How to become an IAS/IPS Officer: Civil Services Exam
CIVIL SERVICES EXAM
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the civil services exam every year. The Civil Services Exam holds the key for entry in to a number of prestigious jobs in the country including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS)
IAS, IFS and IPS are the top three services of Group A, Central Services. The other Group A services including Indian Customs and Central Excise Service, Indian Revenue Service and Indian Postal Service
Civil Services Exam consists of preliminary exam (prelims), main exam (mains), and interview. The prelims are usually held in May /June. Mains are held in October/November. The exam is notified in December. Application forms can be obtained from designated post offices around the country and the exams are held in major cities.
A candidate is allowed to make four attempts. However, candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste can make any number of attempts. Other Backward Class candidates are allowed seven attempts.
Nationality: For IAS and IPS, only Indian nationals are eligible. For other services, subjects of Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan refugees, (who arrived in India before January 1, 1962), and persons of Indian origin, who migrated from specified countries, are eligible.
Age limit: Between 21-30 years as on August 1 of the year of exam. Relaxation of age limit is available to SC candidates and a few other specified categories.
Education: A degree from a recognised University.
Prelims: You have to clear the prelims to qualify for the mains. You got to write two papers in prelims: General Studies, and a subject chosen by the candidate from a specified list of 23 subjects. Both papers are in objective type and are of two-hours duration each. Optional subjects include Civil Engineering, Commerce, Geography, Medical Science, and Indian History.
Mains: Marks in the written exams and the interview will determine your ranking. Based on your ranking and preference, you will be allotted one of the Services.
Mains comprise nine papers in all.
I.English (300 points)
II.Any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. (300 points)
III.Essay (200 points)
IV & V. General Studies (300 points for each)
VI-IX. Two papers each from the two optional subjects chosen by the candidate each paper 300 points.
The interview carries 300 points.
How to prepare:
General knowledge books and IAS guidebooks are available in plenty in the market. Besides, there are also magazines that provide tips to IAS/IPS aspirants. You may have to watch Indian and international news channels, and read newspapers/ magazines that deal with politics, economics, and business to keep abreast of current affairs.
It would be a good idea to enrol in a good institute for professional guidance. Many institutes offer IAS coaching classes. But before enrolling, make sure to check the credibility of the institute. Get information about the institutes and choose one that has consistently produced IAS toppers.
You may also want to get together some serious aspirants and form study circles. You could hold discussions, and debates on burning topics to sharpen your analytical skills, and learn to present your thoughts and ideas in a coherent manner.
While preparing for Mains, you need to practice writing your answers, so that you could learn to present your answers in a coherent manner.