Name - Vishal Saraswat
Father’s Name- Shivprakash Saraswat
Mothers Name - Rajeshwari
Home District- Mathura
10th- Sacred Heart Convent High school, Ahmednagar (85.2%)-2011
12th - St. Pauls Sr Sec School, Etah (90%)-2013
Graduation- Bachelor of Arts 2013-16 ( Agra University)
Post-graduation- M.A. Economics 2016-2018 (Agra university)
2nd attempt in UPPSC
C.S.C. : Achieving top slot in the Judicial Services Examination is no small feet; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Vishal: Thank you very much, this is really a surprise for me. I never expected rank 1 in UPPSC because last time I didn't qualify for any post.
C.S.C. : What is your inspiration for becoming an IAS officer? Whom do you give credit for your success? What is the role of family and others (teacher, friends) in your preparation and success?
Vishal: Family and friends played a dominant role in my preparation. Shri .A.P.J Abdul Kalamji is my inspiration. Bijendra Singh sir from ECO- VISION classes supported me in my preparation days. I took only economics optional classes from eco vision classes under the guidance of Bijendra sir.
C.S.C. : What strategy one should follow for preparing for Examination General Studies Prelims & Mains? Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains preparation or was it separate?
Vishal: Pre and mains is an integrated and interdependent study. You need to first collect the best sources for preparation. Revision is the key to success. Revise it 5-7 times so that all material is reminded in examination. Prelims is informative and factual whereas mains is a subjective study. Focus more on current events and try to link them in the answer. Take support of some good YouTube channels for study.
C.S.C. : How much time did you devote for Prelims, Mains, Interview, Optional ? How did you manage your time in both prelims and mains examinations?
Vishal: It took 3 years to clear this exam. I was not able to get selected last year because of less score in optional. This year I focused more on optional i.e. economics. During mains you need to devote maximum time for your studies. Prepare short and small notes of every topic so that you can revise it timely.
C.S.C. : Did you prepare notes? How helpful are the notes? What is your advice on notes-making?
Vishal: Yes, I prepared notes on current topics. So that it would be easy to revise them . Issues and topics on paper 3 and paper 4 need to be made by your own so that you can remember them. Prepare notes on those topics which commission asks normally every year. Like women , agriculture, NGOs etc.
C.S.C. : What was your optional? What was the basis of selecting this optional? What strategy one should follow for Optional?
Vishal: My optional was economics because I did my graduation, post-graduation and net JRF in economics. Economics is a practical subject and requires graph and subjective study. I did coaching from eco vision classes for economics optional. Basics should be focussed more in economics optional.
C.S.C. : What was your preparation strategy and books which you referred for Ethics Paper?
Vishal: For paper 4 ethics, I read lexicon and notes of network IAS . More focus should be on answer writing . And interlinking examples from present world to the answer.
C.S.C. : Tell us something about preparation of Essay paper.
Vishal: Essay is an essence of the knowledge and ideas integrated. Use of quotations and examples is important in writing essays. Use of statements of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda etc should be used.
C.S.C. : What was your style of writing in the exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?
Vishal: Try to make use of graphs and diagram in the answer. Try to use data and facts in the answer so that it becomes interesting and something different for the evaluator.
C.S.C. : How did you prepare for interview? Which type of questions were asked in interview? Did you answer all? Was there any specific area they emphasised upon?
Vishal: I prepared my optional for interview and current issues of farmers protest for the interview. But my interview was mainly on paper 4 . Questions were asked on compassion, passion, rationality, attitude, aptitude, temperance etc . I was not able to answer 2-3 questions . The board was very cordial and supportive.
C.S.C. :Importance of coaching in the preparation of exam.
Vishal: Coaching helps in regularisation of study. It helps in planning well time table. But preparation can be done by self also. Today's time online education has brought revolution in the field of learning.
C.S.C. : What is the role of Civil Services Chronicle in your success?
Vishal: I always read Chronicle magazine during prelims because the facts covered in it are always exam oriented. No doubt Chronicle magazine is an exam and student oriented magazine. It really helped me in my preparation.
C.S.C. : What is your source of Preparation. Which Books, Magazines, News Papers and Online Sources were used by you during your preparation?
Vishal: All NCERTs from 6th to 12lth (excluding Maths and Science).
Art & culture- Nitin Singhania
Polity - M Laxmikanth
Geography - Khullar
Economics- Ramesh Singh
Current affairs - Vision IAS magazine, Chronicle Magazine.
Ethics - Lexicon