Civil Services
What Are You Looking For In A Career?

An average educated person aspires mainly for Position, Respect and  Security. If you are looking for the same, then the civil Services is the right choice as it assures all these in a relatively short span of time.

What Are the Civil services?

Higher Civil Services under the Central Government are classified into All India  services and Central Services. The All India Services comprise the Indian  Administrative Service, the Indian Police service and the Indian Forest service. These Services are named so because they are common to both central as well as the state Governments. The Central Services constitute those services which work for the Central Government and comprise services like the Indian Foreign Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Customs& & Central Excise Service, Indian Railway services, Indian Postal  Service, Indian Information Service etc.

Indian Administrative Service (I.A.S):

The Indian Administrative Service is considered to be the premier service in India  and offers an attractive, challenging career. The members of the I.A.S. serve the  state Governments or the Central Government and assist them in the   administration of the country. Members of this service hold various administrative  posts like District Collector, Heads of Departments, Heads of Public Enterprises at  the state level etc. They can also be posted on deputation to the Central  Government to the various posts.

Indian Police Service (I.P.S):

The Indian Police Service is primarily concerned with maintenance of Law and  Order in the country. This is the premier uniformed civil service in the country.  An I.P.S officer works for both the Central and State Governments. He serves the State Government in various capacities ranging from Assistant Superintendent of Police at the beginning of his career to the Director General of Police (who is the head of the police force in his state) at the stage of retirement. He can also  serve the Central Government in various organizations like the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security  Force, Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau,  Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) etc.
Indian Foreign Service:

The Indian Foreign Service is a Central Service and the premier diplomatic service  of our country. Members of this service, primarily represent the country in the  international arena. The service offers immense exposure to different political,  social, ethnic and cultural milieu. An I.F.S officer can be posted in any of the  Indian  Embassies and Missions abroad. They can also be deputed to institutions  like United Nations, UNESCO, World Bank, SAARC, etc. Back home, they can be  posted in the Ministry of External Affairs and as Regional Passport Officers.

Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax):

This service deals with the matters concerning Income Tax. The members of this  service begin their career as Assistant Commissioners of Income Tax and may   rise to the level of Chief Commissioners of Income Tax.

Indian Custom and Central Excise Service:
The members of this service man the Customs and the Central Excise  Departments. They begin their Career as Assistant Collectors of Customs/Central  Excise and may rise up in the hierarchy to the level of Chief Collector of Customs.

Other Services:

There are various other services like the Indian Railway Services, the Indian  Postal  Service, and the Indian Information Service etc., which deal with various  functional areas.

How to Achieve These Coveted Positions?

Entry into these services is through a combined, competitive examination held on  an All India basis. The allocation of services depends upon the rank achieved by  the aspirant and his / her preference. To appear at the Civil Service Examination  one has to be a citizen of India, between the age group of 21-32 years and must  hold a degree from any recognized university. The upper age limit is relaxable for specified categories.


The quality of governance is critically dependent on the quality of its public servants. A major determinant of the quality of government servants is the rigour and integrity of the recruitment process. Therefore, the recruitment process, apart from being transparent, objective, fair and equitable should also ensure that the right types of persons join the civil services. The present structure of the civil services examination is designed accordingly. .

The prevailing system of recruitment to the civil services examination is based on the “comprehensive method” of selection. The objectives of such a method are twofold i.e., to select aspirants who are capable of continuously acquiring knowledge and skills, and to find aspirants who are temperamentally and motivationally suited and emotionally attached to the service to which they are appointed.

The Civil Service Examination consists of two successive stages- the Preliminary and the Main examinations. The logic behind the Preliminary Examination is to screen the candidates who apply and select the most serious and qualified, for the main Examination.

The Preliminary examination is an objective type of examination and is held in two papers viz. Paper-I and Paper-II.  The syllabus of Paper-I comprises  Current Events of National and International importance  History of India and  Indian National Movement  Indian and World Geography  Indian Polity and Governance  conomic and Social Development  General Issues on Environmental Ecology  General Science. 

The syllabus for Paper-II consists of  Comprehension,  Interpersonal skills including communication skills,  Logical reasoning and analytical ability,  Decision making and problem solving,  General mental ability,  Basic numeracy,  English language skills.

The Preliminary examination is normally held in the month of May/ June for which the notification is released in the month of November/ December of the previous year. Approximately two lakh candidates appear at the examination, the results of which are announced in the month of August. Approximately and   10000-12000 qualify for Main Examination.  

The Main Examination is divided into two parts - the written and the personality test. The written test, held in December comprises two Qualifying Papers, one Paper on General Essay and four papers in General Studies. Apart from this, the candidate must choose one optional subject for the examination. The question papers are of conventional short essay type where each question has to be answered within the word limit and the space demarcated. Candidates who qualify at the written part of the Main Examination have to appear for the Personality test held in April/May.

The personality test is the final stage where the candidate is interviewed to asses his/her personal suitability for a career in public service. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of the candidate. The marks scored in the written test and the personality test is added to determine the final order of merit. Usually about 800 to 900 aspirants are certified for appointment The selected aspirants, after training, are assigned various positions.