For benefit of all those who are preparing for IAS 2010 Interviews, please find below questions that were asked in UPSC interviews.
I would like to thank on behalf of all of us, to these people (most of them are IAS now) who have shared their experience which is so helpful to all of us who are preparing for UPSC interviews.
Interview 1: Ms. Shubra Saxena (IAS Topper last year)
CM: What's your name?
ME: Sir, My name is Shubhra Saxena
CM:Tell us about yourself
ME: I told them about my education, prof background, my family and so on.
CM:Can you tell us the immunisation schedule of children
(Now let me tell you v frankly that I was shocked and thrown off guard. Maybe he wanted to destabilise me to see if I maintained my cool.)
ME:Sir, I am not aware of the immunisation schedule of children. But I do know some vaccines for children.
CM: Fine, go ahead.
ME: There is DPT, that prevents Diptheria, Pertussis and Tetanus. And there is OPV, Oral polio vaccine.
CM: Can't you recall any more?
ME:Sorry Sir, I can't recall any more.
CM:Isn't there a vaccine for Hepatitis B?
ME:Sir there is, But I think it can be taken as an adult because I had this vaccine when I was in college.
CM: (Smiled) Yes but it is now given to children.
ME:I said, Thank you sir.
CM: Your hobbies include teaching. Can you tell us about that?
ME:Sir, I have liked teaching since childhood. I used to teach my younger siblings and the children of my colony. Now I teach some children of my maid servants. (I didn't mention teaching in coaching because people had advised me against that)
CM:Tell us, who is a good teacher?
(I didn't understand the question but I nevertheless tried to answer.)
ME: A good teacher is the one who can conceptually explain topics to students. Someone who can motivate students to do better. Someone who can be a friend, philosopher and guide to students.
( He was apparently not satisfied with my answer.)
CM: No, tell me if you are teaching students in a class, how would you make sure that they followed what you were teaching?
ME: Sir, I would first try to understand the level of cognitive maturity of students. Then I would try to adjust the speed of teaching to suit most of the students because at any level of teaching not all students would be satisfied. I would include practical examples to make them understand the concepts better. The students who have somehow not grasped the things I taught them, I would give them time other than the class to make sure they understood it.
(he apparently was satisfied. So he let it go. He gestured to the 1st lady member on his left)
M2: Your hobby is teaching. So can you tell me about a few education schemes of GOI
ME: I told her about SSA. She inturrepted me.
M2: Can you tell us about SSA?
ME: I told her about a few provisions under SSA as I did not know all.
M2:Can you tell me if there are any provisions for handicapped children under SSA.
ME:Ma'm I am not sure if there are any. But there mustbe.
M2:(Looks at other members) aren' there? (Others nod)
Tell me about other education schemes?
ME: I told about MSA, MDM, KGBV , scholarship schemes for disadvantaged and backward students.
M2: (Interrupts)..That's fine. Your extra curricular activity said Debating. I will give you a topic. Can you debate on that.
ME: Yes ma'm.
M2: The topic is "Women should empower themselves"
ME: Ma'm should I debate in favour or against the topic?
M2: Whichever way you want
ME: May I speak both in favour and against the topic?
(I was a little apprehensive if this gamble would pay off. But it did. She didn't look offended.)
M2: Yes, go ahead.
ME:Argued first against the topic. Then later in favour of the topic.
M2:(looking very happy) Excellent Shubhra. You have argued well in both directions. But you forgot to mention the role of husbands.
ME:(I smiled) yes Ma'm. Thank you.
She now passed the charge to the next lady member..
M2: So Shubhra, you have stayed in many states. Which state have you stayed maximum in?
ME: Ma'm I have stayed for 16 years in Jharkhand and 12 years in UP and 2 years in AP.
M2: So can you please compare Jharkhand and UP?
