The Indian Civil Service forms the backbone of the Indian government machinery and constitutes all the major departments which run the state and central administration. The three types of services recruited through the Civil Services Examination are All India Services, Central Services, and State Services.
The Civil Services examination is one of the most prestigious examinations conducted by UPSC. Historically it has been of the most sought after career by young and talented individuals. It has not lost its prestige value amidst the recent popularity of IT and management careers. Civil Services is also popularly known as the IAS exam or the UPSC exam and is considered one the toughest competitive exams in the world with success rate of just 0.1%.
The examination procedure consists of three phases - Preliminary (held in May), Main (held in October/November) and Interview (held in March/April). Every year around 4 lakh people apply (only 50% that is 1.5-2 lakh actually appear in the preliminary exam) for about 900 vacancies. Thus this whole process of selection takes almost one year.
The Civil Services include:
Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
Indian Police Service (IPS)
Central Civil Services - Group A
Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
Indian Revenue Service (IRS) - Income Tax, Customs and Central Excise
Indian Audits & Accounts Service (IAAS)
Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES)
Indian Information Service (IIS)
Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
Railways Protection Force (RPF)
Central Civil Services - Group B
Union Territories Administrative Service
Union Territories Police Service
Central Secretariat Service
Defence Secretariat Service