Wednesday, 18 July 2018

My Journey to Success - Prabhat Pegu - ACS 2017 (APSC CCE 2015)


Prabhat Pegu
Rank in Civil Services
Roll No.               
29 yrs
Marital Status
Total attempts in CEE (including this one)               
Optional Subjects
History & Education
Service preferences Top – 3
Service Joined
Schooling Medium
English Medium
College Medium
English Medium
Medium chosen for Mains answers
Medium chosen for Interview
English & Assamese
Home town/city
Silapathar, District: Dhemaji, Assam
Work-experience if any
Assistant Manager at IDBI Bank for 3 yrs


% in class 10
% in class 12
Graduation course and %
B.Tech (CSE)  with 5.98 CGPA
Name of college, city, passing out year
NIT Silchar 2011
Any other professional courses
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements
Travelling, Playing Soccer


Daily hrs spent on online platforms for predicting cutoff / syllabus change / age-attempt limit change and other “peripheral-discussion“related to civil services.       
3 hrs reserved out of whole day for online preparation along with getting connected to FB, WhatsApp & gaming.
Primary Device for online study: desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile  
Laptop & Mobile


Did you use highlighters / sketch pens in your answers?
No, I did not use any highlighter/sketch pens nor any diagrams
Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in Geography) If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?
Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?
You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen?


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

My name is Prabhat Pegu and I am a B.Tech graduate in CSE from NIT Silchar. My father is a government servant under the Department of Food and Civil Supply and my mother is a homemaker. I have a younger brother who is an Assistant Commandant in B.S.F

2.        In recent times, there is a spur in the electronic material- blogs, sites, pdf, RSS-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how do you balance this i.e. electronic material vs. paper material (Books, newspapers) 

Both the sources should be used judiciously. Here it comes to the concept of smart work is what I feel. I did not do any answer writing practice. I wrote down the notes and it was similar to the answers writing practices.

3.        Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional?

Yes, I had the habit to prepare notes and keep them handy for regular revision time and again.

4.        What was your approach in the exam?

I tried to touch all the questions with at least some relevant points though I feel that at the end of the day it all depends upon the examiner.

5.        Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Did you follow the “introduction-body-conclusion” format?

I wrote the answers in paragraphs and have put on introduction and conclusion for the answers to which I felt it was necessary. 

6.        What are the books you studied doing your preparations and your list of recommended books?

For APSC, I referred to selective books like: 

G.S. :

  • Assam Year Book
  • India Year Book
  • Spectrums Brief History of India
  • Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh


  • Indian History by S. K. Raychowdhary
  • Indian History by Pratiyogita Darpan
  • India’s Ancient past by R.S. Sharma
  • India’s struggle for independence by Bipin Chandra
  • World History by Arjun Dev
  • History of Modern World by B.V. Rao
  • European History by K. L. Khurana
  • England History by L. Mukherjee


  • A textbook of Education by Lakshya Hira Das
  • A textbook of Education by Dr, Moromi Goswami

7.        How many months did it take to finish the optional syllabus?

It took me seven months to get a good hold over the optional subjects by applying the smart work technique, but I personally feel like there is no particular time frame as it depends on each individual.

8.        Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? Do you think they’re necessary for success? How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice papers?

I did not have the opportunity to attend any mock test but I personally do feel that they are important to boost confidence level.

9.        If you are made the UPSC/APSC chairman, what other reforms would you initiate for the civil service exam?

I would have tried to make the exam more transparent and would have introduced level playing field to eliminate biases with regards to optional subjects.


1.        How did you prepare for the interview?

For the interview, I prepared thoroughly on my bio-data, hobbies and my work experience related to banking

2.        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?

No, I didn’t take up any mock interview training

3.        Where did you stay for the interview and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?

I stayed at my uncle’s room in Guwahati and I was going through the newspaper of the day.

4.        Who was the chairman of you interview board? How long was the interview? Why do you want to join civil service?

The chairman of my interview board was Dr. Dhurba Jyoti Hazarika Sir. The interview lasted for about 25 minutes.

5.        Describe the formal-dress worn by you on the day of your interview.

I wore a navy blue trouser and a light sky blue shirt with a matching blue tie.

6.        Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared or did they ask you totally unexpected questions? 

Some of the questions were as expected while others were totally unexpected. Just tried to give them balanced conclusions.

7.        Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?

No such side details were put forwarded.

8.        Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview.

Questions were asked related to Hobbies, banking, beef banning, love jihad, NPA in banking, government schemes like Mudra loans, Start-up India, Yandaboo Treaty, Assam’s participation in India’s independence were some which I can recollect.

The Miscellaneous Ones

1.        If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?

As I was working with the Industrial Development Bank of India as an Assistant Manager, if not selected in this attempt, I would have continued with my current job and kept trying again and again.

2.        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? Did you suffer from such insecurities? What is your message to these candidates?

Since I had my degree in B.Tech from NIT Silchar I did not have any “profile insecurity”. I personally feel that it hardly matters as I have seen people from private institutes achieving high ranks and joining the service.

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

Being a working professional I feel that “xhomoi, puwa najai, xhomoi uliyabo lage”. I used to make efficient use of the morning hours as I believe in the dictum “early to bed, early to rise”.

4.        People, 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?

By staying calm and focussed towards the goal. Patience and perseverance are virtues of a civil services officer and the journey of preparation takes an aspirant takes them through it. An aspirant must always also avoid the negativity around them and in case of mood swing, do take a break and relax yourself. One must also keep in touch with friends and family and not stay secluded or cut-off from well-wishers.

5.        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?

The question of failure and success is just a second index. The process of preparing oneself as a civil servant itself grooms an individual as a well-rounded person and it moreover singles you out amongst hundreds of others. I would like to advice and request all the candidates to analyse their mistakes, learn from their mistakes, and to start again without losing hope.

6.        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?

Well, I would like to thank my parents and my friends for being so supportive. I would also like to mention about my close friend Rahin Pegu, who passed away recently. Rahin not only constantly motivated me but also guided me throughout the preparation phase. 

The team at Current Affairs 365 from the bottom of its heart thanks Prabhat Pegu for his time in sharing these details for the benefit of the aspirants.


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