ME: Yes Ma'm. Jharkhand and UP are topographically very diffrent states. Whereas JH has a hilly and forested terrain, UP is part of the Gangetic plain and very sparsely forested. UP is densely populated whereas JH has a low population density. JH has a sizeable tribal population mainly consisting of tribes like Santhal and Munda whereas UP has a low tribal population. Both the states primarily speak Hindi. In terms of HDI, both perform poorly.
M2: No, tell me what diff did you find on a personal level?
ME: Ma'm both states are culturally complex and offer a variety of ways of life. While I was growing up in Jharkhand I used to stay in isolated forested lands where sometimes wild animals like tiger would come into our colony. This is something I have never come across in UP. The food of these 2 states is more or less the same with a few regional variations. The people in both the states are very tolerant and loving and make one feel at home.
(Everyone smiled at the tiger comment)
She nods then asks.
M2: Tell me what is India's equation with Nepal?
ME: Ma'm Nepal has traditionally been a good friend of India's and India has always supported Nepal in many ways. But with the coming of Maoist government in Nepal, the equations are changing as Maoists are more sympathetic towards China. And therefore the hegemony of India in Nepal is weakening.
(She draws her eyebrows together as if frowning at me. I am telling you it was a scary moment)
M2: Do you think we should be using words like hegemony in context of international relations. India is a big country and shouldn't it allow her neighbour countries autonomy rather than dominating them?
ME: Ma'm, (how to redefine the meaning of hegemony???) , I didn't mean hegemony in the sense of controlling a smaller country for one's vested interests. I meant primacy in international relations.
India is a very big country and that is the reason most of her neighbours are insecure about India's intentions. But India is a very peaceful country and instead of dominating its neighbours she extends whatever support it can to her neighbours.
(again frowning....I am so scared now...)
M2: It is you who are saying that India is a peaceful country.But other countries don't think so.
ME: Ma'm, I have had the fortune to work abroad in many countries and everywhere I meet people they always say that India is perhaps the most peace loving country in the world.
(She looks satisfied now...I heave a sigh of relief)
M2: Tell me about India's relations with Myanmar.
ME: Relations between India and Myanmar haven't been very positive ever since the military junta took over control of that country since India had never supported the junta's rule in Myanmar. But lately, the contours of relations are changing for the better because India needs Myanmar for access to ASEAN route, for development of NE and to curb insurgency in NE. But even despite many efforts, Myanmar is more inclined towards China, that is using Myanmar territory for its naval base as a part of its String Of Pearls strategy to encircle india in the Indian Ocean. This is a concern in Indo Myanmar relations.
(She looks much happier now....Passes the charge to 3rd member.
M3: So, you have been a student of IIT Roorkee. Can you tell me the history of IIT Roorkee?
ME:Yes Sir. IIT Roorkee initialy known as Thomason College of civil Engg.It was named after Lt Governor of Agra Province whose name was Thomason. It was created in 1847 after a famine in British times led to large revenue losses. The British decided to construct a canal from Haridwar to western UP to irrigate these lands. Therefore a need was felt for Civil engineers. And therefore under Lord Hardinge, this instn was created. After independence it was renamed University of Roorkee. In 2000, after Uttarakhand was separated from UP, it was named IIT Roorkee.
M3: Can you tell me what is this structure in Roorkee where there is a canal over river?
ME: Sir, it's called aqueduct.
M3: Tell me about Ganga Canal.
ME:I told him about the famine of 1837-38. The canal consists of an upper ganga canal from Har-Ki-Pauri in Haridwar to Aligarh and Lower Ganga Canal from Aligarh to Kanpur. Told them the distance of Canal and which governor general started its construction(now I can't recall)
M3:What is the river over which the canal is passing?
ME:Sir it's known as Solani. Similar to the aqueduct structure there are structures like superpassage wherein river flows over canal and a structure called siphon.
(He is looking visibly impressed..am glad all the research paid off)
M3: So you are an engg in Paper technology?
M3:Can we make paper out of weeds?
