Now that I have been selected for IFS and got AIR of 5, I feel that it will be good if I post my interview of IFS as well. It was 26th of March and the forenoon session. I was4th candidate in a group of five. It was my 1st interview at UPSC.When I reached inside Dholpur House and completed all formalities, I was informed that it was Air Marshal(Retd.) Satish Govind Inamdar’s board. I knew that something strange was going to happen to me, for Mr. Inamdar is known to give less marks in Civil Sevices Examination (We didn’t have his records for IFS though). I started looking here and there and enquired the gardener about the kind of flowers which were there( these can be asked in IFS interview, that which flowers did you see while sitting outside). Anyway, the peon, named Kameshwar from Darbhanga, came and told me to wait outside Mr. Inamdar’s room. I sat thereon and talked a bit to Kameshwarji. I asked him whether any lady member was also there. I saw the watch, it was 12:15 and I decided to say ‘Good Afternoon’ in stead of ‘Good Morning’.
Suddenly the bell rang and peon opened the door for me. It was a long way to Chairman’s table. I went with a smiling face and said ‘Good afternoon sirs’. Before I could complete, Mr. Inamdar started tlking in Hindi…good afternoon Sudhanshuji, आइए आइए चाए वाए लिये… हाँ सर ले लिए ….नाश्ता वाश्ता किए …..हाँ सर हो गया …..अच्छा, कहाँ किए…… कैन्टीन मे सर …..क्या मिला वहाँ ……गये थे सर लेकिन कुछ मिला नहीं …..अरे तो कुछ नहीं लिये सुबह से …..नहीं सर, चाय लिये हैं ….अच्छा बैठिये बैठिये कहाँ के रहने वाले हैं आप ……( till now, I have been standing and didn’t sit until he told me to sit, a normal courtsey)..सर बिहार के….
Hereafter, the communication started in English.
CM: Sudhanshu, use the back rest of chair and dont lean forward during interview. Please take water.
S: Sir, I have taken water outside.
CM:Anyway, this water is for you. What is your background.
S: Sir, I am from Purnea in Bihar and have done my 10th from Zila School,Saharsa, Intermediate from B.N.College,Patna and graduation from IIT Kanpur.
CM:You are from IIT, why do you want to come to IFS.
S: Because of the nature of work, sir. It is a very challenging job and huge diversity is there….(interrupts)
CM: What is the challenge.
S:Sir, here I will be both the custodian as well as the manager of forests..wildlife management and solving the challenging problems like environment-development trade-off….(interrupts)
CM: What is this.
S:Sir, as the development process takes place it has its negative effect on environment. As an IFS I will have to solve this problem to ensure development while keeping environment in good health.
CM:When did you decide to come to IFS.
S:In last year of my graduation, sir, when I decided to join govt. service.
CM:Why govt. service.
S: Because I want to contribute directly to the development of my nation.
CM:But in a pvt. service, you can contribute more.
S:Sir, contributing directly is also important.
CM:Yes, but which is more important, contributing more or contributing directly.
S: Sir, both are impt.
CM:Given a choice..
S: Sir, I will go for contributing more.
CM:Okay, have a look at the photograph, tell me what is this..(points to a picture of fighter aircraft).
S:Sorry sir, I don’t know.
CM: Make a guess,what is this, a helicopter, space shuttle….what is this.
S:Sir, it seems to be a fighter aircraft.
CM:Yes, a reasonably good guess. It is a fighter aircraft. Now, tell me where is its propeller, or the engineer has forgotten to put it.
S:Sorry sir, I have no idea, where the propeller is.
CM:Make a guess, it is in front of the aircraft or in the back or is there any propeller at all.
S:I think it is at the front or may be at the back.Sorry sir, I am unable to figure out.
CM:Okay, don’t worry.
S:Sir, may I take water.
CM:Yes,yes..this is for you. Whenever you want to take it, feel free to take.
S: Thank you sir.( I take water and during the interview, I take water for six seven times.)
CM:You have worked in Tata Motors.
CM:What was it called earlier.
S:TELCO.Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company, sir.
CM:Why did they change the name.
S: Sir, in international market, one has to be very specific with their core competence. Tata Motors no longer produces Locomotives and hence TELCO name was redundant.
CM: What is a locomotive.
S:Railway engine is known as locomotive,sir.
CM:What is locomotion.
S:Sorry sir, I don’t know.
CM:How does locomotive work.
S:Sir, it uses coal and by that it works.
CM:So, we burn coal and train moves.
S: No sir, coal is burnt and then water is boiled. Vapour produced then runs the piston and thus engine moves forward.
CM:What is it called.
CM:Coal locomotive or vapour locomotive..what is it called.
S:….sir, we generally know it by the name,locomotive only.
CM:Haven’t you heard of steam locomotive.
S: Yes sir, but it didn’t come at the moment.
CM:you are a Mechanical Engineer, you should know these things.
S: Sir, I accept that I am expected to know these things, yet somehow, I don’t know.These things are not even taught.
CM: So, if something is not taught, you won’t learn that. These are general awareness. Is there any legal ban on knowing this.
S:Sir, I mean, there is no ban, and I should know these.
CM: Please continue M1.
M1: Have you heard of JFM.
S:Yes sir, JFM is Joint Forest Management and it is an initiative of govt where govt and local communities jointly manage the forests and the benefits accruing are distributed..( I gave a typical bookish answer which was 100% correct, that I don’t remember now.)
CM:What is Global Warming..forestry..
[To be continued……….]