Civil Services - The Interview

The interview calls are sent in March-April of the following year and they take place in the month of April-May. The Board of interviewers look for a well-adjusted personality with the social traits, integrity and qualities of leadership . PS. The number of candidates called for the interview is  normally twice the number of vacancies.

BEWARE : The whole process of selection in the civil services takes a full year and when the application process is included it sums up to 18 months in all.


 PLEASE NOTE :The main exam score and the interview determines the placement in the final list. You have your say in the choice of service if you have secured a high position, otherwise accept what is offered if not take another attempt (4 attempts permitted) in the general category. Of course you have to start from the prelims all over again.

PS. the I.A.S.occupies the highest order of importance and is usually given first preference by the selected candidates. In recent years Income Tax, Customs etc also have become popular. IFS is not that sought after now.

5 tips for IAS aspirants
1. Be very particular about the subject you choose for prelims, as you will be appearing for an objective type of paper. History, maths, geography may prove to be very scoring. Choose subjects which have availability of books, reading material and guidance. In recent years engineering subjects like civil and electrical can be chosen, giving BEs and IITians an edge (yes! even here they are giving the BAs and BScs a tough fight!)

2. G.K. will definitely pay in your prelims. Reading newspapers, watching TV news and of course quiz shows like KBC is a must.

3. If you have been lucky enough to reach the interview stage book knowledge may not be the only thing you need. Your mental alertness will count as they ask you questions like “How many steps did you walk up to reach here?” or “ What is the colour of the wall behind you ?” - So be prepared.

4. Enhance your personality ‘coz it will definitely be one of the criteria for selection. For IPS physical wellbeing is of great importance, you should be medically fit.

5. Improve your communication skills. IFS aspirants must be proficient in at least one foreign language. So go ahead, have your say in this political mess of our country and try to make it a better place. Preparing for the UPSC Exam: There are numerous private coaching institutes and “study circles”. To guide and encourage IAS candidates in Maharashtra the govt has set up SIAC (State Institute for Administrative Careers), Hazarimal Somani marg (CST) Mumbai-1. Tel :2070942 (You must have Maharashtra domicile to get admission here)

Flash News: The government is contemplating a change in the UPSC selection format which is essentially the same since British times. But, don’t worry - that will definitely take a few years.

Tell me something about Civil Services Examination?

Civil Services Introduction A country as vast and thickly populated as India needs a well organised government machinery for proper governance. There are two facets to the administration of a country. One is security for which the country has its defence services and the other is the non-military part, which is taken care of by the Civil Services.

The origin of the IAS can be traced back to the year of India’s independence, 1947. The IAS operates at three levels -central, district and divisional. Work at the central level involves the framing and implementation of policies. The functions of the IAS at the district level encompass all district affairs with special emphasis on development. General administration and development work is the responsibility of the IAS at the divisional level. The post of an IAS officer carries a lot of responsibility. The work definition of an IAS officer would encompass framing, modifying and interpreting policy matters in consultation with the concerned Minister. Implementation of policies calls for supervision and also travelling to the places where the decisions taken are being implemented. Implementation entails disbursement of funds, which calls for personal supervision. The officers are answerable to the Parliament for any irregularities that may occur. At the top of the hierarchy of IAS officers is the Cabinet Secretary followed by Secretary/ Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Under Secretary and then the Junior Scale Officers. These posts are filled according to seniority.

The Indian Police Service (IPS) As the name suggests, the main responsibility of the IPS is public safety and security. The Indian Police Service is divided into various departments like the Crime Branch, the Criminal Investigation Department, Home Guards and the Traffic Bureau. The area of functioning for the IPS can be broadly divided into: maintenance of law and order, crime prevention and detection, traffic control and accident prevention and management. The IPS also has several policing agencies like the Intelligence Bureau, the Central Bureau of Investigation, Cabinet Secretariat Security, Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force. After the initial probation of two years, an IPS officer is given charge as an Additional Superintendent of Police of a district. This post is usually held for two years and then comes the next appointment, that of the Superintendent of Police and then the post of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG). The hierarchy in the IPS cadre is like this - the Director General of Police (DG) is the head of the entire Police force of a state. Special divisions of the Police force like the Border Security Force, the CBI, etc., have a Director General at the helm.

The Indian Forest Service (IFS) The maintenance of the natural resources of the country is very essential for a balanced all round development of the country. Maintenance of forests is so important for maintaining the ecological balance that the Indian Forest Service has been set up for this very purpose. The All India Forest Service came into being in 1966. The areas of functioning for the Indian Forest Service include protection and conservation of forests, wildlife and forest produce.

What does it take to opt for civil service?

Mental alertness; interest in a variety of subjects; good intellect in order to be able to tackle any subject or situation; an ability to sift, weigh and apply differing opinions from various people; leadership qualities; the ability to inspire others and to channelise available talent; tact and diplomacy; and, integrity. These are some personality traits that you should look for in yourself when you consciously make a decision to opt for civil service.
What is the Cadre System in civil services ?

The Civil Services has been divided into various grades to facilitate functioning. The grade determines the area of work. Junior scale officers work in the states that they are allotted to. Senior scale officers work as Under Secretaries in the State. Officers in the Junior Administrative Grade, which is reached after nine years of service, hold the position of a Deputy Secretary. When officers make it to the Selection Grade, which is reached after fourteen years of service they hold the position of Directors or Deputy Secretary. The next scale is known as the Super Time Scale or the Senior Administrative Grade and the officers in this grade hold the post of a Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary, Secretary or Cabinet Secretary. The Civil Services can be broadly classified as All India Services and Central Services.