How to Choose Your Service While Filling Detailed Application Form (DAF)


Hi Guys!!!

I understand that students face a lot of difficulties while choosing a correct order of service preference while filling their Detailed Application Form (DAF) for the UPSC Civil Services Exam. When people fill their DAF they don’t worry much about the right order of the service preference they apply for. However, landing in a wrong service can prove to be disastrous for them. I have seen many people who sulk about choosing a wrong service when they could have chosen a right one according to them.

If you choose a wrong service, it becomes very difficult. Its not easy to qualify the civil services examination again and again to change your service.

Thus, I have created this video to give a comparative profile of different services, so that students can easily choose among the various services offered by UPSC.

For a detailed analysis you can refer my book “A Bouquet of Services”.

Amazon Link (


Video Session on Ethics Case Studies


Hi Freinds!

I have started a series of video on approaching ethics case studies for GS Paper 4. These case studies are on ethical dilemma faced by civil servants from different civil services, handpicked from my book “A Bouquet of Services”

I hope you like these videos. I will come up with more such videos.

These ethics case are genuine real life case studies from different All India Services and Central Civil Services. They are also mentioned in the book “A Bouquet of Services” and “The Civil Services Exam’ available in Delhi and Maharashtra.

They can be bought at the following links also:
Amazon (;
Cart91 (;
BookGanga (

A Bouquet of Services by Lohit Matani and Vishal


Hello Freinds, after painstaking efforts and liasoning we have come out with my second book namely ” A Bouquet of Services”. The idea of this book was engendered when we were doing our Foundation Course at Dr Manni Channa Reddy Institute of Human Resource Development (MCR HRDI). Lokender Singh IPS is the brainchild of this book.

“A Bouquet of Services” is a book describing the roles, responsibilities, career path, cadre structure, advantages and disadvantages of different All India Services and Central Civil Services recruited by the UPSC. It also describes real life case studies of serving and retired officers from 23 different All India Services and Central Civil Services including IAS, IFS and IPS. It also describe the various State, National and International deputation opportunities enjoyed by the officers of different services. The book is important for the college going youth who have a bent to know about the work profile, career path, advantages and disadvantages of different civil services. It provides an insight to compare the importance of different civil services and is important for serving civil servants to know about the structure of the various wings of the Indian Government.

This book is important for the college going youth who have a bent to know about the work profile, career path, advantages and disadvantages of different civil services. It is also very important for the students preparing for the various examinations conducted by UPSC, including the Civil Services Examination. This provides them an insight to compare the importance of different civil services and help them in choosing among them. Further, it is also important for the newly recruited civil servants undergoing their initial years of training or posting. It will give them an overview of the structure of the various wings of the Indian Government.

The book is written using the information given by, and the real life experience of, 24 different officers from 23 different All India Services and Central Civil Services. The name of these officers are as follows:

Contributors Service
Mr. Lohit Matani Indian Police Service (IPS)
Mr. Vishal Indian Police Service (IPS)
Ms. Sarita Yadav Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
Mr. Abhijit Shukla Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
Mr. Agneeshwar Vyas Indian Forest Service (IFoS)
Mr. Sahil Garg Indian Post and Telecommunication
    Accounts and Finance Service (IP&T AFS)
Mr. Raj Kamal Ranjan Indian Audit and Account Service (IAAS)
Mr. Shevare Dilip Vana Indian Revenue Service- Customs and
    Central Excise
Mr. Gugale Dhiraj Dharmachand Indian Defense Accounts Service (IDAS)
Mr. Lokender Singh Indian Revenue Service- Income Tax
Mr. Mohan Agrawal Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
Mr. Sheth Vyomesh Rajeshkumar Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
Ms. Stuti Ghildiyal Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
Mr. Anant Raman Sharna Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
Mr. Neelanshu Shekhar Indian Railway Account Service (IRAS)
Mr. Rituraj Mishra Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
Mr. Raman Singh Indian Railway Protection Force (RPF)
Mr. Ajay Bernwal Indian Defense Estates Service (IDES)
Mr. Tidke Rahul Atmaram Indian Information Service (IIS)
Mr. Anupam Kumar Indian Trade Service (ITS)
Mr. Subodh Pratap Singh Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
Ms. Tanu Jain Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service
Mr. Rohit Chawla Indian Economic Service (IES)
Ms. Anshika Bhatnagar Indian Statistical Service (ISS)

The Ethics Case Studies provided in the book are authentic and directly picked up from field experience. I have discussed 4 of them during a live session at GS Score. The YouTube link to it is

I hope you enjoy the book and learn much from it.

The book is available on Amazon at the link

It is also available in Kindle at the link

The book will be released in the market of Maharashtra and will be released in Delhi from 10th July, 2017.

A Bouquet of Services

72 Interview Questions on Security and Disaster Management by Lohit Matani IPS


Hi friends! We are approaching the final stage of UPSC Civil Services Exam i.e. the Interview/ Personality Test Stage. As mentioned in my previous article (, questions in the UPSC interview can be asked from any topic of General Studies. Internal Security and Disaster Management are the most debated topics of today and certain questions are surely expected from them. I have made an effort to list certain important questions related to these topics. They are mentioned below:

  1. How the nature of Indian democracy has impacted its internal security situation? In your view, is the democratic situation of India conducive to its security and unity? Suggest ways in which the democracy and security of India can be enhanced?

(Hint: Talk about how free speech impacts security. Talk about naxalism, insurgency, Kashmir militancy and how improper functioning of democracy has impacted the situation there. Accordingly suggest measures.)

