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ForCivilServiceAspirants

MonthlyArchives:July2015

TheChoiceofOptional
29 Wednesday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHINELECTRICALENGINEERING,MAINS
4COMMENTS
WhenIstartedmypreparations,thefirstdilemmawasregardingthechoiceofoptional.Ihadjustgivenmysecond
attemptwithoutstudyinganythingin2011withElectricalEngineeringandMathsandIwasabletoattemptmorein
MathsthaninElectricalEngineeringevenafterhavingstudieditincollege.ThisreducedmyfaithinElectrical
EngineeringandIdecidedtodropitandtakeanArtssubjectalongwithMaths.HowevermyloyaltywithMaths
didnotlastlongandafterbuyingalotofbooksandwastingalotoftimeonit,Idecidedtodumpit.ItriedPhysics
foraweekorso,thentriedthepopularoptionalsinGeographyandPublicAdministrationforsometime.However
nothinggotmeinterestedandalsoIusedtogetscaredathavingtocompleteanaltogethernewsubjectallby
myself.Mytrialswithvariousoptionalshadstretchedforlong.Theendresult:heapsofunopenedbooksandnotes
ofvarioussubjectsathomewithoutanysuccess.
WhywasIscaredofchoosingElectricalEngineering?
ThehugecourseforastartandaddtothatthefactthatthereweremanytopicsinthesyllabuswhichIhadnot
studiedatallinthecollegeviz.Instrumentation,PowerSystemProtection,PowerElectronicsandonlybasiclevel
knowledgeinotherslikeMachines.Iwasnotsureofgettingagoodscoreevenafterinvestingalotoftimeand
effortinElectrical.
MoreoverIfearedthatelectricalwouldtakeatollonmyGeneralStudiespreparation(whichitdidtakeeventually
inhindsightifIlookatthescores).
Thevariationindifficultylevelsofthepaperacrossyearsalsosoweddoubtsinmymindregardingwhatwould
happenifatoughpapercomesintheyearIappearandmypreparationwouldthencometonaught.
TakingthePlunge
Sowhateventuallyledmetomychoice?Anumberofthings.Forsure,myfailedtrialswithvariousothersubjects.
Tostartanoptionalwithnobackgroundseemedtomelikeamountaintoohardtoclimb.SoIdecidedtostickto
mycoresubjectinwhichIhadafairbitofknowledge.
ThechangeinpatterntooneoptionalmeantthatIcoulddevotetimetoit.ManaginganotheroptionalwithEEisa
fartougherjobthanmanaginggeneralstudiesalongwithEE.
ThehighscoressecuredbyPrakashRajpurohitSirandPrinceDhwanSirinElectricalEngineeringsignifiedthat
withrightstrategy,sourcesandhardworkitwaspossibletogiveyourrankagreatleap.
MoreoverIhadvacillatedfortoolong.IntheprocessIhadwastedalotoftime.Icouldnotafforditanymorenot
afterjoiningmyworkplace.Ididnothavetheluxuryoftimeanymore.Ihadtomakeachoiceandmakeitfast.
UltimatelyImadethechoicesomehwereinJuly2013andthechoicewasElectricalEngineering.
Youmakeachoiceandstickwithit.Thereisnopointthenlookingbackanddevelopingcoldfeet.Someyearsthe
papermightbetougher.Butthenithelpstorememberthatitsallrelativeandifyouarepreparedwellenough,no
matterhowharditisyouwillemergerelativelyunscathed.
Lessons

AsIlookback,ifIhadtodrawlessonsfromwhatIdidIwouldcomeupwiththefollowing
1.Chooseanoptionalwisely.Takeyourtime.Butnottoomuchtimeorotherwiseyoustarttofeelthecrunch
2.Doabackgroundstudytofindyourinterestinthesubjectsinceyouwouldbereadingthatsubjectformorethan
ayearatleast
3.Donotgobythedifficultylevelofquestionsinexamstoarriveatyourchoice
4.Thisyearalotofoptionalshavegotverygoodmarksreducingthedifferencebetweenascience/engineering
optionalandartsoptional.Howevertechnicalsubjectsstillholdanedge.Soifyoufeelconfidentgoaheadwith
thetechnicalsubject
5.Onceyoudecide,havenosecondthoughtsmidway.Preparewiselywithaproperstrategyandwithdedication.
Beefupyourpreparationandgoforthekill.

MyGSnotes
23 Thursday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHINGSMAINS
LEAVEACOMMENT
ThenotesthatIpreparedduringmypreparationwerelargelydrawnfromthenewspaperreadings.Iwouldgo
throughaparticularnewspiece/editorial,linkittoaparticulartopicofthesyllabusandthenwriteitdowninthat
particularnoteinEvernote.Thisensuredthatalmosteverythingrelatedtoaparticulartopic/issueisina
consolidatedmanneratoneplace.Makingnotesthiswayalsohelpedinrevision.
IrelinquishtheaccesstotheseEvernotenotebooks.Thelinkstothemarebelow.Thesenotesarelargelyfromthe
newspapersandhencecanbecategorizedasbeingdynamic.TheyhelpedmealotinmypreparationandhenceI
sharethem.
1.PaperI:https://www.evernote.com/pub/akumar500/PaperI
2.PaperII:https://www.evernote.com/pub/akumar500/PaperII
3.PaperIIIndiaandWorld:https://www.evernote.com/pub/akumar500/IndiaandWorld
4.PaperIII:https://www.evernote.com/pub/akumar500/PaperIII
5.PaperIV:https://www.evernote.com/pub/akumar500/PaperIV

