[Topper’s Interview] Rishav Kumar Jha (Rank-162/CSE-2015) Maithili Literature, Bihar, NIT Karnataka

Rishav Kumar Jha

[Topper’s Interview] Rishav Kumar Jha (Rank-162/CSE-2015) Maithili Literature, Bihar, NIT Karnataka

  1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  7. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  8. Prelim accuracy
  9. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  10. Mains: Essay
  11. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  12. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  13. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  14. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  15. Mains answer-writing?
  16. Mains Optional Subject
  17. Before the interview
  18. During the interview
  19. CSE-2015 Marksheet
  20. Career Backup
  21. Views on UPSC reforms
  22. Insecurity about profile
  23. Wisdom
  24. Credit: Friends/family
  25. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

Q. Details
Name Rishav Kumar Jha
Rank in CSE-201 162
Roll No. 0153785
Age 24
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 2
Optional Subject Maithili
Schooling Medium English
College medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Saharsa, Bihar
Work-experience if any No
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures Qualified BPSC prelims, SBI associates PO. Failed in RBI grade B prelims.
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) Coaching for optional(Prabodhan IAS), Vision test series for mains GS, Mock interview at Samkalp, Chanakya, Byju’s.
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS>IPS>IRS(IT)>IRS(C&E)>IFS
state cadre preference (Top-5) Bihar>Jharkhand>Rajasthan>MP


% in class 10 98
% in class 12 80
Graduation course and % Electrical and electronics engineering (6.7 CGPA)
Name of college, city, passing out year NIT Karnataka, Surathkal (2014)
Post-graduation No
Any other professional courses No
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Watching movies


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?
Rishav Kumar Jha
I am from Bihar. My father is a professor and my mother is a teacher. My brother works in Perfetti and my sister in Axis bank. I wanted to get into civil services right since my college days. I straightaway started preparations after my college. I believed I could not derive personal satisfaction out of a corporate job and I wanted to do something which could change lives. I couldn’t do it without the financial and emotional backing of my family, especially my father, given that I have been completely unemployed till now.

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)
For GS, paper 1 is still very much bookish. Papers 2&3 are almost entirely dynamic and have to be prepared from Hindu, Mrunal, insights, PRS etc. Static portions have to be completed from authentic books and notes, but should be kept minimal as questions are not directly asked from static portions. My typical day would start at 11 in the morning and go up to 4-5 in the morning. There was no strict schedule but I would not waste much time. I would rather sleep or watch a good movie when bored. I made hand-written notes from weight-losing sources like Hindu, Yojana, random internet articles etc. But I would never make notes out of books which need to be read cover-to-cover like Laxmikanth. I personally think it is a wastage of time and effort.

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?
Mood swings and distractions happen when you are not sure whether you are on the right track or not. I would plan my studies for the next 15 days and execute them efficiently. So when my target would seem to be in reach, I would take a break and not exert any undue pressure on myself. Another aspect is to choose the right sources. Right sources can be chosen either through a trial and error method or by going through the sources of toppers. The second option is much more efficient.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

Topic strategy/booklist/comment
History Ancient GS manual by MACGRAWHILL
History Medieval GS manual by MACGRAWHILL
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) GS manual by MACGRAWHILL
Culture and society Nitin Singhaniya notes and CCRT
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikanth
Economy (theory + current) Mrunal for basics and Ramesh Singh
Science (theory + current) MACGRAWHILL manual
Environment (theory + current) Shankar IAS book
geography physical NCERT+ Goh Cheng Leong for concept clarity
geography India NCERT
geography world NCERT+Mrunal articles
other national/international current affairs GK Today current affairs+ Hindu+ Vision monthly booklets + Mrunal updates
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff PIB + Official ministry websites

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2015 paper?
With the demise of CSAT (made qualifying), no one can afford to take prelims lightly anymore, not even someone who has scored 100-something rank and is taking the exam again. Keep your sources minimal and cover them exhaustively. Attempt more questions and don’t try to be overtly safe or foolhardy. If you are confused between 2 or 3 options, take the attempt because the probability is in your favour mathematically.

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