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Are you preparing for IAS exam

Rahul Bansal (Finalist) (35924 Points)

30 April 2010  

Where can I get syllabus for Prelims and mains ?

Employement news publishes it along with the add...or You can send a request to Brilliant Tutorials regarding coaching...they'll send you the syllabus.. ..or...you can mail me...but remember....it may take about 15-20 days to get a response from me.......

What books shall I refere for a 'x' subject?

If you are willing to pay35-50, you may write to

Spardha Pariksha Publications (P) Ltd., 349/2, Kasturba Bhavan, Bajaj Nagar, NAGPUR - 440010


You'll get syllabus and reference books. There are many resources available at Delhi...

The competitive examinations at UPSC are in three stages

IAS Preliminary examinations (Prelims)

The prelims are held around May-June.It has objective ie multiple choice questions. There are two papers (duration of each being 2 hrs).

a) General studies

b) Optional subject

you can choose from Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Agriculture, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Statistics etc.

Important: It is not compulsory to choose the same subjects of your graduation. The results are declared in July-August and the successful candidates are called for the main examinations.

PS. The prelims score has no bearing for determining the final merit list for the services.

Civil Services Main examination

The main written examination usually takes place in Oct-Nov, it comprises of 9 papers in all (a lot more strenuous than CAT!) Duration of each paper is 3 hrs.

Language: one of the Indian languages, English, Essay GK and Current Affairs: 2 papers on general studies

Optionals: papers from two subjects that fall in optional-1 and two papers from optional-2 (a choice of subjects is listed by the UPSC in the prospectus) Candidates who are successful in the main examinations are eligible for an interview which plays a crucial part in the selection.

Civil Services - The Interview

The interview calls are sent in March-April of the following year and they take place in the month of April-May. The Board of interviewers look for a well-adjusted personality with the social traits, integrity and qualities of leadership . PS. The number of candidates called for the interview is normally twice the number of vacancies.

BEWARE : The whole process of selection in the civil services takes a full year and when the application process is included it sums up to 18 months in all. PLEASE NOTE :The main exam score and the interview determines the placement in the final list. You have your say in the choice of service if you have secured a high position, otherwise accept what is offered if not take another attempt (4 attempts permitted) in the general category. Of course you have to start from the prelims all over again.

PS. the I.A.S.occupies the highest order of importance and is usually given first preference by the selected candidates. In recent years Income Tax, Customs etc also have become popular. IFS is not that sought after now.

5 tips for IAS aspirants


  1. Be very particular about the subject you choose for prelims, as you will be appearing for an objective type of paper. History, maths, geography may prove to be very scoring. Choose subjects which have availability of books, reading material and guidance. In recent years engineering subjects like civil and electrical can be chosen, giving BEs and IITians an edge (yes! even here they are giving the BAs and BScs a tough fight!)
  2. G.K. will definitely pay in your prelims. Reading newspapers, watching TV news and of course quiz shows like KBC is a must.
  3. If you have been lucky enough to reach the interview stage book knowledge may not be the only thing you need. Your mental alertness will count as they ask you questions like �How many steps did you walk up to reach here?� or � What is the colour of the wall behind you ? - So be prepared.
  4. Enhance your personality becoz it will definitely be one of the criteria for selection. For IPS physical wellbeing is of great importance, you should be medically fit.
  5. Improve your communication skills. IFS aspirants must be proficient in at least one foreign language. So go ahead, have your say in this political mess of our country and try to make it a better place. Preparing for the UPSC Exam: There are numerous private coaching institutes and �study circles�. To guide and encourage IAS candidates in Maharashtra the govt has set up SIAC (State Institute for Administrative Careers), Hazarimal Somani marg (CST) Mumbai-1. Tel :2070942 (You must have Maharashtra domicile to get admission here)


Flash News: The government is contemplating a change in the UPSC selection format which is essentially the same since British times. But, don�t worry - that will definitely take a few years.

Tell me something about Civil Services Examination?

Civil Services Introduction A country as vast and thickly populated as India needs a well organised government machinery for proper governance. There are two facets to the administration of a country. One is security for which the country has its defence services and the other is the non-military part, which is taken care of by the Civil Services.