GSMains:Booklist/Sources
23 Thursday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHINGSMAINS
3COMMENTS
IhavetriedtoreproducebelowthesourcesthatIfollowedformyGSpreparationalongwithcertainpopular
sourcesthatIcouldnotfollow.IhavealsoincludedcertainobservationsregardingthesourcesthatIfollowed.
PAPERI
1.IndianCulture
1.Followed
1.GKTodayNotes
2.OldNCERT
3.TamilNaduboardintermediatelevelbooks
2.TriedNIOSmaterialbutdidnotfindittobeofanyuseandputitdownafterinitial50pages
3.ALBasham?Nopes.Thefontsizescaredme!
4.Myexperience
1.IfoundtheGKTodaymaterialtobeagoodcompilation.
2.OldNCERTandTamilNadulevelbookshelpingettingsomebackgroundofthechronologyof

dynasties,socialstructure
3.Anythingmorethantheabovesources,Ifoundtobeaoverkillgiventheconstraintsoftime.
2.ModernHistory
1.ReadthethickBipinChandra(IndiasStruggleforIndependence)oncein2013.Howeveritdoesnotdeal
withpre1857syllabus.Alsoitdealswiththepost1940developmentsinaverytriflingway.
2.AfterreadingtheabovebooksIstuckto
1.OldclassXIINCERTbyBipinChandra:Thisalsotakescareofpre1857syllabus
2.SpectrumModernHistory
3.ThebookbyBandopadhyay?
1.Thisisanewbookthatisgettingpopular.HoweverIdidnotgetthetimetoreaditforthemains
2.IreadsomeofitafterthemainsandfoundittobemuchmorebalancedthanthethickBipinChandra.It
tendstogettootrivialdetailsattimes.Howeverthatcanbetakencareofbyproper
underlining/highlighting
4.Myexperience
1.Itisveryimportanttokeepthesyllabusinmindwhilereadingthebook.Thisisbecausethesyllabus
sayspersonalities..contributorscontributionsfromdifferentpartsofthecountry.Sowhile
readingassoonasyoucomeacrossaparticularpersonalitymakeamentalnoteoraphysicalnote
somewhere.Assoonasyoucomeacrossatribalmovementmakeanote.Similarlyrememberthe
contributionsmadebyvariousregionsasanwhenyoucomeacrosstheminthebookyoufollow.
2.WhyIlikedSpectrum?
1.EasyRetention
2.Lotsofinformationwhichcanbelinkedandcorrelatedtoframetheanswer
3.EasyRevision
3.PostIndependenceReorganization
1.FollowedBipinChandrasIndiaAfterIndependence.Thiswasmygotobook
2.HadreadR.GuhasIndiaafterGandhiwhichisagreatbookin2013.Itmightnotbesorelevantfromthe
purposeofexambutitisrepletewithimmaculatedetailsanddazzlesyouwiththeideaofIndia.
3.Internetsearch
4.Myexperience
1.BipinChandrabookisathickbook.Henceitgetsveryessentialtounderlinetherelevantdetails/make
notessothatitbecomeseasiertorevise.
2.YoumightneedtosupplementBipinChandrawithinternetresearchtogetadeeperinsight/greater
foddermaterial.ForexamplethebookdoesnotgointodetailtheroleofLalBahadurShastriinthe
196466yearsortheroleofB.R.AmbedkarintheHinduCodeBill.
4.WorldHistory
1.Followed
1.OldNCERTclassXbookTheStoryofCivilization
2.OldNCERTintermediatelevelbyArjunDev
3.Synergyclassnotes
4.Lotsofinternetsearch
2.NormanandLowe?:Heardthatthisisagreatbook.Butpaucityoftimeandthefactthatitdealswithpost
1900worldmademedecideagainstgoingforit
3.Myexperience
1.Thissectionofthesyllabusisprettyvastbutinterestingonceyoustartcorrelatingevents.
2.WhileNCERTshelpgetabase,theyareinsufficientifquestionsofthelikeof2013papergetasked.
Thankfullythe2014paperhadeasyquestions.
3.SynergyclassnoteshelpedinovercomingtheinadequacyofNCERTsandprovidedwithmaterialto
handleespeciallypreworldwareraquestions
5.TopicsrelatedtoSociety
1.Followed
1.NCERTSociologyBooksofClassXIandXII
2.VisionIASbookletsonthesetopicsavailableinthemarket
3.Mynotesfromthenewspapers.
6.Geography
1.Followed
1.CertificatePhysicalandHumanGeographybyGohChengLong
2.NCERTbooksClassXIandXII
3.NIOSmaterialofseniorsecondaryschoollevel
4.Internetsearch.Foreg:theIMDsite
5.VisionIASbookletsonworldgeographyandresourcegeography
1.Thesebookletshardlyservedanypurposesincetheydidnothaveanyinformationworththemains
exam.HoweverIstillwentthroughthemjustforthesakeofcompleteness
2.BooksbyKhullar/Majid/spectrum:Didnotgothroughthemduetopaucityoftime.Howeverevenifyoudo

