|| Total Marks
|| Marks Obtained
| General Studies
||238 (115 + 115)
||366 (186 + 180)
||360 (196 + 164)
| Total (Written)
Optional Subjects: Public administration & Sociology
Basis of selecting them: LOVE FOR THE SUBJECT. This can be examined by perusing through the intellectually prepared syllabus of various subjects by the UPSC.
After three consecutive attempts in 2008, 2009 and 2010, I achieved success in this third attempt.
In 2008 I read for 2-3 months and I appeared for the examination, just to score miserably. It is always better to put in at least ten months of preparation before taking the first preliminary examination.
In 2009, I comfortably cleared Preliminary Examination but, I skipped the Mains examination. I did not want to land up in 200s, 300s rank; hence, I decided to fore go the 2009 CS Main Exam due to my discomfiture in Psychology.
In 2010, I scored massively in Preliminary Examination just to ensure that I shall get a Mains admit card. I switched over from Psychology to Sociology. I had a natural liking towards Sociology which I failed to realize in earlier attempts.
My preparation has been a comedy of errors. I advice the candidates to plan their ‘journey’ properly as I believe that ‘first attempt is the best attempt’.
This was my first mains examination. It is better to adopt one intelligent strategy and succeed in the first attempt itself.
My strategy was simple for mains examination. I decided to manage my time really well and was always on the hunt to make best use of the available time. I was not contemplating about the next attempts.
So, there was only one strategy which was prepared after deep contemplation and it was to manage my time effectively and this strategy helped me succeed.
'Preparedness of our society for India's global leadership role' is topic on which I wrote, owing to the fact that I had sound knowledge of sociology.
I had scored 119 in Essay and my total marks is 1317. Hence essay has contributed approximately 9% to my success. That itself speaks volumes about what kind of special effort is required for essay paper.
I bought three small booklets on anecdotes and I also collected relevant material for essay as I read through newspapers. It was part of my newspaper reading routine.
In my opinion Essay and Personality test are the two regions where we can score massively with very little effort, as compared to the other candidates who will be toiling with GS and optional subjects.
I faced Ms.Razni Razdan Madame’s board.
My interview went on for 40 minutes and the questions posed to me were:
I wanted to prove to the board that I was not an ordinary candidate and that it would be a great loss to the government if a youngster like me was not recommended. The only way to do it was to enrich my profile and improve my communication skills. I decided I shall not trust any institute for that and hence limited the role of coaching institutes only to the extent of arranging mock interviews for me. I attended at least 8 mock interviews and learnt things by trial and error method. This learning experience culminated into a very good score of 234/300 in interview.
Daily I used to look for happenings around the city in the column “Chennai today” in The Hindu and www.buzzintown.com. I used to attend all seminars, conferences, debates etc. I also asked few questions in these forums and my questions were highly appreciated due to the fact that I was a civil service aspirant. Candidates should make best use of the respect that civil service commands in our society.
I clearly spelled out to my institute that I do not want the monotonous current affairs classes for interview preparation rather I want experts to come and give a lecture about their area of expertise. They asked me to arrange the program and I happily did it. We received lectures on topics like transgenders, environmental conservation, e-governance, police reforms, river water disputes, jallikattu etc. Even reading books may not give us so much authentic information in such a short span of time.
I did two internships. IPS being my first choice I did an internship with TN State Human Rights Commission. I also underwent an administrative internship at Seoni district, Madhya Pradesh. The concept of internships is not very famous in our country. So these internships were agreed to only because of my persistence and perseverance.
My hobbies are watching world cinema and documentaries. I did want to sound like any other candidate in the interview hence decided to receive an award in this regard. I attended the 8th Chennai International Film Festival and wrote movie reviews for which I received the ‘Film Buff Award’. One has to show precision and extreme care in preparing for interview as every resume is unique from the other and tailor-made solutions should be sort after in order to excel in the personality test.
1. Is Anna Hazare's demand implemental?
2. What are the problems you foresee if Anna Hazare's requests are agreed to by the government?
3. The image of the police is nefarious in the society. As a police officer how will you try to change it?
4. Tell us the rank hierarchy of Indian Army.
5. Who is the Japanese film director who is world renowned for his style? Name two movies which he directed.
6. What is judicial activism? Is it justified? Quote two examples of JA.
7. You completed your dentistry. Then you became an Assistant Commandant in CRPF. Now you want IPS. Why is your career plan so confused?
8. Is there a need for police reforms? If so tell the reforms.
9. You are an officer in Railway Protection Force. One poor man does not have travel ticket. One University Professor has lost the ticket he had bought. How will you handle both of them?
10. Based on a survey mapping, it is found that the numbers of SC’s are very less in areas where ST’s are concentrated. Why is it so?
11. What is Phishing?
12. If you become an IPS officer, which is the organization that you aspire to join?
This exam is a very dynamic examination. UPSC is a trained trustworthy body of learned men and women which has all the expertise to keep the dynamism sustained. Any institute or individual does not possess infinite capacity to match this expertise. Hence do not keep planning for many attempts. Just believe that the present attempt is the best attempt and give your fullest energy.
Be sincere to this examination and try to get selected as quickly as possible; otherwise CSE could become a very punishing decision of your life. Hard work will definitely pay one day.
Time management is not a problem rather it is a challenge. UPSC is testing this very important skill right from the preliminary stage to the interview stage.
I took inspiration for the ‘time study’ of F.W. Taylor and ‘motion study’ of Gilbreths, which I read in public administration. It is always important to fix a particular number of hours for CSE preparation giving due respect to the candidate’s ability. I could easily study up to 14 hours a day but there were other candidates who could gain the same amount of knowledge by reading just 5 hours a day. Once the number of hours is fixed it takes diligence to sustain it throughout the process of CSE preparation.
Similarly I practiced writing mock tests on a regular basis giving adequate importance to the choice of pen, writing pad etc. I also bought a booklet of answer sheets which resembled UPSC answer sheets and I used to practice writing everything in those answer sheets. This will help to condition the mind in order to write in such a small space and one can know how many words he/she will write in one page. This is a crucial task while writing mains exam.
Also I used to walk on traffic-less lanes to reach coaching institutes and used to read anecdotes, quotations for essay. One should thoroughly enjoy this mode of preparation and should not consider that he/she is hard pressed for time.
I was always trying to emulate Sachin Tendulkar by developing a child-like desire to win all the time. I tried to accept my failures and worked to improve upon them.
This great personality also taught me how to be humble even after succeeding. Anything or anyone can be an inspiration as long as the purpose is served. It is very important to sustain the motivation as UPSC has made the selection process as a very long one.
Passion for Career in IAS
The right advice came from the bottom of my heart. All other advices were neither right nor wrong. They can only help you decide. Listening to someone’s advice and following it thoughtlessly is unbecoming of an adult.
A marathon winner starts the race with a single step. Instead of making too much plans about the preparation it is better to quickly start the preparation then and there. UPSC will always throw up new challenges. Maximize the hard work in order to minimize the challenges ahead. Worrying too much about the available challenges will not help to solve them. So start working right now.