Name: Mr. Karthikeyan IRS
Hobbies: Reading Magazine, Blogging
Optionals: Geography, Psychology
Board: Smt. Shashi Uben Tripathi
Total Mark: 1197
Int. Mark: 198
Rank: 361 (2008), 127(2007) allotted to IFS in 2007 did not joined
I was the last candidate for the morning session and was called in around 1pm. I wished the members ‘good afternoon’ and they wished me back, then I was asked to sit down by the chairperson.
CHAIR PERSON: Dr. Karthikeyan, what are you doing now?
Me: Ma’m now I am working as a duty doctors in a private hospital in Chennai.
CP: What kind of hospital it is?
Me: Ma’m it’s a multi-specialty hospital and they concentrate in OG and pediatrics.
CP: When did you work as a tutor?
Me: Ma’m, I was working as a tutor in pharmacology in manakula vinayakagar medical college, pondicherry last year.
M1: Your hobbies are reading magazine and blogging right?
Me: Yes, sir
M1: I suppose you read newspapers too.
Me: Yes sir, I do read newspapers.
M1: What newspapers you read?
Me: Sir, I read The Hindu, Economics Times and at times Indian Express and Times of India too.
M1: ok. Hindu, Times of India etc. Who is the editor of hindu?
Me: Mr. Ram, sir.
M1: Hindu has become famous in south India in recent times but it was not the case 30 years before ago, why?
Me: (I started to answer but he interrupted me and said that it was not due to standard of news reporting as it was almost the same in all English papers of that times but still only a elite few were reading hindu at that time)
Me: Sir, has always been in a higher standard of English compared to newspapers like Indian Express. 30 years back, only few people had such high standard of English and were able to comprehend fully. Whereas the other newspapers like Indian Express use simple English and people find them easier to read, but now since the literacy levels have gone up and people’s command over English being high especially in urban areas, the readership of hindu risen.
M1: (nodded his head) ok, what are the magazines of hindu?
Me: Sir, The Frontline and a sports magazine called Sports Star.
M2: You are a doctor, right?
Me: Yes, sir.
M2: Why do you medicos come into civil services, I think you can be better of as a Doctor than coming into civil services. Any way, its just a suggestion and you have anyway chosen to be a civil servant. So you need not explain it. Now explain me anti Brahmin movements in Tamilnadu?
Me: Sorry sir, it was not a movement against Brahmin but Brahmanism. E.V. Ramasamy otherwise called the Periyar headed the anti Brahmanism movement and it was directed against caste oppression, superstitious beliefs and rituals and anti women practices. So it was directed against such customs and not against individuals. It has led to the upliftment of lower castes as such.
M2: is the movement still there in Tamilnadu?
Me: Yes sir, his organization still continues under the name “Dravidar kazhagam” headed by Mr. Veeramani.
M3: Is it truly ethical for a doctor to come into civil service especially in a country like India where the doctor population ratio is quite less compared to developed countries?
Me: I won’t let my medicine knowledge to go for a waste and would make sure I use it wherever applicable and moreover (he interrupted at this point and asked can you do more to the society as a administrator? Is it still ethical?)
Me: Sir, wherever it is ethical depends on the individual as an administrator I will be able to address the multi faceted problems of the downtrodden rather than focusing on health alone as a doctor. I want to widen my reach too and I assure you that I would contribute to my society more as an administrator to the fullest of my abilities.
M3: ok, how will you address those problems if you don’t become an IAS and suppose you become an IPS officers? (I had not given any preference to IPS, and initially I thought of telling him that, but later chose to give him an answer)
Me: The problem with downtrodden and low class people is that they have in inherent fear to approach the government being it any departments, this arises due to their low level of literacy and ignorance about their rights and benefits extended to them by the government as an IPS officers, I would make sure the administration, that is the police, under me becomes truly people friendly and make people comfortable in approaching my department. Moreover I will make sure that nobody is victimized based on their low privilege status in society.
M3: Ok, you said something about class, is it possible to root out Varnashram system from our society?
