What is Civil Services Exam?

Indian Civil Service (ICS) was formerly known as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS) is the Civil Services Examination and one of the toughest competitive exams in India. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment of officers for the All India Administrative Civil Service.

Founded:

  • 1858 (as Imperial Civil Service)
  • January 26, 1950 (as Indian Administrative Service)

The Indian Administrative Service is the premier administrative civil service of the Government of India. Hierarchy-wise, IAS is the highest administrative post among the 24 services like IPS, IFS etc. Popularly known as the IAS exam, officially it is called as Civil Services Examination (CSE), which is conducted every year by the central recruiting agency, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

IAS is the permanent bureaucracy in India and forms a part of the executive branch. It is one of the three All India Services, its cadre can be employed by both the Union Government, the State Governments and public-sector undertakings. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has been termed as one of the prestigious services among the 24 government services like IPS, IFS (Foreign), IFS (Forest), IP & TAFS, IAAS, IRS, IDAS, CMSE, IRTS, IRAS, IRPS, ITS, CAPF-AF to name a few.

All these examinations are conducted by UPSC in the form of Civil Services Examination (CSE) for selecting the appropriate candidates for the jobs. Every year lakhs of candidates appear for this examination, testing their lucks and hard work to get through one of these prestigious posts.

Role & Responsibilities:

  • IAS
  • IPS
  • IFS
  • IRS
  • IAAS
  • IP&TAFS
  • IDAS
  • IRTS
  • IRPS
  • IRAS
  • ITS

An IAS officer is given administrative command of an entire district as a District Collector. IAS officers also represent the Government of India at the international level in bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The role of IAS officers is very venerable, demands a great deal of responsibility and reverence. It is also important that an officer is physically and mentally fit and healthy to handle the work pressure without giving in. The following are the roles and responsibilities that an IAS officer is deputed:

  • Handling affairs of government that involve framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the concerned Minister
  • Implementing policies through supervision and also traveling to the places where the approved policies will be implemented
  • Implementing policies comprises disbursement of funds through personal supervision
  • Answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures for any violation of rules while on duty
  • Functions and responsibilities differ at different levels of career.
  • Initially, IAS officers join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, resuming their services as sub-divisional magistrates, and look after law and order, general administration and development work in the area assigned to them
  • The post of the District Officer also known as District Magistrate, District Collector or Deputy Commissioner is the highly respected and responsible post the IAS officers enjoy
  • At the district level, an IAS officer deals with district affairs, including implementation of developmental programs
  • The officers may also be appointed in the State Secretariat or they may serve as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings
  • They may serve in different positions from the State to the Centre and vice versa. This happens through deputation.
  • At the Centre, IAS officers serve at the highest position as the Cabinet Secretaries, Secretaries/Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Secretaries and Under Secretaries. They are appointed to these posts based on seniority.
  • At the Centre, the IAS officers play a key role in formulation and implementation of policies related to a particular area; for instance, finance, commerce, etc.
  • During formulation of a policy and decision making, IAS officers serving at different levels i.e. joint secretary, deputy secretary give their valuable inputs
  • The policy takes its final shape through a final decision the minister concerned or the cabinet, depending on the seriousness of the situation

IPS Officer

An IPS (Indian Police Service) officer carries out his/her responsibilities by

  • An IPS (Indian Police Service) officer carries out his/her responsibilities by safeguarding public
  • IPS Officer serves for the state & central as well. Their primary duty is to maintain peace among public
  • The IPS gives more importance to law and order, which, at the district level, is a collective responsibility of IPS and IAS officers; detecting and preventing crime; and traffic control, preventing drug, accident prevention, and management etc.
  • Their main role is to lead and commanding the Indian Intelligence Agencies like Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Criminal Investigation Department (CID) etc., Indian Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, Civil and Armed Police Forces in all the states and union territories

Branches in IPS

In order to fulfil these functions efficiently, responsibly and systematically, the IPS service is divided into various functional departments such as Crime Branch, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Home Guards, Traffic Bureau.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • To fulfill duties based on border responsibilities, in the areas of maintenance of public peace and order, crime prevention, investigation, and finding, collecting of intelligence reports, taking care of VIP security, counter-terrorism, border patroling, railway policing, working towards preventing smuggling, drug trafficking, economic offences, corruption, playing a key role in disaster management, enforcement of socio-economic legislation, bio-diversity and defending of environmental laws etc.
  • Exchanging information with the Indian Intelligence Agencies like R&AW, IB, CID, CBI
  • Leading the Central Armed Police Force (CRPF) and being in touch with them on a regular basis
  • Interact and coordinate with the Indian Revenue services (IRS), Indian Armed forces, primarily with the Indian Army
  • Serve the people of the country with full integrity, honesty and wholehearted dedication

What is Indian Foreign Service?

