If you are planning to opt for Civil Services or Defence Services, then the first thing that you should do is to be completely sure. You need to take the decision with sincerity. After much deliberation, if you still want to pursue Civil Services as a career, then it is better to decide on the subjects that you need to study early. You should have an idea by the time you reach the 11th standard. Remember that you don’t need a fancy degree, you definitely need fire, passion and ambition.

Passionate and courageous youngsters tend to opt for Defence Services. You may choose between – Army, Air Force and Navy. To get recruited, you should get ready for exhaustive preparation. But that’s not all. You should also figure out whether your personality needs grooming. Those with tattoos, long hair or any other non-conventional personality marks, may not be able to get through. 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 need to undergo a Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). The exam consists of two compulsory papers, each of 200 marks that needs to be completed in a time span of two hours. 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 shortlist candidates and select ones who will appear for the mains. The prelims consists of objective type questions. You can choose to answer in Hindi or English. After that, your answers are screened. That’s when you will find out whether you can sit for the mains. The written examination and interview are conducted with the mains.

Remember that you’ll have to be 21 to 30 years old as on August 1st of the year in which you’d like to appear. Also, you can sit for the exam only a given number of times.

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 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 that, 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.

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, Squadron Leader, Flight Lieutenant, Flying Officer, Pilot Officer, Officer Cadet.

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 is your time to decide and gear up. Be sure to prepare well!

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