Tuesday, 8 December 2015

At the Finishing Line of the Foundation Course(FC)....

Its been long since i blogged..Life has moved miles ahead or may be i am still struck in the waves of loneliness when the world around me moved ahead.. 15 weeks of foundation course has entered into its penultimate week and finally i got some time to do something which doesn't carry weightage in the Director's Assessment here @ academy i.e., blogging.. :D

FC is exciting, enthralling, busy busy, hectic n very interesting indeed ! If i have to blog, each day of FC would become 4 5 blog entries..So, let me just briefly Look back at my past 3months here and encapsulate it in this small post. I remember the first day when i first entered into this academy, the Great Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration, Mussorie. It was a feeling of satisfaction, pride, happiness and above all a sense of Responsibility when i was walking into the gate. Years of Hardwork earned an entry ticket into this prestigious Institute. I was totally blank about what was gonna come in the coming 3months. Now, at almost the "Curtains down" stage of FC, there is sense of satisfaction within me.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Marks Marks Marks..... Civil Services 2014...

Very happy with my Prelims score as well as Exceptional Interview score.... Could have done lot lot better in Mains, but as alwayz UPSC is the King-maker or Breaker...In any case, love my interview marks...They restore my faith in UPSC,that it is not totally Unpredicatable as such...Atleast in interview.....thanx sir...   :)



Friday, 3 July 2015

What does "Happiness" Mean to me......

Probably the best time to write about happiness is when you are sad. I have been thinking about writing my thoughts over Happiness from the time i came across this Surprize question of "What does happiness means to you" in Civil Services Ethics paper of 2014. After Going Up n Down swings of happiness n sadness in the past few years, i feel myself better placed to pour out my thoughts on this.


Many philosophers have written many ideas about how to be happy in one's life. I am no philosopher, hence gonna put it in very naive layman's language. 

Happiness can be defined as Material, Physical, Mental, Healthy, Pshycological well being of a human being. But even if we have all these things, still we can be unhappy. To me Happiness is personal. Happiness is an Individual's right. Everyone of us has the right to be Happy. Every human being born is destined to die one day n between this Birth n Death, there lies a phase where we keep going through plethora of emotions ranging from pride to pain to sad to happy. All these emotions define a human lifecycle. But Everyone wants to be happy in their lives. So how do we quantify this happiness? When can we be happy? When can we be sad? What defines our happiness? Let me get into my thoughts on this.


Happiness according to me is of two broad catogories. 

Temporary Instant Spike Happiness which ups ur mood with a sudden thrust. A movie, a coffee with a friend, a surprize birthday party, a cool candle-light dinner etc etc all come under this category. This happiness is temporary in a sense that its impact is instantaneous and u will return to normal as soon as the euphoria around it is over. Yes, you do remember those memories, but on a large scale of life, these are quite dwarf.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Final Lap.... to my Dream Destination... LBSNAA... :)

************************************************************
Name: Naga Sathish Gidijala
Board : Chattar Singh sir
Optional : Geography
Hobbies  : Watching movies and Cricket, Internet browsing,  Watching news in TV.
Attempt :  3rd
Qualification: MTech CSE  IIT Roorkee, BTech ECE, Andhra University.
Present Job : Jobless..hehe... left my job an year back in Feb 2013
Past Jobs: Software Engineer, Cisco Systems, Bangalore - 2.5yrs exp
                   Software Engineer, Informatica Business Solutions, Bangalore - 1 year exp
Achievements : Best Student in college, ISTE 
                            Best boy in School
                            Rashtrabhasha Visharad Degree from Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha
From : Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
***************************************************************

Straight into Transcript..........

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Memoirs of my IIT r still fresh in the air.....

While i was going through some random stuff at midnight 3, i suddenly came across my testimonials which i got from some of my closest friends at IIT Roorkee.. Life has moved on a lot.. Its been 5years since we left the campus..we guys cudn't meet atleast once during these years...  but while i recap my days at iit, it feels 2yrs were like 2seconds... I never knew when they came and when they went... but the feel of IIT is something i cherish the most for the rest of my life.. It can never leave me...

Ever since i left IIT, my life just got struck in civils preparation...I have been running all along...Atleast now i got some time to Pause a little and look back at my life...So... Here are my Testimonials from few of my special friends...ThanQ doston... miss you...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bharat Pardeshi says:

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Run Raja Runnn... Walk Walk...Walk in the Park...

