UPSC Interview by Akash Patel (A. P. Singh Board)

Name: Akash Patel

Date: 5th May 2014

Session: Afternoon

Attempt: 1st Attempt

Board: A. P. Singh

Qualification: Masters in Hindi Literature

My interview was in afternoon shift, so I arrived there at 1300 hrs. We were devided in groups of 6 each. Fortunately my group was so cheerful and cool that 90%of my tension was released there only. :)

I was alloted board of A. P. Singh sir, and was taken to sit outside the room at 04:05. my interview started at 04.15 and ended at 04.45, thats half an hour which was average for my group.

NOTE- my interview actually was in hindi, here I have translated it to english.

after entering and wishing everyone, here goes the main thing-

When chairman told me to sit, he was reading my DAF, and his expressions were like-""why we members have to go through all this interview thing. Its too boring man.""

chairman- so akash, you are masters in hindi literature.
me- yes sir.

C- when did you complete your PG?
Me- in 2012 sir.

C-so what were you doing untill now?
Me- sir I was preparing only.

C- I mean job etc?
Me (confused as there was only 1 year gap)- no sir.

C-What were your subjects in graduation?
me- sir, hindi lit, geography and med. history.

C- tell me something about international date line.
me (a little uncomfortable)- sir, its a imaginary line on the globe which goes from north to south between USA and Russia.

C-Does it go straight south?
me (still uncomfortable)- no sir, it diverts a little near island of southern pacific ocean.

C- so whats its importance? How the date changes around this line?
me (with a pause) sir, towards east the date increase by one day and vice verca,( not so sure), that is if we go anticlockwise, the date increases (I wasn't sure what I was talking about).

at this answers chairman looked towards other members and they all are nodding disapprovingly. But I was so calm from earlier effect of my group that I wasn't nervous at all.

then chairman passed the ball to member on his left.

M1- what is Nsso Akash?
me- sir its an organisation which collects different kind of data in whole india like employment, income of people etc.

M1- why is this data collected?
me-sir any policy of govt can be effective only if we know what is the ground reality. these data helps govt to form better policies.

M1- So what is HCR, that is used by nsso?
Me- sorry sir I havent heard about that.

M1- are!! head count ratio, hcr?
Me- sir I dont know exactaly bùt I guess it may be total number of people surveyed.(I havent googled it yet but I guess most certainly I was wrong)

M1- what is PG, poverty gap?
Me- sorry sir I am not aware.

M1 ok, tell me when the census is done iñ india?
Me-sir every 10 years.

M1- when was the latest census .done?
Me- sir recently in 2011, and its provisional data were out in I think april 2012, some of the final data have also been published.

M1- we spend so much money in this, what is the use?
Me (the same answer)- sir to form bettèr policy we need to knowwhat are the statistics. and these policies are important for development, specially in developing countries, like in india we have a population pòlicý. in this regard to know clèarly where we are headed, we need to collect data.

M1- what data are given in census?
me- sir, total population, sex ratio, child sex ratio, populatiion density etc.

M1- what about language data? How many languages are spoken in india?
Me- sorry sir I am not aware exactaly how many languages are there in india.

M1- hmmm, there have been many ammendments to our constitution, which one do you think was most important?
Me- sir I think 42nd ammendment at the time of indira gandhi was very significant as it changed a lot of articles and is considered a mini constitution in itself.

M1- tell me some provisions of this ammendment.
Me (a little troubled, its hard to remember things while in interview room)- sir there was a provision that if council of ministers passes something, president will have to give his assent.(I guess there was something like that, not so sure). After a little pause- sir I cant remember any more provisions right now.

M1-how many ammendments have been made till date?
Me-sir I am not sure, but I heard that 120th amendment was pending in Parliament recently.

M1 (looking a bit surprised)-you mean to say we have crossed number of hundred.?
Me (now confused)- repeated the same answer with different language.

M1- okk, what is biodiversity?
me- sir as far as I remember biodiversity can be understood at 2 levels, which are species diversity and gene pool related diversity. species diversity means existence of difference kind of species of plants and animals, while gene diversity means rich gene pool of species.

M1- so why this biodiversity is so much in news, why do we need to preserve it?
Me-sir we need to preserve biodiversity for several reasons. Every component of ecosystem has an important role to play, whether we know it or not, so if a particular species goes extinct, it will create imbalance in whole ecosystem. apart from that, as our research Is growing we are finding many species useful, be that in health or energy etc. so if we loose biodiversity we will loose possible benefits that could be harvested.

M1 (nodding approvingly, and thus raising my confidence)- so what are the recent initiatives by the government in this direction?
me- (not able to remember something good)-sir above all we are signatory of UN convention on biodiversity, we have created NBA to protect biodiversity, and recently we have put a moratorium on GM crops, in order to avert any possible threat to indigenous species.

