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  • 10

    ASHISH GUPTA

     Rank:  10
    Civil Services Examination  2012
     Roll No.:  22927
     Profile Viewed:  25547 time(s)

    Marks Obtained

    Total Marks Marks Obtained
    Essay 200 104
    General Studies 600 305 (135 + 135)
    Public Administration 600 215 (75 + 140)
    History 600 251 (117 + 134)
    Total (Written) 2000 875
    Interview 300 219
    Total 2300 1094 (47.57%)

    Optional Subjects

    Optional subject 1: History

    Optional subject 2: Public Administration

    Optional subjects should be chosen on the basis of interest, scoring potential and availability of reading material/guidance.

    I chose the same optional subjects - History and Public Administration for all the three attempts.


    Success Plan

    Medium of Writing Examination
    English

    Language Medium for Personality Test
    English

    Qualification
    BE, MBA

    Earlier Selections
    None

    Number of Attempts
    Three

    Secret of success
    Hard work and self-belief.

    Credit for success
    The credit for my success goes out to my parents, my brother, my family and my friends for their constant support and motivation.

    Also, it would have not been possible without the grace of god.

    Hobbies
    Playing guitar and watching world cinema.


    Prelims

    Paper I of Preliminary Examination is becoming quite unpredictable according to me, and no particular way of preparing can ensure marks.

    So, apart from a good general knowledge base, a candidate should also be able to attempt the paper in the right manner. Thus, looking at the data/options given and eliminating obviously wrong options can give a good edge (eg. which of the following are released into the environment as e-waste- one could eliminate plutonium as the option and easily solve the question)

    Paper II of Preliminary Examination can give a candidate a huge edge in scoring. I was comfortable with it, therefore I did not prepare for it.

    But, any candidate can improve their reading comprehension, quantitative aptitude and decision making by regular practice. Thus, effort in this direction will surely yield results.

    Strategy to tackle Negative Marking
    Do not make wild guesses, but if a candidate is able to eliminate 2 out of the 4 options then a chance can be taken with the other 2.


    Mains

    I took coaching for the both the optionals, as they were both new to me (I did not take any coaching for GS or Essay).

    This condensed the matter to be read to the coaching notes, which I revised multiple times. Secondly, writing style is very important for the mains. The writing should be simple but effective. The idea should be to include as many points as possible, and to avoid explanations.

    Also, due emphasis must be laid on the introduction and conclusion.

    Strategy for General Studies preparation
    I mentally split GS into static and current affairs/dynamic portion.

    The static portion is the information that does not change. This includes polity, geography, history etc. and there is a static portion involved in economy, environment, science and technology and international relations too. The way to cover this portion is to identify good reading material (which is not complex, and is easily understandable) and then just repeatedly revising from the same source.

    The dynamic portion is the information that requires regular updating. The biggest part of which is current affairs which includes economy, social aspects, environment, international relations etc. I did this part mainly from The Hindu, and supplemented it from Chronicle magazine.

    I would advise candidates against gathering too much material and losing track. Just sticking to little but quality material and regular revision is required in my view.


    Essay

    I did not prepare for the essay portion separately. The writing style was the same as the optionals.

    I chose the topic on “Is the criticism that the ‘Public-Private-Partnership’ (PPP) model for development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context, justified?”

    The language I used was simple, crisp and to the point. I do not have the tendency to stretch ideas unnecessarily, and so the length was about 1200 words.

    I would advise aspirants to focus on quality rather than quantity in the essay. They should try to include more dimensions of the topic and avoid lengthy explanations.

    Finally, a candidate to stick to the topic and carefully address all the issues asked in the essay topic (for eg. whether PPP is a boon or a bane needs to be addressed, as it has been specifically asked)


    Interview

    I was interviewed by Alka Sirohi Madam board.

    They revolved mostly around my background, and why I want to join civil services.

    Some questions were also fact based and sometimes unrelated to my profile.


    Interview Questions

    Some of the questions asked were:

    • Why did the financial crisis start and what can be done to prevent its reoccurrence?
    • From your background, what innovations can you bring to service delivery in rural areas?
    • These days many collectors are getting kidnapped, do you still want to join?
    • What is rural marketing, what is the role of ‘haats’ in it?
    • Comment on justice should not only be done, but it should be seen to be done
    • What is cuneiform?

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