havetimegoonlyselectivelythroughthesebookssincethesearehugebooks
3.Myexperience
1.UnderstandingthecoreconceptsofphysicalgeographyhelpsalongwayinunderstandingtheIndian
geographyandcorrelatingthings.ThisshouldbedonewiththehelpofGCLong,NCERTandinternet
search.
2.Connectthegeneraleventsofcurrentaffairswithgeography.Thisgoesbothforphysicalgeographyas
wellasresourcegeography.Forexample:atornadooragoldrushsomewheremaytriggeroffaquestion
intheexamrelatedtocyclones/sourcesofgoldandlikewise.Forthiskeepthesyllabusinyourmindat
alltimes
3.Asearlier,Itriedtokeepthenumberofsourceslimitedandfocusedonrevisingthem
PAPERII
1.Polity
1.Followed
1.IndianPolitybyLaxmikanth
2.SriramIASPrintedPolityNotesavailableinthemarket
3.VisionIASbookletsavailabletopicwise
4.GauravAgarwalSirsnotesonevernote
1.IfollowedthemmainlyforFederalism,EgovernanceandLocalgovernance
5.Synergyclassnotes
6.Myowntopicwisenotesfromthenewspapers
2.Reports?
1.ExceptfromwhatIcouldgatherfromGauravAgarwalsirsnotesandVisionIASnotes,Ididnotgo
throughtheARCsorothercommissionsreportsformymains.Thiswasmainlyduetotimeconstraints.
2.IwentthroughacoupleofARCreportsafterthemainsexamandfoundthemtobeveryrichincontent
andinsight.Thegoodthingisthattherecommendationsarebunchedtogetheratoneplacesothatafter
goingthroughthematerialonce,therevisionisveryfast.Soiftimepermits,goingthroughreportscan
beveryuseful.
3.Myexperience
1.VisionIAStopicwisemoduleswereofgreathelpincompletingthesyllabusandareofOKquality
2.GauravAgarwalSirsnotesareveryconciseandofhighquality
3.Followingnewspaperandeditorialsisamustforthissectionsoastobeabletoenrichyouranswers
2.SocialJustice
1.Followed
1.VisionIASbookletsavailabletopicwiseinthemarket
2.Ownnotesfromthenewspapers
3.CertainveryselectivearticlesfromYojana
2.12thFYP?
1.Againcouldnotstudythisbeforethemains
2.DidgothroughmanyFYPreportsaftertheexam.Soiftimepermits,onecangiveashotatthemwith
properhighlighting/underliningtoalloweasierrevision
3.Myexperience
1.Remainupdatedwiththenewspapersandlinkwhatyoureadinthenewspaperswiththissection
3.InternationalRelations
1.Followed
1.RajivSikribook
1.Didnotfinditusefulowingtothetimespanthathaselapsedafterthewritingofthebook.The
dynamicnatureoftheinternationalaffairsrendersmanythingsredundantinthepresentschemeof
worldfora.
2.SelectivereadingofVisionIASbookletstogetcertainbackgroundknowledge
3.Notesfromnewspaper
2.Myexperience
1.Thereisnobettersourceorperhapsnosourceotherthannewspapersforthispart.
2.Preparecountrywise/organizationwisenotesatoneplace
PAPERIII
1.Economy
1.Followed
1.RameshSinghTMHbookonEconomy
2.VisionIASbookletsavailabletopicwiseinthemarket
3.GauravAgarwalSirsnotesoncertaintopics
4.EconomicSurveychapteronAgriculture

5.Ownnotesfromnewspaper
2.Myexperience
1.Againthemainsourceforthispartisnewspaper
2.Keepthesyllabusinmindandmakeamentallinktothecorrespondingitemwhilereadingany
news/editorialrelatedtoit
2.ScienceandTechnology
1.Nospecificpreparationexceptthenotesfromnewspapers
2.Thepreparationtothispartknowsnobounds.Sincetherewasnoreadilyavailablebook/materialIpreferred
toskipthispart
3.Environment
1.QuickrevisionoftherelevantportionfromShankarIAS
2.Notesfromnewspapers
4.DisasterManagement
1.Followed
1.VisionIASbooklet
2.GauravAgarwalSirsnotes
3.Ownnotesfromnewspapers
5.Security
1.Followed
1.VisionIASbooklet
1.Butdidnotfindthisbooklettobeofmuchuse
2.TMHbookonSecurity
1.Thisisathinbookofaround140pagesbutaverygoodonewhichcoversalmostallthetopics
3.GauravAgarwalSirsnotes
4.Ownnotesfromnewspapers
2.Myexperience
1.Thisisaveryinterestingcomponentofthesyllabusandisalsobothstaticaswellasdynamicincontent.
Henceplacepremiumonbothnewspaperaswellasbackgroundreading.
PAPERIV
1.Followed
1.SKMishraprintedclassnotesavailableinthemarket
1.Theclassnotesareinconciseformatwhichallowsonetogothroughtheentirematerialinaround23
hours
2.Howeverthenotesdonotprovideanydeepinsight
2.Mohantyprintedclassnotesavailableinthemarket
1.Thesearecomprehensivebutaretootheoretical.Thismaterialapproachesthesyllabusasitwerea
philosophyorapsychologyoptional.Itdoesnotgointotheadministrativecomponentofethicsinany
greatdetailwhichisafterallwhatthesyllabusdemandsandhencethesenoteswereoflimitedvalue.
3.VisionIASbookletstopicwise
1.Theseareacopypastejobfromvarioussources
4.PrintedcasestudiesmaterialbyLukmaanIAS
2.ThebookbySubba?:Heardofitbutdidnotreadit.
3.Myexperience
1.Notmuchgoodmaterialisavailable.Howeverinhindsight,Idonotthinkyouneedtogothroughanumber
ofsources

