Highlights of the Webcast on “Chartered Accountants-How to enter Civil Services for Nation building” conducted by ICAI on 3rd May 2020

CA Mahaveer Singhvi IFS (Overview of UPSC) :

He listed the various Civil services which included IAS, IFS, IRS, IES, IPS and so on. There are 50 odd Civil services of which UPSC conducts exam for 24 services.

IFS deals with diplomatic services. They are posted abroad as Ambassadors or at Multi Lateral Organizations(MLO). Back home, IFS work under Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

IAS officers look after the cutting edge of administration and are also involved in executing various laws and looking after various development schemes.
IRS is involved in revenue collection, both Income tax and Customs. While, IPS deals with police services.

Other services which a CA may find interest in are Indian Trade Services (ITrS), Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS), Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS – who perform audit of Governments’ accounts).

CA Kirlosh Kumar IAS (UPSC procedure) :

There is one single examination for all services. The service you would get one being selected is primarily based on your ranking and also on your preferences given.

The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years (for the General category candidate) on 1 August of the year of examination.

Prescribed age limits vary with respect to caste reservations. For Other Backward Castes (OBC) the upper age limit is 35 years. For Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the limit is 37 years. Minimum qualification is a Graduation degree from a Government recognized university.

There are 3 levels – Prelims, Mains and Interview.

Stage I : Preliminary Examination – Held in June every year. Results are announced in August.

Stage II : Mains Examination – Held in October every year. Results are announced in January.

Personality Test (interview) : Held in March. Final results are usually announced in May.

The number of times a candidate can appear for the exam are as below :
General category candidates = 6
OBC category candidates = 9
SC/ST candidates = unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.

Prelims is MCQ pattern exam with negative marking.

In Mains, CAs can opt optional paper as “Commerce and Accountancy” which covers various topics covered over CA Inter and Final syllabus.

For clearing Interview, a candidate is being tested based on his various facets such as honesty, decision making, unbiasedness, personality and attitude, analytical skills and so on.

It is a competitive exam and so passing would not suffice. Rather, one needs to outperform their fellow candidates to get through the exams.

Post selection, there is 2 years training including on the job training.

There are around 800 to 1000 vacancies of which around 50% are for reserved category.

Around a million students apply for Prelims every year of which 50% actually appear for the same i.e. around 5 Lakhs. Of these, around 10000 get selected for Mains and further 2500 odd get short listed for Interview.

CA Sarika Jain IRS (UPSC Aspirant queries) :

She talked about the various challenges faced by the students which includes thoughts about financial background, family history, and so. She clarified that these have no implications at all on the road map to being a Civil servant.

Language is not at all a barrier. Question paper is only given in Hindi or English. Answers can be given in any one of the scheduled languages of India. Same goes for Interview.

Even though the syllabus is vast, there are standard books for studying and revising the portion well. It is definitely not as tough as CA examinations. Also, thorough reading of newspaper is must, at least 1 good newspaper.

At the end, it is a WIN-WIN situation for the UPSC aspirants, even though they do not clear as the study process and syllabus gives you a vast variety of knowledge which can be useful for you lifelong.