[UPSC Interview Transcript #97]: Sathiyavathy Borad, Bihar Home State, Electrical Optional

Date of Interview: 24-02-2020
Board: Satyawati Ma’am
Hobbies: Macrame; Learning Kathak
Social Service Activities under NSS
Optional : Electrical
Home State: Bihar


Showed my photo. Is that you ?
Went through my DAF and members kept taking note of it
She Couldn’t pronounce Schlumberger [Previous Job]. So I helped her there.
Then she asked what is this Macrame?
Me: It is an art of making articles by tying knots . One can make pots plant hangers wall hangins.
[They were not getting it.] SO I said you must have seen friendhsip band . So that’s the most basic square knot. Also Ma’am I learnt while interacting with lady security officer outside that she also makes articles.
[Chairman didn’t get it . SO tohers explained it to her and then all laughed]’
You were earning so much and all. U will get half etc. SO why do you want to join Civil Services?
Me: Due to difficult economic situations I had faced during my chidhood monetary purpose was the primary goal. Howevr when I got into high paying job I found that there was a lack of purpose within
Me. Civil Services; on the other hand; seemed like a career which both stable and challenging ; providing a platfoorm to create great impact on public thru govt functioning How did you come to know about Civil Services ?
Me: Ma’am being born in Bihar this is a common thing around. [All laughed] However I was not inclined intially and only during by job after interacting with colleagues I felt I can put my skills to better use in services
[And by saying skills to better use ; I landed in trouble ]
What are your skills that would make you a good administrator ?
Me: I am able to connect with people quickly ; which is requred for a civil servant. Two as I have worked in teams ; I have realised it takes a team to get things done.
Ohh with just these two you feel you can become a good adminsitrator ?
Me: Ma’am these came at the top of my mind now. If I were to add one more ; I would say I have problem solving bent of mine. I try not whining about problem but be part of solution So What will do as DC in Bhagalpur ? [place of birth]
Me: Nutrition and Health [Especially Arsenic issue]; Education : Elementry is good bu Higher Education nt good ; Allied activiites for farmers to check distress migration . But What Is Bhagalpur famous for ?
Me : Yes Ma’am Bhagalpuri Silk What is it called ?
Me: Tassar Silk Yes Ma’am that can also be capitalised on. It has unique property that Silk worms are not killed when making silk.
What would you call such a silk /
Me: Non Violent Silk
Ma’am : Ahimsa Silk
Where do they get the cocoon from ?
Me: Ma’am now a days there are supplies from other states ;[She kept saying no no no ] . And
Ma’am earlier and even now some procure cocon from Adivasis

Member 1

So you have done electrical engineering . Was it because of external force or you own choice ?
Me: Sir I didn’t have much exposure then so I followed what my parents and sister advised. So you chose electrical ?
Me : Sir actually I had got chemical engineering. But since I had good grades in first year ; I could switch to electrical
Have you heard of Synchronous Motor ? Tell me about it. [Also dunno why he said; its okay if you don’t remember as you woud have read long back ]
Me : Explained it
But why is it called synchronous ?
Me: Works on single speed
Asked about how to maintain voltage profile ?
Me: Synchronous Condense ; capacitor banks ; thyrisotr controlled Capacitor Banksand Reactors Have you heard of Thyristor or IGBT? Can you use that also to maintain voltage profile
[Then I realised he didn’t listen to my answer earlier or I am talking too fast as I ahd already mentioned it]
Me: Yes Sir itcan be used
We see service motive in you blah blah ; What do you think are 5 essential qualities of a Civil Servant ?
Me : problem Solver Solving an issue at hand with whatever resources at hand
Integrity Ability to connect with people ; can say empathy
Objectivity ; taking decisions based on facts and not personal biases
Political Neutrality So you say integrity ty ; but there is general idea that corruption breeds efficiency. Businessman pay brobe to get things done. Don’t you think we should moderate Integrity ?
Me : No Sir ; I don’t think we should moderate integrity. [Quoted some example of how I didn’t bribe for passport and still got it done by complaining to appropriate authority. Had I bribed I would have put my self on slippery slope and always vulnerable to corruption]

