Clear IAS Team wishes to personally respond to the hundreds of queries we get via comments, emails, Facebook messages etc every day but due to time constraints, this can never be practical. Hence we prepared this post – FAQs on IAS – to answer the frequently asked questions by beginners.
This compilation – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on UPSC Civil Services Exam – is a comprehensive source to clarify the common queries of all freshers. Most of the repeated queries regarding all stages of the exam – Prelims, Mains and Interview – are clarified here. Please post additional queries in comments, so that we can address them later. Thank you, and all the best! Clear IAS!
FAQs on Civil Services:
Qn: What are the civil services? How to get into civil services of India?
Civil Services are jobs like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS etc. directly related to public service and are widely considered prestigious in India. UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) conducts Civil Service Exams for Central Government job vacancies. Click to know more about Civil Services Exam.
FAQs on IAS:
Qn: What is IAS? How To Clear IAS Exam and Become an IAS Officer?
IAS is the short form of Indian Administrative Service. Click to know more about IAS.
Qn: What is the salary of an IAS officer?
IAS salary structure consists of different Pay Scales: Junior Scale, Senior Scales, Super Time Scale, Above Super Time Scales etc. Each of the pay scales further consists of different pay bands. Click to know more about the salary of an IAS officer.
FAQs on Eligibility Criteria:
Qn: What is the educational qualification needed to appear in IAS exam?
Any degree (graduation). It may be regular or distant. The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification. For details refer Educational Qualification Requirement for IAS Exam.
Qn: What are the age limit and the number of attempts permitted to write UPSC Civil Services Exam?
Click to know about the eligibility criteria for IAS exam. Details about the number of attempts and age limits in UPSC Civil Services Exam is available in the link given.
FAQs on Exam syllabus:
Qn: What is the latest syllabus for IAS exam?
Click to read the revised syllabus for IAS exam.
FAQs on Exam preparation:
Qn: I am just about to begin UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation. How should a fresher begin IAS exam preparation?
If you are a beginner, then the best place to start should be the article ‘UPSC Exam Guidance for beginners: How to start IAS preparation?’.
Qn: What are the books to read for each subject in Prelims and Mains?
You can buy online the ‘Recommended list of IAS Books: Prelims+Mains‘ from the links given on this website.
Qn: Does clearias.com offer free study materials?
Yes, we offer free online study materials, mock tests, toppers interview etc. in addition to the numerous articles on guidance. Clear IAS™ was started with a vision of quality, but affordable online education, giving stress to self-study. Click to browse our free IAS study materials.
Qn: Can I clear IAS exam without attending classroom coaching?
Yes. You can, particularly if you are good at self-study. We are not against classroom coaching. There are good institutes and teachers who help aspirants save a lot of time and effort. But not all coaching institutes provide quality service, so if you wish to join one, do that after proper research. It should also be noted that with the advent of technology, guidance and study materials can be sought online. Our website (www.clearias.com) and mobile app (Clear IAS) provides free guidance and study materials to lakhs of aspirants who can’t afford classroom coaching. You can also learn and compete with thousands of aspirants across India by attempting ClearIAS full length timed online mock test series with negative marking for UPSC Prelims. Read our article ‘Can I Clear IAS Exam Without Coaching Classes?‘ to get an overall idea.
Qn: What are the useful websites for IAS exam preparation?
Check the list of ‘Useful Websites for IAS Preparation‘.
Qn: Can I get previous year UPSC question papers online?
Yes. Check the link UPSC Previous Year Question Papers.
FAQs on UPSC CSE Prelims:
Qn: What is the structure of UPSC Civil Service Prelims Exam? (2015 Pattern)
Prelims exam is objective in nature. There will be two papers – 200 marks each. Paper 1 is related to General Studies and Paper 2 is related to Mental Ability and Aptitude. For selection to the main exam, only marks of Paper 1 will be counted, provided the candidate has 33 percent marks in Paper 2.
