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UPSC Posts – A Comprehensive Guide to the Types of Civil Services


The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Service Examination (CSE) to fill 24 different Civil Services posts. Thousands of aspirants apply for this prestigious examination, but only a few succeed in clearing it. The Civil Services are divided into three categories: All India Civil Services, Group ‘A’ Civil Services, and Group ‘B’ Civil Services. In this article, we will explore the various posts under these categories and their responsibilities.

All India Civil Services

The All India Civil Services are highly esteemed and attract aspirants from all over the country. The most popular services under this category include:

1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

IAS is the permanent arm of the Government of India and State Governments. IAS officers are responsible for formulating and implementing government policies. They undergo training at LBSNAA, Mussoorie, and hold significant administrative positions.

2. Indian Police Service (IPS)

IPS officers are trained at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad. They occupy senior positions in the police service and various other agencies like RAW, IB, and CBI.

3. Indian Forest Service (IFoS)

IFoS officers manage and protect the country’s forests and wildlife. The highest designation of IFoS officers serving with the Central Government is Director General of Forests.

Group ‘A’ Civil Services

Group ‘A’ Civil Services are responsible for various administrative and executive functions. Some of the significant Group ‘A’ services include:

1. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

IFS officers handle India’s foreign affairs and can serve as High Commissioners, Ambassadors, and Permanent Representatives at the UN.

2. Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)

IA&AS officers are responsible for financial auditing of Central and State Governments and PSUs. They undergo training at NAAA, Shimla.

3. Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)

ICAS officers function under the Ministry of Finance and work as financial advisors to various government departments.

4. Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)

ICLS officers govern the corporate sector in India and undergo training at ICLS Academy, Manesar.

5. Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)

IDAS officers audit defence accounts and serve organizations like BRO, DRDO, and Ordnance Factories.

6. Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)

IDES officers manage and maintain the cantonments and lands belonging to the defence establishment.

7. Indian Information Service (IIS)

IIS officers manage the media wing of the Government and act as a bridge between the Government and the public.

8. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS

IOFS officers manage Indian Ordnance Factories that produce defence equipment and ammunition.

9. Indian Communication Finance Services

ICFS officers provide accounting and financial services to Indian Posts and Telecommunication Departments.

10. Indian Postal Service

IPoS officers manage the India Post, offering various services like banking, e-commerce, and pensions.

11. Indian Railway Accounts Service

IRAS officers manage the finances and accounts of Indian Railways.

12. Indian Railway Personnel Service

IRPS officers are responsible for managing the human resources of Indian Railways.

13. Indian Railway Traffic Service

IRTS officers are responsible for revenue generation and managing the operation and commercial wings of Indian Railways.

14. Indian Revenue Service

IRS officers are responsible for collecting direct and indirect taxes.

15. Indian Trade Service

ITS officers manage international trade and commerce for the country.

16. Railway Protection Force

RPF officers provide security to railway passengers and protect the property of Indian Railways.

Group ‘B’ Civil Services

Group ‘B’ Civil Services provide essential support to various administrative functions. Some of the Group ‘B’ services include:

1. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service

Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service offers support services to Indian Armed Forces and Inter-Services Organisations.


Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services (DANICS) officers serve as Assistant Collectors and handle administrative functions in Delhi and other Union Territories.


DANIPS is a federal police service responsible for administering Delhi and the Union Territories of India.

4. Pondicherry Civil Service

Pondicherry Civil Service officers are recruited through the Civil Service Examination and serve in the administration of the Union Territory of Pondicherry.

5. Pondicherry Police Service

Pondicherry Police Service officers are also recruited through the Civil Service Examination and serve in the police department of Pondicherry.


The UPSC offers a diverse range of Civil Services posts, catering to various administrative, executive, and specialized functions. Aspirants can choose from the All India Civil Services, Group ‘A’ Civil Services, and Group ‘B’ Civil Services based on their interests and career goals.


  1. Q: Which is the highest post in the IAS?
  2. A: The highest post in the IAS is that of the Cabinet Secretary, who is the senior-most civil officer of the Indian government.
  1. Q: What is the lowest post in UPSC?
    A: The lowest post in the IAS is the IAS trainee or IAS probationer, given during the training period.
  2. Q: What is the difference between an IAS and a Collector?
    A: The District Collector, often abbreviated as DM, is an IAS officer who is the senior-most executive magistrate and in charge of the general administration of a district in India.
  3. Q: How many posts are there in the civil services?
    A: There are a total of 24 different Civil Services posts that are filled through the Civil Service Examination (CSE) conducted by the UPSC.
  4. Q: What is Group A in Civil Services?
    A: The Central Services (Group A) are concerned with the administration of the Union Government, and all appointments to Central Civil Services (Group A) are made by the President of India.
  5. Q: What are Group B posts in the Civil Services?
    A: Group B posts in the Civil Services are meant for rendering administrative and executive assistance. Group B officers usually work under the command of IAS officers and Gazetted officers of the Indian Administration.
  6. Q: What are the uniforms for an IAS and an IPS?
    A: IAS officers do not have a special uniform; they wear formal clothes at official events. IPS officers, on the other hand, have prescribed uniforms that change with rank. The IPS officer puts the Ashok symbol on their shoulders.

For aspirants preparing for UPSC 2023, understanding the various posts and responsibilities will help set clear goals and guide their preparation strategy.

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