Jagranjosh.com has interviewed one of the toppers of BPSC 60th -62nd exam Mr. Rahul Sinha on 5 February 2019 for the aspiring candidates of the BPSC. BPSC declared the final result of the 60th -62nd BPSC exam on 1 February 2019 in which Mr. Rahul Sinha secured the 92nd rank and he has been allotted the post of SDM in Bihar Administrative Services. He got 538 marks in the BPSC Mains exam and 102 marks in the interview. Out of the 1650 candidates for the interview, 642 candidates have been declared qualified in the final merit list.
In this article, we are providing the detailed interview with Mr. Rahul Sinha.
Interviewer: Welcome Mr. Rahul and many many congratulations form Jagranjosh.com on your selection in the 60th -62nd BPSC Exam. It’s really an honour to be with you and having a chat with you.
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Thanka a lot. It is equally a pleasure for me being invited here.
Interviewer: So, How do you feel after getting success in the 60th -62nd BPSC Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Honestly speaking, it is like a dream come true. I have a feeling that one fine morning I have got up and got the news of my selection. It is still beyond my belief that I have got the selection. I have still a feeling that someone will come to me and wake me up from this dream.
Interviewer: Whom would you like to thank for your success in the 60th -62nd BPSC Exam and why?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: I would like to thank everybody in my family. My parents, my bhaiya and bhabhi, my wife, my sister and all the relatives who keep on motivating me for this awesome journey.
Interviewer: Please tell us about your educational background and family.
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Well, I completed my secondary and senior secondary education from my native place Bihar. Then , I went for my B. Tech. which I did from the UPTU in Mechanical Engineering. Coming to my family, my father is a retired SBI Officer. My mother is an Ayurvedic doctor. My elder brother has a software business in Gurugram. My bhabhi is working as an HR Executive and she also helps in the business. I have a younger sister who is working in SBI Life and my wife is currently preparing for the Civil Services exams.
Interviewer: When did you choose to become a Civil Servant and why?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: It all started by chance way back in 2014. I was deeply attracted to the potential of a civil servant. It is not the usual glamour of power but the way an Officer can bring changes in the society with his fine sense of doing. This encouraged me to become a Civil Servant.
Interviewer: What motivated you to appear in the the 60th -62nd BPSC Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: I have the deepest of the desire to become a Civil Servant and my father used to say that it is always a special thing to be one such. These things motivated me to appear in the BPSC exam.
Interviewer: What will be your priorities after becoming an Adminidtrative Officer?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: See, there is an endless list of priorities for an Administrative Officer. But, the things that are the utmost priority are the basics like education, health, infrastructure etc. Whatever department I head in the time to come but the education sector will be my prime priority. Bihar has enormous potential but needs to nurture them well so that the bottom line position of Bihar can be lifted higher.
Interviewer: Please tell us about your hobbies and interests.
Mr. Rahul Sinha: I love to write diary. It has been a habit since long. This has helped me in my exams also. Diary enables me to track my daily activities and help me know whether I have reached my daily targets or not. I can keep a record of the current events in my diary which I can revise whenever I need to. I must say that the candidates should keep a hobby that helps in their exams.
Interviewer: How much time should one give for the preparation of BPSC Exam? When did you start the preparation for BPSC Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: A thorough study of one year is required for the preparation of the BPSC exam. The candidates have to study well during this period. I started preparing for the BPSC exam in 2014.
Interviewer: Is joining coaching Institute indispensable for clearing the BPSC Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: No, the caoching institutes are not a must. However, the candidates should join the test series, mock interviews. Thay can watch the videos on Youtube, Jagranjosh.com, use Apps like Unacademy and read blogs on a regualr basis. These things are enough for the exam preparation along with self study. The only thumb rule for success is a planned self study.
Interviewer: Did you use the Internet? How helpful was it?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: If we look at the syllabus of the BPSC exam, then we will come to know that only reading through the books is not sufficient for the success. The exam needs much more. For this, we have to take the help from the internet. I , too, have taken the help of internet. It is very helpful in my studies. There are many blogs which the candidates can read. There are current affairs to be updated with the help of internet. At times, the candidates need to search some stuffs over the internet. So, we cannot rule out the utility of the internet in the modern day preparation.
Interviewer: Please enumerate the Dos and Don’ts for the preparation of BPSC Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: The candidates have to take care of many things during their preparation. A little bit of mistake can lead to poor results. So, it is always desirable for them to have a well planned list of what to do and what not to do. According to me, they should focus on practice more. If they practise well then things will be easier for them. They should read the standard books and stay updated with the latest development. They should involve in group discussion. Coming to the point what they should not do, I will say that the time runs away so fast. The candidates will find themselves in a time crunch. So, they should not waste their time in useless stuffs. They should maintain a balance of time.
Interviewer: How should one prepare for the Interview?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: I will suggest the candidates that they should collect the list of the probable questions first. Then they should frame their answers on their own and evaluate these answers if they are fit for the purpose. What they can also do is to get these answers evaluated by some experts. Also, appearing in the mock interview is a plus always. The candidates can ask the menbers of their family to put up questions. I have adopted the same strategy where I used to say my father and sister to ask questions from me. This has helped me a lot in the preparation of my interview. Apart from this, the candidates can arrange the group discussion with their friends. This also helps in the preparation of the interview.