Me: ( I couldn’t get his pronunciation, and so I asked him to pronounce it again) he then asked, What is Varnashram again (now I got it) sir, it is system of division of the society into four major classes.
M3: Do you think it is possible to make a class less society?
Me: It is quite difficult, bit we have to strive for it
M3: Ok, you mentioned about multi faceted problems? What are they?
Me: Sir, there are many and the important ones among them are illiteracy, poverty, under nourishment, political under empowerment, low awareness, fear….
M3: Ok. fear, awareness about what?
Me: sir, fear to approach the government and claim their rights, they are basically unaware of the various government programs and benefits extended to them.
(I realised that this member was putting me under stress, so I tried to remain cool)
M4: Dr. Who is the first president of India?
Me: Sir, Mr. Rajendra Prasad.
M4: How is the president elected?
Me: Sir, he is elected by an electoral college comprising of the elected members of the parliament, both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the elected members of the state legislative assemblies of the state.
M4: Then how is vice-president elected?
Me: Sir, he is elected by an electoral college comprising of the members of the pariliament only.
M4: What is the other difference between the two elections?
Me: Sir, in president election only the elected members votes whereas in the vice president’s election both elected and nominated members vote.
M4: Do you know about bicameral legislature?
Me: Yes sir, its present in few states where doth legislative assembly and legislative council exist.
M4: How many states have it?
Me: Sir, I am not sure, can I make guess?
M4: Yeah, tell me
Me: I think it is six states
M4: Yes, right. What are the states?
Me: Sir, it is in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and others I don’t know sir.
And again M3 took over.
M3: Why did you teach pharmocology instead of practising as a doctor in that medical college?
Me: Sir, I liked pharmocology a lot even during my college days and I also like teaching thats why I took up the job of a tutor.
M3: But don’t you think a doctor teaching pharmocology is actully wasting his medical talent in an area which can be handled by teachers from non medical background like those from Msc well?
Me: I would like to differ from you sir. A doctor with a practtical knowledge of using nedicines to treat patients will be in a more favourable position to teach the practical aspects of pharmacology in a more detailed manner than a non-medical teacher, that’s why even the medical ouncil of India has made it mandatory for the heads of the departments in a medical college to be from medical background only?
M3: But all pharmacy colleges are run with non medical heads very efficiently
Me: Pharmacy colleges generally teach only the theoritical aspects of pharmacy, whereas in a medical college there is a need to teach the practical aspects as well, that’s why I think doctors are needed there sir.
Then M4 interrupted.
M4: Did the management force you to take up tutor job?
Me: No sir, its actually the reverse they wanted me to work in the clinial side and I had to convince them to give me the tutor job.
Atlast the chairperson again took over.
CP: (looking through my bio-data) I think you are alloted a service last year. Ok first what are your preference last year?
Me: Ma’m, last year my first preference was IAS and I couldn’t get it to my rank, my second one was IPS and I was rejected on medical grounds and so I was allotted IFS.
CP: On what medical reason?
Me: Ma’m they rejected me on the account of flat feet.
CP: ok. Why din’t you take IFS?
Me: Ma’m, IAS has always been my dream job, though I like IFS too for the kind of job profile it offers, I interestingly felt that my heart always lies with IAS. I always wanted to be a part of the job system which has direct impact on the everyday life of a common man, moreover (she interrupted saying its ok and put the next question)
CP: As a bureaucrat how will you maintain neutrality in your work?
Me: Ma’m, as a bureaucrat I will make sure that I take decision after comprehensively analysing the problem with the rational mindset and also make sure that such decision are not altered due to external pressure in short my decision will be based on rationality and justice and will be unbiased.
CP: What you specifically mean by political neutrality?
Me: Ma’m, for me political neutrallity means working on behalf of the government and not on behalf of any political party, its about working in the interest of people alone.
Then she said good luck. And thus my interview ended.
(Overall the board was very cordial, around 20 to 25 minutes, since I was the last canditate to be interviewed in that session, it couldn’t have lasted longer)