[UPSC Interview 2020] – Transcript #88 : Sathiyavathy Ma’am Board, PSIR Optional, surfing defence forums online Hobby

Date of Interview: 24th August
Board: Sathiyavathy Ma’am
Background: B.Tech, M.Tech – Aerospace engineering, IIT Bombay
Optional: PSIR
Hobbies: Following indigenous defence project development, surfing defence forums online
M.Tech project: Elephant herd optimisation
Internships: CMU, USA – Robotics (autonomous navigation of MAVs); DRDO – Camera calibration, Appreciation letter for publishing research paper; ISRO – In orbit rendezvous of satellites


  1. So you did M Tech too? (Told it was Dual degree)
  2. Tell me difference between Geo stationary and geo synchronous orbits
  3. What is LEO, polar orbit?
  4. Have you followed the problems regarding new Max aircrafts of Boeing?
  5. Is the aircraft grounded right now? What are the specific issues?

Member 1

  1. What was your project in college?
  2.  How can you use Elephant herd optimisation in aerospace?
  3. It’s not very related to core aerospace, whose idea was it?
    Forgetting a couple of other questions

Member 2

  1. So you follow indigenous defence projects, tell me 2 good and 2 bad projects
  2. Tell me where DRDO is good at and where it is bad, mention products if possible
  3. So Government wants to bring privatisation and reduce HAL, what are your views?
  4. What reforms do you propose in HAL?
  5. Private industry or HAL, what will you choose?

Member 3

  1. Don’t you think coaching institutes reduce critical thinking ability of students?
  2. Tell me such institutes in Delhi? Who has largest capital?
  3. You took coaching for your interview? Which ones?
  4. With Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan, do you think India has lost its assets in Afghanistan?
  5. Do you think privatisation of space is good?
  6. Can there be cooperation between Indian and US companies?
  7. What are security concerns regarding private companies developing such critical technology?
  8. What are security issues regarding AI in defence?

Member 4

  1. Tell me difference between LWE, terrorism, militancy and insurgency
  2. What will be your approach to deal with these?
  3. What are sleeper cells?
  4. Is it hard to catch such cells? Do they know their ultimate boss?
  5. What are the motivations for such sleeper cells?
  6. Do you think India can achieve $5 trillion goal given it is currently $2.8 trillion?
  7. Can schemes like Aatmanirbhar Bharat really help achieve such target?

Chairman: Thank you
Mam: Your interview is over. (Smiling) Thank you.
Around 35 minutes

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