Interview questions for candidates with sociology optionals:
1. Sociology relevance in public services
2. “sabka saath sabka vikas”
3. Caste based conflicts in maharastra
4. Social movements like jal satyagraha, recent protest against land ordinance
5. Pervasive nature of caste in minorities and its repurcussions
6. gharwapsi and conversion issues
7. Senowned sociologists statements or opinions regarding govt policies, communal incidents, caste and class and others social divisions
8. Violence against women
9. Common civil code
10. Secularism, pseudo secularism, communalism , ghettoisation of religious and linguistic minorities
11. Racism and racial abuses increasing incidence and reflection on tolerance of society
12. Swacch bharat abhiyaan, manual scavenging
13. Growing underclass and their aspirations in post LPG era and their increasing say in democracy ( an important factor in delhi elections)
14. Reluctance of indian muslims in joining ISIS
15. Decrease in ( or stagnant) spending in social sectors like health, education,food etc.
- Women (gender discrimination, rapes, low representation in jobs and politics, women empowerment, education, female infanticide and low sex ratio) – 80% questions relate to women issues
- Impact of social media on Indian society
- Impact of TV serials, movies and news media
- India’s poverty and social indices
- Reason for growing intolerance in youth, Indian in particular
- How to explain the rape of children below 5 in schools?and what can be done?
- How to strengthen the moral fabric of Indian society in today’s age?
- What changes you see in society when you was in school say in early 2000 to what the students see now?
- Do you think sometimes in emotions and flow of events we loose sense of what is the real issues at hand?(say Anna’s andolan or the recent documentary)
- Hence, women is by far the most important topic.
- You have opted for Sociology. Tell me what do we study in the discipline as such?
Very good. Can you think of any prominent Indian sociologists?
- Can you think of some predominant theory of M.N.Srinivas?
Can you explain.
- Do you think the concept of Sankritization holds much importance in the contemporary world?
- You have taken sociology and you have been a technical person otherwise. Man’s life is increasingly becoming privatised, what is the role of technology in it, the access to all sort of information etc.?
- What I meant was the effect on children with access to information of all types?So, how will you monitor that? Are there any laws around the same? Any other laws?
Some of the questions look very simple but they are not – like what do we study in sociology. We need to frame good answers to these or else we will give very vague answers
- Conflict leads to cooperation (with respect to developing countries). How?
- You did Engineering and took Sociology as an optional. Why?
- What is online culture?
- Why is the condition of women better in NE? Socioeconomic Reasons?
- What is the socio-political influence of media on society?
- What is your opinion on one of the famous sociologists saying something about the relation between corruption and caste?
- Tell me what is the major problem, why arab spring didn’t succeeded?
- Do you think women should get reservation in Civil services?
- Why they should not get? women have reservation in Panchayats?
- What is women empowerment?
- How SHG helps in women empowerment?
- Tell me what are the major social issues in the country?
- What is the relationship between education and poverty?
- What do you suggest women should do for their empowerment?
- Being a woman, what would you do to empower yourself?
- Tell me your favourite thinker from Sociology. Why?
- Do you think India is a socialist state?
- Where is socialism in the constitution?
- China also claims to be socialist. What’s the difference between them and us (on socialism)?
- What about Russia during cold war? What was is called then? Its present system?
- Define sovereign social secular republic democracy?
- How social media impacts people?
- Tell me influence of daily serials on family relations & social structure?
- You are from UP, you must know what is social engineering?
- What was India’s HDI ranking as per last HDI report?
- What is HDI, Its components, why India’s ranking so low?
- What is virtual organization?
- Why is the situation of India’s higher education so grim?
- How should a leader lead, in your opinion?
- What can you tell me about India’s demography?
Some sample Interview Questions and answers
Let’s start with relevance of sociology in public service
According to me:
1. Sociology helps give an insight into different dynamics in the society. Especially for multi-cultural Indian society – ethnic, caste, regional dynamics.
2. It gives an insight into various parameters of poverty, deprivation, population dynamics and helps a public servant forum opinions about the same.
3. In a multi – religious society, it gives a perspective about different religious groups and their relative deprivation with respect to national standards and with each other. For an administrator this is particularly insightful.
4. Development paradigms can be understood from a global and national perspective.
Of course, there will be followup questions on each and could be asked to explain what do we mean by any of these statements with examples.
Tell me what do we study in the discipline as such?
