Topper’s Interview- Pradeep Chauhan -ACF(H.P forest services-2019)-Rank -3

Topper's Interview- Pradeep Chauhan -ACF(H.P forest services-2019)-Rank -3


NAME– Pradeep Kumar


HOMETOWN-Shri Renuka Ji


OPTIONAL SUBJECTS– Forestry and Agriculture

WORK EXPERIENCE– Earlier lecture basis faculty at Bright Academy, Solan for about one and half year and at UHF Nauni for about One month.


-Appeared in interview for Allied services, Agriculture Field Officer, Naib tehsildar, HAS

-Finally selected as ACF.


– 10th –65.54%

– 12th-68.20%

– Graduation-73.20

– Post graduation-75.60


✓Qualified ICAR Net/JRF exam,

✓ Secured first position in Nauni entrance test,

✓ published two research papers on Agroforestry Systems.

✓Participated twice in national level inter university quiz competition. I have also participated twice in north zone level inter university badminton competition and once in All India Forest sports meet.

Q. First, tell us something about yourself? 

Ans- I belong to a middle class family. My father is supervisor in PWD and mother is homemaker.

-My elder brother is TGT (SMC) and younger brother is pursuing M.A from HPU.I hails from Rajana village of Tehsil Shri Renuka ji of Distt. Sirmour, (H.P).

-I have done matric from GSSS Rajana, +1&+2 From Dr Y S Parmar Memorial GSSS Dadahu, BSc. In Forestry and MSc. In Agroforestry from Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan. (H.P).


Q. Your medium of instruction in prelims and in the Mains Examination?


Q. How did you get started for preparation of Himachal forest services?

Ans-Forest Services are area of Interest of almost every forestry graduate so after completing my MSc. I start preparing for Forest services and other allied civil services exams.


Q. What books/notes did you refer to for General Studies in prelims?


History Ancient-I studied only some specific topics and that too from Arihant General Knowledge book and practised some previous year question papers from lucent objective book.

History Medieval– I didn’t study.

History Modern-Spectrum by Rajiv Ahir

Culture-Nitin Singhania

Polity-M Laxmikant

Economy– Arihant/Economic survey & budget, besides I made topic specific notes from internet.

Science-Arihant General Knowledge and previous year UPSC and HPPSC questions.

Environment-I preferred The Hindu and current affairs magazines.

Geography physical-NCERT’s books/ Arihant /Majid Husain.

Geography India and world-Arihant/ Majid hussain besides making compilations of current affairs on geography.

Himachal g.k./g.s-The wonderland by Jagmohan Bhalokra, Himachal Pradesh parichay by Devraj Sharma and Graduation (BA, HPU) books on Himachal Pradesh general knowledge.

Current affairs– Gyanam magazine for current/ Editorial discussion from only IAS you tube channel

Q. Do you think attempting more questions is the key to success in Prelims? Are there an ideal number of questions one should attempt?

Ans-I don’t think so because it all depends upon level of exam. There is no ideal limit to attempt any specified number of questions.



Q. When did you start preparing for Mains Examination?

Ans-As soon as the advertisement got notified regarding filling up off vacancies, I started preparing for Mains. I was quite comfortable in prelims so I didn’t stress it more.

Q. Strategy for Hindi and English in mains? 

Ans-I practiced previous year papers and practiced many topics relevant to Mains examination. I referred to Vyakaran bharti by HG publication for Hindi and For English I studied English grammar by HG publication.

Q. Strategy for General studies in mains? 

Ans-It is better to study according to syllabus besides going through some previous year question papers so as to get a better idea of exam.

Q. What were your optional in mains of ACF exam? 

Ans-Forestry and Agriculture

Q. How did you prepare for optional (both optional including books and strategy) 

Ans-I prepared according to topics mentioned in syllabus.


-I referred to all the books of forestry which I studied in my BSc. And MSc. Books for Forestry

-Principle and practices of Silviculture by L S Khana,

-Silvicultural system by S S Negi,

-Text book of Agroforestry by B S chundawat and S K Gautam

-Forest Utilisation Vol-I &II by FRI publication

-Indian Forestry by Manikanandan and S prabhu

-Forest mensuration by L S Khanna and some forestry mannuals published by Forestry college of UHF Nauni.


-I studied Evolution IAS notes, ICAR E-Courses, and for breeding and genitics which covers the entire part II of agriculture optional, I studied genitics from NCERT books and breeding by B D Singh.

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

Ans-I think these optionals can be prepared but it also depends upon area of interest so I would suggest to analyse some previous year question papers and relevant material, If someone finds it suitable then he or she may go for it.

-However I studied many books for forestry mains but not necessary to refer them all as Indian Forestry by Manikanandan and S Prabhu has covered the syllabus very nicely.

-If at all someone wants some extra information which may not be covered in this books they may referred to booklist for forestry which I have mentioned above.

-Simillarly part A of Agriculture is quite simple but part B is technical so be wise enough while deciding your optional.

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

Ans-Well it depends from person to person and on various factors like educational background, time management, and time taken to understand topics.

-I believe that it may take 4-5 months to cover both the optional.

Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?