The Indian Foreign Service is the administrative diplomatic civil service under Group A and Group B. It is one of the Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the Government of India.

IFS members

The members of the IFS represent the country in the international territory. The IFS is unlike other civil services as it deals with the country's external affairs like diplomacy, trade and cultural relations.

Why have an IFS?

The IFS is responsible for framing the Government's foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad.

Roles and Responsibilities

IFS officers deal with diplomacy, trade and cultural relations of the country

Responsibilities:

  • Representing India in its embassies, high commissions, consulates and multilateral organizations
  • Protecting India’s national interests in the country where the officer is posted
  • Improving and promoting friendship between India and the country that the officer is posted in
  • Including non-resident Indians or persons of Indian origin
  • Informing about the developments in the foreign country that could affect India's policy
  • The role of an IFS officer is a very promising and a challenging one.
  • To represent India on international forums and platforms and in the countries they are appointed, An IFS officer is thus a very important thread for India who plays vital role in shaping Indian foreign policy and building all diplomatic and economic ties with countries
  • To handle and manage all diplomatic relations between India and of the country they are appointed
  • To create, co-create and maintain economic cooperation between India and other countries
  • To constantly keep updating Indian MEA office, about recent developments

Indian Revenue Service (IRS)

It is a civil services competitive exam in India conducted by UPSC for recruitment to Revenue Department. The Indian Revenue Service (IRS), is the administrative revenue service of the Government of India. It is one of the Group A services.

IRS is a Central Civil Service that functions under the Department of Revenue in the Union Ministry of Finance and is concerned with the collection and management of the various direct and indirect taxes,  accruing the same to the Union Government.

IRS comprises two branches:

  1. IRS (Income Tax)
  2. IRS (Customs and Central Excise).

The work culture and work profile

  • Mainly attached to the Income Tax and Customs Departments but are also deputed to many other agencies and departments
  • Advising on tax policy matters by playing a significant role in framing or amending of statutes and frames regulations in relation to taxes
  • They also participate and negotiate treaties on behalf of the Government of India in the fiscal matters in both bilateral or multilateral forums such as OECD and Global Form on Transparency in Tax Matters.[need quotation to verify
  • Newly created Directorate of Criminal Investigation under the Central Board of Direct Taxes collects and coordinates the intelligence gathering actions of the department and prosecutes tax offenders

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers act as the guardians of the Economic borders. They are appointed to law enforcement and intelligence organisations like the Central Bureau of Investigation, Research and Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau etc.
  • Responsibilities in the Income Tax and Customs Departments - IRS officers are charged with profound responsibilities of identifying the tax evasions. They hold statutory powers to search for and seize illegally accumulated wealth and arrest the culprits to prevent further evasions
  • Indian Revenue Service officers have been playing a significant role in probing and exposing of many scams in the country
  • IRS officers perform all important border postings and protect the country from smuggling and safeguard its economic borders. They undertake patrolling missions in high seas and preventive operations against piracy and smuggling
The service scope of the IRS officers is not limited to their country. They also render their services at various consulates and embassies as diplomats and international organisations like World Bank, OECD and IMF
 

What is IAAS Exam?

Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS) is a Group A civil services of the Government of India. The IAAS is a central government service, under the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and is free of control from any executive authority.

The main responsibility of the IAAS is to audit the accounts of the Union and State governments and public sector organisation and to maintain the accounts for State governments.

IA&AS is responsible for auditing the accounts of the Union and State governments and public sector organizations, and for maintaining the accounts of State governments. Its role is somewhat similar to the US GAO and National Audit Office (United Kingdom).

