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About UPSC – Civil Services Examination

 

IAS / IPS is a dream career of many students but they think that this career is to be choosen after graduation. It is true that eligibility criteria for Civil Services Examination is graduation, but preparation for that exam is ideally to be started early along-with school / college. Here, all important and relevant information, in question-answer form, is provided in simple and systematic manner, for the benefits of 10th 11th and 12th appeared students and their parents.

The idea of choosing career in Civil Services i.e. IAS / IPS / IRS etc. is dropped by many students for one or the other following reasons;

  • It is very tough exam.
  • I am an average student, it is not my cup of tea.
  • I am from science background, how can I do it?
  • There is no one to guide me.
  • I have no interest in politics.
  • I am a girl, is it safe for me to join Civil Services?

These excuses are myths due to lack of knowledge and information. Before going to the exam pattern, syllabus etc. let us discuss and clear the myths.

 

Is UPSC – CSE very tough?

Is it possible for an average student to qualify UPSC – CSE?

 

Your ‘I Can’ attitude is more important than your IQ. Albert Einstein was considered as an average student, but don’t we all know that he was a genius? For you to qualify this examination all that you need is: Interest, Sincerity, Strategy, Dedication and Proper Guidance. Civil Services Examination is easy to qualify provided a candidate properly understands what UPSC is intending to assess through the examinations. It is pertinent to note that UPSC will test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions asked in the examination are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues and ability to analyse and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. Civil Services Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. So the candidates, even scholars and toppers of school and college are required to abandon the habit of memorizing or acquiring bookish knowledge. If one understand these facts and follow the guidance of experts in this field, the study of Civil Services Examination becomes not only easy but enjoyable.

 

Can a student from science background study and qualify this exam?

A student graduated from UGC (University Grant Commission) recognized university, irrespective of stream is eligible for Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by UPSC. Anyway, your stream of graduation does not matter, as for CSE students are required to start preparation from NCERT books (i.e. text books of CBSE Delhi Board) of Std. VI onwards. Hence it is clear that a graduate preparing for highest exam of the country study school level text books from Std. VI onwards. Hence it is clear that stream of college education makes no difference while preparing for the exam as you start from basic.

 

Is there proper guidance available?

In order to get through this toughest exam of India, one needs a proper strategy and proper and genuine guidance. We, at A A Shah’s Young IAS, with our vast experience, provide that genuine guidance and training to sincere and dedicated candidates. Our faculties are experts to inculcate the required knowledge and understanding of subjects co-relating with the updated current issues.

 

A student having zero knowledge and INTEREST in politics can study for UPSC CSE? 

Yes with proper guidance, time management, dedication one can start preparation for this examination and even qualify it.

Now let us see why and how one should start preparation for UPSC Civil Services Exams as early as after 10th (SSC) board exams.

 

I am a girl, is it safe for me to join Civil Services?

Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply”. This declaration is prominently displayed by UPSC in each year’s notification, thereby emphesising and assuring safe and secured work condition for women.

 

Isn’t it early to start preparation for UPSC – Civil Services Examination after 10th (SSC)?

It is the perfect time to prepare for UPSC Civil Service Examination. You have 5 years to be utilized qualitatively for your preparation, as you appear for the exam only after your graduation. Hence after 10th you can start preparation for this examination very systematically and smartly by managing your time accordingly, given that you are dedicated towards your preparation. So for such dedicated students A. A. Shah’s Young IAS conducts Pre-IAS Foundation Course.

 

What is Civil Services Examination?

The Civil Services Exam popularly known as IAS Exam is conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) every year. It is a combined exam to recruit officers into Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Audit and Accounts Services, Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) and several other GROUP A & GROUP B Central services.

All India Services officers i.e., IAS and IPS officers are given state cadres after the selection. The cadre controlling authority of IAS is Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances, Government of India. The IPS cadre is controlled by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Overall, the IAS officers as District Collectors play a major role in the administration of the country.

 

If I qualify Civil Services Exam, what post I may get?

 

LIST OF CIVIL SERVICES
FOR WHICH COMBINED EXAMINATION IS HELD

1Indian Administrative Service.13Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
2Indian Foreign Service.14Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
3Indian Police Service.15Post of Assistant Security Commissioner, in Railway Protection Force, Group 'A'
4Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’.16Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
5Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.17Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
6Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) Group 'A'18Indian Trade Service, Group "A" (GR.III)
7Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.19Indian Corporate Law Service, Group "A"
8Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’.20Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade)
9Indian Ordinance Factories Service, Group 'A' (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)21Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group ‘B’
10 Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.22Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadeep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group ‘B’
11Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.23Pondicherry Civil Service, Group 'B'
12Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.24Pondicherry Police Service, Group 'B'

 

What are the eligibility creiteria?

1. Nationality:Citizen of India.
(Subjects of Nepal, Bhutan & others are eligible for posts other than IAS, IPS)
For details refer notification)
2. Age limit:
GENERAL:21 to 32 years. (Age is calculated as on 1st August of the year of the examination)
O.B.C.:3 years relaxation (21 to 35 years)
(Non-creamy Layer)
SC/ST:5 years relaxation (21 to 37 years)
5 years relaxation
Ex-serviceman:(For conditions refer notification)

 

Minimum Educational Qualifications:

The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

(Note: Proof of passing requisite exam is required to be produced with Main Exam application form. Thus candidates who appeared for degree exam awaiting result are eligible)

Candidates, who passed M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination under proviso as per notification.

 

Physical Standard:

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Civil Services Examination as per guidelines given in Appendix-III of Rules for Examination published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary.

 

How many number of attempts are allowed?

How attempts are counted?

 

GENERAL:6 attempts
O.B.C.(Non-creamy Layer):9 attempts
SC/ST:Up to 37 years No limit
Physically Handicapped9 attempts
(General):

 

UPSC Civil Services Notification mentions that-

  • An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the Civil Services Examination.
  • If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he/she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the Examination.
  • Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.

Hence, if a candidate has filled up the application and appeared for any one paper also in the preliminary examination or has been marked present in the examination hall, then this will be counted as an attempt. But if the candidate has just filled up the exam application form and has not appeared for any paper in the prelims then it won’t be counted as an attempt.

 

What are the stages of Civil Services Examination?

Stages of Examination:

(1) Preliminary

(2) Main (Written)

(3) Main (Interview)

 

What is Preliminary (Prelims) Exam?

  • This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit.
  • The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • Candidates will be asked to exercise their option to either choose Civil Services or Indian Forest Service or both, as per their eligibility conditions.
  • Combined Prelim Examination, for Civil Services & Indian Forest Service, is generally held in the month of June every year.

 

What is the syllabus of Preliminary (Prelims) Exam?

 

I.   Preliminary Examination: Each paper of 200 marks – Two Hours duration

 

General Studies Paper-I (GS)General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
• Current events of national and international importance.
• History of India and Indian national movement.
• Indian and World Geography- physical, social, economic geography of India and the world.
• Indian Polity and governance – constitution, political system, Panchayatraj, public policy, Rights issues, etc.
• Economic and social development – sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives etc.
• General issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity and climate change-that do not require subject specialization.
• General science.
(Qualifying Paper with 33%)
• Comprehension.
• Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
• Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
• Decision making and problem solving.
• General mental ability
• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc. (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. –Class X level).
• English language comprehension skills (Class X level).

 

What is the PRELIMINARY Examination pattern?

 

  1. The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers (General Studies Paper-I & paper-II) of Objective type (multiple choice questions) of 200 marks each. The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%. It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation.
  2. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination.
  3. The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper- II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper-I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission.
  4. There will be negative marking for incorrect answers (as detailed below) for all questions except some of the questions where the negative-marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions.
  5. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

 

What is Mains (Written) Exam?

 

  • Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.
  • Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and Posts.
  • Civil Services Mains (Written Examination), is generally held in the month of September / October every year.

 

What is the syllabus of Mains Written Exam?

 

 

What is Optional Subject?

Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from amongst the list given below:

 

 

What is the Mains (Written) Examination pattern?

 

  1. The Mains Examination is held for those candidates who qualify the Prelims.
  2. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type, out of which two papers will be of qualifying in nature. Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (Paper-I to Paper-VlI) and Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking.
  3. Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Mains Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about three times the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).
  4. Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various services keeping in view their ranks in the Examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.
  5. The mains Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
  6. The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio- economic goals, objectives and demands.
  7. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.
  8. The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honors degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree.
  9. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination.
  10. The question papers of the Mains Examination will be of conventional (essay) type.
  11. Evaluation of the papers, namely,Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 30% marks in Indian Language and 25% marks in English as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers.
  12. Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper-I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.
  13. If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.
  14. Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.
  15. Credit will be given for orderly, effective, and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.

What is Mains (Interview) – Personality Test?

  • Candidates, who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for interview for a Personality Test.
  • Candidates who are selected in the Mains Written Examination will be eligible to appear before the Interview Board at New Delhi. It is usually held by the UPSC in February / March.
  1. The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Mains Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. (Ranking is based on score out of 2025 Marks). Candidates will be allotted to the various services keeping in view their ranks in the Examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.
  2. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about three times the number of vacancies to be filled.
  3. The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. The candidates will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
  4. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers.

The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs.

  1. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
  2. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross‐examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
  3. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.

 

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Prospectus: UPSC – For Jr/Sr College Students