” Intelligent strategy coupled with hard work and incomparable guidance are the secrets of my success.” -Dikshit Swetam
“Pratiyogita Darpan” arranged an exclusive interview with Shri Dikshit Swetam who has been selected in Bihar Civil Services Examination. He deserves high appreciation and our heartiest congratulations on his glorious achievement. This important, thought-provoking and highly inspiring interview is being presented here in its original form.
PD—Achieving top slot in the Civil Services Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Shri Swetam—Thank you so much.
PD—Were you confident of your success in this examination and how did you react to this news?
Shri Swetam—Yes, I was pretty confident about my selection. I had performed well in the exam. I really felt good when I saw my name in the final list.
PD—What preference in services have you opted for and any particular reason for that priority?
Shri Swetam—BPS, BAS as these offer immense opportunities to serve the people of the state as well as the country.
PD—What was your optional subject?
Shri Swetam—Optional Subject: Labour and Social Welfare (LSW).
PD—In how many attempts have you achieved this success?
Shri Swetam—It was my first attempt.
PD—You must have read IAS toppers’ interviews in newspapers/ magazines; what inspired you the most? Any particular success story which influenced your journey to this result?
Shri Swetam—Yes, I used to read toppers’ Interviews to understand/ know their strategies, which greatly helped me during the exam. No particular story inspired me but their strategies, hard work and hardships kept me motivated.
PD—What was your approach towards Paper-I (General Studies) and Paper-II (Aptitude Test) during Prelims preparation? How long time and how much effort did you divide for each?
Shri Swetam—I relied upon NCERT text-books alongwith notes and test series of coaching centre.
For current affairs I read Pratiyogita Darpan and daily Newspapers. Online platforms also helped in enriching the current affairs section.
PD—How did you manage to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims?
Shri Swetam—There was no negative marking in BPSC. So I attempted all the questions.
PD—The first step is the most difficult; how to prepare? Which optional subjects to pick-up? What to read? How much to read? Many such questions come to your mind when you really get serious about Civil Services Examination ? From where did you get the right advice ?
Shri Swetam—I used to read, toppers’ interviews in Pratiyogita Darpan and their stories boosted my morale and I decided to pursue civil services.
I also consulted my friends and family. Some of them advised me to meet Sanjay Upadhyay Sir of Achievers IAS Academy, Patna. I followed their advice and today I am here.
PD—You achieved the desired success in this attempt; how do you visualize your previous attempts ?
Shri Swetam—This was my first attempt in BPSC.
PD—While making final choice for optional subject, what’s important and what’s not ?
Shri Swetam—Interest in the subject is the most vital thing along-with other factors such as availability of proper guidance and study material.
PD—Give the basis of selecting the optional subject ?
Shri Swetam—I had interest in this subject particularly in the social welfare section. The syllabus was short, easily comprehensible and scoring.
PD—What shift did you adopt in your strategy for Mains (Written) ?
Shri Swetam—I used to prepare notes for General Studies and revise them frequently. I also prepared synopsis of important topics which helped me to revise quickly during the exam.
For my optional subject, Labour and Social Welfare, I attended coaching centre’s classroom programmes and appeared for tests regularly.
I used to practice writing long answers.
| Name—Dikshit Swetam
Father’s Name—Shri Devendra Kumar
Mother’s Name—Mrs. Dev Kumari
Date of Birth—7 March, 1992
10th—2007-08, ICSE St. Goseph’s School, Bhagalpur (86·14%)
12th—2008-10, CBSE SKP Vidya Vihar, Banka (70%)
B.E.—2010-14 Visveshvaraya Tech-nological University (VTU), Ramaiah Institute of Technology (CGPA-8·35)
Shri Swetam—There was no Essay Paper in BPSC.PD—Was there any special effort for effective preparation for Essay Paper ? Which topic did you pick up this time and why did you choose this particular topic ?
PD—’Time Management’ is a key factor while making preaprations as well as in writing examination papers, be it Prelims or Main Examination. How did you manage things ?
Shri Swetam—I used to practice writing the answers within a, timeframe and this helped me a lot during my exam in managing my time. I knew how long time I had to invest in a question.
