I secured AIR 53 rank. My interview was not that good. It was IMG Khan’s panel (Pradeep and me were in the same group) for me. I was the 4th candidate to be interviewed in the morning session on 26th Feb.
I knocked the door and asked for the permission to come in. As soon as I entered, the chairman started talking …did not even give me enough time to wish them. And the interview began.
Chairman: Please please be seated…your name is chandulal tashildar (looking at DAF)
Me: Yes Sir.
Chairman: You have done masters in agriculture in plant pathology from dharwad… (looking at DAF)
Me: Yes sir.
Chairman: That was way back in 2011…what have you been doing after 2011…?
Me: Sir, I have been preparing for civil services…
Chairman: You did not do anything other than preparing for civil services?
Me: No Sir.
Chairman: Have you cleared civil services exam this time…?
Me: No Sir…unfortunately I could not get through.Chairman: Ok. So finally you have decided not to be a scientist…what do you want to be then?
Me: Sir, I want to be an administrator.
Chairman: Ok. In IFoS, one must have a scientific outlook. What is scientific outlook?
Me: (did not know what to say…took a pause) Sir, scientific outlook requires one to be focused and well organised. We have to follow some steps…like.. we must observe the things, then draw some hypothesis, then experiment those hypothesis…and finally we conclude…these steps must be followed Sir…
Chairman: This is very idealistic…sometimes we have to be rational while taking decisions…
Me: Yes Sir.
Chairman: What is being rational?
Me: (did not know what to say…took a pause)
Chairman: I give you a situation. In a forest there is one big rock which is worshipped by tribal people…someone wants you to remove that rock and plant trees…what will you do?
Me: Sir, I will not remove that rock, because it is not only important for tribal people but many plant and animal species may also be living there. I would not like to disturb it.
Chairman: Yes…this is what I mean by rational thinking.
Me: (smiling and nodding)
HERE I REALISED THAT I WAS NOT RESTING MY BACK ON THE CHAIR. I QUICKLY PUT MYSELF BEHIND.
Chairman signalled the first member to take over…
1st member: I see that you are from agriculture educational background…
Me: Yes Sir.
1st member: Tell me what hydrology is…I want to know it.
Me: Sir, I don’t know the exact meaning…but it is deals with water science technology…watershed….
1st member: What is soil porosity?
Me: Sir it is the presence of air space in the soil…
1st member: What is soil permeability?
Me: Sir it is the ability of the soil to allow the passage of water through itself….
1st member: Ok. Tell me what remote sensing technology is and how we can use it?
Me: It is the technology through which we can conduct aerial surveys….of water resources…soils…forest cover…( I was not confident with this one).
1st member: Suppose I have an aerial photograph of agricultural land and forest cover. How will you differentiate between the two?
Me: (totally clueless) I am sorry Sir. I don’t know.
1st member: (giving a broad smile, signalled the second member to take over)
2nd member: Ok. I see that you have a very interesting hobby…insect rearing…what is it exactly? How do you do it?
Me: Sir, when I roam around, I collect eggs, larvae, pupae of insects… I rear them in my room by providing them their natural food…they grow into adult insects…
2nd member: Don’t you release them? Have you reared butterflies…you should release them…
Me: Yes Sir, I do release them. Butterflies have a short life…so I study their life cycle…and when they are dead, I give them as a gift to my friends…especially to girls, I gift earrings made of beetles, which have shiny body…
2nd: oh….you must be doing this on valentine’s day…isn’t it? (started laughing…other members also joined him..I could hear one member saying ‘’nice hobby”).
2nd member: Reading…what have you been reading recently?
Me: Sir I have been reading a book written by Japanese author …. stupid guy goes to India.
2nd : What what..? I didn’t get you.
Me: Sir I have been reading a book written by Japanese author Yukuchi…the title of the book is ‘stupid guy goes to India’. It is a graphical book.
2nd member: What does he say in that book?
Me: Sir, the Japanese author comes to India for selling his books…written graphically…wherein he describes how India really is…it is a bitter explanation of India. We say that India is doing really good…but he has explained the difficulties he faced in India in a graphical way.
2nd member: Do you know any Indian author who received booker prize?
Me: (paused) Yes Sir… I do know but I am not able to recollect it right now.
2nd member: Do you know Arundhati Roy?
Me: Yes Sir…author of the book ‘God of small things’.
2nd member: Good. Which things do you think have been harming the environment?
Me: Sir, the most important thing harming the environment is deforestation…all other things have resulted out of deforestation….
2nd member: Are there no other things?
