The Panel:Mr. I.M.G.Khan (chairman)and 4 other members including a lady member.
Name: Vinay Kumar G.B.
School: Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
Qualification: B.Sc. Genetics
Optionals: Geography and Kannada Literature.
Hobbies: photography, pencil sketching, blogging,
Activities: walking in the countryside
Date: 4th April 2011
Time: 4.30 pm
Duration: 30 mins
Me: May I come in Sir?
Chairman: Please come in.
I entered the room. Wished the chairman and other members, specially turning towards the lady member. Chairman asked me to sit.
Chairman(c): What is this G.B. in your name?
Me: I described.
I was comfortable, composed and humble before the panel.
C: your profile is interesting. You studied in Navodaya Vidyalaya, how different they are from other schools?
Me: Sir, they are meant for rural poor where they reserve more than 70% seats for them. In my class we had 27 students, of them 10-12 are doctors now………
C: that’s ok, but how different they are?
Me: sir, they provide quality education and teachers are well qualified and are accessible 24 hours for students. And I am here because of Navodaya Sir.
C: that’s good. So where did you learn most? in the class or outside of it?
Me: Both sir, as they were always available we had opportunity to learn all the time.
C: Why can’t we have such schools everywhere so that people get quality education? what is the constraint?
Me: (I thought for few seconds) Sir, i think it’s funds………
C: no no no…..funds are not a problem. Government has huge money. What else do you think?
Me: sir Karnataka has started Morarji Desai schools in every Block. But they are not as good as Navodaya schools.
C: where do they differ?
Me: Sir, i think it is teachers. We are unable to find qualified teachers for such a large number of schools.
C: ha, ok. So why do you think teachers are unqualified?
Me: it’s poor quality higher education. We are not producing eligible people for the job.
C: no that can not be the reason. May be something else…
Me: Sir, they are not trained properly. I think better training may give better teachers.
C: it’s interesting to note that you studied Genetics. But why did you join Village Panchayat instead of pursuing a career in research?
Me: sir, i like to work in villages (this was a spontaneous answer, I had prepared something else) as I am born and brought up in villages, i like to work there.
C: still, you could have pursued research and do good to village people.
Me: (became blank for a moment) sir, when i wrote Navodaya entrance I could not get proper guidance, i cleared it by studying myself. I want children in villages to get guidance, so I usually convince parents to send their children to good schools and train them for exams.
The chairman asked the member sitting left to me to ask questions.
M1: You have studied genetics. Do you know the most recent species whose genome has been sequenced?
Me: No Sir, sorry I don’t know.
M1: Do you know about human genome project?
Me: explained it well.
M1: You are from Karnataka, what is Bangalore famous for?
Me: sir, IT
M1: name some companies headquartered there?
Me: Infosys, Wipro..
Me: no sir, i think it has an office, but it is headquartered somewhere, may be in Tamil Nadu.
M1: recently Azim Premji has opened an University in Bangalore. What’s it about?
Me: Sir, it is to create future leaders for carrying out developmental works and also for creating good teachers for the country.
M1: yes, it’s basically for creating good teachers. Do you know about BPO? what’s it?
Me: sir, business process outsourcing.
M1: what do they do?
Me:Sir, they outsource their business to some other companies to save money and lighten their burden….
M1: what do people do in call centres?
Me: sir, they attend the calls of their clients and resolve their issues on line.
M1: what is ‘operation Lotus’?
Me: (i didn’t want to answer this question) sir………it’s……..horse trading…….(i dragged on..)
M1: (smiling) ok, you don’t want to answer that question….leave it.
He signaled he was done. Second member took over.
M2: your optional is geography. Why is it called arts-science?
Me: Sir Geography is broadly divided into Physical and Human – former is scientific and latter is more humanistic, so geography is called so….
M2: Your optional is Kannada lit., what is Sangam literature?
Me: it’s ancient Tamil literature sir.
M2: what else? it’s period? what was in it?
