Saturday, April 17, 2010


Rank: 182
Name : G. Prasanna Ramaswamy IAS
Qualification : B.Tech
Board: Mr. Vijay Singh
Option : 1. Public Admin.
             2. Geography

Me: May I come in sir?
Chairman: Yes please come in.
Me: Good afternoon mam , good afternoon sirs.

Chairman: (Immediately) Good afternoon, please be seated.
Me: Thank you sir.

Chairman: So Mr. Prasanna , when did you finish your degree course?
Me: Sir I finished it in 2008.

Chairman: Biotechnology is an emerging & promising field , why did you choose a career in civil service instead?
Me: Sir, I was always inclined towards civil service as a career, after finishing my 12th std I initially thought of joining an arts and science college but since I was the only son in my family my parents persuaded me to get an engineering degree, but in retrospect I fell it was a good decision as I got to learn a lot from my course in biotechnology.

Chairman: So engineering is the right choice for intelligent students? (This question was not very clear to me but I failed to get it clarified)
Me: Yes sir.

Member: So Mr. Prasanna , you have a degree in biotechnology , do you know what is protein technology ?
Me: (after pondering over it for some time) I am sorry sir , I am unaware of this technology.

Member: (he persisted) You know ? Protein and all that.
Me: Sir I cannot recollect it right now, I am not very sure of what exactly it constitutes.

Chairman: So Mr. prasanna you have a degree in biotechnology , what is it about biotechnology that you like the most?
Me: (after taking some time, say 6 secs) Sir the most striking thing about biotechnology is the possibilities it offers. It is a very promising field with huge potential. It can give us a solution to almost any problem in any field like agriculture, medicine, environmental degradation etc.

Member: But do you think it has any limitations?
Me: (after taking some time) Limitations, yes sir the biggest limitation is that we have to be very careful while handling genes in biotechnology as it can grave implications on the environment and human beings.

Member: Tell me prasanna, you say that biotechnology offers many possibilities, so can you create using biotechnology, a plant can bear both a tomato and a potato in the same branch?
Me: Yes sir it is very much possible. You only have to genetically modify any one of the two concerned plants by inserting the gene of the other into the first plant.

Member: Does biotechnology have any application for humans in terms of production of proteins for human use?
Me: Yes sir, I will give you an example , insulin is an example of a protein hitherto we used to produce insulin from cattle and pigs, but now using Recombinant DNA Technology, we can induce E.Coli , a bacterium to produce human insulin by genetically modifying it.

Member: And where do we get the gene from?
Me: Sir we can get it from our body.

Member 2: Mr. Prasanna are you aware of the problem of development induceddisplacements. If you are given a situation, how will you handle it?
Me: (As I started to explain he interrupted me and asked me to tell him about the different types of displacements) Sir there are displacements due to infrastructure projects like building roads, sezs and most importantly sir, dams (he seemed to be expecting this) . And sir if I am given a situation to handle the first thing that I will do is I will make it a point to take the people concerned into confidence by explaining the pros and cons of the project and how it will benefit them and sir I believe that if we sincerely try to do that the people will cooperate with us.

Member 2: But if the people who are mostly tribals say that we don’t want electricity and all and that you just go away what will you do? Moreover you must be aware that according to the tribal rights act the forestland legally belongs to the tribals?

Me: Sir in that case I will still try to persuade them. I will make sure that they are given a fair deal, a resettlement package which will relocate them to a place of their choice nearby because sir ultimately we have to strike a compromise between development and tribal welfare. 

Chairman: So prasanna your optional are pub ad and geography , what made you choose
Me: Sir I chose them because I felt they were scoring subjects. But then the other reason was that I found them more relevant as pub ad is what I will be doing once I get into the service.

Chairman: So scoring marks was your primary motive?
Me: Yes sir, my topmost priority was to clear the exams, but I also chose them because of their relevance.

Member 3: Prasanna which country is foremost in biotechnology?
Me: Sir I think it is the United States of America.

Member 3: (immediately) No, no it is Hungary. They are the foremost.
Me: Thank you sir I didn’t know it.

Chairman: Prasanna do you think that the people of our country are increasingly becoming intolerant. For example the recent hyderabad episode and the maharashtra one preceding that?
Me: Sir I believe that if the people are left alone then they will coexist peacefully despite their differences but the problem arises when the political parties try to divide the people to gain politically from it. Sir this was the case in hyderabad and also in maharashtra.

Chairman: But don’t you think there are other problems also?
Me: Yes sir the other problem is that most of the people are illiterate and unemployed and it is these people who tend to get carried away by the propaganda of the political parties as they fail to look at an issue rationally.

Member 4: So prasanna cricket happens to be your hobby?
Me: Yes sir.

Member 4: Do you watch tennis?
Me: Sir I do occasionally watch tennis matches but I am not a regular watcher.

Member 4: Do you know what is deuce and other rules of the game?
Me: No sir I don’t know the rules of the game.

Member e: Prasanna you are from Sastra University, tell me something about it.
Me: Sir sastra is the abbreviation for shanmuga arts science technology and research academy. It attained the deemed university status in 2001.

Member 3: Recently a lot of deemed universities were in trouble, so do you think we should do away with the system?
Me: (after taking some time) Sir I believe the true intent of the ugc act regarding deemed universities was to have quality educational institutions which is relevant even today, the problem is however with the implementation of the act. so we must correct that instead of doing away with the system as such because there are many deemed universities which are doing really well.

Chairman: How about your university?
Me: Sir my university has very good infrastructure and the lab facilities are also good but the main problem is regarding the faculty, they don’t have quality faculty .Most of the lecturers do not have a phd but only a post graduate degree. 

Chairman: And I also think they are not paid very well.
Me: Yes sir that also is a problem.

Lady mem: So prasanna pencil sketching is your hobby, and you are from thanjavur , do you know about the different forms of paintings in thanjavur?
Me: (after some thought) Yes mam the temple paintings of thanjavur are very famous they are a good example of frescoes wherein they paint on wet plaster which after drying gives it a separate quality. Mam I am not very sure of the other forms of painting.

Lady mem: Yes you are right , the temple paintings are very famous and the other form is glass paintings which are also very famous.
Me: Thank you mam.

Member 4: Geography is one of your optionals, are you aware of the concept of man made disasters? For example recently a sea was in news which it seems has been affected by human activity.( they were talking about aral sea sea which was in news that day in TOI).

Me: Yes sir it is the Aral sea which is a landlocked sea in central asia . the problem started in 1970s when Russia or the erstwhile soviet union diverted the rivers draining into the sea to cultivate lands and this led to the drying up of the sea because of its landlocked nature and it having a serious impact on the human
population in the vicinity.

Lady mem: Also the fauna and flora are also being affected.
Me: Yes mam, a sea has a lot of bearing on the local climate and drying up of the sea would have adverse effects on the flora and fauna.

Chairman: So prasanna do you have any other interests apart from your hobbies?
Me: Yes sir I read books.

Chairman: What kind of books?
Me: Sir non-fiction.

Chairman: So are you reading any book now?
Me: Yes sir currently I read or am reading a book by the name India after Gandhi by….

Chairman: (he interrupted) Yes its by ramachandra guha and it is a very good book.
Me: Yes sir it is ,all along I had been reading about the history of pre independence India but this book gives a very good account of the history of post independent India and it helped me to clarify many of my doubts.

Chairman: It’s a good habit and continue with it.
Me: thank you sir , I will.

Chairman: So prasanna what are your service preferences?
Me: Sir they are IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS(IT),IRS(CUS)….

Chairman: So why did you not opt for IFS?
Me: (after taking some time) Sir I am more interested in serving in my country among my own people. I have no other reasons.
Chairman: That’s a good reason. Ok prasanna thank you, you can go now.

Me: (I was a bit surprised because I expected it to continue) Thank you sir, thank you everyone (I am not sure if I thanked looking at everybody because of my surprise and then I left).

Time I came out – 3:25
So my interview lasted about 20 minutes or even less and on the whole it was all very cordial and I believe I was never very tensed up and answered quite confidently. I would say it was a very pleasant experience but can’t guess anything about the marks that I may get as of now.

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