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DAF – Some general consideration on Hobbies , Extra curricular activities and Interests

Arpit Jain

AIR- 194 (UPSC CSE-2013), IPS (Prob)

Hi  friends ,

Greetings for the day !!!

Congratulations  for success in the prelims !!

It’s time to fill the Detailed Application Form (DAF), I want to share what I think are the basic principles you need to know for filling Hobbies/activities.. (Although most of the things you know already!!! )

 Mindset of the interviewer:

  • Mostly UPSC interviewer are accomplished Bureaucrats, Academicians or people from Armed forces (in age 40’s, 50’s and 60’s).
  • They are highly experienced and have mostly met thousands of people like you and me .
  • We are just like a small kid in front of them. So, you can’t fool them!!
  • For them taking an aspirant’s interview is  something  like me and you taking interview of a class – 1 kid and I think merely by a conversation of 5-10 minutes we can know about the integrity, truthfulness, confidence  of that kid  …
  • They expect clarity, confidence, integrity, humility, administrator like qualities and conviction from an aspirant which is clearly reflected in your DAF and way of your expression at the time of interview.

 Interviewee  :

– You are accountable to each and every word you are  putting  in DAF .So fill everything taking     into   consideration that any question can be asked from whatever you are writing.

–  Be ready for next 4,5 question  from every word you are putting .

– Some time (though rarely) , from a single hobby/extra curricular activity/ area of interest..  your interview may start and whole interview may go in particular  direction. The single word may determine your future.

For instance,  when I quoted about one of my article on corruption written for editorial page of my state’s leading  news paper ( ) … they subsequently asked  6-7 questions and I was able to handle it confidently..after which they moved to another topic.

– Fill hobbies/activities which you really pursue and are passionate about.. if they are  somewhat unique and shows some administrative aptitude it will be nice.

For example , I filled RTI as my interest area (It was unique and I not found it in DAF of any other candidate ) , In past,  I have filed some very impactful RTI applications on genuine issues , I was a member of NCPRI , I personally went to met Aruna Roy Madam after mains, so I was confident on any question on RTI.

– Don’t fill something just to show off (like some people write about drawing competition they won in class-1 of school … but when asked about sketching ..They can’t utter a single word)…because if you fill something you  should have practical knowledge of it…it shows your integrity..

–  Having Practical knowledge also gives you confidence .

For Example, I filled ‘Working on comprehensive and all inclusive healthcare and education model for India’ as one of my interest area and personally went to work for some of the best organizations in  this field   . When they asked question I told the name of these organizations and they were really inspired.

–  Be mature in filling form , you have to market your self as a deserving candidate for the civil services.

– Actually, after the mains result you have very little time to prepare and if you have filled DAF in  very casual way then it impacts your confidence at that time .However, If you have filled it with care then you will know the areas you are comfortable and if provided chance you can direct the whole interview in the direction you are comfortable (obviously,  it depends on your smartness at time of interview )

Remember it’s your personality test… the more you are truthful ..the more your DAF  shows that you are committed and dedicated  to whatever you have written (a sign of  integrity)…the more marks you will fetch…!!!

Reflect quality of a administrator/leader and you will emerge as a winner !!!

I personally scored 70% marks, (UPSC-2013 ) though I committed some mistakes while giving interview …But my interview ended with a happy note and I was expecting better marks ..

Wishing you all the best !!!


(Please ignore any typological/grammatical mistake in the article , I apologize for any such mistake )

(These are my personal views and you can go for whichever point suits you, any of these do not guarantee higher marks in interview … Performance in interview depends on multitude of factors )