C.S.C. : Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle for your success. How are you feeling about it?
Pradeep Singh : Thank you I am feeling very happy and satisfied.
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?
Pradeep Singh : My inspiration for becoming IAS to is to work for the downtrodden sections mainly farmers and daily wage labourers. There has been immense support from family friends and teachers during my preparation. I would like to give them all the credit for my success.
C.S.C. : What strategy one should follow for preparing for General Studies Prelims & Mains? Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains preparation or was it separate?
Pradeep Singh : I think prelims and mains are the two different phases of the single exam and therefore one should prepare for each phase with a different mindset.
However there is some syllabus that is common between prelims and mains and one need to focus on the factual aspects for the prelims and need to focus on building the opinion for mains.
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?
Pradeep Singh : I've been giving this exam since 2016 but started preparing seriously for this exam since 2017. I think one need to give focus to the mains and optional upto 6 months before the exam but last 6 months should be totally devoted to the prelims preparation.
C.S.C. : Did you prepare notes? How helpful are the notes? What is your advice on notes-making?
Pradeep Singh : Yes I also prepared the notes. notes are very handy when you have very less time for revision. One should make notes at least for the miscellaneous topics which you will not find normally in the conventional books.
C.S.C. : What was your optional? What was the basis of selecting this optional? What strategy one should follow for optional?
Pradeep Singh : My optional is public administration. I chose this optional because I have done BTech in Computer Science in Engineering which was not an available optional in the UPSC optional list and also I find it interesting and relevant to the service for which you are preparing.
C.S.C. : What was your preparation strategy and books which you referred for Ethics Paper?
Pradeep Singh : I have prepared some handwritten notes for the terms that is being given in the ethics paper 4 syllabus. for case studies I have practiced them enough before going to the exam.
C.S.C. : Tell us something about preparation of Essay paper.
Pradeep Singh : Essay is one paper which gives you the freedom to write freely in the exam. one should feel the freedom to write the essay. for preparing essay one should take cues from the topper’s copies of essay and from videos available on YouTube etc.
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?
Pradeep Singh : I did not have a single writing style in the exam . Actually one has to write the answer to the question according to the demand of the question. one needs to do enough answer writing practice to develop a style.
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?
Pradeep Singh : I prepared for the interview from various sources like internet newspaper magazine etc. interview mainly emphasized upon the government schemes , farmers problems , india china relations etc. there were some of the question whose Answer I wasn't able to give.
C.S.C. : Importance of coaching in the preparation of exam.
Pradeep Singh : The requirement of coaching depends upon various factors like availability of resources, study material , proper guidance. If it is available by any other means then there is no need of coaching. Otherwise you need someone while you start preparation and teach you if you are a fresh candidate.
C.S.C. : Suggested Book list for Prelims, GS & CSAT and Mains Paper 1 to 4 and Essay.
Booklist for prelims
- Spectrum for modern history
- Laxmikant for polity
- NCERTs for geography,
- Ramesh Singh or coaching notes for economics