Vajiram And Ravi Essay Classes Of Drugs




Divyadharshini Shanmugam

 Sweta Mohanty


Dr. RV Varun Kumar

In her first attempt, the 24-year-old-law graduate from Chennai, could not clear the Civil Services Preliminary but in her second attempt she emerged as the first ranker. Daughter of V Shanmugam, a customs consultant and homemaker S. Padmavathy, Divyadharshini was working at the State Bank of India for the past six months. Securing First division throughout her academic career, Divyadharshini couldn’t believe her luck when she was told that she was number 1

27-year old Sweta was born and brought up in Hyderabad where her father PK Mohanty, an Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS officer, was posted. Her mother, D Mohanty is a School Principal. A B.Tech graduate from JNTU, Hyderabad, Sweta first cleared the Civil Services in 2007 and made it to the Indian Customs and Central Excise Service. Currently posted in Siliguri as Assistant Commissioner, Central Excise, Sweta is married to Rajat Saini, an IAS officer

A dentist from Ragas Dental College Chennai and an avid follower of world cinema, Varun achieved his aim to qualify the Civil Services Examination in his third attempt. His passion to join the Indian Police Services saw him attaining 67th rank in Central Police Force Exam in 2008 and also made him opt for the Indian Police Services as his first choice. His father Dr. R Veerasekaran is a professor in Economics and mother Smt. RV Kalpana is a homemaker

Q. Who gave the good news of your success?
DS: I was in office when the results were declared. A friend informed me of the same. It came as a shock! At first I did not believe but later confirmed it through my brother. It took a while to realise, it was not a dream.
SM: My husband called me up to tell me the results. I was in office and needless to say, completely thrilled.
VK: Nobody told it to me. I checked it myself and felt very unhappy that I missed Rank 1. This was not the best result but I am still happy. As inspired by Sachin Tendulkar, I will always do my best and be hungry to be a winner.

                    Don't miss: Read full interview with Divyadharshini

Q. Who is the inspiration behind your success?
DS: My inspiration has been my mentor Prabhakaran sir, my parents and my friends. All have provided ample confidence and motivation and placed belief in me to crack the toughest exam in the country.
SM: My inspiration is my parents. As a child, I have seen my father who is a senior IAS Officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre. I believe that this service gives you work satisfaction that few other professions can give. My mother Debasmita Mohanty has been a constant encouragement and has always believed in my ability, even when my morale was down. They are a huge factor in my success today. If my husband and my mother were not supportive enough I could not have got such a good rank. They helped a lot in taking care of the baby even as I did my routine studies.
VK: I was inspired by a movie and a personality. The movie was Kakha Kakha and personality is Sachin Tendulkar (not as cricketer alone, but his personality in general). It is not a mistake to be inspired by a movie. The ultimate result should be to serve the people.

Q. In how many attempts did you crack the Civil Services?
DS: This was my second attempt.
SM: This was my 3rd attempt. In my 2nd attempt I was selected for IRS.
VK: It was my third attempt

Q. How different was it in this attempt and how did you succeed?
DS: One year of consistent preparation made the difference between the two attempts. In my very first attempt I could not even clear the prelims of this exam, this was like an alarm bell for me.
SM: In my second attempt, I had more clarity of the subjects; I was more thorough and had a better understanding of the concepts. Also, four years in the Civil Services helped me in analysing things. My husband who is an IAS Officer was also a big support as I could have discussions with him and look at a problem from another perspective.
VK: For all practical purposes every attempt is different in its own way as knowledge is always expanding. First attempt I could not clear because I read just for 3 months. Second attempt I cleared prelims but did not write Mains exam because I did not want to land up in 100s or 300s. I wanted to secure a single digit rank and hence gave my heart and soul to CSE 2010.

Q. When did you realise the importance of civil services?
DS: When I was in college, I felt many things about the system of government. So, I decided to be a part of this system and try to change it. Only Civil Services provides you bigger and a different platform to serve the society.
SM: As my father Mr P.K Mohanty was an IAS officer so obviously his influence on me was immense. I belong to a family of bureaucrats so since childhood I realised the importance of a Civil Servant.
VK: I cannot recall the exact moment now but I assure that it is a gradual process and the realisation gets bigger and better as a candidate progresses from Prelims to Mains to interview. The maturity also commensurately improves. I advise the candidates to thoroughly enjoy the process of transformation.

Q. You must have read IAS Toppers interviews in newspapers/magazine, what inspired you the most?
DS: Dedication, working on a good plan for studies, honesty and determination despite the different kind of obstacles they faced. These are some of the qualities that inspired me.
SM: I have read many interviews like every other candidate. Though I do not remember any particular interview, one thing that stood out was that every candidate with dedication and sincerity has a good enough chance. The exam is no doubt difficult, but it is not impossible.
VK: Not many inspired me. I always felt toppers are not reaching to candidates with the frame of mind they had before the results were declared. The time for change has come and I think CSE 2010 candidates will communicate to the aspirants in a better manner and inspire them. We can inspire the prospective aspirants by just speaking the truth.

