Table of Contents
- 1 Anil Basak UPSC Biography
- 2 How to start UPSC CSE Preparation by Anil Basak IAS
- 3 Motivation Post by Anil Basak IAS
- 4 Should you solve Previous Year Question by Anil Basak IAS
- 5 Anil Basak UPSC Marksheet
- 6 Anil Basak UPSC Notes
- 7 Is coaching needed for UPSC CSE by Anil Basak IAS?
- 8 Experience with Coaching Institutes of Anil Basak IAS:
- 9 Anil Basak UPSC Interview Transcript
Anil Basak UPSC Biography
I am Anil Basak
I am from Kishanganj, Bihar.
I have done my Schooling from Kishanganj.
I gave 2 attempts in IIT- JEE.
I got AIR 2016 in my second attempt, i.e., in 2014.
I have done B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi (2014-18)
My UPSC CSE attempts:
I started my formal UPSC CSE preparation in August, 2016 (3rd Year- First Semester)
2018: Couldn’t clear Prelims.
2019: Got AIR 616 and got IRS IT (Joined at NADT, Nagpur on 28th December, 2020 and my UPSC CSE Mains 2020 was on 8th January, 2021. So, I immediately took Extra Ordinary Leave for the period 28th December, 2020 to 29th November, 2021. I resigned from IRS IT on 3rd December, 2021. )
2020: Got AIR 45 and got IAS (Bihar Cadre).
How to start UPSC CSE Preparation by Anil Basak IAS
From where to start:
You may start with the subject you were most interested in school or college. e.g. , Geography, Economy, History, Polity (Constitution) etc.
If you are not interested in any of the Social Sciences subjects then you can start with any of the subjects of UPSC CSE. However, I recommend you may start with Economy or Polity as they are the foundational pillars for CSE as well as key to understanding the newspaper or Current Affairs.
Hence, you should start newspaper reading when you have sufficiently covered the Polity and Economy part. If you are a beginner then you can start reading the newspaper 1 year before the Prelims Examination.
Motivation Post by Anil Basak IAS
It’s perfectly normal to feel demotivated during the preparation. But you need to come back to the preparation. Even I don’t know how to keep oneself motivated throughout the journey. But these might be helpful:
- See motivational videos/quotes on YouTube or Google 😅.
- Think about why you started the preparation in the first place.
Remember the motivation should be internal. External motivation works in the short term only.
e.g. A car can be run for long only on diesel/petrol/CNG/battery etc. and it cannot be run for long by external push/pull. External forces can only make it run for a short duration. So, try to find out your internal fire/motivation.
Allah Ke Bande:
Most of the aspirants face difficulty in deciding what and from where to study a particular topic during UPSC CSE preparation. In order to clear the air regarding such doubts and to help aspirants, even the absolute beginners, who find it difficult to navigate through the endless ocean of available resources for CSE preparation, here’s our two cents!!
This google doc has been compiled by me with inputs from Shrestha Anupam (AIR 19, UPSC CSE-2019). We hope that it will benefit the aspirant community at large:
Should you solve Previous Year Question by Anil Basak IAS
Going through Previous Year Questions (PYQs) is probably the most important thing to get an idea of what exactly is the demand of the examination.
- https://mrunal.org/prelims (For topic wise prelims PYQs. Note that the 2015 Prelims analysis is missing in Mrunal. But the remaining years analysis is good enough.
For Drive link click here.
- https://mrunal.org/mains (For topic wise mains PYQs)
- Google searches. E.g. Google “UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 2015”
Note: CSE syllabus changed in 2013. So it would be better to give more priority to the PYQs of 2013-2021.
If you have less time then see PYQs of 2017-2021.
Analysing PYQs is not a one time exercise. PYQs should be revisited again and again during your preparation phase and a week before the actual exam date.
PYQs not only give you an idea of the actual demands of the CSE preparation but also help you know which topics are more important and how the type of questions asked from a particular topic differs from the others.