  1. What is the difference between a law and order, public order and an internal security problem? Give practical examples. Suggest measures to deal with them.
  2. India is vulnerable to internal security threat from various quarters. Explains India’s internal security origin and threats.
  3. Does India require a national security doctrine? Intellectuals of various fields suggest for a national security doctrine for India. What do you suggest? If yes, then why do we need it?
  4. What is the difference between money laundering and black money? How both of them impact the security of India?
  5. What steps have been taken to tackle the black money problem of India? How demonetization has impacted the security and black money problem of India? Give a real analysis and not any hypothetical answer.
  6. What do you understand by the term radicalization and religious indoctrination? How has the online space increased radicalization in India? Being an IPS Officer, how will you deal with this problem?
  7. What are the different types of terrorism prevalent in India? What kind of terrorism have you witnessed in your home state?
  8. We have successfully dealt with the problem of Punjab Terrorism. Then why are we facing many problems in dealing with the Kashmir Terrorism. Considering the present situation, analyze the challenges faced in tackling the Kashmir problem.
  9. In what ways, technology is used in facilitating terrorism in India? (Important for technical background candidates)
  10. What are the different sources of financing of terrorist organizations? How has the demonetization step impacted terrorism financing?
  11. What are Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN)? How are they circulated? What impact do they have on the security, social and economic scenario of India? How demonetization has impacted the circulation of FICN?
  12. What are the anti terror mechanisms (institutions, laws and strategies) adopted by India?
  13. Indian private sector is said to be the next target of terrorism. How can private sector and government cooperate to fight terrorism?
  14. What is the role of civil society in fighting terrorism? Give certain practical examples which you have personally witnesses?
  15. What does government expects from media during a terrorist situation? Why do media behave irresponsibly sometimes? What can be done to increase the government-media cooperation in counter terrorism? Analyze in terms of the “Pathankot Episode” due to which NDTV was blocked for a day by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  16. What do you mean by narco-terrorism and how are narcotics and terrorism related? Have you ever witnessed certain young people who have ruined their life due to drugs usage? What measures would you take as a District Magistrate to improve their lives?
  17. India is a major transit as well consuming country for drugs. Explain the various drugs trafficking routes to India.
  18. Discuss the counter measures (institutional as well as legal) taken to prevent drugs trafficking.
  19. Discuss the history of Kashmir Militancy. Why has the situation deteriorated after 2008? Also analyze the changes after 2016. What are the challenged for the peace process in J&K?
  20. What measures are being taken to decrease J&K militancy?
  21. What are the issues related to AFSPA? In your view, should AFSPA be removed from Kashmir and North-East? Suggest some improvements in the implementation of AFSPA.
  22. What is Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK)? What is its significance for India? What should be the Indian stand regarding POK?
  23. What are Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas mentioned in the Constitution? Are these provisions implemented properly at the ground level? How has the failure to implement them affected the internal security situation of India? Suggest measures for improvement in this regard.
  24. Why has Left Wing Extremism increased in India? Imagine yourself to be posted as an SP of a left wing extremism affected district. How will you tackle the situation in your area?
  25. Recently, we have seen a trend of decreasing left wing extremism in India. Suggest indicators and reasons for this decrease.
  26. Discuss the growth of LWE in India and the reasons of its prosperity. Why Maoism is considered the biggest threat for India?
  27. Special Police Officers (SPOs) and the support of the local people are instrumental in fighting Naxalism. Critically analyze with respect to the Salwa Judum experiment of Chhattisgarh.
  28. What are the natures of conflict in North East?
  29. What are the reasons for growth of insurgency in North East? How is Government responding to it?
  30. You must have heard about people from North East being discriminated in cities like Delhi. What are your views on it? What steps have been taken to tackle it? Being an administrator, how will you respond to such discrimination in your area?
  31. What is ‘Act Easy Policy’? How can it help in the development of the North East region?
  32. There is a demand to implement AFSPA in Meghalaya. Discuss this issue along with the broad debate on AFSPA.
  33. Discuss the security threat related to Rohingya Muslims.
  34. Differentiate between traditional and economic crimes.
  35. Have you or your friend ever come across a Multi Level Marketing Scheme? What is it? What are its features? Being an SP, how will you deal with such nuisance in your district?
  36. What do you mean by nuclear terrorism? In what ways it can happen? What are the nuclear threats to India?
  37. Have you heard about Nuclear Security Summit? What are its aims and achievements?
  38. What do you understand by Critical Infrastructure? Name certain critical infrastructure in your home district and home state.
  39. Why are the reasons for spread of communal violence? Being an SP, how will you deal with a Muzzaffarnagar like communal violence situation?
  40. What is the role of Community Policing in dissolving communal tensions? Describe certain community policing strategies you have seen in your area of residence.
  41. Describe the nexus between organized crime and terrorism. Giving different examples, describe how different types of organized crime support terrorism?
  42. What is criminalization of politics? How is it related with organized crime? Being the Election Commissioner, what steps will you take to prevent it?
  43. Discuss the advantages and security implications of cloud hosting of servers vis-a-vis in-house machine based hosting for government businesses. (CSE 2015)
  44. Cyber warfare is considered by some defense analysts to be a larger threat than even Al Qaeda or terrorism. What do you understand by Cyber warfare? Outline the cyber threats which India is vulnerable to and bring out the state of the country’s preparedness to deal with the same. (CSE 2013)
  45. What are social networking site and what security implications do these sites present?
  46. What is a Critical Information Infrastructure?
  47. Describe the cyber security framework/ architecture of India.
  48. Explain the different provisions of IT Act to enhance cyber security.
  49. What is Internet Governance? Which organizations are presently involved in it? What are the developments in this field? What is India’s stand regarding it.
  50. What is cloud computing? What are its different types? What kinds of cyber security threats have emerged due to it?
  51. How far are India’s internal security challenges linked with border management, particularly in view of the long porous borders with most countries of South Asia and Myanmar? (CSE 2013)
  52. China and Pakistan have entered into an agreement for development of an economic corridor. What threat does this pose for India’s security? (CSE 2014)
  53. How does illegal trans border migration pose a threat to India’s security? Discuss the strategies to curb this, bringing out the factors which give impetus to such migration. (CSE 2014)
  54. What are the security challenges in Border Management?
  55. Describe the importance of Integrated Check Posts and Land Ports Authority of India.
  56. What are the coastal security threats to India? What measures are being taken to address them?
  57. Describe the intelligence setup of India.
  58. Critical assess the role of Central Security Forces in maintaining internal security in India.
  59. In what ways, internal security operations collide with international human rights issues?
  60. What is Criminal Justice System? What are its different branches? What are the lacunae in different branches of the Criminal Justice System in India?
  61. Describe the deficiencies in our Police System and suggest improvements on the basis of the recommendations of various committees.
  62. What are the deficiencies in our judicial system? Suggest improvement while mentioning the positive steps already taken.
  63. What are the causes of rising extremism in India? Give certain ground level examples.
  64. How important are vulnerability and risk assessment for pre-disaster management. As an administrator, what are key areas that you would focus in a disaster management? (CSE 2013)
  65. The frequency of earthquakes appears to have increased in the Indian subcontinent. However, India’s preparedness for mitigating their impact has significant gaps. Discuss various aspects. (CSE 2013)
  66. Describe the different institutions at the Central, State and district level involved in disaster management.
  67. Who all are the responders to a disaster at the local level? What steps are being taken for their capacity development for disaster risk reduction?
  68. What are the financial arrangements for disaster management?
  69. What kinds of partnerships should be built at the local level for disaster management?
  70. What kinds of disasters are prevalent in an urban area? As a DM, what steps will you take to deal with them?
  71. What kinds of disasters are prevalent in a rural area? As a DM, what steps will you take to deal with them?


