[Topper's Interview] Mrs. Jaibanti Thakur Rank-24 (Working Professional- Doctor) (Age 32) (HPAS-2013): Public Administration, Psychology Optionals, Mandi/Himachal Pradesh

Topper's Profile : Jaibanti  Thakur
A Doctor, Married and Working Professional Cleared the Exam. A truly Very Inspirational Story Who Cleared HPAS mains twice and This Time She achieved the Success. Very Inspirational Journey.

 Jaibanti Thakur
 Roll No.
 Total attempts in HPAS
 Optional Subject
 Public Administration,
 Medium chosen for Mains answers
 Schooling medium
 College medium
 Home town/city/Village
 Work-experience if any
 Ayurvedic Medical Doctor
 Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures
 1. Got selected for BDS Nalagarh.
 2. Got selected for Agriculture University, Palampur.
 Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used)
 Psychology, Mukul Sir, Vajiram and Ravi.
 Public Administration, Gupta Sir notes, Vajiram and Ravi.
 Service preference

Education Details :

 Fill the details below
 % in class 10
 75 %
 % in class 12
 Schooling (Medium)
 Graduation course and %
 BAMS, 72 %
 Name of college, city, passing out year
 Rajiv Gandhi Post Graduate Ayurvedic College,  PAPROLA

 Any other professional courses

 Hobbies & Extra curricular
 Playing Chess, Travelling, Calligraphy and Painting.

Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, your place, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?

Jaibanti Thakur BDO (HPAS Batch 2013)     

Answer: My father is Shopkeeper and my Mother is Homemaker. My Husband is Doctor in Indian Army. I always had dream to prepare for this exam but never got an opportunity.
After marriage I decided to prepare for this exam. My husband supported me at all fronts.

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 ?
Answer: There is nothing harmful in relying on electronic media, if source is authentic but books still having their relevance. Always clear basic from books. After that, one can use internet for enhancing his/her knowledge and reinforcing the basics.

Your study Daily plan : No specific plan but continuity is must in this exam. (depends upon individual)

Q. 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?

Answer: My husband and my close friends all are preparing for UPSC. So that’s why it was easier for me to maintain continuity.

Q. 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.
Answer: Always remember everything in life happens for good. So be positive. Give your best; result will be definitely Good.

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

Answer: In my first attempt, I got interview call. But I wasn’t able to clear it. So this time I focused more on the interview.

Studyplan :

Prelims: General studies (GS)

 Himachal Pradesh General Studies :
 Art & Culture
 Economic & Social Development
 Jagmohan Balokhra Book, Govt Websites of HP, HP Online Newspaper, minto.

 History Ancient

 Bipin chandra Old NCERT

 History Medieval

 History Modern (Freedom Struggle)

 Culture society

 Polity & Governance (theory + current)

 Economic & Social Development
(theory + current)

 Sriram notes of economy

 Science (theory + Current)

 Spectrum and latest updates from magazine

 Environment & Biodiversity
(theory + current)

 Physical Geography,
 Indian and World Geography

 Arihant, vajiram notes

 Other national/international current affairs

 THE HINDU, any good magazines

 Schemes, Policy etc

 Yojna, kurukshetra

Prelims : Aptitude Test (CSAT): 

No Specific Preparation

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

Answer: No.

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

Attempted Q.

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

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Q. How did you prepare for the Compulsory English Paper ? (if then Book list and Studypan/comments/tips)
Answer: I never prepared specifically for languages.

Q. How did you prepare for the Compulsory Hindi Paper ? (if then Book list and Studypan/comments/tips)
Answer: I never prepared specifically for languages.

Essay Writing :

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
Answer : No specific approach. I just utilized my GS and Subject's knowledge.

Q2. Which among the following essay did you write? What key points did you include in it? ( If you remember )
Answer: Rural urban divide perils  (2nd attempt) 

Female feticide  ( 1st attempt )

General Studies (Mains) Paper : 

 How did you prepare?  Studyplan/booklist/comment

 Indian History (Modern)

 History of Modern India, NCERT

 Freedom Struggle

 India's Struggle for Independence, NCERT

 Post-independence India

 Indian Culture

 Physical Geography

 Arihant, vajiram notes

 Indian Geography

 Arihant, vajiram notes

 Indian Polity

 Indian Economy

 Sriram Notes of Economy

 Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi

 Himachal Pradesh General  Studies:
 Art & Culture
 Economic & Social  Development

 Jagmohan Balokhra Book, Govt Websites of HP, HP Online Newspaper, minto.

