Alternate to MBA- career in Indian Civil Services (IAS/ IPS/ IRS/ IFS etc.)

Hello Friends,

You must decide your career and courses in the very beginning. A right graduation helps a lot in pursuing your dream career. Normally, we see that people from different background be it engineering, be it medicine, be it natural sciences or commerce at later stage decide to pursue career in Civil Services.
British laid down foundation of Indian Civil Services to help them in their administration and it was then known as ICS.
Later, UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) formed as a statutory body on selection of candidate for various A and B grade position.
UPSC also select people for Indian Civil services for A and B grade position in central government.
It is highly respected career with power and a good salary too. It is another alternate for MBA from top B school.

Which are the services covered under Civil Services Exam?
It covers all category A and B services under Union Government. It includes:
(i) Indian Administrative Service.
(ii) Indian Foreign Service.
(iii) Indian Police Service
(iv) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’.
(v) Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(vi) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’.
(vii) Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(viii) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’. (ix) Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration).
(x) Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.
(xi) Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
(xii) Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.
(xiii) Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'.
(xiv) Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
(xv) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
(xvi) Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
(xvii) Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
(xviii) Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III).
(xix) Indian Corporate Law Service, Group "A".
(xx) Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade).
(xxi) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group
(xxii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group

(xxiii) Pondicherry Civil Service, Group 'B'.

(xxiv) Pondicherry Police Service, Group 'B'.

I want to join CBI, which exam I should appear?
I want to join police as a DCP/ DSP, which exam I should give?
I want to be a chief secretary/ collector/ Zilla PArishad Administrator, which exam I should give?
Its Civil Services exam only.

What is the eligibility criteria?

(i) Nationality 

(1) For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India. 
(2) For other services, a candidate must be either:— 

(a) a citizen of India, or
(b) a subject of Nepal, or
(c) a subject of Bhutan, or
(d) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India,

(e) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda,
the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling
in India.

 Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a
certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

 Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment
to the Indian Foreign Service.

 A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the
offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the Government of India.

Age Limits : 
(a) A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on 1st August, 2013, 
i.e. he/she must have been born not earlier than 2nd August, 1983 and not later than 1st August, 1992. 
(b) The upper age limit prescribed above will be relaxable : 
(i) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe. 
(ii) upto a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail 
of reservation applicable to such candidates. 
(iii) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during 
the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st day of December, 1989. 
(iv) upto a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with 
any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof. 
(v) upto a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commission Officers and ECOs/ SSCOs who 
have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2013 and have been released (i) on completion of 
assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 
1st August, 2013) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or (ii) on 
account of physical disability attributable to Military Service, or (iii) on invalidment. 
(vi) Upto a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five 
years Military Service as on 1st August, 2013 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose 
case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on 
three months notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment. 
(vii) upto a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped persons. 

(iii) Minimum Educational Qualifications : 
The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature 
in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a 
University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification. 
NOTE I : Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally 
qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who 
intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary 
Examination. All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) 
Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the 
Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination. The applications 
for the Main Examination will be called sometime in the month of August/September, of the respective year. 

I have passed my graduation through distance mode and also under open university system (i.e. without 10+2) am I eligible?
Yes, you are eligible but the degree must be of minimum 3 years, must be from a UGC approved university, must be approved by other higher accrediting body such as AICTE, NCTE, NCI etc. and must be approved by DEC/ DEB/ DECI as the case may be and must have been awarded without violating territorial jurisdiction.

Is there any minimum percentage?
No, there is no percentage barrier. 

Is the exam very tough?
Yes, out of the total applicant, only top 13 times of actual available seats are allowed to seat for main exam and only 2 times of available seat are allowed to go for interview.

For instances, around 3 lakhs people apply for Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) exam and only half of them appear (You must clear it in maximum 4 attempt if you are from open category, 7 times if you are an OBC and maximum if you are blessed with Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribes category upto age of 35 years).