ME: Yes sir, if the weeds have vascular structure that will yield fibres.
M3: That would solve the problem of weeding then.(smiles to himself )
ME: I smile back.
M3:So where was paper first made.
ME:Sir, it was first made in Egypt from a plant called Papyrus, that's why the name paper.
M3:But people say it's China.
ME:Yes sir China later followed this practice and made it more sophisticated so that paper came in daily use.
M3: When was this?
ME: Sir it was around 2nd or 3rd century BC.
M3: Tell me something, who invented printing?
ME:(AAAAAAAAARRRGH) Sir I don't know. But I know that the person who invented the prniting press was Gutenberg.
M3:No, you tell me one thing. Why did it take printing to travel from China to Europe 400 years?
ME:(I am thinking...what?.. what is this question. The CM i slooking impatient as well) Sir,I am not aware of the reason.
(Thankfully the CM interrupts and said it's ok.)
M3:Tell me your hobby is teaching. Why does ragging take place ? there was a committee created for tackling ragging.
ME:I told him it was Raghavan committe. I told them the psychological and sociological reasons for ragging.
M3: Since your hobby is teaching,Tell me, what was the committe recently created for higher education reforms? (I am wondering why they are all fixated on my hobby only)
ME: Sir I am not very sure. But I think it was Yashpal committee.
(Everyone murmurs..yes yes)
M3: What were it's rcommendations?
ME: I told him about improving UGC affiliations, Deemed univ and so on.
CM interrupted- Enough. He gestured to the last member to start.
Somewhere I was getting apprehensive why the CM was getting impatient. Did he think I was no good and wanted to end the interview? But I found the answer in the end. You will also see that)
Courtesy : Shubhra-saxena.blogspot.com
Interview 2 : Mr. Gangadhar Patil
(in his own words, please find interview experience below)
my interview was on 8th.
i got tripathi madams board.i knew this will be her first time experience of interviewing for IAS before this she has take
i had no idea about this board but knew that its very cordial.
optionals ; commerce and economics
qual ; b.com
hobbies ; cycling, body building, volleyball
preference ; IPS,IAS,IRS,IFS =0
as soon as i entered madam and all panel member addressed me and permitted me to sit with a charming smile, i was really
happy to see the mood.
madam : what do ur freinds call u.
me:ganga and sometimes gangadhar also
madam:tell me ur roll no and date of birth
me:025507 and 9th march 1985
madam:why have u given ips as ur first option.
me:(i knew this question will be there, i answered straight away.)
1st member:u does not look like going for body building, todays body building is more about 6 packs and all is not it...
they laughed.(i also smiled)
me; i think body building is not only about muscel building its more about mental and physical fitness.
Q: do u go for jogging
me: sir i do cycling
Q: do u know there is one champ called ntini who runs for 10 km.how many hours u do cyclin
me:one hour on regular basis and also use it as means of transport, rather than bike of car.
Q:how will u use ur knowledge of commerce and economics in civil services?
me:i said sir, whatever knowledge i have gained is only by reading books within four walls so my exposure to practical life
is very far.with my understanding i can use commerce for dealing with funds and i also said about my plans of using
economics in policing and policing through economics...
Q:stop.. stop.. what is that idea of economics in policing.
me:i explained it
Q:are we following the system of accrual or cash management
me:i said accrual
me:no.. no.. cash management
Q:yes.. tel me what will be problem if we follow accrual system
me:i said, probably the problem of recognition and tracing.
Q:have u given a thought to it
me:yes,, but i could find only this reason
Q:tel me what is preamble of india;
me:i was fumbling democratic, socialis, secular and
Q:he interupted and said is not india that is bharat..
me:yes... but sir dont remember exactly
Q:what is the difference between bharat and india
me:bharat is orginated from our country and emotionally close to us.. i think this is the reson
Q:tel me the meaning of secular and socialist
Q:tel me which part of directive principle u like
me:i said about gandhian philosphy
Q:tel me about fundamental duties and name some of them
me:i mentioned about 4 of them and said cannot recall..
