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Mrunal (http://mrunal.

org/)

IAS Topper Rank 1: Gaurav Agrawal, Economics Optional, also cleared


IIT, IIM & IPS

motivation (http://mrunal.org/category/motivation) / 10 months Ago /


503 Comments (http://mrunal.org/2014/07/ias-topper-rank-1-gaurav-agrawal-ips-iit-iim-economics-o

(http://www.flipkart.com/india-2015-english/p/itme3yz8rvpuhgky?
pid=9788123019789&affid=mrunalrugm)
1.

Topper Profile

2.

Education

3.

Electronic Vs Paper material

4.

Tempo and style

5.

Struggle of a Senior player

6.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

7.

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

8.

Prelim accuracy

9.

Mains: Compulsory language paper

10.

Mains: Essay

11.

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

12.

General studies (Mains) paper 2

13.

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

14.

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

15.

GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2013

16.

Mains answer-writing?

17.

Mains Optional Subject

18.

Before the interview

19.

During the interview

20.

CSE-2013 Marksheet

21.

Career Backup

22.

Views on UPSC reforms

23.

Insecurity about profile

24.

Wisdom

25.

Credit: Friends/family

26.

BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Topper Prole
Name

Gaurav Agrawal

Rank in CSE-2013

Roll No.

249085

Age

29

Total attempts in CSE

Optional Subject

Economics

Medium chosen for Mains


answers

English

Schooling medium

English

College medium

English

Home town/city

Jaipur

Work-experience if any

3.5 years in Investment Banking. Presently in IPS.

Details of other competitive


exams, including
success/failures

AIR 45, IITJEE 2001


CAT 2005 percentile 99.80
Vision IAS and Synergy test series useful.
Baliyan history optional classroom coaching useful, but

Details of coaching, mock


tests, postal material for any
competitive exam (if used)

dont rely solely on it.


Attended mock interviews at various places and found
them useful.
Attended classroom coaching at Vajiram, Sriram,
Lalwanis Axiom and found them to be a total waste of
my time and left soon / didnt attend classes.

service preference #1, 2 and 3

IAS > IPS > IRS

state cadre preference (top3)

Rajasthan > MP > Gujarat

Education
fill the details here
% in class 10

88.2

% in class 12

85.6

Schooling (Medium)

English

Graduation course and %

Computer Sc. & Engg. 6.8/10. Multiple Fs and degree


Extended.

Name of college, city, passing out


year

IIT Kanpur, 2005

Post-graduation

IIM Lucknow, MBA in Finance 9.25 / 10. Gold Medal

Any other professional courses


1. Blogging
Hobbies & Extra curricular

2. Following macroeconomy
3. Jogging

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/97816112@N02/14668247972)

Electronic Vs Paper material


Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds. Many
aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how much do you rely on
electronic material and how much on the paper material (Books, newspapers)?
More than 60% of preparation today has to come from internet. Role of books is decreasing.
Hindu is of prime importance now. No typical day. I maintain notes.

Tempo and style


Q. People know what books and syllabus points are to be prepared. But most of them
lack consistency in their preparation. So, how do you keep study momentum going on?
How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?

Inner strengths.

Struggle of a Senior player


Q1. Whatre your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational
incident(s), please share.
Only one thing. While preparing for the next attempt, dont begin in blind and just repeat what
you did earlier, because that obviously failed. Instead, sit down, analyze, find your weaknesses
and work to improve those weaknesses mainly.
Q2. What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this
current attempt?
Ive written a detailed article about it. click me
(http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/upsc-gs-mains-how-to-improveanswer-writing/)

Prelims (CSAT) General studies


Topic

strategy/booklist/comment

History Ancient

I had history optional last year.

History Medieval

I had history optional last year.

History Modern
(Freedom Struggle)

Shekhar Bandopadhyay and Bipin Chandra books

Culture society

I had history optional last year.

Polity (theory + current)

DD Basu

Economy (theory +
current)

I had economics optional.

Science (theory +
current)

9th and 10th class NCERT and Vajiram notes.

Environment (theory +

Please read my blog post for this. click me


(http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/culture-

current)

snt-envt/)

geography physical

11th and 12th class NCERT, Goh Che Leong, Vajiram notes.

geography India

11th and 12th class NCERT, Goh Che Leong, Vajiram notes.

geography world

11th and 12th class NCERT, Goh Che Leong, Vajiram notes.

other
national/international
current affairs

Newspaper and internet.

Schemes, Policy & Filler


Stuff

Newspaper and internet.

