Civil Services For Undergraduates

Civil Services of India

The Civil Services refer to the civil services, the permanent executive branch of the Republic of India. The civil service system is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country.

In the parliamentary democracy of India, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the elected representatives of the people which are the ministers. But the handful of ministers cannot be expected to deal personally with the manifold problems of modern administration. Thus the ministers lay down the policy and it is for the civil servants to carry out this policy.

The executive decisions are implemented by the Indian civil servants. The members of civil service serve at the pleasure of the President of India and Article 311 of the constitution protects them from politically motivated or vindictive action. Civil servants are employees of the Government of India; however, not all employees of the Government are civil servants. Civil servants in a personal capacity are paid from the Civil List. Senior civil servants may be called to account by Parliament.

As of year 2010, there are total 6.4 million government employees in India, and less than 50,000 civil servants to administer them. The civil service system in India is rank-based and does not follow the tenets of the position-based civil services.

Values and codes

Code
The Government of India promotes values and a certain standard of ethics of requiring and facilitating every civil servant:
To discharge official duty with responsibility, honesty, accountability and without discrimination.
To ensure effective management, leadership development and personal growth.
To avoid misuse of official position or information.
To serve as instruments of good governance and foster social economic development.
Construction
The Civil Services of India can be classified into two types – the All India Services and the Central Civil Services (Group A and B). The recruits are university graduates (or above) selected through a rigorous system of examinations, called the Civil Services Examination (CSE) and the Engineering Services Examination (ESE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE) by the(SSC).

All India Civil Services (AIS)

All appointments to All India Civil Services are made by the President of India.
Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
Indian Forest Service (IFS)
Indian Police Service (IPS)

Civil Services Examination

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS).It is conducted in two phases – a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (general studies and aptitude test), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type followed by a personality test (interview)

Process

The Civil Services Examination is based on the British Raj – era Imperial Civil Service tests, as well as the civil service tests conducted by old Indian empires such as in the Mauryan Empire and Mughal Empire. The Civil Services Examination is considered to be one of the most difficult and competitive examinations in India. On average, 900,000 to 1,000,000 candidates apply every year and the number of candidates appearing to sit the preliminary examination is approximately 450,000. The examination consists of the following three stages:
Stage I: Preliminary examination – A qualifying test advertisied in May and held in August each year. Results are published in mid-October.
Stage II: Main examination – Held in December every year. Results are usually published in the second week of March.
Stage III: Personality Test (interview) – held in April/May each year. Final results are usually announced in May .
The training program for the selected candidates usually commences the following September.

Numbers of attempts

The number of times a candidate may attempt the exam is limited as follows:
General category candidates = 6
OBC category candidates = 9
SC/ST candidates = unlimited attempts till 37 years of age
Appearing to attempt one of the papers in the preliminary examination is counted as an attempt, including disqualification/ cancellation of candidature. However, applying to sit the exam but failing to attend is not counted as an attempt.

Interview

Officially called the “Personality Test”, the objective 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 evaluate the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only a candidate’s intellectual qualities, but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination, but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation that is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The interview is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidate, which has been already tested through 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 all well-educated youth.

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