[Topper’s Interview] Amit Kalthaik [SDM] – HAS 2019 [Rank 1]

By | April 21, 2021

Interview by HP General Studies

Candidate Profile:

Name Amit Kalthaik
Rank in HAS 1
Roll No 1001806
Age 26
Marital Status Unmarried
Total Attempts in HAS 3
Optional Subject Agriculture
Schooling Medium English
College Medium English
Medium Chosen for Mains Answers English
Medium Chosen for Interview English
Hometown/City Shimla
Work Experience if any
Details of other competitive exams, including success and failures 2 times documentation out in subordinate allied services, Selected as district manager in SC ST Development Corporation, HP
Details of coaching/mock tests/postal material for this exam (if used)  Vajiram and Ravi, mains answer writing at civil square Academy, Mock interviews at Raman Academy Shimla, SNM Academy Chandigarh, Nimbus Academy Chandigarh
Services preference HAS-BDO-DFSC-PRTI-DEO


%age in class 10 79
%age in class 12 90.8
Graduation course and %age Civil engineering (68%)
Name of college, city and passing out year Jaypee University Waknaghat (2017)
Post Graduation
Any other course
Hobbies and extra-curricular achievement Football and running


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

Ans: My parents are retired government employees and my sister is a doctor. I started my preparation during the final year of my graduation.

Ques: Typical day in your online life?

Ans: Whatsapp/Telegram: Online Study Websites/Apps: Insights IAS vision IAS for pre and mains material.

Ques:  What is your style of preparation and notes making?

Ans: Focused on note making in optional not in GS as I had my coaching notes.

Prelims (Paper-1):

Topic Booklist/Strategy
Ancient History NCERT
Medieval History NCERT
Modern History Spectrum
Art & Culture Fine arts class 11th
Polity (Theory + Current) M Laxmikanth
Economy (Theory + Current) Vajiram and Ravi notes+ Newspaper + Economic survey
Science (Theory + Current)  Physics chemistry and bio section of lucent, Current affair magazine
Environment (Theory + Current)  Environment book of Vajiram and Ravi
Geography of India  Class 11th and 12thNcert
Physical Geography Same
Geography of World Same
Current Affairs Newspaper, GK today, Vajiram and Ravi booklet
Himachal GK The Wonderland by Jagmohan Balokhra
Himachal Pradesh Current Affairs Tribune and Amar Ujala

Prelims (Paper-2):

Topic Booklist/Strategy
Reasoning  Previous Year Questions
English  same
Maths  same
Communication  same

Ques:  Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? Do you think they’re necessary for success?

Ans:  Yes I did take mock test They help you to understand your mistakes and improve accuracy

Ques:  Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in Prelims:

Attempted questions Correct Official Score
GS 90  66  116
Aptitude  109

Mains: Compulsory language Paper:

Compulsory language Paper Your  preparation/Strategy/Booklist
English  previous year paper
Hindi  previous year paper, Vyakaran Bharti

Ques:  Other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers?

Ans: Reading Hindi newspaper can improve your command over the Hindi language paper.

Mains: Essay Paper:

Ques:  How did you prepare for the essay paper?

Ans:  I wrote mock essays and got them evaluated by Bhushan Rohta Sir.

Ques: Which essays did you write and what key points did you include in it?

Ans: Adding quotes and underlining the keywords.

Mains: General Studies (Paper-1):

Topic/Unit How did you prepare/Booklist
History perspective of Indian Culture heritage  Vision IAS mains test series
World History Class notes from Vajiram
History of Himachal  The Wonderland
Disaster Management  Class notes and government sites
Indian Geography  NCERT plus Vision IAS mains test series
Geography of Himachal Pradesh  The Wonderland
Indian Society  Class notes plus vision IAS mains test series
Ethics/Gandhian Thoughts  Class notes plus Internet
Society and Culture of HP  The Wonderland

Mains: General Studies (Paper-2):

Topic/Unit How did you prepare/Booklist
Constitution of India  M Laxmikant
Polity of Himachal Pradesh  The Wonderland plus notes from civil square Academy
Governance in India  Class notes
Governance in HP  Notes from civil square Academy
Social Issues  Vision IAS means test series
International Relations  Class notes plus newspaper
International Institutions  Class notes plus Internet
Cyber crime/Drug menace/Socio-Economic development of HP  Newspaper plus economic survey

Mains: General Studies (Paper-3):

Topic/Unit How did you prepare/Booklist
Indian Economy  Class notes plus economic survey plus newspaper
Schemes and Important Institutions of the World  Newspaper
Economy of HP  Economic survey of the state
Science and Technology  Class notes plus current affair booklet
Energy Sector of India  Newspaper plus Internet
Science and Technology/IT/Biodiversity in HP  Economic survey of Himachal Pradesh
Environment Science  Booklet of Vajiram
Agriculture and Horticulture  Economic survey and newspaper
Tourism Sector in HP  Economic survey of the state

Ques: How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?

Ans: Regular practice can help you in writing quality answers in fix space.

Ques: Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Some players were claiming that they wrote entire paper in bullet points, so it doesn’t matter whether examiner is asking ‘examine, comment, discuss or xyz’. Simply write in bullets and points.

Ans: The answer has to be a mix of paragraphs and points. The questions of 4 marks can be attempted in bullet points only.

Ques: Did you follow the “introduction-body-conclusion” format? Because some mains-qualified candidates claim they simply wrote the points they could recall within the time, instead of bothering with proper introduction and conclusion.

Ans: Introduction body and conclusion is very important in 20 marker question, in 8 marker question I wrote only introduction and body.

Ques: I don’t like asking following rudimentary questions, but these are the most frequently asked questions by new aspirants.

  1. Did you use highlighter/sketch-pen in your answers? – No
  2. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? – Yes map of India and state
  3. If yes, did you draw diagram with pen/pencil? – Pen
  4. Did you use pencil? – No
  5. Did you write with Blue or Black pen? -Blue Pen for writing black pen for keywords

Mains: Optional Subject

Ques: What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?

Ans: Agriculture because it got good marks and I had my ACF MAINS also.

Ques: If a new player wants to pick your subject, would you advice for it or against it?

Ans: Yes, it is a good subject and can be prepared in around 2 to 3 months.

Ques: Essential book/resource list for the optional you have read:

  • AK vyas an introduction to agriculture
  • TNAU,ANGRAU Pdf’s online.

Ques: 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?

Ans: Addition of current events and facts can enrich the answers for example the facts of agriculture in economic survey of the state can be utilised in mains answer writing.

Ques: How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?

Ans: 3 months.

Ques: How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?

Ans: After completion of Preliminary examination.

Ques: Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?

Ans: Self notes from online PDF and book.

Ques: Your observation about the difficultly level of 2020 mains vs previous papers. And what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional subject?

Ans: The paper was quite direct, topic wise preparation helped me tackle the mains questions.

Before the Interview:

Ques: How did you prepare for the interview for college grad, hobbies, place of origin, and current affairs at national and international level?

Ans: Reading newspaper regularly helped me to deal with questions related to current affairs, I prepared my home district that is Shimla very well, Ramakant Sharma Sir at Raman Academy helped me a lot in my preparation for questions regarding-application form.

Ques: 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?

Ans: I did attend mock interviews which helped me Prepare for the final interview I believe mock interviews help to remove your hesitation and build confidence.

Ques: Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.

Ans: I wore a Grey suit with a light blue shirt and a dark blue tie along with black leather shoes.

During the interview:

Ques: Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Ans: Major General retired Sri DVS Rana.

Ques: How long was the interview?

Ans: Around 20 minutes.

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

Ans: My interview was comparatively short for around 20 minutes as I was the last candidate for the day. The questions of the 2 members were 70% factual such as disaster management climate change PM Kisan PM Fasal Bima Yojana passes in the state use of graduation knowledge in the services.

The questions of chairman Sir were related to relevance of World Health Organization, special economic zone at sith way, World Bank and IMF.

Ques: 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?

Ans: The interview was a bit unexpected as opinion based questions were comparatively less, I believe reading newspaper regularly and answering questions confidently is what would help an individual to score good marks.

Your mark sheet:

Subject Marks Secured
Prelims (Paper-1)  116
Prelims (Paper-2)  109
Mains Subjects:  
English 70
Hindi 58
Essay  56
General Studies -1  92
General Studies -2  89
General Studies -3  116
Optional (P-1)  79
Optional (P-2)  84
Written Total  516
Interview  110
Final Score  626

Career Backup Plan:

Ques: If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?

Ans: I was already selected as a district manager in HP SC ST Corporation.

Struggle of a Senior Player/Junior Player:

Ques: How did you survive through this mental prison of HAS and what’re your words of wisdom to other senior players/Junior Players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.

Ans: Your hard work is what you have in your control you cannot predict the results beforehand, always have a positive outlook in life, One day the hard work definitely pays off.

Ques: What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?

Ans: I was not able to score well in my optional in the last 2 attempts, also I was not able to qualify English in my second attempt although I cleared the mains cut off.

Grand Wisdom:

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

Ans: Focus on the quality of study rather than quantity of study, 3 to 5 hours of preparation everyday consistently can help you sail through.

Ques: 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/veteran aspirants?

Ans: Believe in yourself and always carry a positive attitude towards life.

Ques: Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of HAS 2020. They’re feeling cynical, hopeless and depressed- what is your message to them?

Ans: You have to be determined to reach your goal irrespective of the failures you face.

यूँ तो सभी आते हैं इस दुनिया में जीने के लिए,ज़िन्दगी वो है जिस पर ज़माना फक्र करे.

Credits: Family/Friends:

Ques: Behind every qualified candidate there 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?

Ans: My parents and my sister Dr. Himani always supported me in every way possible, my friend Ankita and my teacher Bhushan Rohta always motivated me by telling me that I would one day definitely crack this exam with a Top Rank.

Also my friend Mr Divij Chauhan Who helped me in my preparation for agricultural optional.

Ques: You are well aware of the sacred rule of conducting interview of qualified candidates- the last question must be about self-marketing. So, Did you use www.hpgeneralstudies.com for your preparation and if yes, how did it help you? And you can even reply “No“

Ans: I’ve been visiting the site since 2016 and my main source of preliminary preparation was the solved previous year questions available on your site, I owe a big thanks to your site for being able to clear preliminary examination 3 times in a row. Also the Topper interviews were helpful in preparation for my final HPPSC interview.

HP General Studies remarks:

Thank-you Sh. Amit Kalthaik for giving us your precious time. Hopefully, this interview will help thousands of aspirants who have been preparing for the HAS exam.

We wish you a great future ahead.

Read also: All other interviews of HAS 2017, HAS 2018 and 2019

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Category: HAS Interview

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