Practice is the key to time-management; so I regularly appeared for the tests.
PD—How did you prepare yourself for interview ? When and which Board did you face ? How did your interview go on, how long did it last and what were the questions asked during the interview ?
Shri Swetam—I prepared probable questions from my Detailed Application Form (DAF) and pre-pared model answers for them. I heavily relied upon mock interviews conducted by the coaching Academy.
I faced the Board of Shri Shakti Samant sir. The interview lasted for around 18-20 minutes. The questions were mostly related to my optional subject, graduation subjects, my service preference and sports.
PD—Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e. Career in Civil Services ?
Shri Swetam—No, my entire focus was on civil service examination.
PD—While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Civil Services ?
Shri Swetam—The job diversity, immense opportunity to serve the people of the country and the state and influence positively their lives and their social recognition kept me motivated to work hard for this exam.
PD—In your opinion at which Educational Level should one start preparing for Civil Services and what should be the minimum period of time required to prepare for Civil Services Examinations ?
Shri Swetam—I think the best time to start preparing for Civil Service is during the final year of graduation or immediately after graduation. However, it is never too late to start if the aspirant is ready to work hard with right strategy.
It requires minimum of one year of hard work to prepare for Civil Services examination.
PD—What is your opinion regarding the general view that Science subjects have better chance to score than Humanities ?
Shri Swetam—If the aspirant has interest in the subject and follows the right strategy, any subject can fetch good marks.
Science subjects have objectivity but humanities can supplement the GS papers so every subject is good. It depends upon one’s inclination.
PD—What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like CSE ?
Shri Swetam—Medium of examination does not play any major role. Any language in which we can express our views and thoughts clearly can help in fetching good marks.
PD—Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Civil Services ?
Shri Swetam—During final year of my graduation I started developing interest towards public service.
PD—Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in ‘Civil Services’ ?
Shri Swetam—As soon as I completed my graduation, I made up my mind to pursue a career in Civil Service.
|Favourite Person—Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Strong Point—Head strong and perseverance
Shri Swetam—Though I did not have any time-frame in my mind, I worked for it as if it was my last attempt.PD—Did you keep in mind some time-frame for the examination preparation and number of attempts ?
PD—Was CSE your planned decision or your parents’ wish ?
Shri Swetam—It was a planned decision and my parents supported me. My parents and teachers kept me motivated during my preparation.
PD—Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation ?
Shri Swetam—I personally do not think that educational or demo-graphic status of the family of an aspirant have any major impact on the preparation.
PD—In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing for an examination like Civil Services ?
Shri Swetam—I think they play a vital role because of growing importance of current affairs.
PD—How do you find Pratiyogita Darpan ? Do you find it close to your expectations ?
Shri Swetam—I find Pratiyogita Darpan to be extremely helpful especially for current affairs preparation.
Yes, it is, quite close to my expectation. The Toppers’ Interviews published in Pratiyogita Darpan kept me motivated and helped me explore the right strategy.
PD—As a reader of PD, do you read IAS Preparation related articles published in it and did you find these constructive ?
Shri Swetam—Yes, I often read them and found them extremely useful in my preparation.
PD—Please give your comments on the PD Extra Issues Series on ‘General Studies’ and a few Optional Subjects ?
Shri Swetam—PD Extra Issues cover current affairs with, important data and facts. This helps to authenticate our answers and help in better presentation of answers.
PD—Did you refer to Pratiyogita Darpan—Year Book ? What is your opinion about the contents, size and the time of publishing ?
Shri Swetam—Yes, for some topics, content is good, comprehensive and reliable.
PD—What is the secret of your success ?
Shri Swetam—Hard work coupled with right strategy, frequent tests and appropriate guidance.
PD—To whom would you like to give the credit for your success ?
Shri Swetam—I would like to give the credit of my success to my parents and teachers who kept me motivated and supported me throughout the struggle.
PD—Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.
Shri Swetam—Prepare with all your heart and mind. Hard work always pays off. I would advise all aspirants to work hard and smart, keep yourself motivated, be patient and learn from your failures.
PD—Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.
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