The origin of the IAS can be traced back to the year of India�s independence, 1947. The IAS operates at three levels -central, district and divisional. Work at the central level involves the framing and implementation of policies. The functions of the IAS at the district level encompass all district affairs with special emphasis on development. General administration and development work is the responsibility of the IAS at the divisional level. The post of an IAS officer carries a lot of responsibility. The work definition of an IAS officer would encompass framing, modifying and interpreting policy matters in consultation with the concerned Minister. Implementation of policies calls for supervision and also travelling to the places where the decisions taken are being implemented. Implementation entails disbursement of funds, which calls for personal supervision. The officers are answerable to the Parliament for any irregularities that may occur. At the top of the hierarchy of IAS officers is the Cabinet Secretary followed by Secretary/ Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Under Secretary and then the Junior Scale Officers. These posts are filled according to seniority.

The Indian Police Service (IPS) As the name suggests, the main responsibility of the IPS is public safety and security. The Indian Police Service is divided into various departments like the Crime Branch, the Criminal Investigation Department, Home Guards and the Traffic Bureau. The area of functioning for the IPS can be broadly divided into: maintenance of law and order, crime prevention and detection, traffic control and accident prevention and management. The IPS also has several policing agencies like the Intelligence Bureau, the Central Bureau of Investigation, Cabinet Secretariat Security, Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force. After the initial probation of two years, an IPS officer is given charge as an Additional Superintendent of Police of a district. This post is usually held for two years and then comes the next appointment, that of the Superintendent of Police and then the post of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG). The hierarchy in the IPS cadre is like this - the Director General of Police (DG) is the head of the entire Police force of a state. Special divisions of the Police force like the Border Security Force, the CBI, etc., have a Director General at the helm.

The Indian Forest Service (IFS) The maintenance of the natural resources of the country is very essential for a balanced all round development of the country. Maintenance of forests is so important for maintaining the ecological balance that the Indian Forest Service has been set up for this very purpose. The All India Forest Service came into being in 1966. The areas of functioning for the Indian Forest Service include protection and conservation of forests, wildlife and forest produce.

What does it take to opt for civil service?

Mental alertness; interest in a variety of subjects; good intellect in order to be able to tackle any subject or situation; an ability to sift, weigh and apply differing opinions from various people; leadership qualities; the ability to inspire others and to channelise available talent; tact and diplomacy; and, integrity. These are some personality traits that you should look for in yourself when you consciously make a decision to opt for civil service.

What is the Cadre System in civil services ?

The Civil Services has been divided into various grades to facilitate functioning. The grade determines the area of work. Junior scale officers work in the states that they are allotted to. Senior scale officers work as Under Secretaries in the State. Officers in the Junior Administrative Grade, which is reached after nine years of service, hold the position of a Deputy Secretary. When officers make it to the Selection Grade, which is reached after fourteen years of service they hold the position of Directors or Deputy Secretary. The next scale is known as the Super Time Scale or the Senior Administrative Grade and the officers in this grade hold the post of a Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary, Secretary or Cabinet Secretary. The Civil Services can be broadly classified as All India Services and Central Services.

What is the Selection Process ?

Eligibility for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination The minimum age requirement for appearing for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination is 21 and the upper age limit is 30 years. The minimum academic requirement is graduation in any discipline from a recognised Indian University or an equivalent academic qualification. All candidates are allowed four attempts. There is a relaxation for SC/ST candidates on the number of attempts, if they are otherwise eligible.

For entry to the civil service, there�s a multi-step examination process. The entire process takes a full calendar year. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) first conducts an objective type preliminary examination for screening candidates.

The Preliminary Examination:

There are two papers for the preliminary round. There is one on general studies and another on an optional subject. The question papers are set in both Hindi and English. Each paper is for a duration of two hours. General study covers history, geography, economics and so on. The question papers have objective type multiple choice questions. The general studies paper carries 150 marks.

The syllabus for the optional subject is the same as that for graduation level. The question paper for the optional subject carries 300 marks. The optional subject for the second paper may be chosen from the following :

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and veterinary science
  3. Botany
  4. Chemistry
  5. Civil Engineering
  6. Commerce
  7. Economics
  8. Electrical Engineering
  9. Geography
  10. Geology
  11. Indian History
  12. Law
  13. Mathematics
  14. Mechanical Engineering
  15. Philosophy
  16. Physics
  17. Political Science
  18. Psychology
  19. Public Administration
  20. Sociology
  21. Statistics
  22. Zoology

The Main Examination:

The preliminary round is basically a screening round. The marks obtained are not counted for in the final stage of the examination. For candidates who clear the preliminary round, there is the main round. The second stage is the main examination that includes written tests and an interview. The written test consists of nine papers (essay type answers to be written)

Paper I: One Indian language

That is included in the Eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution. These languages are

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Gujarati
  4. Hindi
  5. Kannada
  6. Kashmiri
  7. Malayalam
  8. Marathi
  9. Oriya
  10. Pali
  11. Punjabi
  12. Sanskrit
  13. Sindhi
  14. Tamil
  15. Telugu
  16. Urdu.