Once recruited to the IA&AS, the directly recruited officers are trained mainly at the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The role of IA&AS officers is very venerable, demands a great deal of responsibility and reverence. It is also important that an officer is physically and mentally fit and healthy to handle the work pressure without giving in. The following are the roles and responsibilities that an IA&AS officer is deputed:

  • IA&AS is responsible for auditing the accounts of the Union and State governments and public sector organizations
  • Maintaining the accounts of State governments
  • Its role is somewhat similar to the US GAO and National Audit Office (United Kingdom)
     

What is IPTAFS Exam?

The Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) is civil service or a competitive exam in India conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) India.

The exam is held for the recruitment of Department of Telecom & Department of Posts in India. The Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service is a Group "A" Central Civil Services of the Union of India.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The roles and responsibilty of the Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance

  • Assessment and Collection of License fee and Spectrum usage charges paid by Telecom Licencers
  • Spectrum Auction of 2G, 3G and 4G
  • Policy making in Department of Telecommunications and Department of Posts
  • Financial Management of Department of Posts and Department of Telecommunications
  • Internal Audit of Department of Telecommunications and Department of Posts
  • Designated Monitoring Authority of Bharat Net Project (backbone of Digital India)
  • Accounting of Department of Posts and Department of Telecommunications
  • Pension Management of DoT, DoP, BSNL and MTNL
  • Human Resource Development and Capacity Building of IP&TAFS, Gr.’A”
     

What is IDAS Exam?

The Indian Defence Accounts Service [IDAS] is a group "A" gazetted central civil service of the government of India. It is the oldest department under the government of India.

The cadre controlling authority is the Ministry of Defense.

The IDAS officers are responsible for maintaining the complete accounts of the Defence Services.

The officers of the Indian Defence Accounts Service manage the biggest budget allocation in the govt of India, i.e., the budget of the defense forces.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • To provide financial advice, payment, and internal auditing and accounting functions for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories, Canteen Stores Department, Border Road Organisation and other allied organisations.
     

What is IRTS Exam?

The Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) is civil service or a competitive exam in India conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) India. The exam is held for the recruitment of Department of Indian Railways.

The Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) is an organized Group 'A' service of the Government of India. The central service is responsible for managing the Transportation Operations and Commercial wings - of the Indian Railways.

Traffic Department comprises two branches -

  1. Operations
  2. Commercial

Responsibilities

  • ensure smooth and fast transportation of freight and passengers
  • ensure optimum utilization of assets maximizing output with least inputs
  • coordinating with the service departments by looking after various assets of railways like track, wagons, engines, signals
  • combines the outputs of the various departments maintaining the assets - rolling stock and fixed infrastructure to produce a service output - passenger or freight
     

What is IRPS Exam?

Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) is a Group-A Central Service of the Government of India and the youngest of all the Group 'A' Organized Services on Indian Railways.

It was constituted in 1976 and the first direct recruitment through the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC was in 1980. The officers of this service are responsible for managing the Human Resources of the Indian Railways.

The recruitment to the cadre is done through the Civil Services Examination.

IRPS officers man the Establishment Directorate and the Personnel department of the Ministry of Railways, at Zonal railway and divisional levels including the railway production units and workshops.

 

Roles and Responsibilities:

IRPS is a unique service as it is the only one in the 'Group A' services that cater exclusively for the human resources in the Indian Railways. 

Roles:

  • Personnel management
  • Industrial relations
  • Legal and court matter

Responsibilities :

  • Manpower Planning
  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Promotions
  • Seniority
  • Reservation
  • Transfer & Posting
  • Payments, Salary & Wages
  • Final Settlement
  • Maintenance of cordial Industrial Relations
  • Workers' participation in Management
  • All Welfare Activities
  • Grievance Redressal
  • Legal & Court Cases Work
  • Implementation of Labour Laws
  • Hours of Employment Regulations (HOER)

Also,

  • Dealing with provisions of various laws and acts such as Industrial dispute Act, Factory Act, Workman Compensation Act, Payment of Wages, Minimum Wages and their implementation in the railways is another responsibility. The interpretation of rules and orders is also done in this branch
  • All matters concerning the welfare of the staff such as provision of residential accommodation, canteens, holiday homes, consumer societies, schools, clubs, institutes, hospitals etc. also comes within its purview. Railway is one of the model employers with a large number of welfare measures being implemented to look after the staff and their families
  • Personnel officer is also the welfare officer in the railways
  • Being responsible for the service, as well as personal issues of the employees, the personnel department works in close coordination with all other departments in the railways by functioning as consultant and adviser

