[UPSC Interview 2020] – Transcript #193 : Smita Nagraj Board, Delhi Home State, Commerce and accountancy Optional, Badminton, strength training Hobbies

Date of Interview: Sept, 14
Board: Smita Nagraj Ma’am
Optional: Commerce and accountancy
Home State: Delhi
Hobbies: Badminton, strength training


  1. Why did you leave your job? (worked for a very brief period so expected)
  2. Tell me one very good thing and very bad thing in governance that the govt has done in the past 5-10 years? (couldn’t come up with any bad thing so mentioned GST as a work in progress and requiring serious improvements. Though was tempted to say demonetization but didn’t have credible data to support my arguments. However, I somehow realised they wanted to hear demonetization)
  3. Follow up questions on GST- did government implement without preparation or was it the right time since someone someday had to start?
  4. What all items are not covered under GST?
  5. Why not covered?
  6. Why there’s so much noise and fuss when petrol price rise by even a rupee?

Member 1

  1. Demonetization- failure or success?
  2. Asset monetization pipeline- what and why?
  3. Principles of Sikhism?
  4. Why Golden temple is called Harmandir sahib?

Member 2

  1. What are the precautions to take in strength training and what is the role of protein?
  2. Vivaad se vishwas scheme- success or failure? ( I said not aware about the data or what all the govt has achieved under it but it’s a good concept towards bridging the trust deficit and increasing the tax compliance. However, sir kept on insisting to comment on success or failure and wasn’t satisfied at the end)
  3. Chartered Accountants, these days and in the past 2-3 years, have encourage their clients to manipulate their accounts and evade taxes. Is this correct? ( I said yes but can’t really comment for all. Also not aware of any surveys/reports conducted in this area. Talked about window dressing and other tax avoidance strategies they use but sir didn’t look convince)

Member 3

  1. List 5 problems that Delhi faces today.
  2. Problem of governance, Delhi Govt vs LG- Why arises and solutions.
  3. Why pollution persisting for so long?
  4. What will you do to deal with pollution?

Member 4

  1. Do you know that CBSE toppers are exempt from engineering examinations and get direct entry into colleges? (DAF related)
  2. Does CBSE officially announce the toppers?
  3. Role of auditing firms in recent scams and frauds?
  4. Follow up questions on the conflict of interest auditors face and issues in their appointment.

Chairman: Thank you

Overall experience: Cordial environment but felt that board members were disinterested and less engaging. Couldn’t establish a connect and not even a single light moment was there, very formal and serious. Though they were wearing masks, all throughout the interview, they maintained this expression-less poker face which troubled me a bit. All in all a good learning experience. All the best everyone:)

(This transcript has been posted by a community member of ForumIAS)
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