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Old 3rd August 2009, 00:17   #1
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I was wondering about being a diplomat for our nation rather than just another MBA. And an epiphany took place while watching an interview being conducted with Shashi tharoor on television,that why not take this option?


Does anyone have any idea what this whole upsc thing is all about?
I have been scouting info of off the net,but i prefer real opinions rather than scripted antiquated advice/opinions on websites.

Any clue as to what the ifs is all about?
What is the exam like?
The salary of an ifs officer?
Coaching institutes in Delhi,if any?
What is your opinion on the upsc exam and the administrative services as a career?


Any other alternate route available for working with the government?
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Old 3rd August 2009, 13:45   #2
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My better-half is also appearign for the UPSC and I can give you basic answers for the questions you asked by.

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Originally Posted by smilenow View Post
why not take this option?

Go for it!.


Does anyone have any idea what this whole upsc thing is all about?
Okay, this is the mother of all exams ( atleast in India ). I have written CAT and was able to score not so bad percentile. But CAT would be like a cat-in-water in front of this monster.
There is a preliminary and mains sections for the UPSC.
In the prelims there would be two sections , a general & then mains. The questions are of objective. You are allowed to choose your main-topic ( Maths, Physics, Psycology, Geography, History etc etc.. ). Once you clear the prelims you would be called in for mains. How the selection happens is secrecy to wade out the advantage to coaching classes.
Mains exam is a detailed answer type exam. In the mains, you have to select two main-topics ( one additional to what you selected for prelims ) and then there would be a GK and 1 or 2 languages ( not sure thou! ). For each main-topic there would be 2 sessions ( ex- math-1 & math-2 ).
Once you are done with main and clear it, you have the GD, interview and once you are over with all these hurdles...TADA!.
I have been scouting info of off the net,but i prefer real opinions rather than scripted antiquated advice/opinions on websites.

Any clue as to what the ifs is all about?
I guess you would be under the ministry of external-affairs and you would be working in various embassies ( posting depends on experience ) or else you would be in foreign-affairs dept. But for IFS , you would need to be the among the toppers of the UPSC exam.
What is the exam like?
As I said earlier, its bloody tough!.
The salary of an ifs officer?
Monetarily, I am not sure. But facilities wise, you would be living like a king with servants, good cars and lots of other stuff. You would not be earning as well as an yem-bee-yay, but well being an IFS gives you another set of rights and powers.
Coaching institutes in Delhi,if any?
Lots of them, I would say hell lot of them are in Delhi. I did not find as many coaching centres anywhere else in India. So being in Delhi is a huge advantage
What is your opinion on the upsc exam and the administrative services as a career?
As I said earlier, its tough and it requires a full-time devotion and the amount of intake is pretty low. But once you are selected the ROI is HUGGEEE!!. You would be actually involved in nation-building(IAS) or else dealing with foreign relations ( IFS ). I envision it as a soul-satisfying and prestigious job.


Any other alternate route available for working with the government?
Become son-in-law of a minister ?
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Old 3rd August 2009, 21:28   #3
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My ten cents: find some folks who have gone through this wringer and talk to them before you take the plunge. I think you are allowed only three attempts; but each attempt takes at least a full year of preparation and another for the three-stage exams. I know folks who have taken three attempts, wasted the better part of their twenties, and basically become completely demoralised. If you decide to do this, pick a scoring subject, such mathematics, rather than the social sciences, which do'nt score well. Over the last few years, I have noticed that a good number of the IFS probationers are doctors and engineers, not from the social sciences. All the best!
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Old 4th August 2009, 06:27   #4
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If you are of general category then you will be allowed four attempts before you attain the age limit of 30 years. The exam notification is advertised every year by the first week of December. The preliminary exam is held on the 3rd Sunday of May. Those who qualify in the preliminaries are to sit in the mains held in October-November.

The prelims is multiple choice type of two papers: General Studies (compulsory) and one Optional paper on a subject of your choice. The mains again is of two parts:

Written exam:
i) Qualifying papers (marks not counted) of General English and an Indian Language.
ii) Essay (one paper : 200 marks)
iii) General Studies (two papers : 600 marks)
iv) Two Optional Subjects (two papers each: 1200 marks)

Interview: 300 marks (for those who clear the written exam)

A total score of about 1200 is generally enough to get IAS.

