The Civil Services refer to the civil service and the permanent bureaucracy of the Government of India. The civil service system is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country.
In the parliamentary democracy of India, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the elected representatives of the people which are the ministers. But the handful of ministers cannot be expected to deal personally with the manifold problems of modern administration. Thus the ministers lay down the policy and it is for the civil servants to carry out this policy.
The executive decisions are implemented by the Indian civil servants. The members of civil service serve at the pleasure of the President of India and Article 311 of the constitution protects them from politically motivated or vindictive action. Civil servants are employees of the Government of India; however, not all employees of the Government are civil servants. Civil servants in a personal capacity are paid from the Civil List. Senior civil servants may be called to account by Parliament.
The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS) among others.The examination is one of the toughest examinations in India with success rate of 0.1%-0.3% with more than 900,000 applicants. It is conducted in two phases - the Preliminary examination, consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies and Aptitude Test), and the Main examination, consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type followed by the Personality Test (Interview).The entire process from the notification of the Preliminary examination to declaration of the final results takes roughly one year.