Suppose, for 2014, total available vacancy is : 1200

Then only those who could secure rank upto 15600 are allowed to sit for main exam. Out of those, who secure rank upto 2400 are allowed to appear for interview.

Stages of Civil Services Exam
Stage 1:  Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)- Earlier known as Civil Services Prelim Exam
Conducted by: UPSC
Notified: In the mid of the May, this year 17.05.2014

Last date to apply: Mid of June every year. This year 16.06.2014

CSAT to be held on: Last Sunday of August every year 24.08.2014 this year

Stage 2:
Main Exams (5 days)
Held during December, next year

Stage 3: Interview

Stage 4: Selection and training at respective institutes

Syllabus and pattern of exam
Civil Services PReliminary Exam or CSAT
The Preliminary Examination shall now comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each and of two hours duration each. Detailed below is the new syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination, which is brought to the notice of the prospective candidates intending to appear at the Civil Services Examination (CSE) in 2011 onwards:
Paper I - (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
• Current events of national and international importance
• History of India and Indian National Movement
• Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
• Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
• Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
• General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization
• General Science
Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
• Comprehension
• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
• Logical reasoning and analytical ability
• Decision making and problem solving
• General mental ability
• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.Class X level)
• English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
• Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
• The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type.

Both papers test conducted on the same day.

Civil Services Main exam
there are 7 + 2 = 9 papers to be answered in the main examination. All of them are of descriptive type. There are two qualifying papers 1) any modern Indian language 2) English are of 300 marks each. Their marks will not be counted in the main examination.
The candidate is allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination.
According to the new pattern there are "FOUR" General Studies paper each comprising of 300 Marks with a total of 1200 Marks. The scope of the syllabus of General Studies is of degree level.
There is only "ONE" optional subject to choose from the list of subjects. It comprises of two papers each of 300 marks. So the total of optional paper is 600 marks. Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject "without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language's literature. The scope of the syllabus of optional paper is higher than the bachelor's degree but lower than the master's level.

Summary of the Latest Pattern of Civil Services (Mains) Examination

Paper - I
Language -300 Marks
Candidate can take any Modern Indian language but this paper is of qualifying nature

Paper - II
English -300 Marks
This paper is of qualifying nature

Paper - III
Essay - 200 Marks
Can be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice

General Studies-I 300 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture,
History and Geography of the World and Society)

General Studies -II: 300 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

General Studies -III 300 Marks
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

General Studies -IV 300 Marks
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Marks carried by General Studies was 4X 250=1000

Optional Subject - Paper 1 -300 Marks

Optional Subject - Paper II -300 Marks
Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject "without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language's literature.

Sub Total (Written test) 2000 Marks
Marks of English and Language will not be counted so total marks for Written exam will be 2000 Marks Only

Interview/Personality Test - 300 marks
Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.

Grand Total 2300 Marks 

A candidate is allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination.

So now it is clear that one need to study very hard and also there is no point on studying different course during graduation.
At least 2 universities in India offer courses on Civil Services.

1. Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Nagpur
Course: BA Civil Services
Duration 3 years

Eligibility -12th Pass or its equivalent
Examination -Written and Oral
Total No.of papers - 18
Total Marks - 1800
Paper-I Sanskrit language
Paper-II English
Paper-III General studies
Paper-IV Sanskrit Literature
Any three optional Subjects from the following:
1. Statistics
2. Political Science
3. Public Administration
4. Sociology
5. History
6. Mathematics
Paper-I Sanskrit language
Paper-II English
Paper-III General studies
Any three optional from the following:
1. Sanskrit literature
2. Political Science
3. Public Administration
4. Sociology
5. Philosophy
6. History
7. Mathematics
Paper-I Sanskrit language
Paper-II English
Paper-III General studies
Any three optional from the following:
1. Sanskrit literature
2. Political Science
3. Public Administration
4. Sociology
5. Philosophy
6. History
7. Mathematics

Admission calendar: Last week of June to 1st week of July

2. Bharthiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Eligibility and calendar of admission is identical as above

for syllabus, please check following link

Isn't it much better to pursue a course which makes life easier than wasting time in engineering, management, medicine which should go to much deserving people who want to make career on those core field only.


  1. Hello Sir,

    I have spent a lot of time on your blog and duly appreciate all the time and effort you make to put all this stuff here.

    I of course have a query. I dropped out of college after one year of education due to financial and personal reasons and got my self a job. Recently, I have completed my graduation (B.Com. with 79%) through Distance Mode from Osmania University, Hyderabad. I have been working as a PL/SQL developer for the past 3 1/2 years, though obviously without a graduation I've been getting paid peanuts, compared to my colleagues with a degree/B.E(I say this with no disrespect to anyone, but most of them can't construct a meaningful sentence. But they have sat through 3-4 years of college, which I couldn't, so they must be better than I am). Anyway, my question is three part;

    1) Will employers accept my degree as on-par with a regular full-time course, or will I be looked over?

    2) I plan to write CAT, but I'm not sure if I can with a graduation through distance mode? I have done some research on that topic, but the information has been less than helpful. It'd be really helpful if you could provide me with some information.

    3) If CAT is not a viable option for me, are there any other full-time, part-time or distance MBA's from reputed Universities, that take in candidates with graduation from distance-mode with good CAT and GMAT scores?

    It would mean a lot to me if you could answer my query(s).


    1. Hi Sharath,
      Except few employers most of them will accept your degree from Osmania as it is one of the most reputed university. Companies like Wipro, Infosys, TCS may not accept it but still there are many organisation who will accept it.
      2. Any graduate including those who studied through open university system (i.e. without 10+2) are eligible to apply for CAT. I raised this query around 2 years back and got reply from them in positive.

      3. You hav CAT as an option still there are many universities you can look for executive and distance MBA few of them are JNTU, FMS Delhi, JBIMS Mumbai (Regular part time MBA), Pondicherry, University of Madras, Anna University (Distance MBA)

      I hope I have replied to it carefully.

    2. Thank you sir for your prompt reply. As always, it was to the point and really helpful. I really don't know if you do realize it, but your blog has made a huge difference in my life and I'm sure it has done the same for many others.

      I hope you don't mind, but i have another query. I don't know if you have heard about IPE (Institute of Public Enterprise), Hyderabad. They offer a 3 year part-time MBA, with evening class. If it isn't too much of a bother, can you let me know about the validity of the course and the reputation of the institution in the job market. Are there any other reputed institutions that offer such part-time/evening courses.


    3. Thanks Sharath,
      All my blog reader friends encourage me to constantly write and such appreciation makes my day.
      Well, IPE offers 3 years part time MBA and the degree is awarded by Osmania University and it is also AICTE approved so please go ahead. IPE is a known institute.
      As far as reputation for the institute concern, it is known one, for the job market, being a degree from Osmania and from a known institute, it may help you. Only in case where the employer wants only full time MBAs, you may face difficulty but thats fine. I think you may go ahead

  2. Sir in LPU they said that your exam center can not made in lpu campus because this provision is now closed and your exam center is always made in study center in which you take admission and they mail me that after obtaining degree from lpu study center you can eligible for govt. job.
    now sir i am doing my MBA first year from lpu studey center (situated in ludhiana). sir please tell me what i do?
    after this am i eligible for government job.

    1. Then such degrees of LPU is invalid.
      Insist them to appear for all exams at university campus only or else ask them to issue a certificate stating this and also approval from UGC as well as DEB and AICTE authorising them to offer MBA in distance mode and to take exam outside their campus

  3. Cant sum up , but all i can say thank u , sir ji.....


Thanks for your comment on Please search for required information through tags, keywords on this blog as I have already added lot of required information. If you still do not find it, I'll revert you shortly.