Once educated, the youth start focusing on getting employed. But the more successful ones are those who make a choice beforehand and prepare themselves from long before. Some take to entrepreneurship and the service sector, while others opt for Civil Services or Defence Services. The choice is yours to make and then to take that decision with sincerity.

If Civil Services are chosen as a career, it is always better to decide on the subjects to be studied way ahead of time. Or if late, at least by the 11th standard. You don’t need a fancy degree for it, but fire, passion and ambition, you definitely do.

There are youngsters who opt for Defence Services because it goes hand in hand with patriotism and prestige. You may choose from one – Army, Air Force and Navy. To get recruited, you need to get ready for exhaustive preparations. But that’s not all. Personalities need grooming. Bad news for those with tattoos, long hair or any other non-conventional personality marks, they’ll have to go. Unless of course, it is a cultural necessity.

The Union Public Service of India (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examinations and Defence Services Examinations along with a few others.

Those desirous of appearing for the Civil Services exams have to undergo a Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) in the first instance. The exam consists of two compulsory papers, each of 200 marks that needs to be completed in a time span of two hours flat. The question paper broadly carries two types of questions – Objective type and Multiple type.

After this, the aspirants for Civil Services are expected to appear for Preliminary and Main Examinations. The Preliminary exam, that most call prelims, will be the factor that shortlists the candidates who will appear for the Mains.

The Prelims consists of objective type questions. Whether you’d prefer to appear the paper in Hindi or English is up to you. After that, your answers will be screened. That’s when you know if you can sit for the Mains. Fingers Crossed.

The written examination and interview are conducted with the Mains. The Civil Services Prelims are notified every year. Make sure all your senses are awake on May 17th this year, 2014. You’ll be notified then. From then on, you’ll have till June 16th 2014 to put everything in place and apply. After that, you’ll have to sit for the exams on August 24th 2014. A hectic summer for all those who aspire to be in these top-notch jobs. Of course, those willing to appear have to complete all the formalities required before exam time.

Here’s a little more on dates and exam criteria. Your Civil Services Examination would be held from the December 14th, 2014 onwards. Here you’ll have to detail out an application form for submission.

You’ll have to be 21 to 30 years old as on August 1st of the year in which you’d like to appear. So in case, if this is the year that you choose for a Civil Service Examination, you’ll need to be within the age bracket by August 1st, 2014.

You can sit for the exam only a given number of times. The General Category candidate can appear four times, OBC and Physically Handicapped can attempt the exam up to seven times. While the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidate can attempt any number of times subject to the age limit prescribed for them. In addition to the above, the Union Government has announced that it will allow two additional attempts to all the categories conducted by UPSC, for Civil Service Examination 2014, this February.

Let’s look back at the data related to the exams in the past. You’ll get an idea about its selection: which includes reserved posts for various categories with a number of candidates kept on the consolidated reserve list.

In 2009, a total number of 875 candidates were recommended for appointment including 399 in the General category (including 21 Physically Challenged candidates), 273 Other Backward Classes (including 9 Physically Challenged candidates), 127 Scheduled Castes and 76 Scheduled Tribes candidates. In 2009, appointments to the various services were made according to the number of vacancies available with due consideration to the provisions contained in Rules 2 and 19 of the Rules of the Examination and subject to the final decision of the Supreme Court / High Court/ C.A.T. on the S.L.Ps. / R.As / W.Ps. O.As. pending therein. The number of vacancies reported by the Government for the Indian Administrative Service was 131 (66 General, 38 Other Backward Classes, 18 Scheduled Castes and 09 Scheduled Tribes); for the Indian Foreign Service was 30 (15 General, 10 Other Backward Classes, 01 Scheduled Castes and 04 Scheduled Tribe); for the Indian Police Service was 150 (77 General, 39 Other Backward Classes, 21 Scheduled Castes and 13 Scheduled Tribes); for the Central Services Group ‘ A ‘ it was 582 (298 General, 159 Other Backward Classes, 81 Scheduled Castes and 44 Scheduled Tribes) and for Central Services Group ‘B’, it was 96 (57 General, 27 Other Backward Classes, 06 Scheduled Castes and 06 Scheduled Tribes). This included 30 vacancies for Physically Challenged candidates. The candidature of 43 candidates was provisional to begin with.

In the year 2010 a total number of 920 candidates were recommended for appointment including 428 General (including 19 Physically Challenged candidates), 270 Other Backward Classes (including 8 Physically Challenged candidates), 148 Scheduled Castes (including 1 Physically Challenged candidate) and 74 Scheduled Tribes candidates.

After the written examination held in October and November 2011 and interview for personality test in March-April 2012, a total number of 910 candidates were recommended for appointment to IAS, IFS, IPS and Central Services group ‘A’ & ‘B’.

The list of selected candidates included 420 General (including 21 Physically Challenged candidates), 255 Other Backward Classes (including 8 Physically Challenged candidates), 157 Scheduled Castes (including 4 Physically Challenged candidate) and 78 Scheduled Tribes candidates.

Appointments to the various services made according to the number of vacancies available with due consideration to the provisions contained in the Rules of the Examination and subject to the final decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court / Hon’ble High Courts / Hon’ble C.A.Ts. on the S.L.Ps / R.As / W.Ps. / O.As. pending therein then. Hopefully the information has helped you understand a little more.

If you do get through all the exams and are selected for IAS or IFS, you’ll need to undergo a training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. Those selected for IFS are also then trained at Foreign Service Institute, Delhi. The IPS are trained at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad.

After that, the officers are sent to the state opted. Once appointed, promotions are given stage-wise with increase in salaries. The hierarchy is simple.

Cabinet Secretary is the top most officer in the Indian Administrative Service. Below it we have the Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary.

In the Indian Foreign Service, Attache/ Third Secretary is the lowest post. Then comes Second/ First Secretary, followed by First Secretary, Director, DCM Ambassador, Ambassador/High Commissioner. The top most post in IPS is that of the Director General, Additional DG, Inspector General of Police, Deputy IGP, Senior Superintendent of Police.

The IAS Cadre is said to have the strength of only 5159, out of which 66.67 are filled up by direct recruitment and 33.33% by promotions. While the Indian Foreign Service has a strength of 618 posts out of which 87% are directly recruited and 13% are filled through promotions.

Whereas, the IPS has 3549 cadre posts, out of which 70% are filled by direct recruitment and 30% by promotions.

UPSC also conducts exam for Armed Forces: for both eligible boys and girls. Graduates of any discipline who are below 23 years can apply. Those who get recruited are given regular commission in the Army. For Commissioned Officers the hierarchy has General, who is Chief of the Army Staff and holds the top most rank. Below is the Major General, Lieutenant General, Brigadier, Colonel, Lt Colonel, Major and Captain.

The Indian Navy has the following ranks: Admiral, Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral, Commodore, Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant and Sub Lieutenant.

Whereas, the Air Force has Air Chief Marshal, Air Vice Marshal, Air Commodore, Group Captain, Wing Commander, Squardon leader, Flight Lieutenant, Flying Officer, Pilot Officer, Officer Cadet.

For those who wish to appear for Defence Services here’s a little bit for you from this year’s process which has already set in.

The Combined Defence Services Exam (1) 2014 has been notified. The exam conducted on 9th February will pave way for admission to different related courses that includes 250 seats in the prestigious Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

This will lead to commencement of 138th course in January 2015. This has 32 vacancies reserved for NCC ‘C’ Certificate in the Army Wing holders. Indian Naval Academy has 40 seats in Shimla.

The course is expected to start in April 2015.

Executive (General Services) include 6 vacancies reserved for NCC ‘C’ Certificate holders for the Naval Wing. Air Force Academy, Hyderabad has 32 seats in the 197th F (P) Pre Flying Training Course commencing in January2015.

Officers Training Academy Chennai has 175 seats for 15th SSC Women (Non-Technical ) from April 2015.

Admissions to all these courses are based on written examination conducted by the Commission. Intelligence and Personality tests are conducted by the Service Selection Board for all those who qualify in the written exam. Fortunately, Gangtok is included in the 42 centres of exams. All the centres other than Chennai, Kolkata, Dispur, Nagpur and Delhi have limited seats. The candidates are allotted centres of their choice on the basis of ‘first register first allot’. In case the centres chosen aren’t available, an alternative centre is allocated. The citizens of India, subjects of Bhutan and Nepal, Tibetan refugees with intention to settle permanently in India before 1st January 1962, are eligible as well.

For IMA unmarried male candidates within the age limit are eligible. For Indian Naval Academy and Air Force Academy too, unmarried male candidates are eligible.

Whereas, for the Officers’ Training Academy -SSC course male- married and unmarried candidates are both eligible. For the non-technical course in the Officers’ Training Academy -SSC women- unmarried candidates, issueless widows and divorcees are eligible provided they are not remarried. Male divorcees and widows however, are not eligible.

For IMA and Officers’ Training Academy, degree of a recognized University or equivalent is a must. For Air Force, degree of a recognized University with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level can apply. So can students in their final year of Bachelor of Engineering. Also, candidates must be physically fit according to the physical standards for admission to Combined Defence Services Exam (1) of the year.

So now that it is your time to decide and gear up for the working years of your life after college, prepare well. Whatever it is that you choose for your life, know all about where you are headed. You are the future.


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