Again something related to IFS-2014.... My walking test...

Distance: 25kms... Time Limit: 4 hours...  Location : Delhi Zoological Park... Weather : Foggy February Winter... Mood : Upbeat after a Good Interview :D

This is one test which i was really worried about..more than the interview ! We are supposed to walk 25kms (14km for girls )within 4hrs with all those Animals looking at us weirdly... :'( 

The date of Walking Test was 2days after interview with Medicals@safdarganj in the middle. So on this chilly foggy Feb morning i reached Delhi zoo after Taxiforsure made sure that i book another cab by cancelling at last minute. We were asked to be there by 6:45 AM. Sun was not yet out, mist was not yet clear, n our cab driver dint know where or what was this Zoo... A passerby translated Zoo as "Chidiyaghar" and then his spark lit... Anywayz we reached there on time and after initial docs stuff, we were ready to walk...get...set... goooo....

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

CAPF (ACs) 2014 Marksheet

Skipped PET for this as it clashed with my IFoS mains. With jus 56 marks below final cutoffs and skipping 150 marks interview, i probably missed an AIR here..But im happy that i gave precedence to IFoS and it did work well 4 me...


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

IFoS - Civil Services dilemma... Dissolved, Decoded n Decimated...(Part-2)

So, after having dealt with the necessity to apply for IFoS along with Civils during prelims, let me get into my strategy in cracking IFS. Before i proceed any further let me tell you the condition i was in when i decided to give IFS mains.
- I cleared IFS prelims cutoffs, mains is good 2 months away
- I already had indepth knowledge of Geography optional as this is my 3rd attempt at Civils Mains.
- I absolutely had no idea of either Agriculture or Geology.
- I had relatively good free time as i left job (Very important factor)
- I had enough knowledge about current happenings / major issues in News .
- I knew that majority of those who cleared IFS cutoffs would be in same situation as mine.

The reason i am saying these things is because you might be at a different stage of preparation compared to me and hence can compare the above parameters with yours.

I had a very clear strategy that i shouldn't overdo IFS prep as this will have direct impact on my Civils mains. At the same time, i shouldn't ignore IFS mains as its relatively easier competition-wise as of now. Catch-22.. Isn't it? Ultimately I shouldn't end up as Jack of all trades and remaining without a rank anywhere. So i had to plan very carefully about what to study and what to absolutely ignore for IFS mains.

If you are a genuine IFS aspirant, Prelims is the toughest thing to crack. Mains becomes little easy as the competition dynamics have totally changed. But if you are a civils aspirant but also wanna give a shot at IFS mains, u shud give only that much time that it deserves. You are aiming at 1200 seats of Civils and only 85 seats of IFS... That simply means.. your time division to balance should be lesser than even 1:12 ratio. i.e., in 13hours, logically you should spare only 1hr for IFS and not more than that, lest ur civils will take a hit. :) I know its a silly calculation, but ignore this and u are gone.. :D

So with this background, i decided to go through Syllabus of Agri n Geology, Old papers of last 3 4 years and most importantly last year marksheets of toppers given in Mrunal. After some analysis i understood few facts from those marklists. They are
- To top, all you need is ~300/800 in 2 optionals and ~250/600 in English n GK.
- The questions in optionals are straight-forward and some times even repetitive.
- I should maximize my score in English/GK n Interview.
- Optionals obviously are my weak-links. I should ensure that in optionals i screw no paper. Average performance in optionals should get me close to 300/800 in optionals.

n Thus i started my prep.......Here is my strategy for all papers

General English :
         Last year papers are the key here. This is my strength area and i should excel spectacularly and score heavily. My Civils prep would be sufficient here, but i should take extra care to excel when i write this exam on that specific day. So i was very conscious of doing my best in this paper. I wrote essay and report writing which account for half of the marks almost in the most impressive manner which i could. Grammer part i dint prepare specifically. Hence, its usual thing for all who are ok with fundamentals of English. I got 159/300 in this paper which i suppose is the top mark this year in this paper. So for all you Not-So-Genuine IFS aspirants, this is the Strength area. Nail it absolutely. 

