NIC Scientist-B Exam

This blog is for the students preparing for the post of Scientist-B at the National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and IT. (People preparing for Scientific Technical Assistant-A i.e. STA-A or Scientific-Officer i.e. SO/SB can also refer to this blog. The syllabus, and exam pattern are more or less similar in all three exams only the level of questions will be different. Also, there is no interview in STA and the selection is only on the basis of a written exam.)

Written Exam: consisted of 120 MCQs of 1 mark each to be attempted in 3 hours having +1 for a correct answer and -0.25 for a wrong answer. The exam had 78 technical questions and 42 generic questions (65:35 ratio of technical and generic questions). The technical questions were mostly based on the GATE (Computer Science) syllabus with a few additional Electrical Engineering and Communication topics. The generic questions consisted of Reasoning, Quantitative and Qualitative Abilities and Aptitude. The detailed syllabus can be downloaded from the official site.

Resources: Any good YouTube source can be followed. These days they have made NIC-specific courses as well. These are some of the good standard books for various subjects, their latest editions are available as pdfs on the internet:-

Digital Logic : Morris Mano or S Salivahanan
Computer Architecture : Carl Hamacher
Programming : Dennis Ritchie or Yashvant Kanetkar (Let us C)
Data Structure and Algorithms : Internet, Cormen (Very Selective)
TOC and Compiler : Refer to Internet and YouTube (Ravindrababu Ravula Videos) (Ulman Book is slightly difficult for Compiler)
Operating Systems : Galvin 
Databases : Korth
Computer Networks : Kurose Ross
Software Engineering : KK Aggarwal
Web Technologies : Internet (W3school or any other site)
Cloud Technologies : Internet
Apti : Internet
(All these subjects have to supplemented with previous year GATE questions and previous year papers of NIC and other NIELIT exams)

Electrical Engineering, Analog and Digital Communication Topics : Basics of TDMA, FDMA and CDMA, Hamming Codes, Modulation and Demoudulation from Internet (study only these topics and that too after completing Computer Science subjects) 

Made Easy Handbook of CS and IT for end moment revision of formuales and concepts 

Previous Year Papers Link: Previous Question Papers of Recruitment Exam | Government of India : National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (, Previous Year NIELIT Papers – GATE Overflow for GATE CSE

Interview Questions:

The interview panel consisted of 5 members. Below is the list of questions asked to me during my interview:-

Q:Please give your introduction?
Ans: Gave a basic introduction about myself mentioning about the educational qualifications and what I was doing currently.

Q: So you did job after MTech, in which company?
Ans: Mercedes Benz R&D Centre

Q:Which department?
Ans: Autonomus Cars 

Q: What kind of work did you do?
Ans: I explained about the team Vulnerable Road User, about Object Detection and development of Python scripts necessary for image extraction in reference to the project.

Q:How did you collect the data?
Ans: Explained how our team shot multiple video sequences of people (dressed in Police Uniform and Civilians) at Hyderabad Film City, from various angles. Also told them about the position of cars, position of people, their hand gestures at the passing cars and some other bsic details. 

Q:What were the steps performed after data collection?

Q:Some challenges you faced in data collection?

Q:How did you extract images from the video, and filtered the unncessary data?

Q:What are you doing currently?
Ans: I had just started my PhD at that time.

Q: Why don't you continue with your PhD?

Q: What was your Thesis in MTech?
Ans: Sir, I did not do any thesis as it was not mandatory. I went for an internship. 

Q: Any projects you did during your Masters or Bachelors?
Ans: I explained my major project which I did during my BTech. 
(Make sure to explain the project which you are most thorough with)
Sir we did a project named Modified Graph Based Extraction based Automatic Text Summarization. I explained how summaries are generated from a text by creating a graph which consists of sentences as vertices and the edges representing the degree of similarity between the two corresponding sentences, then ranking the sentences based on some threshold value and choosing the ones with maximum similarity in the final summary. Also mentioned that it got published in a conference paper.
Q: Which language did you use?
Ans: Python

Q: Which algorithm did you use for extracting sentences?
Ans: Sir, we used TextRank Algorithm, basically we modified the similarity function of the algorithm.
Q: There were some questions regarding text summarization techniques- extraction and abstraction based, why extraction based summarization was chosen, different similarity functions like Cosine and and the one used in TextRank Algorithm, the normalizing factor to avoid promoting long sentences. (I explained that by taking two sentences and finding their similarity by all the available similarity functions and our propsed one). There were questions on sentence ranking, choosing an optimal threshold etc. 

Q: What was the novelty factor in the project which led to the publication?
Ans: Sir one is the modified similarity function for calculating similarity between two sentences and the other one is the incorporation of title while calculating a cumulative similarity score. (Explained the relevance of title of an article for generating summaries)
(At the end there was a very small discussion regarding publishing a paper and patenting a product) 

Result: Selected

Note: The final merit is based on 85% weightage of the written exam and 15% weightage of the interview. As you can see from the weightage, a decent score in the written exam will make your name appear in the final list but do not entirely ignore the interview, especially if you have marginally cleared the written cut-off. I have heard that people got as low as 3 or 4 in the interview and missed the final merit by a few decimals. So best wishes to people preparing for Scientist-B or Scientific Technical Assitant-A at NIC.

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