The Interview

The Candidate

M Anil Kumar Jaiswal is a young man of good height who looks smart and well-groomed in his well-tailored and perfectly fitting dark blue colour suit, light blue shirt, striped blue and white tie and shiny polished black high shoes. The high-heeled shoes adding to his height make him appear quite tall. He has a thick growth of black hair which he keeps somewhat long but it is well-combed and shampooed. He also sports a thin and properly trimmed
He also sports a thin and properly trimmed moustache and sideburns on his smooth shaven face. His firm steps, deliberate movements and Straight back radiate confidence on his part. He enjoys a smiling and warm disposition and his lively blue eyes indicate friendship and optimism. One is able to perceive in his general appearance the keenness and enthusiasm underlying his personality’. He is completely at ease in meeting, mixing and conversing with others, be they strangers or friends.
He shakes hands firmly with men and greets the ladies with a cordial ‘namaste’ while introducing himself. His jovial and carefree attitude is reflected when he heartily laughs enjoying the jokes cracked by others. When summoned for the interview, he takes leave of his friends in a cordial manner and walks briskly towards the interview room. Before walking into the room, he gendy knocks at the door and waits for a few seconds to conform to the etiquette and obtain the customary permission.

After entering the room, he gently closes the door and then proceeds towards the Chairman and Members of the Board seated behind a semi-circular desk. He comes to a sharp halt on nearing the chair meant for the candidate, clicks his heels to smart attention as taught in the NCC and greets the Board in a cheerful and audible voice.

Tips:When the time for your interview approaches, focus solely on your strong points, building up yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally, to that frame of mind that could impress upon the Interview Board with those qualities they look for in people who need to execute the policies of the Government. And they may look beyond the humdrum for such qualities as initiative and improvisation that prove assets in overcoming crises of extraordinary proportions.

The Interview

Jaiswal: Good morning to you all, Sirs.

Chairman: Good morning Mr. Jaiswal. Please take your seat. (He indicates the chair meant for the candidate.)

Jaiswal: Thank you, Sir. (He sits down on the chair and remains in attention position while seated. He stays erect, head held high and his back resting against the back-rest of the chair. His legs are crossed and feet pulled in. His hands are joined together and rest on his knees. Overall, he presents the appearance of being fully relaxed while remaining alive to his surroundings. He looks up to the Chairman and Members with interest and keenness awaiting their questions or further observations.)

Chairman: Are you a regular reader of newspapers and periodicals ? Which are your favourite ones ?

Jaiswal: My father subscribes to the The Hindu and I have become its regular
reader. Our neighbour subscribes to the Indian Express and we have an arrangement to exchange our papers. Thus I get the opportunity to glance through the Indian Express also. As for magazines, we buy Competition Success Review, India Today and The Outlook. We are also subscribers of the Reader’s Digest and Bhavan’s Journal. Occasionally, we buy other magazines. Of course, in the college library I have been going through the Time magazine and other foreign magazines.

Chairman: How deeply you go into these newspapers and periodicals ? Do you read all the news, articles, editorials and so on appearing in them ?

Jaiswal: Well, Sir, to be frank, I must say that I do not read all the news, articles, editorials, etc. For one thing, I do not get that much of time. Secondly, I do not find them all very interesting or appealing. Generally, I glance through the headlines and topic headings and if something appeals to me then I go through it in depth.

Chairman: Can you mention some topics or news which generally are of interest to you and which you are tempted to read fully ?

Jaiswal: (With a smile) It all depends, Sir, as to what are the relevant topics or news of the day. By and large, I glance through the headlines, the editorials, the special articles in the centre page and the sports news. Recently, nothing has made people think globally more than North Korea’s brandishing of its nuclear deterrent over the last many weeks. Actually North Korea has been doing so just to consolidate Kim II Un’s ascent to power in Pyongyang. As we know very well that Seoul is situated just 40 km South of the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas, North Korea’s recent pronouncements have generated a violent reaction in South Korea. Since the end of the Korean War in 1953,South Korea has an alliance relationship with the United States and it has been anathema to the Kim dynasty. If we delve deep, we will find that there is method in Pyongyang’s unscrupulous behaviour relating to its flourishing nuclear deterrent. It was one of the earliest objects of nuclear terror by the US. This took place during the Korean War (1950-53). China had forced the American troops to retreat after reaching the Yalu river. Then a planning exercise was undertaken by the US in Japan to launch a nuclear strike against North Korea in the event of certain scenarios. Various exercises simulated the activities involved in a nuclear attack like weapons assembly, loading onto aircraft, and ground control of air sorties. It is not therefore surprising that Pyongyang was driven mad by the US over flights by B-52 and B-2 bombers over the Korean peninsula, since they evoked memories of past intimidation.