General Studies :
        Again my strength area. UPSC changed IFS GS paper pattern this year and gave 24x12.5marks format unlike last year which had 1 markers, 8 markers etc.,. Pretty much similar to Civils mains GS papers. So again, no spl prep required. Unlike civils, questions here are straight. They asked explain Arab-Palestine issue, Explain Digital India Programme sort of questions which are way too straight-forward. Hence do you best and finish the paper. UPSC screwed this paper in marking this year. Last yr toppers had even 140/300 marks in this paper. My target was 120 minimum. This year top score itself is around 103/300. I got 86 which is fine for me. If upsc screws the marking, every other person suffers. Hence Zero-sum game. So again.. Nail this paper. :)

Agriculture - 1
        This is your GS-3 paper in Civil Services. Nothing special in it. Syllabus-wise or Exam wise. So do your Ramesh singh's, Economic Surveys, 12th Plan docs, Newspaper, Dutt n Sundarams etc., No special prep needed. Totally integrated with your Civils Mains again. So Nail this too.... 
I attempted around 180-190 in this paper and still managed only 75. A 90s score would have been good, but hello...this is UPSC.. :P

Agriculture - 2
        Now this is the toughest of them all for me. This paper is pure Botany stuff.  Remember Cell Theory? Mitosis, Meoisis, Reproduction, Osmosis, Photosynthesis, Calvin Cycle etc etc which u studied long long long back? This to me was the weakest paper. But soon after a week's prep i absolutely loved this paper. I prepared in a very limited way choosing topic which are repetitive in past papers and also interesting for me. 
Source i used here is only R.Gupta's Agriculture guide. There are better books like "Introduction to Agriculture" by A.K.Vyas. It is important to read solved answers of R.Gupta's book.
    
         One problem is with the terminology. Being a non-botany student it was very tough for 3 4 days to even pick the complicated technical terminology used in the book. I had to repeatedly read each line 3 4 times to understand what it means. In addition to this book, I used Biology Youtube 3D videos. These are just exceptional. I loaded them on my mobile and kept on watching them so many times. Find the below link and watch all related videos in that biology channel. You ll love them and this botany stuff interested me alot. :D


A note on Agriculture here. I found Agri to be a better optional in Civils too, if u are interested in it. UPSC still asking very straight and fundamental questions in this particular Optional and i was really amazed even at 2014 Civils agri papers. How on earth you screw optionals like Pub-Ad, Geo n Psycho with irrational question papers and still give cherries in optionals like Agri. May be something to do with popularity and all. But after all we need marks to become IAS.. No one cares if its Agri or Pub-ad after you get selected.. So if any newbie is reading this post, i suggest going for Agri-like optionals unlike Pub-Ad. 

I attempted around 150 in this paper and got a decent 75.

So the sources are R.Gupta's book and Youtube channel for me. If you want indepth, Some guy in Mrunal's interviews gave full book sources. You may go through them. But as i told earlier, you only have to give IFS that much that it deserves. Dont over do this and pick books only if u clear IFS prelims cutoffs. Studying IFS optionals even before clearing prelims makes no sense to me. Atleast for the next 3 4 years, this logic holds true according to me. Moving on....


Geology -1
Now Geology is again a popular optional. Usually for those who dont have common optional in Civils and IFS mains, Geology+Agri or Geology+Forestry is the combo. Agri+Forestry is not allowed by UPSC. This year Geology papers were very tough. Paper-1 was manageable to a certain extent, but paper-2 is out of the world. Geology-1 itself had questions from entire geology syllabus. In break, i was wondering what would they ask in paper-2 as they already asked everything in paper-1 itself and as expected paper-2 bombed. :D

Anywayz, Geology-1 has half of its syllabus totally overlapping with Geography's Geomorphology. Infact you need to read Geomorphology little indepth for Geology. The book i used for this is the Physical Geography by Savindra Singh. Its ultimate source for it. (Forgive me, i never read NCERTs for Civils/IFS, i never liked them somehow, i feel upsc now crossed NCERT levels long back)
             
The other book which covers majority of syllabus is of K.M.Bangar. Previous papers, coupled with Bangar, Savindra Singh and Internet should give you enough knowledege in this paper to attempt almost 170-180 unless UPSC decides to screw. I attempted around 140 and got 68 in this paper. A decent one.

