[UPSC Interview 2021] – Transcript #70 : M Sathyavathy Ma’am Board, Madhya Pradesh, PSIR  Optional, Writing film Hobby

Date of Interview: 12/04/2022 Forenoon. (6th / last to go)
Board: M Sathyavathy Ma’am
Optional: PSIR
Home State: Madhya Pradesh,
Background: B.Tech. IIST Avionics,
Work Ex: ISRO,
Hobby: Writing film critiques

Utility of Mocks: Gave 2 mocks with ex-bureaucrats on the panel. Felt helpful in expressing views before such people.

Round table – Hexagonal sitting (Chair + 4 male members + Candidate opposite to chair). Asked to remove the face shield and keep it on your lap. I didn’t hear the last part and kept it on the table. Asked to keep ‘on your lap’. Sorry, Ma’am. Had to keep masks and gloves on, even members were wearing masks. (Note: Multiple questions in a point are follow-ups based on my answers to each part.)


  1. You studied at IIST. Any bond? How many years? How many years have you worked? Have you resigned?
  2. Which projects have you worked on? (I started saying 1,2,3… stopped). Where was it launched from? Where were others launched from? What is the geostationary/geosynchronous launch capability we are having? What is the payload weight?
  3. What’s your view on space privatization? Should India be doing that? Why no Elon Musk and Bezos in India?
  4. Why was Sriharikota chosen as the launchpad? Another reason? 3rd reason? 4th reason? What about the magnetic equator?
  5. Indicated to another member to take up. Member busy in himself. Looked up after others alerted that chair was pointing at him.

Member 1

  1. So you are from *district* and there is a famous falls there. What is the height of that falls? What’s special about that region? Types of rocks in the region?
  2. What lessons of leadership have you learnt from Lord Ramchandra from the epic Ramcharitmanas? (The closest connection for this question was the previous candidate’s name was Ramchandra.)
  3. Have you heard about World Heritage sites? Name sites from MP? Is Sanchi related to Rashtrapati Bhawan?
  4. How will you apply the lessons you learned in your degree in Avionics to Civil services, say IPS? Any use?
  5. When are we launching the Human Space mission? Will we be able to launch?
  6. What is the work culture at ISRO for a young Engineer like you? Whether you are encouraged to do new things or have to follow what comes from the top?

Member 2

  1. So your hobby is writing film critiques? Last critique you wrote, what did you write and which famous magazine or newspaper it was published in?
  2. You were in South India. Which is the last south Indian movie you have watched? (Started telling what the film was about..) No, we don’t want to listen to the whole story.. (All members started laughing)
  3. Have you noticed any cultural differences between North Indian films and South Indian films? (Member was probably from South India and gave a long monologue about how people from South India are much more enthusiastic about watching films and many great South Indian film stars have become national leaders.)

Member 3

  1. The defence and Space sector has a lot of overlap. For a long time, our space sector has suffered due to this technology being dual-use technology. What is the situation now? Any changes?
  2. How can space assets be used for defence purposes? (Indicated to the Chair that he is done.)

Member 4

  1. So with your knowledge of Avionics, tell me in extremely layman’s terms how an aircraft flies? (I started with… Sir, Bernoulli’s principle..) I don’t know any Bernoulli’s principle. Very simple. (I started talking about thrust, and M4 again made an unhappy face as if not to use words like thrust also. I said how air moves below and above the wing creating lift. Unconvinced. I was using my hands to show how it works and other members were looking with amusement.)
  2. Civilian honours? Highest? Next? Next? Next? Name some people with honours… Keep naming… Named almost 7-8… M4 kept listening. I started naming slowly. Almost 10-11. Okay, next question.

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