UPSC INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (12) 2015-16: Alka Sirohi Board

  • IASbaba
  • May 10, 2016
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UPSC Interview Preparation, UPSC INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT- 2015
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Name:- Vikram

Qualification:- B.Sc Biotech

Optional:- Geography

Work experience :- Asst Manager, Union bank of India, Presently in SAC,ISRO Ahmedabad Hobby:- Reading Garfield comic strip, Caring for street dogs

04 May 2016, 4th candidate to be interviewed Chairwoman:- Alka Sirohi Madam.

Entered, Wished Chairwoman, Lady member & other male members individually

Chairwoman:– So you are vikram, Kindly take the seat.

Chairwoman:- why are we spending so much on ISRO missions while we have so much poverty in the country.

Vikram:- Mam, ISRO expenditure is helpful for the people of the country in disaster management, weather forecasting, TV, communication. Hence i feel though we are spending on ISRO missions, but this indirectly benefits the poor man. Hence in a long term, i don’t see it to be ill appropriated and see it in as playing a role in development of people & the nation.

Chairwoman:- Ok, so tell me the applications of ISRO? What work does ISRO do for the country? List them out.

Vikram:- ISRO main application is in field of communication, resource monitoring, disaster forewarning & mitigation. Location system like IRNSS.. (Chairwoman interrupted)

Chairwoman:- Ok don’t go into detail, just tell me fast other applications

Vikram:- Crop productivity forecasting, Ground water level monitoring, glaciers monitoring, atmospheric disturbance.( Chairwoman was listing all these and like rapid fire round asking me next applications)

Vikram:- I said i can only remember these many at present.

Chairwoman:- You are missing two important applications, can u think about them?

Vikram:- (I thought for a moment & said)Mam, it has major application in Defence.

Chairwoman:– ok, what about other applications, i asked you two areas.

Vikram:- I am sorry mam, i am not able to recollect any more applications.

Chairwoman:- Isn’t telemedicine done by ISRO?

Vikram:- Yes mam, Telemedicine is also an application. Thank you mam.

(Chairwoman passes the baton to next lady member. Lady member had a sweet smile on her face, a very warm lady)

Lady Member:- your hobby is reading Garfield, what do you like in Garfield?

Vikram:- Mam, Garfield is a comic strip that appears in Times of India, its about a cat. It speaks less less but conveys more. This feature of Garfield i like the most.

Lady Member:- (with a smile on face) But Garfield is a very lazy cat ,isn’t it?

Vikram:- (Smiling) Yes mam, it is a very lazy cat, but when required, it gets more active than its human master whose name is john.

Lady Member:- How did you develop this hobby of reading Garfield?

Vikram:- Mam, i have been reading Garfield since 7 years daily in the newspaper, so gradually i developed a liking to it and now it is a daily ritual for me to read Garfield.

Lady Member:-Why did you opt for geography as an optional?

Vikram:- During the initial stage of my preparation, i was going through the syllabus for choosing optional, i felt a major part of geography syllabus known to me. Moreover geography overlaps in GS papers too, hence i selected Geography as my optional.

Lady Member:- You have written caring for street dogs, what do you do for street dogs?

Vikram:- I feed stray dogs, see to it that they are vaccinated regularly and see that they don’t cause trouble to people of the society. If i happen to spot any dog with an emergency medical need, i arrange to transport it to the nearest veterinary hospital/Ngo working for animal welfare.

Lady Member:-Good, but don’t you think dogs run behind vehicles, bite people, cause rabies etc?

Vikram:- Yes mam, I do agree that stray dogs are a great nuisance to the society as they bite people ,bark and spread rabies. But i think if effectively managed through community dog feeders like me, i think the menace can be effectively managed.

(The lady member passed on the baton to next male member)

Member2:- Vikram, you are a biotech graduate, tell me there is a debate going on between proteomics & geneticist, What is that debate and whom do you favour?

Vikram:- Sorry Sir, but I don’t know what proteomics is, hence I will not be able to answer that question.

Member2:- have you heard about Ion exchange method? tell me what is an elution?

Vikram:- In ion exchange, the liquid that eludes out of the column at the end is termed as elution.

Member2:- you are near to it but not exact. Ok tell me  is it adsorption?

Vikram;- yes sir, it is adsorption.

Member2:- tell me what is epigenetic?

