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      CSE (Pre.): Civil Services Exams (Prelims)


Despite of the extraordinary salary packages offered in India and abroad by various MNCs and other private sectors getting hot place in the news papers & media, the Indian Administrative services remain one of the most desirable or dream career in India! Obviously the true power to affect and improve the life of millions of people and opportunity to bring about the real change in the society are the major attractions of the career in civil services! The social status and king size government perks make the civil services as one of the most sought after career.

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to the various Civil Services of the Government of India, few main services to mention:

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

Indian Police Service (IPS)

Indian Revenue Service (IRS)

Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)

Indian Railways Traffic Services (IRTS)

Indian Railways Accounts Services (IRAS)

Indian Railways Personal Services (IRPS)

Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS), etc.


Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is remembered as the "Patron Saint" of India's civil servants for establishing modern all-India services. In an unprecedented and unrepeated gesture, on the day after his death more than 1,500 officers of India's civil and police services congregated to mourn at Patel's residence in Delhi and pledged "complete loyalty and unremitting zeal" in India's service.

The Civil Services Examination of India is considered to be amongst of the most difficult competitive examinations in the world. On an average, four to five lacs candidates apply every year and the number of candidates appearing is 2.5-3 (approximately) lacs for the examination. Just think the final success rate is about 0.3-0.4 % of the total applicants!

How to Start Career in Civil Services

Recruitment to the Civil Service is made by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) through  the All India level exams process.The Process starts in the month of May with the first screening or qualifying exam called CSE (Pre.) followed by CSE (mains) Exam in October -November and Interview in next year April- May then it ends in May with the declaration of final Result. So it takes about a year to complete the process!

The whole process is divided into three phases:

 Phase-I: This phase is called CSE preliminary examination. After removal of optional subject and introduction of a paper testing candidate’s civil services aptitude, this exam is now commonly called CSAT. This is a qualifying test in nature and consists of two fully objective type papers.

Phase-II: This phase is called CSE Mains examination. This is subjective or descriptive in nature. Those who qualify in the first phase are eligible to move into this phase. Normally 12-15 times of the vacancies published are called for the next phase! Approximately 12-15 thousands candidate appear in this phase every year. This phase carries 1750 marks (GS = 1000 marks, Optional Subject = 500 marks, Essay = 250 marks).For details of this phase please refer the link CSE (Main), general info under the exam desk. For details of this phase click here

Phase-III: The personality test/interview: It carries 275 marks. The marks scored in the phase II exams are added to that of scored in the interview and then a combine merit is prepared and then the final result is declared. 

It is interesting to note that the final results are usually announced two to five days before the next preliminary examination!



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