We are pleased to share the interview of Mr. Amikar Parwar who secured 7th Rank in the Jharkhand Judicial Service Examination (Notification 10/2015). As per the results, which were declared on 10st Oct 2017 total 46 candidates were successful in making it in the final selection list. Mr. Amikar’s success story is here below:-
Parents-Shri Sachendra Kumar and Smt. Veena Devi
Resident of : Ichak, Hazaribag, Jharkhand
Date of Birth-21st December 1986
10th—81%, CBSE Board, 2002, Place- Patna (Bihar)
12th— 53%, BIEC Board, 2005, Place-Patna (Bihar)
B.A.,LL.B (Hons).—71%, from Chanakya National Law University, Patna, 2011
Heartiest Congratulations on your success from Gurukul Judicial Academy and also on behalf all the aspirants who would be reading your interview.
Q. 1. Could you please introduce yourself, academically and professionally, to our readers?
Amikar: My name is Amikar Parwar. I did my primary schooling at my village at Ichak, Jahrkhand and at Belhar block, Banka, Bihar. After that I completed secondary and inter-mediate education from Patna Central School, Patna and College of Commerce, Patna respectively. After that, I decided to study law and got admitted in Chanakya National Law University, Patna and graduated in 2011.
After graduation, I worked for two years at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, (CHRI) New Delhi in its Access to Information Programme. CHRI is an NGO which works for development, promotion and protection of Human Rights in the commonwealth nations. Subsequently, I got an opportunity to work at the Department of Justice (DoJ), GoI in the Access to Justice project for North Eastern States and Jammu & Kashmir. I worked there till June, 2015 and from July, 2015 to till date I have been working as Law Officer for the Indian Overseas Bank, posted at Vadodara, Gujarat.
Q. 2. Were you confident of your success in this examination and how did you react to this news?
Amikar: It was like a seesaw feeling inside me. Since there were only 23 unreserved vacancies, often I got scary feelings. Although whenever I reviewed question papers, it used to give me a sense of calmness. It can be said that I was not confident.
It was unbelievable. I checked the results time and again, got it checked through friends. It took few minutes to realize that I have got through. I thanked God and informed parents, family members and friends.
Q. 3. When did you start your preparations? When should a student ideally start preparing for the judicial services examinations?
Amikar: There was no particular moment that I can single out. However, since 2013 i.e. during the earlier recruitment process at Jharkhand, I started putting in concentrated efforts.
Q.4. Did you join any coaching academy for the preparation (for prelims/mains/ interview) ?
Amikar: No, I never joined any coaching institution/academy for preparation at any stage.
Q. 5. Do you think joining a coaching institute is necessary for the preparation?
Amikar: I think coaching institutions are not necessary for preparation. There are so many students who have been qualifying without assistance of coaching and there are so many students who have studied at costly coaching but could not make it to the final list. Ideologically, I do not support the idea of professional coaching institutions.
Q.6. What difference does it make in the preparation without joining any coaching academy ?
Amikar: I feel coaching academy do not create any difference. I think it only helps to the extent that one can find committed group of friends who are serious towards the preparation.
Q. 7. What advice you would give to the aspirants who wish to prepare without joining any coaching?
Amikar: There cannot be a defined formula. Every aspirant must introspect to know his/her strengths and weaknesses. However, few things are must to do such as (a) thorough reading and understanding of bare acts to the extent that the aspirant is able to predict nature of questions on his own (b) Practice of multiple choice questions everyday without fail (c) regular writing practice for mains. One should try to practice at-least two answers everyday (d) a good understanding of language is also necessary as it matters in mains (written) examination which, in turn, is most important factor in determination of final result. All these may become very enjoyable if one has a good and dedicated group of friends.
The syllabus is defined, pattern of questions is known and plenty of resources are available.
Q. 8. Since Graduation you started working, what effect it had on your preparations and on achieving the ultimate goal ie. Judicial Services?
Amikar: It is very taxing to prepare for competitive examination while working. I realized that it was more of a psychological challenge. A full time work has its own costs such as pressure to deliver at the work place, to be abreast with developments related to nature of work, constant travelling, balancing between professional and academic commitments, clashing of important office assignments with exams’ dates, managing leaves to appear for exams etc. all these start affecting mental peace and then ultimately the performance at the exam.
To me, it had both pros and cons. On positive note, it made me mentally tougher and I could have practical knowledge of different nature of work adding to my experience. On the other side, constant professional commitments and pressure often created a sense of irritation, particularly whenever I could not focus on studies due to work related.
Q. 9. What advice you would give to those who plan to prepare and simultaneously work ? Do you recommend this ?
Amikar: Yes, I would like to suggest a few things—to inculcate a disciplined life style since one always has scarcity of time after joining full time professional commitments, to utilize holidays and leaves very smartly, to have self prepared notes of all the basic law papers before joining, not to lose focus due to distractions at work place. There is not scope to fell ill hence good food and proper care of health is equally important.