Vikram:- Sorry sir, I don’t know what it is.

Member2:– What is sickle cell?

Viikram:- It is a genetic disease where shapes of RBC change and it is fatal. It is caused by mutation in DNA.

Member2:- What is the shape of RBC in that?

Vikram:- it becomes sickle shaped.

Member2:- Any technical term for that?

Vikram:- Sorry sir, I don’t know the name.

Member2:- No you know it, tell me.

Vikram:- Sorry sir, I am not able to recollect it now.

Member2:-It’s called discoid shape.

(Member 2 asked so many questions for which I didn’t have any answer. Majority of my answers were “I don’t know sir” even though I am from biotech all those terminology were like new to me as it was almost 7 years since I graduated)

(Member 2 seemed a bit unhappy as I didn’t answer his questions and passed the baton to 3rd member)

Member3:- What is the future of biotechnology?

Vikram:- Biotech has great future in terms of Human health vaccines, Biofuels for reducing pollution, bioremediation to check environmental pollution. Apart from these various new therapies like Crispr CAS9 help to make novel mutations in DNA thus would help in fighting against genetic diseases.

Member 3:- You work in ISRO. Tell me names of few directors of ISRO?

Vikram:- Sir the present director of Sac, Ahmedabad Shri Tapan Misra sir, Shri A.S Kiran Kumar sir, presently chairman of ISRO was the Ex Director of SAC, Ahmedabad.Apart from them major renowned directors include Shri Satish Dhawan sir, Prof Kale sir (i couldn’t remember sirs full name), also Dr Vikram Sarabhai.

(I felt what the members wanted to ask about Chairman of ISRO, but wrongly said it as directors of ISRO. Directors are head of regional units hence sticking to the word “Director” i just mentioned Director sirs name and not ex chairmans like Shri Radhakrishnan sir & Shri Kasturirangan sir)

Member 3:- tell me something about Vikram sarabhai. Vikram sarabhai wasn’t basically from space field?

Vikram:- Sir Vikram Sarabhai belonged to textile baron Ambalal Sarabhais family. It was Vikram sarbhais interest in space exploration that led to establishment of ISRO.

Member 3:- Who was Vikram Sarabhais wife? Was she famous?

Vikram:- Sir Mrinalini sarabhai, a famous danseuse was his wife. She just died recently.

Member 3:– IS it mrinalini or mallika sarabhai?

Vikram:- Sir Mallika sarabhai is his daughter, Mrinalini sarbhai is Dr sarabhais wife.

Member 3:– What else did Vikram sarabhai establish apart from ISRO?

Vikram:- Sir Vikram Sarabhai established IIM Ahmedabad, Physical Research laboratory, Institute of Plasma Research, ATIRA etc.

(Member 3 passed the baton onto 4th Member)

Member 4:– You work in ISRO, it is a premier Govt institute. DRDO is also a govt institute but why is it not performing like ISRO?

Vikram:- First reason why DRDO is not performing like ISRO is Publicity. The launches of ISRO receive unprecedented publicity in media, the same is not the case with DRDO. Moreover DRDO is a defence establishment hence publicity cannot be given in certain secret projects too.

ISRO has a special Space commission which formulates the space policy and future course of action. DRDO does not have such a specialised commission to guide it.

ISRO directly comes under Prime Minister, Whereas DRDO comes under Ministry of Defence hence ISRO does not face much bureaucratic and finance delays while DRDO faces these problems.

Moreover top levels of ISRO are manned by scientists/technical people of the field whereas i think DRDO top management is not manned by Technical people but by all India service officers hence they may not be able to guide the technical institute that well. Hence due to these reasons, ISRO leads better than DRDO.

Member 3:– have you ever been in touch with DRDO?

Vikram:- No sir, I have not been in touch with DRDO.

Member 3:- Ok ISRO recenty launced NAVIC which provides for 1500 km range beyond Indias border. Then we have central asian states beyond that range. Can you name the central Asian countries?

(i think sir first had IRNSS in mind then diverted to Central Asian republics midway)

Vikram:- Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan… Sorry sir i am able to remember only these two states.

Member 3: ok can u atleast tell me how many countries compromise the central Asian republic?

Vikram:- sir, they are four.

Member 3:– No, they are five.

Vikram:- Thank You sir.

