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UPSC Interview Transcript: BS Bassi Board, Inspector in Central Excise since last 5 Years

Name: TAR
Interview Date: 30.03.2017. Afternoon.
Interview Board: Mr. B.S.Bassi.
Background: B.Com. University Commerce College, Jaipur.
Employment: Inspector, Central Excise since the last 5 Years.
Domicile: Jaipur, Rajasthan. Working in Ahmedabad.
Hobbies: Playing & Watching Cricket, Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis & Blogging.
Optional: Literature of Sanskrit Language.
Service Preferences: IAS>IRS(IT)>IRS(C&CE).


Last one to be Interviewed. Turn came at around 5.15 PM, went on for 25-27 mins.


Chairman

  1. So you are the last one to be interviewed.

Yes Sir.

  1. Have you heard of “ek ke saath ek free”(one plus one free). Would you like if we ask you one question and consider your answer equivalent to that of two or you want more questions?

Yes sir I have heard of it. No Sir, l would prefer more questions.

  1. So you don’t want to go home early….so you want us to take FULL interview?

No Sir, I am in no hurry, I would like to have a FULL interview.

  1. Ok so you are working in Central Excise department..u think that the clout of excise officers will be gone after GST (laughingly)?

No Sir, I don’t think that the departmental officers will be at a loss, it’s a misconception due to the fact that 90% of below 1.5 cr units will go to state departments. But sir in the longer run GSt wud also lead to increase in the tax base which would be better for them as well.

  1. They say that GST will benefit…but you know that somebody’s gain comes at the cost of someone else’s loss…so who is at loss in GST?

Sir, I think GST is beneficial for everyone be it the governments, corporate or the customers.

  1. Please elaborate…take 15 seconds to collect your thoughts and then answer.

Sir, the corporate would gain because of EODB, Cascading effect gone, etc. The governments would gain due to robust IT platform and increase in tax base ultimately leading to an increase in Tax-GDP ratio.

  1. So u said that the customers will gain due to streamlining of taxes…or it would be decrease in the tax rates?

Sir I think that there would be streamlining of taxes basically….in the short term there could be increased inflation but in the longer term prices will decrease as well.

( it may seem fine, but I was really scared after these first round of Q&A. I was not able to answer with confidence and also was looking in a hurry due to being tensed. That is why was told by him to collect my thoughts and frame my answer for one question before speaking. Plus I could judge from his face that he was disinterested)


Member 1


  1. I don’t remember his 1st.(maybe was out of mind after chairman’s questions)
  2. So what do u think are the economic indicators of an economy?

Sir, I think FD, BOP, Inflation  etc  are the economic indicators of the economy.

(No counter questions asked, seemed to be really tired of interviewing)


Member 2


  1. What is the current status of NPA’s.?

The status is very bad mam. The Gross NPA’s are at 9.1%, Stressed Asstes at 12.2% and if we include the loans being evergreened by the banks it rises to more than 16%.

  1. What is the reason?

Mam, the reason is as the Economic Survey pointed out-Twin Deficit problem. Sorry Mam, Twin Balance Sheet problem. Mam, the corporate levered more in the times of high economic growth but due to factors such as global recession, high interest rates by RBI due to high inflationary pressures etc they could not pay the loans. While the banks due to the fear of being scrutinized did not write off the loans at the right time which has made this problem so huge.

  1. What is the exact figure of NPA’s?

Mam, it is around 7 lac crores.

  1. No its around 6.06 lac crores.

Mam I read it 4-5 days back only that it has risen to 7 lac crores.

  1. Ok, so it must have increased.
  2. What is the government and RBI doing?

Mam, apart from the last 2 years measures such as Indradhanush Plan, S4A etc, the government has envisaged PARA. Mam, as most of the stressed assets are owned by a few coporates so PARA would focus on the big defaulters and try to restructure those into equity and write-off.

  1. What do u know about the Finance Bill?

Mam, this time 40 amendments have been made. Mam, firstly the IT officers have been given the power to search and seizure without giving any reason even to the tribunals.

  1. That has been made in the IT Act. I am specifically asking about the Finance Bill that was presented in the lok sabha on 22nd

Mam, this is a part of the Finace bill only.