Prelims:GeneralStudies
21 Tuesday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHINGSPRELIMS
LEAVEACOMMENT
Whilethepreparationforprelimscannotbedissociatedfromtheoverallpreparationaimedlargelyatthemains,it
isworthwhiletodedicatearoundonetooneandahalfmonthsbeforetheprelimsexamdatetopreparationforthe
prelimsexam.ItgivesyougreaterconfidenceandifyourPregoeswellyoucanprepareforthemainswithout
worryingabouttheresult.ThisassumesgreaterimportancewiththePaperIIbecomingqualifying.

Preparingforpremeansgivinggreateremphasisonthedetailsandthefactualaspectofthesyllabus.Tobeableto
remember,itisessentialtoread,rereadandrevise.ThebooklistthatIfollowedformyPrelimspreparationalong
withsomeotherdetailsthatIrememberarereproducedbelow.ThesewerethebooksthatIwentthrougharound
twotimesbeforetheexam.
1.ModernHistory:Spectrum.
1.Whileyoumaynotgetthefeelgoodfactorwhilereadingthebook,itisthegotobookforhistoryasfaras
prelimsisconcernedsinceitprovidesalotofdatainaconciseway
2.Culture:OldNCERTbyRSSharma,TamilNaduBoardBooksofclass11thand12th,GKTodayNotes
1.OldNCERTshouldbeskimmedthroughfordetailsregardingarchitecture,science,art,literaturevarious
philosophiesofIndia,BuddhismandJainism.Thistakeslesstimeandprovidesagoodbase
2.SamegoesfortheTamilNaduBoardBooks
3.GKTodayNotesonculturewerethemainsourcethatIfollowedafteroncegoingthroughtheabovebooks.
Itisineasilyreadableformandpresentsvarioustopicsinapointwiseformat.
3.Geography:NCERTclass10th,11thand12thbooks.NIOSclass11thand12thmaterial
1.Forgeography,thoughNCERTmaylookinsufficientattimes,theproblemisthatotherbooks(likeMajid
Hussain,Spectrum)gooverboardwithsomuchfactualinformationthatitbecomesdifficulttoretainit.So
NCERTalongwithNIOSandsomeinternetsearchseemedtometothebestbet.Ifoundrevisingthese
sourcestobemoreadvantageousthanspreadingmyselfthinacrossvarioussources
2.HaveamapbeforeyouofIndiaandworldatalltimeswhilestudyinggeography.Havinganatlasbecomesa
must
4.Polity:IstudiedLaxmikanthandPrintedSriramIASnotesforPolitythatareavailableinthemarket.However
Laxmikanthisenoughandiseasiertorevise
5.Economy:PrintedSriramIASnotesinthemarketalongwithRameshSinghsBook.
1.HoweverIwouldnotrecommendRameshSinghsinceitisnothingbutacopyandpastefromvarious
sourcesandhardlyexplainsanything.Theonlygoodthingaboutitisthatitiscomprehensive,combinesa
lotofthingsatoneplace
2.Rememberthedefinitionsofthevarioustermsforeg.CAD,Fiscaldeficit,Primarydeficitetcsincemany
questionsareframedoutofthem
6.EnvironmentandBiodiversity:ShankarIASbook
1.ThisisaverycomprehensivebookandseemedtobethebestsourceforEnBallatoneplace
7.ScienceandTechnology:SnTsectionintheTMHmanual,NotesofDivyaMittalMaam(oneofCSE2012
toppers)
1.Ididnothavemuchtimetogothroughthissection.AsaresultItookupthethickTMHmanualforGSand
wentthroughtheSnTsectionfromthere.ThefocuswasontheBiologysectionsinceforamathsstudent,
physicsandchemistryarerelativelyeasier
2.ThenotesbyDivyaMittalMaamtouchedmanytopicsinshortandhencewereofimmenseuse
3.ForthosewhohavetimemaythinkofgoingthroughNCERTclassXIandXIIbooksonscience
4.Thenotespreparedalongsidenewspaperreadingcanalsohelp
8.Socialsectorschemes,policies:mrunal.org,pibsearch,GKTodaysiteandgeneralinternetsearch
JoiningaTestSeriesforGSPaperinprelims?
Assuch,IdonotfindanyadvantageofjoiningatestseriesforGSMCQpractice.Iftheobjectiveisthatof
learningtomanagetime,thenthatcanbeachievedbysolvingpreviousyearpapersfrom2011onwards.Ifone
thinksthatonemaygetasimilarquestioninUPSC,thentheprobabilityofthatisminisculeandforallpurposecan
betakentobezero.Iratheradvocategoingthroughthepreviousyearquestionpapersandusingtherestofthetime
toreadandrevise.