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topic

strategy / booklist

Maths

Didnt prepare.

reasoning

Didnt prepare.

comprehension

Didnt prepare.

Decision Making

Didnt prepare.

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS Aptitude 2013 paper.


Cant comment here as didnt prepare for this.

Prelim accuracy
Q1. Did you attend any mock tests? do you think theyre necessary for success?
Yes. Yes absolutely necessary.
Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2013
Dont remember as didnt analyze this years paper after coming back.

Q3. Your score in prelim?


General studies

121.34

aptitude

182.50

total

304

Mains: Compulsory language paper


Compulsory language paper

Your preparation strategy / booklist?

English paper

None

your regional language

None

Q2.other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory


language papers in CSE-2013
None

Mains: Essay
Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
Analyzed my mistakes from previous year and improved upon them. Details can be found here.
click me (http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/improving-essay-writing/)
Q2. Which among the following essay did you write? What key points did you include in it?
1. Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)
2. Is the Colonial mentality hindering Indias Success?
3. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the
right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country
4. Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.
Attempted the Essay on S&T. Key points can be found here. click me

General Studies (Mains) paper 1


Please note that while reading the coaching material, we will find that 90% of the topics are
repetitive and useless if we have read the books. So skip those 90% and quickly read the
remaining useful 10% only.
Topic

How did you prepare?

culture

Multiple sources, mentioned here click me


(http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/culture-sntenvt/)

Indian history

Shekhar Bandopadhyay From Plassey to Partition, Bipin Chandra (both


freedom struggle and since independence)

world history

Baliyans history optional classnotes. Also read Europe Since Napoleon


for history optional last year.

postindependence
India

Mentioned above. Most of the questions asked were common knowledge


which we develop from school time via newspapers and stories.

Indian society

Everybody knows everything. Skipped.

role of women,
poverty etc.

Everybody knows everything. Skipped.

globalization on
Indian society

Everybody knows everything. Skipped.

communalism,
regionalism,
secularism

Everybody knows everything. Skipped.

world geo
physical

Had some basic idea. Got some coaching notes of Baliyan and Vajiram.
Read some topics from Savinder Singhs book. Prepared cyclones from
IMD website.

resource
distribution

Skipped.

factors for
industrial
location

Skipped. Most of it is common sense.

earthquake
tsunami etc

NCERT, Savinder Singh.

impact on florafauna

Skipped.

General studies (Mains) paper 2


Topic

How Did You Prepare?

Indian
Constitution,
devolution,
dispute redressal
etc.

DD Basu

comparing
Constitution with
world

Basic comparison everybody knows. So skipped.

parliament, state
Legislatures

DD Basu, Puncchi Commission and 2nd ARC reports.

executivejudiciary

DD Basu and also current issues.

ministries
departments

Skipped

pressure group,
informal asso.

2nd ARC report. But too general a topic, everybody knows everything.

Representation of
peoples act

Current issues (SC rulings had come on this issue)

various bodies:
Constitutional,
statutory..

Internet based study, Wikipedia, expert opinion. Basically find the


composition etc. of the body. Powers, functions etc. mostly same.
Weaknesses and strengths also mostly same. Refer to my notes here.

NGO, SHG etc

Everybody knows everything. Still studied 2nd ARC report for core issues.

welfare schemes,
bodies

Vajiram came out with a public pdf analyzing various schemes.

social sector,
health, edu, HRD

Follow current issues

governance,
transparency,
accountability

2nd ARC report

e-governance

2nd ARC report

role of civil
service

2nd ARC report

India & neighbors

Newspapers and internet

bilateral/global
grouping

Newspapers and internet

effect of foreign
country policies
on Indian interest

Newspapers and internet

diaspora

Newspapers and internet

international
bodies- structure
mandate

Newspapers and internet

General studies (Mains) Paper 3


Topic

How Did You Prepare?

Indian
economy,
resource
mobilization

Everything under the sun comes under it. What to prepare.

inclusive
growth

Everybody knows everything.

budgeting

I read 2nd ARC report on Financial Management. But obviously question


asked was from somewhere else and I had no idea. But still one should read
it to cover basic stock issues in the topic like accrual budgeting, other types
of budget etc. Additionally I think one should read the budget carefully and
watch out for any interesting term in it.

major crops,
irrigation

Report titled State of Indian Agriculture presented in parliament in March /


April 2012.

agro produce
storage,
marketing

APMC Acts, direct marketing, e-marketing initiatives, FDI in retail, schemes


of the ministry, Mega food park scheme, National Food Processing Missin
etc. All this can be found on internet.

e-technology
for famers

Internet.

farm
subsidies,
MSP

From economics optional background. Understand what are the issues with
farm subsidies and MSPs. See what leading economists are saying about
these. Read a few papers from CACP website.