Remember that Syllabi should always be read in conjunction with the PYQs, i.e., analyse the PYQs by looking at the topics given in the syllabi (as done by Mrunal Sir)
Sources that can be followed:
For Mathematics optional and other stuff:
What I did (will update this section soon):
- I tried to follow IMS notes for Linear Algebra, Analytic Geometry (But the Conicoid portion was done from a book. I will update the name of the book), Ordinary Differential Equations, Partial differential equations, Dynamics & Statics, Vector Analysis, Algebra (Modern Algebra), Calculus and Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Linear Programming, Numerical Analysis and Computer programming.
- I followed standard books for Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics selectively. (For important chapters go to: http://atul1994.blogspot.com/2018/06/maths-paper-2-pointers-book-list.html )
- Gave around 12-14 IMS Tests. Gave the test in 3 hours (5 questions) then solved the remaining 3 questions in 1.5 hours. Finally, I tried to analyse my copy from the answer key given by IMS. I also discussed those questions with my friends where the answer key was missing or it was inadequate.
- Kept practising at least 1-2 questions (50 marks each) till 4 days before the mains exam, i.e., Essay paper.
- Disclaimer: I am sharing my revision notes. Unless there is paucity of time, do not read from my notes directly. If you make your own notes, they will serve you much better: Kanishak Kataria Sir’s notes in a modified form: Click Here. This might be helpful in knowing which all topics/proofs are important from IMS notes / standard books.
- If stuck at a question one may find this useful: https://math.stackexchange.com/
My Mock Test Copies (Click Here):
I am sharing some of my mains test series copies from 2019 and 2020 attempts.
1. I have written many of the tests in the name of my friends ( because they were not appearing in the mains examination that year or because I exchanged some of the tests of my institute with that of my friends’ institutes).
2. Many of the comments in the copies are genuine. But please don’t take all the comments seriously. Take them as per your wisdom, i.e., take them with a pinch of salt.
3. Marks given in the test series should also not be taken seriously (It depends upon the checker as well as the marking scheme, i.e., liberal, moderate or tough). The main goal should be to incorporate comments (which you think are genuine) in your upcoming tests.
4. Marks for tests given on 10th and 11th September 2019 are inflated as Vision IAS tried to follow a liberal marking scheme for these tests (as CSE mains exam was to start from 20th September 2019, so they wanted to send us on a high).
5. In 2020 I couldn’t write many tests as I was busy due to various reasons.
For better copies please go to : http://visionias.in/resources/toppers_answers.php
Keep writing and keep improving.
#Personality Test (PT) or the so called Interview:
One of my mock (practice) interviews (Personality Test) was on 1st August, 2021.
My real UPSC CSE 2020 Personality Test was on 06th August, 2021.
I wrote mains in English but gave my Personality Test in Hindi (which was mainly Hinglish) for CSE 2020.
Finally, I got 187 (out of 275) marks in UPSC CSE 2020 actual Personality Test.
My UPSC CSE (2020 and 2019 Exam) Personality Test (Interview) Experience:
For more go to: https://t.me/PTT2019
Anil Basak UPSC Marksheet
Anil Basak UPSC Notes
Disclaimer: I am sharing my revision notes. Unless there is paucity of time, do not read from my notes directly. If you make your own notes, they will serve you much better.
Is coaching needed for UPSC CSE by Anil Basak IAS?
Whether coaching is required or not for UPSC CSE preparation is a perennial question. We believe that it’s a personal choice of the candidate based on his temperament and availability of resources( time, money, energy etc.). There are umpteen examples of successful candidates in both the categories( those who took coaching and those who didn’t).
If you decide to go for self-study there are ample resources available in the market and on the internet that can help you clear this examination. (e.g. https://www.csewiki.org/Strategy:Toppers%27_strategy )
Experience with Coaching Institutes of Anil Basak IAS:
I joined Vision IAS for General Studies (2016-17), IMS for Mathematics Optional (2017) and GS Score for Essay (2020).
