Competitive Exams In India

Competitive examinations have been around since antiquity. Ancient China used to select its administrators through them. Closer home, multiple kingdoms and empires in India have used competitive examinations to appoint functionaries in one way or the other. This legacy has been continued in independent India as we have multiple competitive examinations. These exams are used for multiple purposes like admission to colleges, the appointment of public servants and commercial officers etc. In this article, we have listed the major competitive examinations conducted in the country for recruitment to governmental and semi-governmental organisations:

  • Civil Services Examination: Also known as the UPSC exam, this exam is conducted to recruit top bureaucrats of the country. There are in total 24 services which recruit through this exam.
  • SSC Exam: The Staff Selection Commission conducts four major examinations to recruit employees who form the second tier bureaucracy in India. These exams are conducted every year. The exams are SSC CGL, GD CPO, CHSL and MTS exams.
  • Defence Exams: There are two major defence exams which are conducted every year, the Combined Defence Services Exam(CDS) for graduates and National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Exam (NDA/NA) for undergraduates. The three armed forces also conduct their own entrance examinations to cover their requirements such as the Technical Entry Scheme(TES), University Entry Scheme(UES) for Army and Navy and the Air Force Common Admission test for The Air Force.
  • Central Armed Police Forces Exam:The CAPF exam recruits officers for the central armed police forces and Ministry of Home Affairs forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force(CISF), Border Security Force(BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) and Sashastra Seem Bal(SSB).
  • Indian Statistical Services Examination: This examination recruits statisticians as officers of the Indian Statistical Service for the Government of India.
  • Engineering Services Examination: This exam is conducted for the appointment of engineers in different branches of the government.
  • Railway Recruitment Board(RRB) Exams: The RRB conducts multiple examinations throughout the year for recruitment of railway employees in non-officer grades.
  • Indian Economic Service Examination: This exam is conducted to recruit the best economists to work as officers of the GoI.
  • Combined Medical Services Exam: The CMS exam is open to doctors for recruitment for the Central and state level health services. These doctors work in and oversee public hospitals across the country.
  • Bank Exams: There are four major agencies conducting bank exams in India. The examinations they conduct are as follows:
    • Development Officers and Other Departmental Officers Exam for NABARD: The National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development conducts this exam to recruit officers for various positions within the bank.
    • IBPS Exams: The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection conducts examinations at four levels for recruitment of employees for public sector banks of India. These are the IBPS Probationary Officers Exam, IBPS Clerical Exam, IBPS Specialist Officers Exam and the IBPS Regional Rural Banks Exam.
    • The Reserve Bank of India: The RBI conducts its own examinations for recruitment of officers and staff to various offices within the apex bank. The major exams that RBI conducts are RBI Grade B Officers exam and RBI Assistants exam.
    • State Bank of India: Similar to the apex bank, the largest public sector bank in India conducts its own exams for recruitment to its ranks. The exams it conducts are the SBI PO exam, SBI Clerk exam and the SBI Specialist Cadre Officers exam.
    • Department of Telecom Exam: This examination recruits officers and employees to the Union of India’s Department of Telecommunications. These employees manage the use of the telecom infrastructure of the country and are involved in policy making for the sector.

These are the major examinations which are conducted in India. As discussed in the opening paragraph, competitive examinations have been used since antiquity. The effectiveness of these examinations is due to the merit-based nature of the selection process and the consequential impartiality. Candidates who are preparing for the examination should keep in mind the excellence required to crack these examinations. Having a good preparation strategy, focus and perseverance are a must for clearing these examinations. Every year a multitude of candidates appear for these examinations hoping to start a great career. Those who stand out in these exams share their tips from time to time. One such topper of the UPSC exam Khushboo Gupta takes us through her story in this video.

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