Q. What were your optional subjects and any specific reason to choose them?
DS: For Prelims it was Public Administration. I chose the optional paper due to easy availability of books and study materials, availability of guidance and above all my interest in the subject. For the Mains, I chose Public Administration and Law. I opted for Law as it was my subject in graduation and felt comfortable with the syllabus.  
SM: My optionals were Public Administration and Anthropology. Both subjects were chosen because I had an interest in them and books/material was easily available. In my opinion it is very difficult to master a subject in which one has little interest. Once you have an interest in the subject, the learning process becomes very enjoyable. That was a major reason in choosing my optionals.
VK: Public administration and Sociology are my optionals. The logic behind choosing them was my interest in these after perusing through the syllabus prepared by UPSC.

Q. What was your strategy for optionals, GS and Essay? How much time and effort did you devote for each?
DS: For Optionals - I covered the full syllabus and prepared concrete points for each topic and made it a point to revise before exam. Notes are really helpful during exam time.
For GS-In addition to Prelims preparation, adding personal view and analysis of the questions, helps a lot. I devoted equal time for both GS and for Optional papers.
For Essay- I think there is no need to specially prepare for essay. Preparing for general studies helps in essay paper. Newspaper reading builds ideas which also help in essay.
SM: For Optionals- Cover the entire syllabi. Each topic must be thoroughly understood and where possible , prepare some relevant examples/case studies (especially in Public Administration). In Anthropology, It is important to link Paper 1 and Paper 2 which is helpful while answering questions. For optionals, the syllabus must be referred to while preparing, to interlink topics.
For GS- Firstly, I would like to advise candidates not to get unnerved by the paper. Study the Prelims syllabi; basic textbooks; newspapers; magazines.  Internet is another source for building knowledge.
For Essay- Have a broad idea of what the major issues are at the point of time. Magazines such as Frontline; India Today; newspapers all help in building up a broad base. Take time to think out the frame of the essay and ensure that there is no deviation from the issue asked.
VK: For optional papers - I read too many sources (although I never tried completing any book) and that helped me develop a holistic and comprehensive view about the subject. Always keep syllabus as your guiding principle. Never ever deviate from the syllabus. It is beautifully framed and can give a direction to the preparation. Note down in your syllabus paper as to where you read which topic. That will save a lot of time during revision. It is advisable to join some test series and practise writing in answer sheets which are very similar to the answer sheets provided in UPSC exam. It will take some time to get used to writing in such a small space. It will also help in keeping a watch on the word count. Do not waste time in drawing diagrams or flowcharts etc. I never drew any of them. Candidates should focus on understanding the question properly. Most of the candidates fail to understand the question properly and it results in poor marks.  
For GS - I refrain myself from giving any strategy for GS as my marks are extremely low in GS. This clearly sends a message that my strategy is not so good for GS.
For Essay- I attended essay module with M.R. Abhilash at Vajiram & Ravi. It was very useful; not only for essay but for general answer writing. Use the strategy he gives you in a tailor made manner. His style might not work for everybody but it can definitely help us in refining our own style of writing.

Q. Did you take any coaching for preparation?
DS: Yes, I approached Prabhakaran sir, the Director of Prabhas IAS Academy for guidance. It helped me a lot.
SM: Yes, I have taken guidance for preparation from Braintree Coaching Institute, Hyderabad and Vajiram & Ravi, New Delhi for my earlier attempts. I joined Vajiram for GS In the present attempt, because of various constraints, I could not take any guidance.
VK: Yes. I attended coaching for Public Administration and Sociology. I also attended a wonderful module for essay under the guidance of Mr. MR Abhilash. His classes were very useful, not only for essay alone but for the whole examination.

Q. How was the interview? Can you recall any questions from the Board members?
DS: I was confident before I entered the interview room. The board members were very cordial. They asked me some tricky questions but I faced them with honesty, confidence and to my satisfaction. There were 1 or 2 questions for which I did not know the answer and told them the truth. I think honest attitude inside the room reflects the true character of an individual. I was frank with the board. The questions were based on my profile, about RTI Act, Lokpal Bill, etc.
SM: My interview was quite good. I had Rajni Razdan Madam’s Board. The Chairperson as well as other members were very cordial. Most questions were related to my service experience. I also had a few questions on corruption.
VK: Interview is the easiest part of the examination and for me it was a beautiful experience. You can deduce it from my marks, which was 234/300. The questions were:

  • Is Anna Hazare’s demand implementable?

  • What are the problems you foresee if Anna Hazare’s requests are agreed to by the government?