Rest of the coaching institutes which are publishing my name is because I appeared in their mock interviews (e.g. Rau’s IAS). I did not join their classroom programme or any of their test series.
The bottom line is: Figure out your strengths, temperament and availability of resources and decide accordingly.
Remember more than 95% of your CSE knowledge (whether you take coaching or not) will come from self study and discussions with friends and mentors!
Well the goal should be to complete your tasks for the day/week and then enjoy. So, the number of hours spent for the exam per day doesn’t matter much. Some people do good by studying 6-8 hours daily while some read for 10-12 hours. So, the choice is up to you. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.
I used to study on average 5.5 to 8 hours daily. However, I had to increase it to 10-12 hours when the Prelims/mains exam was round the corner. But I rarely crossed more than 12 hours of studying in a day.
I believe the mind is like a machine. We should give it rest from time to time. So, keep taking breaks throughout the day (e.g., going for a walk, playing sports, watching youtube videos, meditation, talking to family / friends etc.). This way you will be able to keep the stress level under control.
You may follow the Pomodoro Technique for better productivity:
P.S. We will keep updating this Google doc from time to time. So keep visiting this document. For any query or suggestion please fill this Google Form.
Thank you for reading this. For your future endeavours all the best and leave out all the rest! (https://youtube.com/watch?v=yZIummTz9mM)
Credits: Class XII Geography NCERT. For more NCERTs go to: Philoid NCERT Books App
Last but not the least:
- Mat Kar Maya ko Ahankar-
- Ekla Cholo Re-
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत।
Anil Basak UPSC Interview Transcript
Name: Anil Basak
State: Bihar (Kishanganj district)
Date of Personality Test (PT): 06th August, 2021; 2nd to go (Forenoon)
Chairperson (CP): Sujata Mehta Madam
Medium of PT: Hindi (actually it was Hinglish)
Venue: UPSC Bhawan
Graduation: Civil Engineering , IIT Delhi- 2018
Hobby: Playing Cricket
Work: IRS IT-2020 (on Extraordinary Leave till December 2021)
*No questions on IRS IT, Cricket, IIT Delhi and Bihar*
My PT Room was not that big (it was roughly a 20 feet x 20 feet room). Hence, there was no mic in the room. The members were separated from each other by about 6 feet.
Room door was already open. I entered the room wearing a face-shield, mask and hand gloves (provided by UPSC). All the members were also wearing masks throughout the interview (only 2 members removed their masks while asking questions during the interview).
Greeted the Chairperson and then other 4 Members (1 lady and 3 gentlemen).
CP said that I may remove my face-shield if I want. I removed the face-shield and kept it on the table in front of me. However, I was wearing the mask throughout the PT (The candidate just before me was scolded by the board for removing the mask without the permission of the board).
CP then showed me two passport size photographs and asked whether it was me (However, she didn’t ask me to remove the mask to verify me). I said , “yes Madam”.
Trivia: These are the photographs submitted by us during document verification on the date of PT and the Board writes our PT marks at the backside of the photographs.
1. Introduce yourself by giving details about your education and work.
2. What are the ideals in the Preamble along with ‘Justice’?
3. Arrange the four ideals as per their importance and also give reasons for the same. ( I said , “Madam, 1. Justice 2. Equality 3. Liberty 4. Fraternity“)
4. Shouldn’t Equality be placed before Justice? ( I said if there is Justice then there will be Equality)
5. Define Liberty and Fraternity.
6. Is there Justice in India?
7. Difference between Law and Justice? ( I said Law is the means and Justice is the end).
8. Section 498A of IPC is there. We have the burden of proof on the accused. So, you think Section 498A is doing justice? (Question about Sec 498A came up randomly. I never mentioned any keyword like IPC or Sec 498A etc.)
I said, “The Supreme Court has said….”