Qn: Will there be an individual cut-off for two papers in Civil Service Prelims?
The minimum cut off marks for Paper 2 is 33 percent. The Commission may fix a minimum cut-off mark for Paper 1 too.
Qn: Will there be negative marks or different marks for Preliminary Questions?
There will be negative marking for incorrect answers for all questions except some of the questions where the negative marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions.
Qn: Can you clarify some common doubts regarding UPSC Civil Services Prelims Application?
Most of the doubts aspirants raise while filing Prelims application is discussed here.
FAQs on UPSC CSE Mains:
Qn: What is the structure of UPSC Civil Service Mains Exam? (Latest Pattern)
The Main Examination will consist of written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of the conventional essay type. Two papers (out of 9) will be of qualifying in nature. Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (Paper–I to Paper-VII) and Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking. Read UPSC Civil Services Exam syllabus to know more.
Qn: Which optional subject should I choose for UPSC Mains?
UPSC has given a list of around 50 optional subjects to choose from. Read our article ‘How to select IAS Mains optional subject?‘ for more details.
Qn: Which stream/subject should I choose for graduation to clear UPSC exam?
Most of the questions in the general studies paper in Prelims and Mains are related to Humanities background. But it is neither necessary nor advisable to take Humanities as your graduation stream just to clear UPSC exam. Graduation should be based on your taste – it can be humanities, science, engineering, literature or management. For graduation, select any stream you like to study for 3-4 years. You are free to choose any optional subject for UPSC Mains and it may not be the one you studied for graduation.
Qn: Will there be minimum qualifying marks for UPSC Mains Compulsory Papers?
The Commission has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the examination. For 2015, the minimum mark is 25% for Indian language and English language. For GS1, GS2, GS3 and GS4 the minimum mark expected is 10%.
Qn: Will UPSC deduct marks for bad handwriting?
If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.
Qn: Can you clarify some common doubts regarding UPSC Civil Services Mains Application (Detailed Application Form)?
Civil Service Mains Application Form (DAF) Checklist is given here.
Qn: What are the check-list items for Mains Exam hall?
Main exam hall checklist is given here.
FAQs on UPSC CSE Interview:
Qn: Can you provide a check-list for the candidates attending UPSC interview?
Please read the article: Check List For The Candidates Attending UPSC Interview.
Qn: Will there be minimum qualifying marks for UPSC Interview?
The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).
FAQs on UPSC Ranking:
Qn: If the overall marks of two or more candidates are equal, how is relative merit between such candidates decided?
The principles for tie-breaking in various exams conducted by UPSC is explained in the linked post. PS: You may also browse the whole FAQ in UPSC website by clicking on the link.
Qn: Can candidates use calculators in UPSC Civil Services Exam?
Not for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam. But candidates will be allowed the use of Scientific (Non-Programmable type) Calculators at the conventional (Essay) type examination of UPSC, ie Mains Exam. Programmable type calculators will however not be allowed and the use of such calculators shall tantamount to resorting to unfair means by the candidates. Loaning or interchanging of calculators in the Examination Hall is not permitted. It is also important to note that candidates are not permitted to use calculators for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not, therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.
Qn: Can you brief about the other exams conducted by UPSC apart from Civil Services Exam? What are the exam dates?
Check our article on UPSC.
Disclaimer: Though every effort is made from our end to keep the details up to date, due to frequent changes in syllabus or pattern, the actual data might be different. Candidates are always advised to cross-check the information given on this website with the official UPSC website, ie www.upsc.gov.in.
- Candidate Profile
- Electronic Vs Paper material
- Typical day in your Online life?
- Style of Preparation and notes making
- Prelims (CSAT) Paper-1: General studies
- Prelims (CSAT): Paper-2: Aptitude
- Prelim accuracy
- Mains: Compulsory language paper
- Mains: Essay
- General Studies (Mains) paper 1
- General studies (Mains) paper 2
- General studies (Mains) Paper 3
- General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
- Mains answer-writing?
