[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #182 : Smita Nagraj Board, Sociology Optional, Trekking, Camping Hobbies

Date of Interview: 2nd May, Forenoon
Board: Smita Nagraj
Optional: Sociology
Background: IIT Roorkee
Hobbies: Fingerstyle Guitar, Trekking and Camping


I was the third person to go. The waiting room had a very informal and comforting vibe, with snacks, newspaper and other stuff. We were provided with Masks, Face shields and gloves- but the person assigned to call for our board asked us to only wear the mask (probably instruction by the Board, as some were asking candidates to wear everything). I was called and asked to wait outside the room until board calls me in.

Chairperson  Asked me to remove my mask.

  1. You’ve studied from a reputed college, why Indian colleges and universities do not rank good in International rankings- what are the criteria we lack upon?
  2. Rank Roorkee amongst other IITs
  3. (I told the NIRF Ranking- she said but why is it still called the best- I talked about the culture amongst Students and professors in Roorkee)
  4. Do you think hierarchy is necessary or not in Institutions?
  5. (I understood as hierarchy amongst different Institutions- IITs and others and gave answer as per this- she corrected that hierarchy amongst the college, student faculties etc.)
  6. Will you ever disobey order above from hierarchy?
  7. Which is more important- authority or rule of law?
  8. (Went with rule of law- she added that law can be confusing and unclear at times- Give examples)
  9. Confusion in Jahangirpuri Demolition? Why stay by Court if rule of law followed?
  10. Which treks did you went on? Did you went solo or as part of a group?

Member 1

  1. You took a quantum jump from Civil Engineering to Sociology, why so?
  2. So you took a shortcut I will say.
  3. (I disagreed that it was more of a strategic decision)
  4. Andre Beteille and his contribution.
  5. Utility of Andre Beteille as village coordinator at Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (DAF)

Member 2

  1. Asked when I participated in NCC? Any certification at NCC?
  2. Trekking- What were the number of participants in your treks?
  3. Difficulties as a trek leader- asked for an example
  4. What if a member is injured in a trek- what will you do as a trek leader?
  5. How technology can be used in such situations?
  6. Asked about some Joint (civil Engineering- couldn’t answer)
  7. You are XI Jinping- what would be your priorities in today’s Global scenario

Member 3

  1. Do you think Print media and electronic media pose a threat to National security?
  2. How major is the problem of Fake news?
  3. How to tackle it?

Member 4

  1. What is Eco-Oscar?
  2. (I said I don’t know)
  3. Asked me about causes of Pollution in Delhi
  4. (As I answered- he said Eco-Oscar was recently awarded to a boy who provided solution for Stubble Burning)
  5. What is White Revolution?
  6. Who was V Kurien?
  7. Status of Milk production in India.
  8. (He asked me exact data- I didn’t remember)
  9. How to increase the productivity of Cattles?
  10. What is artificial Insemination?
  11. (I wandered and talked about IVF- he corrected)

— Interview Over–

Overall good experience, the whole process was very comfortable. I believe I could’ve answered some questions in a better way, hope my Marks disagree 😛



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