(BLOG) IFS now a poor 3rd choice: TOI Study

(BLOG) IFS now a poor 3rd choice: TOI Study NEW DELHI: It comes as no great surprise that in the all-India civil services examination, the majority of candidates treat the IAS as their first preference. The IAS had displaced the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) from it’s top position quite a long time ago. However, what might come as a surprise to many is that in the last three to four years, the IFS seems to have slipped further to third position with the IPS moving up to take second place. In the 2005 batch, of the 425 selected candidates, 398 indicated IAS as their first preference, a mere 18 chose IFS and just nine chose IPS. But when it came to second preference, 200 candidates had marked IPS as their choice, while only 155 had marked IFS as their second choice. While IPS and IFS might be neck and neck, at present, IPS definitely seems to be edging out IFS and making it to second place, if only by a slim margin. In fourth place is the Indian Revenue Service, with over 300 candidates indicating this as their fourth choice over Indian Post and Telegraph Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS), Indian Audits and Accounts Service (IA&AS), IC&CES and Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS). According to information obtained under the RTI Act through inspection of DoPT records, a similar trend is reflected in the earlier years too, with respect to the first three services. In 2002, of those eligible for IAS, only four chose IFS and one chose IPS over IAS. In 2003, out of the first 56 ranks, only five preferred IFS over IAS. And in 2004, out of the first 66 ranks, only 8 chose IFS over IAS, establishing the clear preference for the administrative service over the foreign service. Interestingly in all the years from 2002 till 2004, there were a large number of candidates who chose the police service over foreign service. A closer look at the records shows that especially in the reserved category, OBC, SC and ST, there is a marked preference for the police service over foreign service, with very few people marking IFS as their second choice next to IAS. This greater affinity for the police service could be because it is perceived to have greater clout in the country than IFS. Then again, it could also be because the candidates realise that there are fewer seats for IFS in their categories. For instance, in 2002, there were no vacancies in IFS for either SC or ST categories and only five vacancies each in the general and the OBC categories as compared to 26 vacancies and 16 vacancies in the IPS in the same years for the two categories. Similarly in 2003 there were no vacancies for ST in IFS and only four vacancies for SC in IFS. Among group ‘A’ services - apart from the top five services — the most preferred, going by the record of the 2005 batch, is the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) followed by other railway services like Indian Railway Account Service (IRAS) and Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS). In the case of group ‘B’ services, a look at the 2005 batch shows that there is a clear preference for Delhi Andaman Nicobar Civil Service (DANIC) followed by Delhi Andaman Nicobar Police Service (DANIP) and then the Armed Forces Headquarter (AFHQ) service. AFHQ is among the least preferred service among all the all-India services for which the exam was conducted in 2005. Courtesy: TIMES OF INDIA