The Indian Administrative Services was used to be known as the Imperial Civil Services during the British rule and till quite a long time. It is famous for being one of the toughest competitive exams in the world. However, we have covered everything that you need to know about IAS Exam. From role and benefits to how to become an IAS officer, we have got it all covered. Union Public Service Commission is the central agency that conducts this exam. Founded in the year 1858, it was named the Imperial Civil Service. However, it changed to Indian Administrative Service on 26 January 1950, on the occasion of the Republic Day. Also, the highest post among the 24 other posts is that of an IAS officer. The 24 posts include IFS, IPS, IRS among many others. We bring forward to you everything that you need to know about the IAS exam.
Table of Contents
- What is IAS?
- Everything about IAS Exam includes the Number of Attempts too
- Role of an IAS Officer
- How to Become an IAS officer?
- How to Clear the Civil Service Exam
- Passing Percentage
- Tips and Tricks to Crack IAS Exam
- Eligibility Criteria
- Benefits of an IAS Officer
- IAS Exam Syllabus
What is IAS?
Indian Administrative Services is the job that almost everyone in India dreams of. It is on the top of the hierarchy among the other 24 services. IAS has a solid bureaucracy in India. The selected candidate is employed in the Union Government, State government, and even in the Public sector. You must be wondering what are the roles and benefits and how to become an IAS officer. But before jumping to that, you must know what IAS is. On the other hand, lakhs of students try their luck and work hard to pass this exam. Jobs offered to IAS candidates are the post of Collector, Commissioner, Chief secretary, Cabinet secretary and many more. It is important to understand the seriousness of the job.
Everything about IAS Exam includes the Number of Attempts too
The attempts offered to candidates are based on categories. The general category can attempt up to 6 times. The OBC can attempt up to 9 times. However, SC/ST can attempt for any number of times. On the other hand, SC/ST can attempt it until their maximum age is reached. The limited attempts make it more difficult and the toughest exam in India. Also, the minimum age to appear for the exam is 21 years. But the age varies on the basis of category too. The General Category can attempt till 32 years, OBC can attempt til 35 years whereas SC/ST can attempt up to 37 years.
Role of an IAS officer
The role of an IAS officer depends on the assignment they get. The assignments are categorized into 3 types.
- State Secretariat
- Central Secrerariat
Field assignment is the most difficult task among all. That’s why the Civil Service Exam is so tough. On the other hand, functions of Civil Services include:
- Managing Government affairs like framing, implementing, and revising policies.
- Meeting various representatives for the stated functions.
- Distribution of funds of Central Government allocated for various schemes.
- Supervision of the implemented schemes and policies of the government.
- Immediately handling emergencies like natural disasters, accidents, riots and acting upon relief policies.
The role of a Civil Servant is discussed below:
- Field Assignments : The Role of an IAS officer includes field management too. However, the levels are quite complicated.
- Sub-divisonal Functions : The sub-divisional magistrate manages law and order and looks after the development activities in the sub-divisional department.
- District-level Functions : The collector or deputy commissioner have the same functions as the sub-divisional ones. They also look after all the activities in the District-level department.
However, the role of an IAS officer ends at the district level. But many of them work at the State Secretariat too.
- State Secretariat : The position involves advising the representative policies and make decisions for the government by using the experience of field assignments.
- Public Sector Undertakings : Firstly, officers get a job at Public Sector Undertakings and are a part of higher management. Secondly, the undertakings include power stations, industrial units and many more.
- Central Secretarial Assignment : These appointed officers tackle the review of policies and formulate their implementation for various ministries.
These duties are very difficult to manage and need a candidate with the utmost intelligence. That’s why the exams are so difficult to crack. Prepare for the exam at home.
How to Become an IAS officer?
Everything about the IAS exam has to include the process of how to become an IAS officer. To be at this prestigious position, you have to clear the UPSC exam. Moreover, it consists of 3 stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview. Every year, less than 1000 candidates are selected for the overall 24 posts. Let’s dive into the details of the process.
- Preliminary Examination : It is well known as Prelims. Also, it has 2 papers, Paper 1 is of General Studies and has 100 questions. Whereas, paper 2 is CSAT – It is an aptitude test and has 80 questions. However, both papers are of 2 hours and are of 200 marks.
- Mains Examination : This exam has a total of 9 papers. The marks of only 7 papers are calculated to rank the candidate and the rest 2 are qualifying in nature.
The results are declared towards the end of May. And from there, the training begins of the chosen candidates at different training centres. Candidates who clear the IAS exam are trained at LBSNAA, located in Mussorie. Duties are allocated after that.
How to Clear the Civil Service Exam
There are a number of benefits of an IAS officer. But before that, you need to clear the UPSC exam which is not an easy task. Firstly, candidates should have a long term strategy. Secondly, goal-oriented students start preparing for the exam 12 months before the date. However, there are students who have been ranked at the top by only a few months of preparation. The quality of your study matters the most. IAS exam is much more than the verbal and written exam. It showcases the personality and the hard work of the candidate. Further, you may also choose the best institute to prepare for the exam. But don’t forget that you have to be extremely hard working and focused to be an IAS officer. The exam is the reflection of where you stand. Extreme hard work will do wonders for you.
Every year, lakhs of people attempt the Civil Service Exam but only a few can pass it. Due to the benefits of an IAS officer, everyone wants this prestigious position. But not everyone clears it, only 26% of the total candidates clear the first exam. Moreover, the test isn’t easy the percentage of the exam matters the most. If you don’t already know, only 15% of candidates reach the interview stage. Shockingly, only 1% crack the last round and get selected. Only proper guidance and hard work can help you. This is the reason why it is the toughest exam in India. On the other hand, the preparation of the exam is time-consuming. But it entirely depends on the candidate’s intelligence – some can prepare it in months but some take 2 years also.
Tips and Tricks to Crack IAS Exam
Here are the few tips to crack the IAS Exam fast. Follow these and do the hard work.
- Read the Syllabus thoroughly : Planning is the key for you because to cover the entire syllabus, you must plan accordingly. Divide the syllabus on the basis of easy, medium, and difficult.
- Previous Year Question Papers : You will get to know the exam pattern and understand what to read and what to exclude. So, do not skip on these.
- Discussion is key : To remember each and everything, you must develop the habit of discussing current affairs on a daily basis.
- Mock Paper : Also, develop a habit of solving mock papers regularly. This will make your mind sharp.
- Newspaper : UPSC is keen on the dynamic portion of the syllabus for all the three stages of the exam especially Prelims. Therefore, develop daily newspaper reading habit and make notes out of them.
- Diet and Sleep : You must follow a healthy diet and have a sleeping pattern too. Ensure that you sleep for at least 7-8 hours. You can have dry fruits to sharpen your memory.
- The candidates should have a degree from a recognized University.
- Degree of correspondence or distance education.
- Finally, the degree must be recognized by the Indian Government.
The mentioned candidates are also eligible but must submit the required documents of their institute at the time of the Mains examination.
- Students who have graduated in MBBS but have not completed their internship.
- Students who have passed ICAI, ICSI, and ICWAI.
- A private University degree.
- A foreign university recognized by Indian University.
Benefits of an IAS Officer
Firstly, there are a number of benefits of an IAS officer. Secondly, let us look at the benefits and powers of an IAS officer.
- The Indian Penal Code’s criminal procedure Section- 107,108, 109, 110, 144 and 176 empowers the IAS officer for maintaining law and order.
- Law of tenancy regarding revenue powers the collector.
- Also, Arm, Drug License, essential commodities act is in the hands of an IAS officer.
These are the main powers of the IAS officer. However, there are around 300 laws on the basis of the case. Also, the department of personnel and training keeps updating the manual. Moreover, the civil servants are answerable to the State and Central government.
IAS Exam Syllabus
It is very important to look at the syllabus before starting the preparation. Because nothing should be left behind. The prelims is an objective type paper, The mains is a subjective exam and the Interview is a viva- exam. The candidate is chosen on the basis of the marks of the Main exam and Interview. The total marks for the Mains exam is 1750. The total marks for the Interview is 275. Therefore, the student should prepare wisely. The syllabus has questions from many subjects. On the other hand, other exams don’t have these many subjects.
The first paper of Prelims (General Studies) covers the following topics:
- Current Affairs
- Indian National Movement
- History of India
- Social and Economic Development
- Climate Change
- General Knowledge of Science
The second paper of Prelims (CSAT) covers the following topics:
- Decision Making
- Data Interpretation
- Basic Maths
The Mains exam covers the following subjects-
- Compulsory Indian Language
- Current Affairs
- Art and Culture
- Social and Economic Development
- Science and Technology
- Optional paper – There are 26 subjects that you can choose your optional from.
Number of Attempts
- The general category has 7 attempts.
- However, there is no limit for SC/ST
- But, for other backward classes there are 9 attempts.
UPSC wishes to test your personality and not merely your knowledge. So, relax and read as much as you can about the happenings around the world to brush up your knowledge. Consequently, you will perform well.