Topper’s talk: Interview of Subhabrata Chakraborty (CTO), 2015
Name: Subhabrata Chakraborty
Rank in Final List: 6 (Service Rank)
Optional Subject: Political Science
Schooling Medium: English
College Medium: English
WBCS Medium: English
Work Experience(Optional): Nil
Service Preferences: 1. WBPS, 2. WBCS (Exe), 3. WBCTS
Graduation (Subject and Percentage): B.E. in Electronics & Communication
Post-Graduation: M.Tech. in Nanoscience & Technology
Hobbies: Playing lap steel guitar
Now we shall listen to you in detail(Topper’s talk):
1. Tell us something about yourself.
I am Subhabrata Chakraborty, a doctorate engineer by education and a
member of West Bengal Revenue Service (erstwhile West Bengal
Commercial Tax Service) by profession. I usually spend my leisures
pursuing my hobby and other interests like movies, series (be it on TV or
web based platforms). I am an avid reader of the works of Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle, Sharadindu Bandhopadhay and an admirer of the likes of
Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Martin Scorsese, David
Fincher….(and the list goes on!!)
2. How did you enter the field of competitive exams like Civil service,
It was sometime around 2nd year of my undergraduate studies, when I
realised what public service is all about and the need for it to be
absolutely efficient. Through my father, a retired member of one of the
services of West Bengal, I realised that to ensure inclusive development
of society both the individual and the government have a very crucial role
to play. This realisation was the beginning of my desire to contribute
constructively to social progress through efficient and responsive public
service delivery and I started harnessing the idea of joining the civil
3. How did you start your prep.?
The starting point was the relevant NCERT books of classes 6 to 12,
which I feel is a necessity for building the foundation upon which the
preparation could be continued.
4. Self-study or Coaching or both which do you prefer and why?
I would prefer self-study and a periodic evaluation of one’s preparation
through standard mock tests. Although it might sound a bit cliché, yet I
believe that until and unless one studies a particular topic by oneself and
tries to grasp the meaning of it, the learning remains incomplete. Spoon
feeding of topics can never be of any help to anyone. Assistance on a
topic might be sought from a teacher/expert but one must try and learn by
5. Which books did you follow?
For preliminary and compulsory subjects of mains (General Studies) —
new NCERTS (Class 6-12) [History, Geography, Civics, Science (upto
Class 10), Biology (Class 12, UNITS 8-10), Chemistry (Last chapters of
both Classes 11 and 12 textbooks), Macroeconomics, Indian Constitution
at Work, Indian Economic development], Old NCERT History text book
by Bipan Chandra (Class 10 text book), Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth,
Certificate Physical and Human Geography by G. C. Leong, R. S.
Aggarwal (for GS-4).
6. How did you prepare for optional paper?
Optional (Pol. Sc.) — Relevant modules of IGNOU PDFs on Political
Science and Public Administration (for Pol SC. Paper-I and Paper-II
Group A), International Relation by Peu Ghosh (for Paper-II Group B)
supplemented by IGNOU PDFs.
7. How did you prepare for language papers?
Language Papers — Regular writing practice, solving previous years’
papers, following op-eds in newspapers.
8. What was your strategy for GS papers?
Following NCERTs, revising those and then taking up the other books (as
mentioned above). Solving problems from R. S. Aggarwal daily for at
9. Which was the most difficult part you have come across during your
Maintaining the momentum of studies from the first day till the very last.
10. How was your interview?
My personal experience of interview was quite excellent. The board was
cordial. I was given ample time to form my opinion, organize my
thoughts and then present it before the board in appropriate manner. From
my personal experience I can say that keeping one’s calm is the key.
11.Mock tests are helpful to which extent?
It is helpful to the fullest extent. It is not enough to know things; what
matters is how to answer questions within the given time and with as
much accuracy as possible. In cricketing parlance, if studying is
practising in the nets then mock tests are the practice matches before the
12.What are your suggestions to the beginners?
NCERT is the key to success. Start with NCERTs and then take up
the other books.
Take as many mock tests as possible for all the papers.
Solve previous years’ question papers.
Do regular writing practice for the language papers and optional.
Choose an optional that you are comfortable with and never make a
decision based on which subject could fetch “easy marks” and is
Thank you Subhabrata Chakraborty for your valuable inputs! We shall be very happy to have your valuable inputs. Your suggestions are always welcome. We request you to write blogs on our website on
your favourite topics relevant for wbcs(for ex. Optional paper, current affairs, general studies, essay related topics etc). We wish you all the best!
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