For your choice of subjects and other details please visit the UPSC web site (click the link below):

Notcvl

Last edited by tortoiseNhare : 4th August 2009 at 06:29.
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Old 4th August 2009, 15:09   #5
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Being tangential here, but ain't this exam also for getting into IPS?
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Old 4th August 2009, 20:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_R View Post
My ten cents: find some folks who have gone through this wringer............ All the best!
Yes,sir. The hunt is on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santhosh_kumard View Post
My better-half is also appearign for the UPSC and I can give you basic answers for the questions you asked by.
Awesome!!
Thank you so much for the answers.
I have started my preparations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
If you are of general category then you will be allowed four attempts before
For your choice of subjects and other details please visit the UPSC web site (click the link below):

Notcvl
Thank you so much for that information,gives me a structured exoskeleton for the way ahead.

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Being tangential here, but ain't this exam also for getting into IPS?
Yep,same exam for ias,ips,ifs,and ifs2[Indian forest service]
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Old 5th August 2009, 12:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smilenow View Post

Yep,same exam for ias,ips,ifs,and ifs2[Indian forest service]
A lil correction : The Indian-Forest-Service is a different exam which doesnt have a prelim. You directly give the mains.
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Old 5th August 2009, 12:43   #8
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Smilenow,

My brother went through the wringer and got through but that was several decades ago (he is due to retire this year).

His daughter gave it her best (?) attempt and did not make it.

It requires a lot of dedication and single minded focus (you can't take on anything else at that time). You will need coaching. Rao's Study Circle in Delhi is among the best. You are fortunate to be in Delhi.

All the very best!

PS: There is another route to Foreign Service - the translation route. MA in foreign language from JNU (?). I know a friend's husband who took that route.
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Old 5th August 2009, 13:17   #9
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First and foremost thing one needs to have is
Lots of patience
ability to mug up things ( applicable for social and science subjects but not for mathemetics, physics, chemistry and engg disciplines)
reasonable awareness of India's history, current affairs
Luck ( very important)

It depends upon what are the subjects in your graduation?

Check with guys who are preparing. find out which are subjects are the current rage. In this exam the popular subjects keep changing for every three to four years due to the knee jerk reactions from UPSC.

One or two subjects will be popular apart for engg & maths.( these subjects can not be opted by all except those who graduated in them)

Choose only those popular ones. Your chance will be bright.

How to find out which are popular : one way is to see the schedule of mains exam. which ever subject is after general studies is the most popular.
the order of the exams after general studies is dependent upon the number of candidates opting for a subject. most popular will be the first after general studies. others follow in that order.

If one subject is most popular for the last three years safely avoid it.

UPSC allows you to chose what ever you want. it has nothing to do with your graduation.

Recent trend is to answer in mother tongue. ( One has to write all the papers in the same language , like general studies, optionals)

apart from delhi, hyderabad has reasonably good coaching institutions.

For IFS ( Indian Forest service ) UPSC conducts separate exam almost like civils.
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Old 5th August 2009, 14:23   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smilenow View Post
Any other alternate route available for working with the government?
How about the Armed Forces? If you are a graduate, you can appear for the Combined Defense Service Examination, conducted by the UPSC twice a year. It's a multiple choice type exam and covers almost all subjects that we learnt from standard 1 to 12 plus current affairs, GK etc. If you pass that, then you appear for an interview in front of the Services Selection Board (interview is misleading - it's a series of tests spanning 4-5 days). The Army accepts any graduate, while the Navy and AF take only Science grads (though there are age limits for all 3).

If you are an Engineer, and are technically inclined, try the direct entry scheme for technical graduates (BE, B.Tech). All 3 branches (Army, Navy, Air Force) have this scheme. Being an Engineer, you will be eligible to skip the written exam (which is also conducted by the UPSC) and directly appear for the Services Selection Board interviews. If you are selected through this scheme, you will need to serve in a technical capacity in the forces and not a fighting one.

Although it is a very noble and fulfilling profession, do keep in mind that being in the defence services doesn't pay even 1/4th of what an MBA does. Also, (without meaning to offend anyone), there are no avenues for any "extra earnings" like in the IAS. You will find all the information you need about exam dates, eligibility, pay scales etc on the UPSC website as well as several career advice websites.

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 5th August 2009 at 14:26. Reason: corrected typo
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