Chairman: Do you think that South Korea has prepared itself for any unpredictable action of North Korea ?

Jaiswal: Yes Sir. In this surcharged atmosphere, an influential South Korean leader, Mr. M.J. Chung has expressed the opinion that South Korea should follow the India-Pakistan example or the case of Israel. In case it has to face extraordinary threat to national security,South Korea should exercise the right to withdraw from Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as stipulated in Article 10 of NPT. Then, South Korea would match North Korea’s nuclear progress step by step while committing to stop, if North Korea stops. Mr. Chung expressed this view in Washington during the annual conference of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which is attended by mediapersons, scholars and practitioners from across the globe. It is pertinent to mention here that the basic theme of such conferences is nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. In fact, advancing the cause of proliferation by South Korea and its entry into Nuclear Club took everybody by surprise. The US, however, strongly disapproved any idea of South Korea going nuclear.

First Member: An expert has suggested that since most Indian States share an international boundary, they need to be engaged and consulted on external affairs that affect them. What is your view in this regard ?

Jaiswal: Sir, to my mind the expert referred to by you is correct, because except a few States like Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, all Indian States share borders with some country or the other or win the international waters of the sea. In view of this fact, they have interests or issues that may intersect with the foreign and security policies of the country. For example, hue and cry about the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu has generated a lot of alarm in New Delhi, because of the manner in which political issues in a State have begun impinging on India’s foreign and security policies. The withdrawal of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) from the United Progressive Alliance government could be seen as being part of the rough and tumble of coalition politics. The DMK or All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) which has joined the fray are only a more extreme manifestation of a trend we have been witnessing recently in India where coalition constituents and States are bringing foreign and security issues to the bargaining table. One instance of this “State-first” approach took place when West Bengal Chief Minister and then, UPA coalition partner, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, opposed the river waters agreement with Bangladesh. In September 2011, on the eve of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka, the Union Government was compelled to call off the signing of a pact that could have ratified a formula

