Abhishek Sharma (Rank-69/UPSC-2017)
Interview board chairman – Dr. Manoj Soni
Duration : 30 minutes.
My interview was on the last day 25th of April . Having learnt from previous experience, I had learnt that the most important thing on the day is to stay calm and composed. I didn’t read the newspaper fully, just went through the headlines so that I don’t get panicked ki ye bhi nhi aata, wo bhi nhi aata.
I entered the room and greeted Good morning to all with a cheerful face. It was a nice start because everyone was smiling.
Chairman was reading my DAF and then on seeing that I am working as junior engineer. Asked me about job profile. Then asked me which competitive exam I qualified.
1.So, you have heard of the terms insaniyat kashmiriyat jamhuriyat , what do you mean by all this.
Me : Told that the terms were given by Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji and explained their meaning in brief.
2.Are steps being taken to promote kashmiriyat.
Me : Sir, in my honest view, I don’t think that genuine efforts are being made on that front.
3.Where is kishtwar located?
Me : Sir, it is the central most region in J&K, It connects to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and also to Himachal Pradesh.
4.what is Kishtwar famous for?
ME : It is famous for Saffron, Sapphire and its Hydroelectric potential.
5.We hear about a lot of people discussing this Kashmir issue , can you give some of your own innovative solutions ?
Me : ( This was the most trickiest one, I could have said such and such report or interlocutor or etc, but the Chairman wanted my own innovative solution so had to think for some time ) , Sir, I would divide my solution under 3 categories : Political, Economic and Cultural : Under Economic part, focusing on Micro hydel power projects as our state has a great potential in this . Micro hydel projects aren’t harmful for environment and create lot of local jobs.
Under Political front, 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment acts haven’t been implemented in our state. I would ensure these are implemented because it will strengthen the 3rd tier of democracy and political empowerment of people at grassroot level.
Under Cultural front , I would try to revive that old spirit of Kashmiriyat .
Member 1: ( From History or Geography background, asked mostly factual )
Q :African countries on western coast .
Q.What is Maghreb region?
Q.Where is Levant region
- How many battles were fought at Panipat ?
Q why battles were fought in panipat?
Me: ( This was a great relief, in 2014 mains , this question was asked and I had thought about it) Replied to their satisfaction.
Q.Arrange in chronological order the various invaders .
Me : Sir, I am not able to remember this at this moment.
- On Air India divestment,views
Q . Rohingya issue : Who are the Rohingyas ?
- Are the Rohingyas a Threat to national security?
( this was another surgical strike on me ) : replied quite honestly that yes they are and gave various reasons.
- ( this was again a tricky one like chakravyuh ) Who allowed the Rohingyas to settle in Jammu?
Me : Sir, I had read somewhere that Rohingyas came into jammu in 2012.
( a sigh of relief )
Member 2: ( I think , he was from Science background)
1.Name some Notable scientists of India
Me : ( Remembering art and culture ) named – Aryabhattta , Varahamihir , Bhaskar ….
2.Member No, tell me about recent ones?
Me : APJ hi sirf yaad aa rhe the, Sir, Hargobind Khurana?
3. I am asking about Indian Scientist and not Indian-origin ones.
Me : Sorry sir, I am not able to recollect the names.
4.Not even the one who was awarded Bharat ratna recently?
Me : Sorry sir,
5. (leave it, ) How much is the Govt expenditure on R&D?
Me : Sir, I don’t know the exact figures but its is very low compared to other countries like China.
6. Give me an example of innovation.
Me : thinking very hard and couldn’t give a single example, Sorry sir.
7.difference between Basic research or applied research
8. if you are to decide the budget allocation , how will you decide between basic or applied ( 50:50 , 60:40 , 70:30 etc)
Me : after thinking for some time , Sir, I don’t think myself capable at this time to decide about the budget allocation.
9. pressed again to get some reply.
ME : Sir , since I don’t have deep information regarding this, I cannot decide about this myself, firstly I would like to take the opinion of the experts of the field.
10.what is the difference between Green building & smart building.
1.What is your opinion on Property rights to outsiders in J&K.
ME : I think it is wrong. In a single country there should be no discrimination among citizens .
2. Who introduced this provision ?
Me : sir, maharaja Hari singh did it.
3.Why did he do so?
Replied something, but he rebuked and said that under the influence of his advisors.
4. You recently said that you read this in a book by Jagmohan. What’s the name of the book?
ME : I had read it, but couldn’t remember the exact name out of stress, said, sir. Some frozen turbulence. The member nodded and said : Yes, my frozen turbulence in Kashmir.
5. Recently an IAS of J&K cadre has written a Book on insider-outsider thing, have you read that?
( The book was Written by Sonali kumar IAS and the excerpts used to come in the local newspaper for a week, I had read just a few paragraphs , Thus had an idea) : Sir, the name of the book is Outsider’s curse, but I haven’t read the book, I have just read the excerpts.
6.What’s written in the book?
Me : Sir, the author has written that there is discrimination against outsiders even within the Bureaucracy.
7. Why is the name of your department as public health engineering .
Replied , but wasn’t satisfied.
8. In rural areas why don’t you do water treatment.
Since, I knew the reality , I told that it is true that in most of the rural areas, there is little water treatment, gave the various causes .
9.( another controversial question ) Is Kathua incident communal issue?
Me : (Quite passionately) Sir, it is very unfortunate that such a thing happened to 8 year old girl. But this is not a communal issue, it is being communalized now.
Member4: ( Lady member )
1. Said a long sentence and in the end asked who Lends to the poor?
I replied the usual GS2 & GS 3 jargon, like MUDRA , Start Up Stand up etc. but she said NO!!! , I am not asking about this. Leave it.
2. Do you know about MFI (microfinance institutions )?
Me : mujhe laga ye aata hai, said yes ma’am. But couldn’t explain anything ( I thought , kabada kar diya )
3. (this question was the face saver )
4. What are SHGs how do they operate ?
I have regular interaction with members of a SHG and also explained the concept of SHGs to many Women of my village and hence could explain quite clearly, and also linked MFI to the SHG and hence made her know that MFI bhi aata tha bas explain nhi kar paaya tha.
5. what is the status of Women in j&k?
I had forgot all indicators, sex ratio, literacy etc. so thought for a while and explained the status region wise : Status in Ladakh, Jammu urban , Jammu Rural , Kashmir Valley , Tribal region. Touched parameters like women freedom, participation in Decision making, Economy , education ; health status etc.
6. Difference in Saffron from Kashmir and kishtwar ( saffron Cultivation is my hobby ) so answered it well.
7. Tell me some of Swami Vivekananda’s ideas which inspired me
Replied : Potential divinity of every soul, Service to mankind is service to God, Acceptance of all Religions as true.
8. What do you do in Vivekananda Youth Forum ? ( I started VYF Kishtwar in 2017 )
Told about it
9. Do you do any social service?
Replied honestly that as of now, We haven’t done anything of that level.
Finally The Lady member turned to Chairman. The chairman smiled and said something which I couldn’t get clearly, He said something like : It was very nice talking to you etc.
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?
Mostly , it was on expected lines.
Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?
Bring the documents mentioned, one girl in my board didn’t have category certificate, she was asked to furnish it after the interview.
Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
Bring photographs and prescription for spectacles .