‘Pratiyogita Darpan’ arranged an exclusive interview with Dr. Raj Kamal Yadav who has been selected in Civil Services Exam., 2012. He has achieved 21st rank. He deserves all admiration and our heartiest congratulations on his splendid success. This important, thought provoking and highly inspiring interview is being presented here in its original form.
“PD is a wonderful magazine; I have been reading it for a long time.”
—Dr. Raj Kamal Yadav
PD—Achieving top slot in the CS Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Raj—Thank you very much.
PD—Were you confident of your success in this examination and how did you react to this news ?
But for me other than all this when my senior Dr. Ujjwal Kumar got 24th rank with whom I used to study at college (infact used to pre¬pare together. He guided us all this time) made me confident that certainly even I can do it.
PD—Did change in Prelims pattern in 2011 became base for your decision to appear in Civil Services Examination or were you already preparing for it ?
Raj—No, the change has nothing to do with my decision to appear for this exam, but on the contrary it made me more confident that I can do much better in Paper-II. 1
PD—As the Preliminary Exa-mination is staged with the new pattern, how did you manage to face it and what different strategy did you adopt to prepare for the new- look Prelims ?
Raj—As I said before after the changed pattern I shifted my focus on Paper-II as in my personal opinion it is easier to score more in this area with a better efficiency and surety so I was heavily relying on it for getting above the desired cutoff.
PD—What was your approach towards Paper-I (General Studies) and Paper-II (Aptitude Test) during Prelims preparation ?
and this isn’t, if this has been the case only one subject takers will be in final list always. It all depends on how well you can write your optional that is all.
PD—Give the basis of selecting these optional subjects ?
Raj—Veterinary science was my graduation subject and I prepared it during that time itself so I was* confident in it. For Zoology a good portion of syllabus is overlapping with veterinary science and except two units rest everything is comple¬menting the veterinary science syllabus, so I think analyzing these two it was an informed decision to take these two as optionals.
PD—In how many attempts have you achieved this success ?
Raj—This was my first attempt.
PD—You must have read IAS Toppers’ interviews in newspapers/ magazines; what inspired you the most ?
Raj —Indeed success stories inspire you when you get to know about any successful candidates. You try to correlate your personality with his/her and when you find that they are no different, automatically you get a high dose surge of self-confidence which boosts your performance; so, everything is like a chain reaction here.
Raj—I was hoping that I will get my name in the final list but to find it at 21 place was like a dream comes true.
I was sleeping when one my senior called me to check the results but he was smart enough not to tell me the results rather he asked me to check it myself and then I was simply jumping and yelling around in the hostel, called my parents, went to temple, thanked God.
PD—What preference in services have you opted for ?
Raj—The IAS is at top, followed by IPS, IFS.
For prioritizing IAS at top, the idea was very simple I want to contribute my share directly for the betterment of the society and the nation.,
PD—What were your optional subjects ?
Raj—Optional Subjects :
1. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
PD—While making final choice for optional subject/s, what’s im¬portant and what’s not ?
Raj—Your understanding of the subject, the ease with which you think you can tackle even the weirdest of the question asked and finally the availability of material and don’t worry about what bogus propaganda says that this is a high scoring subject
Raj—GS requires a continuous effort, I was focusing more on core subjects like polity, economy, history, geography as they give a greater chance to score marks with surety.
But while comparing both the Papers-I was biased towards Paper-II.
PD—How did you manage to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims ?
Raj—First go for the questions you are sure about, just have a quick estimate how much you are scoring then check out the one you are doubtful about see your marking is a big game changer and the kind of answers UPSC asks you to pick is just adding another difficulty step to clear it confidence is the only way and don’t be tempted by the fact to score more marks; always remember it’s just a qualifying exam and your aim is to qualify that’s all.
PD—The first step is the most difficult; from where did you get the right advice ?
Raj—I think I was lucky to have guidance of my seniors who were already in services and cracked this exam with flying colours along with all others with whom I was preparing in the group.
More over there is a lot of infor-mation on internet now a days. You just have to find a genuine source (like iaspassion.com and many others)
Name—Dr. Raj Kamal Yadav Father’s Name-Shri Kamal Kishore Yadav
Mother’s Name—Smt. Sarla Yadav Age—26 years.
10th—2001, CBSE, Uttar Pradesh Sainik School, Lucknow
12th—2003, CBSE, Uttar Pradesh Sainik School, Lucknow
B.V.Sc. &A.H.—2011, TANUVAS, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai M.V.Sc. (Surgery)—2012, IVRI, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly.
PD—What shift did you adopt in y ?ur strategy for Mains (Written) ?
Raj—Nothing much actually just focussed a bit more on GS and revised my optional.
I was maintaining a universal applicable kind of notebook where in I used to make note of things which can be used anywhere in any answer with slight modifications.
PD—Was there any special effort for effective preparation for Essay Paper ?
Raj—No I was just following The Hindu and made points out of it to use as a readymade fodder in essay writing.
The topic I picked up was the one about PPP (Public Private Partner¬ship)
The issue has been in news for a very long time, I was having a good amount of information about the way PPP works, lot of examples and finally the theme was to stand for or against the PPP model.
I used to believe in the model so I was confident I can justify my stand. That’s why I decided to write upon it.
PD—’Time Management’ is a key factor; how did you manage things ?
Raj—Yes, indeed it is.
For me every part of my preparation was along with my course curriculum so my timings were well divided. I was having a fixed schedule of dealing with things topic wise and I made sure that I should stick to my schedule.
PD—How did you prepare your¬self for Interview ?
