[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #148 : Smita Nagraj Board, Geography Optional, Cricket, Pet Caring, Calligraphy Hobbies

Date of Interview: 26th April, Afternoon
Board: Smita Nagraj
Optional: Geography
Background: BITS Pilani
Hobbies: Cricket, Pet Caring, Calligraphy
Last to enter: 100% DAF based


  1. It’s pretty late, you had lunch right? Do you want something to eat?
  2. You are from BITS, why is BITS producing so many entrepreneurs?
  3. Based on answer given: Negative fall outs of the same?
  4. IIT, NIT and BITS are producing engineers who don’t want to work in the core sectors, what do think is the reason?

Member 1

  1. A person from BITS was involved in active covid vaccine development, do you know him?
  2. Why are people going out of country to pursue higher education?
  3. Why do people choose North America rather than Nordic countries and Germany/France?
  4. Why do you want to move away from civil engineering to civil services and what is your preference?

Member 2

  1. You talked about education and higher education, if you’re posted in the department of education, what steps will you take to increase GER, under NEP 2020
  2. What’s your take on education in regional languages?
  3. There’s education and then there is skill based education, do you think skill based education is necessary?
  4. How can we develop skill based education?

Member 3

  1. Why is Chhattisgarh lagging behind in terms of development?
  2. What is Chhattisgarh government doing for solving the naxal problem?
  3. What is the status of the naxal problem?
  4. What about tourism in Bastar?
  5. Which industries are located in Chhattisgarh?

Member 4

  1. What are problems occurring in urban areas today?
  2. How will you solve the transportation problems in the country?
  3. Based on answer given:

Do you think this option will be viable for people like high court judges?
After answer she let out a laugh and said nice idea but I don’t think this would be possible

  1. What to do about waste management in the country? Do you know about any models?
  2. What about slums? How do solve the problem?
  3. But slums are essential for us, they are important for our daily lives, what do think about this?

Your interview is over now. Thank you

Utility of mocks (if any)- in order in which I took

  1. IASBaba: excellent environment, improved sitting posture, confidence booster.

One on one with Mohan Sir: useful in terms of understanding psychology and needs of the interview.
DAF based questionnaire

  1. IASHub: didn’t find it of much use, instead found what not to do in mocks through some mistakes made. Would not recommend to anyone.
  2. Vision: DAF session and elocution useful but mocks not useful
  3. Samkalp: Excellent support system, although didn’t have a good mock experience but panels regular change so is subjective.
  4. Unacademy: Excellent mock experience, some questions in the interview directly.
  5. KSG: Khan Sir is, good mock experience, some questions directly in the real interview. Good confidence boosting experience.
  6. Best mock experience, one members line of questioning replicated in the interview. Highly recommended

One on one experience:

Go for Mrunal Sir, Vinay Sir(insights), Shabbir Sir- all three helpful at different levels

Overall post mains phase: loved the experience, talking to people of highest stature, being judged by best minds.

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