In sociology, we study human social behaviour and social institutions like religion, stratification, marriage etc.
Can you think of some predominant theory of M.N.Srinivas?
Important theories by him include sanskritization, dominant caste and vote bank.
It is a process of upward mobility wherby a caste lower in hierarchy adopts rituals and behaviours identified with the higher castes.
Do you think the concept of Sankritization holds much importance in the contemporary world?
In urban centers, the practice has seen declined due to westernization and weakening down of caste hierarchy itself. Though in traditional rural pockets, it still hold much importance. For ex – In Bihar, there are many castes like Dusadh, koeri etc that are lower in the hierarchy but still aspiring for upward mobility through sanskritization. They identify themselves with being Kshatriya and have started wearing the sacred thread. This process is still ongoing.
Man’s life is increasingly becoming privatized, what is the role of technology in it, the access to all sort of information etc.?
I think it is definitely true and the impact of it is clearly visible on children and young populations who spent a lot of time on social media and gaming. Actual physical interaction is getting lesser and lesser. At the macro level, we are becoming more globalized and at the micro level more private, all thanks to technology.
What I meant was the effect on children with access to information of all types?
Sir there are positives as well as negative impacts.
Positive as in it helps in gaining knowledge or skills. Even skills like cooking or guitar playing can be learnt on internet. negatives are risks involved as to what kind of information the child is exposed to. Pornography, violence etc are easily available on the internet and it is becoming very difficult for parents to filter such contents. More so when in many cases the child is better adapted to technology than her parents.
So, how will you monitor that? Are there any laws around the same?
There are 2 broad methods. One is content filtering through parental control systems or softwares. The other is through education of child as well as parents on the beneficial usage of internet.
There are laws that restrict adult content on websites and define minimum age to join social media. Though I am not aware of the exact names of such laws.
What is your opinion regarding ban on “India’s daughter”, both from general and sociological point of view.
There are 2 broad angles to it. one whether the ban was required and second whether the ban served its purpose. For the later, I would say that it did just the opposite and increased the viewership. So it certainly did not serve the purpose.
For the former I would say that banning a documentary sends the signal that we want to curb the truth. It would have been better to let the people and media respond to it on its merit and if there is indeed some merit, it would only have acted as a mirror to out society.
The recent case in Nagaland what does it reflect about the changes taking place in Indian society
Its the coming together of 2 phenomenons. One is the old fault line between the natives and the perceived immigrants and second is the new role of social media in strengthening such fault lines. As of now we have only got a hazy picture of what has happened there, coupled with the fact that there is general lack of awareness about the society there. As for mob lynching it seems to be a small part of a bigger problem.
The sociological reason behind the change from coalition era to mandate politics
One there is general sense of antipathy towards coalition politics as seen in most of the elections in the last 1 year. Second, there has been a tectonic shift in the Indian polity towards the right. Also, there has been fragmentation of center left votes. And a new group of rational voters has emerged that is aspirational and ready to give the mandate to someone who shows hope and promise. This phenomenon was clearly seen in delhi elections.
Why focus on India when gender discrimination and rape is a global issue?
It was not the horrific rape that made me come to India. The extraordinary, courageous and unprecedented protests that followed made me think: “My God, they are fighting for my rights in India.” I was so grateful. I have myself been raped. It is not surprising — one in five women globally have been raped. So I am one of the 20 per cent.”
1. Rape is there in every society, so its not just the patriarchal bias in Indian society in particular, as USA and UK France are among leaders in rape(atleast the reported ones), though even if we talk about reported ones then we can compare with metro cities and still we may not top
So the point comes that its not just so called Indian men’s mentality, that’s just common sense bias(that’s why I said leave emotions to Mr. Holmes) so sociologically its patriarchal in broad spectrum not just Indian society, as well as a bigger moral issue
2. What about the boys that get raped?They can’t even complain and live with torture and trauma
3. Sensationalize the rape rather than really solving the issue, will never stop rapes
4. A wider issue I asked in bakar forum, that if boy and girl are in live-in and then boy leaves say any reason like compatibility then girl can file case of rape saying he promised to marry But if girl leaves a guy has no recourse to law.same in the case of property
5.Drama like the one in parliament “zinda laash”, that’s the choice of the person to live like zinda laash or to live life. why she has to be zinda laash because some people say so. Read about madonna and many more. So rather than rapist its the so called society which tortures a person(HE/SHE)more and reminds of that incidence and do not let them forget
7 There is another aspect which I won’t discuss but that shows girls in bad light and how they use law to take revenge or benefits
8. In offices people don’t dare to drop female employ because they are afraid
9.Few years back few companies accepted that male staff requested not to have females in the group because they are afraid that few females can put allegations
10. There was a video by Kalki Koechlin “its our fault”, yeah its creative and will get many claps. But just ask yourself who will feel bad after watching that video, a person who is genuine has not done anything wrong but had one or two points against that video and then he is labelled, or a person who is rapist or uses girls ? the second category will clap and support gal that time and will laugh at it.It won’t affect them.But think about the genuine one,he was labelled for no reason and what will be his future course of action and his response towards society.
