India’s youth traditionally consider government jobs as one of their top career choices. It is one of the most lucrative and rewarding career opportunities in India because of career stability, job security, excellent wages, regular promotions, and numerous benefits.
In addition to these advantages, government jobs give you a sense of serving your country by working on and contributing to government infrastructure, which makes them more attractive than jobs in the private sector.
An individual can get a government job in a variety of ways, but the two most popular ways have been through the IAS/Civil Services Exam or the SSC Exam.
Let’s have a look at both of these exams.
What is a Civil Service Exam?
Civil Services Examinations (CSE) are national competitive examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission in India for recruitment to higher civil service positions, including the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service, and the Indian Police Service.
The UPSC examination is held in three stages: a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers and the main examination consisting of nine conventional (essay) papers, of which two are qualifying, and only seven marks are counted, followed by a personality test (interview). Throughout the entire process, successful candidates spend 32 hours taking tests which takes years of UPSC preparation.
Roles and Responsibilities
As the backbone of the Indian government, the Civil Service carries out a multitude of functions. This is the primary service that oversees all of the large departments running the state and central administration.
There are three types of services recruited through the Civil Services Examination: All India Services, Central Services, and State Services. Salaries also vary according to the position and category of the Services.
What is the Staff Selection Commission Exam?
In India, the SSC CGL examination (Combined Graduate Level) is considered to be one of the most important examinations conducted for graduate students. This exam is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission each year to recruit staff for various departments and ministries of the Indian government, including its subsidiary offices.
Students looking for jobs under the central government will have an excellent opportunity with SSC CGL 2021. The SSC fills thousands of vacancies in government departments each year.
Roles and Responsibilities
While government jobs offer stable careers, they also come with a lot of responsibilities. In the SSC, candidates are hired to work as part of the government machinery and to help with the general administration and day-to-day operations of a department or ministry.
Do Civil Services Aspirants Get Benefits Over the SSC CGL exam?
To get the answer to this question, let us compare both the exams:
SSC exams are typically conducted online in a computer-based test (CBT) format, while UPSC exams are largely conducted offline. A single exam is conducted in multiple shifts because of the number of applicants and the use of computer-based testing. Following its examination, the SSC asks for different question papers in each shift; it normalises the marks according to the level of difficulty of the papers.
Fortunately, with UPSC, the exam is conducted on the same day throughout the nation, and the same question paper is used, so there is no normalization of the marks.
The Time Factor
Time is an extremely important determinant from the UPSC aspirant’s point of view. Most of the time, SSC exams are postponed, and recruitment can take longer than two years (in some cases). Although UPSC schedules the exams one year in advance, it conducts the examinations according to that schedule. The UPSC does not postpone exams in normal circumstances.
Process of Recruiting
According to the latest announcement made by India’s Prime Minister in 2015, the interview process will no longer be part of the Group C recruitment process. So in most cases, no interviews are conducted with SSC candidates. Interviews are conducted by the SSC during recruitment for certain Grade B (Gazetted, Non-Ministerial) posts throughout the year, such as Assistant Audit Officers and Assistant Section Officers.
Since UPSC conducts the recruitment for Group A and Group B posts, the interview for most of these posts happens before the UPSC Board.
#. After passing a Civil Service Exam, you are offered these services:
Group A- ICAS, ICLS, IDAS, IAS, IPS, IFS, IA & AS, IDES, IFS(Foreign).
Group B- DAICS, DANIPS, AFHCS.
#. After successfully passing the SSC-CGL Exam, these services are available to you:
Group B- Assistant, AAO, AAO(Account), Inspector Examiner, etc.
Group C- Audit C&AG, Audit CGDA, Sub Inspector, Audit CGA, etc.
Region of the Posting
The UPSC is a federal agency, and all parts of the UPSC examination are administered by it. It notifies the candidates of everything from the notification of the exam to the issue of recommendation lists. UPSC can post the candidate anywhere in the country if they pass the exam.
On the other hand, the SSC has multiple regional headquarters, so each exam is held based on its region. Candidates apply to the exam in their respective regions, and the admit cards are also mailed regionally. After being selected, the candidates are posted in the region of their choice.
The UPSC typically recruits for posts where the basic pay scale (starting) is equal to or higher than Rs 9300. In cases of disciplinary actions in professional conduct and the discharge of duties, the UPSC is periodically consulted by the President for recommendations.
Under executive directions, the Staff Selection Commission’s functions are expanded from time to time, and it now performs recruitment to all Group “B” posts on a pay scale of Rs 9300 to 34800 (grade pay of Rs 42000). While disciplinary actions are taken against officers, the SSC is not consulted.
UPSC’s Special Powers
Thirty-three per cent of all vacancies in IAS officers are filled by promotion each year. Officers of the state civil services who have served an appropriate length of time may be eligible for promotion to the IAS. Besides state officers passing the written exam (some states), the UPSC interview that is conducted by the UPSC board is also necessary to qualify. As the ranking state civil service officer, the PCS becomes the senior IAS officer upon recommendation by UPSC.
So, What’s the Answer?
By comparing both the exams, it is pretty clear that UPSC aspirants do have some benefits over SSC CGL.
Even with these major differences, some candidates who have exhausted all their possibilities or have failed the civil services exam several times may appear for SSC exams as an alternative to becoming part of the government’s administrative infrastructure, but they will not be placed on the same level as those who have cleared the civil service exam.
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