Every year lakhs of candidates appear for the Indian Civil Service exam, often rated as the toughest competitive examination in the country, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Out of the 24 services that come under the purview of All India Services. As there are 3 main services that are the most sought after among the civil service candidates for their career potential.

Namely the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), the Indian Police Service (IPS), and finally the most prestigious and top class of them all – the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

The IAS forms the basis of the Indian government’s bureaucracy and consists of all senior officials of the state and central government, who are tasked with helping the government function efficiently.

Candidates must successfully complete the three main stages of this exam, such as Preliminary, Mains and Final Interview rounds before they are selected for a career in the Indian Administrative Service.

What does an IAS officer do?

As mentioned above, the greatest priority of an IAS officer is to help senior government officials and ministers frame policies and operate their respective departments/ministries.

However, they will also have to report back to the Ministry concerned. Share feedback on the steps taken to implement the same and the ground impact and areas for improvement

IAS officers normally start their careers at the lowest sub-divisional level and are also accountable to both their state legislatures and the central parliament.

Revenue collection, fund disbursement, crisis management, disaster relief, maintaining law and order, policymaking – are some of the other major responsibilities of an IAS officer.

The promotion of an IAS officer to the post of District Magistrate or DM of the district depends on the overtime and performance of the District Collector or Commissioner.

Upon reaching a certain level of seniority, officers are often deputed for central posting as deputy / joint / cabinet secretaries with the central government.

Some senior IAS officers are also held in prominent positions in reputed public sector undertakings or public sector undertakings.

How much do they earn per month?

Apart from influential power in matters of public administration and their proximity to influential politicians, IAS officers are also very good for their services.

For example, a junior officer can expect to approximate. INR 60,000 per month, hosting additional allowances (HRA / TA) if applicable. Still not learning on a bad job for a rogue officer.

At the other end of the spectrum, a very senior IAS officer – at the level of cabinet or joint secretary – is paid around 2.5 lakh rupees per month – all thanks to the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

what is the average salary in India

Eligibility criteria for civil services exam

Here is a look at some of the primary eligibility conditions which should be fulfilled by the aspirants who wish to appear in the UPSC exams.

  • Those wishing to join IAS or IPS should be Indian citizens only.
  • Every candidate needs good physical and mental health, resolves any issues that may affect his or her official performance.
  • Candidates are required to make themselves for a medical examination conducted by the Central Permanent Medical Board (CSMB) to determine their mental and physical condition.
  • Candidates must be between 21-32 to pass this exam. The calculation of the age of the candidate is generally taken into consideration from August 01 of the year of the examination.
  • This limit of appearing for UPSC examination is 3 years for OBC candidates and 5 years for SC / ST candidates and Ex-servicemen.
  • Candidates are required to obtain a bachelor’s degree from a government recognized, renowned or major foreign university.
  • Distance education degree or equivalent qualification (recognized by Government of India) is also eligible to apply।
  • Final year college students can usually take the first phase of the UPSC exam.
  • The general category candidates have a total of 6 attempts to clear the UPSC exam.
  • OBC candidates are allowed 9 attempts, while SC / ST candidates may have unlimited attempts until they exceed the maximum age limit of 32 years.
  • Candidates can apply online on the UPSC website, or through various post offices across the country.
  • The application deadline is usually around the months of February and March

IAS exam syllabus and related details

With a success rate of less than 10 percent, this exam is one of the toughest public service examinations in the country.

To add, rigorous UPSC preparation and serious study is required for several months to clear all three rounds before the selection of the candidate.

There are three primary categories of examination,

  • Preliminary Aptitude Test or CSAT
  • Main exam (written)
  • Face to face interview
  • The first phase, which is the preliminary (objective) examination, is usually conducted around the month of June, while the written examination is held around October each year.

Only those students who have passed both the exams are shortlisted for the final interview/personality test round which is held every year between March-May.

The final results are announced in the month of June.

Freshers must prepare a study plan to prepare for the UPSC exam, for the first time it is necessary to gain a better understanding of the exam syllabus and pattern.

The first stage, which is a preliminary examination, consists of two compulsory tests – General Studies I and General Studies II.

If you want to reach the next level, then each paper carries 200 marks and both are compulsory.

To give you a better idea about some of the main topics covered in the written examination, here is a preview of some important topics, which you have to read to be included in the written examination.

  • Important national and global events.
  • Indian Constitution and System of Governance.
  • Indian History and Freedom Struggle.
  • Issues and challenges of socio-economic and sustainable development.
  • Global warming, climate change, environmental ecology, and general science.

These critical tests are also used to assess some of your major personality traits including

  • Your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Writing and comprehension skills
  • The ability for logical reasoning and analytical analysis.
  • General mental and cognitive ability.
  • Preparation of aptitude test for basic numbers and data interpretation.

Reference books and study material

There is no shortage of books and academic literature, which can help you crack the UPSC exam on the first attempt.

You can also see many NCERT books and subjects which are used as reference and preparation material, especially by IAS aspirants.

Translation results

Some of the more popular options in this category are these books which are definitely going to help you in the preparation for the UPSC exam.