[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #173 : Smita Nagraj Board, PSIR Optional, Maharashtra Home State, Yoga Hobby

Date of Interview: 3rd March, forenoon, 5th to go
Board: Smita Nagraj ma’am
Optional: PSIR
Home State: Maharashtra, Marathwada
Hobbies: Yoga, meditation, playing harmonium


  1. Why didn’t you go for post graduation and instead preferred upsc preparation
  2. The world is becoming tech savvy then how will you be able to manage as you are from humanities background? (I said, I was an engineer for 2 years and then left it)
  3. How did you convince your father? (3 idiots movie Farhan scene reference – they all laughed😅)
  4. Caste violence and rivalry is more visible in Maharashtra. What do you think are the reasons?
  5. Do you think government is favouring the privileged community in this ( I SAID A BIG NO) ( I later realised this was indeed a googly bcoz she tried very hard to get any reply which would be criticising the govt but thankfully I didn’t)

Member 1

  1. Tell me the origin of yoga (DAF)
  2. Tell me the 8 sutras of ashtanga yoga (I told all)
  3. Then at which stage are you?
  4. Difference between Hindustan and carnatic music (DAF)
  5. How many notes are there? (DAF)
  6. Some famous musicians who have contributed for both? (DAF)
  7. What are these indian exercises? (DAF)
  8. Who started this mallakhamb?
  9. What do you play on harmonium? (DAF)

Member 2

  1. (Female – full grilling mode)
  2. You left engineering which shows that you run away from challenges. If you will get some post which you don’t like then you will leave it too?
  3. Tell me the types of martial arts? (Random)
  4. How will you convince Agniveers who are serving for just 3-4 years to serve in dangerous battlefields like galwan?

Member 3

  1. Onion price issue in Maharashtra
  2. Drought in Maharashtra reasons (DAF)
  3. Many districts in Rajasthan receive less rainfall than Marathwada then why drought conditions are severe in Marathwada? (DAF)
  4. Farmer suicides solutions (DAF)

Member 4

  1. What are FTAs
  2. Is India having trade with China a good thing?
  3. Should we be wary about annoying China? ( I said sir China will be annoyed anyway bcoz a thriving democracy in the neighborhood is a threat to its core existence as PPL of china might also demand democracy – he seemed to be impressed)
  4. Growing trade deficit with China what India is doing?
  5. Why countries are going for bilateral trade negotiations like FTAs and not for WTO led mechanism? ( Multilateralism on the decline was in the news)

Except the female member ( a bit grilling) everything went pretty smooth.

DAF – In my case more than 70% of the questions were directly or indirectly related to DAF ( I would say was lucky enough on this)

Mocks – KSG, Chahal (very good), Chanakya mandal, Vajirao and Reddy (very good)

In my case 70% was DAF & 20% were questions which got repeated from the mocks so the uncharted waters were like 10%

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