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Career in Civil Services

Backbone of the Indian Government Machinery

Introduction:
Considered to be the backbone of the Indian government machinery, civil services comprise all non-military departments that run the state administration. There are various departments that one can opt for such as administration, police, forest, railways etc. This profession, added to its prestigious nature, is highly lucrative. The primary objective of civil services is to provide services to the public by evolving new ideas, strategies and policies. How to enter civil services:
Aspirants need to take up the highly competitive exam – All India Combined Competitive Examination – conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Every state also has its own public service commission and conducts exams for state services.
Educational qualifications:
Candidates must have graduated in any discipline from a recognized university or institution. Age criteria to take up this examination are 21–30 years. However, age relaxation is available for special categories.
Civil services exam is conducted in three phases over a period of one year – preliminary exam, main exam and interview. The preliminary exam is usually conducted in May/June for which notification will be made in December the previous year. This exam comprises two papers – General and optional studies – with objective type questions of 150 and 300 marks respectively.
In the main exam candidates are required to take up nine papers, which totals to 2300 marks. They are not objective type questions. This exam is held in November/December every year. Paper I is a 300-mark language paper and candidates can choose from any one of the 18 languages. Paper II and III are English and essay, respectively. Paper IV and V of 300 marks each are on General Studies. Papers VI, VII, VIII and IX consist of two papers each. Candidates can select any two subjects prescribed in the optional subjects. They are of 300 marks each. The results of this exam will be declared in February/March.
On successful completion of the mains exam candidates are called for an interview. The interview, which is for 250 marks, usually takes place in the month of April/May. Those candidates emerging successful are allocated different services depending upon their rank. While Indian Administration Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) are allotted to the toppers the other services are allotted to those with lesser ranks.
The all-India services are: Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
Central Services (Group A) are: Indian Railway Service (IRS), Indian Postal Service, Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS), Indian Defense and Accounts Service (ID&AS), Indian Defense Estate Service, Indian Civil Accounts Services, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax), Indian Ordinance Factories Services (IOFs), Indian Information Services, Central Trade Services and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
Central Services (Group B) are: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Central Secretariat Service (CSS), Armed Forces Headquarters Civilian Services, Railway Board Secretariat Service, Customs Appraisers Service and Central Administered Union Territories.


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