Civil service, the backbone of the Indian government machinery constitutes all the departments which runs the State administration. A highly competitive and challenging area, it involves a variety of jobs in different departments. Compared to private sector jobs this profession has job security. The prestige and power that comes along with these top-notch jobs is a definite reason for anybody to join this profession. The salary, allowances and facilities like healthcare, housing, conveyance etc. also make it a lucrative profession.
Entry into the IAS, IPS and the Central Services, Group A and Group B is through the All India Combined Competitive Examination for the Civil Services conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in different centers spread all over the country. However, recruitment to the Indian Forest Service is through a different procedure. Entry into the State Civil Services is through a competitive examination conducted by every state public service commission. Anyone thinking of taking up civil service, should have an idea how difficult it is to get in as lakhs of candidates apply for the 400 to 500 vacancies that may arise. So once you decide to appear in civil service exam, one should be prepared to slog endlessly.
Educational Qualifications: Graduates in any discipline from a recognised university. Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognised by the government are also eligible. Those who have appeared in the final year but do not have the result can also apply but they would have to produce proof of passing the exam with their application for the Main Exam. For the Forest Service, a candidate must have a Bachelor's degree in any of the science subjects.
Age: Candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on the 1st August of the year in which examination is being held. The upper age limit may be relaxed in respect of the SC/ST and other backward classes.
Personal Attributes: The aspiring candidates are expected to have keen interest in the General Studies and are supposed to have a good amount of interest in current affairs. Regular and detailed reading of a good national newspaper, a standard competition magazine and a basic book on general knowledge is the essential pre-requisite. Another important point is efficient time planning.
Notification along with application forms for the civil service exam will appear in all the daily newspapers and the Rozgar Samachar/ Employment News by the end of December each year. Advertisements regarding the Indian Forest Service Examination appear in the month of January / February. The examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), New Delhi in different centres spread all over the country. For the State level services, however, the examination is conducted by the State Public Service Commissions (SPSC), in each state.
Applications should be made in the prescribed format (the form is available from all leading post offices) and sent to: Under Secretary (CSP), Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110 011. The application form along with the acknowledgement card is to be submitted by the end of January.
A registration number is given as a token of receipt of the application. If a candidate does not receive an acknowledgement within 45 days, he is advised to contact the UPSC. Further communications to the UPSC should contain name of examination, registration no., name and postal address as given in the application.
All India Combined Competitive Examination for the Civil Services conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) comprises of two successive stages:
The Preliminary Examination is held in May/June and the Main Examination in October/November. One must begin preparations of the main exam along with preliminary exam. This is because there is little time for the Main exam if one waits for the results of the Preliminaries.
A candidate is permitted 4 attempts at the examination. If a person appears in the Preliminary Exam or even appears in one paper, it is counted as an attempt.
Selection to the Indian Forest Service, on the other hand, is on the basis of a written test held in the month of July/August every year. The test comprises: two compulsory papers (General English and General Knowledge); and additional papers in any two subjects chosen from the following options: agriculture / botany / chemistry / physics / geology / zoology / mathematics / agricultural engineering / chemical engineering / civil engineering / mechanical engineering , excepting combinations of agriculture and agricultural engineering , chemistry and chemical engineering.
Subjects for Paper II (one subject to be selected): Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, Indian History, Law, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology.
Both the papers will be of objective type questions (multiple choice). The question papers are set in Hindi as well as in English. The course content for the optional subjects will be of the degree level. Each paper is of two hours duration. Blind candidates are allowed an extra time of 20 minutes for each paper.
The final stage of selection is the interview which is conducted in April/May every year. Candidate will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object is to assess the personal suitability and judge the mental caliber of the candidate. The candidate must exhibit an intelligent interest in events happening around him so that he appears to be a complete personality.
There is also a medical test, especially rigid for IPS. Out of the final candidates selected top rankers are appointed as IAS officers.
Once appointed, all probationary officers of the All India and Central Services undergo a compulsory foundation training.