PDS, buffer,
food security

CACP website, FSB, internet based study totally.

technology
mission

Internet.

animal rearing
economics

Couldnt prepare except for whatever is given in State of Indian Agriculture


Report, 2012.

food
processing

Mentioned above in storage, marketing topic.

land reforms

Prepared it as a part of economics optional. You can see my notes. Bhoodan


and Gramdan I saw from Mrunal.

liberalization

Internet, newspapers

Infra

Internet, newspapers

investment
models

Internet, newspapers

science-tech
day to day life

Coaching material, but all of it was useless.

Indian
achievements
in sci-tech

Skipped

awareness in
IT, space,

biotech, nano,
IPR

Tried to follow current developments. For all effective purposes, skipped.

environmental
impact
assessment

Skipped. Everybody knows everything.

Disaster
Management

2nd ARC report. CAG report on the topic.

non state
actors,
internal
security

2nd ARC and Puncchi Commission reports covering tribal councils, 5th and
6th schedule issues, PESA, FRA etc.

internal
security role
of media,
social
networking
site

Too general, everybody knows everything. Just keep following current


issues.

cyber security

Skipped. Everybody knows everything.

money
laundering

Skipped. Everybody knows everything.

border
Management

Skipped. Everybody knows everything.

organized
crime,
terrorism

Skipped mostly. Read some discussion on anti-terror law in 2nd ARC report.
Everybody knows everything.

security
agenciesstructure
mandate

Some Wikipedia based study, but mostly skipped. Everybody knows


everything.

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude


Topic

How Did You Prepare?

ethics and interface,

Too general topics. Everybody knows everything about these topics.

family, society and all


the hathodaa topics

Most important question in this topic is what is the role of family /


society in framing morality / ethics.

attitude, moral
influence etc.

Sriram, Baliyan and Vajiram material available in photocopy shops


for basic definitions.

civil service: integrity,


impartiality, tolerance
to weak etc

Vajiram and Baliyan material available in photocopy shops. Nolan


committee report. 2nd ARC report.

emotional intelligence,
its use in governance

Sriram material for basic definitions. Too general topic, everybody


knows everything about it. One important question is role of EI in
administration.

moral thinkers of India


and world

How many thinkers did you prepare? Mostly skipped it. Tried to
remember a few thinkers from Baliyans and Srirams notes but
found it couldnt be done.

ethics in pub.ad,
accountability, laws,
rules etc.

2nd ARC report. Everybody knows everything.

corporate governance

Important topics I thought here were recent Company law, Sebi


recommendations. But they didnt ask these. Otherwise this is too
general a topic and everybody knows everything.

probity in governance,
work culture

Everybody knows everything.

citizen charter, ethics


code, work culture etc.

2nd ARC reports on ethics and governance.

challenges of
corruption

2nd ARC report on ethics.

case studies on above


topics

Bring it on approach.

Any other comments, word of wisdom after going through the mains-2013.
In case studies, I always tried to analyze each option from a theoretical perspective. I used to
take an option and see what the 4-5 school of ethics say about it and then try to come to an
acceptable ethical decision.

GS4 Ethics case study answers in Mains 2013


Q. in GS4 ethics papers, please give a sketchy overview of your case study answers:
Sorry dont remember. But my vision ias mock tests where I attempted such case studies can be
seen here click me (http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/upsc-ias-prepvision-ias-answer-scripts-gaurav-agrawal/)

Case

your approach/
keypoints

1: RTI: To hide or not to hide


2: Engineer: Bogus flyover vs deadline
3: Child Labourers in Sivakasi
4: Nepotism in Job recruitment
5: Leaking information
6: Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with such crisis of
conscience and how you resolved the same.