I will not recommend this if an aspirant has financial back up to support preparations for at least 1-2 years. If an aspirant wants to have a plan –B in case of failure, there is no dearth of opportunities after LL.B, if one has a reasonable understanding of law.
Q. 10. What advice you would give to those who are preparing but during preparation want to take up a job and study simultaneously for the exam ?
Amikar: I think my previous answer covers answers to this question as well.
Q.11. What advice you give to those who are already working and want to prepare for the services ?
Amikar: For those who are already working and want to prepare for the services must not think that it would be very difficult for them. All the suggestions stated in earlier paragraphs hold good for them as well. However, they should first focus to be thorough with syllabus and exam pattern. They should try to finish the basic law papers and then to have a self written notes/answer sets. The sooner they are able to create a base, easier will be the journey for them.
Q. 12. Do you recommend fully fledged preparation at home or preparation while working ?
Amikar: As stated earlier, I will suggest preparing at home if one has financial back up. As plan –B, there is no dearth of opportunity in law after LL.B. There is perennial flow of work.
Q.13. The first step is the most difficult; how to prepare ? From where, did you get the right advice ?
Amikar: To start with, one must be thorough with the syllabus and exam pattern. To have deep and thread bare reading of bare acts is must. One should refer simpler books to understand any topic. After completion of topics, one should do regular practice of multiple choice questions long answer questions and previous year questions.
My friend Deepender Singh Shekhawat who was selected in 28th Batch of Bihar Judicial Service and later in the Rajasthan Judicial Service (RJS) was a constant support. He helped me in various ways– be it the practice pattern, answer writing practice, materials or general discussions on different problems that an aspirant faces.
Q.14. Did you receive guidance from any successful aspirant? Has any particular success story influenced your journey to this result?
Amikar: Some of my friends have qualified in Judicial Services examination. I used to talk to them discuss about my preparations.
Every extraordinary result with ordinary resources fascinates me. There are certainly such stories and to single out anyone is difficult. Journey of my eldest brother and the way he has conducted himself has an impact in shaping my thinking process.
Q.15. How did you manage to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims?
Amikar: There was no negative marking in this examination. However, I have noticed that for general category students, 80% (minimum) is a safe score to start preparations for Mains (written) examination.
Q. 16. What sources you relied for preparing GK and Law for Prelims?
Amikar: GK books of Lucent publication, NCERT books from class six to tenth, websites and any good news paper.
Q.17. What shift did you adopt in your strategy for MAINS exam?
Amikar: I started doing answer writing practice very vigorously. Every day, I used to write as many answers I could before going to office and after coming from office. It gave me confidence of summarizing answers in limited space and time covering all aspects. In the later stage I started converting those answers to pointers and in the last stage I started revising and rewriting as many answers I could. But in all these, I did not loose focus of bare acts since I noticed that some questions are directly based on specific provisions of Act and in order to write good answer, one must know what the black letter law is.
Q. 18. What is the difference in the strategy of preparation for prelims and that of mains?
Amikar: Preliminary examination questions are mostly limited to bare acts. If one is thorough with the pattern and bare act, one can, to some extent, figure out nature of questions that may be asked.
I feel, the real challenge is Mains examination. It tests both factual as well as analytical skills. It requires skill of fact based and law based analysis. In addition to this, the writing skill, general grammar and ability to complete an answer within time covering all aspects of answers including example, illustrations and case law etc. are all put on test.
It obviously becomes challenging because the aspirants are generally averse to create a habit of answer writing. I was no exception this. But the sooner one develops this habit; the better he/she becomes to face mains examination.
Q.19. What advice you would give on preparing notes for prelims and mains exam?
Amikar: For prelims, I suggest to practice maximum questions. One should practice the questions from available books, previous year questions of judicial services, LLM entrance and NET etc. Secondly, one should smartly analyse the nature of questions that are asked. Thirdly, one should also figure out the questions/topics in which he/she is making regular mistakes and note down such questions/topics and pay special attention to them. In all these, constant revision of bare acts is must.
For Mains as I have already stated earlier there are few things that are must. Regular answer writing practice, fact based and law based analyses, putting case laws, illustrations and most importantly to complete answers within time and space. Though, all these look very difficult initially but if a candidate does it at-least twice for all the law papers of syllabus, on next occasion it will be very easy for the candidate. It is like one time investment in developing a good basic stock of answers. If one has done this, he/she will find it achievable to face any type of question.
Q. 20. What preparation strategy you adopted for writing essays ?
Amikar: I kept abreast with the developments both at national and international level. Regular reading of newspaper and to have my own thoughts helped me to develop points for essay. Honestly, I did not prepare separately for essays. I recall that during pre university days my eldest brother constantly guided me to improve my language. It immensely helped me in mains examinations particularly in essay papers.