CP: No, forget about the Supreme Court. Tell us your opinion.
(I said yes Madam Sec 498A is doing justice because there are crimes against women in India like domestic violence. So we need Sec 498A dealing with cruelty by husband and his relatives.)
CP cut me short at this point and said thank you and passed the baton to Member 1.
1. So we were talking about Justice. In India there are huge pendencies in Courts. You know that Justice delayed is Justice denied. Don’t you think in India Justice is denied?
2. Now assume you are the Law Secretary of India. How will you solve the problem of judicial pendencies?
3. Suppose you are made the Collector of a district. There is a welfare scheme which is to be implemented. The local politician in the district is asking you to post two of his known officers at a particular posting where there is scope for corruption. What will you do? (2-3 follow up questions like don’t you think if there is some corruption then everyone will be happy as the scheme would be implemented easily. I said that means is also important and corruption ultimately hurts the common man the most.
The member continued his follow up questions and stopped only when I said, “if I am the DC then it will my responsibility to ensure corruption free administration and hence I will deny the request by the politician”)
1. Have you heard of a place in Jharkhand which is famous for cybercrimes? (I said, “Yes Sir. It is Jamtara”)
2. You must have seen that Jamtara serial? (I said, “Yes Sir”). So, despite having low literacy, why are the youths there engaged in cyber crimes?
3. If you are made the SP of Jamtara district how will you tackle such cyber crimes? (Then 2-3 follow up questions)
4. You must have seen in the serial that the local politician was also involved in the cyber crimes. As the SP of the district how will you handle the local politician?
5. What are the different types of soils in India?
6. What is topsoil? (I said, “Sir, the top part of the soil is topsoil”. He smiled and said, “That is obvious. Tell me the importance of topsoil for agricultural growth.”)
7. Suppose you have to make a dam in the Himalayas. What all things will you keep in mind as a Civil Engineer?
8. What are normal distribution, Poisson distribution and XYZ distribution (I am unable to recall XYZ)?
(I said, “Sir, I know only about normal distribution.”)
9. Normal distribution symmetrical or not?
Member 3 (Lady member):
1. What is this research award mentioned in your DAF?
2. Tell me two of your weaknesses which may go against you as a civil servant?
(Second weakness I mentioned was regarding lack of life skills like ‘driving’, ‘cooking’ etc.)
3. No, but cooking will not affect civil services. I was asking about those weaknesses which will adversely affect you being in civil services.
At this moment before I could answer, CP said, “Yes, cooking is also important.” She cut the member short and passed the baton to Member 4 (This was done probably because Member 3 didn’t have much time as around 10-12 minutes were taken by Member 2)
1. Name three Indians who got the Nobel Prize?
2. Who got the Nobel prize in mathematics recently? (I said, “Sir, in mathematics there is no Nobel Prize but we have the equivalent as Abel Prize”)
3. Isn’t it the Fields Medal? (I said, “Sir, some consider the Fields Medal as the Nobel Prize. However, Abel Prize is specifically created as an equivalent of Nobel Prize in Mathematics”)
4. Okay which Indian got it? (I said, “Sir, I know about the Indian origin people who got Fields Medal”)
5. Okay tell the names?
6. Tell us how mathematical modelling is used in administration?
7. What is the use of mathematics in economics?
8. Another question was related to how you will use mathematics when there is a land which is spread over two districts? (I couldn’t understand the exact question. The member immediately moved to another question).
9. Why do people after being selected in the civil services forget their friends and stop being humble?
1. Okay. Do you want us to ask you anything else? (I said, “No Madam. Thank you. I think most of the areas are sufficiently covered”.)
CP then said, “your interview is over. Please take the head-shield with you before leaving.”
I thanked the CP and then the other 4 members and left the room.
1. When I came out of the room, the lady candidate whose interview was next to me said that my interview was too long. I nodded and wished her good luck.
2. Finally I got 187 marks in the PT when the results were declared in September.
Board: Smita Nagaraj Ma’am.