Me: sorry sir, I don’t know……
Chairman: (he intervened) i think it is not related to Kannada literature, ask him something else..
M2: I think you have read today’s The Hindu editorial…….tell me what is in it?
Me:(I was thinking) sir, about world cup and Japan earthquake
M2: No no there was something else….
C: may be he has not read it…..
M2: (to chairman) sir, there was something related to discovery of some pre-historic tools..
Me: (suddenly i recalled it) yes sir yes sir….it was found in Tamil Nadu……explained it.
Third member(lady) took over.
M3: for how long you are working as Panchayat Development Officer?
Me: Ma’am for the past one year.
M3: do you implement MGNREGA?
Me: Yes Ma’am, we are the implementing agency.
M3: what are the problems you faced during its implementation?
Me: Ma’am, first we don’t have enough manpower to do the paper work, computer work and to oversee the work.
secondly there is a lot of political interference…..especially contractors, who have a nexus with the members whose election they funded…
(Chairman and the member talk between them regarding this)
M3: tell me your most satisfying achievement as PDO?
Me: (was waiting for this opportunity) Ma’am, I distributed the financial benefits going to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries; Converted village street lights from incandescent to CFL s; have opened a blog on Panchayat where all panchayat related documents will be displayed; helped women open accounts in their names under TSC though the scheme didn’t have the provision……….
M3: seems you are concerned with primary education……….what did you do to ensure teachers attended schools?
Me: apart from convincing parents I haven’t done anything ma’am.
M3: you are having some committee for this right?
Me: ( I should have told that, but I had forgotten) Yes ma’am, we have SDMC committee- school development and monitoring committee – it’s its job to oversee the functioning of the schools. (i explained its combination and don’t know why i said – ‘i can’t dictate terms to its members because they are elected and I listen to what they decide in meeting’)
M3: you have mentioned you like ‘walking in the countryside’ – what’s it?
Me: yes ma’am, i like to walk around villages. I like to capture people in my camera as my hobby is photography too.
M3: you don’t like landscape, birds, river…..?
Me: I like them ma’am but people are more interesting.
M3: you also have a blog. how often you blog and what is the most recent event on which you blogged?
Me: Ma’am I blog once in a week or 15 days. My recent post is regarding no-fly zone over Libya (though i had written on something else i couldn’t recall). I explained the post.
The final member took over.
M4: you have done NCC. what are its objectives?
Me: I explained.
M4: there is a perception among some section of people that they are neglected and development has not taken place in their region. Is it a perception or reality?
Me: it’s a reality sir. They are being neglected and development has not reached them. If their region is developed they will forget their religion, caste, class and everything sir. They will care only about their families only. For this purpose only i have chosen J&K, Jharkhand as my 2nd and 3ed preference sir.
(they didn’t seem to notice this point)
Chairman: what is your opinion regarding police reforms? there is lot of complain about them, what should be done to reform our police?
Me: Sir, i think we should amend the colonial act first.
C: (laughing) ok, but what else?
Me: They should be taught humane approach first in their training sir. Even though i haven’t done any wrong i get some sort of fear looking at the policeman. That perception must be removed by making them more humane.
Me: I think they need to be better equipped and trained well sir.
C: Ok, then?
Me: Sir, police is a state subject and we need a unified force to eliminate conflict of interest between different agencies. Like NIA, we need a central agency for police………..i think it should be made a central subject….( chairman shocked)
C: cenrtal subject!! it’s a too drastic measure………will states agree for that? what about politicians?
Me: (should have been silent) sir, it’s police and politician nexus that is a big hurdle in development….
C: May be when you become an officer, some years later you can implement it. Let’s see what happens. Anybody wants to ask questions? everyone asked?
C: Ok thank you Vinay. You may go now.
I thanked everyone and came out without making any noise.
(overall I felt it was a good interview. It was more like a casual talk than what I had dreaded.)
Thanks: Vinay Kumar G.B.