In Conversation with
14th in Punjab, PMS
(Ministerial Quota) 2019-20
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Imran Rafique (IR): I hail from District Layyah. I studied at Govt. College Layyah and after completing intermediate, I started my professional career in Punjab Police as constable in 2002. I continued my studies along with doing the job and completed my Bachelors, Master’s in History and Political Science, LLB, MPhil in History from the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, and, most recently, I completed my PhD in South Asian Studies from University of the Punjab, Lahore.
JWT: How often PMS (Ministerial Quota) seats are announced?
IR: These seats are five percent of the total PMS seats for the candidates serving under Punjab government from grade 01 to grade 16 having more than five years’ experience. Unlike regular PMS, these are not announced every year; last time there was only 01 seat announced in the year 2016.
JWT: What is your total job experience and how did you manage your studies while simultaneously doing a job?
IR: I have served for 18 years in Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP) & Punjab Police. I started my career as constable in Punjab Police and left as ASI in Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP). No doubt, it was very difficult to continue my studies with challenging professional responsibilities in police but I kept my commitment alive and finally achieved my dream.
JWT: How many times did you took CSS & PMS examinations and what was the output of your attempts?
IR: I availed myself all the chances of CSS and PMS exams. Furthermore, it was my second attempt against PMS (Ministerial Quota). Although I qualified PMS twice, that is, in 2013 and 2014, and also PMS (Ministerial Quota) once in 2016, I could not get allocated. However, finally I have made it in 2019 attempt.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
IR: It took me about 10 years to fulfil my dream of being a civil servant. Throughout the course of my journey of competitive examinations, I found JWT very useful as it is prepared by experts who know what aspirants need to study to get through the exams. Composition of JWT covers all areas in accordance with exam requirements and the recent trends.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
IR: For compulsory subjects, conceptual understanding is necessary, first of all. Consulting authentic sources and writing practice of subjective part before final examination does matter a lot.
For General Knowledge, do not rely on single source rather keep yourself updated on current affairs, latest political developments, advancement in science and technology and also the tidbits from newspapers. Google is also very useful in finding and verifying various GK questions.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
IR: Relevance is the key to success in this regard. Writing too much is a futile exercise. As far as my experience is concerned, aspirants should be brief and precise to score maximum in the written part. Critical thinking to analyse things with logical arguments is also a lead for an excellent score.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
IR: I have unique thing about essay to share with aspirants as I passed the Essay paper of competitive exams for eight times. I divide essay into two parts: contents and structure. Within the structure, outline, thesis statement, introduction, main body and conclusion are things to be prepared exclusively, while in contents, one needs to be updated on all the social issues and currents affairs in both national and international arena. Furthermore, I adopted a summary-oriented method in introductory and concluding paragraphs so as to catch the attention of the examiner. Analytical approach in essay writing to prove your argument with logical reasoning, especially in body paragraphs, is the key to success.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
IR: I appeared in several one-paper (MCQs) exams conducted by PPSC and FPSC and found it a bit difficult as compared to subjective papers. I consulted several sources to prepare for this paper. Conceptual clarity and subjective preparation of different areas before objective part is recommended for new aspirants.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
IR: Word limit is specified in English Essay only, but, in short, quality matters more than quantity. Time management is very critical thing to keep in mind while answering the questions.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
IR: English medium is better to opt for in optional subjects as all valuable sources of study are available in English.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
IR: One should choose optional subjects according to one’s personal interest. Trend matters but personal liking or disliking of any subject matters more than that.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
IR: Credit goes to my father for his relentless prayers and to my teachers, especially Sir Zafar Abbas Chandio, who motivated me to become what I am today – a civil servant.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
IR: Self-confidence is the key to success in interview. In my opinion, interview is a personality test and one should be well prepared prior to going before the interview panel. During the interview, first listen to the interviewer carefully and then answer accordingly. Try to cover the answer from every aspect but never give a wrong answer. If one doesn’t know the answer to any question, one can excuse politely. My interview was totally subject-based, a bit tricky and confusing one but I went through it as it was my fourth interview for PMS only.