Medium of PT: English
Venue: UPSC Bhawan
Date: 11th March, 2020. Afternoon Slot.
Duration of the interview: 25 minutes (approx.). Third to go.
Graduation: Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi-2018.
Hobbies: Following Cricket and Teaching
Home State: Bihar (Kishanganj district)
*No questions asked on hobbies and optional.
1. Are you working?
2. So you come from an IIT. IITs have become elite institutions and are also associated with brand value. This has led to neglect of other higher educational institutions. Your view? (In the answer, one of the points I mentioned was about the NPTEL initiative of IITs which is benefitting other college students as well. Member 4 will pick up NPTEL related questions later)
3. You came to IIT because of its brand value? Isn’t it?
4. You could have gone for research had research been branded like the IITs. So don’t you think branding plays an important role in your decision making?
4. People join Civil Services because of brand value. Your opinion?
(I tried to highlight the good work of Civil Servants and how they inspired me. Also I said Civil Services is a ‘lucrative’ career option. Member 4 will pick this up later)
5. Tell me one civil servant who inspired you?
1. (*Very technical question on current affairs and I said I don’t know.)
2. Difference between toughness and resilience? (Civil Engineering question. Chairman Ma’am will pick this up at the end)
3. When toughness approaches resilience? ( He asked me something related to the elastic properties of material. I couldn’t understand the question clearly. I replied that I don’t know).
4. Why are we promoting Electric Vehicles (EVs) in India?
5. Challenges in EV adoption? (First point I said was the import dependence of EV batteries on China)
6. Suppose we somehow get EV batteries at low cost. What other challenges are there?
7. Do you know something about the storage capacity of an EV battery? Isn’t it important for EV adoption?
8. How long does an EV battery last?
9. Is your district an aspirational district? (I said no. But the adjoining districts- Purnia and Araria are aspirational districts)
10. What is the Aspirational District Programme?
M2: (Bihar related questions)
1,2,3. (*Three questions on recent developments in Bihar. I said, “I don’t know” on the trot.)
4. What are the main issues in Bihar?
5. The problems that you mentioned are there since decades. Still the situation has not changed. So the Civil Services have failed?
6. There are many Civil Servants produced by Bihar. But most of them don’t want to be in Bihar. Will you work in Bihar?
( I said this is my first choice)
7. You would be working because of local contacts in Bihar. Isn’t it?
8. Problem of illegal gun manufacturing in Bihar. Isn’t it prevalent?
9. Which act the State Government brought to tackle illegal gun manufacturing?
M3 ( This member was always in disagreement mode):
1. Problems created by digital giants ( like Facebook) in India?
2. What are cyber crimes?
3. Is the government doing enough to prevent them?
4. Hacking done by one country on other countries. How should India respond?
5. International efforts on Cybersecurity?
(I said Budapest Convention. This time he agreed with me. Probably because this was his last question)
1. Why is data called the new oil?
2. How data is oil for an automobile?
3. What should India do to harness the benefits of the data revolution?
4. Why should we promote online education?
5. Do you think that online courses as in NPTEL can replace the conventional courses taught in colleges?
6. Problems with NPTEL courses?
7. Why is Civil Services lucrative to you? (One of the point I mentioned in the answer was public interaction)
8. However there will hardly be any public interaction in Indian Defence Estate Service. Then how would you justify your answer?
1. Which quality would you prefer: toughness or resilience?
(I said both)
2. No, No. Choose one of the two? (I said toughness)
3. She said she would have chosen resilience.
( I said that for me toughness is important as it allows me to absorb the negative energy associated with failure. Ma’am if someone chooses resilience I am fine with it)
4. Okay you are fine with it. Thank you. Your interview is over.
At last M1 told the answer to question no. 3 asked by him. I thanked him for the answer.
Thanked the other members and left.
*Overall the Board was cordial.
P.S. : I got 160 marks in this Personality Test.