- Mains Optional Subject
- Before the interview
- During the interview
- CSE-2016 Marksheet
- Career Backup
- Insecurity about profile
- Internal Motivation
- Grand wisdom
- Credit: Friends/family
- BOGUS Marketing Propaganda
|Rank in CSE-2016||33|
|Total attempts in CSE (including this one)||2|
|Optional Subject||HINDI LITERATURE|
|Medium chosen for Mains answers||HINDI|
|Medium chosen for Interview||HINDI|
|Home town/city||VILLAGE – DANDALI, BARMER (RAJASTHAN)|
|Work-experience if any||No|
|Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures||Cleared various written examinations of RPSC,UPSC,SSC etc.|
|Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)||Wrote some test series and few mocks at different platforms.|
|Service preferences (Top-5)||IAS, IPS,IFS,IRS(IT),IRS(C&CE)|
|state cadre preference (Top-5)||RAJASTHAN , GUJARAT , MP , HARYANA , MAHARASHTRA|
|Education||fill the details here|
|% in class 10||76%|
|% in class 12||83%|
|Graduation course and %||B.Sc (PCM) , 76%|
|Name of college, city, passing out year||JAI NARAIN VYAS UNIVERSITY , JODHPUR ; 2014|
|Post-graduation||M.A. (HINDI LITERATURE) FROM JNU , NEW DELHI.|
|Any other professional courses||RSCIT (COMPUTER COURSE ) FROM RKCL , GOVT. OF RAJASTHAN.|
|Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements||PLAYING VOLLEYBALL AND LISTENING RAJASTHANI FOLK MUSIC SPECIALLY MANGANIYAR|
Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?
Hello friends !!!
I am GANGA SINGH. I come from BARMER (RAJ.) , a district located at the heart of GREAT INDIAN DESERT. I have done my initial education at my village and topped the school in 10th standard. During that time my school teachers approached my parents and advised them that I should pursue science stream for further studies. I completed 12th from Jalore and again topped the school with 6th position in the district. After that I came Jodhpur for B.Sc and it was this place from where my real journey started. During graduation days my parents (specially my grandfather) motivated me to choose civil services as a career option. During B.Sc final year I started reading NCERT books and followed the interviews of Civil Services toppers in Pratiyogita Darpan. By the final year of my graduation I was fully aware that I must follow the Civil Services as it would provide me comprehensive platform to render my efforts. One of the other reasons for joining this arena is that I have very much inspired by the good civil servants in this field. So, this was the reason that I pursued the Civil Services.
Electronic Vs Paper material
Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how do you balance this i.e. electronic material vs. paper material (Books, newspapers)
Mostly I was dependent on paper material because there is a limited , authentic and updated material available in HINDI medium. Although I am a regular follower of mrunal.org .Mainly my optional subject was very static so electronic way has limited scope to follow. I’m very keen of underlining the books again and again. Hence, I mostly (95%) followed paper materials.
Typical day in your Online life?
|Daily hrs spent on online platforms for predicting cutoff / syllabus change / age-attempt limit change and other “peripheral-bolbachchan“ related to civil services.||—|
|Daily hrs spent on whatsapp and telegram studygroups||—|
|Daily hrs spent on online for exam prep.||Need base.|
|Primary Device for online study: desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile||Laptop|
Style of Preparation and notes making
Q. What is your style of preparation and notes making? (e.g. I continue making notes no matter what I’m reading, I just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes, I make mindmaps on computer, I use xyz software etc.)
I usually made short notes of my optional subject . It was just synopsis-type.We should try to make notes only of the complicated topics. I revised more and more so that I could able to memorise the things. There are multifarious benefits of notes making such as easy to revise materials during examination periods, it helps in improving speed and handwriting. This is the reason I prepared short and hand notes of my materials.
