Civil Services: A Career in Handling Government Affairs

IAS Probationers at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, Source: DailyMail
IAS Probationers at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie,
Source: DailyMail

Are you ambitious? Talented? Hard working? Do you want to make a change? Then a career in civil services is for you. The Indian Civil Service is the backbone of nation and comes with big responsibilities. A top corporate job might be paying a higher salary but cannot match the respect and recognition that comes with a job in the civil services. A career in the civil services is thus the dream career of many.

Civil Services Entrance Examination:

Getting into the civil services requires you to crack an examination. The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a countrywide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including ), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Administrative Service (IAS, Indian Police Service (IPS) and other departments. The examination is one of the toughest examinations in India with success rate of 0.1 per cent-0.3 per cent. The exam consists of two phases- the Preliminary examination, which has two objective-type papers (General Studies and Aptitude Test), and the Main examination, consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type followed by the Personality Test (Interview).

Eligibility Criteria for Indian Civil Service:

The candidate needs to have a valid university degree to able to appear for the civil services exams. Candidates who are about to appear for the qualifying exam or has appeared and waiting for the results are also allowed to appear for the prelims, as long as he can furnish a proof of having passed this examination at the time of the main examination. The maximum age at which one can apply for the examination is 32 for the unreserved (general) category with 6 attempts. Different rules apply for OBC, SC/ST and physically handicapped candidates. Not many students clear the examination at the first attempt, so it is advised to keep in a hand at least two to three years if you are serious about clearing the exams.

Preparation for Indian Civil Service:

With so much of competition, thorough and systematic preparation is required to clear the civil services exams. Ideally one should put in at least 6 hours a day or more for ten months to prepare for the prelims. If you are a working candidate, this will require a lot of time management. Start by knowing the syllabus thoroughly. Even as time is important you also need to adopt smart strategies to prepare better. One good way is to make notes on topics that you have studied. You should constantly refer to past question papers. Test yourself constantly, preferably after you have completed a topic and take mock tests. Make use of the vast resources available on the Internet. Civil service India.com and IAS tracker.com provide a lot of valuable information and study resources. You can also enroll yourself with a reputed IAS coaching center to prepare for your exams.

Work Responsibilities of Civil Services:

A civil servant is responsible for the law and order and general administration in the areas he covers. This includes handling the daily affairs of the government, including framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the minister-in-charge of the concerned ministry. Officers at the senior level also have a role to play in giving final shapes to government policies.

Salary of a Civil Servant:

After the sixth pay commission, salaries for an IAS officer start at a basic pay of Rs 23,460 with a DA component of Rs 25,595. The highest salary drawn by a cabinet secretary is Rs 90,000 (basic ) pay and a DA of Rs 96,300. Other perks include medical benefits, rent-free accommodation or accommodation at very low rents, cars, free electricity and telephones bills.

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