Optional Subjects :

Q1. First the essential book/resource list and strategy:


Book List : Paper 1 of Public A
dministration: vajiram notes, Laxmikanth (Public Administration)

Book List : Paper 2 of Public Administration : vajiram notes, Fadia and Fadia

Q2. First the essential book/resource list and strategy:


Book List : Paper 1 of 
 Psychology: vajiram notes, Rober A. Baron and 
Rober A. Baron , Ciceralli, internet

Book List : Paper 2 of  Psychology : vajiram notes, internet.

Q3. 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:  For diagrams and new updates, one should go through internet regularly.

How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?
Answer: 4 to 5 months

How much writing practice you did for Optionals ?
Answer: If your writing skills are good, nominal writing practice is sufficient.

Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? Or you simply rely on reference books?
Answer: Self notes definitely help especially 2-3 days prior to exams.

What do you think about the Importance of Optionals in HPAS in existing pattern?
Answer: Optional are game changer in mains exams.

Q8. What you will suggest to the young aspirants about how to choose the Optional Subjects?
Answer: Choose subjects according to your own interests and educational background. 

Mains answer-writing?

Q1. What style you follow like “introduction-body-conclusion” format or just simply write down what comes in mind first or any other style ?
Answer: Answer should be always according to the question. If it is demanding introduction-body-conclusion always go for it. Your answer should fulfill the demand of question.

Q2. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs or any other style?

Answer: Depends upon question.

Q3. What was your approach in the exam writing questions in fixed word limits ?
Answer: Be specific and “to the point” in word limits question.


Q1. How did you prepare for the interview?

Answer: I put more efforts this time on interview. I focused mainly on current affairs, all relevant questions from my detailed application form and hp news.

 Q2. Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes?

Answer: No.

 Q3. How long was the interview?

Answer: 25-30 minutes

 Q4. 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 ).

Answer: Indus valley civilization, tennis, Durga Shakti Nagpal, rural development, corruption, how to enhance rural economy, napoleon, hp poverty, rivers of hp, India-china relationship, few situation questions etc.

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?
Answer: It was not structured interview but panel members were very cordial. So be genuine, compose and honest in your interview.

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?
Answer: Such thoughts shouldn't come to your mind. Always think positive. You have something that’s why you are sitting in front of panel members. Learn from others but at the same time be yourself.

Views on HPAS reforms

Q1. Optional subjects should be removed altogether. The present pattern is helping no-one, except coaching-owners, book publishers and the candidate whose optional subject gets favorable treatment. What’s you take on this?
Answer: UPSC pattern is much better now. It will provide equal level playing field to all.
Q2. What’s your thoughts on the Aptitude test (CSAT) ? (Honest Views)
Answer: It should be proportionate.

What other reforms you would like to see in HPAS ?
Answer: Scaling in mains and more transparency in interview.

Inspiration :

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?

Success and failures both are part of life. Be optimistic and keep yourself away from negative thoughts. Very few people born with silver spoon so take your struggle as a learning experience.

Q2. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of HPAS-2013. They’re feeling dejected- what is your message to them?
  Success isn't final and failure isn't fatal. Important in life is courage to move on.

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?

Answer: My husband Maj Vikas Dogra, my family especially my mother and friends.

Khadubhai : Thanks A lot mam for the valuable Knowledge and Experiences you shared, it will be very valuable resource of inspiration for all the youngster of the state, Your Story is really very inspiring the way you cleared exam twice along with the Job and family responsibilities and your determination is commendable. Wishing you All the best for the Job and Future.


  1. dr vikas dogra1 March 2015 at 14:56

    Keep it up. special thanks for running such informative site.

  2. Congratulations

  3. lokeshwer singh18 May 2015 at 18:58

    congrats ji

  4. language choice ??? Hindi Or English ?

  5. How much chance do a non-himachali have in HPAS ?
    Is there any recent success story of any such person clearing this exam.

    Please guide friends