[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #31 : Smita Nagraj Ma’am Board, History Optional, reading, travelling Hobbies

Date of interview: 5/04/22 9:am forenoon session
Board: Smita Nagraj Ma’am
Optional: History
Background: civil engineering from DTU, MA in modern history from JNU
Hobbies: reading, travelling, numismatics

Your experience in interview-
No hi hello or questions on personal info,


  1. – why do you think about freebies
  2. -Should they be discontinued, or modified in any manner
  3. -Farmers and electricity
  4. – do freebies encourage individuals to not work, remain dependent on govt

Member 1

  1. – how can civil engineering (graduation subject) help in civil services.
  2. – issues behind time and cost overruns
  3. – insisted on giving practical and on ground problems faced(follow up) rather than theoretical/bookish issues in civil engineering
  4. – difference and similarities in crisis going on in Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Member 2

  1. – how can we keep the bureaucracy motivated?
  2. (A number of follow up questions on similar lines)
  3. Issues about bureaucracy, I
  4. Why the image is bad ?etc

Member 3

  1. Don’t remember specifically but questions related to application of civil engineering on problems in infrastructure
  2. Why India’s infra growth is shabby when compared to that of china.

Member 4

  1. Just asked about comparison between the response of indian and Canadian govt to protests in respective countries
  2. Reasons behind why Canada is considered liberal and India is considered authoritarian
  3. Were the measures used by Canada authoritarian or democratic ( follow up )
  4. Experience- no hi hello no chit chat no questions related to daf( apart from grad subj- civil Engineering)
  5. I felt the questions were really good, especially the ones related to infra and civil engineering. I wasn’t able to satisfy the demands with respect to practical issues, a point that was raised twice during the interview. Not unnecessary grilling if a person could answer these questions he/she would definitely make a really good addition to services.
  • Mocks- focussed majorly on daf, and I felt the interview was of a whole another level- they knew what they knew what they were looking for.

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