I would like to discuss on the above question in the comment section as well as on my email address


Anyone interested in understanding the topics of Internal Security and Disaster Management holistically can buy my book from the Amazon link

Moreover, you can visit my blog article regarding the book:

And like the facebook page of the book:

Interview Guidance and Aspects Related to Internal Security and Disaster Management



Civil Service Personality Test (or Interview) is the final effort a candidate makes in order to convert himself / herself from a civil service aspirant to a civil servant. After qualifying the preliminary and main examination, the dream of becoming an officer is right there in front of the eyes of the aspirant.

However, he/she has to contain his nerves and be fully prepared for the interview. It is his/ her final test before a complete change in his/ her life style can take place. A candidate needs to maintain his calm and composure and be extra alert to the things around.

As stated by UPSC, the purpose of the interview is to “assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service.” It follows from this that the interview process is geared towards judging the personal suitability of the candidate for civil services. The process judges the candidate on qualities like his/ her bent of mind, ability to analyze a situation from all angles, awareness of current issues, ethical values, coherence in views, mental alertness, balance of judgment, integrity, objectivity and concern for the weaker sections of the society.

The Civil Service Personality Test is an unstructured discussion in which the interviewers allow a natural course to be followed. They provide an environment in which the candidate can give his/ her views in a calm manner. They do not allow the session to become a mere question-answer session, but they try to bring out a session where a high level of intellectual discussion takes place. For this to make happen, they try to focus on issues on which the candidate has a higher amount of hold. A candidate should also allow the panel to create such an environment by not giving stereotype answers to their questions.

What an IAS Interview is not:

  1. IAS interview is not a knowledge testing session. UPSC has already tested the knowledge of a candidate in the preliminary and the main examination. They don’t want to test knowledge again in the personality test.
  2. The interview is not a grilling session in which the board members want to humiliate the candidate over his lack of knowledge and experience.
  3. It is also not a rapid fire question and answer session.

What an IAS Interview is:

  1. IAS Interview is a friendly discussion session having a cordial and healthy environment.
  2. It is a calm and composed session where the members are willing to listen to what the candidate speaks. They don’t show signs of impatience and irritation over the answers of the candidate.
  3. It is a session to test the ethics, values, integrity and coherence in the views of a candidate.
  4. It is a session to extract the views of the candidate on vital issues.
  5. It is aimed at testing the candidate on aspects known to him /her rather than on aspects unknown to him/ her.

Feeling of Nervousness Before the Interview

It is often seen that candidates feel nervous before entering the interview room in UPSC. It is a natural feeling and a candidate should not be afraid of it. Rather, he/ she should accept that feeling as being natural. You would be amazed to know that even the Board Members feel nervous while taking interview of the candidates. We are all part of one Supreme Soul and there is no need to have fear of any person whosoever. And we need to accept the fear of success/ failure attached with the interview process. A candidate should not let nervousness overpower him/ her but let it remain under his/ her nerves.

UPSC Interview Board

There are 8-9 separate UPSC interview boards. Each board consists of a chairman and four members. The chairman is a UPSC member. The other four members are external members invited by UPSC. They are bureaucrats, academicians, scientists, armed forces officers etc. They all are very experienced, seasoned persons with wide exposure in public life. This gives them the ability to frame very diverse questions and evaluate your responses accurately. It should be noted that there is no professional psychologist sitting among the members.

Preparation for the Civil Service Personality Test

Preparation for the civil service personality test requires a candidate to recollect the learning of his/ her life time, mainly the knowledge gained during his/ her civil service exam preparation. A general, and not detailed, recollection is required. Moreover, a grooming of the personality and his/ her thinking process is required. It required some amount of hard work and preparation.

  1. Etiquettes to be Maintained in the Interview

The following manners and etiquettes needs to be maintained in the personality test:

  • Candidate should be polite and respectful.
  • He/ she should greet the members with warmth.
  • He/ she should wear a decent, sober dress.
  • He/ she should not interrupt a member while he/ she is asking a question or explaining a point.
  • He/ she should maintain an agreeable voice with the right pitch.
  • He/ she should avoid frequent hand movement or neck movement while responding.
  • He/ she should keep a body language which transmits self-confidence, resolve, determination under the frame of humility.


  1. Preparation from the Detailed Application Form (DAF)

A candidate needs to seriously prepare on the different aspects of his/ her DAF. If a question on any aspect of the DAF is unanswered by the candidate, it is taken in a serious manner by the board. Thus, candidates need to show utmost seriousness while preparing on the different issues covered in his/ her DAF. He/ she prepare on the following aspects:

  • His/ her place of residence, place of education and place of work.
  • His/ her hobbies, achievements and awards received.
  • His/ her previous contributions to the society, country, and so on.
  • His/ her family background.
  • His/ her service and cadre preferences.
  • Knowledge of his/ her subjects in graduation and post graduation (if applicable). He/ she should also possess advanced research knowledge on these subjects. If any of the topics is under recent debates, the candidate should have information on it. For example, I have done my B.Tech and M.Tech in Material Science and Technology. I was asked questions on advanced topics like the use of Zinc Oxide Nanorods in the electricity generation and the use of Carbon Nanotubes in water purification, and so on.