Conflict leads to cooperation (with respect to developing countries). How?
(a wild guess) when there is a conflict, points of difference becomes clearer, making it easier for resolving the conflict through cooperation (??)
You did Engineering and took Sociology as an optional. Why?
The main reason I did Engineering was that I felt it had more employment chances. Havig graduated and even found a good job, I realized that I don’t have the aptitude or the feel of the subject. When it came to sociology, my choice was natural as I found it very interesting and suiting to my taste.
What is online culture?
it is the culture that is developed through interaction in the online world. For example, online language and online etiquette are part of this culture.
Why is the condition of women better in NE? Socioeconomic Reasons?
Many NE socities followed matrilineal system where women would own the family property. This helped them maintain a high status. Also, the work of Christian missionaries made education accessible to them. Education and economic independence combined, has elevated their condition.
What is the socio-political influence of media on society?
Media plays a very important role in shaping public opinion on social and political issues. For example, on the documentary India’s daughter, two rival media houses are holding two diametrically opposite views on whether people should watch it. By this, the viewer’s interpretation of the contents of the documentary is influenced. Similarly, media can create a negative or positive image of a particular political party by selectively highlighting certain events.
What is your opinion on one of the famous sociologists saying something about the relation between corruption and caste?
I cant recall this controversy but I can remember reading that he was quoted out of context.
Do you think women are the most exploited class in the society
Unfortunately, it is true that women are amongst the most exploited class in society. Certain sociological studies have shown how gender is a big factor of discrimination. For instance Dalit women are considered to be amongst the most exploited, having to bear the triple burden of class, caste and gender. However, I also feel that we are at the cusp of change. Not just women, but the society as a whole is coming together to establish women’s rights slowly but surely.
What specific trait of Indian Society is responsible for scams in India, especially, arms procurement
Sir I do not think there is any trait that is specific to the Indian society that makes us susceptible to such scams. Such scams are a result of certain lacunae in our governance systems that have allowed private-profit minded individuals to have their way. I must also add that we are well on our way to close these gaps.
India should have military rule instead of Democracy for 2 years to discipline society. your opinion?
The sense of discipline that seems to be lacking in us will not come when imposed from above as in a military rule. Instead it has to come spontaneously and I believe that it can be ingrained without compromising on our democratic principles. Democracy and discipline are not mutually exclusive. Besides, democracy is India’s biggest strength, and under no circumstances must we compromise on it.
b>We intended to create an economy driven by market, but we ended up creating a society driven by economy.” Explain it in Indian context.
Sir, I would like to use an illustration of the Green Revolution to explain this statement. With the adoption of GR, not only did our agricultural systems changed but various scholars have also shown how a consumerist ethos came about and emphasis on conspicuous consumption increased in society. A similar trait is seen today specifically in prosperous urban areas as well.
How are you going to counter illegal immigration? How do you plan to make sure that bonafide citizens are not harassed in such an operation?
There are 2 dimensions about the solutions. One, that already settled immigrants who have got ration cards need to be identified. Second, we need to stop further immigration. I think the first options is administratively and legally very very difficult and is fraught with political risks as well. I personally would advice rehabilitating the already setteled population and stop further migration.
What was the issue regarding ILP implementation in Meghalaya? Is it justified? Why?
It is to restrict the entry of non native population from settling in Meghalaya as the local population feels threatened that their share over resources will be taken away by the settlers. I think such laws are extreme steps as they are against the constitutional provisions that grantee rights to all the citizens to settle anywhere in India. Also, from my knowledge, the population of natives in Meghalaya has not seen major decreases in percentage terms to enact such laws. The government needs to convey this point.
Do you think women should get reservation in Civil services?