Mains answer-writing?
Q. How was your experience with the fixed space answer sheet?
Its a trap. Dont fall to the temptation of filling the entire space.
Q. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Some players (who cleared
mains and got interview call letter) were claiming that they wrote entire paper in bullet
points, so it doesnt matter.whether examiner is asking examine, comment, discuss or
xyz.simply write in bullets and points.
Bullet points with proper headings, sub headings, underlining. And who says we cant comment
/ discuss in points or while analyzing cant present our thoughts in points. In comment / discuss
/ analyze kind of questions, simply give all positive points, then given all negative points and

then give way forward. Or say take up an issue as a point sub heading, do its pros and cons
analysis and then move on to next point sub heading. Bottom line is, use your own brain and
communicate in a way you feel to be the best. Dont rely blindly on coachingwallahs.
Q. Did you follow the introduction-body-conclusion format? because some mainsqualified candidates claim they simply wrote the points they could recall within the time,
instead of bothering with proper introduction and conclusion.
Yes. I too wrote almost all my answers in points but still I gave a proper introduction, proper
headings and sub-headings and then a conclusion. The main bulk of the answer was in points. I
dont think why the tradeoff mentioned in the second half of your question should arise.
Q. In GS papers, Since UPSC came with those 100 and 200 words questions. What was your
approach in the exam (I wrote all, I only focused on the questions where I could answer
perfectly, I just not to high quality points to reach the word limit etc.)
Extremes in public life are mostly bad and one has to do a balancing act. Same applies to your
question above. I would only say, have faith in your judgment, apply your mind, and rely on
intuition on what to attempt and what not. Exam condition is so dynamic, cant apply any rigid
formula there. I simply attempted questions I felt I should attempt.
Q. How many marks worth questions did you skip/couldnt finish in the GS papers?

GS (Mains paper)

Couldnt finish /attempt

GS1

10 marks

GS2

10 marks

GS3

60 marks

GS4

10 marks

Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers?


No

Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)
No, wanted to but couldnt
Q7. If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?
NA
Q8. Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?
NA
Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?
Blue gel pen
(Mrunal since readers keep mailing such queries, therefore Im asking the topper to clear all
the air haha.)

Mains Optional Subject


Q1. First the essential book/resource list. (Also mention which one is the Base book for
covering the theory? + Whatever comments youve for a particular book e.g. my seniors
said read xyz book but I found that ABC book was better. xyz topic not given properly
in this book, so prepare from xyz website or book OR and so on.)
Economics was my optional. Please read my blog post on this where I have covered this in great
detail. click me (http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/eco_optional/)
This is a list of reading material arrived after a lot of painstaking trial and errors.
There are many topics which required study of many research papers and internet articles. So
obviously cant mention a single source for them. But I used to take whatever I found useful
from there and make my own notes which can be found here. click me
(http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/upscnotesgauravagrawal/)

Q2. How much of internet-research / current affairs is necessary for this optional? OR can
one simply rely on the books and be done with this subject?
Paper 1 can be done mostly by books. Paper 2 is 80% internet based.
Q3. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?
3 months for the first time where I could study the other optional as well as GS along with
Economics.
Q4. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?
Around 2 months.
Q5. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or
paper?
Yes, electronic. All uploaded on my blog.
Q6. Your observation about the difficultly level of 2013 mains vs previous papers. And
what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional
subject?
I think there was a quantum jump in the difficulty level from previous mains. There was a
question in paper 1. I still cant even understand to this day. But thankfully, the system of
choices saved me. Precautions etc. I have mentioned in my blog post on economics.
Q7.How much did you skip OR couldnt answer properly, in the optional paper?

optional paper

Couldnt finish __ mark

Paper I

Around 14 marks

paper II

Around 8 marks

Before the interview

Q1. How did you prepare for the interview? Particularly college graduation subjects
related questions?
First, would like to clarify the myth that UPSC interview is only of 275 marks i.e. 10-15%. The real
weight of the interview is at least 40%. The reasons are: a) UPSC has developed a habit of giving
very less marks in mains. This is a relative exam and only difference of marks between us and
others matters. Naturally if low marks are given in written, then difference of marks from others
which we can have by performing well in written will be less. b) Only candidates clearing mains
can give interview. So whatever little difference in marks was there in mains gets reduced even
further (as the difference in marks among the mains successful candidates would be less than
the difference in the entire set). On the other hand, interview marks come only after this mains
cutoff stage and there is a full range of marks given in interviews. So the difference in marks
arising out of interview can be great leading to its increased effective weight.
So neglect interview only at your own peril! And also unlike what many say interview is not
purely luck based. Barring few exceptional cases, most of the interviews contain questions 90%