  1. Covering Expected Current Issues

Being a civil service aspirant, a candidate is expected to have knowledge about current issues of debate. For this, he/ she thoroughly read 2-3 newspapers daily after he/ she gets an interview call. Moreover, he/ she should listen to TV debates on programmes like “The Big Picture” on the Rajya Sabha channel. More such good debates are available on the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Channel. A candidate should avoid TV debates covering the news items in a sensational manner.

  1. Study of the Home State and other Places of Residence

A candidate needs to know about the developmental and other regular details about the places in which he/ she has resided. It is not an easy task to know about the details of these locations. For this he/ she should do the following things:

  • Read the State Development Report of the State.
  • Read the Detailed Project Report of a city is available.
  • Read the Master Plan of a city is available.
  • Try to search for any other government report on that city or town and read it.
  • Visit the local district authorities and try to know the problems and good things about that place. These authorities will be more than happy to help a civil service aspirant appearing for the personality test.
  • If a candidate belongs to a village, he/ she should visit the Gram Panchayat office and understand the administrative structure over there, and also understand the problems and good things about the village.


  1. Hobbies Mentioned in the DAF

As already mentioned, UPSC gave an opportunity to write whatever a candidate wants to write in his/ her DAF. Thus, UPSC expects a candidate to be genuine and answer all the questions on his/ her DAF. Hobbies are also mentioned in the DAF. Thus, it is advisable that a candidate should write genuine hobbies only. While preparing for hobbies, a candidate should know the history about that hobby, rules and regulations related to it, contribution of India and the recent developments in it. For example, if playing cricket is a hobby, a candidate should know about the history of world and Indian cricket. He/ she should know about all the rules of cricket, the contribution of India in cricket, and the recent developments in cricket. He/ she also know the name of the cricketers from his/ her home state and locality. He/ she should also know the names of retired cricketers now serving in parliament and state legislative assemblies.

Don’ts  of the Interview

  1. A candidate should not appear in more than 4 mock interviews. By appearing in higher number of mock interviews, a candidate learns to give stereotype answers to questions. However, the board members get frustrated on hearing the same stereotype answers.
  2. A candidate should not try and memorize a lot of information before the interview. It should be remembered that interview is not a test of knowledge but a test of character.

Dos of the Interview

  1. A candidate should try to present his normal, authentic self before the interview board. He/ she does not needs to wear a mask and does not need to lie about his/ her achievements. UPSC does not want an extra ordinary person but a genuine person who wants to do extra ordinary work for the nation. Any gap between ‘appearance’ and ‘reality’ is views seriously by the board.
  2. He/ she needs to be realistic and honest before the board. One should give pragmatic answer. They may ask case studies to which realistic answers are to be given. I will discuss some realistic answers to 4 case studies in this article.
  3. A candidate should avoid superlative and stereotype answers. One should practice to give honest answers at least 2-3 months before the interview, so that all the answers are given in an honest manner. Otherwise, in today’s time we are in a habit of bluffing and projecting a larger self of ourselves.
  4. Candidates should form a group of 3-4 people. They should have a regular discussion among themselves on key issues. They should also take mock interviews of each other. This activity should be done regularly. Candidates can also take the help of their family and friends in this regard.

Interview Case Studies Related to Internal Security

In the Civil Service Personality Test, the board often gives a case to the candidate and asks how the candidate would react in the situation. I am providing four such cases relating to Internal Security. I am also providing practical answers to them. Candidates are advised to avoid theoretical and impractical answers.

Case1: A case of fake encounter

There was a gruesome naxalite murder of a landlord on the night of December 12, 1980 in the limits of Police Station X in the district Gadchiroli of Maharashtra State. Very soon, news spread and there was scare in the village and neighbouring villages. The deceased landlord happened to be a close relative of a senior police officer who was occupying a key position in PHQ. The reputation of the deceased in the village was not good.  In fact, he was hated by most of the villagers particularly belonging to working class, as he was known to be exploiting the labourers and manipulating cases to be registered in the Police Station against those who were not amenable to him.  Pressure was brought on the SP of the district by the senior police officer for immediate arrest of the accused. Within about 2 months of his taking charge clues to the identity of the accused could be gathered through sustained collection of intelligence and interrogation of suspects, etc. Very soon one of the main accused was arrested.

On telling this information to the senior officer, the senior officer asked to bump off the accused. He told that the accused is a hardcore naxalite and committed a gruesome murder and should be taught a lesson. But the SP wants to take him on police remand, interrogate him and maybe recover the weapons used in the offence. Moreover his arrest was known to the public in the village and bumping him is not possible according to the SP.

Home Minister also called the SP in this regard. He said, “I heard that the naxalite is arrested. You know that the people of the village were very much scared of the naxalites and you have to restore confidence of the people by teaching a lesson to the naxalites. Our party people will give you full support. Take deterrent action.

Question: Imagine yourself as the SP. Analyse the case thoroughly, with particular reference to the pressures from various quarters, against which you have to act. Do you think you have an ethical dilemma? What are the factors guiding your decision? What decision will you take? Would you like to become a public hero by killing the hard core naxalite or follow the course of law?

Practical Answer: Naxalite is already arrested. SP can do good investigation and make sure that Naxalite gets appropriate punishment. This will support the rule of law. Accused may have not committed the murder (it will only come out after proper investigation). Fake encounter may provide an opportunity to naxalites to create propaganda around police excesses. Career progression should be done by lawful means.

Case 2: Torture or not?

You are ACP of Mumbai city. Your Commissioner gave you an intelligence input that bombs have been planted in various places in the city. Late in the night at 2:00 am, after receiving the information, you went out with your team to search for the terrorists. After putting in to strenuous hard work you raided a house in Mahim area of Mumbai, where you found two people with 2 kg of explosives and IED devices. You immediately arrested them and brought them into the police station.