Sections Under Civil Service
The Indian Civil Services are organised into two main sections. (i) All India Services and (ii) The Central Services.
All India Services :
Central Services -Groups A&B
The categories of services to which candidates are selected through the SCS examination are as under:
Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
The IAS Officers handle affairs of the government. At the central level, this involves the framing and implementation of policy. They also represent the government in other countries and in International forums. They are even authorised to sign agreements on behalf of the government. At the district level, it is concerned with district affairs, including development functions. At the divisional level, the IAS officers look after law and order, general administration and development work. In IAS cadre you can be sub-magistrate, district magistrate, joint secretary, deputy secretary etc.
Indian Police Service (IPS)
The IPS (Indian Police Service) is responsible for public safety and security. The IPS mainly takes care of law and order, which, at the district level, is a responsibility shared with the IAS; crime prevention and detection ; and traffic control and accident prevention and management. On completion of probation an IPS officer, begins his career as a Assistant Superintendent of Police of a sub-division. The Police service is divided into various departments like Crime Branch, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Home Guards, Traffic Bureau.
Indian Forest Service (IFtS)
Indian Forest Service was established for the efficient administration of the country's forest reserves. This is a challenging career as you will be responsible for the conservation and management of forest resources. Central Services
Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
The Indian Foreign Service deals with the country's external affairs, including diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. It is responsible for the administration and activities of Indian missions abroad, and for the framing and implementation of the Government's foreign policy. Probationers at first work at the External Affairs Ministry, then they are posted to the Indian Mission of a particular country, as third secretaries.
Indian Railway Service
It is essentially responsible for the running of India's vast railway network. There are four non-technical and technical or engineering cadres in the railways. Entry for non-technical services - the Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS)- responsible for freight, passengers and movement of trains, the Indian Railway Personnel Services (IRPS)- responsible for recruitment and administration of staff, the Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS)- responsible for maintenance of accounts, and the Railway Police Service (RPS)- responsible for providing security to railway properties such as railway tracks, personnel, equipment etcis through the Civil Services examination. However, the engineering services (IRSE) have a different recruitment procedure.
Indian Postal Service
Responsible for the efficient functioning of the postal and telegraph services, officers after training with field officers are appointed as Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Assistant Post Master General through out the country and also in the Ministry at the centre.
Indian Customs and Central Excise Service
The Indian Customs and Central Excise Service (IC&CES) is basically concerned with two main aspects, mainly Customs and Excise. While Customs is concerned with the checking and levy of duty on taxable goods brought into the country, the Excise department is involved with the taxation of goods manufactured within the country.
Audit & Accounts Service
Indian Audit & Accounts Service comes under the Controller and Auditor General of India (CAG) which is responsible for the maintenance and audit of accounts in the states, as well as Union and State Governments. These officers work in the audit offices under CAG and in central ministries and state governments.
Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) is responsible for maintaining and auditing of accounts of the defence services
Indian civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
Under the control of Secretary (Expenditure), Ministry of Finance, maintains accounts of the State, Central governments and public sector enterprises.
Indian Information Service (IIS)
IIS under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is responsible for running government owned broadcasting and advertising agencies like All India Radio, Doordarshan and DAVP. The service is also responsible for handling press and public relations for the various central ministries, public sector enterprises and defense forces at home as well as abroad.
Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
IRS is responsible for fixing, assessment and collection of income tax. The service also has specialized branches dealing with the investigation of tax evasion, statistics and so on.
Training / Coaching Centers
Rau's IAS Study Circle
Special Instruction from the Institute : Rau's IAS study circle was established in 1953 as an independent body with a view to establish a bench-mark institution to achieve excellence in the toughest competitive exam in the country, i.e. Indian administrative service exam (now civil services exam). Rau's IAS study circle, New delhi has no branches anywhere in India or in Delhi itself. Some coaching institutes and websites may be wrongly using our name along with their own names with the intention of creating confusion in the minds of the students. Hence, the students are advised in their own interest to be careful about such coaching institutes which use such expressions as Rau's or Rao's or Rao etc. in their name.