Raj—I started working on my profile long back but when interview date was scheduled I just revised everything. I was one lucky person to have my friends and brother who bombarded me with so many diverse questions and analysed my perfor¬mance to the best of their abilities and gave me a realistic review of my performance. I am so thankful to them.
My interview was on March 13 2013, and I was interviewed by Lt. Gen. Reddy sir’s board.
I was asked about my school, why got attracted towards Civil Services, about my optional subject, about my hobby football, my home state—U.P., neighbouring country Nepal, my district Firozabad and some hypothetical questions.
PD—Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e., Career in Civil Services ?
Raj—I am already a professional veterinary surgeon, so career back up was not an issue for me.
PD—While the changing eco¬nomic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Civil Services ?
Raj—My commitment to con¬tribute my share for the betterment of society and the Nation as a whole. It is the best platform from where I can give voice to my vision.
PD—In your opinion at which Educational Level should one start preparing for Civil Services and what should be the minimum period of time required to prepare for Civil Services Examinations ?
Raj—It depends on the indivi¬dual as to at what level he/she decides to get in this game of preparation for civil services. I will only say that it’s never late to fix these services as your aim.
For preparing I think a serious whole hearted effort of 12-15 months is enough to make you a strong contender for selection.
PD—What is your opinion regarding the general view that Science subjects have better chance to score than Humanities ?
Raj—I don’t think there is any¬thing like that but yes results for past few years do indicate towards this belief but in that case if you will analyze the selections for a long time, your opinion will be different.
PD—What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like CSE ?
Raj—I don’t think it matters that much. So many selections in final list of 2012 from Hindi medium has proved it.
What actually matters is the proficiency with the language for that matter it could be any language.
PD—Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Civil Services ?
Raj—It had been there, in my mind for a very long time tracing back the exact moment of genesis is little difficult for me.
Favourite Person—Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
Strong Point—I find it very diffi¬cult to let go things I am committed to and I take things little cool no matter whatever they are.
Weak Point—Everybody has some flaws as nobody is perfect, but I always make sure that whenever some weakness or flaw has been pointed out, I tried my best to correct it.
Football is my passion.
Reading science fiction and factual writings.
I am an serious addict of Holly¬wood television series.
PD—Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in ‘Civil Services’ ?
Raj—I was having this aim in my mind for a very long time, but I started making serious efforts from 4th year of graduation (B.V.Sc & A.H).
PD—Was CSE a planned de¬cision or your parent’s wish ?
Raj—Partially, as the importance of an IAS officer in the society and in the making of the nation was brilliantly explained, on more than one occasion by my father. This certainly helped me to visualize my aim at that age.
PD—Does the educational,
financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation ?
Raj—I don’t think so, it’s all about dedication and commitment. I do believe that a man is made out of his circumstances but they just help in giving the firing motivation required to excel and family situation does’t matter here.
PD—In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing for an examination like Civil Services ?
List of Books/Magazines
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
• My college notes.
• Booklist is exhaustive and I almost got everything compiled in college itself.
• Left over topics were covered from websites and notes which my seniors already had.
• This is a very specialized subject and people who will be taking it as an optional will be professional students of this subjects so things will not be that much difficult to them, but still if this has to be an optional one need to prepare it in graduation itself or else the volu¬minous syllabus is very difficult to cover.
• Please do not commit a mistake of omitting strange single word topics ! because UPSC is asking lot of questions from unconventional areas of syllabus.
• Kotpal (vertebrates and inver-tebrates)
• Armugam (vertebrates and inver-tebrates).
• Genetics, Ecology, Molecular Biology from P. S. Verma
• Evolution from Armugam and Beer Bala Rastogi.
• Animal Behaviour—Reena Mathur.
• Some coaching note from Delhi, (for Economic Zoology and Instru-mentation)
• Notes from my seniors.
Raj—Things are very much com-piled and condensed in Competition Magazines, so they help to save the time for sure. Besides that, they provide many useful stuff expert articles, analysis of exams and certain trends and many more.
PD—How do you find Prati- yogita Darpan ? Do you find it close to your expectations ?
Raj—It’s a wonderful magazine. I have been reading it for a very long time. Whenever I used to read any interview in there I used to drearr. thanks to God I am talking about my dream here for others.
PD—As a reader of PD, do you read IAS Preparation related articles written by Atul Kapoor and did you find these constructive ?
Raj—Yes, I do; they are just awesome and that is why I know him I believe.
PD—Please give your comments on the PD Extra Issues Series on ‘General Studies’ and a few Optional Subjects ?
Raj—These extra issues are bril¬liant initiatives. I have read Economy series and a part of Geography too. I will only say, I love them.
PD—What is the secret of your success ?
Raj—Blessings of my parents, Full support and grace of Hanuman Ji, belief of my brother, my friends and family and my teachers.
Other than that I think I was lucky to have proper guidance of my seniors and at the last the fire which was created by comments of many people on my other failures of life.
PD—To whom would you like to give the credit for your success ?
, Raj—There is a long list and I am taking liberty to write all names I want to thank my father (Shri Kamal Kishore Yadav), mother (Smt. Sarla Yadav), Hanuman Ji nothing was possible without him, my brother (Navneet), my cousins (Vandana, Anuradha, Nidhi, Mayank, Aman); my friends Sac, Surendra, Swati, Indu, my teachers and the most my seniors Dr. Ujjwal Kumar and Dr. P. Babu.
PD—Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.
Raj—Believe in yourself “when others can do it, I can do it, then for sure even you can do it”.
Believe in God. He always rewards the hard work so stay focus¬sed and prepare hard and smart.
PD—Thank You very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.