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AN INTERVIEW WITH ASIAA GUL 30TH POSITION CSS, 2004 (PAS)

  • Zahra Maqsood Butt
  • July, 2018
  • 602
  • CSS

Three best traits of my personality that ensured my success in CSS exam.

1) determination

2) Faith in Allah

3) hard work

Please tell us about your educational background.

I am a graduate of University of Engineering and Technology Lahore. I feel proud in mentioning that I did not only stood first throughout my academic career but I am also a recipient of two president Gold Medals.

As your background is from tribal areas, share with us the difficulties you faced in selecting your career.

Life had not been a bed of roses for me and my mother as she was a single parent due to untimely death of my father. We had to face difficulties on almost every important decision of life. The first one we faced as a family when my mother decided to move out of Shah Kot Payan, a small village in the foothills of Charat Chouni, district Nowshehra, Khyber Pakhtunkawa in search of a better future of her siblings. Nobody amongst elders liked this idea of settling in Lahore as it was against Pashoon traditions. However, she did not give up and we moved to Lahore during my childhood. When I decided to opt for pre-Engineering subjects for studying at the intermediate level, it again fetched criticism of my family. I can still recall the Jirga held and faced by my mother on my decision of joining UET, Lahore for it was an institution of co education and it was almost unimaginable for my elders to see their daughter studying with male students. My mother and elder brother, here too supported me and gave realization of full confidence and trust in me. I then joined UNDP immediately after passing out from UET, Lahore despite resistance of my elders from our village. Finally, I opted to join Civil Service of Pakistan after going through an eye opening experience of working in Kasur Tanneries Pollution Control Project with UNIDO.   It was only after joining my Civil Service that my elders now feel proud of me and acknowledge my efforts.

Share your experience of CSS, your optional subjects, preparation strategy.

I had opted for Geography (200 marks), Forestry (100 marks), Constitutional law (100 marks), Sociology (100 marks), and Public Administration (100 marks). I had selected a minimum of two books of famous writers for each subjects as well as noted from academy. Then I prepared my own notes. I had dedicated one complete year in preparing for written exams of CSS and also recommend this strategy to others that instead of undertaking a half baked effort in order to seek experience its better to appear in the exams with full preparation.

CSS is a game of knowledge or expression?

To me its both. One cannot give good expression in writing without having the right knowledge. 

How was your experience with interview panel? And please give some tips to those passing through this phase.

Mine was one of the longest interviews that were being taken by the panel in the year 2004 may be for the reason that the Chairman, FPSC Mr, Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani had a special knack for Town Planning. Being a Town Planner, I had a quality discussion with him on various planning issues of the Rawalpindi City and also because my final project in UET was also undertaken in Cantonment area of Rawalpindi. It had paid me a lot during my interview. Though I was little nervous in the start of the interview but I became very comfortable as it progressed. For interview, I recommend everyone to join KIPS as I owe my success in interview to this academy. It is very important to take part in group discussions and Command tasks. One can't practice it at home. Besides, appearing in mock interviews is also significant. KIPS provides an excellent environment for students who are preparing for CSS especially for interviews. It is also recommended to take sound sleep during the night preceding the interview day. 

Did you expect to get allocated in the top most service i.e Pakistan Administrative service?

I was fully confident that I would get my first choice i.e. Pakistan Administrative service because of the hard work I put in and my commitment.

To whom do you owe your success?

I owe my success to my hard work, prayers of my mother and last but not the least to KIPS CSS.

Is it necessary to join any academy or other institute for preparation?

It is better to join an academy because a good academy always provides a focused guidelines which play an important role in your ultimate success.

What role did KIPS play in your preparation?

KIPS prepared me for my intervi...

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