[Topper’s Interview] Basant Kumar (AIR-379/CSE-2014) Political Science, BE(ECE), IIM-Kozhikode, worked in NTPC

Basant Kumar

[Topper’s Interview] Basant Kumar (AIR-379/CSE-2014) Political Science, BE(ECE), IIM-Kozhikode, worked in NTPC

  1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Struggle of a Senior player
  7. Working professional
  8. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  9. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  10. Prelim accuracy
  11. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  12. Mains: Essay
  13. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  14. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  15. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  16. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  17. GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2014
  18. Mains answer-writing?
  19. Mains Optional Subject
  20. Before the interview
  21. During the interview
  22. CSE-2014 Marksheet
  23. Career Backup
  24. Views on UPSC reforms
  25. Insecurity about profile
  26. Wisdom
  27. Credit: Friends/family
  28. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

Basant Kumar

Q. Details
Name Basant Kumar
Rank in CSE-2014 379
Roll No. 631623
Age 27
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 3
Optional Subject Political Science and International Relations
Schooling Medium English
College medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Nangal
Work-experience if any 3 years – NTPC; 1 year – Tata Steel
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures AIEEE-2005, IITJEE 2005 (Screening only), NDA-AFSB1 recommended (AIR-18) – medical out, CAT-2011
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) Brilliant Tutorials Postal for IIT-JEE
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS>IPS>IFS>IRS(IT)>IRS(C&CE)
state cadre preference (Top-5) Pb>Hry>Guj>HP>Raj


fill the details here
% in class 10 92%
% in class 12 91.6%
Graduation course and % B Tech (ECE) – 8.80 /10.00 (CGPA)
Name of college, city, passing out year NIT Jalandhar, 2009 pass-out
Post-graduation MBA (2012-14)– IIM Kozhikode
Any other professional courses
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Painting, Calligraphy, Playing Soccer (on field ? ), Athletics (400m & long jump)


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?

Civil Service is a field where your one decision has the potential to influence many lives. Keeping a cool head on your shoulder, that too in a stressed out condition, is a virtue mastered by few. The very challenge of this job to take potential ‘lives-changing’ decisions and then own it, made it attractive enough for me to try to join the services.

After all, it’s an endeavor so pious, it’s glorious even to fail.

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 prepared as a working professional and took no coaching. So the importance of internet for people like me becomes all the more important. Blogs like Mrunal or sites like GK Today are mana straight from heaven. But point is to separate wheat from the chaff. Reference to previous toppers’ interview helped somewhat.

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?

‘You are only confined by the walls you build yourself’. If the very mention of UPSC is not motivation enough to keep the momentum going, time is ripe to donate your Bipin Chandras and Laxmikanths  to the nearest library and enjoy your current job / life.

Struggle of a Senior player

Q1. How did you survive through this mental prison and what’re your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.

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