[UPSC Interview 2020] – Transcript #66 : Manoj Soni Sir Board, Uttar Pradesh Home State, Mathematics Optional, Reading Books Hobby

Date of Interview: 23/08/2021
Board: Manoj Soni Sir
Background: B Tech Chemical Engg IIT B
Optional: Mathematics
Home City/State: Lucknow/UP
Hobbies: Reading non-fiction books esp. on international relations


  1. You’re from the City of Nawabs, do you also carry the attitude of Nawabs?
  2. You studied from ICSE school. How do you think it is different from CBSE or state board, from the experience of your friends?
  3. You also lived in Mumbai. Any life lesson you learnt in Mumbai?
  4. Did you learn Marathi? Did you try Marathi food? A short conversation on Parsi food from my answer
  5. Did you enjoy the city of Mumbai?
  6. What is the role of the youth, and not the govt, in making India a Vishwa Guru by 2047? [The Chairman here tried to unsettle me a bit]

Member 1

  1. Why the shift from Chemical Engg to civil services?
  2. What will be the impact of disruptive technologies?
  3. Impact of technology on bureaucracy in the next 15 yrs?
  4. What changes can we make to bureaucracy to better adapt?
  5. Which IR book you read recently. Tell me about it.
  6. Do you think decision of President Biden to withdraw from America is wrong or do they have something else in mind?
  7. How will the importance of West Asia change in the future?

Member 2

  1. Did you sit for campus placements?
  2. What is doctrine of lapse? How was it applied in case of Awadh?
  3. Impact of technology like digitisation on a poor country like India. List negative social and economic impacts.
  4. How is tech useful in the long term? How does tech lead to creation of new jobs? Would not driverless cars lead to joblessness?
  5. What are bad banks? Are we not rewarding inefficiency of banking system through them?
  6. Why was AMUL model of cooperatives not replicated in sectors other than dairy? Was it because in Amul govt had provided initial support?
  7. Have you heard of “bleed India by a thousand cuts”? What is it and why?

Member 3

  1. What are pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions?
  2. What is the use of referring Bills to Parliamentary Committees? Do they also fix accountability on the govt?
  3. Coming to Afghanistan, tell me short term impacts of takeover by Taliban on India.
  4. Now, tell me long term impacts.
  5. You mentioned China. Why is China involved in Afghanistan? What will they gain from a friendly Taliban?
  6. What should be India’s immediate priority in Afghanistan?
  7. Does the international community have a role in Afghanistan or are they helpless?
  8. But do you think sanctions are effective?
  9. If you are Perm Rep of India to UN, and UN is discussing whether to give humanitarian aid to Afg or impose sanctions on it, how will you address this issue?

Member 4

  1. Tell me the most important landmark of Lucknow. What is its speciality? Anything you remember about its roof?
  2. I think Residency is more famous. Your view? Which will be more famous internationally?
  3. PM mentioned energy independence for India by 2047. What does he mean?
  4. Based on the data you quoted, do you think we can even achieve independence?
  5. Since you mentioned tidal, let’s talk about oceans. How does climate change lead to acidification?
    [I could barely hear the last word, politely asked the member to repeat]
  6. What will be the impact of acidification?
  7. Our islands depend on sea water for drinking water. How will they be impacted from acidification?

Thank you. Your interview is over. Stay safe and have a pleasant evening!

Overall, the board was very cordial and polite. They were eager to have a conversation and not a cross-examination (just as mentioned in PT syllabus). Even though the board’s interviews that day were delayed, they did not rush and gave adequate time to answer. The questions were asked mostly from DAF.

P.S. Snacks were available generously! 😛
P.P.S. Stay calm and give your best!

(This transcript has been posted by a community member of ForumIAS)
Print Friendly and PDF