ElectricalEngineering:Booklist
20 Monday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHINELECTRICALENGINEERING
4COMMENTS
ThelistofthebooksandothersourcesIreferredtoarebeingreproducedbelow.Thesourcesarealotsimilarto
thoselistedbyPrakashRajpurohitSirandPrinceDhawanSirintheirblogs
PaperI

1.CircuitTheory:A.Chakrabarti
2.SignalsandSystems:Oppenheimsbook.ForsometopicslikeDFT/FFT,Isearchedthenetforsomesourceand
foundcertainpdfsfromwhichistudied.
3.E.M.Theory:K.D.Prasad.Forcertaintopicslikeplanewaves,polarization,reflection,SmithChart,impedance
matchingIreferredtoCheng(sincewehadstudiedthatincollege)
4.AnalogElectronics:J.B.Guptawasthemainbook.Fortopicsnotwellcoveredorforthoserequiringbetter
explanationIreferredtoSedraandSmith
5.DigitalElectronics:MorrisManoandR.P.Jain
6.EnergyConversion:AshfaqHussainwasthemainbookwhichcompletestheentiresyllabus.SinceIdidnot
haveaverygoodbackgroundinelectricalpartofthesyllabus,Isupplementedthiswithselectivereadingsfrom
NPTELattimes.
7.PowerElectronicsandElectricDrives:P.S.Bhimbra.Thisisatrickybookandnotlikedbythosewhoreadit.
Howeveritisaveryessentialbookandcannotbeignored.AgainsinceIhadhardlystudiedthisincollege,I
hadtosupplementthiswithselectivereadingsfromNPTELpdfs
8.AnalogCommunication:B.P.LathiwasthemainbooksupplementedbySimonHaykin
PaperII
1.ControlSystems:NagrathandGopal.Ithoweverdoesnothavesufficientpracticequestions.Forpractice,Itook
upB.C.Kuo
2.MicroprocessorsandMicrocomputers:R.S.Gaonkar.Recentlyquestionsfrom8086havealsobeenasked.I
triedcoveringitfromcertainsourcesontheinternetbutfoundittooconfusingandhugeandhadtorestrict
myselftoonlycertain8086detailslikeaddressingmodes,certaininstructionsets,internalarchitectureetc.
3.MeasurementandInstrumentation:A.K.Sawhney
4.PowerSystems:AshfaqHussainwasthemainbook.Butitisaverydrybookanddoesnotexplainthingswell.
SoIalsoreferredtoNagrathandanotherbookbyBadriramandVishvakarma
5.PowerSystemProtection:BadriramandVishvakarma
6.DigitalCommunication:SimonHaykinwasthemainbooksupplementedbyB.P.Lathi.Fordatanetworksand
7layeredarchitecture,ForouzanwasthebookIfollowedalongwithselectivereadingsfromNPTEL
TheaboveismoreorlessthebooklistIfollowed.IwillfollowitupwithwhatIdidforElectricalEngineeringina
laterpost.Howeveroneneedstorememberthattimeisthebiggestresourceaswellastheconstraintandso
judiciouslycoveringEEaswellasothersubjectsinthegiventimeassumesparamountimportance.Coverthe
syllabusfromalimitedsetofbooksratherthanreadingthesamethingfromanumberofbooks.

InterviewTranscript
19 Sunday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHININTERVIEW
LEAVEACOMMENT
Date:18/06/2015
Day:Thursday
Session:Afternoon
Board:Mr.ManbirSingh
Attire:BlackSuit.IwasthinkingofgoingwithoutasuitbutgladthatIfollowedoneofmyfriendsadvice.
Preinterviewbutterflies:SeatedinthehallwaitingformyturnItrytorememberthedaysheadlines,myDAF
pointsbutmyminddrawsablankagainstallofthem.ItrytocalmmynervestalkingtothegroupwithwhomIam
seated,gettingtoknowthem.AttimesIglancearoundtheroomandseesomecandidatesdeeplyengrossedinthe
newspapers(whichmademeanxious)andsomepacingtheroom(whichcalmedmesinceIknewIhadcompany).
Iamsecondintheordertobecalled.Iwatchthefirstonebeingcalled.Igivehimathumbsupsign.Thewaitfor
myturnbegins.Idrinkasipfromthebottle,standupandpaceabit,jokearoundalittlewiththenextboyandthen
sitonlytorepeatthesamecycleagain.Thecallcomes.Isuitup.Startstheslowwalkoutofthehallintothe
corridor.Turnsleft.Takesaglanceatthewallclock.Somewherebetween2:45pmand2:50pmSitsdownonthe

