Career opportunities in central and state services

Prof Ronald Pinto, Director, Institute for Individual Development decodes the recruitment process for Government Jobs

Even though Karnataka boasts of world famous medical, engineering colleges, universities and deemed universities, Kannadigas lag their counterparts from other states in getting selected for all India Government jobs especially in Civil Services like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS etc. This year fortunately IAS topper (Ms. Nandini from Kolam) is from Karnataka. About 60 candidates have been selected from Karnataka for various Civil Services this year. 5 candidates who have been selected have written all their papers in Kannada.

A lack of knowledge of various competitive exams conducted by Central Government and also the status, perks and glamour attached to these careers are the reasons why our youth are not giving their first preference for government jobs.

Why Government jobs?

A job in the civil services or a departmental job in any of the government office offers an opportunity to serve the people, an opportunity to contribute to the society, take challenges head on, serve society on the one hand and provides self-growth and self-satisfaction, decent perks, career safety, attractive retirement benefits and importantly social status.

Both the Central government and State governments have constituted separate bodies to recruit candidates for various undertakings.

Central Government vacancies are mainly filled up by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), State Selection Commission (SSC) and boards set up by various departmental and public sector undertakings like the Railway recruitment Board etc. State Government vacancies on the other hand are mainly filled up through exams conducted by Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) and Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) and independent boards set up by State Government undertakings.

Testing Methodology

Almost all government competitive exams, barring the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) & Karnataka Administrative Services (KAS) where candidate has to choose an optional subject paper, test Numerical Ability / Quantitative Ability, English Language, Reasoning /Intelligence, Clerical Aptitude, General Knowledge, Essay Writing, Psychological Tests, Aptitude Tests, Computer Skills and Technical Skills.

A candidate’s personal attributes are also tested through a Group Discussion to assess communication ability, team building capacity, leadership ability etc.

A personal interview (PI) is an integral part of any competitive exam. The interview panel generally screens and assesses a candidate based on his appearance, speech, Etiquette and manners, mental alertness, consistency of thoughts, emotional stability (EQ), general awareness, creativity / Innovation, ambition and positive attitude.


Important Exams conducted by the UPSC - Box

1. Civil Services Exam (IAS, IPS, IFS etc)
2. National Defense Academy (NDA) after PUC
3. Combined Defense Service (CDS) after degree
4. Indian Economic/Statistical Service Examination
5. Geoscientist and Geologists Exam
6. Indian Forest Service (IFS) Exam
7. Engineering Service Examination (ESE)
8. Combined Medical Service Exam (CMSE)
9. Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) AC (EXE)
10. Central Armed Police Forces (AC) Exam

Important exams conducted by the Staff Selection Sommission - BOX

1. Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Examination for Central Posts
2. Combined Graduate level exams like Inspector of Income Tax/Central Excise.
3. Junior Engineer (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical) Examination
4. Constable (GD) Examination
5. Stenographer Examination
6. Sub – Inspectors in CAPF, ASI, CISF & Delhi Police
7. Jr. Hindi Translator
8. Multi – Tasking (Non – Technical) Staff Examination.


Indian Banking personnel selection (IBPS) conducts separate exams for clerical and officers in 3 stages.

Stage 1: Preliminary – Screening Test
Stage 2 : Written Main Exam 250 Marks
Stage 3 : Personality Test
Group Discussion : 20 Marks
Personal Interview : 30 Marks

Once you get IBPS score you have to apply separately to various banks depending on their advertisements in various newspapers / websites.

Exams Conducted by KPSC - Box

1. KAS – AC, Tahsildar, DySP, CTO, Registrars, Employment Officers, Youth Officers, Welfare Officers etc – Almost all top level officers in Karnataka are recruited through KAS Exam.
2. First Division Assistant (FDA)
3. Second Division Assistant (SDA)
4. Sub – Inspectors (SI)
5. Forest Range Officer (FRO)
6. Selecting Staff in Universities, College, Schools through CET conducted by common Examination Authority (CEA)

1) Qualification Degree
2) Age : 21 to 32 yrs(GM), 21 to 35 for OBC 21 to 37 for SC / ST
3) Attempts : 6 for GM, 9 for OBC & unlimited for SC/ST

Plan of examination :
The Examination consists of 3 stages
 Preliminary Exam – held in June – Multiple choice for screening
 2 papers of 2 hrs each
 Paper 1 – general studies – 200 marks; 100 questions 2 marks each Paper 2 - Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) – 200 marks 80 question, 2.5 marks each.
 From 2015 in paper 2, 33% marks minimum, not counted for merit (only qualifying.)

 Main Exam : in Nov/Dec for those who qualify in preliminary exam
 One optional subject, 2 papers, 250 marks each.
 Essay – 250 marks, 2 essays
 4 papers of General studies – 250 marks each Total 7 paper of 250 marks each – totaling 1750
 There are two qualifying papers in English & Indian language where a student has to score 25% in English & 30% Indian language. But marks are not counted for final selection.

 Interview : Those who qualify in civil services main examination

 Carries 275 Marks. Assessment of various personal attributes through Panel questions and group discussions in some cases.

Pattern for KAS Examination - Box

The KAS Examination also has three stages

 Preliminary Examination
 Paper 1 : 100 questions, 200 marks
 General studies on National and International importance - 40 questions, 80marks
 Humanities 60 questions, 12 marks

 Paper 2 : 100 questions, 200 marks
 General Studies on Karnataka Importance - 40 question 80 marks
 General Science, Technology, Environment & Ecology -30 questions, 60 marks.
 General Mental Ability – 30question, 60 marks

 Main Examination:
 Same as IAS - 7 papers 250 marks each. Total 1750 marks
 Note: Qualifying Exam English & Kannada carry 150 marks each which are taken into account for merit ranking

 Personality Test : 200 marks

BSRB (Banking Services recruitment board) Exam Pattern - Box
 Stage 1 - Screening online MCQ test
 Part 1 – English Language
 Part 2 – Analytical skills
 Part 3 – Reasoning

 Stage 2
 English Essay - 50 marks
 English Grammar
 General Knowledge
 Computer Basics
 Arithmetic & Data Interpretation
 Reasoning and Analytical Skills

Note: the last five for 200 Marks in total

 Stage 3
 Group Discussion : 20 marks
 Interview : 30 marks




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