for sharing the waters of the Teesta with Bangladesh. Similarly, in Gujarat, the boundary between India and Pakistan on Sir Creek remains disputed and as a result, the maritime boundary between the two countries has yet to be finalised. In a letter to the PM, Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi wrote that not only should India not hand over the Creek to Pakistan, it should stop any dialogue with Islamabad on the issue.
First Member: Do you agree with the expert that the States should be consulted before taking decisions relating to foreign policy ?
Jaiswal: Of course, Sir. Of late, we have seen how the politics of Kerala has impinged on a foreign affairs issue relating to two Italian marines. Then, there is the example of Jammu and Kashmir which still complains about the insignificant importance it got on the matter of river waters when the Union Government signed the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan. So far as waters are concerned, the Chief Ministers of Bihar and Assam also have important issues that encroach on our relations with Nepal and China, respectively.
Comments: The candidate has an excellent grasp over this very complex and critical problem. He approaches the problem in an objective manner, analysing the developments factually, logically and rationally. He views the various issues in their correct perspective and draws valid conclusions. He is able to think clearly and decide dispassionately.. His answer shows that he is bold and willing to take risks. He can grapple with complex situations with competence in a constructive manner.
Second Member: The extremist violence is reported every now and then from many parts of the country. Whatever steps taken by the authorities so far have failed to resolve the problem. How do you think we can overcome this grave threat to our national unity ?
Jaiswal: Though violence in India is often foreign sponsored, there is not any one factor that can be held responsible for every act of violence. Language, religion, caste and such divisive factors militate against the unity and integrity’ of the nation. The longer we have linguistic States, the stronger will grow the separatist attitude. We should, therefore, revert to the earlier pattern of multilingual, multireligious and multi-caste States. Secondly, backwardness, ignorance, poverty, unemployment, exploitation and such social and economic factors lead to such agitations. Priority should be given to tackle them rather than wasting our energy and resources on such issues like prohibition, cow protection, propagation of Hindi and so on. In fact, the English language has served as a major unifying factor and we should not be in a hurry to get rid of it. By using the mass media we should educate our people to overcome their caste, communal and religious narrow-mindedness. I will also recommend that law and order and education should be made Central subjects. It will help in the unification of the country. Further, we should stop tampering with the Civil Services, Judiciary and the police. Another drastic measure is the switch over to the presidential system of government. Otherwise, when and if things go out of control, authoritarianism may replace democracy as had happened in many. other countries.
Third Member: What you are suggesting goes completely against increasing of State autonomy. Don’t you feel that we can have a strong Centre only when the States are also strong and powerful ?
Jaiswal: To my mind, Sir, the time is not ripe to have strong and powerful States in our country today. I had already explained that we can consider devolution of greater autonomy to the States only when we have multilingual States as we had during the British rule in India. The cry for ‘sons of the soil’ orientation in each State will disappear as soon as we have multilingual States. Another important factor to which we must pay attention relates to further decentralisation of powers from the States or State capitals to districts, municipalities, panchayats and so on. Thus, actual bulk of the local problems should be solved locally by the population inhabiting the area. They should be involved in all aspects of the administration of the locality, its development and progress. If the Centre is forced to transfer many of the powers which it enjoys today to the State capitals, it will definitely weaken the Centre. We are already witnessing innumerable border disputes, river water disputes and quarrels over sharing of power as well as natural resources. Further, even democracy and freedom could be misused by opportunist politicians when the electorate remains illiterate and poverty stricken. Once we have multilingual States with an enlightened electorate and provisions have been made for decentralisation of authority from the State capital to the districts and villages, I feel we could consider what subjects or powers should be transferred from the Centre to the constituent units.
Comments: This candidate has kept himself abreast of the current events which vitally affect national interests. His grasp of the questions is very sound and his mastery of the subjects
commendable. He expresses his original views frankly and fearlessly and they are rational, objective and convincing. His eye for the details and ability to marshal his arguments according to priorities speak well of his good organising ability. He is able to get deep into the root of the problems and dig out the root causes. The solutions suggested by him are workable and pragmatic.
Fourth Member: (A Retd. General) 1 see you have had some years of NCC training. How did you like it ?
Jaiswal: It was really very interesting and useful, Sir. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the physical exertions and the demand on my time.
Fourth Member: I am glad you liked it. However, I notice some contradictions in what you just said. You say it was physically tough and yet you enjoyed it. Can you please amplify this ?
Jaiswal: (Smiles) Well, Sir, one gets used to the physical efforts and exertions. Thereafter you look forward to the drills, parades, route marches, camps and so on. In fact, it is the same with sports also. Whether it is tennis, cricket, hockey, football, swimming, track events or other things, we have to put in a lot of physical effort and undergo rigorous training observing strict discipline in regard to food habits, late nights and so on. Finally when we play the game we enjoy it as much as the spectators. The same is the case with the NCC training also.
Fourth Member: You also said that the NCC training was useful. Can you clarify how ?
Jaiswal: First of all, there is one’s physical fitness. Second, it is the most important habit of discipline. Thirdly, the acquisition of knowledge of wielding the fire arms and the confidence and capacity to protect yourself. Then the opportunity to meet a lot of people and adapting yourself to new surroundings and situations when you get exposed to the camp life. Finally, one learns to cope up with new situations, developments and problems in an organised, systematic and competent manner.