Prelims (CSAT) Paper-1: General studies
|History Ancient||R S SHARMA|
|History Medieval||SATISHCHANDRA ( only 11th and 17th chapter)|
|History Modern (Freedom Struggle)||BIPINCHANDRA|
|Culture and society||NEW NCERTs of class 6,7,8,12|
|Polity (theory + current)||NCERT 11th and 12th classes , M.Laxmikanth|
|Economy (theory + current)||Notes of Rameshwar sir, videos on mrunal.org|
|Science (theory + current)||Notes of Spring Board coaching classes , vision ias current affairs magazine.|
|Environment (theory + current)||DRISHTI special edition|
|geography physical||NCERT 8-12|
|other national/international current affairs||Vision ias|
|Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff||Vision ias|
Q. Candidates are complaining that compared to earlier years, Prelim 2017 GS paper was very tougher, Tickmasters’ 90+ strategy (and its perverted & populist version known as Guessmaster-giri) and E-learning materials had limited utility. What are you views and wisdom on all these?
I think candidates should avoid HARD MENTALITY. There is no any thumb rule behind this.
Q. Suppose, If you had to prepare for Prelims-2018, then after going through this 2017 paper, what changes would you make in your preparation?
I will follow current affairs thoroughly and regularly.
I will revise all relevant NCERT books again and again.
I will practice more mock question papers.
Prelims (CSAT): Paper-2: Aptitude
|Topic||strategy / booklist|
|Reasoning||Previous years question papers.|
|Comprehension||Previous years question papers.|
|Decision Making||Previous years question papers.|
Q. In the recent two prelims (2016 and 2017), the comprehension portion becoming quite tough and lengthy. Candidates struggle even to finish the paper-II. Kindly provide some words of wisdom:
- Read the whole passage twice and answer , don’t use your extra mind. If there is written that Agra is the capital of India and it is located at the bank of Sindhu river than accept it , there is no need to correct passage information. Answer on the ground of the passage information only, not beyond this.
- Try to attempt those questions which you have maximum clarity. Try to maintain the confidence level even though you are unable to solve the starting questions. Have patience and try to apply your rationality utmost.
- Try to make a balance among mathematics, logical reasoning, and comprehension. Don’t leave any section blank entirely.
Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?
Yes. I have solved around twenty mock test. It is not as effective but essential. At least one test series should be done by a candidate.
Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in Prelim-2016
|attempted Q.||correct (Expected)||Official score|
Mains: Compulsory language paper
|Compulsory language paper||Your preparation strategy / booklist?|
|English paper||Followed only previous yrs papers|
|your regional language||—|
Q. other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2016
Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
I did practice 6-7 essays. I prepared a diary for collecting short-poems, short-stories, quotations , prerak-prasang, recent examples etc. to use in essay. Seniors and classmates at JNU helped me a lot to improve my writing skills.
Q2. Which two essays did you write and What key points did you include in it?
If development is not engendered, it is endangered.
Cyberspace and Internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run?