No sir. To increase their representation in civil services I think it is better to give them a more enabling environment such as access to quality education, health facilities etc. instead of just carving out reserved seats. (women in IAS is less than 10% 0f total- I found a nice report here: http://isidev.nic.in/pdf/santosh1.PDF
Tell me what is the major problem, why arab spring didn’t succeeded?
Lack of a unifying leadership, and interference by international third-parties. (Screwed if there are follow ups )
Do you think women should get reservation in Civil services?
Sir I don’t think gender-based reservation is required in the Civil Services, especially when affirmative action in the form of fee waiver is given. It will instead be more effective if we work towards ensuring that women can reach the graduation level in education- which is the basic requirement to appear in this exam.
Why they should not get? women have reservation in Panchayats?
Sir, reservation in governance bodies is a different thing as there the aim is to elect people’s representatives. Women being 50% of the population should be adequately represented in executive bodies.
Follow up – So you feel that women are essential in temporary executive but not in permanent executive?
Another F/U – so don’t you think women are one of the most exploited sections of society. They are married of really young, but if they have reservation in civil services – parents might let them study and appear for the exam.
What is women empowerment?
Sir, if I may quote Sri Rabindranath Tagore, though a tad bit out of context, empowerment to me is when “the mind is without fear, and the head is held high”. It is a multidimensional concept involving economic, political, social and psychological freedoms.
Very nice.! F/U on Rabindranath Tagore detected but, I am seriously impressed by this.!
How SHG helps in women empowerment?
Sir, SHGs have been one of the most successful initiatives in empowering women primarily in rural areas. It has helped them gain financial independence by supporting small scale entrepreneurial activities, skilling, etc. But the benefits go much beyond this. I remember reading a report where it was shown how SHG activities had also brought about social empowerment in the women as they come together as a cohesive group to make their voices heard and tackle social issues.
Tell me what are the major social issues in the country?
Major social issues being faced in the country include cultural nationalism that is threatening the social fabric, gender discrimination and crime, access to health and education opportunities for children and economic inequality.
might go towards communalism and right wing politics. And if a right winger is by chance in the board- it will be very hard to salvage the situation.
What is the relationship between education and poverty?
Sir I feel that while one is the problem, the other is the solution. Poverty traps individuals and prevents them from gaining education and consequent better livelihood opportunities. However if we can provide adequate support for access to education, the individual and break out of the vicious circle of poverty.
Very rational and logical answer. Problem – solution approach is pretty nice.
What do you suggest women should do for their empowerment?
I think women have to learn to be independent and self-reliant, not just economically and politically, but also socially. They (/we) also have to stop this automatic internalization of patriarchy that leads to self-imposed curbs on freedom.
Being a woman, what would you do to empower yourself?
Sir as I have been fortunate to have had a good education, the next step for me is to become financially independent. As I have had the opportunity to work before this, I do know how economic self reliance can be a liberating factor. (Bleh answer I feel)
Tell me your favourite thinker from Sociology. Why?
Marx – with widening social disparities on regional and global levels I feel his theories are very elucidating about the feeling of relative deprivation that leads to social revolutions.
Do you think India is a socialist state?
Yes, I agree.
Where is socialism in the constitution?
Explicitly in the Preamble. Implicitly it is all over the constitution where rights of the common man, and downtrodden are talked about.
China also claims to be socialist. What’s the difference between them and us (on socialism)?
Our socialism works within the ambit of a democratic state, where people’s mandate is supreme. While Chinese socialism is guided by the politburo and large scale violation of human rights are committed under the garb of redistribution of wealth. However, China has moved towards state led capitalism since the 1970s.
What about Russia during cold war? What was is called then? Its present system?
Russia was a communist state during the cold war. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. Now it has a Presidential system of government.
Define sovereign social secular republic democracy?
Sovereign – Indian people are free to choose the destiny of our country without any external interference.
Socialist – The aim of the state is to uplift the poorest of the poor out of the poverty cycle.
Secular – all religions are given equal respect in India.
Republlic – people choose the government through adult representation
Democracy – the government of the people, by the people for the people. Any adult citizen can contest elections.
How social media impacts people?
Social media impacts people in a lot of ways. It helps people forge friendships, opinions on social issues, be more aware of the world around them. The negatives have also been observed as it has led to virtual relationships, and people have lost the social one-on-one touch with reality.
Tell me influence of daily serials on family relations & social structure?