Now you think that these people must know about where the bombs have been planted. When you asked them about the whereabouts of the bombs and their plans, they directly said that they have no information. In this situation, you have an option of committing torture techniques on them. These torture techniques are said to give results in case of new criminals. You also have another option to do more hard work and search for the bombs in the city. Moreover, using torture and third degree is against human rights law. This torture may also lead to the death of those people.

Question:Analyse the ethical dilemma you are in. What course of action will you take? Can you justify the use of torture techniques? How will you save the city from major bomb attacks? Build an argument for use or not use of torture.

Practical Answer:

Often police officer resorts to torture techniques in order to extract crucial information. But, being an IPS officer I would like to see whether torture is helpful or not. This can be understood by initially analyzing the situation. If there is no other option, torture has to be done on the suspected criminal. Following are the arguments in favor and against torture.

Arguments in favour of torture:

  • Due to lack of time and requirement of swift action, torture can be justified (Ticking Bomb Theory).
  • It can be used to gain information to save thousands of life.
  • It serves as a medium of reciprocity to terrorism.
  • It is a necessity in the time of terrorism.
  • Terrorists are not regular criminal. They are an enemy of the state. Thus, torture should be legalised against them.

Arguments against Torture:

  • Torture violates the intrinsic dignity of the human being.
  • Torture mistreats the vulnerable and thus violates the demands of   public justice.
  • Authorizing any form of torture trusts government too much.
  • Torture erodes the character of the nation that tortures.
  • The ticking bomb theory is based on probability and is unrealistic. Allowing torture will act as a slippery slope and may lead to extra judicial executions.
  • Legalising torture will provide a license to use torture against every person suspected, without confirmation.

Case 3: Conflict resolution for communal harmony

You are the District Collector of a village where 4 murders took place previous week. 16 persons were arrested as a result. This led to increase in communal tensions. The 4 persons of one caste were murdered by the person of another caste. Actually, the issue was that cattle of one party went into the field bunds of another party in order to reach a pasture land along the borders of the village. The second party got furious because it was afraid that the cattle will damage their crops. This led to conflict and murder of 4 people. However, the customary rights of the villagers permitted people to use filed bunds to move around. There is also a possibility of retaliation and increase in communal violence

Question:How will you prevent communal violence? What steps will you take to eliminate the root cause of the problem?

Practical Answer: As a District Collector, I will take the following steps:

  • Conduct Peace Committee Meeting with both the parties.
  • Development of a separate road to the pasture lands.
  • Ensure with the SP, that FIR is registered on each and every complaint from both the sides. Ensure that all the FIRs are investigated properly.
  • Both the communities should get a feeling that the district administration is working in a fair manner.
  • The intelligence network should be enhanced so that any issue of conflict between the communities should be arrested at its bud only.

Case 4: How to deal with radicalised youth?

You are the ACP of a sub division in Mumbai. During the course of your investigation, you came across a young man “Ashraf Tayal” who seemed to be radicalised by the online propaganda of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS). He was involved in sharing the gruesome videos and photographs on social networking sites. He also motivated others to go to Syria and join IS. He wrote derogatory remarks against the Indian state on social networking sites and openly supported the activities of IS. According to evidences, he has also received flight tickets and certain amount of money to travel to Syria.

However, you got timely information and you arrested him and prevented him from going to Syria. Your senior asks you to book him under UAPA. However, you understand that he is just a radicalised youth who has not perpetrated any terrorist act. Booking him under UAPA would ruin his whole life and his family will fall into poverty. This may also impact the feelings of the community to which he belong.

Question: How will you handle such radicalised youth? Would you strictly go by law or take a middle path to save his life and also prevent any terrorist act?

Practical Answer: We have to be very sensitive while dealing with radicalized youth. Strict measures of law should not be applied on them. If a youth has committed any serious crime, proper investigation should be done. However, if a youth is radicalized and is planning to commit a terrorist act, he should be dealt in a careful manner. He is radicalized because of the difficulties he has faced in his life. Dealing strictly with him will further radicalize him. Thus, the support of local leaders should be taken to convince and rehabilitate him. His mentality should be understood and the local leaders should look for some alternative employment opportunity for him.

Please discuss this case with your friends and look for more solutions.

Questions on Internal Security and Disaster Management

There could be many questions on Internal Security and Disaster Management in the Civil Service Personality Test. For that you can read my book, “Internal Security: Concepts, Dynamics, Challenges by Lohit Matani”

I would like to discuss on these case studies and other interview related issues over this blog as well as on my email address

Anyone interested in knowing more case studies can buy my book from the amazon link

Moreover, you can visit my blog article regarding the book:

And like the facebook page of the book:













UPSC Civil Services Interview Guidance by SB Singh Sir: Lohit Matani


Hi freinds! I got a privilege to interact with SB Singh sir and understand his views on UPSC Civil Services Personality Test (Interview). I was moved by his genuine views. Below is an article written by sir on UPSC interview. Please read it.

                        “IAS Interview a Test of Your Authentic Self”

S.B. Singh

Interview test is the last leg of a long race towards IAS. After crossing two major hurdles namely, the prelims and main examination, a candidate sets himself up for the D-day (interview day)  which would finally determine whether he is going to be selected for the coveted Civil Services or not. It will also determine his rank and service he is allotted as per his rank in the merit list. In other words, if interview creates a sense of fear, it also offers the final opportunity to boost success chances in the civil services. In terms of marks, the interview carries 25 marks more than any single paper of the main examination ( each mains paper carries 250 marks while interview carries 275 marks).

As stated by Union Public Service Commission,  the purpose of the interview  is to ‘ assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service.’   It follows from this that the interview process is geared towards judging the personal suitability of the candidate for civil services. The process of interview which roughly lasts 25- 30 minutes, aims to judge the qualities like mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement,  variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership and intellectual and moral integrity.

These qualities, to be judged during the interview session, can not be understood as separate traits of personality. Rather, together, they present a sum total of qualities a candidate is expected to possess. When you are being interviewed, you are simultaneously being judged for your wide interests, leadership qualities, clarity of mind, a balanced approach etc.

Thus, contrary to the popular perception of interview being a question answer session, it is much more than that. In a setting which is formal but undirected one (undirected means a natural course is followed at the interview rather than a structured session), the interview session seeks to evaluate a candidate on the above given qualities. A proper understanding of what he is going to be tested for will make a candidate’s preparation close to its needs.

IAS interview is NOT about (a) a mere question answer session (b) a test of knowledge or  plethora of information(c) a deliberate attempt to pin you down by difficult questions (d) having extraordinary expectations from you.

IAS interview is about (a) judging your authentic self (b) an interactive, friendly session (c) extracting your opinion and stand on vital issues (d) exploring the quality of honesty, integrity, commitment, leadership etc  and (e) testing you  more on where you know rather than where you do not know.

It should be fairly clear  from the above that the character of the interview is an engaging conversation with the board on a host of issues in  a positive setting where you are  encouraged to express yourself naturally without fear or pressure. This description of the attitude of board should dispel your fears about facing the board.  For most of the candidates, it is a frightening scenario to face the board and an unknown fear descends on them just before entering the venue of the interview. The reality is quite to the contrary. The board is usually very friendly and encouraging. If they find that you are not able to answer questions from one area, they will ask you different questions from those areas where you are supposed to be strong. In other words, they will provide you full opportunity to bring the best in you during the session.

Composition of the Board- There are 8-9 separate UPSC interview boards. Each board consists of a chairman and four members. The chairman is a UPSC member. The other four members are external members invited by UPSC. They are bureaucrats, academicians, scientists, armed forces officers etc. They all are very experienced, seasoned persons with wide exposure in public life. This gives them the ability to frame very diverse questions and evaluate your responses accurately. It should be noted that there is no professional psychologist sitting among the members.

The beginning of the interview- As you enter the board and occupy your place after greeting the board members, the chairman will initiate your interview by asking a few questions. Usually he begins with reading your bio data and asking questions relating to information provided by you in your bio data. He may also ask other questions or else, he will prompt other members to ask questions. This is how the interview gets to a start  and in the next 30 minutes, you will be engaged in a conversation during which questions, counter questions, opinions, counter opinions are exchanged between you and the board. You may also experience some lighter moments during the session to keep you at ease.

Preparing for the interview- Though in a strict sense, no specific preparation for the interview is required because it is a personality test and what you have accumulated and assimilated through your learnings,  experiences, exposures so far  in life will be judged during the interview. Yet, some amount of grooming for the interview is definitely required.  The ingredients of interview preparation are:

  1. Learning manners and etiquettes of interview:(a)Be polite and respectful (b)Greet the members with warmth(c)Wear a decent, sober dress which is formal and suits the weather No fanciful accessories on your body(d)Do not interrupt a member while he/ she is asking a question or explaining a point(e)An agreeable voice with the right pitch (f)No frequent hand movement or neck movement while you are responding(g)A body language which transmits self-confidence, resolve, determination under the frame of humility.
  2. Covering up your bio data i.e. DAF (Detailed Application Form) :You have provided a wide range of information in your DAF which is before each member of the board. This  contains information furnished by you relating to your educational, family, professional background, your state, your hobbies, your achievements, your present occupations, your choice of service, cadre preference etc. A thorough preparation is required on each aspect of the information you have provided in DAF. For example, they may ask you to justify your preference of jobs.  Or say, about the choices of states as your cadre. You must have a convincing answer about all these. You will have to defend all that you have mentioned in your DAF because you cannot retract on  facts supplied by yourself. So I recommend a serious thought on all aspects of DAF before entering the board.
  3. Covering expected current issues :There is no way to anticipate what among the current topics they will be framing questions on, however, it is wise to cover recent current affairs and form your considered opinion on it. For example, some likely current issues  could be:  Yoga and its role in health and India’ image building as a soft power, smart cities,  sedition law, student politics in universities, intolerance incidents, crisis in Arunachal Pradesh, Zika virus, India’s current issues with its neighbours etc. These type of recent topics must be thoroughly covered. Apart from knowing about these topics, you need to take a stand  or form a firm opinion on these issues.
  4. Covering your own state:The state to which you belong may be a likely area of discussion  during the interview. You should be fairly aware about the history, culture, society, economy, industries of the state. Also, you should have a critical knowledge of recent developments going on in your state e.g. some policies like reservation, attracting investments, transforming agriculture etc. India Year Book covers briefly about every state. You may refer to it for some basic knowledge. Then, you should visit the state website for gathering current information on your state.
  5. 5. Defending your hobbies:Almost every candidate mentions one or more hobbies in the DAF. It needs to be defended and justified by showing adequate knowledge about it to the board. They will watch you for your earnestness with which you have nurtured your mentioned hobby. However, there is no need to become an academic master of your hobbies. You should just be able to prove that your hobbies are genuine and you have tried to pursue them in your real life as much as possible.
  6. Governance issues:Since you are being tested for a job in civil services, some questions on emerging issues of governance are quite natural to be asked. This will include questions on present governance patterns as well as situational questions like: if you are the DM or SP or PM or something then what will you do in a particular situation. So practice on some situational questions and articulate your stand on them.

Some important tips

*Present your normal, authentic self before the board:  You are supposed to carry your true self before the board. No need to wear a mask in order to appear what you are not. They are not expecting you to be an extraordinary person with extraordinary capabilities. All the board is looking for is your commitment to certain values, certain personality traits and how suitable you will be for a job offered to you in the civil services. You should therefore never project what you really are not .There should be no gap between your ‘appearance’ and ‘reality’.

*Be realistic and honest before the board: The board is looking for these two prime qualities in you. Therefore, you must depict a sense of realism so that you are assessed by the board as a performer and not just a dreamer. Honesty is the best policy before the board. If you try to bluff, they are bound to catch it and punish you heavily for bluffing. It is very common that when a candidate is asked why he wants to join civil services, he replies in terms of being patriotic and doing great things for the society and nation. Such superlatives should be avoided. It is better to accept the fact that the job security, status, prestige attracts you to the civil services. You can, however, add further that civil services offer challenges and a dynamic career and you like  diverse job challenges which makes civil services your choice.

