Friday, March 30, 2012

My Civil Services Personality Test - 22/03/2012

It was PK Mishra Sir's Board.
My background - B.Tech, Mechanical Engineering, M.Tech - Thermal Energy and Environmental Engineering
Currently working as a Scientist in Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. 
The interview lasted for about half an hour. The board was extremely cordial and supportive. Here is a brief description. (I've only detailed the shorter answers that I remember with reasonable accuracy. It would neither be desirable nor useful to reproduce the answers given extempore, as there would be a significant room for bias to set in.) 

PKM - What is your name?
Sir, my name is Kshitij Tyagi
PKM - You are from Delhi?
Yes Sir
(PKM - sifting through the pages of my summary sheet, talking to himself…Delhi…..IIT….Kharagpur…..stops at my job description) Oh you are a scientist?
Yes Sir 
PKM - Ok tell me, What is Bernoulli's Theorem?
I fumbled a bit but in the end the words started coming out smoothly – Sir, Bernoulli’s theorem uses conservation of kinetic, potential and pressure heads of energy across an airfoil/object placed in a fluid flow. Using this equation we can calculate the lift and drag experienced by the airfoil. This is one of the applications of BT.
PKM - Ok, so you mean it has to do with conservation of energy (duh!)
Yes Sir
PKM - Hmm, where are you currently working?
Sir, I am working in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (board members looked surprised at the fact that an entire Ministry by that name existed :D)
PKM - Ok Kshitij, so what is "new" in new and renewable energy?
 Sir, the word new is used to differentiate it from traditional renewable energy which also has hydropower plants above 25 MW in its ambit. We on the other hand deal with hydropower projects below 25 MW and other sources of renewable energy such as solar, wind, etc.
(PKM repeats what I said…..thoughtfully….while his gaze is transfixed at me….)
PKM - What are the different parliamentary committees?
A minute of extempore – there are so many of them…named some standing committees….DRSCs….ad-hoc committees…..named a few and PKM himself pitched in with a few before I could finish
PKM - What are the different ways in which parliament can hold the executive responsible?
I talked about starred and unstarred questions, responsibility of Ministers…..in the heat of the moment, I couldn’t recall other methods and said so to the Chair…. He said there are other methods as well like adjournment motion ….etc. etc……I thanked him.
PKM - What is "cut motion"?
I talked about the three types of cut motions. They however were convinced that there are only two kinds of cut motions. PKM confirmed it with M1 and she nodded. I thanked them for correcting me (though I knew I was right)
M1 (who had an accent of a Londoner, with the proverbial tight upper lip of the british)- What is traditional medicine and what policy steps do you envisage so as to promote and strengthen this sector?
2 minutes of extempore – talked about AYUSH, TKDL, IPR related issues, accessibility, etc.
M1 - How can traditional medicine be of economic importance?
Talked about medical tourism and exports. M1 looked satisfied.
M1 - IP related issues with traditional medicine? What do you propose?
Talked about recent moves by India to preempt moves by foreign entities to get patents on certain traditional cures – gave example of the attempt by a company to patent the use of turmeric in curing vitiligo which we’ve known through ayurveda for ages. I concluded by saying that a policy architecture to enable such protection should be established….
M2 - Why has solar energy not picked up in India and Africa in all these years?
This was my territory – talked about the challenges we faced before National solar mission was initiated and how these challenges are universal when it comes to solar power (PKM nodded and repeated what I was saying), and how we’re now progressing exceedingly well after having overcome them. I concluded by saying that the future for solar is very bright (M2 smiled. I am sure he got the pun J)
M2 - What is the money required for setting up solar plants?
Answered
M2 - What is the area requirement for setting up solar plants?
Answered
M2 – What do you know about airline cess of EU?
Answered
M2 - what do you know about BRICS ?
Answered.
M2 - When and where is the BRICS summit scheduled to be held?
Answered.
At this juncture, PKM asked M3 to begin.
M3 - What interdependence do you see in the process of automobile and textile industry?
The question wasn’t framed properly and hence my answer wasn’t in line with what she wanted. PKM elaborated it but what they were looking for was sequential and parallel interdependence. I wasn’t able to crack this one since I am not very familiar with the working of textile industry. I thanked M3 for this information, after she described both the terms.
M3 - What do you understand by culture?
Answered (sociology qn.)
M3 - what is wider culture?
Sorry ma’am I do not know the answer. She explained it to me and I thanked her. (At this juncture I was a bit tense since I hadn’t answered two of her questions, and though I had been smiling all along, she looked like she meant business J )
M3 - What do you know about M.N. Srinivas?
Answered
M3 - What do you understand by westernization and sanskritization?
Answered
M4 - Which states have a high wind power potential?
My territory again
M4 - What are the problems faced while connecting wind power to grid?
Answered
M4 - Why are solar pumps not being used for pumping underground water in rural areas?
I had quite a discussion with him on this. He wanted to prove a point about solar pumps having not made sufficient inroads in rural areas. I sensed this and yielded, more so because I wasn’t too sure. Both of us smiled.
M4 - What is fuel cell technology? What are the by products?
Answered
M4 - What are the efficiencies of solar plants and how do you envisage the future scenario to be?
My territory again
PKM – Ok Kshitij, I’ll ask you one last question. It is a situational question - there is a sincere and erudite CEO who is very hard working but is unable to avoid the failure of the company. There is a cunning CEO who is corrupt and practical and brings success for the company and himself. The first is fired and second is rewarded - Do you agree with the management's decision? What would you do?
Sir, I am of the opinion that the management made a very shortsighted…a very myopic move by firing the first CEO. A business based on strong foundations is resilient and successful in the long term. I gave the example of Steve Jobs getting fired from Apple, going on to PIXAR and then coming back to Apple to take it to the zenith (PKM gave the best nod and smile of the interview at this juncture). I continued – a business based on skewed foundations never lasts.
PKM (interrupting me)– so what would you do with the second CEO?
Sir, I would constitute and inquiry and if he is found guilty, I’d fire him.
PKM - Thank you Kshitij, your interview is over.
Thank you Sir.

