[Topper’s Interview] Pulkit Garg (Rank-27 /CSE-2015) IIT Delhi Civil Engineer, Chemistry Optional, 2nd Attempt

[Topper’s Interview] Pulkit Garg (Rank-27 /CSE-2015) IIT Delhi Civil Engineer, Chemistry Optional, 2nd Attempt

  1. CANDIDATE PROFILE
  2. EDUCATION
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. ELECTRONIC VS PAPER MATERIAL
  5. PRELIMS (CSAT) GENERAL STUDIES
  6. GENERAL STUDIES (MAINS) PAPER 1
  7. GENERAL STUDIES (MAINS) PAPER 2
  8. GENERAL STUDIES (MAINS) PAPER 3
  9. GENERAL STUDIES 4: ETHICS, INTEGRITY, APTITUDE
  10. GS4 ETHICS CASE STUDY ANSWERS IN MAINS 2015
  11. MAINS ANSWER-WRITING?
  12. MAINS OPTIONAL SUBJECT: CHEMISTRY
  13. BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
  14. DURING THE INTERVIEW
  15. CSE 2015 mark sheet
  16. CAREER BACKUP
  17. VIEWS ON UPSC REFORMS
  18. INSECURITY ABOUT PROFILE
  19. WISDOM
  20. CREDIT: FRIENDS/FAMILY
  21. BOGUS MARKETING PROPAGANDA

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Name Pulkit Garg
Rank in CSE-2015 27
Roll No. 0037646
Age 23
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 2
Optional Subject Chemistry
Schooling Medium English
College medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Delhi
Work-experience if any No
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures Rank 490, CSE 2014
Rank 823, IIT JEE 2010
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)
  1. DIAS – Chemistry
  2. Vision Ias – Test Series – Pre and Mains
  3. Interview – Chanakya & Samkalp
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS IPS IFS IRS(IT) IRS(C&CE)
state cadre preference (Top-5) Haryana Raj MP UP HP

EDUCATION

% in class 10 93%
% in class 12 93.6%
Graduation course and % B Tech,Civil Engineering ; CGPA – 8.15
Name of college, city, passing out year IIT Delhi – 2014
Post-graduation
Any other professional courses
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Hobbies : playing badminton and squash, jogging

INTRODUCTION

Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?
UPSC IAS Topper 2015 Pulkit Garg Chemistry Optional from IIT Delhi

Hi, I am Pulkit Garg and I have done my B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi.
I have been a resident of Delhi throughout as I have done my schooling as well as graduation from here. My father is a banker by profession. My mother is a senior lecturer of Mathematics.
During my early college days, I started introspecting about what actually interests me.  What is it that I would like to do throughout my life? It is then I realized a few things about myself. I can not do something just because it pays me well. I really need to have genuine interest in something to do it with full passion and commitment. While reading newspapers casually during this period, I realized that anything related to the development and prestige of India invoked strong emotions in me. I was very happy whenever I read about India’s achievements in the field of economic and human development, whenever we acted as a global leader and set example for other nations to follow. I experienced seething anger and strong urge to change situations whenever it was a negative news concerning India, such as high poverty levels, lack of housing, poor sanitation coverage, mortality in millions due to easily curable disease such as diarrhea, India obtaining poor rank in Gender Inequity Index, Human Development Index, Doing Business Index.
I wanted that the kind of work that I do should touch a lot of human lives and make a wide impact, which is not just restricted to a limited set of people.
Positions of responsibility excite me, and I never shy away from them. There is no other profession which gives such immense responsibility and leadership positions at such a young age and so early in your career.
Hence, all these reasons led me to thinking of taking Civil Service as my career. Interaction with family members, seniors and friends who know me well also reinforced my belief that it was a career which was well suited for me.
It was after my 2nd year that I took the plunge and started preparing seriously for this exam.