  1. Ok and what else?

Mam secondly AADHAAR is made mandatory for PAN. Thirdly, the cap on political funding by the corporate which was 7.5% earlier has been removed and they don’t have to show the name of the party in the P&L A/c to which they donated. Fourthly,….

  1. What about the merging of tribunals?

Yes Mam, this is also a contentious issue, For ex- the Airport tribunal is merged into TDSAT which people say would not be able to do justice to the work.

( I was able to answer all her questions with confidence and flow. And she was very responsive also..But as she was sitting ADJACENT to me on the right side, I couldn’t see the member sitting ADJACENT to me on the left side. The one time I looked at him, he was playing with an empty bottle)


Member 3


  1. What are ARC’s?

Asset Reconstruction companies.

  1. What have they traditionally been doing?

Sir, they buy bad loans of the banks and then try to extract as much as they can.

  1. What are the new changes…have u heard of them?

No sir.

  1. Why the need for PARA?

Sir firstly ARC’s are private whereas PARA would be public. Secondly, ARC’s buy loans indiscriminately whereas PARA would focus on the big defaulters.

  1. What new can it do?

Sir, private ARC’s are not able to do much as they are not willing to pay much for the loans and the banks are not willing to sell at a lower price..PARA might be able to solve that problem as it would have the help of the government as well.

  1. The new change in ARC’s is that they now would not necessarily have to buy at face value of a loan..anyways..(I didn’t understand what he was trying to say)
  2. Strategic Importance of the gulf region for India?

Sir the importance is on many fronts. Firstly, India sources the largest amount of crude oil from that region. Secondly, the security aspect of the Diaspora. Thirdly, the huge remmitances we get from that region.

  1. And the advantage for gulf from cooperating with us?

Sir, the global crude oil prices are at an all-time low due to the shale gas boom in the USA. So they need a place where they could invest to get better returns.

(He was quite satisfied with my answers….he was the one playing with the bottle, so I made sure that I look at each member while answering him).


Member 4


  1. What are the constituents of Parliament?

Sir, the parliament consists of the president, council of ministares…

  1. What about the two houses?

Sorry Sir, Yes them also.

  1. And what else?

Sir the Attorney General.

  1. What else.?

Sorry sir, I remember only this much.

  1. What is TRIPS?

Trade related Intellectual Property Rights.

  1. 6 lines question…he himself didn’t understand what he said…so asked on his own that did u understand the question?

No Sir. Can u please repeat that.

  1. TRIPS dispute on Pharma….?

Yes sir, I get that. Sir the issue is that the big pharma companies change a small portion of the drug and ask for patent to earn more money which the SC saw as evergreening of loans….

  1. What is the life of a patent?

Sorry Sir, I don’t know.

(I still didn’t know what was he trying to hear from me on the parliament question. But he was satisfied with my TRIPS answer)


Chairman:


  1. What qualities shud a Civil Servant have?

Sir, I think apart from the tradional qualities like honesty, integrity, transparency, compassion etc I think  civil servant shud be like a TREE..as a tree is always UPRIGHT, he should always be upright and not getting influenced by anything. Like tree gives more than what it takes, a civil servant shu be willing to payback more than what he gets. Thirdly, as the tree is FLEXIBLE which can be seen in its leaves being swayed by winf, a civil servant shud also be flexible. And lastly Sir, as the trees are getting destroyed by deforestation, the civil servant shudnt get destroyed by Corruption.

  1. Do u think that the cold war is still on?

Sir, during the cold war the world was divided into two poles…todays world is multipolar..it is driven by individual benefits…for example despite having border differences, India and China collaborate on the issues of economy and climate change etc..

  1. But don’t u think it is still visible many a times?

Yes sir, there are incidences that shows that the cold war psychology is not over yet. But sir I believe that every nation is now multipolar and thinks of its own interests. Sir USA and Russia may differ on many issues but they do collaborate on issues of their interests.

Thank you . Your Interview is over.


P.S.- No question asked on Hobbies, Optional subject, Graduation, jaipur, rajasthan, ahmedabad, service preferences etc.


All the Best!


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