The Indian Administrative Services (IAS) or Civil Services Exam (CSE) is an All India exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment of graduates from all fields to the Civil Services covering twenty different services under the Government of India. There are two stages in this exam, Preliminary and Main Exam followed by a personality test or Interview. A candidate is permitted a maximum of six attempts for the examination. However, there is no restriction on number of attempts by a candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). Nine attempts are permissible to an aspirant belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The Indian Administrative Service is the administrative civil service of the Government of India. In Union Government, State governments and public-sector undertakings, IAS officers have a responsible and integral role to play. The union government recruits IAS officers as per the recommendations by UPSC and then they are posted under various state governments. An officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service will be liable to serve anywhere in India or abroad either under the Central Government or under a State Government.At the end of IAS interview, which is the last stage of civil services exam; selected candidates are allocated to different cadres. Each state in India has one cadre, except the three joint cadres which are Assam - Meghalaya, Manipur - Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh Goa - Mizoram - Union Territories (AGMUT).After completing the compulsory training process, the officers are posted at the junior level in the administration. Most of them are posted in rural and semi urban areas so that they get exposure to working in different parts of the country that they are serving. The service is hierarchical where you can rise through the ranks, but they have fixed promotion time. So, if you have spent adequate amount of time in a particular position, you will be automatically promoted to the next level on the basis of your experience.Candidates who are appearing for the civil services exam have to indicate their order of preferences for services, in their main exam application form only. Those candidates, who wish to get allotted to the same state where they reside, should mention about this preference in their mains application form. There are different positions in hierarchy once you enter the administrative service as an IAS officer. The duties for each level are more or less similar with increasing responsibility as level increases. A civil servant is basically responsible for the law and order and general administration in the area under his work. The functions of an IAS officer includes Planning for policies that accelerate development work in the area under your charge, Handling the affairs of government, which involve framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the concerned minister, Traveling to the places where the government policies have to be implemented, Supervision to ensure proper disbursement of funds, Answering the parliament and state legislatures for any irregularities that may occur in the area under your work, Assessing projects, making recommendations and providing relevant information about projects, especially to parliament. The IAS officers also serve in the state secretariat or as heads of departments in public sector undertakings.After appearing for the civil service exam candidates can appear for All India Services which include Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service. Group - A Services includes Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Indian Defence Accounts Service, Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration), Indian Postal Service, Indian Civil Accounts Service, Indian Railway Traffic Service, Indian Railway Accounts Service, Indian Railway Personnel Service of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Indian Defence Estates Service, Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III) and Indian Corporate Law Service.Group - B Services includes Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer's Grade)Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli - Police Service, Pondicherry Civil Service, Pondicherry Police Service.Most candidates start their career in the administrative service in the state administration at the sub-divisional level as a sub-divisional magistrate. Then candidate can get promoted as a chief development officer in district or a joint secretary in state or an undersecretary in central government. Later the candidate can get promoted as a district collector or the municipal commissioner or a deputy secretary in the central government.The next higher level that candidate can take up is that of becoming a district collector or a special secretary in the state government or a director in the central government where the pay scale can increase. Candidate can then become a secretary in state government or take up the position of joint secretary to government of India or become a divisional commissioner. A candidate can get promoted to become a principal secretary or financial commissioner in state or an additional secretary to the government of India. Next higher position in the hierarchy is at apex scale where the candidate can work as a chief secretary of state or union secretary in charge of various ministries in government of India. The top most position available after the apex scale grade is where the candidate can work as the Cabinet Secretary of India.