Strategy:PT Transcript Neha Bhosle Rank 15 CSE 2019

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I had penned this down immediately after coming back from Dholpur House. I have already shared this on the Telegram Channel – https://t.me/PTT2019 - there you will find the PT Transcripts of many other candidates.

You can read how I prepared for the Personality Test here.

Special thanks to the UPSC for taking care of our accommodation and the very high level of precautionary measures taken to ensure that everyone remains healthy. Special thanks to everyone at the Maharashtra Sadan for ensuring a safe and comfortable stay for us. And my very heartfelt gratitude towards Premvati Di from the Housekeeping Team, Priyanka Di from the Security Team and fellow PT candidate Sonam’s Mother for helping me with my saree.

Here begins my Transcript:

Neha Bhosle

BE (Information Technology) + PGDM (Marketing)

~3 years work experience in an Indian conglomerate

Mumbai

Sociology Optional

PK Joshi Sir Board, 20 July 2020, Forenoon Session, 1st to go, first candidate to be interviewed by this board post-Corona.

CM Sir read out my DAF aloud to confirm the details. I kept nodding and saying “Yes Sir” then he began:

Q. Why did you leave your job?

I was wearing both the mask and the face shield. I asked him if I could remove them, he said yes, I said “Thank you”, removed them both and began answering. It was only when I checked Telegram that I learnt that other candidates were giving the interview wearing both or at least one of the two. Not sure if asking by myself was the right thing to do.

A. Sir I left my job so that I could devote more time to UPSC CSE preparation.

Q. Why do you want to join CS?

A. I want to join CS because it would provide me with an opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the lives of many people. It would give me a good platform to contribute to India’s growth and development.

Q. What is the relationship between IT and Marketing?

A. IT enables Marketing. Say I am a Digital Marketing professional, knowledge of HTML will help me design my webpages better. IT will allow me to count and understand metrics like click-through rates, engagement on my pages, at what time do I get good engagement, and such other KPIs.

Q. What is the difference between Marketing and Selling?

A. Marketing is the process of identifying, understanding and satisfying a customer’s needs, while sales is the actual end process where the exchange of goods or services occurs for money. All my marketing efforts are with the end goal of sales in mind.

Q. What is the difference between Marketing in 2000 and today?

A. Sorry Sir, I am not completely aware of the year 2000, but even when I was pursuing my PG, we were being told that Digital would be the next big thing. We did not really have any dedicated courses or electives for it, but the buzz was strong that we should up skill ourselves by learning about Digital.

M1 (lady member):

Q. What qualities did you learn in your job that can be useful in CS?

A. Empathy, quick thinking, creativity and thinking out of box, coordinating with cross functional teams, being a good listener, hard work, being a team player.

Q. What are the qualities of a good leader?

A. A good leader is someone who leads by example. One who has empathy and understands the concerns of her team. She has high integrity and honesty, because only then will the team believe in her and follow her. Has a clear vision of what has to be achieved and motivates the team for the same. And most importantly, when a team succeeds, she should credit the team with the success and when the team fails, she should take responsibility for the failure.

M2:

Q. What is it about Maharashtra that you are proud of?

A. Sir today of course Maharashtra is famous as the commercial capital and entertainment hub. But I am prouder of its contribution in history. Like Ganesh Festival and Shivaji Festival were started in Maharashtra and they were the beginning of mass mobilization for the freedom struggle. Dr. Ambedkar played an important role in drafting the constitution and uplifting the deprived sections. Shahu Maharaj was the first, even before independence to advocate affirmative action. Mahatma and Savitribai Phule worked for upliftment of women and downtrodden sections. Savitribai was the first Indian female teacher. Apart from that we have Veer Savarkar, Lokmanya Tilak, Gopalkrishna Gokhale and many others who contributed to Indian society.

Q. Difference between Mumbai and Lucknow (studied there)?

A. Mumbai even before independence due to British efforts and due to being a port city was very developed. It had a strong textile manufacturing base and soon developed service sector too. Lucknow is less industrialized and has a service sector that is just upcoming.