of which can be predicted and prepared well in advance! Wait for my blog post on interviews.
Subject: College graduation subject (Computer Sc.) didnt have much relevance for me as I had
done a lot of things after college. So I had done only very basic preparation of IT current
happenings and some theoretical aspects. My main field was economics which was running
through my entire DAF (in hobby, job related to eco, optional eco, MBA done in finance most
people relate finance with economics). And economics is a subject where unless we meet an
economist in the panel, the interview would be on current economic issues only. So decided to
skip the theoretical portions and prepare only the current macroeconomic issues. We were
facing high inflation and low growth, stalled projects, land acquisition issues etc. And a new
government was there. So it was natural to expect questions on it and so I prepared these
issues. Since economics was my main area, so I had to speak like an economist. Nothing less
was expected. So remembered some key data related to IIP, WPI, CPI, GDP numbers etc.
Developed mind maps containing 6-7 points on Why high inflation and Why low growth. The
thing is in such issues everybody knows everything, but I had to speak like an economist. So
from the first sentence itself, my understanding should be visible. This is possible only when we

prepare these questions beforehand and not think about them for the first time in the interview
itself. I have these mind maps on paper, so will upload scanned images on my blog post so that
readers can get a clearer idea of what I am talking about.
Home state: Had prepared it last year as well, so this year mostly revised it and prepared
some current issues (like refinery, jaipur metro, drug trafficking, socio economic scenario).
Mostly internet based study particularly Wikipedia. For Rajput and modern history, read a book
used in RAS history optional apart from internet.
Home district: I was brought up in Jaipur so prepared a few aspects of Jaipur (tourism places,
economic activities, present problems etc.). But I was born in Bharatpur. In the summary sheet,
only place of birth comes, so preparing place of birth is more important than preparing home
district. I prepared Bharatpur history, economy, tourism places, Keoladeo park, Salim Ali,
ornithology etc. Mostly Wikipedia based study.
Job: I was trading financial derivatives at Citi. Most important thing for me was naturally
financial crisis. I know a great deal about financial crisis naturally having seen it from the middle
of it all, but when it comes to explaining it in 2-3 sentences, prior preparation is needed. So I
prepared it and it was asked in the beginning questions itself last year. Then I also prepared
history of Citi and its mergers, Salomon Brothers, John Meriwether, LTCM etc. Some preparation
related to Vikram Pandit and Corbatt.
IPS: Had to study a lot about this topic this year as it was completely new. Prepared police
reforms (studied all commissions setup since British era, watched Aamir Khans show, read
many articles on internet) then prepared mind maps of 5-6 points to speak on various possible
questions on police and bureaucracy reforms. Basically in such topics everybody knows
everything. What matters is how we speak in first 2-3 sentences. However, they couldnt find out
I was already into IPS (as it was there in the DAF but not summary sheet from where they were
asking), so no questions asked. Will upload the scanned copies of these mind maps in my
blogpost.
Why IAS after IPS, IIM, IIT, Investment Banking: Spent a lot of time preparing this. Prepared it
from all possible angles I could think. Came up with realistic answers. In both interviews, this
was the first question asked.

Other DAF things: Prepared everything mentioned in the DAF. Will cover these in the blog post
where I will upload my DAF and cover each issue.
Current affairs: Current affairs preparation for interview is different from preparation for
mains. Basically people who are taking our interview are not preparing themselves. So they will
only remember masala news and not the boring committees and legislations etc. So have to
cover masala news for interview and develop our own opinion on all such news items.
Q2. Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes? How were they similar /
different than official interview? Do you believe it is necessary to attend such mock
interviews?
Yes. They were very helpful for me as I was cutout for private sector interviews, not UPSC
interview. UPSC interview requires different kind of mannerisms and body language and this is
what I learnt from mocks. Then I also got to know my weakness areas on which I worked.
However, dont rely blindly on whatever they say, apply your own mind before changing /
preparing something.
Q3. What did you wear? Some experts say coat is must, some say tie is must, and some
say black shoes must. What attire did you pick up?
The sole purpose of the attire should be that it doesnt get noticed. I wore a shirt, trousers and a
tie. Black shoes, clean shaved.
Q4. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friends home ) and what
books/material did you bring for the revision before interview?
My friends place. Revised some of my online notes and mind maps.

During the interview


Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
Dr. Kilemsungla
Q2. How long was the interview?