Geology-2
            
Well the lesser i say about this, the better. This paper was a disaster for everyone this year. As i said, UPSC asked whole syllabus in paper-1 itself and this paper was so tough that we just couldn't do anything in exam hall. I attempted around 100 marks, but i wasn't sure of even 30 marks in this paper. After attempting 100marks, i myself felt bored to write more crap. So, this also happens in upsc and you must be prepared... half of the time in the exam hall, all of us were just sleeping or laughing looking at eachother's faces. :D
Ultimately UPSC upscaled marks n many got very good marks. I got 55 in this paper. see.. upsc is not always a villian.. Cutie upsc also upscales for u sometimes... :)

 Sources for this paper are again internet and Bangar. I love those small anthropods called trilobites. There is a whole website dedicated to these trilobites. Read about them. Compile some notes. A sure shot question every year on these Not-So-Beautiful bugs... :D

So this finishes my IFS mains journey. My aim was to get 550 in mains (sure shot call for interview) and then score big in interview.  As Geology-2 was tougher, i was expecting around 520-530 kinda marks. I got 518 in mains and an interview call.

             From here on... Rock that interview and you are an IFS officer... After getting into IFS, Clearing civils actually becomes an option rather than a necessity. Being Geology, Geography and Agriculture guy with CSE n ECE backgrounds in IIT (lol), i love IFS more than anyother service and im very excited in clearing it. Eventhough IAS remains dream for many, i personally love the job profile of IFS as i will be more close to nature.  So now, IAS/IPS only if i get good cadre n all, else i am going into the jungles like an Aslan searching for my future... No more attempts at UPSC in near future.... upphh..exasperated... 

 n thus my Jungle Story Begins........ :)


oh wait... So how many days intoto i studied for this IFS mains exam specifically? It's around 20 days.
I read botany part of Agri and some tough area's of Geology for 5 days about 1 n half month before IFS mains (so that i dont feel them new when i read them jus before mains) and the left them and went ahead with my civils prep. Whenever i get bored of Geography or civils things, i opened Geology/Agri books or saw those youtube videos. n i studied about 10days seriously before IFS mains again mixing it up with civils prep. It's all about how u prioritize and then repriortize and again do the same.. UPSC prep makes us like Self-correcting robots always. We need to outsmart upsc and upsc inturn outsmarts us. The day u win over UPSC , u get that ticket to enter LBSNAA,Mussorie.. Cheers





Saturday, 28 February 2015

IFoS - Civil Services dilemma... Dissolved, Decoded n Decimated...(Part-1)

This article is exclusively aimed at IFoS aspirants. This will be helpful to those who wish to crack IFS along with their civils prep, in general and those who don't have common optional in the two mains, in particular. I have few Disclamers to make before i proceed.
- My Strategy is temperory in nature and is not written in wall. UPSC is evolving every 1gle day.
- These are purely my personal thots and you may choose to ignore them partially or totally.
- This article can be riduculously long. Hence breaking it into 2 parts.

So, before i proceed with my optional strategy for Agriculture n Geology, i wish to clear some misconceptions abt IFS. Back in 2013, i held these misconceptions that 
- UPSC did injustice by merging IFS with Civils Pre.
- I shouldnot give IFS as i will be doing injustice to Genuine IFS aspirants.
- I am not interested in Forests.
- I can't study new optionals exclusively for IFS.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

My IFS Marklist.... Wow i love my Interview n English marks... :D

Thank You Alka mam for that Wonderful Interview Score. If it weren't 200+, it would have become really difficult for me to figure it out on Y i got lesser.... My strategy worked... :-) Decoding a word or two about UPSC....


 

P.S.  Will be sharing my overall strategy for IFoS soon.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Entering the Jungles...Preface of my Jungle book... Its time for IFoS Interview 2014....

************************************************************
Name: Naga Sathish Gidijala
Board : Alka Sirohi mam
Optionals : Agriculture and Geology
Civils Optional : Geography
Hobbies  : Watching movies and Cricket, Internet browsing,  Watching news channels in TV.
Attempt : 1 for IFoS, 3 for Civils mains
Qualification: MTech CSE  IIT Roorkee, BTech ECE, Andhra University.
Present Job : Jobless..hehe... left my job an year back in Feb 2013
Past Jobs: Software Engineer, Cisco Systems, Bangalore - 2.5yrs exp
                   Software Engineer, Informatica Business Solutions, Bangalore - 1 year exp
Achievements : Best Student in college, ISTE 
                            Best boy in School
                            Rashtrabhasha Visharad Degree from Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha
From : Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
*************************************************************** 

                  So again i got Alka mam board for IFoS interview. In 2012 civils interview, she terrorized me with a pressure cooker types interview. This time i was better prepared to face her. My knowledge base back then was very limited as it was my very first attempt at Civils. This time i was more matured in my preparation. I knew anything could be asked and all i had to is to maintain my composure. There was a sense of Calmness within me and confidence too, instead of usual nerves. Facing interview 2nd time makes u lot more relaxed as you know what is gonna come. I was prepared for a Rapid fire GK round as soon as i learnt that its gonna be Alka mam's board. However, this time board was too cordial and the discussion was more like a panel discussion unlike last time when it was a quiz.
           

