[UPSC Interview 2020] – Transcript #234 : Manoj Soni Board, Sociology Optional, Kerala Home State

Date of Interview:16 -09-2021
Board:  Manoj Soni
Optional:  Sociology
Background: Mechanical Engineer
Home State: Kerala
Hobbies: Singing, Pencil sketching, World Cinema Other: Have won an ISRO competition, Flood volunteering


  • First made me remove my mask and verify. Then asked me to wear it properly (later when it came down while I was speaking asked me again to wear it properly)
  1. You are a Mechanical Engineer, You’ve been working… So if I ask you why did you leave your job you’d tell you wanted to prepare full-time..
  2. Are you getting content works nowadays? Which subject do you write? 
  3. Your have creative interests… helps you manage your stress, Right? What do you sketch- Portrait, landscapes..? 
  4. Cuisines even if they have similar ingredients differ in taste (talked about it for some moments taking examples) Do you think it is the geographical factors, sociological factors or anthropogenic factors influence this? Can you substantiate with the example of Kerala food?

Member 1

  1. He took the cue from chairman and gave a long monologue about Kerala being so different. Then asked me what is so fascinating for an outsider like him..
  2. Do you think God’s own country tagline has helped Kerala Tourism? Marketing is one thing.. what is Kerala doing in tourism infrastructure?
  3. Last year we were asking about Kerala’s success in controlling Covid, this year it is the opposite.. what happened?

Member 2

  1. You have World Cinema has your hobby. (Told me how she liked Comedy cinema and it is so few nowadays, she has to depend on animation movies) why there are few comedy movies now?
  2. Your state has positive sex ratio, 1084 right? Is male migration to other countries a reason? How has this influenced the working pattern? Do you know which job women occupied due to this migration? 
  3. (At this point, Chairman left the room only to return few moments later)
  4. There is snake boat race in Kerala.. what message does it give to a kid? What about direction? Don’t you think it is important?
  5.  What is anticipatory socialisation? Tell me in individual point of view? Why do people do it?

Member 3

  1. You have won an ISRO competition.. I’m taking you to ISRO.. who founded ISRO? What is the rocket launching station in Kerala called? Why Thumba was selected? What rockets are launched from there? What is this PSLV, GSLV…? GSAT? It’s purpose?
  2. They have already asked about Kerala. So where are you from? Is it a small town? Tell me 5 social issues of your place? Where you brought up there? (Taking cue from my answer) What is patriarchy? But I thought Kerala had a matriarchal system? (She cut me in between but then asked if I wanted to add something more and I completed my answer)

Member 4

  1. You have done flood volunteering. So how can we prevent another 2018 flood? What caused the floods? Did the rainfall occur throughout Kerala?  Yes, there was mismanagement of Dams. Rainfall will increase, we cannot prevent that ( talked about climate change) what can we do to prevent overflow of rivers?(he was not satisfied with my answers.. so went on trying to extract it till I said I don’t know) Where do Kerala’s rivers originate? How long are these rivers? Can we increase depth of rivers that much distance? (I had told de-siltation) 


  1. You have nice stay in Delhi. Your interview is over. You can leave. 
  2. Questions were all really long with monologues and details. All questions had something to do with DAF. 
  3. Felt like the interview lasted for 25-30 minutes.

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