chairinfrontoftheroomwiththenameMANBIRSINGH.Thebellrings.ThedoorgetsopenedandIamushered
in.Itakecaretoclosethedoorbehindmewithoutasound.Iwalktowardsthechairandasmyeyeslockwiththe
chairmanIwishhimGoodafternoonfollowedbyGoodafternoontotheladymember(shewasapparentlybusy
withsomething,socouldnotwishherupfront)andothers.IamaskedtositdownandIdoso.Ithankhim.
Chairman:SoyouareworkinginRailways?
Me:YesSir
Chairman:Sothisiswhichservice?
Me:SirIndianRailwaysStoresService
Chairman:Whatareyourresponsibilitiesthere?
Me:SirIamworkingintheHeadquarterasofnow.Thedepotsthatarethereinthezonesendtheannual
requirementstotheheadquarter.Ithenfloatthetenderaccordingtotheconsumptionrequirement.CurrentlyIdeal
withalltenderslessthanthevalueofRs2lakh.Ifinalisethetendersinacertaintime.ThenIdealwithcontract
management.Thesearethebroadresponsibilities.
Chairman:Isthistheyoungestservice?
Me:SirIthinkIRPSistheyoungestservice.OneofIRPSorthePoliceforcei.e.theRailwayprotectionforce
Chairman:ThereasonIaskisbecausealotofstudentstakethisstoresserviceastheirfirstchoice.Whyisthat?
Whatcanyoudoinstores..whystores?
Me:Sirthereisaperceptionormisperceptionthatinalloftheservicesthereismoreorlessmanmanagement.All
theservicesinvolvemanagingpeopletoalargeextent.Sotheyfindnodifferencebetweenstoresserviceandother
services
Chairmanintervenes:Butwhataboutdesign?
Me:Sirthatcomesalittlelater.Initiallyinourpostingswearepostedinthefieldwhereweneedtomanagepeople
mainly.Sirthesecondreasonforthechoiceisalsothatthisismoreofanofficejobwithtimingsfrom09:00to6:00
or6:30.Onedoesnotgetcalledatnightsifthereisaderailmentoratoddhours.
Chairman:Sothisisasoftservicethen
Me:YesSir
Chairman:Tellmedoyouthinktheservicesshouldbereducedtojusttwoservices?Me:YesSirIdobelievethat
thenumberofservicesshouldbereducedtotwo.Rightnowwithsomanyservicestheresponsibilitycannotbe
fixed.Thereisalwayspassingthebuckfromonetoanother.Alsoeveryonetriestoprotecttheirownturf.Thereis
competitionforthepostsofGMsandDRMs.Eachtriestogetthemaximumresourcesforthemselves.
Chairman:Accordingtoyouwhatreformsshouldrailwaysundertake?Donotgobywhattherecentreportshave
said.Tellmewhatyouthink.
Me:Sirweneedtoimprovethepassengeramenities.Ourshareinthepassengertraffichasreducedtoaround12%.
Wehavetogetbackthepassengers.Andtheyshouldtravelwithrailwaysnotoutofcompulsionbutoutof
willingness.Thenweneedtoinvestheavilyinfreight.Weneedseparatededicatedfreightcorridors.Thenweneed
toinvestinmodernizationandsafety.Weneedtoimproveourrollingstock.Asweincreaseourspeedswewould
needbettersafetycomparedtothatatlowerspeeds.
(Chairmanmotionstothefirstmembersittingtohisrightandonmyleft)
M1:Thenonstateactors.Haveyouheardofthem?
Me:YesSir
M1:Sotheyarebecominganincreasingmenace.Thereisthisthreatofthemgettingaccesstothenucleararsenal.
(Speaksalittlemoreaboutit).Howdoyouthinkitshouldbeprevented?
Me:Sirweshouldkeepthecomponentsseparatesothateveniftheygetholdofonethentheywouldneedtoget
holdofanothertomaketheweaponactive.(wasnotabletoexplainthisclearlytothem).Weshouldprevent
proliferationsothatifanycountryhasaccesstoweaponsitshouldnotincreaseitandifsomeonedoesnothave

