What does a career in State Civil Services look like?

The State Public Service Commissions (SPSC) in India conduct civil service exams every year which offer avenues to the middle-level administration in state governments. These exams are conducted separately by each state government. The structure of exams is mostly similar across states with three stages – prelims, mains, and interview. Differences, if any, are in the pattern of exam i.e. papers being either subjective or objective in nature.

Some of the services for which State PSC conduct exams are as follows:

  • State Civil Service Class I
  • State Police Service Class I
  • Block Development Officer
  • Tehsildar/Talukdar/Asst. Collector
  • Excise and Taxation Officer
  • Dist. Employment Officer
  • Dist. Treasury Officer
  • Dist. Welfare Officer
  • Asst. Registrar, Cooperative Societies
  • Dist. Food and Supplies Controller/Officer

Suyog Bendre was selected by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) to the post of Naib-Tehsildar in 2015. He is currently in midst of his training and is posted in Dahanu district of Maharashtra. Speaking to PaGaLGuY, Bendre said, “We have a rigorous training schedule. As part of our training, we get exposure to various organisations like police, army, and the revenue department. My current attachment is at the Sessions Court in Dahanu for a duration of one week. The aim of attachment is to acquaint us to different departments.” Bendre added, “After completing my training, I will be given the rank immediately below that of Naib-Tehsildar, Avar Karkoon or Senior Clerk. I will continue in this rank for about five months. At the end of this period, there is a 200-marks exam. Based on this exam and my MPSC exam score, a seniority list is prepared according to the marks we have secured. Then we will be confirmed in the service in our respective ranks. ”

Shripad Puranik, a retired officer of the Maharashtra Finance and Accounts Service said, “The posts which are more in demand among students / candidates are that of Deputy Collector & Deputy Superintendent of Police because they give candidates a chance to enter the Indian Administration Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) cadre after some years of service.”

Officers in State Civil and Police service can apply for a promotion to the All India Service (IAS and IPS) after serving for eight years. Before 2013, this promotion was based on annual confidential reports. Since 2014, officers have to clear an exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Promotions are also based on vacancies available for that year. Out of all the vacancies in a state, about 1/3rd are kept for state service officers. 

About career growth, Puranik said, “Through MPSC, one can serve at the highest levels in administration. I took voluntary retirement as Assistant Director, but other colleagues who continued have retired as Joint Directors or Directors from my Department. So, as a career, state service gives candidates an advantage of working in one’s own state in senior administrative capacities.”

About the recruitment process, Puranik said, “Earlier, eligibility was not subject specific except for Forest Service. Now, to apply in services, MPSC prefers candidates with prior knowledge of those subjects. For eg, in Accounts Service, commerce graduation is an eligibility and the Transport Department prefers engineers.” 

Thus, candidates have a world of opportunities in state civil services waiting for them.