Services Preference in Detailed Application Form.
- The Order of preference of services for Civil Service is asked when you have qualified for
the mains. This list of services includes the All India Services, Group 'A' and Group 'B'
services, you may choose the order of preference of services as per your choice. You might
be want to join a particular service which you wish to opt for, but rather than get stuck to
the only one service, you should choose other options too, that too in order of popularity.
Why to waste your chance to choose the best? You can change your preferences to a less
popular service once you qualify, but you will not get an opportunity to change to a more
popular service even though your rank may permit it. So it is not a good idea to list the
order of preference starting with the service you wish to join? Its better you choose the
preference according to the list of services in Demand.
- Some people underestimate themselves and list their preference first for lower or less
desirable services so that they get it for sure. Why to under estimate yourself when
you have qualified for the mains? Start with the very first service that is All India
Service then Group A and if you belong to south or the union territories you may choose the
Group B Service. Make sure you do not leave out any service due to over confidence.
List all of them in descending order so that in case you do not get the service you think
you will surely get, you still have some options left. The civil services results can be
very unpredictable and even if you are a topper in your school and college, you may not get
the best services on the list.
- Get to know about the responsibilities and posting of all the services and their standing in
society vis-a-vis other jobs you may take up. You may look down upon some services to begin
with but most times they are better options than to take up private jobs or other technical
jobs. Make sure you do your research and not regret later as many do every year. You can see
some basic information on the links above or also take some advice from the Civil Service
Exam coaching experts too. You will then be aware about the best of the services which you
can pursue and choose while applying for the mains.
- Cadre and service allocation depends on the basis of a candidate’s rank,
preference, vacancies and even category. Hence, one must be very careful with the
choice of cadre and services they intend to join as it also plays a role in allocation
of services. So, it becomes one of the important factors in deciding the career of
UPSC candidates. Let us understand how to go about choosing the cadre as well as
the service preferences.
What exactly is the cadre allocation system?
A cadre is a state or group of states/Union Territories from where officers of the
All-India Services, like the IAS and IPS start their service.
What are the available cadres?
The joint cadres or states are divided into the following five zones:
- Zone-1 (AGMUT, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal
Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab)
Zone-2 (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha)
Zone-3 (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh)
Zone-4 (Manipur, Nagaland, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam-Meghalaya, and
- Zone-5 (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala)
What is the system of allocating cadre to the candidates?
- Firstly, the UPSC aims for a variety of officers from the categories: general,
SC, ST, OBC in every cadre.
- Secondly, UPSC tries to allot two outside officers (whose home cadre is
different from the assigned cadre) for every one officer who is assigned a
home cadre. This is done to ensure that there is balance and national
integration of officers is exercised.
How can a candidate choose their cadre preferences?
- Candidates need to select their cadre in a descending order of preference in
an alphabetical order. For instance, a candidate hailing from Tamil Nadu
ought to keep the cadre preference of the state towards a later preference
among other states that may begin with A, B, C or D, etc.
The preference process takes place in the following manner:
One must select the zone preference
Then, the next step is to choose the cadre preference
Further, the process is to be repeated for each Zone and Cadre in the
order of preference. Also, one cannot choose the same cadre twice.
In case where candidates do not mark their cadre preference, it will be
assumed that they do not have any preferred choice and hence the
authorities will have the power to allot both accordingly.
- Physically disabled quota candidate get an additional option to select their
On a final note, it is important to note that the cadre allocation for civil servants are
made prior to the foundation course at LBSNAA.
What are the services available for candidates to choose
Candidates are asked for their order of preference of services to the Civil Services
when they qualify for the Mains exam. This list of services include the All India
Services, Group 'A' and Group 'B' services. From among these, you may choose
the order of preference of services as per your choice.
- All India Service - Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police
Services (IPS), Indian forest Services (IFoS)
Group A services – Indian Foreign Services (IFS), Indian Revenue
Service (IRS), etc.
- Group B services – DANICS, DANIPS, etc.
You can check the full list in the official website of UPSC
What should be the psyche behind choosing the services?
You can follow this three-step procedure to make your choice of services:
- You may have your eyes set on a particular service, but that would mean you
are stuck with only that choice. Instead, you must choose other popular
options as well. Remember, there always must be a safety net when things
don't go as planned.
Next, think about ‘Why should you not use your chance to choose the
best’? Your choice of services must be a mix of what you desire and what is
in demand. This ensures variety in your list and gives you the chance to go
for services in demand.
- Further, analyse ‘Why is variety in choices required?’ This is because, you
can change your preferences to a less popular service once you qualify, but
you will not get an opportunity to change to a more popular service even
though your rank may permit it. So, it is not a good idea to list the order of
preference starting with the service you intend to join.
Generally, it is wise and advised to choose your preferences according to the list of
services in demand at the time of filling the form.
What should one do before filling service preference in
- First, you must decide for yourself the type of service you want to get into.
Then, go through every service in detail so you understand the demands of
those services. Doing this will help you sort out your priorities. You can also
communicate to people serving in those job profiles to gain a new angle.
- Shortlist the services that you think you are interested in. Also, you must
think about the type of life that you will be leading if you get into that
service. For example, you can opt for IAS if you want to deal with policy
making, administration, etc. You can go for IFS if you want to work in
different countries. Further, you can opt for IPS if you have keen interest in
law and order. Decide the list based on the type of life you will get if you get
into that service.
If there is a confusion, you can list down what type of work interests you
and what you are good at. There are many services under UPSC and you can
tally your interests with them.
You can also consult your friends and family. If you know somebody who is
in the services that is an added bonus because you can easily look into the
reality. Also, experienced people will always be able to guide you in the
right direction if you are clueless.
- Finally, do extensive research about the salary, the perks and benefits as
these differ from service to service. But, always keep the priority of work
- You can also read about the salary and perks of each service, but let that not
be your sole criterion for deciding the preference list.
The IAS/IPS remain at the top of the list for many aspirants as it comes with a lot
of respect and power to bring changes in society. Also, clearing these services aids
in making a name for oneself and the family with hard work and dedication to
serve the society.
What should one avoid while choosing the services?
- Some people underestimate or overestimate themselves while listing their
preference of services. This is what one should avoid while filling the DAF.
If you are confident enough that you will score good marks, start with the
very first service that is All India Service then Group A and if you belong to
south or the union territories you may choose the Group B Services.
- Also, make sure you do not leave out any service due to over
confidence. List all of them in descending order so that in case you do not
get the service you think you will surely get, you still have some options left.
The civil services results can be very unpredictable. So, one must gear up to
face the ups and downs which is a natural part of life.
Final tips on choosing the services!
- Before anything else, you must analyse the roles and duties of the particular
service that you want to get into.
Next, one may think that lower services which take up people from ranks
above 500 to 700 are not good enough jobs. But, the perks and benefits that
come with them may also be better than private or other technical jobs. So, if
you are someone who does not want to get into the private sector, you must
choose wisely after proper calculations based on your interests and wants
- Also, make sure you do your research well. This is to avoid any kind of
mistake that many candidates oversee. You can also seek advice of senior
experts from coaching centers or serving officers.
But above all, your desire to work for the civilians of the country should be
your main priority as you will be entering the civil services i.e. service to the
nation! So, decide patiently which type of work you would like to contribute