May be around 20-25 mins


Q3. Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you
reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview. (Earlier
some toppers only tell me their question but not their answer. I would appreciate if you
give both Question + your original answers)
click me (http://thesupermanreturns.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/upsc-interview-2014/) for Full
transcript of my interview by UPSC panel.
Q5. Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared or did they ask
you totally unexpected questions? Was it a stress interview, did they ask any
uncomfortable questions? If yes, how did you handle it?
Most of it was expected.
Q6. Any side details about technicalities like make sure you bring xyz document or do
xyz thing, or youll face problem?
None
Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
None

CSE-2013 Marksheet

SUBJECTS

MARKS

ESSAY (PAPER-I)

135

GENRAL STUDIES -I (PAPER-II)

85

GENRAL STUDIES -II (PAPER-III)

63

GENRAL STUDIES -III (PAPER-IV)

88

GENRAL STUDIES -IV (PAPER-V)

102

OPTIONAL-I (Economics) (PAPER-VI)

134

OPTIONAL-II (Economics) (PAPER-VII)

162

WRITTEN TOTAL

769

PERSONALITY TEST

206

FINAL TOTAL

975

Q2. After looking at the marksheet, suppose you had to prepare again next time, what
changes will you make in your studies?
Would sit down and try to figure out how to score more in GS. Would consult few more people,
also join test series to seek feedback.

Career Backup
Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?
Continued with IPS, Rajasthan cadre.
Q2. when were you going to execute that backup plan? (e.g. after __ failed attempts/
after I cross __ age/after dad retires/ etc.)
After the result.

Views on UPSC reforms


What are your views on following issues?
Q. Despite what UPSC has done in recent years, it has failed to curb the nuisance of
Delhis coaching factories. In fact its increased under the new syllabus in 2013. Lets face
it, most toppers have relied on (authentic OR Xeroxed) coaching notes because there was
hardly any time left to prepare so many topics in such short time. This system work
against an individual preparing from far-away area, without any financial resources,
high-speed internet or contacts in Delhi.

Dont agree with this. Coachingwallahs thrive when question papers are static and same things
are repeated year after year. UPSC, on the other hand, has made their paper very dynamic in
last 2-3 years. Now the bookish questions have reduced greatly and analyze types have
increased. No longer are they asking questions where information is the key determinant (even
in the prelims). What matters is ones opinion and analysis. This cannot be found in any single
place / book and internet has to be referred to. Most coachingwallahs are stagnant and old
and are unwilling to change with times. Classroom coachings have become a waste of time.
Only 10% of what they teach is perhaps relevant. Instead of attending their classes and wasting
time on that 90% useless thing, better to just buy their notes from photocopy shops and
study the 10%. Coachings take 6 months to teach what one can study in 2 months and are of
inferior quality.
Mrunal comments: thanks, your reply will help clear the negative vibes among some new
players that Delhi coaching is essential for success in UPSC.
Q. Optional subjects should be removed altogether. The present stalemate is helping noone, except coaching-owners, book publishers.
I dont subscribe to the so called level playing field theory that removing optional ensures level
playing field. How can it be a level playing field when you force an engineer to study history as
well as a history student to study history? Is this level playing field or the scenario when
everybody can study his/her strength?
Q. UPSC should disclose official prelim answerkey and cutoffs, immediately after prelim is
over, instead of postponing it till interview phase is over.
Yes. In fact should also reveal individuals marks along with his / her prelims result.
Q. UPSC should be conducted online like IBPS and CAT exam to shorten the duration of
exam.
Invariably that is the direction one has to move in. But people are not ready for it presently.
Q. If you are made the UPSC chairman, what other reforms would you initiate for the civil
service exam?

Transparency Related Matters


Provide scanned copies of answer sheets.
Release all marks of each candidate at each stage.
Give a tentative window of result declaration beforehand.
Quality of Exam
Divide GS into more papers and ensure that only a historian is checking history answers,
geographer is checking geography answers, foreign policy experts are checking IR answers and
so on. In the present system, a single person is checking entire GS paper which has 3-4 subjects
and this hampers quality of examination seriously.

Insecurity about prole


Q. Many candidates prepare sincerely but constantly live under fear about profile
insecurity. Im not from a big college, Im not from English medium, and I dont have
work-experience. What if they ask some stressful questions in the interview about this?
Did you suffer from such insecurities? What is your message to these candidates?
No such insecurities. On the other hand, I suffered from the insecurity that given my exceptional
background, the interview board may take me as arrogant and confused even before the
interview begins.

Wisdom
Q. Through this struggle and success, what have your learned? What is the wisdom of life
and competition? What is Your message to the new aspirants?
Learnt that there are always conflicting perspectives of things and one has to appreciate both.
Also life is not like sciences, but social sciences. 2 + 2 may not be equal to 4. One has to accept
what it is and move on.
Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2013. Theyre
feeling dejected- what is your message to them?

Of course tighten your seat belts and get going. But dont just blindly repeat what you did
because obviously it didnt work. See where your mistakes might have been and improve them.