This paper is of a qualifying nature and the marks obtained are not counted for ranking. This paper is not compulsory for candidates from the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. Paper II: English. The English language paper is also of a qualifying nature and the marks obtained are not counted for ranking.

Paper III: Essay

Paper IV &V: General Studies Optional Subject I (two papers)

Optional subject II (two papers). For papers VI, VII, VIII, and IX two subjects are to be chosen. The list of subjects from which the choice may be made is

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and veterinary science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce & Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Philosophy
  18. Physics
  19. Political Science & International Relations
  20. Psychology
  21. Public Administration
  22. Sociology
  23. Statistics
  24. Zoology

Literature in one of the following languages: Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Marathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu.Except English, the question papers are set in both Hindi and English.

The total marks secured in both the written tests and the personal interview determine the rank of a candidate. The Interview This is the last hurdle to be cleared. The interview carries 250 marks and there are no stipulated minimum qualifying marks. The main aim of the interview is to assess a candidate's overall personality. The interview is conducted by a board. The board is fully informed about the candidate and they base their questions on a record of the candidate's career, which is provided to them. The aspects that are generally looked into are the candidate's grasp of academics and general awareness as in current affairs, social issues, etc. It is basically a test of the potential of a candidate. The board tries to assess whether he or she can rise to the demands of the job of a Civil Servant.

What are the Job Prospects ?

Depending upon his rank, a candidate is recruited to services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and other departments including Finance, Post and Telegraph, Revenue, Secretariat and so on. The appointment offers executive power. Promotions are time bound and increase in privileges are automatic. Selected candidates are first put through a training session for a short period. He is usually sent to an academic staff college associated with the service to which he is allocated. The greatest thing about civil service is the job security. Special facilities include subsidised accommodation, telephone and transport facilities, medical benefits, leave travel concession, etc. After retirement, there are very good social welfare facilities. Last but not the least is the immense satisfaction one derives at being able to participate in the development process of the country.

What is the Remuneration?

The Government of India has fixed salary grades for Civil Servants. Approximately the range of salaries drawn at various levels is as follows (not updated according to the sixth pay commision - will update soon):

  1. Junior Officers:8000-275-13500
  2. Senior Officers:10650-325-15200
  3. Junior Administrative Grade:12,750-375-16,500
  4. Selection Grade:15,100-400-18,300
  5. Additional Secretary:22400-525-24500

Secretary/Cabinet Secretary:26,000/30,000 (The above scales only provide an idea of the pay scales. Different branches of the service have different scales of pay.)

In addition to the salary civil servants receive various allowances such as Dearness Allowance, City compensatory Allowance, Leave Travel Allowance, Medical and subsidised housing.

 40 Replies

Rahul Bansal (Finalist) (35924 Points)
Replied 30 April 2010







THIS POST........

2 Like

Kaushik Vankadkar (Service) (350 Points)
Replied 30 April 2010

Thanks alot dear............ I am interested in it.............

Ashish M (Chartered Accountant) (2726 Points)
Replied 30 April 2010

really great!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rahul Bansal (Finalist) (35924 Points)
Replied 30 April 2010


vikash rathi (Chartered Accountant) (787 Points)
Replied 09 May 2010

thanx a lot...i too interested


extremly valuable information..............

CA Priya (CA ) (408 Points)
Replied 10 May 2010

very useful

CA Harshad Deshpande (CA, B.Com) (347 Points)
Replied 10 May 2010

thanx buddy........gr8 info...

vasudevan (.) (376 Points)
Replied 10 May 2010

One of the best post in caclub.


thanx . hope someday it is useful to me

CA Naveen Kumar Mittal (Service) (29 Points)
Replied 12 May 2010

Thanks badyy........

but no clarity in main exam for seletion of  optional paper ....

and good advice for preparing IAS

Rahul Bansal (Finalist) (35924 Points)
Replied 12 May 2010

welcome every1

CA Ruskin B (Member) (2602 Points)
Replied 18 May 2010

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