General Studies (Mains) paper 1
|Topic||How did you prepare?|
|Culture||I read some books for this section e.g; RS SHARMA , NITIN SINGHANIYA , NEW NCERTs of CLASS 6,7,8,12.|
|Indian history||Bipinchandra , Spectrum for Modern India|
|world history||NCERT OLD , Drishti Notes.|
|post-independence India||Ncert class 12 ( polity )|
|Indian society||Ncerts class 12 ( Indian society, Social Movements)|
|role of women, poverty etc.||—do—|
|globalization on Indian society||—do—|
|communalism, regionalism, secularism||—do—|
|world geo physical||NCERT OLD AND NEW BOTH OF CLASS 6 TO 12.|
|factors for industrial location||—do—|
|earthquake tsunami etc||—do—|
|impact on flora-fauna||—do—|
General studies (Mains) paper 2
|Topic||How Did You Prepare?|
|Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc.||NCERTs 11 and 12th classes. ; M.laxmikanth|
|comparing Constitution with world||Not prepared well , I collected information about the constitutions of UK, USA and INDIA.|
|parliament, state Legislatures||NCERTs 11 and 12th classes. ; M.laxmikanth|
|ministries departments||VISION IAS (test series papers of 2015 and 2016)|
|pressure group, informal asso.||VISION IAS|
|Representation of people’s act||VISION IAS|
|various bodies: Constitutional, statutory..||NCERTs 11 and 12th classes. ; M.laxmikanth|
|NGO, SHG etc||VISION IAS|
|welfare schemes, bodies||VISION IAS|
|social sector, health, edu, HRD||VISION IAS|
|governance, transparency, accountability||2nd ARC summary|
|role of civil service||—do—|
|India & neighbors||VISION IAS current affairs , Dainik jagaran Rashtriya sanskaran.|
|effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest||—do—|
|international bodies- structure mandate||—do—|
General studies (Mains) Paper 3
|Topic||How Did You Prepare?|
|Indian economy, resource mobilization||Ncert class 11 ,mrunal.org , Rameshwar sir class notes.|
|major crops, irrigation||—do—|
|agro produce – storage, marketing||—do—|
|e-technology for famers||Kurukshetra journal|
|farm subsidies, MSP||Eco survey.|
|PDS, buffer, food security||Ncert class 11 ,mrunal.org , Rameshwar sir class notes.|
|animal rearing economics||—do—|
|science-tech day to day life||Vision IAS current affairs. I didn’t prepare junk.|
|Indian achievements in sci-tech||—do—|
|awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR||—do—|
|environmental impact assessment||—do—|
|Disaster Management||TMH Book by Ashok Kumar and Vipul.|
|non state actors, internal security||—do—|
|internal security – role of media, social networking site||—do—|
|organized crime, terrorism||—do—|
|security agencies- structure mandate||—do—|
General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
|Topic||How Did You Prepare?|
|ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topics||2nd ARC Report on Ethics in governance, ABHAY KUMAR SIR CLASS NOTES.|
|attitude, moral influence etc.||—do—|
|civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc||—do—|
|emotional intelligence, its use in governance||—do—|
|moral thinkers of India and world||NCERTs OF POLITICAL SCIENCE.|
|ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc.||2nd ARC Report on Ethics in governance, ABHAY KUMAR SIR CLASS NOTES.|
|probity in governance, work culture||—do—|
|citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.||—do—|
|challenges of corruption||—do—|
|case studies on above topics||ONLY VISION IAS TEST SERIES PAPERS ARE MORE THAN SUFFICIENT.|
Q. In ethics, they’re asking random definition and concepts out of the book. Most of the serious candidates (both topper and non-toppers) have received marks in similar ranges. What are your observations and tips for future aspirants regarding preparation of this paper?
Use daily life examples in your answers to verify itself.
If there is any scope of use diagrams, flow-charts, maps, recent examples ; than use it properly and maximise your marks.
Keep in mind the fundamentals of INDIAN CONSTITUTION. The theme of answer should be reflect the values of PREAMBLE of our constitution.
Please tell us how many marks worth attempt did you give? along with comments if any, in the following cells:
|Paper||Best attempted||Average quality||namesake answer||Total attempt|
Q. What was your approach in the exam (I wrote all, I only focused on the questions where I could answer perfectly, I just not to high quality points to reach the word limit etc.) Because the UPSC aspirant Community is divided over what counts as a ‘good’ paper. Some experts claim you should attempt all- even if it involves “making up” an answer with filler lines, some claim attempt only those questions you know perfectly. Where do you stand on this? [Based on your experience and of your seniors/buddies]
I wrote all answers because it is my thinking that it is better to answer all question rather than attempting least questions with adequate substance.
Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?
There is sufficient space to write the answers.
Q. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Some players (who cleared mains and got interview call letter) were claiming that they wrote entire paper in bullet points, so it doesn’t matter…. whether examiner is asking ‘examine, comment, discuss or xyz’….simply write in bullets and points.
