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Sahil Gupta 19th Rank in his 3rd attempt in Civil Service Examination, 2016

“Eagle eye on goal, immersing myself on preparation and Almighty’s blessings are the secrets of my success”

                                                                                                                                  -Sahil Gupta

‘Pratiyogita Darpan’ arranged an exclusive interview with Shri Sahil Gupta who has been selected in Civil Services Examination 2016, conducted by Union Public Service Commission. He deserves high appreciation and our heartiest congratulations on his outstanding success. This important, thought-provoking and highly inspiring interview  is being presented here in its original form.

PD—Heartiest congratulations on your brilliant success in the CS Exam.

Shri Sahil—Thank you.

PD—As you are aware, on the great demand from lakhs of aspiring youths like you, PD English was launched on 1st June, 2006. Now that you have tasted the sweetness of success, so please tell us :

(i) What difference could it have made if you had got PD English while you were preparing for CS Exam. ?

(ii) What special feature/features would you like to see in PD English ?

Shri Sahil

(i) PD English would be a good revision magazine with its broad coverage.

(ii) PD English is doing great especially PD Economics.

PD—Were you confident of your success ? How did you react to this special news of your success ?

Shri Sahil—I was hopeful and I was elated on getting such a good rank.

PD—Before knowing your own result, what was your perception about toppers ?

Shri Sahil—I always believed that with hard work and little luck, one can be a topper.

PD—Was Civil Services your only goal or were you preparing for other career opportunities as well simultaneously ?

Shri Sahil—No, I was single mindedly focused on CSE.

PD—In how many attempts have you achieved this success ? How do you visualise your preparation in previous attempts ? What preference in services have you opted for ?

Shri Sahil—III attempt. Previous failures acted as learning lessons to me which I did not forget.


PD—With newer and more Iucrative opportunities being available in private sectors and the number of posts decreasing/remaining static in Civil Services, how do you express your feelings in this regard ?

Shri Sahil—Competition is getting more cut-throat and therefore, CSE has become more attractive. Those who want to opt for CSE should look at it at career and not job.

PD—‘Time Management’ is a key factor while making preparations as well as while writing examination papers. What did you do to manage time ?

Shri Sahil—I prepared my own notes and continuously revised them. I set daily and weekly targets and worked hard to attain them.

PD—What were your optionals ? What was the criterion of your subjects selection ?

Shri Sahil

        Mains : Political Science & International Relations.

PD—What were the ingredients of your strategy in preparation for Prelims, Mains & Interview ?

Shri Sahil

Prelims : Read extensively, Researched from Internet, NCERTS, Coaching Material, The Hindu

Mains : Same material with added answer writing practice.

Interview : Prepared my DAF

Details of my hobbies :

        Graduation subjects, Optional, Events of National & International Importance.

PD—How did you prepare for ESSAY Paper ? On which topic did you write essay this time and what was the basis of your choosing it ?

Shri Sahil—I wrote on—If development is not engendered, it is endangered. Cyber security focused equally on language and content.

PD—List some of the Magazines, Newspapers, Books etc. which you consulted for the preparation of ‘General Studies’ papers.

Shri Sahil

Prelims :

NCERT, Laxmikant, Ramesh Singh, The Hindu, PD (Eco.)

Mains :

1) L. FADIA—GS 2) Nitin Singhania—Art and Culture, B. V. Rao—World History, Yojana, World Focus, PD, The Hindu, Coaching Material.

PD—How did you prepare yourself for Interview ? When did it take place and what were the questions asked during the Interview ?

Shri Sahil—Gave mock Interviews at coaching centres, Prepared profile, Held group discussions, Mirror Practice, Revised current affairs and DAF profile Interview— March 20, 2017.

Q 1—IR-with China, Pak, Russia of analytical nature.

  1. 2—How do you see Haryana in next 10 years ?
  2. 3—From my hobby & civil Engg.
  3. 4—Last question : What is moral courage ?