Interviewer: Please give us the details about your interview. What was its time duration, the number of members in interview panel etc.
Mr. Rahul Sinha: My interview was scheduled on 23 November 2018 in the board of Mr. Naushad Yusuf. The duration of the interview was about 25 minutes. There were four members in the panel.
Interviewer: Please tell us about the questions asked in the interview.
Mr. Rahul Sinha: The interview started with my entry in the hall where I was to sit at the edge of a long table. The position was such that I can be noticed with all the angles. My feet movement, gesture and posture all can be seen. I guess one of the members of the panel was to notice these activities only.
The questions started with my introduction and then with my qualification. They asked me being a Mechanical Engineer, how would I be suitable and contribute to the administrative services. To this, I replied with the California model of agriculture. I answered them that Bihar is widely rich in the resources but the agricultural output is low. If we use the technology then we can increase the yield.
While answering the question, one of the members of the panel asked me if I was okay and if I need water. To this, I said it is all right sir. Probably they wanted to check if I was attentive or not.
To another question, I talked about the UDAAN scheme of the GoI. I said that this scheme has been very helpful in bringing the investment. The investors are running out of time and if we can build good airports then they will be able to monitor their projects well and this, in turn, will help the state.
The interviewers were very cordial and helpful. They allowed me the comfort zone and once I got the comfort zone, it was all very easy for me there. That was all in my interview.
Interviewer: What mindset should the candidates keep while facing the Interview?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: The candidates should keep a positive mindset while facing the interview. If the candidates is not positive then the outcome of the interview may not be good. Also, they should remain true and does not try to be artificial. The members of the panel are experienced enough to notice all these. They get paid for this and they have interviewed many candidates. So, trying to be smart is not a good idea there.
Everybody gets nervous. It’s very natural. So, the members at the panel provide the due comfort zone to the candidates. Always remember that there is not much checking of the knowledge of the candidate. Interview is the test of the personality of the candidates. So, the candidates should remain cool, calm and composed always.
Interviewer: What suggestions would you like to give to the BPSC Exam aspirants?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: To all the BPSC aspirants, I would suggest that once they are done with the syllabus, then they should focus more on practice. They should keep the ratio of study and practice to 20:80. They should follow the principle “Practice makes perfect”. More practice and proportionate amount of study make the preparation better for the candidates. This is the best way to tackle the issues with the preparation of BPSC exams.
Interviewer: What do you think about the change in the BPSC Prelims Exam Pattern?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Earlier, there used to be only four options in the BPSC Prelims exam. Now, there are five options to each question in the BPSC Prelims exam. The change has been welcomed by some of the students while some think it to be a nuisance.
Whatever it is, a good move or a bad one, the candidates need to take that. They have to be careful now in choosing the correct option. They should read the question well and then they should choose their answers. There may be more than two possible options and they are required to choose the option as per the question.
Interviewer: How far are the group discussions helpful in clearing BPSC Prelims?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Group discussion is important if it is done with a purpose. The group discussion becomes worthless if the candidates involve in unnecessary gossips. The purpose of the discussion is to bring out the various points and angles that each member of the group has in their mind. Many a time, it is seen that the points of importance come out of the discussion. So, it is useful if done with purpose otherwise it is not recommended.
Interviewer: When did you start the Preparation for BPSC Prelims Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: I started preparing for the BPSC exam in 2014.
Interviewer: What was your strategy for BPSC Prelims Exam as a whole?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: For BPSC Prelims exam, the candidates have to prepare almost all the subjects. There will be questions from history, geography, economics, polity, current affairs etc. My strategy was to practise as much as I can once the study part was over. More practice enabled me to get the exam-like experience before the actual exam. During the practice, if questions come my way that I did not know then I used to find the answers of those questions. This way I prepared for the BPSC Prelims exam.
Interviewer: How did you prepare for General Studies Papers for BPSC Prelims Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: It is a general misconception that the candidates should prepare the GS Papers separately for Prelims and Mains exams. The preparation of the GS Papers start with the Prelims exam and the candidates should read the standard books only.
Personally, I referred Spectrum for history, Bihar Samagra, newspapers for current affairs. For statistics, I read the previous year papers. Apart from these, Laxmikant is a suitable book for polity section. For economics, I read the economic survey of the government of Bihar. Reading the newspapers also helps in preparing the questions based on science and technology.
Interviewer: How did you balance between different sections of the BPSC Prelims Syllabus?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: There are different sections in the BPSC Prelims exam and the candidates have to score good enough to be in the merit list. There is a need to balance among the different sections of the syllabus. This can be done by practising the previous year papers of the BPSC.
Interviewer: What suggestions would you give to the future candidates of BPSC Prelims?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: To the future candidates of the BPSC, I would suggest that they should make a true balance between their study and practice. If they don’t practise much then the chances of their success goes low. Also, keep faith and do not panic at all. Things will be well if the candidates keep calm.