40 comments:

  1. Good one Kshitij..you very well handled questions from your field and off your field...what were your optionals??
    All the Best for your results!!!

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  2. Thank you Kamini.

    My optionals - Sociology and Public Administration.

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  3. Thanks Kshitij for sharing this interview!! it looks that you should score high only! so was this ur first attempt? and how difficult was it to prepare along with job

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  4. congrats for making to IAS -148

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  5. Congratulation Kshitij for this wonderful success, Wish you great life ahead.

    Naveen aladia

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  6. Congratulation Sir!

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  7. first of all congrats sir ,plz guide me on how 2 prepare for essay nd present answers in g.s. to get decent marks

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    Replies
    1. I didn't prepare for essay separately. With the amount of reading you'll do for GS (editorials, magazines, et al) you won't need any separate prep....but that is the case only if you are focusing on both style of writing and content while going through editorials etc. Keep storing some interesting ideas, quotes, one-liners etc. In your essay, if you stick to the topic, use proper grammar and write good content, you will get good marks. There is no need for using ornamental language. But if you are good at using embellishments, then go for it.

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  8. Nice to read this page and congratulation to you sir . I am an aspirant and I will sit for the first time in 2013 . What I noticed after reading your interview is that they ask questions mainly from your working field or your subjects in graduation . I have decided to go with Mathematics and I am not yet sure about other optional , any suggestion ?

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    Replies
    1. Depends on your interest... I would suggest glancing at syllabi and subject matter briefly in order to ascertain where your interest lies...If you are comfortable with your language and can weave answers around solid content, I would recommend PubAd. But then again, you must gather an idea about the subject before taking the plunge.

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  9. HI Kshitij sir, cogratzz belated...

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  10. Sir,im studying my graduation. .i wantd to become an ias officer. .but ma command over english language is very poor. .will u advice me? How can i improve ma english skills?. .in 12th standard 92% . .bt im scared at english. ..

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    Replies
    1. Read as much fiction / non-fiction as you can - while focusing on not just the content but also the stylistic elements of language. Watch English cinema / TV / News - to get a hang of how to go about diction. Work on your grammar and vocab. Buy books like wren and martin, word power made easy, etc. Make the whole process challenging yet enjoyable for yourself.

