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Avinash Rao - AIR 31, Law optional

Topper's Interview Law Optional

UPSC CSE 2021




Aditya Tiwari Sir - Introduce yourself


Avinash - I did my graduation in BA LLB (Hons.) from National Law School of India University, Bangalore and my option was also Law naturally and this was my first attempt at UPSC CSE.

Aditya Tiwari Sir - When did you think of getting into Civil Services, which year did you start preparing?


Avinash - Sir, for me actually, while probably in fourth year I thought I should do Civil Services but my University was a bit hectic, I did not actually get the time to prepare and the preparation started just when the Pandemic started in April 2020 because then the classes were online. In my final year, last trimester, I started, and I wrote the exams in 2022.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - How did you start with the preparation? How did you go about the syllabus and how would you advise others?


Avinash – I definitely have to give some credit to you, I did watch your videos which were available on youtube for breaking of the syllabus, I think that was one of the starting points. My senior, got a Rank 5 in the year 2019, just when i started preparation, and I took his notes which were very concise, they were based on the syllabus and had nothing extra content, so I took his notes as my extended syllabus in the sense that they were my first two readings, then I went deeper where required from the notes itself.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - How did you handle Constitutional Law?


Avinash - Constitution was my favourite subject, it was not a problem for me so much. I had very good notes from my University, including the slides from the University, they were very exhaustive and all standard cases were mentioned. I used them and that made it much easier because I had already read them during the University.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - What about International Law?


Avinash - For me I think, International law was a weak point initially and I put too much effort into it because I did not have a strong base in it. I started with SK Kapur, I went through at least two readings and I made my notes while reading.

Aditya Tiwari Sir - Which books did you refer for Law of Crimes?

Avinash - I referred to Pillai, mostly it’s Bare Act oriented so its required and i also referred to my senior’s notes.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - And what about Law of Torts?


Avinash - Bangia I think is more than sufficient for Law of Torts. I did read exhaustively the chapters and made a case list, because there were no sections to refer to.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - What about the CLD Part?


Avinash - I did do all the IPR portion in depth, for that I used the DUkis , they were concise and quickly I could finish them and for RTI and other acts, I used the bare acts and there were certain notes which were also circulated by you which I referred which had helped a lot. For most of them, I referred to the bare acts because there were direct questions which were word to word questions, same as the bare act and hence it was useful and I could answer that very well. Interpreting the syllabus and sticking to the syllabus is very important.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - What about Contract Law part?


Avinash - I read the whole instrument act, I even prepared the notes for topics people suggest you not to do, but I read the entire statute and made notes for all the sections, everything I covered. If you look at the questions from the past 20 years, there are 3-4 topics which usually gets repeated, atleast for those topics we should have answers ready.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - Message for students who are preparing?


Avinash - There are certain pros and cons for the Law option, to be very frank, you do not the marks that you get in Anthropology or sociology, its not possible here in law, but the benefit in Law option is very very rarely your marks tanks to very low levels, there is consistency. The easy part is if you can figure out the past year questions, make good answers for them and practice them and I think you can definitely score good.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - What was your Plan B?


Avinash - Since this was my first attempt, I had planned for two more attempts but I made sure that this was my best attempt, and I had opportunities in the Law field also.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - What about time frame, how much time did you give?


Avinash - It took around 3-4 months. First I completed my Law optional syllabus, then I started GS and all. I think some of my good marks in paper 2 was because i added latest cases, the ones that were in news recently, quoted the judges name and I think that helped. I started preparing notes from keeping your PDFs as a background and referred LiveLaw and other websites for case laws which helped me in framing good notes.


Aditya Tiwari Sir - In terms of overlapping, how did the law optional helped you in the compulsory GS papers?


Avinash - Sir, i think definitely it helped, and I also scored good marks in GS which was because of the law background, and if you look at the questions also this time, they were very law-oriented. So that definitely did help.


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