  • The image of the police is nefarious in the society. As a police officer how will you try to change it?

  • Tell us the rank hierarchy of Indian Army

  • Who is the Japanese film director who is world renowned for his style? Name two movies which he directed.

  • What is judicial activism? Is it justified? Quote two examples of judicial activism.

  • You completed your dentistry. then became an Assistant Commandant in CRPF. Now you want IPS. Why is your career plan so confused?

  • Is there a need for police reforms? If so tell the reforms.

  • Situation Reaction Test: You are an officer in Railway Protection Force. One poor man does not have travel ticket. One University Professor who has bought a ticket has lost it. How will you handle both of them?

  • Based on a survey mapping, it is found that the number of SCs are very less in areas where STs are concentrated. Why is it so?

  • What is Phishing?

  • If you become an IPS officer, which organisation do you aspire to join: BSF, CBI, State Service?

Q. Do you have any priority area where you would like to see you making a difference in the administrative services?
DS: IAS gives a wide scope to serve the society and make a difference. I think bridging rural–urban developmental divide would help in the longer run.
SM: As far as I am aware, the first few postings in a district are that of a policy implementation. I think every State and every area has problems and solutions that are localized. Therefore, I would like to first understand the problems given the local conditions and then look for a solution. As for priority area, I would be interested to work in the fields of education and women welfare. I think both these areas need a lot of focus.
VK: The Police. Indian Police does not have a clean and distinguished image among the public. I want to lead by example and be the change I want to see. I will inspire my colleagues and ensure that the image of Indian police is restored to a place where it deserves to be. In 21st century I want the Indian Police to function with a modernized, service-oriented and clean image.

Q. How do you usually spend your time if you are not studying?
DS: I spend time with my family  and hang out with friends. I also watch cricket, listen to music and watch movies.
SM: I have a one -and-a- half year old daughter, so I like spending my free time with her. Otherwise, I like reading, cooking, watching films etc.
VK: I watch world cinema and a lot of documentaries. I also attend a lot of seminars and conferences happening in the city. Most of the newspapers carry a column on daily programmes in which you can attend ,the ones which are relevant to civil service preparation. It is an intelligent work to juxtapose ones preparation and hobby so that even while relaxing his/her preparation is continuing without much effort.

Q. Your message to the future CSE aspirants...
DS: I would like to wish them all the very best for the exam. It’s a way to go forward with confidence and belief in you. It is not too easy but it is neither too hard. Right kind of effort does pay good results.
SM: There are three things that would lead to success in this exam– passion; dedication and sincerity; and hard work. If one wants to give it an honest attempt, the exam should be on your mind 24x7. There is no short cut to success.
VK: This system of examination could be very punishing if you are not sincere and persistent about your goals. It can kill your time, age and confidence if you are lazy. So always set standards for yourself and keep proving to yourself that you are working hard and really motivated. Every candidate has to show results and improvement to himself/ herself on a timely basis to sustain the motivation. If you can keep your morale on the positive side during the three stages of this examination, no one can stop you from getting what you want. 

As told to Vachaspati

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are purely personal and may be wrong from someone else’s perspective.

Hi, I am writing this post so that no one gets misguided in my name by the various advertisements being put by the coaching institutes. My aim is just to prevent students from wasting their money n time and tell wot I found good n bad even though some of these coachings may become unhappy with me.

1. Vajiram classroom coaching: I joined their classroom coaching in 2012 but found it to be an utter waste of my time. So left it within a couple of weeks and never went again. What they taught could be studies by self in less than half the time.

2. Baliyan’s Insight classroom coaching: This was the only classroom coaching I found good and upto standards. I also liked his approach. I joined history optional coaching there.

3. Lalwani’s Axiom for Economics: Again an utter waste of time and money. He doesn’t teach more than half the things n wotever is taught is mostly lacking needed depth. I used to go to the classes only coz I had baliyan’s class after him n coz I travelled from Gurgaon to Delhi for the classes.

4. Sriram classroom: total waste… Attended 3-4 lectures only. His printed notes are good.

5. Vajiram interview: Liked the one on one sitting with raveendran sir and their panels last year. But this year their panel was very bad with some arrogant former IFS officer at head.

6. Samkalp interview: Good panels. Took 2 mocks.

7. Chanakya interview: Very good panel. They made me realise what areas to focus on this year. Many of their questions were asked in actual interview in sone form or other.

8. Vision Ias test series: I joined test series for GS n Essay and found them very good. They conduct the test series professionally n their notes are good too. 1 ques I could answer only by studying from their notes.

9. Synergy test series: I joined only test series. It is good and feedback professional but unka staff bhaav bahut khata hai and is uncooperative with students.

10. Sri Chaitanya interviews: good panel and good mock.

11. HYDERABAD study Circle: I joined mock interview and was a very good n professional experience.

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