Q: what would u sugest for indias development, agriculture or induatrialisation
me:i said mix of it
Q:what do u feel about bringing common petroleum pricing
me:i answered in vague terms
Q:tel me is there any noble prize for economics
me:yes sir 1967
Q:who has won from india
me:amartya sen 1997
Q:tel me about amartya sen
me:i told about p index and his writing on bengal famine
Q:name any four economist from india
me:bhagwati, amartya sen, our prime minister, y v reddy and .....
Q:who is y v reddy..
Q:do u know samuleson
me:is he an economist
Q:i dont know u must tell me
me:i know only one samuleson who plays for west indies cricket team..
me:i also joined
Q:tel me another economist name..
me:a...... ... cant recall
Q:do u know about means and ends chain, tell me about that and what was gandhijis view on that
me:i knew it very well and was able to answer calmly
Q:do u know brahmananda..
me:sir i dont know
Q:he is an economist from kanataka, u check it on google
me:i said certainly
Q:tel me about capitalism
me: i answered it comfortably
Q:what do u mean about decentralisation
me:i answered it.
madam: ok thank u very much.
madam: ok thank u very much.
my response: the board was very co operative, the vibes given by them were worth appreciating.they kept smiling without
giving any stress.even when i was fumbling the gave me time to rethink.throught the interview madam was smiling and everyone
else was cordial.i wish everyone get such kind of environment where the candidate is able to communicate what he feels.
wish u all very best.
Courtesy: Gangadhar Patil and http://upscportal.com/civilservices/Interview/My-Civil-Services-Interview-Gangadhar-Patil
Interview 3: Mr. Smarak
(Interview experience in his own words)
2nd April 2008. I gave my first civil service interview just two days back...i say 'first' because I am quite optimistic that UPSC will again make the mistake that it made this year. I can't, in any case, say the last -because I am not one of those who give up that easy.
My interview was scheduled for the forenoon; i reached upsc well in time before 9 AM and had a chance to meet some other candidates I knew. We were let in sharp at 9. What I found surprising about the reception was that it was extremely cordial and student friendly. I had expected a long line in which I would have to stand before my certificates are checked, other formalities done etc. We were escorted into a huge circular hall in which some nine table-chair configurations had been made. We were total thirty five in number, divided into seven boards. Mine was the seventh board. We were seated into seven of the table-chair configurations as per our board.
Though the ambience was good, the atmosphere was tense. I got to meet other four of my board-mates and had a healthy chat. That partly reduced the tension. Part of the tension was reduced by the presence of a cool chick in the sixth board. Unlike the other girls, her dressing sense was cool (all girls had come in saris -something I think was dumb; a salwar could have been as suitable but more comfortable for the situation). She had, it seems, invested heavily on a beauty parlour and looked exceedingly gorgeous. Seriously, I rarely find girls look so yexy in sari.
I did, of course, decide not to hit on her... but what occurred to me was that she may get some 20-30 marks more than we guys just by her looks. Lucky her! Old men, though low on libido, appreciate beauty as much as we guys do. (You may find my views on this pretty irrational, but many others will agree)
Soon, the call for first candidates to appear before the boards came. It turned out that the chick-in-sari's board would be chaired by Miss. Parveen Tahla (he he he!). But my pleasure didn't last long. Board 7, that is mine, was to be chaired by D.P. Agarwal.
