[Topper's Interview] Niraj Kumari Chandla Rank-8 Age-32 (HPAS-2012): No Coaching, Working Woman with Botonay, Agriculture Optionals, from Hamirpur/Himachal Pradesh

Topper's Profile : Niraj Kumari Chandla (HAS)

  Niraj Kumari Chandla
Roll No.
  32 years
Total attempts in HPAS
Optional Subject
  Botany, Agriculture
Medium chosen for Mains answers
Schooling medium
 Hindi medium
College medium
Home town/city/Village
Work-experience if any
 Worked as Excise Inspector for 5 years,
then as Block Development Officer for  last one year
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures
Qualified Prelims 4 times and appeared for the Interview 2nd time
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)
Only graduation books , No Coaching
service preference
HAS, HPS, ( Selected as HAS )

Education Details :

Fill the details below
% in class 10
% in class 12
Schooling (Medium)
  Hindi medium
Graduation course and %
  B.Sc.Medical (65%)
Name of college, city, passing out year
  B.B.N. College Chakmoh,Distt Hamirpur
Any other professional courses
Hobbies & Extra curricular
Playing badminton and chess

Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, your place, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?
Answer: I am from Distt Hamirpur. I was preparing for this exams since last 5-6 years.

Study Style and Momentum :

Q. Nowadays many students rely on internet for study material, So how much do you rely on electronic material and how much on the paper material (Books, Newspapers)?
Narrate a typical day in your study life. What is your style of preparation in Detail ?

for GK I rely on newspaper The Hindu ,Divya Himachal and The Tribune and for subjects only on graduation books.

Your study Daily plan :
8 to 10 h during exam time only, but I read newspaper daily

Students 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?

Walk regularly and drink a lots of water, it will definitely change your mood,take a break after three hours regular study.
If Struggle of a senior player

Q.1 How did you handle the mental Stress and what are your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.

it is inbuilt quality. But support of your family members really works.

Q.2 What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?

Answer: I could not score much in zoology so I changed it.

Working professional
Q. If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with job ?

Read newspaper regularly and wake up early in the morning and devote 2-3 hours daily.

Studyplan :

Prelims: General studies (GS)

Himachal Pradesh General Studies :
Art & Culture
Economic & Social Development
JagMohan Balokhra’s detailed book and Hindi newspaper (Divya Himachal)
History Ancient
Arihant’s  Book  (Eng)/ (Hindi) and competition in focus
History Medieval
History Modern (Freedom Struggle)
Culture society
Polity & Governance (theory + current)
Economic & Social Development
(theory + current)
Science (theory + Current)
Environment & Biodiversity
(theory + current)
Physical Geography,
Indian and World Geography
Other national/international current affairs
 News papers : The Hindu, The Tribune
Schemes, Policy etc

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS Prelim paper?

Answer: Read Year book of Arihant and comptetion in focus monthly edition.

Prelims : Aptitude Test (CSAT)

English / Comprehension
Reasoning and Analytical Ability
CSAT Manual Book
Maths / Quant / Data Interpretation
CSAT Manual Book
Interpersonal Skills including Communication
CSAT Manual Book
Decision Making and Problem Solving
CSAT Manual Book

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about Aptitude (CSAT) paper?

Answer: Aptitude is our  u have to carve it only.

Q. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’ ? Do you think they are necessary for success?

: No.

Q. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers by You in Prelims ?

Attempted Q.
at least 85
 Not able to recall
at least 75
 Not able to recall

Your Official Total Score in Prelims(if you don’t know then expected marks): 240

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Q. How did you prepare for the Compulsory English Paper ? (if then Book list and Studypan/comments/tips)

Answer: 10th  class Grammar is sufficient.

Q. How did you prepare for the Compulsory Hindi Paper ? (if then Book list and Studypan/comments/tips)

Answer: 10th class Grammar is sufficient.

Essay Writing :

Q. How did you prepare for the essay paper?

Answer: I relied on Newspaper ann internet.