Ans-Frankly Speaking I didn’t do any answer writing practice for any exam, it may sound awkward but this is true.

Q. What was your format of answer writing in mains optional? 

Ans-I kept the language very simple and I preferred writing most of my answers in bullet point’s format with proper mention of headings besides I used paragraph format wherever it was required.

Q. Did you join any coaching classes for prelims or Mains? If yes, which one?

Ans-No I didn’t join any coaching classes however I was teaching on lecture basis in Bright Academy Solan and in UHF Nauni.

Q. How far do you think is coaching necessary for preparing for Prelims and Mains Examination? 

Ans-These days there is sufficient availability of material on internet and offline as well.

-There are many you tube channels which are easing the journey of many aspirants to achieve their desired goal. So, we can make topic specific notes which we find difficult to study. This not only saves our lots of time but also financial resources as well.

-But, again it depends upon person to person if someone feels that it’s better to have coaching classes than he or she may go for it.



Q. Describe briefly about physical and medical test conducted for ACF? 

Ans-Medical Test was conducted by HPPSC a day before Physical test. These tests were conducted as per as guidelines mentioned in the notification.

Q. Any word of wisdom / observations about physical and medical test? 

Ans-Aspirants are advised to go through the instructions and if they find that they fulfil the physical standards, may start preparing accordingly.

-It’s better to practice some deep breathing exercises and regular running and exercises so that they won’t feel any difficulty in medical and Physical test.

-It’s better to give proper rest to the body at least 2-3 Days before the ground test.


Q. How long was the interview?

Ans- It lasts for around 25 minutes.

Q. Can you tell us briefly about your interview experience?

Ans- It was good and I was quite comfortable, Questions were related to my educational background and Current affairs related to India, Himachal and International relations.


Q. Was your interviews 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-Yes it was almost on expected lines. I really enjoyed it. So, my humble suggestion would be to keep cool and calm during your entire personality test because no one knows everything. It’s better to say sorry I you don’t know the answer rather giving any irrelevant answers. If you know something about the question asked but don’t know the complete information about it then in such cases it is better to seek the permission of panel before you answer that particular answer in a humble manner. Like we can say that sir/ma’am I cannot recall it exactly but if you allow I can try to answer this.

Q. What qualities do you think are being tested in the Interview? Some strict Do’s and Don’ts for the Interview for aspirants and Interview candidates?

Ans –Interview plays an important role in this entire journey.

-Various qualities are tested by interviewers like what kind of attitude we possess to deal with situations, How effective communicator we are, level of self-motivation, leadership qualities, our strength and weakness and so many other qualities. However I have mentioned above some does’s and don’ts for the Interview but still you must present yourself in a way such that it will have positive reflection on the interview panel. E.g. if u mention restlessness as your weakness then you may reply it in a positive manner that sir/ ma’am I feel restless unless I finish any particular task in a time bound manner. This is just an example that how you can indirectly reveals your strength in your weakness.

Q. How far did you use the Internet for your Preparation? Do you think in the changed HPPSC pattern, today an aspirant can prepare wholly by referring sources from the Internet?

Ans-Internet is playing a vital role in easing our journey but at the same time we cannot ignore the importance of books to realise our dream so balanced approach is ideal for any preparation.

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

Ans-I would have tried it over and again. As I personally believes that

“Koshish krne walo ki kabhi haar nhi hoti”.

I think we must learn from our failures for better results.

Q. 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?

Ans-This is true but I believe that it all depends on our will power and level of self-motivation. If I let you people know more about myself then as per as I have mentioned above I have pursued my whole education from class 1st to MSc. from government institutions. There is lack of basic amenities in my area but these hardships never dragged me back rather kept me motivated to do better in my life. So one line for those who feel low due to their profile insecurity “kon kehta hai aasmaan mai surakh nhi ho skta, Ek pathar toh tabiyat se uchalo yaro”

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

Ans-However I was teaching for one and half year before I got selected but I used to go for teaching on Saturday/ Sunday so I was not having any other workload. This is my very first job so I can’t share any tips to manage such things because nature of job and time management varies from person to person, so one size doesn’t t fit all.

Q. 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-It all depends on how we are inner motivated. It’s better to visualise yourself in that position for which we are preparing hard. I would like to quote that

“Sapne wo nhi hai jo aap sone k baad dekte hai, sapne wo hai jo aapko sone nhi dete hai”

– Keep yourself away from any distraction and better to do target oriented study so as to overcome the distractions and keep yourself busy.

Q. 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?

Ans-Focus on improving yourself day by day. Set your weekly, quarterly or monthly targets and work hard to achieve them. Be honest to yourself. Learn from failures as one bad chapter doesn’t mean that your story is over. Have patience and firm believe in you. Never say you can’t and never give up. Again I would like to quote that

“Manzil keval unko milti hai jinke sapno mai jaan hoti hai, pankho se kuch nhi hota honslo se udaan hoti hai”

Q. 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 worlds, who were those people in your case? Any specific incidence that you would like to share with the readers?

Ans-My family is like my backbone, as they always supported all my decision and never imposed anything from their side rather stood by me during tough phase of my life. Besides my friends also helped and stood by me all the times.