PD—In your opinion at which level of education should one start preparing for Civil Services and what should be the minimum period of time required to prepare for Civil Services Examinations ?

Shri Sahil—During Graduation (3rd year onwards), Ideal time (12 to 18) months, dedicated hard work.

Name—Sahil Gupta

Father’s Name—Shri Sushil Kumar Gupta

Mother’s Name—Mrs. Promila Gupta


Educational Qualifications

B. Tech. (Civil Engg.) (2013)

PD—What is your opinion regarding the general view that Science subjects have better chance to score than the subjects in Humanities ?

Shri Sahil—These are all misconceptions and myths; fundamental clarity and control over writing skills helps one fetch good marks.

PD—What is the importance of medium of expression in the exams like CSE ?

Shri Sahil—Both Hindi and English media can give required result if we put a determined effort.

PD—Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on his/her preparations ?

Shri Sahil—It can be in initial phase. But such struggles of life can be overcome with sincere efforts and perseverance.

PD—In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing for an examination like Civil Services ?

Shri Sahil—Comprehensive coverage, Quick Revision, Interviews of successful candidates.

PD—What, in your considered opinion, should be the qualities of a standard magazine for competitive examinations ?

Shri Sahil—Crisp. to the point, Reader friendly, Clear demarcation of topics, Provide linkages between syllabus.

PD—Pratiyogita Darpan is the largest read Career and Competition Magazine in India. How do you rate Pratiyogita Darpan and in what way can this magazine be made more useful for C. S. E. aspirants ?

Shri Sahil—PD esp : PD Eco. is a complete magazine. PD should go for its polity, IR and a new section on specialization as well.

Personal Qualities
Favourite Person—Dr. Shah Faesal is my inspiration.

Strong Point—Good handwriting speed and writing skills.

Weak Point—Optional Political Science P1 – (Part I)

Hobbies—Reading, football blogs, watching football, following IR, Reading Poetry.

PD—Please give your comments on the PD Extra Issue Series on ‘General Studies’ and a few Optionals ?

Shri Sahil—Keep up the good work ! Students really appreciate the efforts put in by PD team.

PD—Did you see our latest publication : Pratiyogita Darpan—Year Book ? What is your opinion about the contents, size and the timing of launch (Mid April—just before Prelims) ?

Shri Sahil—Innovative concept to collate yearly current affairs. Good and concise in nature. Timing can be prepared a little to give students more time.

PD—How would you rate the contents of Pratiyogita Darpan on the scale of quality ? What more do you expect from Pratiyogita Darpan ? (Kindly specify separately for : Regular Issues, Extra Issues, Year Book).

Shri Sahil—Quality check teams of PD must be appreciated for the high standards set by them in the market.

PD—What is the secret of your success ?

Shri Sahil—(Consistency-clarity-common sense) along with family support and God’s blessings.

PD—Did you join any coaching institute at any stage of the preparation ? If yes, then what is your opinion about the role these institutes play in the preparation for Civil Services Examinations ?

Shri Sahil—I joined many coaching institutes.

PD—To whom would you like to give the credit for your success ?

Shri Sahil—Parents, friends and the Almighty who stood behind me during my failures.

PD—After your success in the preliminary examination, do you feel you could have scored better by introducing some changes in your method of preparation ?

Shri Sahil—No, my preliminary score was 130, when cut off was 116 for CSE 2016. So, I would have continued with same strategy.

PD—Point out the detailed strategy for P. C. S. Pre., Mains and Interview.

Shri Sahil

Pre : NCERTS and current affair

Mains : Writing practice and speed.

Interview : Focus on your personality.

PD—Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants ?

Shri Sahil—Don’t be afraid to prepare. Try and make the process of preparation supreme and focusing too much on end result.

PD—Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for a bright future.

Shri Sahil—Thank you for your warm greetings.

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