Name – Manas Kumar Panda
Date- 3rd December 2015
ESE rank – AIR 5
Interview marks – 130
Interview panel/Chairperson –Shri Chhatar Singh
Branch – EC
The interview panel consisted of a chairperson and three technical expert members.
He was going through my DAF & at the same time asking question.
Q> Are you From Sambalpur?
Q> Tell me why Sambalpur is famous for?
Sambalpur is famous for Hirakud Dam (the longest earthen dam in the world), the Huma temple & Sambalpuri Saree.
Q> What is so special about Sambalpuri Saree?
It’s completely handmade/ hand-woven & design is very different from others.
Q> What is that design?
I am sorry Sir. I don’t know (Ans is: Bandha design, Saptabhar, Pasapali, Bomkai, Bapta etc)
Q> Your hobby is teaching, running?
Yes sir, also reading about mobile communication technologies (I wanted to drive the panel to ask me from the communication area, but it didn’t work)
Q> What you have run so far? Any event you have been participated
Sir, I usually run every day around 5-6km. I have participated in Bangalore marathon in oct 2015. I have plan to run in GOA River Marathon in Dec 13.
Q> You are working in NTPC?
Yes sir, presently I am working in NTPC, TTPS in IT (information & technology department).
Q>Then let me ask you some Non-IT question.
Q> what is the installed capacity of India?
So I guessed and said over 200 GW. (I was aware of Installed capacity of NTPC but not of India.) Q> how much over?
I was thinking & a bit confused, then he himself said 280 GW.
Q> What is average load consumption?
Again I had no idea about it. I remain silent for few seconds & was thinking about per capita consumption.., then he(chairperson) said 175 GW.
Q> Why there is this big difference? I mean what are the factors associated with it?
I said low PLF(plant load factor) & main reasons are
– Shortage of coal ( & also Indian coal is not of good quality, we have to import coal from Indonesia) & – poor financial health of DISCOM.
Q> What else?
Sir, T&C losses also very high in India > 25% (world avg is 10%) & poor last mile connectivity into rural areas
Q> He interrupted me & disagreed with me & said this is not the reason.
(He was looking for other reasons).
-I started to recall, remain a bit silent while thinking.
Q> What I think is lack of efficient man power in the sector is one of the reason? What is your view, Manas?
-I don’t agree with you Sir. I am not sure about others, but in NTPC we have very efficient & competent engineers. Our (NTPC) PLF is highest in the country (81% compared to India’s PLF 65%), this data (PLF) also indicates that we are relatively most efficient in the country.
I didn’t have any idea whether I was right or wrong. But he smiled on the way I was defending NTPC. He laughed & said No No, I am not talking about you.
Q> Manas, I will continue from where Sir left (pointing towards the chairman). Is that ok?
Yes Sir, you can. (Actually it was not ok with me, Neither I had prepared nor I had any idea on Indian Electricity Sector, but I said Yes)
Q> As Sir Said, we are running with low PLF, we should focus on improving efficiency rather than expansion? & India is not power deficit now. Still we are expanding on power sector? What is your View?
(By hearing the question, I was nervous, but I didn’t express it. Instead I was smiling. He was staring at me. But this is when I was doing the thinking)
Then I said “India is a developing nation & Power is an basic infrastructure. No industry can run without power & it should be made available before hand. As our focus on now manufacturing sector like Make in India, Power & road must be available to attract companies including foreign companies.That’s why though we are not power deficit; we are working on expanding power sector.
Q> India has an grid structure for power distribution. Many other countries has localized distribution system. Can India adopt such localized distribution system? Is it feasible? If so what are the challenges?
(I didn’t get the question at all. He was staring at me. I was wondering recalling what he said. Then the Chairman Sir understood me & rescued me) , He said I think Manas didn’t
understand the question. Oh it was big relief for me & I said yes sir. Then he explained me the question with an example.
After that also I was not able to answer anything.
(Later I came to know that the answer should be,
Economical reason: Power transmission is easier and cheaper than coal transmission as coal is localized in our country. & Technical reason: Frequency stability.)
Q> Manas, you may be heard that, recently in Paris conference, PM has said that India will reduce its electricity contribution from coal by 30%. What is the future of coal power plant in India?
For the record: The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Paris, France , from 30 November to 12 December 2015 & my interview is on Dec 3rd.