accessweshouldpreventthemfromgettingaccesstoit.
M1:hegoesontosaymoreaboutnonstateactorsandprobesmealittlefurtheronthesameissue
Me:Sirthecountriesneedtoimprovetheirsafetymechanism.Thereshouldbesafeguards.Theglobalcommunity
shouldcometogetherandhavesomeagreementtopreventit.Thecountriesneedtobemadeawarethatifnonstate
actorsgetaccesstothearsenalitwouldbebadfortheirownsafetyalso.Theyshouldimprovethesecurityoftheir
arsenal.Theindividualcountriesshouldbeheldaccountable.
M1:Doyouknowwhatisthirdpartydeterrence.Haveyouheardofit?
Me:NosirIhavenotheardofit
M1:Whatyoujustsaidiswhatthirdpartydeterrence.Thisiswherethecountriescometogetherandholdthe
individualcountriesaccountable.Therearethesafeguardyoutalkedaboutwhichincludestrackingmechanisms.
Youaresayingtherightthingbutthetermisthirdpartydeterrence.
Me:OkSir.Ididnotknowabouttheterm.
(Thechairmanthenhandsitovertothesecondmember)
M2:SoyouhaveMtechfromIITK
Me:YesMam.ItsBtechMtechDualDegree.Itsafiveyearcourse
M2:YouhavewrittenyouhavebeenassociatedwithShowmanagementcell,FilmsandMediaCouncil.Whatwere
yourresponsibilities?
Me:Mamwewereinchargeofshowcasingmoviesontheweekends.Itwasprimarilyaimedforthefirstyearsto
getthemoutoftheirrooms.ThatparticularyearwealsoshowcasedtheT20WorldCup.Toshowcasethemovies
wetookfeedbackfromtheseniorsandthefacultiestohaveagoodmixofthemovies.Alsoweconductedopenair
theatremovieshows.Thesewereprimarilytheresponsibilities.
M2:DoyouthinkRailwaysshouldbecommercialized?
Me:YesMam.Thefactthatwehavenotbeenabletoruncommerciallyisthereasonthatwehavenotbeenableto
investincapitalinvestment.Wedonotincreasethefaresononehandandthenweincreasethefreighttocross
subsidise.Sowearesufferinginbothpassengerandfreight.Butthisdoesnotmeanthatthesocialobligations
shouldnotbeaddressed.Insteadjustliketheotherorganizationsthereshouldbeprovisionofsubsidiestotakecare
ofthelosses.
M2:ButthentherewillbeprivateoperatorssayfromDelhitoKolkata.Theywillleadtocompetition.Doyou
supportit?
Me:YesMam.Theprivateentryshouldbetheresinceitwillbringcompetition.Buttheyshouldalsobesubjected
tosocialobligationssothatiftheyarerunningatrainfromDelhitoKolkatatheyshouldalsorunatrainfromdelhi
tosomeplacewithlesstrafficandtheyshouldalsogetsubsidies.
M2:YouarefromUttarPradesh.IwillaskyouaquestionfromUttarPradesh.Tellmeitisoneoftheless
developedstates.Whyhasitremainedbackward?
Me:Mamthemainreasonisoneofmisgovernance.Themoneythatcomesinfordevelopmentdoesnotreachthe
intendedbeneficiaries.Thereiscorruption.Thereisnomonitoringandinspection.Ifthereisaroadbeingbuilt,
thenthematerialusedissubstandard.Peoplearenotabletotaketheadministratorstotask.Theyarenotinvolved
intheschemes.Thisisalsobecausetheyarelesseducated
M2:ButUPhashadthemostPrimeMinisters.Thenwhyhasthiscontinued.Alsoithasboastedofoneofthemost
famousuniversities,Allahabaduniversity.Thenwhatisthereason
Me:MamthisIbelieveistheirony.IthashadthemostPrimeMinisters.ButaPMlooksaftertheentirecountry
andnotjusthisownplace.MamlikeIjustsaiditisbecauseofthemisgovernance.Alsotherehasbeeninterference
intheworkingofthebureaucracywithfrequenttransfers.Asaresulttheadministrationhasalsonotbeenableto
doitsworkwell.AllahabaduniversitythatMamyoutalkofisstillaplacetoreckonwith,butithasdeteriorated
duetolessfundingofstateuniversities.ButMamIbelievethatifweinvestinhealth,education,skillingand
highereducationthenwecansurelydevelop
(Thechairmanthenhandsitovertothethirdmember)

M3:(smilesandsays)DoyouknowthestoryofStandardGauge
Me:Nosir.
M3:ThegovernmenttodayismakingtheseSuperthermalplants.Whataretheadvantagesofthesebigpower
plants?(IwasnotsureifhewasactuallyaskingaboutSTPSorthathewantedtoaskaboutsupercriticalpower
plantsandaskedstpsinstead)
Me:Sirsuperthermalpowerplantsleadtoeconomyofscaleandalsolessfixedcosts
M3:whatyouaretalkingaboutiscoalutilization.Notexactlyeconomiesofscalethough.Haveyoubeentaught
thispowerplantandwheelingofpower?
Me:Nosirwewerenottaughtthatincollege
M3:DoyouknowaboutSagarMala
Me:Yessir
M3:Sothisconceptofconnectingallthecoastalharboursviawateralongthemargins.Willthatbeacompetition
fortherailways?
Me:YesSiritwillbeacompetition.Butultimatelyitwillbenefitrailwaysalso
M3:andtheseinlandwaterways.Whataboutthem?Aretheyalsoathreat?
Me:Sirtheyarealsoacompetitionforrailwaysyes.Butinthelongtermwecanhaveintegratedtransportwhereby
waterwayscanreachwhererailwayscannot.
M3:Therewasareportonsafetyayearback.
Me:Sirbywhom.
M3:Bykakodkar
Me:NosirIhavenotreadit
M3:Buthaveyoureadthesummary.
Me:NoSir.ButSirIknowaboutthesafetyprovisionsingeneral
M3:YouseewherevertherewerecorporationsmadelikeKonkanandDMRCtheworkwascompletedintimeand
itwasasuccess.Thenwhycouldnotrailwaystakelessonsfromtheseandreplicateitonitself.Healsotalksabout
autonomyoftheboardandsomestuff.
Me:Sirtheseprojectswerenewerprojects.Soitwaseasiertoimplementthemviacorporations.Whiletherailways
networkhasanexistingnetworkandahugenetworkandhenceitisdifficulttocorporatizeit
M3:Butdontyouthinkthereisalsotheproblemofmindset
Me:YesSirchangefromapurelygovernmentdepartmenttoacorporationisnotliked(cutsmeoff)
M3:Butitisagovernmentownedcorporation
Me:Yessirbuteventhen.(myvoicetrailsoffashestartsthenextquestion)
M3:Letsdoasituationalquestion.SotogetaccessintoAfghanistan,UShasitsbasesinAfghanistan.Whatdoyou
thinkwillhappenifUSgetscontroloverPakistansnucleararsenal.WhatwillbetheeffectonIndia?
Me:(seriouslytakenabackbythehypothesis)SirrightnowUSisafriendlycountryforIndia.(beforeIcould
buildmyanswerheagainintervenes)
M3:OKsupposethatUShasitstroopsthereinPakistan.(Speaksalittlemoreonthesubject).Thenwhatwouldbe
theeffectonIndia?
Me:SiritwillcreateaprobleminmobilizingourtroopalongtheLOC.Justlikein2002whenwemobilizedour
troopsalongtheborderandtherewasastrongpressurefromUStotakebackourtroops.Sowemaybepressurized
intomaintainingpeaceandharmonyirrespectiveofwhatPakistankeepsondoingbypromotingcrossborder