My response was mixed. Sometime I wrote in bullet points and sometimes in paragraph.your response should be base on the structure of the question if there is a analytical question then write it in paragraphs and if you have any factual question then write in bullet points.
Q. Did you follow the “introduction-body-conclusion” format? because some mains-qualified candidates claim they simply wrote the points they could recall within the time, instead of bothering with proper introduction and conclusion.
Generally I followed “introduction-body-conclusion” structure. But it is not possible in each and every question.
I don’t like asking following rudimentary questions, but these are the most frequently asked questions by new aspirants.
|Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?||No|
|Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)||Yes I drew many diagrams. I used 5-6 diagrams , maps, flow charts etc.|
|Q7. If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?||Black pen|
|Q8. Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?||By hand.|
|Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?||Blue pen.|
Mains Optional Subject
Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?
My optional subject is HINDI LITERATURE. I’m pursuing M.A.in this subject from JNU, so it was very easy to handle it.
All optional subjects are good. Material availability and your interest in that subject should be the grounds to choose any optional subject.
Q. If a new player wants to pick your subject, would you advice for it or against it?
I would advice him/her to go with it as it is very interesting, short and scoring subject.
Q. First the essential book/resource list. (Also mention which one is the “Base book” for covering the theory? + Whatever comments you’ve for a particular book e.g. “my seniors said read xyz book but I found that ABC book was better”. “xyz topic not given properly in this book, so prepare from xyz website or book…” OR and so on.)
For this anybody can reach at my facebook wall , here is link. I have already uploaded a complete strategy for Hindi Literature.
Q. How much of internet-research / current affairs is necessary for this optional? OR can one simply rely on the books and be done with this subject?
Hindi literature is very static subject , there is no use of internet to study it as number of reliable books are available. Yes , some videos on IGNOU platform are quite good.
Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?
Just around 3-4 months only.
Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?
I started answer writing practice just after prelims exam. I wrote 10 tests for optional subject.
Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?
I usually preferred to make hand notes and it was in paper format.
Q. Your observation about the difficultly level of 2016 mains vs previous papers. And what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional subject?
There was not much difference between them. Regardless of any particular strategy a candidate should follow there whole syllabus.
Before the interview
Q1. How did you prepare for the interview? – for college grad, hobbies, place of origin, current affairs at national and international level?
Mostly, I followed group studies in JNU especially with my senior fellow and classmates. I prepared DAF thoroughly and prepared current affairs properly.
Q2. Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes? How were they similar / different than official interview? Do you believe it is necessary to attend such mock interviews?
I attended some mock interviews in different coaching institutes out of them some were really good. Though, the UPSC and the coaching institutes interviews were completely different, but a candidate should go for at least one or two mock interviews.
Q3. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?
I stayed at my Kaveri hostel, JNU.
Q5. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.
I wore light blue shirt, dark black pant and tie.
During the interview
Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
Shree Chhattar Singh ji.
Q2. How long was the interview?
It was around 25 minutes.
Q3. Why do you want to join civil service? Why don’t you continue in your graduation field? Social service can be done from private sector too. [Since I don’t know whether they ask you this question or not. But if they had asked- what will be your reply?]
Interview board didn’t ask this question. But if they had asked , I will reply in very practical way . I come from rural background, I have been observing the working style of civil servants around my area , they can work at wide platform, they have adequate resources to change the adverse scenario. in this service, there are many things to learn for good career. That’s why I would like to join civil services.
Q4. Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview. (Earlier some toppers only tell me their question but not their answer. I would appreciate if you give both Question + your original answers)
I had reached at UPSC building with my classmates from JNU. There were many candidates to be interviewed. In our group , I was second one to go.
My interview was started just around 3 pm, it was the board of Mr. Chhatar singh ji.
As I entered in the hall before the board , all chairperson welcomed me and asked to have a seat.
Is this you Mr. Ganga Singh ( Showing my photo)
Me — Han ji sir .(That time I forgot to reply “YES Sir.”)