*Do not rely on myths built around IAS interview:  I would like to caution the interview aspirants to guard themselves against many myths surrounding the interview manufactured by ill informed mentors who have no clue about the actual process of the interview. A large number of self- appointed experts are in the market to distort your vision and confuse your mind about the interview. Take only reliable, expert advice from people of high standing.

*Practice before mirror:  For few days before the interview, stand up before a mirror in your room for 10-20 minutes and read from a newspaper. This will help you have a better command over your articulation. You may record your own conversation for self analysis.

(Sir is  an academician and  a  civil services expert. He can be reached at his email:

Demonetization and Internal Security of India: Lohit Matani



Hi friends! In my book “Internal Security: Concepts, Dynamics, Challenges by Lohit Matani”, I have dealt with various aspects of Internal Security and Disaster Management in India. One of the recent developments in this topic is the impact of demonetization on Internal Security. Below I have made an effort to describe the impact of demonetization on Internal Security, corruption and other economic indicators. I have also given a brief on some international experiences of demonetization across the world.

  1. A Brief Introduction- Prime Minister’s Historic Address

On the evening of 8th of November, 2016, Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi gave a message to the public on television. The message was regarding ending the scourge of black money and other problems from the Indian society, economy and polity. In a historic move, he declared that the five hundred and one thousand rupee notes will cease to be legal tender from the night of 8th November, 2016. On the other hand, two thousand rupee notes and new notes of five hundred rupees will be placed in circulation.

He said that the move will strengthen the hands of the common in fighting against corruption, black money, money laundering, terrorism and financing of terrorism as well as Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN).

Fully sensitive to some of the difficulties the common citizens may face in the coming days, the Prime Minister also announced a series of steps that will help overcome the potential problems. Persons holding old notes of five hundred or one thousand rupees were allowed to deposit these notes in bank or post offices from 10th November onwards till 30th December. There were also some limits placed on the withdrawals from ATMs and bank for the very short run.

Shri Modi stated that on humanitarian grounds notes of five hundred and one thousand rupees will be accepted at government hospitals, pharmacies in government hospitals (with prescription of a doctor), booking counters for railway tickets, government buses, airline ticket counters, petrol, diesel and gas stations of PSU oil companies, consumer cooperative stores authorized by the state or central government, milk booths authorized by state government and crematoria, burial grounds.

In his address the Prime Minister shared the insight into how the magnitude of cash in circulation is linked to inflation and how the inflation situation is worsened due to the cash deployed through corrupt means. The Prime Minister added that it adversely affects the poor and the neo-middle class people. He cited the example of the problems being faced by the honest citizens while buying houses.

  1. What is Demonetization with reference to India?

Demonetization means the withdrawal of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, as official modes of payment, by the Reserve Bank of India. According to Investopedia, demonetization is an act of stripping a currency of its status as a legal tender. Following it, the notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 won’t be used as a medium of exchange of goods and service in India.

The total value of old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes in the circulation is to the tune of Rs.14.2 trillion, which is about 85% of the total value of currency in circulation. This means that the total cash has to now pass though the formal banking channels to get legitimacy. The World Bank in July, 2010 estimated the size of the shadow economy for India is at 20.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1999 and is rising to 23.2% in 2007. Assuming that this figure has not risen since then (quite unlikely though) and that the cash component of the shadow economy is also proportional (it could be higher), the estimated unaccounted value of the currency could be to the tune of Rs.3.3 trillion.1

Now, post the announcement of demonetization by the government this money would have to either accounted for by paying the relevant tax and penalties or would get extinguished. There are higher chances of larger proportion of this unaccounted currency getting extinguished as the tax rate and subsequent legal issues could be prohibitively high for such money.1

  1. Impact of Demonetization

 3.1 Impact on Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

Supply of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), and money laundering are two main medium of financing of terrorist activities and groups. The movement of money to the terrorist organizations happens through the following medium:

  1. Moving money by using financial system including transfers through hawala or other similar mechanism of illegal, informal transfer of funds in bulk.
  2. Physical movement of money through cash couriers and use of FICN.
  3. Use of international trade system in high valued items like diamonds and gold through money laundering.

Often the money used by the terrorist organizations is the unaccounted money and the organizations involved in their movement cannot disclose their source to the law enforcement agencies. The majority of the money with the terrorist organization is in the form of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. After the demonetization step, all the wealth with these organizations has become invalid. As a result, funding of their activities has become difficult.

The novel step has also curbed future funding of terrorist organizations. The demonetization step will either suck back all the unaccounted money into the banking channel or make it invalid after 30th December, 2016.  Government is also taking adequate steps to monitor the movement on new currency notes through the banking channel. Any suspicious transaction involving a large amount of money without disclosing the income source would be traced by the law enforcement agencies. Agencies like Enforcement Directorate, banks and Financial Intelligence Unit are geared up to trace any new transaction suspicious to be aimed at terror financing.

By the step, the old FICN notes have become invalid and can no longer be used for terror financing. The security features of the new notes are difficult to copy. Moreover, the responsible agencies are well prepared to fight counterfeiting of these new notes and their trafficking into the Indian economy.

Once money laundering is curbed, terrorists won’t be able to use the international trade system in high value items as the money movement would be curbed in the manner described above.

Table below shows how demonetization will impact various methods of terrorism financing.

3.2 Impact of Demonetization on Black Money

After the demonetization step, all the black money owners will not be able to deposit their old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in the banks, as won’t be in a position to give an account of that to the Income Tax authorities. Thus, the black money held by them will lose its significance and India will come out from the problem of black money in the long run.


