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Getting into the civil services is a gruelling task. The motivation to succeed must be very strong indeed; for it is not an easy task by any measure to scale the stages of getting selected for the Civil Services Exam, popularly known as the IAS Exam. Despite the process being so stringent, people try hard and try many times to enter this coveted career. What draws people into this attempt? Is it the prestige, the idealism, the power, or the status it definitely brings? Perhaps, it’s a bit of all of this!

Each year, lakhs of aspirants apply for the exam, but only the best minds make it to the final merit list.

The online application process for 2017 has begun online and will end on March 17.

This year there will be approximately 980 vacancies across the country.

If you are planning to take the exam this year, here are some key points to remember:

  • Exam conducting Body: Union Public Service Examination (UPSC)
  • Month of Examination: June (Prelims), October (Mains)
  • Stages of the Exam: 3 (Preliminary examination + Mains examination + Interview)
  • Level of Complexity: Difficult

Exams

The Civil Services examination is held once a year in two distinct stages – Preliminary examination (popularly known as prelims) and Mains examination (comprising of written papers and an interview). The official announcement for the examination appears in the newspapers around the month of January-February. The application filing procedure begins, following which the eligible students appear for the Preliminary examination around May-June. The results of the preliminary examination is announced in July-August, and the mains examination is held around October-November.

Prelims

The written preliminary examination is scheduled for June 18, 2017. It consists of two objective type papers: General Studies Paper I and II.

  • Paper I syllabus pertaining to general awareness, is extremely vast in nature.
  • Paper II features Aptitude and is only qualifying in nature. It is popularly known as CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test), although not an official term.

There is also negative marking for every incorrect answer attempted for both Paper I and II.

  • Paper I (100 Questions, 200 marks)
  • Paper II( 80 Questions, 200 marks)

Mains

The Main examination consists of 9 descriptive papers. In addition to the written papers, an interview will also be conducted of the candidates who clear the written examination.

Paper A: Any Indian language as enlisted by UPSC (300 marks, Qualifying in nature)

Paper B: English (300 marks, Qualifying in nature)

Paper – I: Essay (250 marks, Compulsory )
Paper – II: General Studies I (250 marks, Compulsory)
Paper – III: General Studies II (250 marks, Compulsory)
Paper –IV: General Studies III(250 marks, Compulsory)
Paper – V: General Studies IV(250 marks, Compulsory)
Paper – VI: Optional Paper 1 (250 marks, Compulsory)
Paper – VII: Optional Paper 2(250 marks, Compulsory)

Career Prospects

Any candidate who makes it to any of the 20+ services under Civil Services will live a life of affluence and respect. Currently, the top three services under UPSC are Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service.

Besides fully furnished accommodation, the new recruits are also be provided with a vehicle, medical allowance, Internet allowance, fully paid trips around the nation and even fellowships to study abroad. The sooner you clear the exam, the higher your chances to reach to the topmost positions on the hierarchical ladder.

The highest ranked positions under the three services are as follows –

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS) – Cabinet Secretary
  • Indian Police Service (IPS) – Director, Intelligence Bureau
  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)- Foreign Secretary, India

How to Apply

Since the notification for 2017 has been issued recently, candidates are advised to apply as soon as possible in order to avoid any last minute confusion. The procedure for applying is simple. Register on the official site www.upsc.gov.in and fill in 2 registration forms – I and 2.

Once the registration is done, you will receive a registration number on your e-mail and via SMS. Save it for all future references.

The last date to apply for Civil Services exam is March 17, 2017.

Crucial Things You Need to Keep in Mind

The work of IAS officers mainly involves the formulation of well-structured policies, elaborately organising plans, proper management of resources as per requirements of various offices, and supervising the implementation of the revised plans and policies. So, being able to take fast, precise and unbiased decisions is an everyday job schedule for an IAS officer. Every decision taken by him has a direct impact on the political and socio-economic structure of our nation and affects the lifestyle of the average Indian population.

Although there is a considerable amount of work pressure, it is still less than a lot of the corporate sector jobs. Although difficult and challenging, the job satisfaction of an Indian Administrative Officer is much higher as their decisions have an impact on the country. The reputation and prestige of this glorious career option can reach the apogee and act as a major boost to one’s self-esteem.

The IAS officers, owing to their general responsibilities, must possess excellent communication skills and be able to interact with all kinds of people. They should be impartial when taking decisions, irrespective of the caste, creed, gender and the religion of the people they are dealing with.

The salary rockets up from approximately Rs. 50,000 per month in the first year of service to Rs. 2  lakhs after 24 years of service. The high job security, additional benefits for the kith and kin and lucrative salary makes the IAS a highly attractive career prospect for the Gen Y of our nation.

Want to know more about UPSC examinations? Click here.

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