Q. (interrupting my answer to previous Q.) Difference between culture in Mumbai and Lucknow?

A. Mumbai has a cosmopolitan culture and is often called the melting pot of cultures and various cultures like Marathi, Gujarati, Parsi, Muslim, Jain have merged together to create a unique culture. Lucknow has seen lesser migration as compared to Mumbai but it is a unique combination of Ganga Jamuni culture – Hindu and Islamic cultures.

M3:

Q. Teaching is your hobby. Why is it that best minds are not taking up teaching as a profession?

A. Sir there are multiple opportunities available today and many people may prefer some other career for its growth progression or income. Also, B. Ed, NET, PhD. is compulsory for teaching and many good teachers due to some reason may not be able to clear it. Also, aspirational value is declining, as today Teacher is not seen as the only source of knowledge. Students feel I can Google it, they may even correct a Teacher. But we have schemes has VAJRA, Ramanujam Fellowship, Ramalingam Fellowship to attract people towards teaching as a profession.

Q. Why are so many graduates unemployable? What are issues with education sector in India?

A. Starting from school level, focus is on rote learning, creativity or curiosity is not encouraged. Some schools have poor infrastructure. RTE is only till 14 and so many students drop out after that. Also, due to lack of vocational education, many from vulnerable sections leave studies soon to work. All this shows base itself is weak. Then enrolment in Tertiary level is only 25%. Even here major share of private colleges. This results in poor quality of teaching, infrastructure. Students just graduate with no practical training, no apprenticeship opportunity. Also, syllabus is not frequently updated and results in mismatch between academics and industry expectation. Hence there was a report that only about 47% graduates are employable.

M4:

Q. For a business is only creating a good product and good marketing enough, or is ethics and integrity also important?

A. Yes Sir, ethics and integrity are also very important. For example: Tata Group is known for being ethical and this also helps in business like Tanishq is their brand, and they are able to charge a premium on it because customers trust them that they will not cheat like the local jewellers. P&G is also an ethical company and is a leader in many categories. The Body Shop is very ethical and does not test on animals, and again charges a premium for its products.

Q. So are ethics and integrity important to do business? (I thought I had just answered that. But nonetheless)

A. Yes Sir. Because if not for ethics and integrity, business may not sustain for long. Example: An automobile company had hidden information about a defective part and when it was revealed, their stock prices fell badly and sales were also impacted. I think this was Volkswagen but I am not sure of the name. Similarly, today Facebook is refusing to act against hate speech and racism on its platform and is now seeing brands like Coca-Cola and Unilever not advertising on FB anymore, thus their business is being lost. Ethics and integrity help all stakeholders believe in any business, be it customers, shareholders or employees.

M1 again:

Q. You mentioned migration in the previous answer. Today there is a lot of discussion on migrants. Who is called a migrant? Why is a Google employee originally from Mumbai but working in Delhi not called a migrant?

A. Census defines migrant as someone whose place of birth is different from current place of residence. But there has to be someplace that a line has to be drawn as for the definition. Else even my parents can be classified as migrants though they have lived in Mumbai for so many decades. In current news context, the word migrant is used for the poor and vulnerable sections who led a hand-to-mouth existence and so left the cities once their jobs were lost. White collar workers are not being called migrants.

Q. So if you get posted in Chennai tomorrow, will you be a migrant?

A. Yes Ma’am according to the definition of migrant. However, because the word is being used to describe non-white collar workers, I may not be called so as per the current interpretation of the word. Kerala government preferred to use the term ‘guest workers’ but somehow it did not become popular in the mainstream.

Q. Your Optional is Sociology. What did you like in it and why?

A. Ma’am I liked P2, where we studied about Indian society. Especially the institutions like religion, politics, kinship because we assume that being a part of society, we already know all about it, but studying Sociology made me realize how much I did not know.

