Civil Services are positions directly associated with public service and are highly esteemed in India. The UPSC administers Civil Service Examinations to fill Central Government job vacancies, while each state’s PSC manages the recruitment for State Government job positions. The Civil Services Exam conducted by UPSC encompasses approximately 24 services annually, including IAS, IFS, IPS, and more.
Types of Civil Services in India
- Indian Administrative Service.
- Indian Foreign Service.
- Indian Police Service.
- Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’.
- Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’.
- Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration).
- Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
- Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
- Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
- Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ (Gr. III).
- Indian Corporate Law Service, Group “A”.
- Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade).
- Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group ‘B’.
- Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group ‘B’.
- Pondicherry Civil Service, Group ‘B’.
- Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’.
UPSC Civil Services Exam
While commonly referred to as the ‘IAS exam,’ the official title of the examination is the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE). Widely regarded as one of the toughest exams in India and globally, approximately 5 lakh candidates attempt this examination annually. The UPSC CSE comprises three phases: 1) Prelims, 2) Mains, and 3) Interview. The examination window spans a year, from June of one year to June of the next year when the results are declared.
UPSC Civil Services Exam Timeline
Here is a broad time frame during which UPSC plans significant events for the exam, including Indian Civil Service notifications and exam dates.
In India, State Public Service Commissions also organize civil service exams for state service recruitment. These State PSC Exams follow a similar pattern to the UPSC Civil Services Exam.
The entire Indian civil services examination process, from the preliminary examination notification to the final results declaration, typically spans about a year. Those selected candidates are then recruited and trained by the Central Government for various services, and they are allocated different State Cadres based on their preferences and rankings.
For state-specific civil service exam details, candidates can refer to the linked article on Public Service Commissions.
UPSC Civil Service Exam Posts
The civil services exam positions are divided into two groups: Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’.
Group ‘A’ services encompass three All India Services (IAS, IPS, and IFS) along with 18 additional services, as outlined in the table below.
|ALL INDIA SERVICES|
|(i) Indian Administrative Service (IAS)|
|(ii) Indian Forest Service (IFoS)|
|(iii) Indian Police Service (IPS)|
|GROUP ‘A’ SERVICES|
|(i) Indian Foreign Service (IFS)|
|(ii) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service|
|(iii) Indian Audit and Accounts Service|
|(iv) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)|
|(v) Indian Defence Accounts Service|
|(vi) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)|
|(vii) Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)|
|(viii) Indian Postal Service|
|(ix) Indian Civil Accounts Service|
|(x) Indian Railway Traffic Service|
|(xi) Indian Railway Accounts Service|
|(xii) Indian Railway Personnel Service|
|(xiii) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force|
|(xiv) Indian Defence Estates Service|
|(xv) Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)|
|(xvi) Indian Trade Service|
|(xvii) Indian Corporate Law Service|
|(xviii) Indian Revenue Service (CBEC)|
Group ‘B’ has five services under it.
|GROUP ‘B’ SERVICES|
|(i) Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer’s Grade)|
|(ii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service|
|(iii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service|
|(iv) Pondicherry Civil Service|
|(v) Pondicherry Police Service|
Civil Services Exam Qualification
Aspiring candidates aiming to take the Civil Services Exam must meet specific criteria related to nationality, age, and educational qualifications. The candidate’s age should range from 21 to 32 years, and they should hold a graduation degree from a recognized university in any discipline. Additionally, certain age relaxations apply, depending on the candidate’s category.
For a detailed overview of eligibility and the necessary qualifications for the Civil Services Exam, refer to the UPSC Eligibility Criteria in the linked article.
Civil Services Exam Pattern 2024
The UPSC IAS exam, also known as the Indian Civil Service Exam or UPSC Civils, consists of three stages:
1. Civil Services Exam (Preliminary) – Objective Type
2. Civil Services Exam (Main) – Descriptive Type
3. Personality Test / Interview
Civil Services Prelims Exam
The Prelims stage is the initial phase of the UPSC CSE process, serving as a screening test to identify candidates for the subsequent selection stages. It consists of two objective type papers, each carrying 200 marks. Only those who surpass the UPSC-declared cut-off for the specific year proceed to the next level. Notably, the marks obtained in Prelims do not contribute to the final merit list.
Civil Services Mains Exam
The Mains Exam marks the second stage in the Civil Services Selection Process. It consists of nine descriptive-type papers, including 1 Essay paper, 4 General Studies Papers, 2 Optional Papers (selected from the Civil Services Exam Optional Subjects), and 2 language papers (although the marks in language papers don’t contribute to the final ranking, candidates must achieve at least 25% in each paper to qualify).
|Paper A||One of the Indian languages (listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India) mentioned below to be selected by the candidate (Qualifying)||300|
|Paper B||English (Qualifying)||300|
|Paper II||General Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society)||250|
|Paper III||General Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and international relations)||250|
|Paper IV||General Studies III (Technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security and disaster management)||250|
|Paper V||General Studies IV (ethics, integrity and aptitude)||250|
|Papers VI, VII||Two papers on subjects to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects below (250 marks for each paper)||250|
|Sub Total (Written Test)||1750|
|Personality Test (Interview)||275|
Civil Services Interview
The interview is a one-on-one meeting where they check how much you can contribute to society. It’s worth 275 marks. Your final ranking is decided by combining your Mains marks (out of 1750) and Interview marks (out of 275). The list of ranks is then created based on a total of 2025 marks.
IAS INTERVIEW DATES:
- Notification for UPSC Civil Services Interview: December
- UPSC Civil Services Interview: February/March
Civil Services Interview FAQS
1. What are Civil Services in India?
Civil Services are prestigious positions associated with public service in India, administered by the UPSC for Central and State Government job vacancies.
2. How many types of Civil Services are there in India?
There are about 24 services under the UPSC Civil Services Exam, including IAS, IFS, IPS, and more.
3. What are the stages of the UPSC Civil Services Exam?
The exam comprises three phases: Prelims, Mains, and Interview, spanning from June to June the following year.
4. What are the eligibility criteria for the Civil Services Exam?
Candidates must be aged between 21 and 32, hold a graduation degree, and meet specific nationality requirements. Age relaxations apply based on category.
5. How is the UPSC Civil Services Exam ranked?
Final ranks are calculated by combining Mains (out of 1750) and Interview marks (out of 275), creating a total of 2025 marks for ranking.