Interviewer: What do you think about the pattern of BPSC Mains Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: The pattern of the BPSC Mains exam has changed for good. Earlier, the optional paper used to be dominating but now it is not so. The GS Papers I and II have made things good for the candidates. Now, the weightage of the optional paper is equal to that of the GS Papers individually.
Also, there is a qualifying paper General Hindi which is also a welcome change. In the qualifying paper, the candidates need to score 30 marks out of 100 which they can do easily as the candidates have studied Hindi in their school days.
Interviewer: When did you start the preparation for BPSC Mains Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: As I have said earlier that it is a general misconception that the candidates should prepare the GS Papers separately for Prelims and Mains exams. The preparation of the GS Papers start with the Prelims exam. So, I started preparing for the Mains exam along with the Prelims exam.
Interviewer: How did you prepare the Qualifying Paper?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: The candidates need not bother much about the qualifying paper. They have studied the qualifying paper in their school days so they just need a bit of practice. It is easy to qualify the paper of General Hindi.
Interviewer: What was your optional subject in the BPSC Mains Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: My optional paper in the BPSC Mains exam was philosophy.
Interviewer: Do you think that the educational background of the candidates has a direct relation in choosing the subject in the BPSC Mains Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Yes, I believe that in choosing the optional paper, the educational background of the candidates has a direct relation. It is said that the candidate has to be a master of the subject he takes as optional subject. So, having an educational background with the same subject as that of the optional, is always a plus.
Interviewer: How did you prepare the Optional Subject? Which books did you study for the Optional Subject?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: The first thing is to have an interest in the optional subject. If the candidates have less interest in the optional subject then it will be difficult for them to prepare well. What I did during my preparation of the optional subject is I studied through the study material of Patanjali IAS. I also referred to the books by C D Sharma and Y Masih. That was enough for the optional subject.
Interviewer: What strategy should one adopt for BPSC Mains General Studies Paper I and II?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: As I have repeatedly said that it is a general misconception that the candidates should prepare the GS Papers separately for Prelims and Mains exams. The preparation of the GS Papers start with the Prelims exam and the candidates should read the standard books only.
Personally, I referred Spectrum for history, Bihar Samagra, newspapers for current affairs. For statistics, I read the previous year papers. Apart from these, Laxmikant is a suitable book for polity section. For economics, I read the economic survey of the government of Bihar. Reading the newspapers also help in preparing the questions based on science and technology.
Interviewer: What aspects should one highlight while answering in the BPSC Mains Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: While answering in the BPSC Mains exam, the candidates have to write not the good answers but the best answers. The candidates have to use the proper data and statistics. They have to quote the data from the available official data of the government.
Also, once they are done with the facts then they have to put their own views regarding that situation. The examiner wants to see how capable you are. Playing with the data only would not do much good. So, it is better to have one’s own views in the answers.
Interviewer: How does practising answer writing help in BPSC Mains Exam?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: If the candidates practise answer writing before the Mains exam then it is very helpful for them. They are in touch with the pen and when they have to write the answers, then they have just to reproduce what they have already written before. It will be very helpful if the candidates keep on practising writing the answers.
Interviewer: How far is Time Management important in answering the BPSC Mains Papers?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Time crunch is such an issue that needs to be addressed. The candidates may find that they are running out of time in the exam hall. This can be addressed only if they practise well before the exam. Without having thorough practice, the candidates cannot address this issue. So, it is advised that they should practise well in order not to run out of time.
Interviewer: What do you think about jagranjosh.com IAS and Civil Service section? Do you think it fulfills all the requirements of the candidates to prepare for Civil Service Exams?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Jagranjosh.com has always been helpful in preparation. In fact, for the first time, when I searched for the information on BPSC syllabus, jagranjosh.com was the first to serve me.
Talking about the IAS and Civil Service sections, I would say that it is catering well to the civil services aspirants. The candidates can get all the latest information related to the civil services on jagranjosh.com.
Interviewer: What more can be done to improve the IAS and Civil Service Section of Jagranjosh.com?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: A few things can be done to improve the IAS and civil service sections of jagranjosh.com. There is a dire need to provide study material and test papers so that the candidates take it to be a one stop solution for all their needs related to civil services.
Interviewer: How far the videos published on jagranjosh.com helpful?
Mr. Rahul Sinha: The videos published on jagranjosh.com are really helpful. These videos guide the candidates for the exam in the right way. If the candidates become a regular visitor of the videos of jagranjosh.com then they get all the useful inputs from these videos and the tips and strategies of the toppers help a lot also.
Interviewer: Thank you Mr. Rahul for your valuable time. You really took all the pains being here and your words of wisdom will really be guiding to the young aspirants of the BPSC. Thanks a lot and wish you all the very best for your coming journey as a Bureaucrat.
Mr. Rahul Sinha: Thanks for your wishes. It’s really been a pleasure being here and I hope that jagranjosh.com will keep on serving the students like this in the times to come.