career in civil services

Civil Services

Career in Civil Services

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. It is conducted in two phases – a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (general studies and aptitude test), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type, followed by a personality test (interview).

Eligibility criteria for the Civil Services Examination

  • Nationality
    • For the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
    • For the Indian Revenue Service, a candidate must be one of the following:
      • A canditate must be a citizen of India.
      • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
    • For other services, a candidate must be one of the following:
      • A canditate must be a citizen of India.
      • A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan.
      • a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India
  • Education
    • For appearing in the exam, a degree of graduation in any stream from any university recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) is required.
    • The following candidates are also eligible, but must submit proof of their eligibility from a competent authority at their institute/university at the time of the main examination, failing which they will not be allowed to attend the exam.
      • Candidates who have appeared in an examination, the passing of which would render them educationally qualified enough to satisfy one of the above points
      • Candidates who have passed the final exam of the MBBS degree but have not yet completed an internship.
      • Candidates who have passed the final exam of ICAI, ICSI and ICWAI.
      • A degree from a private university.
      • A degree from any foreign university recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.
  • Age Limit
    • The candidate must be between the age of 21-32 years (for the General category candidate) on August 1 of the year of examination. Prescribed age limits vary with respect to caste reservations
      • For Other Backward Castes (OBC) the upper age limit is 35.
      • For Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the limit is 37 years.
      • The upper age limit is relaxed for certain candidates who are backward with respect to other factors and physically handicapped (PH) people.
  • Physical Standards
    • The candidate must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Civil Services Examination.
  • Numbers of attempts
    • The number of times a candidate may attempt the exam is limited as follows:
      • General category candidates : 6.
      • OBC category candidates : 9.
      • SC/ST candidates = unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.
      • Appearing to attempt one of the papers in the preliminary examination is counted as an attempt, including disqualification/ cancellation of candidature. However, applying to sit the exam but failing to attend is not counted as an attempt.
  • Vacancies and Selection
    • Generally the number of vacancies varies every year. The number of candidates that pass the preliminary examination is generally 11 or 12 times the number of vacancies, and the number of candidates selected for the final interview is twice the number of vacancies. As per existing policies, reservation for SC/ST/OBC is applied to each level of the selection process. In 2006, around 400,000 candidates applied for fewer than 500 vacancies. Of those candidates, 7,500 passed the preliminary exam. In 2010, 547,698 candidates appeared for the preliminary exam.
  • List of Services
    • Given below are the services which one gets on qualifying the Civil Service Examination.
    • All India Services (Group A)
      • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
      • Indian Police Service (IPS)
    • Central Services (Group A)
      • Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)
      • Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
      • Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
      • Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
      • Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
      • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
      • Indian Information Service (IIS)
      • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
      • Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
      • Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
      • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
      • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
      • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
      • Indian Revenue Service (IRS-IT)
      • Indian Revenue Service (IRS-C&CE)
      • Indian Trade Service (ITrS)
      • Railway Protection Force (RPF)
  • Examination
    • The written examination consists of nine papers, two qualifying and seven ranking in nature. The range of questions may vary from just one mark to sixty marks, twenty words to 600 words answers. Candidates who pass qualifying papers are ranked according to marks and a selected number of candidates are called for interview or a personality test at the Commission's discretion According to the new marks allocations in Civil Service Examination 2013 there are some changes made in the examination according to the suggestion of the Prof. Arun. S. Nigavekar Committee. However, after some controversy, the qualifying papers for Indian languages and English were restored to the examination.
  • Interview
    • Officially called the "Personality Test", the objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to evaluate the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only a candidate's intellectual qualities, but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination, but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation that is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate. The interview is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidate, which has been already tested through written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study, but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of all well-educated youth.

Arun Patel

I am a blog writer and web developer as a passion and also engineering student. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with others.

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