ELECTRONIC VS PAPER MATERIAL

Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how much do you rely on electronic material and how much on the paper material (Books, newspapers)? If possible narrate a typical day in your studylife. What is your style of preparation (e.g. I continue making notes no matter what I’m reading, I just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes, I make mindmaps on computer …or xyz style)
I have relied heavily on electronic material(70-80% of my preparation). The exam has become highly dynamic and the kind of information and depth to which it is required is difficult to search for in a book. The ways in which I used electronic media were:
1. Making notes on Evernote – topic wise  – as mentioned by Gaurav Aggarwal Sir(2013 AIR 1) in his blog (https://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/) – easy to manage and to add further details as and when they com – I did this in my 1st attempt.
2. Staying abreast with current affairs and to know any issue in detail which has not been covered adequately in the newspapers and books – like reading editorials on Business Standard
3. Following Mrunal, IASBaba, InsightsonIndia and important news articles as stated on these websites.
4. For governments reports such as of ARCs , FYPs , Annual reports of Ministries.
5. For following interviews and success strategies of toppers.
The importance of books is decreasing – primarily important now only for Prelims and GS Paper 1 in Mains.
Reading Indian Express daily is a must.
There is no typical day as such. But newspapers(2-3 hrs) and optional(~3 hrs) must be done everyday along with coverage of topic wise complete syllabus of mains and a lot of answer writing practice for both Gs Mains and optional.
I make online notes of what I read only for important topics of current affairs . But they should be very precise and to the point. Don’t copy paste while making notes. Make it topic wise. Use headings and sub headings for clarity and ease during revision.
TEMPO AND STYLE
Q. People know what books and syllabus points are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. So, how do you keep study momentum going on? How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?
Consistence and patience is the most important trait in this exam. One thing that really helps for maintaining momentum is genuine interest and curiosity. Try generating interest for every topic and subject – which could be done by asking regular questions to yourself while reading annything – keep asking why,how,when,what could be done – dont be satisfied with only what the article is telling you – go and find out answers for these natural and self made questions on the net. For example: you read an article that India has got a rank of 128 in Gender Inequality Index and so and so country has such and such rank . In this: find out.. 1. What does this index tell       2. What are the dimensions used to come out to this conclusion 3.Where is India lacking specifically 4.Why is India lacking specifically 5.What is the position of our neighbours; if better – how ? 6. What has been done and what more could be done by different stakeholders – revise in your head for each of the dimensions. This would be the holistic coverage of the topic which would also keep your interest up and enter into a virtuous cycle of interest and learning; out from the negative cycle of mood swings and distraction.
The fact that I knew that this is the career of my choice and I would have to sit again for the exam next year if I dont study well this time – used to motivate me even more i.e what I should study was inevitable and it had to be done – either this time or some other time – so why not this time only.
You can also keep maximum one hour for the things that you love doing – example I used to go for jogging whenever I did not feel like studying – but this should be done within the time limit.
Listening to motivational songs used to help me a lot too.
STRUGGLE OF A SENIOR PLAYER
(Answer only if you’re a senior player.)
After 1-2 failures in any competitive exam, a phase of mental saturation comes. The person knows the booklist, he knows what is necessary to succeed. But it doesn’t yield result. The armchair ‘experts’ would point out UPSC is ‘testing’ emotional intelligence of the candidate or UPSC wants to break the backs of senior players, daily conspiracy theories on orkut.. Not to mention all the emotional struggle-against those irritating neighbors and relatives who keep asking your mother “aap kaa betaa kya karta hai” (What does you son/daughter do?)
MY question are two:

PRELIMS (CSAT) GENERAL STUDIES

Topic strategy/booklist/comment
History Ancient NCERT – only 11th – pretty detailed – would need to be revised multiple times – provides holistic coverage
History Medieval NCERT old – 11th and 12th – detailed as well – would be sufficient
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Spectrum(must – pre centric) + Bipin Chandra some chapters such as on civilian rebellions,peasant movements, working class movements,Gurudwara reforms which are not adequately covered in Spectrum – however if u have time – do read Bipin Chandra completely – as it needs to be done for Mains for sure.
Culture and society Nothing certain – too many sources but I did it from Nitin Singhania(Rank 51 notes) + 11th class NCERT fine arts – some questions could have been easily answered from these books – dont know of any one source from where all questions could have been answered – however people also recommend CCRT + NIOS culture + AL Basham
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikant + reading of bare provisions from PM Bakshi
Economy (theory + current) 11th 12th NCERT – Macro Economics + Economic Survey + Sriram’s IAS notes
Science (theory + current) Nothing specific
Environment (theory + current) Shankar IAS  + lots of Wikipedia + Vision IAS Current Affairs
geography physical 11th + 12th NCERT + GC Leong
geography India -do-
geography world -do-
other national/international current affairs Current Affairs – Vision IAS + Indian Express
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff PRSIndia + PIB + mrunal + iasbaba +  insightsonindia

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2015 paper?
1. More factual questions – change – as 2013 was more understanding based
2. Very high number from Environment,Geography,Culture.
3. While reading geography – NCERT would be sufficient but focus on the little little things given somewhere in the map in tiny letters – eg. though the name of all passes are given in the maps but the need is to know more about them eg. where is Lipulekh pass – what is its significance – Is India China trade allowed through it.Like this : form maps for a)all passes in India b)all major rivers – and their imp tributaries c) major dams d)type of vegetations in detail and do have certain depth in knowledge about them.
4. While reading env – Shankar IAS is good – but do keep googling stuff which comes in newspaper and follow Vision Ias current affairs – its good  + do have the major national parks,wildlife sanctuaries,biosphere reserves,tiger reserves marked on the map.

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