Credit: Friends/family
Q. Behind every topper are many people who stood by during those uncertain times
when he/she was merely an aspirant. Would you like to tell the world, who were those
people in your case? Any specific incidence that you would like to share with the readers?
I dedicate this success to my family.

BOGUS Marketing Propaganda


Q. You are well aware of the sacred rule the last question must be about self-marketing.
So, Did you use Mrunal.org for your preparation and if yes, how did it help you? And you
can even reply No. Ill still publish your answer without tempering, unlike those
competitive magazines.
Yes, in fact question on Bhoodan movement I had read from your article
(http://mrunal.org/2013/11/land-reforms-bhodan-gramdan-jan-satyagraha-2012-other-nongovernmental-movements-achievements-obstacles-limitations.html) only. But not a regular
follower as its not a user friendly site. Please make it structured and easy to read. I have tried to
read it many times but always find it difficult to see.
Mrunal comments: In 2014, I shifted to a new theme (http://mrunal.org/2014/02/troubleshootsite-themelayout-problems-solutions-just-clear-temp-cache-files-browser-ssc-extends-deadlinecgl-2014-applications.html). But Yes, there are still lot of issue with the site, but as they say in
Public Administration- routine activities taking away the time necessary to bring out long term
reforms! Anyways, great interacting with you, especially the Delhi coaching factories part. Wish
you the best for the long career ahead, keep in touch.

Tags: Topper-CSE-2013 (http://mrunal.org/tag/topper-cse-2013)

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Print | PDF (need Chrome) (http://mrunal.org/2014/07/ias-topper-rank-1gaurav-agrawal-ips-iit-iim-economics-optional.html/print/)
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So far 503 Comments posted

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=327117#RESPOND)

vishal charan
Hello sir..Im just completed my B.A in English medium .
Subjects- history ,political sci.,English literature. My dream to became IPS
and I want your guidance sir from bottom from starting , so plz.sir give
me starting tips best for preparation.age 20. Thanks.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=327426#RESPOND)

fyxa
i want to know how to solve this question???
_______+______+_______=30
options
(1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15)

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=327428#RESPOND)

vilkas budania
sir , now i m appearing in 12th class ( non medical) and i want to became
a ias . so plz tell me which subject i choose.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=327540#RESPOND)

Shreya dey
How to prepare for ias after doing bsc in maths? Is math really helpful in
ias exams?
What are the other subjects and topics I should prepare for ias?

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328194#RESPOND)

Rajesh Patel
HI ,
How are you Mr. Gaurav.
I heard about you and i got one question which you solved in UPSC final
exam , we try many times but couldnt successed so please help us.
++=30 ( fill the box with 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15) you can also repet the
number . this is the question so please reply us, we waiting for your
feedback.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328659#RESPOND)

Emandi Siva Jyothi


11+3!+3=30

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIMECONOMICS-OPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328660#RESPOND)

Emandi Siva Jyothi


sorry 11+9+1+3+3!

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=331131#RESPOND)

KAUSHAL TAILOR
3! + 13 + 11 = 30
3! means 3*2*1
it means 6
now 6+13+11=30

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328448#RESPOND)

Ajaya Kumar
Dear Sir,
I need the answer of below question?
Please answer
-+-+-=30
Options are (13,5,7,9,11,13,15)

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328455#RESPOND)

jaswanth

15+11+(5-1)

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328459#RESPOND)

sandeep
hi frnd 15-1+15-5+15-9=30
is corct in my campus interview i got this and answered corectly

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328456#RESPOND)

sandeep
15-1+15-5+15-9=30

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328476#RESPOND)

ANUP KUMAR BHATTACHARJEE


sir, i am a student of Tripura university (A Central University) undergoing
my graduation and post graduation I.M.D. Planing for U.P.S.C. civil
service examination.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=328960#RESPOND)

Amarjot
Sir im student of bba my .12 passout arts i m joining upsc can u advice
me paper exam

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICS-

OPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=329009#RESPOND)

Saurabh thakur
Hy , Sir m in Bsc final year and I want to Be an IPS Officer . But i dnt knw
how to prepare nd which books to prefer nd please give me information
in fuly detail. M too obliged to you..!

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=329148#RESPOND)

konark
Ias and ips are not fools.. They know that.. it is impossible to add 3 odd
numbers to get a even number

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=329287#RESPOND)

RAVI SHEKHAR
sir, i am doing graduation in economics and i want to make it my
optional subject in upsc please suggest me books in economics.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=329488#RESPOND)

aparna jagtap
Hy, sir i am commers student prepare in IAS exam please suggest me
optional subject

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=329804#RESPOND)

atul singh

Sir, I want to become an IAS officer .


