Padmapani: I extend my thanks to the editors of Posoowa for giving me this opportunity to interact with their readers.
Posoowa: Please tell us about your school education and academic career.
Padmapani: I did my primary schooling from Jorhat Moktab L.P School and completed high school education from Jorhat Government Boys’ high school in 1999. I joined Cotton College for my college education in 1999. Till higher secondary my medium of instruction was Assamese, but during my B.A. I shifted to English medium. I completed my B.A. in Political Science from Cotton College, Guwahati in 2004 and joined Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. I have done my M.A. and M.Phil from JNU in Political Science and International Relations respectively.
Posoowa: How and when did you start thinking of joining the Civil Services? Or was there someone else other than yourself who was very instrumental in making this decision?
Padmapani: Actually, I started thinking of civil services since the first standard. However, my father too was quite instrumental in this whole process. My cousin brother Sanjay Kr Krishna, IAS was a great inspiration.
Posoowa: Considering the fact that preparing for the Civil Services is very time consuming, how supportive was your family?
Padmapani: My family was always very supportive and specially my father who insisted that I clear it.
Posoowa: Please tell us a bit about your family. Is there any other Civil Servant in your family?
Padmapani: My father is a retired Government employee and I am sorry to say that my mother is no more. I have one elder brother and sister in–law and a nephew. Yes, I am from a family which has contributed for the society to a great extent. One of my cousins is an IAS officer and two others are in Assam Civil Services and Assam Police Services. My uncle is also a retired ACS officer.
Posoowa: What were your subjects in Prelims and Mains and how did you start preparing for them?
Padmapani: Political science was my optional subject in Prelims and in Mains, I had Political Science and Assamese literature as my optional subjects. I started preparing for these subjects since my M.A days. For Political Science, I was mainly dependent on text books. I collected some articles from different sources. For Assamese literature I made some notes which have proved to be really helpful. Some of my seniors especially Pranabjyoti Nath, IAS and Nayanjyoti Nath, IRS have helped me a lot in this connection.
Posoowa: What do you have to say about the choice of your subjects? Do you regret anything?
Padmapani: For my Optionals I have no regrets at all since I have scored very good marks in both the Optionals. They were the right choices for me.
Posoowa: Did you expect your rank or it went against your expectations?
Padmapani: Well, No doubt it went against my expectations. I expected my rank to be within the top 100.
Posoowa: Did you take any coaching? How effective was it?
Padmapani: Not exactly. But took some guidance for preparation for the Interview, which was highly effective.
Posoowa: How many attempts did it take for you to crack it?
Padmapani: I have cracked it in two attempts.
Posoowa: What did you do when you couldn’t handle the stress any longer during your preparations?
Padmapani: In such situations I used to roam around in the JNU campus and used to listen to Bihu songs.
Posoowa: Besides studying really hard during your preparations was there time left for anything else?
Padmapani: Yes, I managed time for quite a few things actually. During my preparations, I was pursuing my M.Phil as well. I was also involved in a number of socio-cultural and students’ activities in JNU as well as outside.
Posoowa: How did you prepare for your Interview? How much time did you get for preparing?
Padmapani: Interview is all about your personality and that can not be built in a week. So far as my knowledge on my bio-data is concerned I consulted some articles, websites and directly contacted some retired civil servants. I devoted much time on speaking rather than reading.
Posoowa: What all were you asked?
Padmapani: Most of the questions in my interview were revolved around my bio-data. It confined to JNU, my home state Assam and on my subject political science.
Posoowa: As a civil servant do you have any specific goal you want to achieve in your career?
Padmapani: No doubt I have some goals. However, I don’t want to reveal those goals right now. My work will speak those in the coming years.
Posoowa: Did you have any back-up plan if you hadn’t made it?
Padmapani: Well, I have an excellent academic career since I am pursuing a PhD. But I have never thought of any back up plan. I was quite confident of getting through.
Posoowa: Which state cadre have you opted for?
Padmapani: My first priority is my home cadre Assam-Meghalaya. Rest of the things depend on the rules of Government of India. Since I am in all India services I am ready to serve in any part of India.
Posoowa: If it isn’t your domicile state cadre, what are the reasons behind choosing that other particular state?
Padmapani: Actually, it is not up to us. It is the prerogative of the Govt. of India. We can not choose any cadre. We can only give the preferences.
Posoowa: Tell us about your hobbies and extra-curricular activities.
Padmapani: My hobbies are basically listening to music (mainly Assamese) and short story reading. Otherwise, most of the time I engage myself in social activities.
(Posoowa wishes Mr Padmapani a grand career).