Q. Which among the following essay did you write? What key points did you include in it? ( If you remember )

Answer: Natural Disaster

General Studies (Mains) paper
How did you prepare?  Studyplan/booklist/comment
Indian History (Modern)
Arihant’s  Book  (Eng)/ (Hindi) and Yearbook and Newspaper : The Hindu, The tribune and Competition in focus Magazine Each month
Freedom Struggle
           Same as Above
Post-independence India
           Same as Above
Indian Culture
           Same as Above
Physical Geography

           Same as Above
Indian Geography

           Same as Above
Indian Polity
           Same as Above
Indian Economy
           Same as Above
Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi

Himachal Pradesh General Studies:
Art & Culture
Economic & Social Development
  Jag Mohan Bhalokhra's Book and Hindi Newspaper

Any other comments, Tips or word of wisdom after going through the mains ?

Believe in yourself.

Optional Subject

Optional 1 : Botany
Books : Botany Graduation/College Books

Optional 2: Agriculture
Books : Agriculture Notes form Brilliant Tutors and Internet Search

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?

Answer: Internet-research for current affairs/ essays is necessary.

Q.2 How much writing practice you did for Optionals ?

Answer: One Month before the Exam.

Q.3 Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? Or you simply rely on reference books?

Answer: No I don’t prepare notes. You need to do detailed study of books to get good score.

Q.4 What do you think about the Importance of Optionals in HPAS in existing pattern?

Optional decides your future but at the same don’t ignore qualifying papers too.

Q.5 What you will suggest to the young aspirants about how to choose the Optional Subjects?

Take your graduation subjects only because you will have detailed knowledge of it.

Mains answer-writing?

What style you follow like “introduction-body-conclusion” format or just simply write down what comes in mind first or any other style ?

Paragraph type style

Q. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs or any other style?

Points wise answers attracts examiner I think

Q. What was your approach in the exam writing questions in fixed word limits ?

Fixed Word limit and no repetitions.


Q.1 How did you prepare for the interview?

I read newspaper daily so no particular preparation.

Q.2 Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes?


Q.3 How long was the interview?

: Half an Hour.

Q.4 Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview. ( Or you can simply tell about the questions asked in the interview, but it will be better if you try to narrate in question-answer pattern).

  I was asked about these topics:
Women reservation bill,
Corruption in rural development dept,
About Distt. Chamba,
Agriculture Related Questions,
Financial terms,
About Football world cup and Commonwealth game
and Israel issue.

Q.5 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?

Yes, financial terms were bit ticky but you have to say sorry if u don’t know the answer, then they will give you hint which you have to catch.

 Insecurity about profile
Q. Many candidates prepare sincerely but constantly live under fear about ‘profile insecurity’. I’m not from a big college, I’m not from English medium, and I don’t have work-experience. What if they ask some stressful questions in the interview about this? What is your message to these candidates?

That doesn’t matter. I also studied in hindi medium school but it doesn’t bother me. If u have capability then nobody can stop you from achieving.

Please provide your marks when they will reveal the marks it will help future aspirants.

Career Backup
Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?

Answer: I was already Block Development Officer (BDO).

Inspiration :

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?

  My Dad and My Husband.

Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2013. They’re feeling dejected- what is your message to them?

Answer: Work Hard again and again. You will definitely succeed.

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?

Nothing is impossible for willing heart, because IMPOSSIBLE itself says that I M POSSIBLE.

   Thanks A lot for the valuable Knowledge and Experiences you shared, you achieved this without any coaching, and as a working woman this will inspire many many young aspirants that nothing is impossible, you are truly an inspiration for all, thanks again for giving such a nice interview, Wishing you All the best for the Great Job.


  1. nycccc mam...................its guddd n inspirationl

  2. mam very nice I have also done my graduation in science from same college and prep for hpas. mam ur intrv clear my several doubts
    thanks mam

  3. Hi, I don't hv enough time to read balo khara..plz suggest me some good notes for himachal....

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