Q. What concepts did MN Srinivas give?

A. He gave two very important concepts of Sanskritization and Dominant Caste. In Sanskritization a caste group desirous of social mobility, emulates the practices and lifestyle of a higher, typically dwija caste. Example: Initially Yadavs were not allowed upanayan ceremony. Once they did it, they managed to achieve social mobility. Dominant Caste is a caste that is high in local hierarchy, though may not be at top, has good numbers and hence political clout, land ownership, multiple sources of income. The caste becomes a reference for Sanskritization in that area. Examples: Reddys, Kammas, Jats, Marathas, Gujjars, Patidars.

Q. Are Dominant Castes relevant today. Has the concept changed?

A. Yes Ma’am they still retain political clout. However, protests for reservation by Patels and Marathas show that they are economically becoming weak. They are experiencing relative deprivation.

Q. Is caste still relevant today?

A. In the public sphere, caste has lost its relevance. Example: While travelling in public transports or eating in restaurants, no one cares about caste. However, in private sphere it is very much relevant. Food, dress and such habits are often influenced by caste. Over 90% Indian marriages are endogamous. Also, politicization of caste and affirmative action policy has made the youth caste conscious.

M2 again:

Q. What is a hobby?

A. Sir hobby is something that we do in our spare time to help us relax and destress.

Q. Do you have hobbies? What are your hobbies?

A. Now an awkward thing happened here, because I began my answer with “Yes Sir I have four hobbies”, because I had written four in the DAF, but I could only recollect three and like an idiot I even said “Sorry Sir I am not able to recollect one more”. Big Facepalm.

Q. Suppose my hobby is photography and then I take it up as a profession – is it now my hobby or my profession?

A. Sir it is now your profession because hobby is what you do in free time. However, there is nothing better than working professionally in what is also your hobby.

Q. So teaching is your hobby, then why don’t you pursue it professionally?

A. Sir I know I can become a very good teacher, but I want to become a civil servant because of the scale of impact it offers. For example: Teach For India currently has 40000 students enrolled under its initiatives. TFI has been in operation for over 10 years, and even extrapolating hugely, we arrive at maximum 4 or 5 lakh students they have impacted. In contrast, Delhi government schools alone have more than 16 lakh students. So the opportunity to create a massive impact exists only in civil services.

Q. Do you think you will be able to handle it?

A. I will give it my best Sir and I know I can do it.

CM Sir interrupted and said your interview is over. I was kinda surprised because it felt short. I had not checked the time while entering, nor did anyone else. When I went to collect my bag, I was told I am the second candidate to be done with the interview, but they did not remember at what time the first guy had begun his interview. His board was of Choubey Sir I think.

Personal evaluation – was okayish, could have been better. Barely any cross-questions and sometimes it felt like I was delivering a monologue. They were wearing masks so could not even gauge their expressions. I did not get any super-analytical questions, especially related to Economy, where I could have given excellent gyaan. Hoping my Mains marks are sufficient enough to get me a Top Rank. Personally, I think PT marks would be in lower 170s. The type of questions I had seen in some previous transcripts, related to current affairs were my forte and I could have easily crossed 190 with them. Lesse what happens. Hoping for the Best !

Here finishes my Transcript.

Reading this transcript now, after the result, I cannot help but grin about how sulky I was while writing it ! My biggest concern was that it felt very short. At the medical examination the next day, I met the guy who went for the PT after me, and he said that when I left the room, the time was 10:45. No one had checked the time when I entered the room, but my estimation is that the PT was approximately of 20-22 minutes.

I tried to convince myself that if Sir Anthony Hopkins could win the Oscar for Best Actor in a Lead Role, even with barely 16 minutes of screen time, I could at least get 170 with a 20-22 minutes lasting PT. Makes no sense, I know, but the brain becomes a bit too vella while awaiting the result !

Two other reasons for my worry were that I had not given a single mock interview, and that post-Lockdown, I had barely done anything apart from binge watching TV shows. But these are stories for another Blog post !

Looking at my Rank, it seems like I have probably got 180+ in the PT. If that is indeed true, my biggest and heartfelt thanks to PK Joshi Sir and the entire panel ! And even if that is not true, I still thank them all for patiently listening to me !