Interview Preparation

UPSC Interview Transcript: Arvind Saxena Board, 27th March (Left PhD in US)

Interview date: 27-03-17, Afternoon session
Interview board: Arvind Saxena
Background: Graduate in Geological sciences from IISER Kolkata
Employment and work-ex (if applicable): Joined and left PhD in US
Domicile: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Hobbies: Rajasthani folk and bollywood dancing

○ What is integrated BS-MS?
○ So you were in Brown? (I said no, I got a call from there but joined Rice university)
○ Why did you leave your PhD?
○ What was your thesis project on?
○ What would you do as DM?
○ Why IFS your second choice?
○ If you get IFS, would you leave it?
○ Do you think, foreign officers are as important today as they wre20-25 years ago?
○ In this digital age where you issue e-visas, do video conferencing, do you think we still need officers?
○ Don’t you think India is shouting to much terror-terror when so many people are dying in road accidents (I mentioned cooperation on international terrorism etc for my relevance of IFS question)?
○ Why does India need cooperation on terrorism

Member 1:
○ What is the literacy situation in Rajasthan?
○ What is diplomacy?
○ Have you ever been to village?
○ How would you communicate to people the importance of Swacch Bharat?

Member 2:
○ When were IISER’S established?
○ Why were they founded?
○ Why IISERs when we already have IISc?
○ Why do we need to study basic sciences?
○ Do you know about medicines which are cheap?
○ Why generics are cheap?
○ What is the main thing you would focus on if you are made a health secretary?

Member 3:
○ What is the status of women empowerment?
○ What is gender inequality?
○ What are the parameters to test that?
○ And many other questions on this which I cannot recall?

Member 4:
○ How old is earth?
○ Different stages of earth evolution?
○ Do you know about anthropogenic? What is it? Do you agree with this theory and why?
○ What to do to reverse it?
○ Can earth fight back? (he mentioned the name of this theory and asked me on it )
○ So you do folk dance.. Do you listen to music?
○ What is the music on which north Indian dances are based?
○ Name some thumri singers
○ Name a famous Rajasthani classical singer

I don’t remember all the questions. They didn’t ask me anything on geography, current affairs or even my hobby per se. The questions asked were very general and therefore unable to judge my performance. Scared but optimistic :)

Best part was I didn’t fumble, was not nervous and there was no awkward movement. The board was way too cordial than I expected except the lady member who was busy staring up and down.

All the best everyone !! :)

We will post UPSC Interview Transcripts regularly under the Interview Preparation Initiative.

Why Interview Transcripts?

  • These transcripts are just a collection of UPSC Interview experiences from different candidates.
  • The purpose of these transcripts is to provide individual experience and how they faced the board.
  • In a way, it affects the way candidates are understood, the information they share, and the conclusions drawn.
  • You’ll be able to identify the constraints and opportunities before you when facing the interview board.
  • Though providing transcripts, which is a behind a scene task, the aim is to provide a valuable input that you are looking for that you are hesitant to ask someone.
  • It might help to re-evaluate your approach , and take a look at what really needs to be done.


OFFER: Only for ForumIAS Portal Users! : Join ForumIAS Simulator Test Series – Starting April 2, Get Rs. 500 OFF when you enroll via this special link: Click here
Print Friendly