Means of Transfer Stage at which Cash Involved Likely Impact of Demonetization
Banking Channels Deposit or Withdrawal Limited as formal channel usage will remain linked to the currency in use
Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) Deposit or Withdrawal Limited as formal channel usage will remain linked to currency in use
Trade Creation of surplus by over or under valuation Limited given low volume of trade with Pakistan
FICN Introduction into India 1. Printing press in Pakistan redundant till ability to counterfeit new notes created                                                                 2.  Existing FICN in India redundant
Cash All stages Substantial, based on financial reserves in cash held
Hawala Introduction abroad and entry into India Moderate impact on the liquidity of hawala agents

Impact of Demonetization on Different Methods of Terrorism Financing2

3.3 Impact of Demonetization on Criminal Activities and Corruption

As the amount of black money and unaccounted money will decrease, the financing of illegal activities will become costlier. Thus it will become costly to conduct illegal activities like drugs trafficking, organized crime and human trafficking. It will also make collusive corruption most costly as unaccounted and black money would no longer be available to be used in it. Like this, the rate of corruption will decrease in the long run.

3.4 Impact of Demonetization on Economy

As a large amount of money will be deposited in the banks and the unaccounted money will get extinguished, following impacts will happen on the Indian economy:

  1. It will enhance the liquidity position of banks, which can be utilized further for lending purposes. It will decrease the lending interest rates.
  2. With cash transactions facing a reduction, alternative forms of payment will see a surge in demand. Digital transaction systems, E-wallets and apps, online transactions using E-banking, usage of Plastic money (Debit and Credit Cards), etc. will definitely see substantial increase in demand. It will lead to a cashless economy in the long run.
  3. It will increase the demand for gold as people may start having more faith on gold than Indian currency notes.
  4. As the amount of currency in hand will decrease, the inflation is expected to go down in short run.
  5. The property prices will come down as the real estate sector involves circulation of a large sum of black money at present.


4. Short Term Impacts

The step of demonetization is aimed at creating many long lasting positive impacts, but in the short run the country has suffered and will suffer from certain negative impacts. There will be a disruption in the current liquidity situation as households are likely to get affected by the note exchange terms laid by the government. Unorganized sector proceedings including small trade market activities will remain volatile in the short-term. It is important to note that a significant percentage of the Indian workforce is employed in this sector which is likely to be affected by immediate liquidity issues. Overall, negative impact on disposable income is expected along with likely disruption in the consumption patterns of the general populace.

5. Dynamism Shown by the Government

The government has recognized the hard ships faced due to the demonetization step and has shown great dynamism in dealing with it. The government machinery is continuously monitoring the ground realities and taking daily decisions in dealing with them. Some of the dynamic steps taken by the government in dealing with the hardships are:

  1. Old notes can still be exchanged at the Reserve Bank of India.
  2. Government has extended the date (considering the ground realities) for the use of old Rs 500 note at petrol pumps, government hospitals, and some other public utilities till a prescribed date.
  3. Seeing the liquidity crunch, government also exempted the citizens from paying toll taxes till a prescribed date.
  4. Government allowed old currency in school fees, colleges, pre-paid mobile top-ups, purchases at consumer cooperative stores, at international airports, etc.
  5. Government abolished withdrawal charges at all ATMs.
  6. Seeing the situation, government increased the daily withdrawal limit in ATM from Rs 2000 to Rs 2500.
  7. Government set up a task force under the chairmanship of RBI deputy governor S S Mundra, to make sure ATMs across the country become ready to dispense higher denomination notes in the shortest time.

The above and other steps were taken on a daily basis after analyzing the ground impact of demonetization. This shows the seriousness of government for implementing this breakthrough reform.

6. Previous Efforts of Demonetization in India

  1. 1946: Winston Churchill introduced Rs 10,000 bill which helped the rich in hoarding money at the expense of the poor, increasing inflation. The government announced demonetization of denominations above Rs.1000 with effect from 12th January 1946 and gave little time for exchange. The crown princes were exempted from it and it was valid only to the areas directly ruled by the British Government. The government through this drive collected Rs.134 crore of the total Rs.143 crore available in the market (according to RBI estimates), only Rs.9 crore was not exchanged therefore demonetized. It turned out to become more like a currency conversion drive as the government couldn’t achieve much of profit in the cash-strapped economy at that time.3
  2. 1978: Higher denomination notes of Rs 1000, 5000 and 10,000 were again introduced in 1954. Due to various historical reasons thereafter, the Indian trade deficit started widening pushing Mrs. Indira Gandhi to devalue Indian currency by 57% in 1966. Finally, the demonetization step was taken in 1978 to overcome the negative impacts of higher denomination notes. However, the measure failed because there were rumors that the demonetization would come into effect sooner or later.

7. Demonetization Experience in Different Countries

Various countries have, in the past, taken the demonetization step. Their experience is a good learning point for the Indian demonetization story. Experience of some of the countries is as follows:

  1. 1969 USA:

Due to the rising menace of black money and corruption, President Richard Nixon demonetized $1000 and above denomination notes. Only bills of value $100 and below were made acceptable. The step succeeded in decreasing black money and criminal activities in USA. Even today $100 bill is the maximum available currency for circulation.

  1. 1996 Australia:

Worried by the increasing rate of black money, the Australian government replaced all the paper based currency notes with long life polymer based currency notes with greater security features. This improved the life of the bills and helped in making Australia a business friendly country, despite the initial costs incurred to manufacture polymer-based notes.3

  • 2010 Zimbabwe:

Chronic inflation in Zimbabwe forced the government to print higher currency notes of One Hundred Trillion Zimbabwe Dollars and remove the lower denomination notes. The decision was taken in a emergency situation and the government was not well prepared to tackle it. Thus, the step failed and the economy was forced to replace their currency with US Dollars later.



  1. November 11, 2016, Demonetization and its impact, Event Update, HDFC Bank
  2. Vivek Chadha, Demonetisation and Beyond: Addressing the Finance of Terrorism, November 18, 2016, Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses.
  3. Shashank Kamath, “Unknown facts about Demonetization 1946, 1978 and 2016”, 19th November, 2016, A Word to the World.


I would like to discuss on this topic over this blog as well as on my email address

Anyone interested in understanding the topics of Internal Security and Disaster Management holistically can buy my book from the amazon link

Moreover, you can visit my blog article regarding the book:

And like the facebook page of the book: