In the field of Civil Services there are essentially two choices that you have–applying for UPSC and state commission examinations. For general stream students who do not have any professional qualifications, only the non-technical services in the UPSC list are open. Consequently they cannot appear in examinations like the Engineering and Medical Services.

The Indian Forest Service examination whose PT is the same as the Civil Services PT is only open to science, engineering and similar streams. Hence arts and commerce graduates are not eligible.

However, the Civil Services Examination is open to all graduates. Similarly, the state civil services examinations area also open to gradates from all over the country. In theory state examinations are open to all citizens of India because of the provisions of Article 16 of the Constitution. However, there is one important proviso. States have a regional language paper, usually of a qualifying nature. This effectively means that Hindi speaking candidates from North India cannot hope to qualify state examinations in West Bengal or Tamilnadu even though they can appear in English. The qualifying regional language paper will be an insurmountable obstacle. Of course, Hindi speaking candidates can appear in examinations in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal, Rajasthan, UP, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and MP all of which have Hindi as a compulsory paper in the Main examination.

Our general advice is that you should apply not only for the UPSC but also for one or more state level examinations. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, the syllabi for UPSC and states are now very close and composite preparation can be carried out.

Secondly appearing in state exams provides some practice in examination taking.

Thirdly state services also offer good career options.