DP! DP? DPPPppp... The dreaded ganglord from IIT Delhi with supposedly cannibal instincts. That DP? His name brought back to my mind flashback of cruel times... of those days in laboratories of department of electrical engineering, IIT Kharagpur -instrumentation lab, high voltage lab, power engg lab et al -when I was subjected to third grade torture by a panel of ruthless professors. The memory of such sends a shock down my spine till date. In deed, these aren't memories but nightmares (ok a little exaggerated) that came back to my mind then. Is DP Agarwal like them? I could have consoled myself with the false reasoning that IIT Delhi is a better, more humane place than IIT Kgp. Unfortunately, deeds of DP have already reached far and wide. According to legends, he asks only factual questions, wants only objective answers, conducts stress interviews, can grill you on any point you have made, can ask you out of the room in the middle of an interview...and the list continues.
DP was unusually cool. Cool doesn't mean he was happy or cheerful etc. He was just neutral in expressions and didn't seem to be ready to pounce upon me. His room was smaller than I had expected it to be, due to which the other four members were sitting very close to me. DP was sitting right in front of me at the other end of the table. To my left was sitting a lady at very close distance. Henceforth, lets call her lady because she deserves the title. By her side and to DP's right was sitting (rather sleeping over the table) a gentleman who looked like PV Narasimha Rao but slept like HD Deve Gowda. Lets call him PV Deve Gowda. To my right was a smart, chill looking gentleman in his early fifties. He was smiling mysteriously, the way P. Chidambaram used to before presenting his budgets. Lets call him Chidumbaram. By his side and to DP's left was sitting a South Indian gentleman who spoke not so clearly (in fact the chairman had to translate his words and communicate to me more than once) but nevertheless a kind, pleasant guy. Lets call him Speaking Dravid.
I found DP's strategy of taking interview very maverick. He didn't seem to look at my biodata... nor did he ask any of the traditional questions.
"So your name is Smarak Swain. What does Swain mean?"
"It is an Oriya title sir"
"Its a very popular oriya title" the lady observed "What does Smarak mean?"
"Ma'am it means a memorial"
"But you know, your title is very similar to an english word...have you heard of something spelling S-W-I-N..." DP observed. Before he could complete, I said "S-W-I-N-E sir. It is a slang for pig"
"You know, this may create problems..." DP observed. I was looking at him right in the eyes and it was he who wasn't maintaining the eye contact. I was playing offensive.
"DP if u r really interested, then listen. There is a school of thought that believes that my name is an insult to pigs. Usually the good-for-nothing animal lovers have this view. Another school of thought pertains to the fact that I am not so bad as to be called a pig. There is still a third school of thought members of which call me just smarak" I did NOT say this. I simply looked attentively at him and he dropped the issue.
"So, when did you decide to come for the services?"
"In my final year sir"
"What are you doing?"
"Sir I worked in Tata Steel for a year. I left it last year and am preparing solely for civils"
"I didn't get much time for studies plus I wanted to come to Delhi"
"I could get better interaction with other students, library facilities and coaching"
"What coaching did you join?"
"Ramaswamy for Sociology and Vajiram for current affairs"
(Actually I didn't get much time for doing the full course in Vajiram, so somehow managed to get into the current affairs that was meant only for ex-students)
"Since you want to do civils, you must be having an idea about the hierarchy of it. Brief me on any one department's hierarchy"
I hadn't prepared this. But I had read Kishan Rana's Inside Diplomacy and so had good idea of foreign ministry.
"Sir I can tell you about the hierarchy of foreign ministry" I said.
"Is that your first preference?"
"Ok. Go on"
I tell him about FSI, then first foreign posting as third secretary, learning new languages etc. He doesn't seem to be interested and passes on to the lady.
"Which language would you want to learn if given a choice" she asked
"Ma'am I would prefer Spanish"
"It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world"
"Do you know Spanish? Anything about it?"
"Ma'am, I just know senor and senorita...nothing much"
"DO you find it a beautiful language?"
"Is it a sweet language?"
"Have you read any Spanish novel? Or seen Spanish movies?"
(I have read Paulo Coelho -who hasn't? -but that doesn't strike me. I mumble something about the movie Spanglish...
"Any Spanish painter or musician you know?"
