India is the largest democracy in the world, resting on four pillars of Judiciary, Legislature, Executive and Free Press. Civil service system is an executive branch of the Republic of India and functions like the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country. The primary function of civil servants is to implement policies introduced by the legislative body of the governing body in the country. It provides an opportunity to actively participate in the governance process of the country. Students willing to dedicate their lives in the service of the society must in some capacity or the other must consider exploring the civil services. It offers a lucrative career which is demanding, exciting and gives immense job satisfaction. Selection of candidates under Civil Services is done through the three stage exams: Prelims, Mains and Interview which are conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
A selected candidate is recruited into the Civil Services depending upon his rank in the overall merit list. The three types of services recruited through the Civil Services Examination are All India Services, Central Services, and State Services. Students are asked to list the services as per their preferences. The higher your rank, greater the chances of getting the job of your choice. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) are the top ranking jobs in civil services.
Group ‘A’ Services
- Indian Administrative Service: It is the premier service in India and offers an attractive and challenging career. At the state and central level, it involves the framing of the policies and its implementation. At the district level, IAS is concerned with fulfilling duties at the district level. At the divisional level, the IAS officers look after law & order, general administration and various other developmental projects.
- Indian Police Service: The IPS officers are high ranked personnel who offer leadership to police forces both at the centre and in the states. The police division in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is responsible for cadre management and policy decisions such as cadre structure, recruitment, training, cadre allocation, confirmation, empanelment, deputation, pay and allowances and disciplinary issues related to IPS officers.
- Indian Foreign Service: The members of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) represent the country in international territory. This service deals with diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. One of the primary goals of the service is to frame foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad.
- Indian Revenue Service (IRS): The Service functions under the Department of Revenue in the Union Ministry of Finance and is concerned with the collection and administration of the various direct and indirect taxes accruing to the Union Government.I RS comprises two branches: IRS (Income Tax) and IRS (Customs and Central Excise).
- Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts & Finance Service: It is an organized Accounts and Finance Service which caters to the Department of Telecom & Department of Posts. It is responsible for assessment and collection of license fee, spectrum auction, policy making, financial management, internal audit, pension management, HR development etc in the department.
- Indian Audit & Account Service (IAAS): The IAAS is a central government service, under the Comptroller and Auditor General of India which fulfills and oversees all the auditing responsibilities of the department.
- Indian Defence Accounts Service: The Defence Accounts Department (DAD) is headed by the Controller General of Defence Accounts. It is an important department which provides financial payment and accounting and internal audit functions of Army, Navy, Air Force, Ordnance factories, border road organisation and defence research.
- Indian Postal Service (IPoS): It falls under the department of posts and a part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology under the Government of India. In order to develop effective administrative control, the entire the postal network of the country is divided into twenty two ‘Postal Circles’. These officers manage and monitor the postal services in our country.
- Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS): Headed by Controller General of Accounts (CGA), it performs a vital role in delivery of financial management solutions to the Government of India. This organisation provides payment services, supports the tax collection system, performs government wide accounting, financial reporting functions, preparation of budget estimates and carries out internal audit in civil ministries of the Union Government.
- Indian Railway Service: It is inclusive of Indian Railway Account Service, Indian Railway Personnel Service, Indian Railway Traffic Service and Indian Railway Protection Force. All these departments look after different aspects of running the Indian railways in an efficient manner.
- Indian Information Service (IIS): Indian Information Service officers are the media managers of the Government of India. They link the Government and the people by communicating various policies and schemes to the people and in return collecting the valuable they manage government’s print media, electronic media, act as press advisors, organise press conferences, control official media etc.
- Indian Trade Service (ITS): The ITS is controlled by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce. This department plays a significant role in India’s foreign trade with its policy formulation and implementation.
- Indian Corporate Law Service: It functions under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. It is the regulatory service for the corporate sector in India.
- Indian Forest Service: The IFS officers are recruited and trained by the Central government but they have to serve both under the state and Central governments. The chief purpose of IFS is the implementation of the National Forest Policy which aims to preserve the environment by maintaining strict vigil to sustain ecological balance that are critical for survival of all forms of life.
Group ‘B’ Services
- Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (AFHQ): The Armed Forces (Navy, Army and Air Force) Headquarters and other inter-service bodies under the defence ministry have civilian staff that is responsible for its administration. Candidates are chosen from the civil service exams held by the UPSC.
- Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman &Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service (DANICS): The administrative responsibilities of these territories are fulfilled by officers in DANICS.
- Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman &Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service (DANIPS): Law and order issues in these territories are addressed by officers under DANIPS.
- Pondicherry Civil Service: The administrative responsibilities of union territory of Pondicherry are fulfilled theses officers.
- Pondicherry Police Service: Matters pertaining to law and order of union territory of Pondicherry are upheld by police officers appointed in the police service.
Roles & Responsibilities
Certain duties attached to this field are:
- Assist government officials and ministers in formulating policy.
- Help government officials to make policy decisions by communicating ground reality and providing relevant information pertaining to the issue at hand.
- Work with officials to determine appropriate and effective ways to implement government policies and law at state and central level.
- Consult experts for streamlining strategies for policy implementation.
- Perform day-to-day executive tasks associated with one’s position.
- Oversee the administrative functioning under one’s jurisdiction.
- Uphold the integrity of the post and conduct duties in an ethical manner.
- Address the grievances of people and ensure fair dealings with all.
Given below are desired qualities for professionals in this field:
- Passionate about serving people.
- Objective and impartial in dealing with people.
- High level of accountability.
- Responsible and committed towards fulfilling one’s duties.
- Good planning, organisational and administrative skills.
- Excellent leadership skills.
- Good communication and interpersonal skills.
- Hard working, determined and resilient attitude.
- High level of integrity and dignity.
- Follow ethical code of conduct.
How to get there
Centre & State:
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the entrance exam for civil services. It consists of 3 rounds: Prelims, Mains and Interview. A candidate is required to clear all rounds.
- Clear 12th standard in any stream
- Obtain graduate degree in any field
- Clear UPSC Examination
Candidate’s rank and preference are both taken into consideration while making appointments under civil services.