Don’t rely on conventional books only; do regularly study newspapers and good magazines like JWT
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Tauqeer Ahmed (TA): I got my early education from my native district Mianwali and later passed my intermediate exam from Lahore. Then, I did BS (Hons) in Economics from University of Sargodha. Currently, I am an MPhil (International Relations) scholar at University of the Punjab.
JWT: As you know everyone starts dreaming of a future career in childhood, what were your dreams? Did you always aspire to be a PMS Officer?
TA: Since my childhood, I have dreamed of a career in civil service in order to explore, and then utilize, opportunities to prove my mettle and passion for public service. A lot many people tried to persuade me that I should pursue a career in Engineering or Medicine but I knew that it could only be the civil service that would give me opportunities to make an impact on the society.
TA: Well, Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” In our country’s context too, change has been the most talked about word for quite some time now. If you want to bring the change, in my opinion, public service is best way to do it. I believe a career in PMS will enable me to bring about a positive change.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) during your preparation?
TA: JWT is immensely helpful as it provides profound analyses on various topics. It also publishes stuff that helps PMS aspirants especially in Current Affairs and General Knowledge papers.
JWT: What, in your opinion, that is the key to get through compulsory papers, especially that of General Knowledge?
TA: For compulsory subjects, one should consistently try to expand one’s horizon of knowledge. Presentation of good arguments can be strengthened by flow charts and maps. Creative writing is also important, especially in papers of English Essay and Urdu. For General Knowledge, please don’t rely on conventional books only; do regularly study newspapers and good magazines like JWT as doing so is very helpful in this regard.
JWT: What was your strategy for getting impressive score in compulsory papers?
TA: To me, creative writing is very important to get good marks in papers of English and Urdu. Enhancing my knowledge about Islam and Indo-Pak History helped me a lot in Islamic Studies and Pakistan Affairs as well as in paper of General Knowledge. I had competed in many quiz and essay competitions and the experience I had helped me a lot in English Essay and General Knowledge papers.
JWT: What were the toughest and the easiest parts of your entire PMS journey?
TA: Due to my MPhil studies, it was really tough for me to manage time for preparation. So, time management was the toughest part. But my friend Naeem Bashir and I prepared for the PMS exam together and this partnership greatly eased the process. In the end, both of us were selected for the coveted PMS.
JWT: Anything important about your PMS experience you want to share with the aspirants?
TA: I made up my mind on English Paper that I will write essay on a literary topic as I have a particular interest in literature. This decision paid off and I ended up securing excellent marks.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
TA: My family.
JWT: What do you think is the thing that distinguishes you from other successful candidates?
TA: Actually, I usually study every topic in detail with an aim to understand all of its possible aspects. This habit gave me a great advantage in interview because most of the questions demanded for my own analysis on a particular topic or situation. My meticulous study style helped me to answer these questions with broader perspective and with greater confidence.
My Interview Experience
My interview panel consisted of Mr Syed Mubashar, Mr Kalbe Abbas and Ms Tabbana Sajjad and was headed by Chairman PPSC Lt Gen (retd) Sajjad Akram. After introduction, Ma’am Tabbana asked me about World Human Capital Index and equality in World Trade Organization. I answered that rise of Indian and Chinese economies is making developing countries equal to developed countries in WTO. Mr Syed Mubashar inquired about the foundation of foreign policy of a country. My answer was the foreign policy is based on interest of the country manifested by will of its people. Mr Kalbe Abbas asked about the countries covered by Chinese Project of ‘One Belt, One Road’. I told him that the marine route of this project will be extended up to Kenya in Africa whereas the land route will reach the Netherlands, Europe. Mr Sajjad Akram asked about end of slavery in the world. Due to my interest in US and European History, I had ample knowledge on this issue. So, I pointed out that mid-nineteenth century was the era of end of slavery as it ended in UK in 1933 and in USA in 1865.
Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Study should be consistent and on daily basis for good result. There is no shortcut to success. Try to understand your own mechanism of learning. It helps you a lot in achieving good result.