[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #219 : Manoj Soni Board, Mathematics Optional

Date of Interview: 5th may, forenoon session
Board: Manoj Soni
Background: IIT Delhi (Textile Technology), 2019
Optional: Mathematics
Hobbies: Music(singing, playing guitar,harmonica), Vipassana meditation, Street play(POR: director of institute street play team), NSS volunteering

Experience in interview: board was cordial

mask was compulsory while face shield was optional


  1. What do you know about…?(expecting the spiritual point of view), follow up questions on philosophy of buddhism.
  2. Didn’t you go for the college placements?
  3. You are graduated from IIT Delhi. How and when did you decide choosing civil services?
  4. did you get training for singing? do you sing bollywood songs?
  5. Mention any government policy after independence which you think was not good for India.(my answer: national population policy with coercive measures including forced sterilisation)
  6. Give 5 solutions in brief to control population.
  7. Do you think India is a patriarchal society?

Member 1

  1. some questions on women empowerment, women education(in context of population control), women as decision makers
  2. why is that the female contraceptives are more prevalent in india than the contraceptives for males?
  3. questions on patriarchy, how financial independence alone is not enough for changing patriarchal mindset.
  4. mention some places where you had performed street play, asked about the themes of all those street plays.
  5. problems of orphans in india?(one of the themes of the street plays I had performed)
  6. asked about rendezvous (annual fest of IIT delhi)

Member 2

  1. How would you teach me vipassana meditation if I am a beginner? Tell me about the procedure
  2. Where did you attend the 10 days vipassana retreat?
  3. asked about the WHO claiming more deaths in India than the official figures, how far do you think is this true? WHO’s figures are how many times the India’s official figures on death?
  4. The figures were intentionally shown wrong by the state government or is there any discrepancy in the data collection and identifying the cause of deaths. what do you think?
  5. asked about the national association of blind where I had worked, what were the activities in which I had participated?
  6. asked the name of the student for whom i had written the exam as a scribe.

Member 3

  1. some technical questions on textile technology ( screen printing, dispatch printing, etc)
  2. You said you got interest in humanities subjects during college days, why did you choose mathematics as an optional then?
  3. you play harmonica too. what is that slide button on the side of the harmonica? How does it work?
  4. when did street plays get prominence in India?
  5. Name the most famous personality of street plays in India?
  6. Tell me something about tripura?

Member 4

  1. Who was the leader of the East Pakistan liberation war 1971, what were the causes?
  2. asked about Indus water treaty.
  3. what is the capital of manipur?
  4. what is Imphal’s significance in the freedom movement? (battle of imphal)
  5. Did INA win or lose against British Indian army?, what were the causes that it couldn’t proceed further?

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