(Chairwoman took over again. She pointed to member 3 to ask questions to which member 3 said he has completed his questioning to me. So Alka sirohi Mam started her rapid fire again for first few questions & then things slowed down)

Chairwoman:- From where does ISRO launch rockets?

Vikram:- Sriharikota, in Andhra Pradesh.

Chairwoman:- Do we have any other launching pad apart from Sriharikota?

Vikram:- ISRO is planning to have a new spaceport some where in Tirunelveli district but i don’t know the exact location of the place.

Chairwoman:- What about chandipur? it is also a lauch port,hai na?

Vikram:- Mam, chandipur on sea off Orissa coast is launch port for defence missile & not space rockets.

Chairwoman:- Why do we launch from east coast of India, why not west coast?

Vikram:- Launching from east coast gives an extra acceleration to the rocket due to rotation of earth. Moreover if a rocket launch fails, the debris will fall on ocean floor & Not in populated mainland hence we launch from east coast only.(I forgot to tell the magnetic equator passes is nearby SHAR)

Chairwoman:- Ok tell me where is Darien isthmus?

Vikram:- Sorry mam, i don’t know the exact location.

Chairwoman:- ok no problem, do u know what is an isthmus?

Vikram:- Isthmus is a short land which joins two continents & is surrounded by oceans on two sides. Best example is Panama Isthmus.

Chairwoman:- Yes panama. Panama isthmus 2nd name is Darien isthmus.

Vikram:– Thank you mam.

Chairwoman:- Tell me how much time does a ship take to cross Panama Canal?

Vikram:- I am sorry mam, i don’t know the exact timing.

Chairwoman:- Is panama Canal Special?

Vikram:- Yes mam, it joins pacific with Atlantic. Moreover it is the canal which has interlocking system as level of atlantic & pacific ocean are different hence water needs to be lifted in this canal at certain places. Hence it is special.

Chairwoman:-ok tell me which ocean across panama is lower & which one is higher?

Vikram:- Sorry mam, i don’t exactly remember the detail of which is lower & which is higher.

Chairwoman:– Ok no problem, interlocking system of panama, explain the system?

Vikram:- Mam, may I explain it by drawing a figure?

Chairwoman:– Sure, take the paper & pencil

(I took the paper and drew the figure of panama canal Roughly and presumed one sea to be lower & other to be higher and explained the lifting of water)

Chairwoman:- Are you sure that pacific is lower than Atlantic as shown by you in figure?

Vikram:- No mam, i have just presumed that pacific is lower, but i don’t exactly know which of the two is lower.

Chairwoman:- Ok, tell me the place on earth which sees sunrise in one ocean & sunset in another ocean?

Vikram:– Sorry mam, i don’t know exactly but i think it might be Norway.

Chairwoman:– No, Norway is land of midnight sun & Japan is land of rising sun.You are wrong.

Vikram:- than I presume it might be Americas but i am not sure.

Chairwoman:- Vikram you said Norway & now you are moving to Americas. Americas is a big area, be more specific.

Vikram:- Sorry mam, i don’t know the location.(I thought it’s better to back up now rather than go for wild guesses)

Chairwoman:– Ok tell me a name of double stranded DNA based virus.

Vikram:- Mam, I think majority of virus are RNA based.

Chairwoman:- No, one virus is DNA based too.

Vikram:- Sorry mam, i don’t know.

Chairwoman:- Have u heard of these virus..(some names which i cant remember)

Vikram:– I am not sure but it might be TMV(Tobacco Mosaic Virus) virus.

Chairwoman:- No you are wrong.

Vikram:- Sorry mam, i don’t know the answer.

Chairwoman:-Ok no problem. Why do people from Arctic circle, even though hungry, do not eat penguins egg.(Mam said this in a low voice hence i requested her to repeat the question, which she did repeat)

Vikram:- Mam, Penguins don’t live in arctic circle,they live in southern hemisphere so there is no possibility of penguins egg being eaten by men in arctic circle.

Chairwoman:- Ok that is true, but any other reason?

Vikram:- Penguins don’t lay eggs. So no question of eggs being eaten by men.

Chairwoman:- Ya penguins don’t lay eggs, why?

Vikram:- They are mammals.

Chairwoman:- Ok they are mammals, ok Mr vikram, You may go, Your interview is over. (I wished all members thank you and returned)

Approx time:- Around 20 minutes.

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