[UPSC Interview Transcript #138]: Manoj Soni Board, Bihar Home State, Volleyball Hobby

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Date of Interview: -25/02/2020
Afternoon session, 4th to go, 3:57
Board: Manoj Soni
Employee: IBM
Home State: Bihar
Hobby: volleyball


I: May I come in Sir
CH: Yes come in (with a smile)
I: Good Afternoon sir, Good afternoon Mam,Good afternoon sir
CH: Please sit down
I: Thank you sir
CH: you worked with IBM for less than 2 years.
I: Yes Sir
CH: Currently you are living in Delhi?
I- Yes Sir
CH: Where?
I: Sir in west Patel Nagar, New delhi.
CH: Is cross border terrorism a threat to India?
I: Yes sir its a threat to our country as it is leading to loss of lives of our soldiers and civilians.
CH: I am asking is it a threat or not?
I: Yes sir its a threat
CH: Israel is also facing similar kind of problem, how they are managing?
I: Sir they are using thermal sensors, fencing,underground walls for better border managememt.
CH (Interrupted in between):But they are also doing some operations in neighbouring territory, do you think India need to learn from Israel and do the same.
I: Yes sir , we can do the same if there is an imminent threat to our soldiers life and innocent civilians and it is in our national interest as we did in Balakot.But there is a need to balance it with human rights.
CH: Human rights?
I: yes sir
CH:Do you think it is possible to seggregate terrorists from civilain population.People like Hafeez saeed are living in isolated places?
I: Sir it is difficult but we can try to pinpoint because in case of Israel there are high civilian casualties.
CH: Okaya lets consider a scenario , there is threat to India from terrrorists like Masood Azhar and you have three options on the table
Operation like US navy seal did in the case of Osama bin Laden.
Cyber Attack
Diplomatic pressure
You have to choose one option what will you choose as you are the deciding authority
I: Sir it depends on the type of threat and time we have.
CH: Its a very serious threat and going to occur by today’s evening itself.
I: Sir i will go for operation in neighbouring territory to neutralize that threat.
CH: As US navy seal did.
I: Yes sir, because Diplomatic channels will take some time and cyber attack may mot he very effective as they can have other plans .
CH: What will be the repercussions?
I: Sir people like Hafeez Saeed have huge popularity base in their country and any action against them will put huge pressure on pakistani govt. Aand thus Pakistan will raise this issue at international level and can also take action against India as they did post balakot.
CH: Do you not think its an act of aggression?
I: Yes sir its an act of aggression (with 1 sec pause) for Pakistan and other countries. But for me as an Indian citizen it is important to save the lives of our soldiers and innocent civilians.
CH: You are giving me a balanced answer. Will not it lead to a war?
I: Sir it may lead to war but there can be intervention by major powers and international institutions like UN to diffuse the tensions or a localized war.
CH: Do we have any international treaty against such act of aggression.
I: Sorry sir I dont know.
CH: Do you not think your decision will lead to war
I: Sir it may lead to war but if it is in national interest and necessary to save the lives of our people then we need to take such decisions.

Member 1

you worked with IBM.
I: Yes mam
M1: What is CSR?
I: Answered
M1: Why corporates are doing this?
I: Answered
M1: What corporates are getting? Followed by two more questions till i said that it will lead to a skilled workforce in future for corporates.Then she noded yes skill development of people.
M1: you have played volleyball?
I: Yes mam
M1: What you have learnt?
I: Mam i have learnt various things

  1. Team work as it requires performance by each team member to win a game.
  2. Learning from others and taking decisions on the court.
  3. To accept a defeat and to come back in the next game.

M1: means to accept weakness and to work on that.
I: Yes mam
M1: As a DM how will you make use of IT for better govermance of a small city.
I: Mam IT can play an important role in governance

  1. For making services accessible to the public
  2. Small cities are facing with issues like congestion, infrastructural issues here we can make use of IT
  3. To address issues like water pollution, energy efficieny we can make use of Intrrnet of things, Artificial intelligence.
  4. M2. suppose you are posted as a police officer in an area, where 5 youth has commited a brutal rape and murder of a girl.You have arrested all the accused but your senior is putting pressure on you to encounter all of them . What will you do I (After 3-4sec): Sir i will follow the rule of law and i will not do the encounter as it is aginst the rule of law. And i will try to convence my senior about the gravity of the situation

Member 2

But your senior is putting preasure on you.
I: Sir i owe to the constitution of my country and it is my duty to uphold its values and follow the due process of law .I will not follow the orders blindly i will try to convence him and if needed i will refer the matter to his senior.
M2: But their is hierarchy in bureaucracy and by informing your senior’s senior you are violating this hierarchy.
I: Sir first i will try to convence him if he still pressurize me then only i will refer it to his senior.