2. So , Mr. GANGA SINGH you did B.Sc from jodhpur in 2014 , good ,you performed well .I think you should continue your field , why not applied for further studies ?
Me — Sir, now a days, I am pursuing M.A. in Hindi literature from JNU, New Delhi.
3. You stay at hostel , what kind of problems generally face by students there ? If you are warden , than how will you short out ?
Me — Sir, my hostel (kaveri) provided me better facilities during my 2 yrs stay. But , sometime there are some issues of misunderstandings among students., there is issue of sanitation. If I were the warden I would try to convince them by positivistic manner. And try better on my part to resolve them peacefully.But if further any issue arises again than I will take strict action .( Acche student badmashi nhi karte , aap inti achhi jagah padh rhe h ye aapka sobhagya h.fir bhi nhi mane to me further action leta.)
4. Which tourists sites around jodhpur are most popular around jodhpur ?
Me — sir, there are many popular tourist places such as Umaid palace , Mehran Garh fort , Sun Temple at Osian etc.
5. What is the distance from Jodhpur to Barmer ?
Me — sir , it is around 220 kms. ( actually it is 208 kms). ( This question was already prepared with my colleagues at JNU LIBRARY.)
6. What are the sources of income in your district ?
Me — sir Agriculture , Animal husbandry are main sources of income in our area. Yes, some people are performing well at cities in service sector.
1st member ( Lady Member )
What is the population of your Gram Panchayat ?
Me — Madam , it is just around 5500 people.
2. From where u inspired to become an IAS officer ?
Me — madam, in our area some district collectors performed very well at wide platform. Than I thought I should try for it , if would get through, it will be better to assist people directly at comprehensively by me.
3. How you qualified Mains exam in very young age ?
Me- I have topped the class from my schooling to college , so I thought if I prepare well with great enthusiasm than I can get it. Proper guidance , availability of adequate study material , proper time management and positivistic approach, positive environment at JNU Library ,richness of friend circle etc. made me easy to qualify it at very young age still in Hindi medium.
4. What are the differences of the people and environment of JNVU Jodhpur and JNU New Delhi ?
Me- at both place , people are committed to their duties. Ya, JNU is comparatively more politically vibrant campus.
5.For which handicrafts are famous globally from Barmer ?
Me — There are various wood and textile handicrafts , such as AJRAKH PRINT, Wood made toys etc.
How RBI control money circulation in market ?
Me — there are various qualitative and quantitate approaches. For this RBI follows accordingly.
At present time what is CRR, SLR, WPI and CPI inflation rates
Me — sir, CRR is just around 4 %, SLR is just around 22 % ( that time actually it was 20.5%), WPI rate is around 5% and CPI rate is around 3%.( on this moment the member impressed because I answered very fast)
What is measurement of Bigha , acre, hq, ?
Me — sir, actually I am not aware about bigha. But I think 100*100 meters is for hq, and 40*40 mtrs for acre. ( is samay thoda stress aa gya mere chehre pr lekin sambhal liya jald hi)
What is the present situation of Indian economy ? Is it performing well ?
Me- sir, Indian economy is performing at an average level. Its not so good or bad but mixed. There are many challenges towards it but some positive things ( biggest market, demographic dividend etc.) are here to combat adverse conditions.
If you would be like to travel from Sri nagar to Kanyakumari than which states fall in this way of journey?
Me — sir, Jammu Kashmere, Punjab, rajasthan, madhya pradesh, andhrapradesh , tamilnaddu. ( I missed karnataka and this route was not exactly straight )
2.why Govt of India is focusing on Ganga river only ?( First question directly related to my Name )
Me — sir , I think govt is not only considering this river but also focusing on other rivers under Intergrated river development programme , yes , somewhere govt is focusing because Ganga is well connected with religious aspect and also its basin covers 40 % of the productive land area.
3. From your Barmer district many people use to join the Army , than why you have not ?
Me — sir, from my village last year 2-3 students recruited for Indian Army . I also have tried through NDA,CDS,AFCAT but I couldn’t get through .
