Despite the tremendous growth of the private sector in India, Civil Services remains among the most coveted careers in the country.
The Civil Services of India can be classified into two types - the All India Services and the Central Civil Services (Group A and B). The recruits are university graduates (or above) selected through a rigorous system of examinations, called the Civil Services Examination(CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
All India Civil Services - Appointments to All India Civil Services are made by the President of India. The main branches of the Indian Civil Service are:
- The Indian Administrative Service
- The Indian Police Service
- The Indian Forest Service
Central Civil Services (CCS) - The Central Civil Services are concerned with the administration of the Union Government. Most of the specialized fields in civil services in India belong to the central services. A few of them are listed below:
- Indian Foreign Service
- Indian Engineering Services
- Indian Economic Service
- Indian Revenue Service
- Indian Postal Service
- Indian Trade Service
State Civil Services (SCS/PCS) - The state civil services deals with subjects such as land revenue, agriculture, forests, education etc. The officers of the state civil services are recruited by different States through the State Public Service Commissions.
Why Choose Civil Services?
- Job Security
- Excellent remuneration
- Respect and power in the society
- The ability to influence the lives of thousands of people
- The opportunity to really make a change in the society
Civil Services Exam
- For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
- For other services, a candidate must be one of the following:
- 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
- A degree from a Central, State, Private or Deemed university
- A degree received through Correspondence Education/ Distance / Open University
- A degree from any foreign university recognized by Association of Indian Universities
- Stage I: Preliminary examination (CSAT) - Qualifying test held in June every year. This is common to all candidates including
- Stage II: Main examination - Held in September/October. There is a different Main exam for Indian Forest Service conducted by UPSC.
- Stage III: Personality Test (Interview)
Preliminary Exam or CSAT consists of two papers of objective type (multiple-choice questions) carrying a maximum of 200 marks each. The Question Papers (Test Booklets) are set in English & Hindi
- Paper I tests the candidate's knowledge on current events, history of India and Indian national movement, Indian and World Geography, Indian Polity and governance, Economic and social development, environmental ecology, biodiversity, climate change and general science.
- Paper II tests the candidates' skills in comprehension, interpersonal skills, communication, logical reasoning, analytical ability, decision making, problem solving, basic numeracy, data interpretation, English language comprehension skills and mental ability.
Conduct of Examination - June
Main Exam (non-IFS)
The written examination consists of nine papers, two qualifying and seven ranking in nature.
Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination - December
Non-IFS Main Examination - September/October
Two Qualifying papers -
Paper A - One of the Indian languages to be selected by the candidate from the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India (Qualifying) - 300 marks
Paper B - English (Qualifying) - 300 marks
Seven Ranking Papers
Paper I (300 Marks)
English essay and precis writing and comprehension
Paper-II, III, IV, V (250 Marks each)
General Studies with new topics
Paper-VI and VII (250 Marks)
Any one subject (having 2 papers) to be selected from the prescribed optional subjects.
Interview (275 Marks)
List of Optional Subjects
Agriculture, Civil Engineering, Physics, Commerce and Accountancy, Political Science & International Relations, Economics, Mechanical Engineering, Botany, Medical Science, Chemistry, Zoology, Philosophy, Management, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Geography, Statistics, Electrical Engineering, Geology, Indian History, Law, Mathematics .
Once a civil service aspirant clears these stages, he or she then has to appear for the interview. During the interview the candidate will face questions on topics of general awareness.
Lastly, there is a Medical Test. This is especially important for the candidates of the Indian Police Service.
The selected candidates are assigned to various services based on their ranking in the entrance examinations. All appointed probationary officers undergo compulsory training.
Indian Forest Service (For candidates with a background in Science)
UPSC conducts Indian Forest Services Exam in December for recruitment to forestry services of India. A bachelor’s degree in at least one of the following subjects namely Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and Statistics or a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture, Forestry or in Engineering is essential to appear in the UPSC IFS exam. After qualifying the written examination, the candidates have to appear for a personality test, a walking test (25 km for men & 14 km for women in four hours in Delhi Zoological Park) and a standard medical fitness test. The successful candidates are then trained for about two years by the Central Government at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy