18 Nov 2018


Manifest IAS provides a platform for students to develop Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration to excel in all stages of life. This unique opportunity will be of special benefit for students who have given CSE Mains where their analytical and practical approach is shared and visualized through open discussion mentored by experts of the field with experience of facing interviews themselves.


The programme is free of cost. You must apply along with your DAF and UPSC hall ticket.

Next session is on 27th December

Timing: 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM 

Highlights of the programme

  • Two Sessions every week
  • Topics to be announced prior to discussions
  • Interdisciplinary outlook development through various activities such as group discussions, debates and presentations.
  • Topics to cover all important areas both static and dynamic including the latest current events.
  • Mock sessions to help you experience the actual setting of the UPSC board.

Why did we choose Group Discussion and Debate as a method to prepare for interview?

It seems counter intuitive to use group discussions for preparing for interview.

We ask you to think about this logic – “if a person plans to build a skyscraper will he directly build it or will he first start building small houses and then move to a skyscraper?”

We at manifest believe in a scientific approach to prepare for UPSC. Thus all stages of the exam carry equal weight.

Hence, we are planning to take a gradual approach where the students will have a chance to first develop their confidence. This would be done through the development of their ability to speak through directed and moderated group discussions and debates. Once they are at a level necessitated by the rigour of UPSC interview we will conduct Mock sessions.

Why did we choose debate and group discussions and not mock interviews for training students?

Interview, debate and discussions are all tools to evaluate an individual’s personality. Though interview is an effective way of evaluation it is not a good tool to train for the interview. As observational learning aspect and the freedom to express are very confined in interview. Whereas group discussions and debates provide full freedom to the student to learn, unlearn and relearn the art of communication.

Guidelines for UPSC interview also state that it is not strict cross-examination but a purposive conversation. Then, what better way to prepare than starting with debates and discussions. Here, the students will be able to develop the essential qualities like:

  • Mental alertness,
  • Critical powers of assimilation
  • Clear and logical exposition
  • The balance of judgment
  • Variety and depth of interest
  • Ability for social cohesion and leadership
  • Intellectual and moral integrity

………….which the UPSC is on the lookout for.

Format for Group Discussion

A group should not usually consist of more than 10 members. In the GD, thought process, clarity of speech and expression, and the ability to listen to others is what is judged.

It will consist of 3 rounds. Rounds 1 and 2 will involve students arbitered by the moderator.

Round 3 will be the views of the moderator (expert) on the particular topic.


Round 1 is compulsory for all aspirants. The moderator sets the GD in motion. The aspirant who begins and sets the GD rolling will be given additional points, taking into account the nature of content as well. The aspirant who begins the GD has to introduce the topic, a brief history about it and as to why it is in new before giving his/her views on it. He/she will be given a maximum of 4 minutes.

Then the GD moves either in the clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, the other aspirants will be given a maximum of 3 minutes. Repetition of points is not allowed. Breaching of time limit is not allowed. Round 1 being basic, the moderator has to ensure that everyone has spoken on the topic at least for 2 minutes.


Round 2 is not compulsory for all students. After everyone is given a chance to speak in Round 1, if there are any points lefts and if an aspirant wants to bring innovative ideas on the same topic, he/she should be given one more chance in Round 2 after Round 1.

* An aspirant who introduces the topic just for the sake of introducing without strong content must be penalised with negative marking.

* An aspirant repeating points without fresh perspectives in Round 2 should be penalised with negative marking.


It involves experts opinion on the topic. Here the moderator

  1. Summarises all the points given by the aspirants
  2. Gives higher dimensions on the topic for the students to think on
  3. Give UPSC relevance to the topic.
  4. Give observations on each aspirant (for better clarity on observations, refer guidelines given below)

Format for debate

Debating consists of two groups with a maximum of 7 members in each group. The group does not have the choice to choose the stand. The stand is fixed by the moderator for both the groups. The groups have to accept the stand and defend it.

Rules for the group

An aspirant from one group is given the opportunity to open the debate. He/she has to give his/her stand first and then give points supporting the stand. The supporting points should be clear and relevant.

After this an aspirant from the other group is given opportunity when he / she has to undercut each and every point of the previous and then gives his/ her points supporting the stand. No irrelevant points are accepted.

This will go on until the points with each group are exhausted. The group which has undercut all the points of the other and given extra points supporting his/her stand which has not been undercut by the other group wins.

Topic for THURSDAY (29-11-2018)

  1. Is India ready for a constitutional theocracy? (Sabarimala temple entry) (GD)
  2. India in recent times has lost its neighbours. (Debate)

Topic for TUESDAY (4-12-2018)

  1. Prison reforms in India. (group discussion)
  2. Rechristening India (changing the names of cities) does name matter. (debate)

Topic for FRIDAY(7-12-2018) @ 11AM

  1. Managing NPA is the key to resolve stress in banking (group discussion)
  2. Are institutions autonomous in India anymore (debate)

Topic for THURSDAY(11-12-2018) @ 11AM

  1. Climate change- who is responsible? And the way forward (group discussion)
  2. Simultaneous election-Is there a need in India. (debate)

Topic for TUESDAY(18-12-2018) @ 11AM

  1. Capital punishment and custodial death – Two lows of criminal justice system in India(debate)
  2. We can’t do anything but breathe in what we have emitted.(group discussion)


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