(I couldn't say Picasso bcoz I got no idea of what kind of painting he drew...in deed i didn't know if he was spanish)
"Ma'am, I want to learn Spanish bcoz of the flexibility in posting it will give me; bcoz of the exotic carnival I could participate in; bcoz of the Havana cigars I fantasize myself smoking after cheating on a latin girl. What do you mean by sweet language? Is there any bitter language also? It is just a way to communicate" I did NOT say this.
"Do you know which is Spain's capital?"
"Is Spanish only followed in Latin America?"
I tell her about Portuguese in Brazil. I forget to mention that Hindustani is followed in Suriname and Guyana...that would have been a plus...
Then she asks me about SAARC. I tell her all that I knew about SAARC, though see didn't seem to find what she wanted. As she was a real lady, she wanted to give me a chance. She asked me what all countries India shares boundary with. I tell all the names, including Afghanistan theoretically.
"Does Afghanistan share a boundary with India?"
"It has a boundary with a part of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistani occupation"
Here I was trying to direct the interview into Paki, kashmir issue. But the panelists were too damn smart. She asked me some other things before passing on to the chairman.
DP: What will be your responsibilities once you become an IFS officer?
"Sir, in the country that I am posted I will look into bilateral relations, better people-to-people contact, cultural diplomacy, see the market prospects for Indian industries in the said country, do research and analysis of economic and strategic relations..."
Before I could finish, DP asked "How will you do research and analysis?"
"Sir, I will collect data from various sources...like ASSOCHAM...they must be having such a body in their country, then there is the economic survey and statistical reports. In cases where data is not available, I will employ market analysts to get me the data"
Now guys, I didn't say as fluently as you may feel. The problem in the board room was that it was extremely difficult to form sentences. Secondly, I was surprised that no one was asking questions like: 'why do you want to do civils?', 'why civils after engg?', 'don't you think we will be losing a power engineer' stuff on which I had invested lots of my limited literary talentin past few days -stuff that I had mugged by heart and prepared in front of a mirror. What the pock is happening???
"Can you give any specific example of how you will increase trade between India and any south American country? Answer only if you know something concrete" DP says
"I ain't doing no course in international trade ..." I did NOT say this
"Sorry Sir, I don't know". This is what I said.
Then he passes on to Speaking Dravid. Speaking Dravid asks me many questions in one go.
"When was UN formed? In what conditions? What is its organization?" and some more questions I don't remember.
"Ach Cho0l, this is a personality test. Why are you asking me questions that I was very good at answering when I was in school?" I did NOT say this.
I explain him some stuff about UN but am unable to say anything about the UN Charter. He then asks me about the trusteeship council and its function. At times, DP had to interfere and repeat his questions because he wasn't clear. Then he asked me about criminology (sociological theories etc)...then about clemency. I tell him about President's power to pardon etc. Though my answer isn't structured, nor am I fluent, he doesn't mind.
Then I am passed on to Chidumbaram. He is a smart fellow and knows a lot.
Chidu: "Recently there has been a debate between social justice ministry and supreme court. SC says that if a father is non-Dalit and mother Dalit, son can't be. But Social Justice ministry says he can be. Considering yourself a member of social justice ministry, give your arguments"
The news had come just a day back. Even though I hadn't thought over it, I managed to say a few points about patriarchal families, about manusmriti etc.
He gets excited about Manusmriti and asks me about the type of marriages -anuloma, pratiloma etc -mentioned in there. I give satisfactory replies but he starts an argument on whether hypergamy is allowed between sub-castes within a caste or between castes. My stand point was that it is allowed only between sub-castes -if a Brahmin marries a Shudra, the child is a Chandal. He becomes insistent and I finally give up...
He then asks about matriarchal families etc...I give satisfactory answer.
PV Deve Gowda wasn't really in a mood to talk when DP encouraged him to do so. He looked at me with dreamy eyes as if accusing me of forcing him to ask questions.