Daily serials have had a dramatic influence on family relations. They have acted as an ideal type which the families, especially women that watch the shows regularly try to emulate. The have become a benchmark for behaviour, fashion, expectations, etc.
For social structure, it has made people more aware of our regional diversities, different social and cultural norms in different parts of the country. I think, that had made our society at some levels more appreciative of the rich cultural heritage we harbour in India.
For higher education situation being so grim in the country:
1. There is no talks of translational research- so not enough incentive to undertake cutting edge research in Indian academia.
2. Funds are often not sufficient – so lack of labs, softwares, etc – results in not enough practical knowledge even after a masters degree.
3. Not enough collaboration between universities, departments and industry – for research as well as for employment opportunities.
4. Higher education, in case of PhD, is paid peanuts as stipend. Really not worth it for many,
5. Lack of peer reviewed promotions. In the US, the idea is of “publish or perish” – if a professor goes without cutting edge publications for a while he is bound to lose his tenure. In India, once you have a government job no incentive.
6. Higher education is often theoretical, rote learning – not enough hands on experience.
There will be many more reasons, please add to this list.
Do you think incidences of communal violence have increased in the country? if yes, why and how can we fix it. If no, why not.?
Let the games begin!! </p>
Yes, in past some time, we had seen many communal clashes, like muzzafarnagar riots in western UP, clashes in mangalore, incidents of attacking book author and TV channel offices.
There are varied reasons for this. Some clashes had political reasons and backing due to proximity of elections. Some clashes are due to hidden agendas where the issues of honour of women & incidents of eve teasing were given a communal colour, some have growing intolerance as a reason.
For short term solutions, we have to make strict laws and officials should be punished who failed to control such incidents. Politicians should not be allowed to address people in affected areas without permission and scrutiny of speeches.
For long term and permanent solutions, education is the key. Educated people are less likely to be swayed by speeches of communal leaders and take more objective and rational decisions. Education is also a key in bringing tolerance among masses.
yes sir…i think incidences of cmmunal violence has increased in recent years.for eg mujaffarnagar riots,nawada riots(bihar),clashes in rajasthan etc.
sir i think two theories are well applicable here…one is real conflict theory where there is fight for limited reasources and oopportunities which breeds frustration and frustration-agression hypotheses which says that frustration leads to agression…there is frustratiion and discontent amon the masses and soome trigger events like eve teasing,hate speeches etc give fuel to the fire resulting in communal clashes.sometimes they r promoted by politicians to polarise the voters for electoral gains.
We can fix it by providing education which will result in ideological change and impart secular outlook among radical elements and providing opportunities to everyone so that discontent does not creep in society.strict and vigilante law and order can also prevent communal clashes.
What are the problems faced by Transgenders? What measures would to suggest to solve these?
The Problems faced by transgenders are:
1. discrimination – social, cultural, and economic.
2. they are looked down upon as someone who is not normal
3. It is difficult for them to find a means of livelihood and often they live in utter poverty.
4. Often families abandon transgender babies who land up with goons, who use them for begging.
5. human trafficking is another problem they face
6. They find it difficult to get education due to poverty, lack of social support, no help from government.
Yes, I think t/gs should have reservation. They are some of the highly discriminated sections of society.
Other measures are:
1. Awareness in the society that they are normal and should be socially accepted. this is a long term plan of action.
2. they should get psychological healthcare as a form of government support, along with regular healthcare.
3. The local police stations should take special note of the fact they are not discriminated against.
4. government should provide schemes for them to get industrial skills and they should be absorbed into the workforce.
5. Easy loans should be extended to them, and all formal documentations should have the option of 3rd gender so they don’t feel left out or discriminated against.
Transgenders face considerable social stigma which limits their access to public goods and have an adverse effect on the quality of life. Due to the stigma and poverty, they find it difficult to acquire an education or get treatment in hospitals. They are forced to indulge in prostitution and drug trafficking for the lack of other means due to which they become extremely vulnerable to diseases especially HIV.
Trasgenders have been suffering extreme discrimination since colonial era. Even post independence era could not give sufficient attention to their problems. Therefore, it is necessary to give them benefit of reservation now to help them tackle their social disadvantages.
How else can we improve their status?
There must be awareness programs to change the attitude of general public towards transgenders. Efforts must also be taken to remove misconceptions among people about transgenders, for ex- some believe it is a mental illness. Also, Livelihood means must be secured for them and administration must ensure that they are not denied education and health, or any other public service just because of their gender status.