But my parents want to see me as an engenier How can I understand
them..PLZ HELP ME.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=329943#RESPOND)

jayki kumar
Dear sir,
i am currently study in AMIE and i want to preparation for upsc exam am
i eligible for upsc exam if yes then give some tips.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330002#RESPOND)

Ronak N Prajapati
Better good job Gauruv sir day to day readying for suggestion thank you

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330671#RESPOND)

aasia khan
I did a btech..i want to brcome ias officer and i dont knoww from where i
start itt..plzz give me a suggestion.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330729#RESPOND)

mohd uwais
i want make a ias officer like you, thankyou sir for giving this knowledge.,

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330755#RESPOND)

Nabarun Karmakar
Sir,I am a BA student with history major.I have a optional subjet on
International Relations,which is quite interesting to me.Which subject do
you prefer between these as optional?

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330804#RESPOND)

Uttreshwar Bikkad
Hi sir,
i am studied in 2nd yr Basic Bsc Nursing ..i want your guidance sir ,
please tell me which sub. choose and tips for how to study

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330855#RESPOND)

Anil Chaudhari
Hello sir, i am study in final year Automobile eng. And How to Start
IAS/IPS preparation.

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330862#RESPOND)

Anil Chaudhari
Hello sir. I study in final year Automobile eng. and how preparing start in
IPS/IAS

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=330915#RESPOND)

shahnawaz

Sir give me answer of this question


( )+( )+( )=30
What will come in brekets
(1;3;5;7;9;11;13;15)
Please sir me solution

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=331154#RESPOND)

hemant kushwah
()+(15)+(15)=30

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=331197#RESPOND)

monu sikarwar
Mujhe koe achchi tips do Gaurav Sir upsc ki preparation chal rahi hai
meri

REPLY (/2014/07/IAS-TOPPER-RANK-1-GAURAV-AGRAWAL-IPS-IIT-IIM-ECONOMICSOPTIONAL.HTML?REPLYTOCOM=331211#RESPOND)

sunny verma
jay hind and i am comming
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25-May: Uttarakhand Sankrit (http://usvv.ac.in/vacancy.php)
24-May: NIA Goa (http://www.nitgoa.ac.in/fac_rec/fac_rec.aspx)
19-May: Malviya Gorakhpur (http://mmmut.ac.in/ViewAdvertismentforvaccantposition.aspx)
16-May: Kanpur Agro. (http://www.csauk.ac.in/announcement.html)
15-May: Tirupati Science (http://www.iiserpune.ac.in/links/iiser-tirupati)
11-May: Saifai Medical ( http://rimsnr.ac.in/rimsnr/vac.htm)
11-May: NIT Manipur (http://nitmanipur.ac.in)
11-May: Sanskrit Teachers (http://sanskrit.nic.in/Notification_15_04_2015.pdf)

Uniform
15-May: Havildar Edu. Corps (http://joinindianarmy.gov.in)
05-May: Lok Sabha Ex-Servicemen (http://164.100.47.132/JRCell/Module/Notice/Advt.12015.pdf)
04-May: BSF Constable Sports Quota (http://www.bsf.nic.in/recruitment/r240.pdf)

B.Com,CA,HR,MBA
10-Jun: AAI Finance/HR
(http://www.aai.aero/employment_news/Employee_Recruitment_new.jsp)
31-May: NPCIL Fin/HR (http://npcilcareers.co.in/MainSite/default.aspx)
31-May: Solar Energy Accounts (http://jobapply.in/solar/Default_22015.aspx)

15-May: MP Nigam CA (http://www.mppmcl.com)

RESULT /MARKSHEET

TENTATIVE NOTIFICATIONS
IAS-IPS-IFoS: 16 May
IES: 7 Feb
SSC CGL: 2 May
SSC 10+2: 6 June
SSC Sub insp: 28 Mar
CAT: Aug 2015
RBI Officer / Assistant: ??
IBPS PO / Clerk / RRB: ??
ACIO 2015: ??

1. Online Form Part-I stops few days before deadline, so don't wait till last date. Dont forget
reg.id & roll no.Note'em in Google Drive (https://www.google.com/drive/)
2. I usually update vacancies every Monday.Purple link= newly added,Blue= existing.Last
updated Mon. May 04, at 11:15AM

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