Civil Services – the most sought after career option

In India, the Civil Service is defined as "appointive positions by the Government in connection with the affairs of the Union and includes a civilian in a Defence Service, except positions in the Indian Armed Forces." The members of civil service serve at the pleasure of the President of India and Article 311 of the constitution protects them from politically motivated or vindictive action.

The Civil Services of India can be classified into two types - the All India Services and the Central Civil Services (Group A and B). The recruits are university graduates (or above) selected through a rigorous system of examinations, called the Civil Services Examination(CSE) and its technical counterpart known as the Engineering Services Examination (ESE) both conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The selection process of getting into the civil services is consists of three stages. (i) Preliminary examination (CSAT), that serves as a screening test and consists of two papers General Studies and CSAT (ii) The mains consist of subjective/ essay type papers on English Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject to be chosen out of the list of 23 subjects, and (iii) Interview cum Personality Test. The successful candidates based on their performance in the mains examinations and the interview are allotted various services as per the ranking and the choice as opted by the candidates.

The entry into the State Civil Services is through a competitive examination conducted by every state public service commission. Each state has its own method of making appointments.