Fourth Member: You are right. However, with your NCC background, I would have thought you would opt for the Armed Forces than for the Civil Service.
Jaiswal: (With a pleasant smile) No doubt you are right in your conclusions, Sir. But I have decided on the IAS as my career even when I joined the NCC. I felt my NCC background will help me in my tasks as an IAS officer and administrator. I will be required to work in close cooperation with the police and Army authorities and the NCC experience will be of great help in understanding their problems.
Comments: The candidate proves to be physically active and temperamentally outgoing, sociable and accommodative with his strong liking for NCC training. He also indicates his conscious decision to join the NCC in order to further his career as an IAS officer. Besides planning and organisation, it also shows that the candidate is very keen on joining the LAS.
Fifth Member: India’s approach to the Sri Lankan issue or the vote in the Human Rights Council has been described by many as a new low in its foreign policy.. What is your viewpoint with regard to it ?
Jaiswal: Sir, actually what people want to drive home to everyone is this that this time our foreign policy has shown a departure from our principled stand of not supporting country-specific resolutions, i.e. India should ignore and overrule regional sendment and refrain from interfering with the affairs of a small neighbour. But let me pour out my feelings. I think that sovereignty has never succeeded in providing a cover against genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. To say that India does not support country-specific resolutions looks a bit bizarre and illogical. In any perceived clash between principle and national interest, it is the latter which is obviously to be given priority. For example, in 1983, when anti-Tamil riots in Colombo had escalated, India showed a lot of courage to spearhead a resolution against Sri Lanka in the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities. India votes in favour of similar resolutions against Israel, wherever they deal with gross and systematic violations of human rights of Palestinian people in the occupied territories. India can be against the LTTE, but cannot afford to be against Tamils. The problem both among the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and large sections of the Tamil population in India is that the LTTE successfully manipulated Tamil opinion by projecting itself as the only physical shield against Sinhala repression. The only safeguard for the Tamils in Sri Lanka is the delivery of the promised devolution based on the 13th Amendment. Having voted in favour of the resolution in March 2012, it was almost impossible for India to change its vote in March 2013, especially in the absence of any tangible steps by Sri Lanka towards reconciliation and devolution.
Comments: The candidate displays excellent knowledge of current world events and the burning problems confronted by the international community. He has studied the various problems in great depth, grasped the salient features of each issue and reveals the capacity to think and arrive at valid conclusions on such vital matters. His knowledge is extensive and he presents his ideas in a forceful and convincing manner. He argues with imagination and foresight. He is able to perceive and identify critical areas, anticipate the’ difficulties and plan action in advance to gain his objectives with success.
Sixth Member: You, as a District Collector, are asked to address a group of young social workers who would be touring the villages on the importance of family planning. Please give a brief lecture for two minutes.
Jaiswal: Sir, as you all know very well that India lives in its villages and over 76 percent of India’s 1.21 billion people live in the villages. At the time of independence, our population was 350 million. Then 90 to 95 percent lived in the villages. With the growth of industrialisation, the population moves from the land and villages to the factories and cities. Within 65 years India has become one of the most industrialised nations among the developing countries. Our economic growth rate has been significant and by no means unsubstantial. But the benefits of our economic growth are nullified because of population explosion. Population growth far outpaces the economic growth. If family planning had been successful, more people from the villages would have moved to the cities and only small percentage of the total population would have stayed in the rural areas to till the lands. Secondly, rural industry is limited in market scope. It will not be benefited by mass production and high technology. If you start a large industry, say, a steel factory in a village, soon there would be a steel city. The concept of rural industry will have to be re-examined for its validity-. With the spread of education and growing urbanisation, people become conscious of maintaining a decent lifestyle and to limit the size of the family. No matter what you earn, you will continue to be poor, unless you contain population growth. Therefore, top priority in the villages should be accorded to family planning.
Comments: The candidate reveals good grasp and understanding in the field of national and international economic aspects. He is able to put his finger on the important factors which have led to the shortfall in our industrial growth during the year of productivity. He tackles the various issues in a practical and unbiased manner highlighting the areas which need urgent attention. With his knowledge, confidence, sincerity and keenness, he demonstrates his ability to deal with complex situations in a constructive manner and achieve positive results.
Concluding Comments: Mr. Jaiswal is an able, enthusiastic and lively candidate who displays versatile knowledge and diverse interests. He is very quick on the uptake- and perceives the essentials of a problem with clarity and ease. He displays an analytical mind and an inquiring attitude which enables him to approach any problem in an objective and dispassionate manner. A well-read individual, he takes particular pains to keep himself up-to-date and well-informed on current national and international issues. He shows the moral courage and intellectual integrity to stand by his convictions and presents his original views on any matter, boldly without fear or favour. He speaks fluently and expounds his arguments in a forceful and convincing manner. This dynamic and alert candidate will prove to be a major asset to an organisation and team work. Selected with top rank rating.

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