What is Indian Administrative Service (IAS) ?
IAS Indian Administrative Service, IPS Indian Police services, IRS Indian Revenue Services, IFS Indian Forest services . They are one of the most prestigious exams in nations, which UPSC conducts. Civil Services Examination (CSE) for selecting the candidates. An officer selected into the Indian Administrative Service gets exposure in very diverse roles like the collector, commissioner, head of public sector units, chief secretary, cabinet secretary etc. Not only the experience and challenges but also the scope of making positive changes in the life of millions in India makes IAS a unique career choice.
How to become an IAS officer?
Even though the exam to be undertaken is popularly known as IAS exam, it is officially called UPSC Civil Services Exam. The UPSC CSE consists of 3 stages – Prelims, Mains, and Interview. Getting into Indian Administrative Service is not easy considering the competition involved, but not impossible for a candidate with right attitude and approach. Interesting read: Salary of an Indian Administrative Service officer.
Civil Services Examination (CSE)
UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is the government agency responsible for selecting the right candidates for this service. Every year only around 1000 candidates are selected for all the 24 services combined. The number of candidates who applied for UPSC Civil Service Exam was about 9 lakh in 2016, out of which around 4.5 lakh candidates appeared on the exam day.
This exam is widely considered as the toughest exam in the world, considering the exam duration (extends 1 year), depth of the syllabus and the competition involved. The first stage of the exam – Preliminary (objective) – is usually conducted around June, while the second stage, Mains (written), is conducted around October. Those who clear Mains will have to face interview/personality test during the March-May period. The final result usually comes in June.
Cracking the Services Exam?
Civil services aspirants must focus on a a long-term strategy. Though most of the serious candidates start preparation 9-12 months before the exam date, there are candidates who successfully achieve top ranks with only a few months of dedicated study. So what matters is not the duration of the preparation, but the quality of the same.
A disciplined and focused mind with a passion for learning and reading is the basic trait of all successful candidates. The UPSC Civil Services exam is more a test of the analytic and presentation skills along with knowledge gained by the candidate rather than a test which checks candidate’s mathematical or verbal skills. Two essential things required .
- Right guidance – for prelims and mains.
- Right study materials and books.
IAS Exam Eligibility Criteria
The educational qualification needed to appear in UPSC CSE is a degree (graduation) in any subject. Final year students can also apply. Aspirants may go through the article to the eligibility criteria for writing UPSC CSE exam.
IAS Exam Number of attempts permitted
The number of attempts permissible for a general category candidate in UPSC CSE is 6. For OBC candidates the number of attempts permitted it 9. SC/ST category candidates will have unlimited attempts till they attain the upper age limit to appear for UPSC CSE.
IAS Exam Age Limits
The minimum age to appear for UPSC Civil Services Exam is 21 years. Upper age limit for General category is 32 years, for OBC it is 35 years while for SC/ST it is 37 years.
A good understanding of UPSC syllabus and exam pattern is the first step for all freshers. The Civil Services Preliminary exam comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II). The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type. The marks in prelims will not be counted for final ranking, but just for qualification for the main exam.
A candidate’s rank in UPSC Civil Service Exam depends only on the mark scored in Main and Interview. The written examination (main) will consist of the following nine papers, but only 7 papers will be counted for final merit ranking. For the rest two papers, the candidate should secure minimum marks prescribed by UPSC each year. The main exam has 1750 marks while interview has 275 marks.