[UPSC Interview 2020] – Transcript #211 : Manoj Soni Sir Board, Anthropology Optional

Date of interview: 15 September 2021
Board: Manoj Soni Sir
Background:  BA Psychology, MA Political Science, MA Anthropology, LLB.
Optional: Anthropology


  1. So, you come from Pune. I’ve been there. What do you say about “Pune Misal”?
  2. Have you ever prepared it?
  3. Since you’ve completed your graduation, you’ve been learning one or the other thing, there’s just learning everywhere, can you tell me something about this?
  4. You come from a prestigious institute. Tell me after whom is Fergusson college named and why?
  5. Is his contribution more important or the national leaders’?
  6. Zumba and Bharatnatyam. Diverse. Have you completed your course in Bharatnatyam?
  7. Can you do Arangetram without being a Visharad?(Follow up on me having done my Arangetram.)
  8. Does Maharashtra have a Classical dance of it’s own?
  9. What do you think is the socio anthropological reason behind having many classical dances from South India?

Member 1

  1. So taking the cue from your answer (Temple traditions in South India), is Kathakali having it’s origin in temple tradition?
  2. (I answered it does have religious connotations with it, but I’m not precisely sure about it’s origin in the temple. This was going to spiral down rapidly!)
  3. Okay, so does Kuchipudi have it’s roots in Temple tradition?
  4. ( I apologized, I said I’ll have to read on it further.)
  5. He one by one asked all the classical dances in the same format. It started getting uncomfortable but I humbly took a step back and apologized.
  6. What is the relationship between Psychology and Anthropology?
  7. What is the difference between Psychology and Anthropology?
  8. What is this SARTHI scholarship?

Member 2

  1. Pandemic has affected lives of many. From the perspective of mental well being, tell me how are children affected?
  2. How is home schooling impacting them?
  3. Tell me three reasons why farmers are facing hurdles in your state?
  4. As a bureaucrat, how will you tackle their issue of misinformation?
  5. I see you’re an ordinary resident of Delhi since 2016. (She got confused with my university being IGNOU which is based in Delhi.) Why did you evacuate yourself during the pandemic then?
  6. (I explained that I had come to Delhi only in 2019 and then the pandemic struck. With some more lines I convinced her that I was taking a distance course from an open University in my hometown.)

Member 3

  1. Do you know about the history of Aga Khan Palace? (I informed about Mahatma Gandhiji’s house arrest.)
  2. Not the recent one, but how and why it was built?
  3. Maharashtra has a peculiar way of wearing sarees that has amused me, can you elaborate on the type?
  4. Why don’t young girls wear it then as it’s the part of their culture?
  5. Is it difficult to put on? How long will you take to drape a saree?
  6. You see gender discrimination is on the rise and psychology of advertisement has proved to be a success in many areas. If you’re to show an innovative method of changing people’s perception through advertisement, how will you do it?
  7. Pandemic has changed the events at coastal environment. Tell me how the Mammals have been impacted?
  8. What is the Invisible Fencing?

Member 4

  1. I’m going to ask you very general questions. You’ve been born and brought up in Pune. Have you seen Pune changing in the course of years?
  2. Tell me 4 changes that seem prominent.
  3. Do you think the urbanization has also led some companies move out of Pune and find an alternative place?
  4. Urbanization is inevitable, what two areas will you suggest that have to be worked upon in the coming years?
  5. So, something that you answered about traditional Indian dresses, will you be comfortable in accepting the western dresses in day to day life?


Your interview is over.

You may go.

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