Friday, 29 April 2016

Interview transcript Arvind Saxena Board UPSC Interview 2015-16

Interview Transcript Civil Services Exam 2015-16
Name: Ashok Charan
Roll no :0670543
Board: Mr. Arvind Saxena
Profile: B.Tech. In Petroleum Engineering
Hobbies: Untrained Singing, listening to Rap Songs by Afro Americans

(Peon guides me inside and I seek permission to enter the room)
Me: May I come in Sir?
C: Yes Ashok
Me: Good Afternoon Mr. Chairman and good afternoon Sirs
C: You are a petroleum engineer Ashok
Me: Yes Sir
C: Why didn't you work after college?
Me: Sir I wanted to solely prepare for civil services.
C: Ok, what is LNG?
Me: Sir Natural gas at standard conditions has huge volume and it can't be transported
economically, so in order to make it easily transportable it is cooled down to say -150
degrees due to which its volume decreases by a factor of 600. This liquid is called LNG
C: Why the containers which carry it are spherical?
Me: sir I'm not certain but I believe it is so because a sphere provides the maximum
volume for a given surface area.
C: Oil prices have been very low for quite a long time now and it has rendered the shale
gas industry of the U.S. Saudi Arabia is hindering efforts targeted at bringing the prices to
normal levels. All the investments of the U.S. in Shale industry have been threatened. Do
you think the U.S. would attack Saudi Arabia if it continues in this manner.
Me: I, Sir, believe that the U.S. would never attack Saudi Arabia because first, it has huge
investments in the region and second, Saudi Arabia is one of the most significant ally of
the U.S. in west Asia. Besides, the U.S. is the largest energy consumer in the world and
Saudi Arabia is vital for ensuring the energy security of the U.S. in near future when the
prices are stabilized again.
C: why do you think the prices would stabilize in near future.
Me: Because Sir the factors which caused over supply and under demand of the crude oil
would reverse in a couple of years or two. The U.S. Shale output is declining already.
OPEC will agree over production cut eventually. Global economy will come out of the
recession. Developing economies will grow faster demanding more oil. Their markets
will be more opened to investments and production. Trade facilitation agreement would
also certainly contribute.
C: Ashok do you know what graphene is?
Me: Graphene sir is an allotrope of carbon having exceptionally high electric conductance.It is also thermally highly conductive and is used in micro circuits. Graphene Sheets are
rolled to fabricate carbon nanotubes which has immense applications.
C: Can CNTs be used for lighting purposes like LEDs etc.?
Me: Sir I've not read about it but I believe in future they would certainly be used for
( The Chairman signals the first member and he takes over)
M1: Ashok you have history as your optional subject. Let me ask you a very simple
question. What is history? Plain and simple.
(Took a few seconds to think)
Me: Sir in my understanding history is study of past events and circumstances carried out
in present so as to make the future better.
M1: Nice definition which I can see has been formulated right here by you but is it only
the study of past or interpretation of it.
Me: Certainly interpretation and analysis too sir and that is how history has evolved so
M1: Ashok you talked about LNG. Have you heard of IOTC?
Me: No sir I m not aware of this acronym.
M1: Something related to transportation of oil in India?
Me: Sorry sir. I am not able to come out with anything like this sir.
M1: ok Ashok. What is Schlumberger?
Me: Sir it the largest service provider corporate in the world in petroleum industry.
M1: what does it exactly do?
Me: Sir it acquires seismic data for oil exploration, drills wells, gathers data from them,
provides work over services and so on.
( Looks satisfied and signals the next member to take over)
M2: Ashok Indian companies have been carrying out activities in an offshore region
which has led to several disputes. Are you aware of the region where this happened?
Me: Sir, that was in the South China Sea where ONGC Videsh Ltd won an oil block put
at auction by the government of Vietnam and China has been objecting to these projects
since the beginning.
M2: What is the argument of China in this?
Me: Sir China asserts that the South China Sea is a disputed region and India should
refrain from carrying out economic activities in such a region.
M2: Is it disputed between Vietnam and China?
Me: Yes sir but there are other states involved as well.
M2: can you name few?
Me: Sir Taiwan, Philippines, Combodia, Malasia etc.
M2: What has India's stand been on this.
Me: Sir India went ahead with the project saying it has acquired it through a lawful
process by a sovereign country. India also objected China on the same grounds holding
that China should also not carry out economic activities in the region of POK illegally
occupied by Pakistan. China in retaliation created hindrance in the navigation of Indian
ships through the region which could not deter India.
M2: Ashok why is gasoline considered a better eco friendly fuel as compared to diesel?
Me: Sir because one molecule of diesel has more number of carbon atoms than those in
one molecule of gasoline so upon combustion diesel produces more CO2 as compared to
M2: Then why diesel is used in so many large vehicles?
Me: Sir diesel is denser than petrol so in a limited capacity fuel tank more mass of diesel
can be accommodated which provides effectively more calories of energy despite petrol
having higher calorific value.
(The third member begins)
M3: Ashok your answers tell that you are more like a scientist. What made you take
history as an optional subject.
Me: Sir I felt comfortable in history and I believe history is a safe subject. History also
gives an edge in GS papers and essays. So all these advantages and considerations led me to take history.

