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     Rank:  6
    Civil Services Examination 2009  2009
     Profile Viewed:  30109 time(s)

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    Optional Subjects

    Prelims. Sociology
    Mains. Sociology & Public Administration

    I wanted to pick up humanities optional and I eliminated most of them since I thought I never enjoyed them in school.

    So I picked them up with a vague idea where I identified Sociology with ‘study’ of society’ hence interesting plus Public Administration seemed relevant to Civil Services.

    Success Plan

    I used to read interviews just to see what books they read, but I am really impressed by this year’s toppers’ (Dr. Faesal) success story.

    I had to flounder in the dark for long. I had nil idea when I came to Delhi about the strategy and I got answers to all above asked questions over a period of time, in the course of my preparation.

    This was my 3rd attempt. In my 1st attempt, I cleared Prelims but got stuck in Mains. In my 2nd attempt I did not even clear Prelims. My previous attempts did not yield any success probably because of lack of proper guidance, and also, I put myself under a lot of pressure to perform which had very negative impact.

    'Time Management'

    While preparing, I did face a problem since once you start reading a subject you might neglect the other and think you have forgotten the last one you read!

    So, I would have a time frame within which I had to finish a particular topic in every subject.

    While writing, I would divide time in the first 5 minutes of the examination in accordance to the question asked. Then only would I start answering.


    More or less equal time and effort since General Studies is vast so it requires time.

    But, at the same time, it is also very important to score in your optional subjects as well, hence, an emphasis on the same.


    Fact based to opinion based learning up to application-orientation and writing practice or at least framework for the questions that had already been asked.


    I would just read widely, newspaper editorials, any article I would come across or be suggested by a friend plus engage in fruitful discussion with knowledgeable friends. Special efforts apart from an attempt to make a framework for topics that are in news.

    I chose the topic related to health care “The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the ‘haves’ of the society” and I did so since this topic was always widely discussed by me and my father who is a doctor. Over a period of time also, I remembered a few articles from news-papers.


    I just talked to a few people, senior/retired officers, gave mock interviews and basically relaxed. I did not study anything in depth as such.

    My interview was taken by Prof. E Balaguruswamy on 8th April. It went on for approx. 30-35 minutes. It was a ‘fun’ interview, an enjoyable experience truly with none of the ‘pressure situations’ (or maybe I did not perceive them as such) I was warned to overcome.

    Interview Questions

    I was asked why I want to join Civil Services? Why did you not take up your college placement? Why did you do Engineering?
    I was asked about the recent news items - RTE Act: full name and year.
    What kind of paintings I make? Why do you think we have a vast underbelly despite Green Revolution, White Revolution etc? Do you think consumption is the sole reason? Should you assign one reason for the present state?
    - Could you tell me about Malthusian Theory of Population?
    - difference between an Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineer (pointing to Chairman, 2nd Member and himself)?
    - Why is this hue and cry relating to resource conservation?
    - about Sustainable Development? Do you think it is possible with the requirements offered by economic growth?
    - Is there a conflict between Developed and Developing countries? What FYP is going on? Which year will it end?

    - What I did after 2006, when you completed your Engineering?
    Service preference? Why have you opted for IAS then IFS. Any rationale behind it?
    - Will you work in Jharkhand? Meghalaya?
    - If get, IFS, will you work in Sierra Leons? Where is it? Do you know of our countries administrative realities?
    - Tell me why this recent concern regarding Judicial accountability?
    - Any recent case of judicial corruption that you know of?
    - Have you covered the topic related to removal of judges in your Law course?


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