Civil Services Preparation Strategy

Pratap Singh, AIR 15 CSE'15 & AIR 1 IFSE'15


You can find my Mathematics Notes here: 


Interview Transcript of IFSE'15

Basic Information:

Name: Pratap Singh

Date of Interview: Afternoon Session, January 21, 2016

Board: Mr. Manbir Singh


Brief outline of DAF Summary Sheet

Hometown: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Schooling: DAV Centenary Public School, Jaipur

Graduation: B.Tech-M.Tech, Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur

Job Experience: Schlumberger Asia Services Limited (13 months)

Hobbies: Watching parallel cinema, long distance running



Entered the room and wished all the members a good afternoon. (A long silence after being asked to sit) Chairperson was looking at the summary sheet.


Ch: Pratap, your biodata looks impressive

Me: Thank you sir.


Ch: You studied Aerospace Engineering, and then you worked at Schlumberger.

Me: Yes sir, it’s an oilfield services company (shouldn’t have done this. Don’t provide unnecessary information unless asked)


Ch: I know. They are quite active in the Gulf region.

Me: Yes sir, they are the world leaders in oilfield services


Ch: Yet they were not up to your standards.

Me: (Gave a prepared answer) Responsibility, autonomy in government services, rising importance of environment and the consequent career opportunities in the future.


Ch: That was the answer I was expecting from you

Me: Just a smile (always keep smiling)


Ch: But considering the remuneration you were getting at entry level, you could have earned a lot if you had continued and reached the top positions.

Me: (Again a prepared answer) Money wouldn’t matter in the long run, job satisfaction, solve the problems faced by the country and make a global impact.

He did not look satisfied and handed it over to the next member.


M1: You talked about solving the problems (related to environment) faced by the country. List any three.

Me: (Took a long time to come up with an answer)

  1. Talked about impact of climate change on people living in coastal areas
  2. Adverse weather events and their increasing frequency


M1: Intervened before I could finish and said “What about impact on wildlife?”

Me: (Bad answer although talked about the things listed here but lacked understanding at the time) Impact on navigation patterns, drying of wetlands, habitat fragmentation etc.


M1: What about agriculture?

Me: Talked about the importance of agriculture for the country (50% population dependent on it) and its dependence on monsoon and how climate change affects agriculture. Then some government programs, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA).


M1: Forest (Conservation) act 1980, lists criteria for diverting forest land for non-forest purposes. What according to you should be the important parameters to be considered before doing so?

Me: (Did not know what to say, came up with this) Sir, first is the need. We have to see if the project is even needed in the first place, are there alternate solutions available. Second is sustainability, among the options available, the option having least impact on the forest in the long term should be selected.


M1 (intervened): What about consent of the people? (Realized he was actually interested in this and the earlier answer was way off the mark and too generic)

Me: Yes sir, views of the local people have to be taken into account as they have valuable information about the forests and they are also the most affected by any such decision.


M1: What if there is a conflict?

Me: Sir, it is our job to provide the local people with as much correct information as they need and assure them proper resettlement and rehabilitation. But if they still don’t agree, nothing can be done. Government servants should be facilitators of the choice of the people.

Chairman interrupted in between and handed it over to the lady member


M2: Mosquitoes were never found in higher altitude regions, but they are now. Why?

Me: Climate change, higher altitude not as cold as before….


M2: But, they are seen in the Polar Regions also?

Me: Same answer, different words, more smiles


M2: Bananas are going to be extinct in some time. Can you tell the reason why?

Me: Ma’am, I will not be able to answer this question.


M2: Laughing, why?

Me: Ma’am, I am completely unaware of such a thing.


M2: Ok. Tell me about genetically engineered mosquitoes.

Me: Told about killer mosquitoes and how they can wipe out generations of infected mosquitoes and help in eradication of dengue and malaria. Talked about a specific version where only male offspring is born and then generations die out as a result.


M2: In malaria, it is the female anopheles so it will work. But what about dengue?

Me: In dengue also, it is the female aedes egypti mosquito.


M2: Ok, do you think HYV crops are the solution for food security in the country?

Me: Ma’am since it will be difficult to increase the area under agriculture because of population pressure, the increase in output would have to come from increase in yield and HYV crops can play an important role in this.


M2: Name two-three HYV crops.

Me: Blank


M2: What is golden rice?

Me: Ma’am it is genetically modified rice, fortified with vitamin A


M2: Golden rice is not GM, by the way.

Me: Sorry ma’am (it is actually, so don’t know why she said that)

Chairman interrupts and hands it over to the last member


M3: What will be the modalities of implementation of the decisions taken at COP21?

Me: Started talking about decisions taken at the conference.


M3: No, No and repeats the question.

Me: Sir, I don’t know.


M3: Doesn’t matter. Where is the headquarters of FAO?

Me: I don’t know the answer, sir.


M3: Doesn’t matter. Where is the headquarters of WMO?

Me: Same


M3: Doesn’t matter. Tell me the name of 2-3 human rights organizations

Me: Sir, Amnesty International.

M3: More

Me: Sir, I don’t know.


M3: Doesn’t matter. Have you heard the name of Human Rights Watch (HRW)?

Me: Yes sir.


M3: Where is the headquarters of HRW?

Me: I don’t know sir.


M3: Doesn’t matter. You mentioned Amnesty International. Where is the headquarters of Amnesty International?

Me: (guessed, shouldn’t have done this) New York, Sir

M3: No. No

M3: Where is the headquarters of BARC?

Me: It’s Mumbai sir.

M3: No, it’s a typical name.

Me: Trombay, sir.

M3: Yes


M3: Any 2 special powers of Rajya Sabha not enjoyed by the Lok Sabha.

Me: Can create All India Services. (Easiest question, just could not remember the second one under pressure, big blunder).

M3: Doesn’t matter.


M3: Tell me about the 4 architects of NAM.

Me: Jawaharlal Nehru, Sukarno, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Josip Broz Tito.

M3: Is NAM relevant in the current scenario?

Me: Gave a well prepared answer regarding rising importance of small countries in the multi polar world of post-cold war era.


M3: But are you aware of anything concrete happening in this movement?

Me: No sir, I am not aware of the recent happenings.

M3: Then what you said is only rhetoric and nothing substantive.

Me: Same answer, different words, more smiles.

Chairman interrupted and said “Your interview is over, Mr. Singh”

I thanked everyone and left.

So, it was over, but the interview didn’t go as well as I had expected. I wasn’t satisfied with my performance.




  1. Don’t guess, don’t guess. ‘I don’t know’ is a very good answer.
  2. Don’t let the pressure reduce the volume of your voice. ‘I don’t know’ should come out with the same confidence as a good answer.
  3. Keep smiling, it’s only 20 minutes. Smile is the best defence.
  4. Remain calm and don’t get over awed by misconceptions doing the rounds in the market.
  5. Board is very cordial and always tries to support you.