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    2. Also, avoid using the SMS language that is in vogue these days. For example - you've been using "ma" in place of "my". Avoid using shortcuts and slangs. Make sure you get used to writing and speaking the language in its proper and complete form. Your sincerity will eventually show in the words that you write down on those papers in the examination hall.

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  11. hi Kshitij sir,
    I am pursuing 5 year Int.M.Sc. course(its a dual degree course) and now i am in 4th year. Am i eligible to appear for CSE 2013? by that time, i'll complete my 4th year..does upsc considers students of dual degree course eligible for sitting in mains after they complete 4 year of their course-work?
    Any idea about this would be great help as i am unable to find people who can give info on this....
    Lucky.

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    Replies
    1. you should have a degree/provisional degree before interview stage.

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    2. You may like to refer to the detailed exam notification released by UPSC - That should clear all your doubts

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  12. Hi Kshitij Sir, Congratulations.
    Need some valueable inputs from your side.
    My brother is selected for an interview for UPSC exam and i want to help him with his questions. He never got enough time to have any hobbies and hence he is not confident what should he answer in the interview if someone ask for his hobbies. He was always too busy with studies and his job.
    Would you please suggest if in interview there is a question asked about hobbies then he can answer that his hobbies are to meet people and interact with them which will help him to understand their ideas and enable him to increase his problem solving capabilities?

    May be you can suggest any other answers which are appropriate.

    Thanks in advance...

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  13. hi sir congrates for your grand success
    sir i am also preparing for upsc exam and my optionals are geography and public admin.
    as i am engg. graduate but i am not comfortable in english as much so i decide to write the exam in hindi medium. sir please tell me that is any problem with hindi meedium because so many people say that it is difficult to get good rank through hindi medium

    sir my email id is akhilesh16@gmail.com
    i am waiting for your advice and suggestion.

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  14. hey, I found your last answer absolutely amazing..I guess that question's answer alone led you to the victory..anyways, I Am going to Delhi next month for my 2013 attempt.can you just tell me how do I go about? my optionals are geog and pub ad! reply asap.

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  15. Hello Sir,
    I am graduate student. I made my graduation in english language & literature and also PG fin same Subject. Sir how should i prepapre for interview questions which would be asked on my graduation & post graduations subject?
    Please guide me, sir?

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  16. hi kshitji sir.,
    congrats for your success..you are from mechanical background.,did your mechanical courses in good institutions,but why dint you take mechanical engineering as an optional paper. because i have an idea of choosing mechanical engg as optional paper.

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  17. Hello Sir..Its motivating and enlightening reading the lines written here.

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  18. Kshitij sir i am also working in MNRE and started preparing for IAS ... always heard about you in office from meena sir,chelapati rao and pararia sir..... Happy to see your blog and hope that might get some chance to meet you

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  19. Kshitij sir i am also working in MNRE and started preparing for IAS ... always heard about you in office from meena sir,chelapati rao and pararia sir..... Happy to see your blog and hope that might get some chance to meet you

    ReplyDelete
  20. Kshitij sir i am also working in MNRE and started preparing for IAS ... always heard about you in office from meena sir,chelapati rao and pararia sir..... Happy to see your blog and hope that might get some chance to meet you

    ReplyDelete
  21. Kshitij sir i am also working in MNRE and started preparing for IAS ... always heard about you in office from meena sir,chelapati rao and pararia sir..... Happy to see your blog and hope that might get some chance to meet you

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Kshitij,
    I heard that one can give interview in English or Hindi. I want to know if one can use both english and hindi in the interview, depending upon his comfort level. Will it be taken badly by the interview panel?

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  23. Hi Kshitij,
    I heard that one can give interview in English or Hindi. I want to know if one can use both english and hindi in the interview, depending upon his comfort level. Will it be taken badly by the interview panel?

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  24. Hi sir , am rajeev , an aspirant , bt m in btech , comp sc & tech ... wish to sit ias after my pg in electronics & automation mtech-phd dual from iit kgp/ nit . MAINLY WANNA KNOW IF THEY WILL TEAR ME OFF SEEING MY PURE SCIENCE BACKGROUND or will be pleased ?? ........also , should i take phy & pubad as pre sub ?.....

    Pls ans...........

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