If you will get IFS than where you want to serve first.
Me- sir, Africa continent .
2. No, In neighbouring countries where you want to serve ?
Me — sir , Pakistan.
3. Did you heared about racism in Africa , America and recently some incidents in India like bangalore , noida ? Is there any relativity in these incidents and what you know about this phenomena ?
Me- sir , there are some historical reasons but as of now these incidents are results of narrow mentality
Lets Ganga Singh tell me is really this type of mentality ( related to previous member’s last question ) is present in Indian Society or in Indian culture ?
Me — yes sir , absolutely this type of mentality is present.
2. Chairperson intervened and said how you can say this ? In India there is Democracy and our Indian constitution gives rights like Equality,Freedom ?
Me – sir, these all things are idealistic , but in reality the discrimination of colour ( kale and gore ka bhed ) is exist in our society .
3. How can you say so ?
Me — sir , there are many examples which are present in our society even today as examples I can present them in front of the board .
4. So tell them ?
Me – first example ; on Indian roads mostly loading vehicles have a tagline “ buri nazar vale tera munh kaala .( as I gave this example the entire board started laughing )
Second example ; in our Bollywood most of the songs are related to fair colour ( gora rang ) ( the lady member passed a smile on this moment.)
Chairman intervened and on this moment he was looking totally convinced.
Chairman ; thank you Ganga Singh .
Me — thanked every member.
Q5. Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared or did they ask you totally unexpected questions? Was it a stress interview, did they ask any uncomfortable questions? If yes, how did you handle it?
Maximum questions were as per expected but some were very factual and unexpected. There was no issue of stress or un-comfortability on my face . The board was very cordial and supportive.
Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?
No problem , UPSC staffs were very supportive.
Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
Get up in the early morning and be punctual. Your attire should be casual (lower, T-Shirt and sleepers).
Q1. Please provide both prelim and final mark sheet:
Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?
I would keep continue with other competitive examinations but I was totally committed towards UPSC.
Insecurity about profile
Q. Many candidates prepare sincerely but constantly live under fear about ‘profile insecurity’. I’m not from a big college, I’m not from English medium, and I don’t have work-experience. What if they ask some stressful questions in the interview about this? Did you suffer from such insecurities? What is your message to these candidates?
Your background is not the criteria for your success. Belief in what you have and transform that thing into a productive matter. Candidates from all background are gaining success in the UPSC examination.
Q. People know what books and syllabus points are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. So, how do you keep study momentum going on? How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?
For this, I followed CREATIVE DAILY SCHEDULE. Discussion with friends at JNU and participation in seminars and conferences in the campus , in this way, I kept myself motivated.
Q. Through this struggle and success, what have your learned? What is the wisdom of life and competition? What is your message to the new aspirants?
There is no any alternative of Hardwork. Recognize your internal power, belief in yourself and be positive.
Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2016 and scored quite low in Prelims-2017. They’re feeling cynical, hopeless and depressed- what is your message to them?
Mast rho vyast rho. Be positive and continue your journey , next time it will be your fingers here to type a message for beginners.when I failed in first mains than I thought apna bhi Samay aayega.
Q. Behind every topper are many people who stood by during those uncertain times when he/she was merely an ‘aspirant’. Would you like to tell the world, who were those people in your case? Any specific incidence that you would like to share with the readers?
Credit of my success goes to my parents, teachers of JNVU and JNU and friends from Dandali (my village name ) to Delhi.
BOGUS Marketing Propaganda
Q. You are well aware of the sacred rule of conducting toppers interview- the last question must be about self-marketing. So, Did you use Mrunal.org for your preparation and if yes, how did it help you? And you can even reply “No”. I’ll still publish your answer without tempering.
mrunal.org is a very good platform for those candidates who don’t afford coaching and are from remote areas. I have been following this site since my graduation days. Specially reading topper’s interview was my source of motivation.