UPSC Topper Minal Karanwal IAS (UPSC CSE) Interview (AIR 35, CSE 2018)

Updated On -

Mar 2, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

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Minal Karanwal has achieved the Rank 35 in IAS (UPSC CSE) 2018 on the 3rd attempt. She has completed her schooling at St. Joseph’s Academy and graduated from St. Stephen’s College.

She has given the 1st attempt in 2016 and the second attempt was in 2017. In the 3rd attempt, Minal Karanwal has secured 1045 in the final merit list. Public Administration has been chosen as the optional subject because this is extremely overlapping the syllabus of general studies paper 3 and 4.

During the IAS UPSC CSE Mains preparation exam, the concentrating and developing writing style should be in the mind constantly and the conclusion never is written rhetorically.

Minal Karanwal’s IAS(UPSC CSE) Interview in Detail

During the interview, the Chairman and other members of the IAS (UPSC CSE) Interview must be greeted and 3 - 4 seconds of pause should be maintained between the questions. Here are the questions and the answers during the IAS Interview:

Ques. What was the last time when a visit was paid to a post office? As the post offices are no longer relevant nowadays, will it be beneficial for the Indian government to withdraw from this sector as the other sectors are doing?

Ans. Sir, it is certain that throughout the years, the digital revolution has made a huge impact on the communication system and it has become easier to communicate via email and text messages as well as social media.

However, it should be noted that the people who are living in rural areas and the digitalization has not been penetrated, the only communication system they have with the industrial world is the post office.

Ques. Mention the last time of your post office visit?

Ans. December 2018

Ques. What is the reason for your hobby being ‘Reading Feminist Thought and Discourses’. Explain the meaning of Feminism.

Ans. Feminism is a theory that seeks to find out the causes for the oppression and differentiation that has been faced due to being women as well as it presents a goal for a world of equal opportunity for both men and women.

Ques. So, explain the reason for feminism originated in the foreign nations and even after they advanced, and it later came to the developing countries?

Ans. As it is a study of logic and analysis, it is originated in the west. However, societies of different times and different places all over the world have guaranteed and fought against these prejudices and rights even before the term has been originated. For Example, India...

Ques. Then, what is the reason for being an urban, elite phenomenon?

Ans. Sir, this is a legitimate criticism. Though feminism has been associated with elite women, they also analyse the socio-economical and cultural reasons for the dominance over women across the world and shows the ultimate collusion for women empowerment. Moreover, the women belonging to the lower class… (The next question has been asked)

Member 1 then shifts the topic and asks the question:

Ques. So, has political science been studied in your graduation? Mention a few names of the thinkers.

Ans. Sir, Thomas Hobbes, J.S. Mill...

Ques. Are you acquainted with Aristotle?

Ans. Yes, he directly gave his opinion on the democracy in ancient Greece and also been criticized for his advice to an exclusive democracy for white and heterosexual men.

Ques. What is the similarity between Alexander and Aristotle?

Ans. I am now aware of it, sir.

Ques. Have you heard about Machiavelli?

Ans. Yes, sir. He wrote a political treatise named The Prince and elaborated in the monarch’s craft on state affairs.

Ques. Chanakya is also known as India’s Machiavelli even though he existed a long time before Machiavelli. Why so?

Ans. Sir, this is how the western thinkers define him from their understanding.

Ques. What are the similarities?

Ans. Both of the personalities can be elaborated on the tacts of the monarch.

Ques. Elaborate on this.

Ans. Sir, I am incapable of elaborating this.

Ques. Who is the most preferred thinker for you? What did he theorize?

Ans. : J.S.MILL. Here are the 3 strands of thoughts?

  • The qualitative aspect of utilitarianism
  • Importance of dissent in front of a democracy
  • Wrote an essay on the ‘Subjugation of women’

Ques. Did he support the laissez faire economy?

Ans. Sir, I am unaware of it.

Ques. Has Uttaraknad made any progress after the separation from Uttarpradesh?

Ans. Yes, definitely. Few points are:

  • The tourism industries have increased by 168% in the last 12 years after separation.
  • More than 90% of Uttarakhand has electricity.
  • The infrastructure of the road has been improved.
  • Many crucial manufacturing regions have come up.

Ques. What is the LOKPAL? What is the requirement and why are many agencies already existing?

Ans. It is a crucial anti-corruption agency and much needed in India. Here are 2 advantages of such agencies:

  1. It maintains a wider jurisdiction and covers former as well as present PMs, MPs, and civil servants.
  2. Such agencies also investigate and prosecute. Earlier it was with competent authorities.

Ques. What is the LOKPAL?

Ans. SIR, Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, a former judge.

Ques. Elaborate about the #MeToo movement.

Ans. It is a digital campaign helping women all over the world to come out with their experience of sexual harassment at the workplace. Here are 2 advantages:

  1. Widespread social mobilisation and support for the cause of every woman
  2. The shift in the debate from the legislative address of SHWP to the redefinition of a woman’s dignity as a person at the workplace.

There are disadvantages as well which as follows:

  1. False accusations and misuse of the movement.
  2. Dismissal from the workplace without accusations being proven.

Ques. What is the reason for IPS being the second choice and not IFS?

Ans. Sir, my belief is that I am capable of well delivering with job respect as it demands.

Member 2: It is really appreciable that you feel strongly positive about women rights.

Ques. Give a long explanation on Uttarakhand and how it is lacking in developmental fronts? What is affecting it from developments?

Ans. A crucial balance between ecology and development is required which can leave several ongoing projects in a hanging position.

Member 3: But there is one more issue. Non-Gurkhas and non-Kumaonis are able to own property for more than 250 years. Therefore, industrial development can not be done.

Ques. If you are a leader, Will you repeal it?

Ans. Sir, the above provision has already taken place because the rights of indigenous communities require to be protected and they should have the resource for leaving. As a leading member, any of my decisions would be in consonance with the rights of people and in favour of their interests. Repealing would not be prudent in such cases.

Ques. But then, as a leader decides the progress of the people, should they be left unemployed?

Ans. Certainly not. Having jobs is very important. However, other ways such as training tourist entrepreneurs in hills and promoting eco-tourism have shown new light for earning as well as horticulture. The Indian government has arranged agro-processing zones also. ( Member 4 nodded her head)

Ques. You have completed an internship programme on citizens for accountable Governance? ( As Member 4 has misinterpreted the internship programme and it was for NO of the same name.) How can the citizens demand accountability from governance?

Ans. Ma’am citizen charters, grievance redressal officers in the public departments…( next question has appeared).

Ques. Your optional subject is Public Administration. How will you work with the Zila Panchayats as a District Magistrate?

Ans. Ma’am, a Zila Panchayat is the representative body of people that is aware of the local history, geography and social issues. Therefore working in consonance is very important.

Ques. Is there any conflict between the environmental issues and developments in Dehradun of Uttarakhand? Is there any possibly done by the government?

Ans. Yes, ma’am. There is a large amount of deforestation for the purpose of construction. For example, what people think is Mussoorie facing flats and construction of roads. (The counter-question has been made)

Ques. As the District Magistrate, what should you do in such a conflict?

Ans. Ma’am I’ll make sure there is a proper EIA done.

Member 4: But, you shall be transferred in one year until the report is out.

Response: That should not affect me from carrying out the right procedure. I will definitely await the EIA report and will take the right decision. When the points will be out and if they are negative, I will find alternative projects instead of moving forward.

Ques. You also have written a research paper on the Indecent Representation of Women. Give a briefing on it.

Ans. The research paper is divided into 3 parts:

  1. Brief literary research on the reason for women’s bodies being used out of context in advertisements and films, with a certain aim of achieving more viewers.
  2. Analysing the loopholes in the acts: IRWA, CNTRA and IT Act
  3. Analysis of two regulatory bodies: ASCI and BCCC and their shortcomings.

The final Greeting should be made before leaving the Interview room. She got 157 marks out of 275 marks in the IAS Personality Test. However, she expected 20 marks higher than she has achieved.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.