The Civil Services are the gateway to the executive machinery of central administration in India, comprising of bureaucrats whose work is dedicated towards the service of the people. Every year, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Services examination for appointing candidates at various levels of central government services. The Civil Services are categorized under two broad criteria: All India Services and Central Services.
I. All India Services
a. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
b. Indian Police Service (IPS)
c. Indian Forest Service (IFOS)
II. Central Services
a. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
b. Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
c. Indian Postal Service
d. Indian Audit and Accounts Service
e. Indian Postal and Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service, etc.
N.B.: Civil servants under the All India Services are appointed by the Central Government under the different state cadres; while the ones designated under the Central Services are appointed at the Centre and are directly part of the permanent executive of the country.
The Civil services create an onus on the individual to serve the people either from the field level or from the non-field level. The scope of engagement of a Civil Servant varies from curating works of development to taking minor to major steps at the time of emergency like natural disasters. IAS Officers work at the ground level ensuring that the government schemes are being implemented at the optimal level in the rural areas. IPS Officers crack down criminal syndicates and marinating law and order in the society. Central Service officers like the IFS get the chance to represent Indian at international forums like the UN. Simply put, civil services provide the opportunity to dedicated and responsible individuals to act as bridge between the government and the people, by executing the policies devised by the government for the people. Thus, these bureaucrats form an integral part of the decision making and implementation wing of the federal government.
I. Nationality: For IAS and IPS, a candidate should be mandatorily a citizen of India. However, for the IFOS and the Central Services, individuals having any of the following citizenship status are eligible: a. An Indian citizen b. If the candidate is a subject of Nepal c. If the candidate is a subject of Bhutan d. A refugee from Tibet, who came to India prior to 01/01/1962 with the motive to become a permanent resident of India, e. All the persons of Indian Origin, who migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire and Vietnam; with the intention to settle in India, permanently.
N.B: For candidates falling under the citizenship criteria: (b), (c), (d), ad (e), an issuance certificate from the Government of India is mandatory to be furnished for final appointment, after clearing the examination. Also, it should be noted that the candidates under categories: (b), (c), and (d), are not eligible for recruitment to the Indian Foreign Service.
II. Minimum and Maximum Age Limit: The UPSC has set the minimum age limit for sitting in the Civil service examination at 21 years, while the maximum age limits are set accordingly, as follows:
|Various Categories||Age Relaxation||Maximum Age Limit|
|Scheduled Castes (SC) & Scheduled Tribes (ST)||Upto 5 years||37 years|
|Other Backward Classes||Upto 3 years||35 years|
|Defence Service persons, who were disabled at service||Upto 3 years||35 years|
|Ex-servicemen (with minimum of 5 years of service in the Military)||Upto 5 years||37 years|
|Visually challenged/ hearing impaired/physically challenged||Upto 10 years||42 years|
III. Minimum Educational Qualification: A candidate applying for the IAS/IPS/IFOS/IFS/IRS, etc. examination should be a graduate from any recognized university of India. Interested candidates, who have appeared in their final year examination, and are awaiting the results, can also appear in the UPSC CSE examination. Also, the candidates who are about to appear in the final year graduation examination are eligible to write the CSE examination; however such candidates should produce their graduation marksheet during the Mains Examination.
UPSC has set the following limits on the number of attempts of the appearing candidates:
|Category||No. of Attempts|
|Physically Handicapped (General)||9|
|Physically Handicapped (OBC)||9|
|Physically Handicapped (SC/ST)||No limit|
|Paper Name||Time Duration||No. of Questions||Total Marks||Nature of Paper|
|GS Paper I||2 hours||100||200||Marks considered for Preliminary Exam Merit|
|GS Paper II (CSAT)||2 hours||80||200||Qualifying in nature|
The CSE intends to test the basic knowledge and understanding of a candidate o the various issues and matters of day to day life that have significant impact on the lives of the people. Although UPSC has not formulated a detailed booklist for the coveted CSE, some conventional books are perceived as the basic sources of information and knowledge required to crack the examination. A generalized booklist is given below: Indian Polity by M.Lakshmikant Geography >> Class XI NCERT on Indian Geography >> Class XII NCERT on World Geography Indian History >> Class XI NCERT on Ancient History by R.S.Sharma >> Class XI NCERT on Medieval History by Satish Chandra >> Class XII NCERT on Modern History by Bipin Chandra Economics: >> Class XI NCERT >> Class XII NCERT Current Affairs >> Newspapers: The Indian Express, The Hindu >> Magazines: Yojana, Kurukshetra
• UPSC publishes the notification for the Civil Services Examination for recruitment in posts like IAS/IPS/IFS/IRS, etc. in the month of February, For example, the notification for UPSC CSE 2020 will be out in the month of February 2020. The UPSC CSE 2020 preliminary examination will be held on 31st of May, 2020. The tentative dates of the complete schedule of the examination are presented below in a tabular form:
|Stages of UPSC CSE 2020||Tentative dates|
|Publication of Notification||February, 2020|
|Preliminary Examination||31st May, 2020|
|Result of Preliminary Examination||End of July, 2020 or early August, 2020|
|Main Examination||20th September, 2020|
|Result of Main Examination||End of December, 2020 or 1st week of January, 2021|
|Interview||February, March and April, 2021|
|Publication of Final Merit List||April/May, 2021|
UPSC has provided the following list of subjects for the candidates to choose as their optional subjects. Choosing of the optional is completely at the discretion of the candidate and hence this subject should be wisely chosen as it creates a significant impact on the final marks of the merit list.
Candidates can choose any one of the following subjects: 01. Agriculture 02. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science 03. Anthropology 04. Botany 05. Chemistry 06. Civil Engg 07. Commerce & Acc 08. Economics 09. Electrical Engg 10. Geography 11. Geology 12. History 13. Law 14. Management 15. Mathematics 16. Mechanical Engg 17. Medical Science 18. Philosophy 19. Physics 20. Political Science & IR 21. Psychology 22. Public Administration 23. Sociology 24. Statistics 25. Zoology 26. Literature
Literature of any one of the following language (30) is also offered as an optional subject: 01. Arabic 02. Assamese 03. Bodo 04. Bengali 05. Chinese 06. Dogri 07. English 08. French 09. German 10. Gujarati 11. Hindi 12. Kannada 13. Kashmiri 14. Konkani 15. Maithili 16. Malayalam 17. Manipuri 18. Marathi 19. Nepali 20. Oriya 21. Pali 22. Persian 23. Punjabi 24. Russian 25. Sanskrit 26. Santali 27. Sindhi 28. Tamil 29. Telugu 30. Urdu