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord"

So before my memory fades, let me recapitulate my tryst with IFoS Exam 2014.

I never knew abt IFS before n how to enter into it. It all started when Civils n IFS prelims got merged in 2013. I dint even opt for IFS in 2013 simply becoz i was ignorant. I totally lived in the darkness. But goodness me, the failure in Mains 2013 opened my eyes. I felt it to be disastrous to base all my future on 1 single exam that is Civil Services. Soon i decided not to skip other exams... keep attempting them but the ultimate Goal is the IAS...

In the process, i applied for Bank POs(Just to get CSAT practise), CAPF (PET clashed with IFS mains, hence left it), RBI Grade B(again for apti practise) and ultimately Indian Forest Services. IFoS never loomed large even now coz of my ignorance. Still it was just one of those exams which gives me practise for civils. But how ignorant i was....I was just underestimating an All India Service just because it was not included in Civil Services Exam..

Anywayz, with my civils prelims going pretty well, i was confident of clearing IFS cutoffs too, but the tragedy was i was not even sure of which optionals i opted for IFS mains. How idiotic i was!!! The day the Civils prelims results came, i was very relaxed as i was confident. But,Once i knew i cleared IFS cutoffs too, i was determined to make it count. That is when i started digging into "What is this IFS?" and to my surprize i actually was totally ignorant in estimating its status. Being a Geography student, i found IFS to be a more apt job for me, than lets say IRS or IRTS. I love nature, environment and visiting places & IFS suits me lot better.

I chose Agriculture and Geology as my optionals. Geology was my default optional coz of its overlap with Geography. I was confused between Agriculture and Forestry, but finally went with Agri as i found it to be more interesting.

And then started my journey of preparing for both Civils Mains(9 papers) n IFS Mains(6 papers)... The gap between these two mains was hardly 10days. Civils syllabus was mammoth. I was reading two new subjects Agri n Geology which are noway connected to civils. I was feeling like "What the hell am i doing?","What junk am i reading?" "Do i need to know how plants breath, eat n drink?" "Am i compromizing with my civils mains and unnecessarily wasting time on IFS which is tough to clear for a CS grad like me?" n so so many questions abt IFS mains. But i was determined to clear IFS or atleast make the oppurtunity count. Many die for a rank 4m UPSC n i shudn't be taking this oppurtunity litely. Every mark was crucial and i wanted to give my best.

Moreover my IFS mains centre was Hyderabad and i live in Bangalore. I had to go to Hyd by night train, get down at mrng 6, write the exams without even bath and come back and catch the train at evenin 7 back to bangalore. I had to do like this 2 times as there was gap between exams.  What if the train is late? What if i dont perform due to journey lag? What if i screw my civils which is just 10days away? So many doubts hovering in my mind. But I always knew that i was a tough guy to beat...I cleared IFS Mains..:)


in Between, i got a Research Scientist post in Central Research Labs, Bharat Electronics Ltd., Joined there for few days and quit immediately after getting IFS interview dates. i worked there for 13 days  n it took guts to quit so fast !!!  People scratched their heads as to Y any1 quits a Gazetted Govt job in 13 days !!!! My mom was again crying by repeatedly telling me that i was screwing my life wantedly....but i knew my destiny. I got interview call 4m UPSC which is a rare chance...I am going to enter into that UPSC building after 2 full years n This is the Moment n if not now, its never... Only i knew what i was doing... Rest of the world showed pity on me, scolded me, suggested me and ordered me... They all did out of the care they have in my future...
But the Future is not decided by the emotions but by the bold audacious decisions....

n Today I am an Indian Forest Services Officer with AIR 38!!!
Thankyou Everyone for the love you have showered on me... I truely cherish these moments n this journey... :D

P.S. Will tell abt my Interview n Mains strategy in the coming posts.. cheers.. :)