"Let me ask some questions on some different topic" he said slowly "Do you know Vikram Sarabhai"
"Sir, he was a pioneer in space research in India" I say. I know nothing more about him. He keeps looking at me (or may be lost!) with out giving a response. Sensing that I may have to say something more, I say "he was a founding member of ISRO"
After an instant he asks me "Who was Homi Jehangir Bhabha?"
"He was a pioneer of atomic research in India"
"Damn you! Why ask me such dumb questions I can't answer in more than one lines?" I did NOT say that.
"Please name me some sources of power?"
Am I a kid? Or do I look like the dumbest graduate in electrical engineering? A Professor at Kharagpur had once asked me "What's the difference between choke and starter in tube light?" Everyone in the lab had laughed at him for this but as it turned out, he was smart. I couldn't tell him the difference. At that time he had called me the dumbest of electrical under-grads...anyways, this question was too simple for the son of one of the few power plant commissioning specialists in India. I started off and listed the various sources.
Then he asked me questions like "Which is the cheapest source of power?" "What is multipurpose project?" "Why is india power deficient if we have so much potential?" etc. I give quite satisfactory answers but nothing extra-ordinary. PV Deve Gowda falls back to his sleepy posture. Getting the cue, DP started off again.
"There are some people who believe Delhi Metro isn't the best option for Indian cities. What are your views?"
I start with some broken sentences and give some arbitrary answers. Not satisfied, he says "Now-a-days many IIT professors are complaining about Metro. One of them gives a new statement to the press daily. I guess being from IIT yourself, you must be aware of the technicality"
I knew nothing about it...so I pass on. The lady member tries to give some hints by talking about the metro loudly with Deve Gowda (who I am sure didn't care, even though I was maintaining eye contact with DP).
"How will you go from Cuttack to the western Ghats?" DP asks.
"Sir, I will take a train to Mumbai and hire a jeep from there"
DP looks perplexed at my answer.
"Can you name some places on western ghats"
Guys, its ok if you think me dumb...I just blacked out. Not even a single name came to my mind.
"Sorry sir. I am unable to recall"
"You don't have to. Just visualize the map of India"
"Visualize a pocking map while five pairs of hungry eyes ogle at me? How do you think that's possible DP?" I did NOT say this. I simply stayed quiet, trying to visualize the map of India which sometimes looked round, sometimes like a square etc.
"OK. Thank you. Your interview is over"
When I was about to heave a sigh of relief, Chidumbaram requested DP to let him ask me some questions. DP complied.
Chidu: India has a national emblem. Do you know?
I can't remember the word 'ashoka stambha'. So I say "there is a pillar in Sarnath constructed by King Ashoka. The structure atop that is our emblem"
Chidu: India also has a national animal. Do you know that?
I: Sir, royal bengal tiger
CHidu: Is it royal bengal tiger or only tiger?
I: "I am not sure sir" I say, smiling.
(I said this because my strategy was to remain on the safe side and not to say any answer wrong)
Chidu: India also has a national bird. DO you know?
I: Peacock sir
Then he lets me off the hook. The chairman thanks me etc. 35 minutes all in all
While leaving UPSC, my assessment was that if not very good, my interview was 'above average'. Then I came back to my room, had my lunch etc. After seeing a movie in my room, I went off to Siri Fort Auditorium for the last movie of Chinese FIlm festival. While on my way, all those silly questions I couldn't answer came back to my mind. I concluded that my interview went just 'average'. Average score, according to people, is 150 and that is what I should expect.
After seeing the chinese movie, I was coming back when something suddenly dawned on me. Why did Chidumbaram ask me those silly questions in the end? It could be only because he considered me silly. My appraisal of my performance fell down to 'below average'.
The next day i.e. yesterday, I had gone for my medical check. I got a chance to interact with others who had given the interview. Everyone agreed that 'average' for DP is 130. And I am 'below average'. So now you know why I have called this topic My First Civils Interview.