch. One is the resources at, the other two with foreign collaboration, one with Indonesia ( It was actually Russia.. 😛 ) and the other with Singapore. Firstly this will help us gain access to foreign technology which is superior to ours and also we can go for agreements and joint researches in the field of space and science…etc. There will be technology transfer which will have positive effects from India’s point of view. And then satellites like resources at help us know about our resources which are helpful in many ways.
S4 – How knowing resources will be helpful?
Me – Sir India has great resource potential, but we are not able to capitalize on these resources. By knowing which region has what resources, our planning will be better and when our planning is better, our rate of development will pick up. For example we have floods in one region but droughts in another. Knowing this we can build dams in the most suitable region so that the floods can be diverted and the water used to irrigate lands which face drought. Also knowing about rivers and their flow we can plan our hydel projects…etc. Knowing about our forests we can go for development in a sustainable manner such that forests are used for economic purposes but also conserved at the same time etc.
S4 – Are you aware of the National Knowledge Network?
Me – Yes sir, it is an initiative to connect the various universities all over the country. To make a network of it……
S4 – What is the use of this Network?
Me – Sir this will help in overall development of higher education in the country. The top universities that have good infrastructure can help other universities to improve their infrastructure. Libraries and information can be shared, so there will be a flow of ideas between the universities. And ideas will lead to innovation and development. Most importantly it will bring together the youth of the nation. Being a big country, it is physically impossible to meet, but through such a cyber network we can get in touch with our peers in various parts of our country.
S4 – How many times have you been to Delhi?
Me – Sir this is my second visit. I was here in 2007 for my coaching.
S4 – Do you see any change?
Me – (Was little confused with this q as I din’t know what he expected) Not particularly sir.
S4 – They say they are using CNG and so pollution has come down etc . Don’t you feel that?
Me – Sir I come from Mysore which has recently beed judged as the 2nd cleanest city in India. When I come from there to here I see a huge difference. I have not felt any significant change.
S4 – What is CNG?
Me – It is Compressed Natural Gas. It is a renewable source of energy ( made this mistake in my josh). I am sorry sir not renewable but a clean source of energy that is being used now a days.
S4 – why is it compressed?
Me – I was so comfortable that I blurted compressed because its compressed sir with a big smile on my face. Then I actually laughed and said I am sorry sir I don’t really know why.
S4 – What is your dream?
Me – I smiled and said my dream sir? (he nodded) I know that India will be one of the most developed society in a matter of few years. My dream is to be a part of India’s development process. To make a contribution in such a success.
S4 – Why civil services?
Me – I would like to quote Socrates here sir. (he nodded ) . ‘An unexamined life is not worth living’. And when I examine my life in the end, it will not be in terms of how much property, wealth and status I have made but it will be in terms of how worthwhile I have been to the society. This I can do as an NGO or social worker (S3 was kind of repeating my answer when I was at it.), but the confidence I require will be given to me only by civil services.
At this point RR said a stern THANK YOU (guess she was still angry that I don’t wish her first). I kind of jerked out of my comfort zone after hearing her Thank you, I said thank you ma’am , thank you sirs and walked out confidently.