[UPSC Interview 2020] – Transcript #30 : Smita Nagraj Board, Geography Optional, read Calvin Hobby

Date of Interview: • 20 August 2021
Board: Smita Nagaraj Ma’am
Optional: Geography
Hobby: Read Calvin


  1. Why do you read Calvin & Hobbes comics specifically
  2. Comedy in India – Are Indians too thin skinned as we easily take offence?
  3. Who is your favourite comedian? Why?
  4. Which page of the newspaper do you read first? Any good editorial that you read recently?
  5. Where did you travel to recently? What did you do in Dubai? Where in India? Which states have you been to?
  6. How North-West Indian and South Indian states are different? Give one parameter

Member 1

  1. You mentioned that you read IR page, why Afg important for us? Looking at India’s engagement, I don’t think we feel Afg is strategically important for us – Your views?
  2. Some more questions on Afghanistan

Member 2

  1. Why Geography
  2. Graduated in 2020 during lockdown – what did you miss? Or did you find it beneficial for UPSC prep?
  3. IIT Delhi – best memory of Rendezvous (College fest)? One learning from your experience of organising the event?
  4. If not Civil Services, what is your plan B?
  5. Why is geography optional?
  6. There’s a new field integrating the study of Civil Engg & Robotics Do you know what it is?

Member 3

  1. Recent parliament session was a washout. Still why all MPs supported the Constitutional Amendment bill?
  2. OTT rise seen in Lockdown – How will it change nature of the entertainment industry in the long term?
  3. Few more questions, can’t recall

Member 4

  1. Abraham Accords? Is it helpful for India? Have we taken any steps to benefit from Abraham Accords? Any relevance for the situation in Afghanistan?
  2. During 2nd wave, Goa saw many deaths due to oxygen shortage. Why?
  3. Recent Defence Minister speech – Is employment generation an objective of Defence?
  4. S-400 deal – is it justified for India to ask for waiver from US? What would happen if US denied CAATSA waiver?


  1. Why Qatar imp in Afghanistan situation? Why Taliban HQ in Qatar, and not any other country?
  2. Rank the following parameters in descending order of priority, wrt their influence on shaping our foreign policy – Morals and Principles, Convenience, Domestic public discourse
  3. Give one example in recent foreign policy steps that prioritized Morals and principles

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