Me: Yes Sir…industrialisation, agriculture…we have been doing agriculture since 10000 years..we have cleared forests for agriculture…
2nd member: And…? Any other thing very seriously happening?
Me: Yes Sir. Global warming.
2nd member: Yes. What is it and why is it happening?
Me: Sir it is rise in the temperature……(member interrupts..)
2nd member: Why is it happening?
Me: Sir the main reason apart from the deforestation is release of green house gases…released from industries….and agriculture..like rice plants…
2nd member (smiled and signalled the third member to take over).
3rd member: You mentioned before that man has been doing agriculture since 10000 years…What is the name of the culture followed before this period?
Me (this time totally clueless): I am sorry Sir…I don’t know.
3rd member: What is neolithics?
Me: Sir, I will not be able to tell the exact meaning but I would like to split the word…
3rd member: Go ahead.
Me: Sir, the word neo means ‘new’ and ‘lithics’ is something related to rocks…
3rd member: Yes…it is ‘new stone age’…it is the culture before agriculture came into existence..
Me: (nodding and giving a helpless smile)
3rd member: Some people say that horse was not present in India in ancient times….some people say (looking at my worried face)…why do they think so?
Me: (paused) Maybe Sir…in the Indus valley civilisation, we have discovered some artifacts wherein we can find pictures of bull…but there is no horse…
3rd member: Ok. What is dendroclinology?
Me: Sorry Sir, I don’t know.
3rd member: Ok. Have you heard of a place known as …………(some place in Tamil Nadu which I don’t remember).
Me: No Sir. I haven’t heard.
3rd member: Ok. This is where some evidences of horse were found….and that is why people are now saying that horses were there in India.
Me: (nodding, smiling)
Chairman: Yes…after that some Arabians might have brought horses in India…
3rd member: What is the difference between wild and domesticated?
Me: Sir, domesticated is something which stays with human beings and wild is something which doesn’t stay with human beings…
3rd member: Ok. Tell me one example of an animal which is still wild but stays with human beings.
Me: (thought for 4-5 seconds…scanned every animal in my memory, but could not think of such example…and somehow came with this one) Sir, there are several insects which stay on human body..like body lice…they stay with us but are still wild…they have not been domesticated…
3rd member (clueless..I guess he was expecting something else but not this one)
Chairman: Oh…he means those insects staying in our hair…haha…good example (started laughing…others also joined)
3rd member (smiled and signalled 4th member to take over)
4th member: Ok. What do you know about AADHAR?
Me: (paused) Sir, it is basically…a number…which is given to every citizen…based on biometric things (I tried to avoid this word a lot…THINGS) like retina scan…thumb impression…(looked at Chairman…he was nodding).
4th member: Yes. What is the use of such a number?
Me: (paused…I knew everything but believe me, I could not think of anything) Sir, it has several uses…like ..it can be used for opening bank accounts…..(I stopped after this)
4th member: Just bank account? are there any other uses?
Me: (paused…I cursed my memory) Sir, give me a minute to think…(the member did not seem to listen to my request)
Chairman (interrupted) : He wants a minute to think.
4th member: Of course…take a minute.
Me: Sir, it can also be used to transfer funds… like subsidies…
4th member: Yes..I wanted you to tell this. Now tell me…why to go for distributing subsidy through such methods? What do you think?
Me: Sir…because the funds are getting directly transferred in the account of the beneficiary…
4th member: So?
Me: Sir, Unfortunately in India, funds don’t reach the beneficiary…the system is like that…funds don’t reach…
Chairman: He is being very sincere and shy….come on, you can use the word ‘corruption’…there is rampant corruption in the system…(started laughing…members smiling)
Me: (gave a big smile)
4th member: So…don’t you think this method can be misutilised? like…I can use your aadhar number to transfer funds in your account…so why to have such a method?
Me: Yes Sir…it can be misutilised….but we cannot simply assume the things…sometimes we have to be positive.
4th member (smiling) signalled Chairman to take over.
Chairman: I see that you studied in Sainink School…
Me: Yes Sir.
Chairman: Discipline should have been there…
Me: Yes Sir…discipline was the most important.
Chairman: Ok. Tell me, how does discipline matter in administrative services?
Me: Sir, discipline is something which should not only be physical, but we have to be mentally disciplined as well…it is not a thing to tried occasionally….but it should be a daily practice…we must inculcate good morals….(I realised that I was giving a vague answer)
Chairman: Fine. How will you use it in the services?
Me: Sir, I will set an example in front of other people..my friends..my juniors…citizens..
Chairman: That means you will lead by example…
Me: Yes Sir, I will lead by example.
Chairman: Ok. Thank you. You may leave.
Me: Thank you Sir