What is IRAS Exam? The Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) is a Civil Service or competitive exam in India, conducted by Union Public Service Commission. The exam is held for the recruitment of Indian Railway Accounts Service in India. The Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)  is a Group 'A' Central Service of the Government of India. The officers of this service are responsible for the Accounts and Finance Management of the Indian Railways. The recruitment to the cadre is done through the Civil Services Examination which is conducted by Union Public Service Commission of India every year.

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles:

  • IRAS officers will be handling the Accounts and Finance department of the Indian Railways
  • They will also be rendering financial advice to the executive

Responsibilities:

  • Introduction of modern financial management techniques
  • Exchequer control
  • Restructuring of budget and accounts system
  • Traffic costing
  • Implementing incentive schemes in workshops 

What is ITS Exam?

Indian Trade Service (ITS) is a group A civil service, which was created in 1965. It was created as a specialised cadre to handle India's international trade & commerce. The ITS is controlled by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce.

The Department is functionally organized into the following nine Divisions:

  • International Trade Policy Division
  • Foreign Trade Territorial Division
  • Export Products Division
  • Export Industries Division
  • Export Services Division
  • Economic Division
  • Administration & General Service Division
  • Finance Division
  • Supply Division

Roles and Responsibilities

The following are the responsibilities aka designation that are assigned to ITS officers:

  • Assistant Director General of Foreign Trade
  • Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade
  • Joint Director General of Foreign Trade / Director (Foreign Trade)
  • Additional Director General of Foreign Trade / Development Commissioner (SEZ)

Important Information:

ExamCivil Services Examination
Exam levelNational
Organising bodyUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam type Pen and paper-based (offline)
Number of services 24
Number of attempts 6 attempts
Number of Vacancies Approximately 900
Admit card online
Expected registrationsMore than 8 lakh

Important Dates (2020): Number Of Vacancies

Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification 12-Feb-20
IAS online application formFebruary 12 to March 3, 2020
IAS Preliminary admit card 2nd week of May 
IAS exam date 31-May-20
IAS Preliminary result July 
IAS Main exam date September 18, 2020 (5 days)
IAS Main exam result Dec-20
IAS personality test/ interview February/March 2021
IAS final result Apr-21
  
VACANCIES: 
  
Total number of vacancies 796 (including 24 reserved vacancies)
Total reserved vacancies 24
Blindness and low vision3
Deaf and hard of hearing9
Locomotor disability8
Multiple disabilities4

Application Procedure

IAS Online Application Form 2020 Steps :

  1. Visit the official site of UPSC – www.upsc.gov.in 
  2. Go to ''Apply Online'' tab. 
  3. Click on ''Online Application for Various Examinations'' 
  4. Find the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 
  5. Start IAS registration with Part-I. 
  6. Fill-up the personal details, educational qualification and address. 
  7. Pay the prescribed application fee (Rs 100)
  8. Choose the exam centre 
  9. Upload the photo, sign and photo identity card. 
  10. Accept the declaration. 
  11. Check the complete details and submit. 
  12. Take a printout of IAS application form for future reference. 

MAINS SCHEDULE"

The Commission conducts the Main Examination for a total of five days in the month of September. Candidates are advised to explore the Civil Services Main Exam dates 2020. 

DateForenoon SessionAfternoon Session
(9.00 AM to 12.00 Noon)(2.00 PM to 5.00 PM)
18-Sep-20Paper-INo Paper 
(Friday) Essay
19-Sep-20Paper-IIPaper-III
(Saturday) General Studies‐IGeneral Studies‐II
20-Sep-20Paper-IVPaper-V
(Sunday)General Studies‐IIIGeneral Studies‐IV
26-Sep-20Paper‐APaper‐B
(Saturday) Indian LanguageEnglish 
27-Sep-20Paper‐VIPaper‐VII
(Sunday) Optional Paper-IOptional Paper-II