Skill set

1. Which extremely well-known crime fiction author spent over three decades working as a bureaucrat for Britain’s Home Civil Health Service and based many of her stories on the places she worked including the National Health Service and a British Nuclear Plant?

2. Satyendranath, born in 1842, was the first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service. He served as a judge in Karnataka for many years and also pursued his literary interests, translating some of Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s works in Bengali and also writing many plays and novels. However, it was his younger brother who was the most famous member of this illustrious family. Name him.

3. In 1901, who secured a staff position with the Swiss government as an assistant examiner-level III for the Swiss Patent office, and evaluated a variety of devices for them, including a gravel sorter and an electromechanical typewriter?

4. If Vikas Swarup, an IFS officer who is currently the Secretary (West) of the External Affairs Ministry, wrote Q&A , a novel based on a participant in the television show Kaun Banega Crorepati , who wrote a novel based on the show, The Apprentice ?

5. English, August: An Indian Story is a novel by Upamanyu Chatterjee, loosely based on his experiences as an IAS probationer in a small town in the ’80s. What was the name of the fictional town to which he was posted, described by him as ‘the hottest town in the country?’

6. Which scientist, author, statesman, inventor and man of many other talents was also the first US Ambassador to France and also served as the first Postmaster General of the US?

7. Arthur Coke Burnell was a 19th-century English Civil Servant who was also an eminent scholar in Sanskrit and Dravidian languages. Together with Henry Yule, he compiled a compendium of Anglo Indian terms which is regarded as a classic and was finally printed in 1886. What is the title of the book, a corruption by British soldiers of the chant of Shia Muslims during Muharram?

8. Which Indian was appointed as a Deputy Magistrate of Jessore in 1858, and served in the civil service till 1891, but is primarily remembered for a song in a novel published in 1882 set against the Sanyasi Rebellion of the late 18th-century?

9. After which Anglo-Indian civil servant who also served as British Ambassador to Spain and the US is the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan named since 1893?

10. Which writer and philosopher born approximately around 551 BC rose after several government jobs to become the Minister of Crime for the State of Lu, a vassal state of the Zhou dynasty before resigning his position and commencing a tour of other states to explain his political philosophy?


1. Phyllis Dorothy James.

2. Rabindranath Tagore.

3. Albert Einstein. He later said that the easy job allowed him time to think about his concepts of light and the connection between space and time.

4. Also Vikas Swarup, the novel is titled The Accidental Apprentice.

5. Madna.

6. Benjamin Franklin.

7. Hobson-Jobson, an anglicisation of ‘Ya Hassan, Ya Hossain’. The authors thought of the term as a perfect example of the contents of their dictionary.

8. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. The song, Vande Mataram , published in the novel Anandamath .

9. The Durand Line, after Henry Mortimer Durand. The Durand Cup football tournament was also started by him.

10. Confucius.


Joy Bhattacharjya


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj