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About Civil Services

All India Civil Service which replaced the British colonial ICS, happens to be apex administrative service in India. It is an important arm of the executive branch of the government. There are as many as 24 services in the central government, almost all of them in Group A service for which UPSC conducts examination. Three topmost and most sought services happen to be Indian Administrative service (IAS)Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS). The other Services, termed as Central Services are Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Income Tax, Central Customs and Excise, Indian Audit and Account Service, Indian Postal Service, Indian Defense Accounts Service, Indian Railway Traffic Service, Indian Railway Personnel Service, Indian Railway Accounts Service, etc. Central Services serve Union Government, not state services like IAS and IPS. There are Group B services as well, assigned to various departments and services. Civil services recruitment is done for about 24 services and about 900(Approximate) officers are selected every year.

During the course of about two years of probation, the selected candidates for civil services are trained initially, in Mussorie and subsequently in various training academies such as Mussorie(IAS), Hyderabad (IPS), Nagpur (IRS) – Income Tax, Delhi(IFS) etc. They are also attached to their field offices for some time for exposing them to the field during training period itself. Training modules are different for each of the services.

Indian Administrative Service(IAS):

IAS officers hold key positions in the government both at the Centre and in the states. Officers are assigned, after selection, to a State IAS cadre. One gets his or home cadre depending on the rank he or she gets in the final result. During the normal course of a career, they are posted at the Sub-Division, and District, and serve in the State Secretariat or as Head of Departments. Officers may move from positions at the State, under deputation, to the Centre and back again. As an IAS more than half of the career life will be spent in the State in which one is allocated An IAS officer’s work can be summed up as “ look after law and order, general administration, revenue work and developmental functions”. An IAS officer will be a District Magistrate in his fifth year of service and till he is promoted to the Super Time Scale in the 17th year of the service. IAS Officers become Secretaries to the State Government when they reach the Selection Grade. The highest post in the State is that of the Chief Secretary. At the top of the hierarchy of IAS officers is the Cabinet Secretary in the union government.

Indian Police Service(IPS):

Similarly, IPS officers rise in their position from Assistant Superintendt/Assistant Commissioner of Police to District Superintdent of Police in 5th or 6th year of service. Thereafter, they get promoted as DIG ie Deputy Inspector General Of police, Inspector General of Police(IGP) and finally DGP ie Director General Of Police to head the state.

In the case of IFS ie Indian Foreign Service, the candidates start as Third Secretaries in Indian Embassy/High Commission. The officers are required to become conversant in a major foreign language. They spend another two years in the same Embassy as Second Secretaries. After two postings abroad, the I.F.S. Officers are posted in India in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) (Eg. Passport office or Indian Council for Cultural Relations or elsewhere in the Government of India). In the super time scale, many I.F.S. Officers become Ambassadors of medium sized countries while others are appointed as Ministers in the large embassies like Washington and Moscow.

India Revenue Services (IRS):

Indian Revenue services, is a common name given to candidates selected for Income Tax and Central Excise and Customs Departments. Both departments are the main Revenue collecting agencies of the Government of India. Income tax Department these days, has emerged as an important revenue source to the government and is in the public eyes for it affects the personal income of individuals and business entities including corporate bodies. It has become much sought after service in view of good working conditions such as place of posting being big towns and metropolitan cities.

The officers start as Assistant Commissioners and rise to become Commissioners of Income Tax within 20 years of service, then Chief commissioners Of Income Tax within another 8 years. The highest position in the Income Tax department is Chairman of Central Board Of Direct Taxes(CBDT). More or less same is the position in the Central Excise and Customs Department.

Civil Servants: Pay Scales

Approximately the range of salaries drawn at various levels is as follows:

1. Scale Position/Job (Pre-Revised) Junior Officer Scale Work in their allotted States (Pay Band/ PB-3 15600 - 39100 + Grade Pay/GP 5400). Gross Salary around 30,000 in the beginning of scale.

2. Senior Scale Officer (Under Secretary GOI level) (PB-3 15600 - 39100 + GP 6600).

3. Junior Administrative Grade (after 9 years Deputy Secretary GOI level) (PB-3 15600 - 39100 + GP 7600).

4. Selection Grade (after 14th year) (Directors/Deputy Secretary) (PB-4 37400 - 67000 + 8700).

5. Super time Scale B (DIG grade(IPS)/Conservator of Forest(IFS) etc) (between 14 to 16th year of service) (PB-4 37400 - 67000 + 8900).

6. Super Time Scale or Senior Administrative Grade (Joint Secretary GOI Level) (between 17th to 18th year) (PB-4 37400 - 67000 + 10000).

7. Above Super Time Scale or Higher Administrative Grade/Additional Secretary GOI Level (after at least 25 years of service) (67000 - annual increment @3% -79000).

8. Apex Time Scale (75000 - annual increment @3% -80000) (This scale exist for certain services like IPS/IFS/IA & AS/IRS etc.).

9. Apex Scale 80000 (fixed) (Secretary GOI Level) (after 30 years of service).

10. Consolidated 90000 (fixed) Cabinet Secretary ( Only for IAS one post at the Centre). In addition to the salary civil servants receive various allowances such as Dearness Allowance, (52%),City compensatory Allowance,(15% – 30%), Leave Travel Allowance, Medical and subsidized housing.

In addition to the salary civil servants receive various allowances such as Dearness Allowance, (52%),City compensatory Allowance,(15% – 30%), Leave Travel Allowance, Medical and subsidized housing.

Equivalent Ranks in various services:

S No

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

Indian Police Service   (IPS)

Indian Revenue Service (IRS)


Assistant Collector

Assistant Superintendent of Police

Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax


Collector/Deputy Commissioner/Deputy Secretary / Deputy Directors

Additional Superintendent of Police/ Superintendent of Police

Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax


Collector/ Deputy Commissioner / Additional Secretary / Joint Secretary / Directors

Senior Superintendent of Police

Joint Commissioner of Income Tax



Deputy Inspector General of Police

Additional Commissioner of Income Tax


Secretary/ Commissioner & Secretary

Inspector General of Police

Commissioner of Income Tax


Principal Secretary/Financial Commissioners

Additional Director General of Police

Chief Commissioner of Income tax


Chief Secretary/Chairman Administrative Tribunal etc

Director General of Police (Head of State)

CBDT Chairman/Board Chairman


State Civil Services :

The State Civil Services examinations and recruitments are conducted by the individual states of India. The state civil services have departments such as land revenue, agriculture, forests, education etc. The officers of the state civil services are recruited by different States through the State Public Service Commissions. The categories of services are as under:

    1. State Civil Services, Class-I.

    2. State Police Service, Class-I.

    3. Tehsildar/Talukadar.

    4. Assistant Commissioner/Assistant Collector – Excise/CommercialTax.

    5. District Employment Officer.

    6. District Treasury Officer.

    7. District Welfare Officer.

    8. Assistant Registrar Cooperative Societies.

    9. District Food and Supplies Controller/Officer.

    10. Any other Class-I/Class-II service notified as per rules by the concerned State.