(Oh my god, one by one the standard of question are increasing, that too non technical. I was really nervous, felt like I am being fucked up. But again I smiled & maintained the same confident body language)
In India Coal is abundant and cheaply available. The technology has matured & well developed. Again present major contribution to electricity is form coal (approx 60%) is very significant.
So the coal sector can’t be eliminated not even in near future neither its share will be reduced significantly. What we can do is we should put much thrust in solar and hydro power sector and India has lot of potential in these areas. As far as I see the future of coal power plant in India not bad.
Q> You have done M-tech in VLSI?
(Oh what a relief for me, finally the domain which I was waiting for)
Yes Sir, you are right. I have also worked in VLSI in Intel.
Q> In which area you were working?
Sir, I was working as component design engineer in Circuit design group. I had designed OP-AMP, current sources etc. Basically you can I was working as analog circuit designer.
Q> What you were using, I mean technology?
It is CMOS technology in 22nm.
Q> Name some current sources in BJT you know?
Widlar current source, Wilson Current Mirror etc
Q> Any other current sources?
Not Sir, I know there are more but at this point of time, I am not able to recall now. What I have designed in Intel was folded cascode current source.
Q>What is the yield?
Approx 70-80% Sir,
Q> 70%, Is that true?
(Oh by seeing the reaction I can say for sure he was surprised)
Q>Are you Sure?
Yes Sir, I am quite sure. (Now I was surprised, I started to doubt myself. I replied that even if I was not sure)
Q> Isn’t it too high Manas?
(This was my chance to convince him or accept that I am wrong.)
Sir, What I am assuming by Yeild you mean that percentage of fully functional chip to the total number of chip in a single die. Sir, before 20-30 years It was low approx 40%, but now technology has evolved to give such a high yield. Because of high yield & very small size of MOSFET, the semiconductor chips prices have been lowered quiet significantly.
Seems like he was convinced.
Q> what are the reasons?
Sir the manufacturing process has been improved quiet significantly and wafer is much larger than before. And DFT & Fault tolerance process are used, which results in lees number of unfunctional chips.
Q> what is the wafer size?
Presently 12 inch.
Q> what is size of microprocessor?
Sir what do you see in motherboard is not the real size. Because it includes packaging as well as the heat spreader on the top of it. What we design is order of few mm x mm & what we see is order of 2×2 cm.
Q>How small it can be? Is there any limitation?
The smaller, its better. But packaging puts some limitations. There are 100s pins in uP & they has to carry reliably current/signal to the chip.
Q> What else?
Apart from that I am not able to think about any other reasons, Sir.
Q> Manas, you have idea on communication right?
(This is the area I have prepared extensively for interview & as my first preference is ITS & I was more than happy to welcome any question.)
Yes Sir, with a big smile in my face.
Q> Have you heard of EHF communication?
I was thinking. EHF range Extremely High Frequency.
Q> You know all these bands right HF/VHF/UHF etc?
Yes Sir, UHF Ultra high frequency 0.3-3 GHZ, then SHF Super High frequency 3 to 30 & EHF 30 to 300 GHZ ( actually he was helping me to recall all these bands)
Q> Recently a new technology came in this EHF Band?
Is it optical fiber communication?
Q>No not optical fiber communication. No
I am not able to think of any other mode of communication rather than optical fiber communication. But he was pointing towards something else.
I said I don’t know sir.
Q> We can call from Vodafone to Airtel? How is it possible?
Because all service provides are interconnected.
Q> At which level?
At MSC mobile switching centre.
Q> How they are interconnected & what is the speed of that interconnection?
I said by optical fiber & speed is order of Gbps. (but he didn’t agree)
Then the chairman said Manas you may leave.
I said thank you for a memorable interview Sirs. It’s an honor to meet u all.
PS- Trust me, How hard you prepare, Interview depends on luck. I have very extensively prepared on communication (satellite, optical fiber, mobile, wireless, data coomunication & all sorts of technologies like wifi, Bluetooth, RFID, etc etc) but still could not answer that single question. There is no such question like “ Why did u leave Intel, why do you want to leave NTPC? Why IES? Why ITS?”. The only mistake from my side was as I am in Power Company I should have prepared on Indian power sector. A piece of advice body language does matter & suit does not matter at all, a formal dress is good enough.