Member 2

What is the relation between development and democracy ?
Me: Sir; there is two way relationship between development and democracy. When grassroot democracy is strengthened ; like Panchayats development will take place because being at local level they understand local issues better. Similarly; when women were politically empowered through reservtion ; for eg in Bihar 50% reservation was provided ; we saw women participating in large
numbers in grassroot democracy. But developed people don’t participate in democracy. They rarely vote . Only people from Slums vote.
Me: yes Sir ; it has been seen that educated people come out in lower numbers to vote. It comes from their perception that voting will not change anything. It also shows their indifferent attitude towards the importance of voting as a civic duty and the change they can bring by excercising this power. Have you been reading newspapers last few weeks ?
Me: yes Sir
What is the total food grain production of India ?
Me: Sir; I have been reading about Wheat production lately in newspapers ; which is around 145 million tonnes.I am not aware of entire food grain production
Ohh So we produce only wheat is it ? [Looked at chairman and gave a smirk ]
Me: Sorry Sir I don’t know

Member 3

So you mentioned about Women Empowerment. What are the two things you would like to work on as a DC ?
Me : Ma’am one nutrition and health and two family planning ; ensuring basic resproductive rights Okay so tell me two steps you would take in these areas ?
Me : Ma’am for nutrition in kids we have Mid Day Meal…… Wait; Mid day meal is for school kids. Lets restrict ourselves to Women.
Me : Ma’am So we can strengthen mid day meal for Girl Child.[Lady member gave a smirk as I again started with Mid day Meal. Said something about SMS advisories to women about iron pills as many  women are anaemic . Also mentioned about Post partum haemorrage being one of the major reasons for Maternal mortality in Bihar ; so procuring equipment for that. This was the weakest point in my interview. I fumble a lot here . Said sorry while fumbling ; kept looking down]
Okay; So what two steps will you take for family planning ?
Me : Sensitizing Women about family planning. We can use children for same Eg in a village in Orissa Children were trained by administration to campaign against Child Marriage and this helped in reducing child marriage. So something on these lines can be tried. Second ; I would also involve Men because they also need to understand the importance of ensuring reproductive rights fr Women. Eg In Maharastra there was Ghar dogache Abhiyan where Men were
mobilised to ensure properties are registered in name of Women. [actually it was joint registration of property ; made a mistake here]
But what you are suggesting will take a long time for success /
Me : Yes Ma’am it will take long time. Like in NSS when we used to campaign about Family plannign to women; they used to listen to us but when any male member would come they would just go in. After multiple trips we could ensure that some of them started taking contraceptives.
So have you heard about Me too Movement .. Blah Blah What is it ? What do you think of it ? Was it succesful ?
Me : Me too was a movment where women came out to talk about the sexual assault they faced on Social Media. It did lead to stepping down of some powerful personalities and some convictions as well. However it puts a larger question on Criminal Justice System. Why did these Women not come out earlier ? Why is there lack of trust ?..further Movment was not gender inclusive ; there is
no mechanism to verify if the allegations are correct. Also it didn’t include women frm lower strata. So on these fronts movement was not successful.
[had discussed this with Prashant Sir while waiting for interview. So answered it cofidently. Member seemed satisfied]

Member 4

So there is this principle of deterrence that eye for an eye and tooth for tooth. Have you heard of Bhagalpur Blindings case. Do you think it was correct ?
Me : No Sir I don’t think it was correct as it perpetrates violence in soceity; that violence can be used to provide instant justice. However ; it also needs to be seen that it was failure of adminstration to punish crime that people supported such a violent act in such large number What is Dynamo ? What does it do in car ?
Me : Sir Not aware of it You should know this you are from electrical engineering ?
Me : Sorry Sir It charges battery in car [All laughed that I didn’t know this ]
So have you heard of AIBP programme ?
Me : Yes Sir Accelerated Integrated Benefits Programme [He corrected that it is irrigation not integrated ]
So as a DC what would you do to ensure this programme is implemented effectively ? [Question was longer than this ….and I got lost; So I aksed again Sir what is my position again. He said you are
Me : Sir ; in Irrigation projects the biggest problem is convicing villagers to give their land. So explaining benefits of project to them will be first step. Second I would try to converge MNREGA in creating assets. Third ; My father once told me that while planning a project the places they decided for laying structures ; villagers already had some structure made at those places. So ; basically using
traditional knowledge of villagers. Okay Okay ; So have you heard of Food for work programme ?
Me : No Sir,You have worked in Thane and this programme was started in Thane; after which NREGA was started ; that’s why I am asking you this ?
Me : No Sir Sorry I am not aware So What was Chauri Chaura incident ?
Me : Chauri Chaura Sir was an attack by people on police station . [Before I could finish my answer; Chairman started tapping pencil. Member 4 said I was just checking if you knw this as yu are from Electrical background and I dint expect you to know this.]

Chairman : Smiled and said Thank you
Me : Bowed and said Thank you . Was totally perplexed after interview; didn’t relaise it was over.
Overall cordial board. Picked up questions from my answers. Some lows and some highs. Two
members [One sir and one lady member] were little strict .

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