terrorismacrosstheLoC
(TheChairmanthenmotionstothefourthmembertoaskthequestions)
M4:SoyouarefromIITKanpur.Greatinstitution!
Me:YesSir
M4:Hespeakssomethingaboutthechangingeducationscenariowithmorefocusonpatenting.Hethentalksabout
reaserch.HeasksmetotalkaboutresearchscenariointhecountryandalsointheIITKinparticular
Me:Sirgoingintothefutureresearchisveryimportantforus.Itisessentialtoensurethatwehaveindigenous
technologiesandnotbedependentforothercountries.Thefundingofresearchinourcountryislessandoutofthat
amajorpartisforthestrategicsectorlikenuclearresearch,spaceresearch,atomicresearch.Asaresultthefund
leftforuniversitiesisless.SirtalkingspecificallyaboutIITKanpurIfeelthattherearecertaindepartmentswith
verygoodresearchandsomewithnotsomuch.Oneoftheplaceswelackisthatwehavenotbeenabletohave
sufficientindustrysponsorship.Wecannotalwaysbedependentongovernmentfunding.Weneedtohavebetter
industryacademiacollaborationtoimproveresearch
M4:Butwehavebeentalkingaboutindustryacademiacollaborationsincelong.Whyhasnotthisbeensuccessful?
Me:Sironereasoncouldbebecauseofissuesovertheownershipoftechnologylikewhowillownthepatent.Sir
alsotheindustriesarenotaware.MoreoversirIIThasnottakentheinitiative.Ithaswaitedfortheindustriesto
approach.Itshouldhavegoneouttothelocalindustriesandtriedtoseetheirproblemsandsolvethem.IITneeds
totaketheinitiative.
M4:SoKanpurhasdeindustrialisedandIIThasnothelpedinpreventingthatMe:YesSir.
M4signalstotheChairman.Chairmansignalstomethatyourinterviewisover.Ithankhimthenthankallthe
membersonebyoneandthenmoveout
Itakeaglanceagainatthewallclock.Somewherearound3:17pm.Sotheinterviewlastedaround25minutes.Not
badIthought.IgathermybelongingsandasIdosoIwishthenextcandidatealltheluck.
Mythoughtsabouttheinterview:Itwentgoodaspermyexpectations.Theboardwascordialandbarringacouple
offoreignaffairsquestionswhichstumpedmeeverythingelsewasfrommyprofile.Nobluffs.Noguesses.

MarksheetCSE2014
19 Sunday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHINMARKSHEET
1COMMENT
Essay:128
GeneralStudiesPaperI:86
GeneralStudiesPaperII:74
GeneralStudiesPaperIII:66
GeneralStudiesPaperIV:109
ElectricalEngineeringPaperI:177
ElectricalEngineeringPaperII:161
PersonalityTest:204
Total:1005
Reflectingonthemaksobtained,IunderperformedinEssayandGStoanextent.SpecificallythePaperIIand
PaperIIimarkswereadisappointment.Howevergoodscoresinoptional,ethicspaperandpersoanlitytest
compensatedforthedamageandhelpedintheleapforward.

Whytheblog?
19 Sunday Jul2015
POSTEDBYASHISHINUNCATEGORIZED
LEAVEACOMMENT
WhenIstartedmypreparation,theblogswrittenbythosewhohadsucceededinthisexamwereagreatstarting
pointfornoviceslikemeandforaspirantslikemewhowereawayfromdelhi.Overtheyearstheblogs,newand
old,havebeenanincessantsourceofinformation,resourcesandaboveallinspiration.
Nowhavingclearedtheexam,Ifeelobligatedtotakeforwardthelegacy.Hencethethoughttowriteablogwhere
IintendtosharewhatIdid,thelessonslearntetcetera.
PS:Thereisnoonecommonstrategy.Everyoneneedstoevolvetheirownstrategy.Theblogs,thisandothers,
shouldbeseenashelpinginthatevolution.

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