M3: I can conclude that from your impromptu definition of history and I am impressed to
be honest. Now you tell me, we had sufficient resources in past and were a prosperous
country but now me are way behind the developed world. What reasons do you find
history for this state of ours?
Me: Thank you Sir. Sir two reasons in my opinion are the most significant of all. One is
the two centuries long colonial rule in India and the other is the drastic increase in
M3: Explain both the reasons in detail.
Me: Explained economic policies of the British and the other too.
M3: So the British did not industrialise India at all?
Me: Sir the developed only those industries which fulfilled their colonial interests like
railways, post and telegram, banking and insurance etc. but not those industries which
might have created for rapidly industrialising England. They in fact deliberately ruined
the cottage industries we had.
M3: Ok. Ashok how crude oil is refined?
Me: Sir it is carried out through a process called fractional distillation in which different
products are separated on the basis of their boiling points.
M3: Ok that leads me to believe that input cost is same for all the oil products like gas
diesel, petrol, tar etc. They why do they have different prices?
Me: Sir the most important criteria to price a fuel is its calorific value which is very
different for different products of refining. Other than this the government has so far
played an important role in pricing as prices were regulated. But now the government has
limited such practices.
M3: Why does the government intervene?
Me: Sir to make the essential fuels like kerosene and LPG available to citizens. To
promote more eco friendly fuels like CNG and so on.
(The last member takes over)
M5: Ashok out constitution has borrowed so many provisions from other constitutions?
Can you name few?
Me: Sir the constitutions of the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Germany, USSR, Australia,newzeland etc..

4: Ok. Do we have a federal structure?
Me: Sir yes. But Union would be more appropriate for Indian political structure as it has
features of both federal and unitary structures.
M4: Which provision separates jurisdictions of the Union and the states?
Me: Sir the seventh schedule which has separate lists of subjects over which the union,
the states and both can legislate.
M4: What happens when contradictions arise in the legislation of the Union and states
over the subjects of concurrent list?
Me: Pauses and said I'm not particularly aware sir but there must be something?
M4: There must be?
Me: I believe Sir.
M4: What is the third tier of the government?
Me: Local Self governance Sir.
M4: Has this been there since the beginning?
Me: No sir they were introduced statutorily in the constitution by two amendments in
M4: Why two amendments?
Me: One is for rural and one for urban Sir.
M4: How do they function? I mean where do they get funds from?
Me: Sir funds are devolved to them on the basis of recommendations of state finance
M4: Are they getting enough funds?
Me: Not really Sir, they need more share in my opinion.
M4: Why do the not get funds?
Me: Sir these are institutions which are still maturing and state governments are waiting
for the right time. They are certainly increasing devolution in a phased manner but much needs to be done.
M4: (Laughs and says) That's a fancy way of saying the state governments are reluctant in
this regard.
Me: Joined him with a smile.
C: Ok Ashok that will be all.
Me: Thank you Sir, Thanks a lot sirs.

Written 665
Interview 198
Total 863
Category OBC

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