1. After appearing for the written part of the civils in October 1952, Singh went to UK. Also, he had a holiday in Holland, Belgium and France. Whe he returned to India, a telegram from the UPSC was waiting for him. His interview at UPSC’s Dholpur House was fixed for January 9, 1953.
2. The interview board was presided over by the then ICS officer RN Banerji. The other members included the then MEA joint secretary BHFB Tyabji and IPS officer PL Mehta.
3. Singh gave only two options of preference: IFS and IAS. He was asked in the interview why he gave only two choices.
4. Upon selected as an IFS, he was asked to report at Metcalfe House on April 14, 1953 for probation. Those were pre-LBSNAA days, and unlike today when the first sessions of probation are organized in the Mussorie campus, the training then was held in Delhi’s Metcalfe House.
5. Singh and six other IFS officers, all aged between 21 and 24, were invited to South Block by the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. They had a free and frank interaction with Pandit Nehru. Singh was asked a question on China as a potential danger.
6. Singh and his fellow probationers spent five months in Metcalfe House whereas IAS probationers stayed there for a year.
7. One day, Rashtrapati Bhavan sent a car to the Metcalfe House for bringing IFS probationers for a meeting with the then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. Remember, all those officers were the most eligible bachelors too. One of Singh’s batch-mates finally married the President’s grand-daughter.
8. In August 1953, Singh along with his other IAS and IFS probationers went to Kashmir on an exposure tour. They met the then chief minister Sheikh Abdullah.
9. In September 1953, the IFS officers had to sail for London, as part of their training. Singh later wrote that he was horribly seasick. Singh was first trained in Cambridge. Then, he spent six weeks in London’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
10. The salary of the probationers then was Rs 350 per month plus an allowance of Rs 90. Singh later wrote in an article in The Hindu that they “were hard put to spend it”. After all, petrol used to cost 12 annas a gallon then, and in Connaught Place there were limited choice of restaurants -- Alps, Kwality and Volga.