M1-hmm. you see there is allopathy, ayurveda, similarly there is homeopathy. tell me what are the basic principals of homeopathy.
me (shocked how this question came up)- sir there are two basic principles of homeopathy. 1. a person can not suffer from two same diseases at same time, that means if one has fever, one cant have another fever at same time. 2. what causes a disease, also cures the same disease. so sir if one has fever, in homeopathy, one would me administered something that would cause a fever of greater intensity, this induced fever would then supress the original fever as two fevers cant coexist.

M1- dont you think vaccinations in allopathy also works in same way?
me- sir there is is difference. vaccinations introduce a weakened virous into body and there after our immune system creates immunity and tackels thae disease. here the disease dosent actually develop. while in homeopathy the disease is treated by DEVELOPING another same disease.

M1- There is a term LPG, what is that?
Me- sir its liquefied petroleum gas.

M1- no no...liberalization.......
Me (interrupting and smiling broadly)- yes sir, thats liberalization privatization and globalization.

M1- yes, tell me about that.
Me- sir before 90s we had kind of socialist modell of economy where govt had controll over all economic activities. In 90s when economic reforms happened LPG was introduced. If we take them one by one liberalization meant reducing govt controll like by license, quota, and tarrif on imports exports etc. Privatization meant encouraging private industries while globalization was integration of indian economy with global economy.

M1- akash I am giving you a situation and I want your opinion about this. You see, in indian election the winning candidate is one who gets more votes against him and less for him. How do you see it, can we call it democracy?
Me (now confident and comfortable)- sir definitely this first past the post system is very important problem of indian democracy. There have been some suggestions to change it by requirement of 50%+ votes but there are many problems in this.

M1- but this system is running successfully for last six decades. There must be some positive points.
Me- yes sir, the first positive point that I can think of is its simplicity. In india where a lot of people are illiterate, we need simple system which can be understood by people. Secondly, if we make mandatory 50%+ votes, there will be a lot of bye elections, and in a large country like ours we can't afford many bye elections. So this current system is running. (Now I think I could answer it way much better)

M1-now we see a lot of small parties form a coalition and form government. There is only on paper a common minimum program, but in practice they differ in many fronts. Do you think this is good for us?
Me-sir undoubtedly there are a lot of problems in coalition politics. Many a times Government cant take tough decisions, other times decision making process is slowed down. But still I think coalition governments are good for a country with great diversity like ours. Coalition politics ensures that all kind of people find representation in government, and administration is run ensuring everyone's satisfaction.

M1-do you want to say that development is not your priority but satisfaction of people is?
Me-sir I think I haven't made my point clear. I am not saying development isn't my priority. Sir in india, coalition government is the norm for last two decades, still we are developing rapidly. So we can't say that coalition government, per se, is anti development. Sir what I meant to say that it is better if every faction of people is represented in govt. If we have a majority govt, it could take decisions which could disturb some factions of people.

M1 finally looked satisfied. He then passes to M2.

M2- akash there was held a very important convention of hindi writers in Lucknow in 1936.tell me something about that.
me (thanking god)- sir you are talking about progressive writers association(?????????? ???? ???) that was chaired by premchand. they followed marxist ideology and hence declared that the role of if lliterature is not to entertain but to raise voice of exploited class. this left a very important impression on hindi literature.

M2- what iimpression did it leave exactaly?
Me- sir after this a whole new era started in hindi literature named Pragativaad which raised voice for betterment of lower and oppressed class. and though pragativaad ended after a few years as a mmovement, the tendencies of this movement can still be seen in contemporary literature as in adam Gondavi.

M2 (looking satisfied)- was there any clash between Pragati and prayog?
Me (now happy happy)- sir we can see the difference of opinion Between these two at 2 levels. One at ideological level and other about form. At Ideological level pragativaad fully followed Marxist ideology while prayogvaad was anti ideology, prayogvadi were of the view that we will experiment and find our own truth, we will not follow some pre set ideology. At the level of form, pragativaad's objective was to convey the message of poetry in simplest language so that people can connect with it, hence they didnt give any importance to outer form of poetry. While prayogvad regarded poetry as art, and hence form was very important for them, that's why we see the""shilp"" of hindi poetry raises is bar in prayogvad.

M2 (looking satisfied)- there was a very important poetry collection published in 1943...
Me- sir you talking about ""taar-saptak""..

M2-yes, who was the editor?
Me-sir it was Ajneya.

M2- Ajneya have written novels also.
Me-Yes sir. He has authored shekhar ek jeevni and nadi k dweep. But I haven't read any of them so I don't much about them. ( I actually had read shekhar ek jeevni, but that's too tough a novel to be attempted, so I left it ;) )

M2- there is a term digital devide, what is that?
Me- sir it is related to access to technology. People of urban center generally have good access to technology, while in rural areas the case is different. Due to this there is a gap between these two groups, this phenomena is called digital devide. It affects level of development.

M2- does it also affect education in any way?
Me (thinking)- sir it does indeed. Today's education is very much technology centered. Education can also be attained by distance learning by e education, tele education etc. So those who dont have access to technology also lag behind in education.

Now it comes to M3. He was the most ""khoosat"" member, all other 5 candidates of my group were also tortured by this member.

M3- akash tell me 5 problems of indian economy.
Me- sir can I have 2 minutes to think?

M3-take your time.
Me-Sir can I use pen and paper?

M3- yes please.
(I then started writing points on paper, but it's really tough to concentrate there, I wrote down 4 points but couldn't find 5th one. And even those 4 weren't that good)
Me- sir, I can think of only four at this time.

M3-no problem go ahead.
Me-Sir firstly in agriculture, its share is decreasing rapidly in gdp, but still a lot of people depend for employment on it, this creates problem of hidden unemployment. Secondly, we have directly jumped from primary to tertiary sectors, so we havent created enough jobs and thus facing jobless groth. Thirdly, due to our international obligations in WTO etc, we are often forced to take some steps, like opening our markets even if it harms us. Fourth, we have a population dividend that can be used for growth of economy, but due to low education and lack of skill development, this population can be a burden on economy as well.

M3- you talked about jobless growth, lack of skill development, low development of secondary sector etc. Looks like you are basically talking about single point.
Me( hairaan-pareshan :D )- sir in agriculture we also have among lowest productivity per unit land. (But M3 wasnt impressed)

M3- what is fiscal deficit and current account deficit?
Me-sir there is always a gap between government's income and expenditure. This gap is filled by borrowing money. In genera this borrowed ammount is called fiscal deficit. CAD is difference of our imports and exports.....

M3- what kind of imports and exports?
Me- sir it can be both of services and goods. (At this time I suddenly remembered and added-), and sir unilateral transfers like remittances etc are also counted under current account. So CAD means our imports etc are greater than exports and we are loosind forex.

M3- how much is our CAD?
Me-Sorry sir but don't know exact figure.

M3-in percentage of GDP?
Me-sir I am not very sure but it is around 2.6% as per latest data.

M3-how much is indian GDP?
Me-sir I am not sure but it's something like 1.2 trillion$.

M3- how do you think poverty can be eliminated?
Me (again comfortable)- sir, poverty can effectively be eliminated only by employment generation. So we have to focus on developing our manufacturing sector, this will raise their income and we can tackle poverty.

M3- our economy is growing by less than 5%, is it any good?
Me- sir after 2007-08 there has been global recession, so owing to that we can say that this growth rate is good, but it also true that potential of developing countries is greater, so india can manage a better growth rate.

M3-you mean due to prospects of other counties, growth of some other countries is affected?
Me-Yes sir, specially in export based economies. India is not that much dependent on export but still we export specially to US and EU. So when demand in these regions is low, our exports decline. (Now I realize I should have taken some time before answering this question, my answer could have been much much better)

Now it was the last member.

M4- so akash you are from fatehpur.
Me- yes sir.

M4- who and when named it?
Me- sorry sir but I am not aware.

M4- why is fatehpur popular?
Me- sir its not particularly popular, however there has been found some sites of archeological interest like temples of gupta period, and poet sohan laal dwivedi was from there only who is called rashtra-kavi.( completely forgot to mention prime mini VP Singh who was MP from fatehpur)

M4- we are a democracy, a lok tantra, still our leaders are called raaj-neta, why is that?
Me- sir I think word raaj in raaj neta shouldn't be related to raaj word in raaj tantra(monarchy), raaj simply means way of ruling people, and in democracy leaders rule, but with people's consent. So I dont see ant contradiction in word raaj neta.

M4 - no no, you are preparing for civil, you would be called public servent, lok sevak. Why dont we call them lok neta instead of raaj neta?
Me-sir the word raj neta is popular among people just because it has been in fashion for long, I think thats why we still keep using it.
(But he wasnt convinced. I think he had some particular answer already in his mind and wanted to listen that only)

M4- ok. If we start calling them lok neta, what difference would it make?
Me (a little uncomfortable by this question)- sir it may define a change in mentality, but I am not so sure if it would bring any real change at functional level.

Now the circle completed and I was again addressed by chairman.

C- there is a concept of happiness index. What is it?
Me- sir this concept is basically of bhutan. Normally development of any country is measured by GDP, but bhutan introduced GHI for that purpose. It measures peoples satisfaction on mental satisfaction, environmental conservation, health, education etc.

C- what are the parameters used in it?
Me- sir I dont remember all these parameters, but theze 4-5 things are there.

C- what is its significance?
Me- sir its a good concept because any development is fir people's satisfaction only and GHI measures that. But we cant underestimate GDP because resources of government depend on GDP growth, if we dont have enough resources, we wont be able to invest in health and education etc that are necessary for people's satisfaction. But ultimately, the objective of any development is people's happiness only.

Then they all saw each other, nodded and said thank you akash. I also thanked them, stood up, placed properly the paper and pencil that I used and left.