M2: You are saying you will not do the encounter but when encounters happen people showers flower on the police as happened in Telangana.
I: Sir it shows that people lacks faith in CJS and thats why they celebrated such action. But such actions are not the solution we need to improve the overall CJS.
M2: Every day we read about risingcrimes against women like murder, rape, molestation then what is the solution. I: Sir there are two aspects w.r.t rising for such incidents
1.Reporting of such crimes has been increased and more people are registering their complaints.
2.There are issues with respect to law and order specially crimes against women and for that we need to improve the work culture of the CJS in order to restore the faith of the people in the state(M2 corrected me in the system) , in the system , so that people have trust and sense of security while criminals have deterrence. M2: Do you think anything has been improved in last 70 years.
I (with a smile):Yes sir
M2: you write diaries. How often you write.
I: Sir i used to write on daily basis.
M2: Is not its a boring task to writr daily.As after spending whole day you have to write it. I (with a smile): Sir initially when i started writing it was difficult to write on daily basis. But later it has helped me in improving my personality and in setting day to day targets and their follow up.Now i used to write on daily basis and after i do meditation for 15-20 minutes.

M2: Any famous dairy enteries?
I: Sir at international level we have diary of Anne Frank,Samule Peppy’s. And at national levwl diary of Mahatma Gandhi which he wrote after independence amd diary of Dr. A.P.J abdul kalam.
M2: But Dr kalam used to wrote memoirs.
I: Sir i have read his book wings of fire in which he mentioned that after day to day activities he used to write diary about his experience,learning etc.

Member 3

you are from Muzaffarpur which is famous for bad reasons.
I: Sir its muzaffarnagar
M3: Yes yes its Muzaffarnagar.
I: Sir bad reason w.r.t to law and order
M3: Yes wrt law and order
I: yes sir their are issues wrt law and order in Muzaffarnagar and other parts of western UP
M3: how will you measure governance of an area.What are the indicators?
I: Sir it can be measured through

  1. Efficiency of public services.
  2. Transparency and accountability wrt to delivery of services.
    M3: You are telling me simple things, tell me something else.
    I: Sir it can also be measured by the satisfaction level of beneficiaries of different schemes.
    M3: By conducting survey.
    I: Yes Sir (In mind report of various NPO’s and international institutions, not able to recollect indicators of various reports by NITI aayog)
    M3: Tell me some indicators for measuring governance.
    I: Sir we can measure it with HDI index as it has bearing on public services and also with the help of Number of complaints registered and actions taken on them.
  3. M3: Does small states have advantage with respect to governance.
    I: Yes sir they have.But size is not the only criteria as we have states like TN having good governance.
    M3: Tell me about small states what advantage they have.
    I: Sir in a small state it is easy for senior officials to fix accountability of official at local level.
    M3 (added in my answer): and also for political leaders
    I: Yes sir
    M3: Any other
    I: Sir advantage w.r.t allocarion of funds.-Followed by two more questions in one of them i tried to explain by giving example of Sonabhadra i.e even after having 7 major industries and 3 power plants it is still one of the most backward region and 40% populatiom belonging to SC and ST have poor social indicators. But
  4. M3 was not satisfied and said that you are telling me unnecessay thing.It was followed by next question.
    M3: Tell me what will be done to improve the governance and better development of state like UP in points1 2 3.

I: Sir first is policy formulation for balanced regional development.
Second transparency and accountability in public services. Thirdly apart from top down measures we need to empower people to improve governance.
M3: You are an IT guy tell em something w.r.t technology.Is it can be use.
I (With a smile):Yes sir it can be used and we are already using it ex-Common servuce centres for making services accessible to people .( give my village ex) Secondly for making efficient use of resources and fixing accountabilty.ex-2 years back there was death of more than 50 children in Gorakhpur due to unavailibity of oxygen cylinders. To prevent such incidentsWe can make use of AI for maintaing an online inventory of resources for fixing accountability.

Then he seems satisfied and pass to

Member 4

M4 (lady member)- you have served as deputy hrad boy and you were also the part of security management team in your college. Recently there was an incident of molestation in Gargi college in Delhi.Are you aware about that.
I: Yes mam
M4: According to you what were the loopholes in security arrangement.
I: Mam there were many loopholes
First was issue wrt assessment about no. Of people attending cultural event.
M4: means more people attended.
I: Mam issue wrt to number as well as security staff for their handling. As in case of Gargi college large no. Of people entered the campus after overpowering the security staff.
M4: But if they have entered then how it is possible to monitor huge crowd in cultural events.
I: Mam we also faced with same issues during college fest and for that we 20 members (security management team) provided point of contact to the students.
M4: Like control room. I: Mam control room was thrre having participation from security guards and college administration. But we acted as point of contact at ground level.
M4: You were 20 how had you managed.
I: Mam we had members at fixed positions as well as in mobility to monitor activities and to convey the same to control room.
M4: But in such event it is difficult to monitor activities?
I : Mam for that we were briefed about some sensitive areas like Performance area,rehearsal area, events like DJ night and parking
M4- Like dark spots
I: Yes mam as such areas have sense of anonymity.
M4: But if crowd is doing misconduct with a girl then what to do?
I- Mam for that we were instructed overpower the person at the spot.
M4 (interrupted)-means overpower physically
I- yes mam and to inform the security staff and in case of serious issue inform the college administration to handle the situation amd if needed call the police.

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