In the examination hall, I prepared rough points and tried covering most of the aspects of the topic. In the introduction portion, I described the importance of topics and tried to introduce it more elaborately. In the later paragraphs, I elaborated the rough points that I had prepared. At the end, I summarized with my suggestion.
Q.21. “Time Management” is a key factor. How did you manage things ?
Amikar: For the mains examination, I had been practicing to ensure that I am able to finish answers well within time. Having learnt a lesson in the previous attempt, this time I was cautious to maintain both time and quality of answer. I had been regularly practicing answer writing.
Q. 22. How did you prepare yourself for Interview?
Amikar: I analysed about all the work that I had been doing after LLB degree. I revised the laws that I have been working in the Bank. I read about Jharkhand and Gujarat. I prepared a list of probable questions. After interview I felt that I should have prepared more on the ongoing matters of legislations that I handle in Bank.
Q.23. In Interview, when and which Board did you face ? How did your interview go on, how much time did it last and what were the questions asked during the Interview ?
Amikar: My interview was on 07.09.2017. It was a panel of three members. Shri Vidyasagar, Chairman JPSC was the chairman of Panel. Hon’ble Justice AB Singh and Hon’ble Justice HC Mishra were other members. My interview was conducted for 20 to 25 minutes. I felt the interview very grilling particularly because lot of question was asked on sub-judice matters related to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 which is a new legislation. I do recall the questions:
To describe about myself.
Why do I want to join judicial services?
What areas of law I handle at Bank?
Technical questions from Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
The difference between “institutional creditor” and “operational creditor”.
Priority of claim in case of liquidation of a company under IBC, 2016.
Questions ongoing cases at NCLT, Ahmadabad and at Supreme Court related to above legislation.
Questions about Members of NCLT and NCLAT.
Structure of judicial body under the above legislation?
Victim compensation scheme under CrPC.
How was compensation awarded before this scheme was enacted?
Question on Constitutional tort.
The ongoing case on Right to Information that had been in news.
Q.24. Did you also take other states judicial services exams ? If yes then which exams? Which exam was your priority?
Amikar: Yes, I did. I appeared for judicial service exams of Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar. The Jharkhand Judicial Services was my priority followed by Bihar Judicial Services.
Q.25. If you were not successful in other states’ exams, what factors you think were its reasons?
Amikar: It is very difficult to count the factors. But I think it needed more commitment from my side.
Q.26. In how many attempts you have achieved this success in Jharkhand Judicial Services?
Amikar: This was my second attempt. In my first attempt, I had appeared in Mains but could not get through.
Q.27. You achieved the desired success in Jharkhand Judicial Services in this attempt; how do you visualize your previous attempts?
Amikar: I think, I should have labored more for the mains examination in my previous attempt. In the previous occasion, having scored very good marks in preliminary examination, a sense of lethargy had crept in. It was further compounded by office work, the problems over there, health issues and the everyday’s struggle of city like New Delhi.
Q.28. What importance does CGPA holds for judicial services?
Amikar: CGPA does not hold much importance in judicial services. Having served in three different organizations with very different nature of work, I think, commitment towards the work is most important and it provides a natural boost to acquire knowledge of work.
Q.29. What importance does LLM holds for judicial services?
Amikar: I think LLM provides a good cushion for any candidate while preparing. But it also true that describing LLM as mere cushion is to belittle its importance. As far as its importance in services is concerned, I may not be able to answer perfectly since I do not LLM and I am yet to join the judicial services.
However, I feel that having opportunity a candidate should get a degree of LLM in proper manner.
Q.30. What importance does work experiences holds for judicial services?
Amikar: I feel it certainly brings in value addition both during preparation, during interviews and also after joining the services. If I quote my own example, at this stage, I do understand, at last to reasonable extent, the gaps in system that NGOs try to point out; the way Governance at very high level; the financial (banking) system which is a very important aspect of our life. All these are affecting our lives and society (in) directly. So I strongly feel that prior work experience brings in great value addition. But at the same time I also advocate that it should not be at the cost of preparations. Again, balancing these two is a challenging thing for anyone who decided to prepare while working.
Q.31. While you were working in other sectors, what kept you motivated towards Judicial Services?
Amikar: I always wanted to be part of the formal judicial system. I had been doing things that augmented my desire in bits and pieces but not in a concentrated manner. Assignments at CHRI and at DOJ, GOI were both policy based work but I also wanted to be part structure that connects to maximum number of citizens. Also, I always felt that having studied law, I should raise my worthiness to the level to be an effective member of Bar.
Q.32. What would you advice to the Judicial aspirants reading the interview?
Amikar: In addition to what I have stated earlier about preparation at every stage; I feel, in order to achieve any goal, it is very important that one should keep asking himself/herself that whatever he/she does all through the day, to what extent it will help towards the goal. The struggle is with one’s own weaknesses. One should identify them and try to overcome the same.