State Public Service Commission (PSC) Exams in India : Jobs, Eligibility Criteria and Important Links

The ‘State Civil Services’, also known as ‘Provincial Civil Services’, provide a lucrative alternative to the All India Services like the IAS, IPS, and IFS. The State Civil Services (SCS) examinations and recruitment are conducted by the individual states’ public service commissions across the states in India.

These services are often considered the feeder services of All India Services. The Governors make all appointments to State Services (Group A) of States. Every state has its own separate ‘Public Service Commission’ responsible for conducting competitive examinations to recruit new candidates into a particular State’s Civil Service.

State civil services officer is a highly reputed post among State level government employees. Each state conducts its own PSC exams. Only the eligible citizens of that particular state can sit for the entrance. Many aspirants see it as an alternative for UPSC or Civil Service exams at the national level.

Government jobs are something that the citizens need and are also essential for the entire nation. Stable pay to people and stable running of the system is only possible via governmental jobs. But this whole process of selecting people to fill in the job sector isn’t easy.

And that’s what the Public Service Commission does. It’s the process of a board that controls the whole slot filling job. PSC is through what the governmental body recruits people through a series of examinations.

The Public Service Commission Exams

The exams are conducted differently and separately for various government job posts. From the lower level of posts to high-level positions, the examinations are performed. Then, the eligible candidates are shortlisted and then are later made to write the next level of exam. The process could go on according to the priority of the job.

The Public service commission conducts exams on two levels- Central and State. The State commission conducts the exams for every state known as the State public service commission. It is held for every state and is administered by the state government of the respective states.

Aspirants who qualify for State PSCs get government jobs under the state government at the time of recruitment. For example, in Tamil Nadu, the government services are divided into three groups of A, B, and C.

The section for the clerical level is performed by UPSC based on a standard entrance test.

UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted every year. The jobs in Group A are that of administrative profiles like Police officers or IAS officers. But the post of an IAS officer is only gained through earning a promotion. The promotions are done based on merit or work experience.

State Public Service Commission Posts

  • State Administrative Service
  • State Police Service
  • State Forest Service
  • State Revenue Service
  • Professor/Associate Professor/Asst. Professor in different colleges under the state government

If you find the UPSC exam too difficult to crack, you can try for the State PSC. Not saying that it is easier than UPSC, but it is conducted on a State level, and hence the number of aspirants is less than the central level examinations.

Job Prospects of the the State PSC

There is a hierarchical order of employment offered by the State government when you clear the State PSC. Let us have a look at the future job prospects for state civil services officer.

Group A

Civil Administrative

All-State Civil and Administrative Services in India above the rank of Deputy Collector are group A service. The officers of the following services are later promoted to IAS.

  • Andhra Pradesh State Civil Service (Executive Branch)
  • Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service-Executive Branch (APCS)
  • Assam Civil Service (ACS)
  • Bihar Administrative Service (BAS)
  • Goa Civil Service (GCS)
  • State Administrative Service (SAS)
  • State Civil Service (SCS)
  • Gujarat Administrative Service (GAS)
  • Haryana Civil Service (HCS)
  • Himachal Pradesh Administrative Service (HPAS)
  • Jharkhand Administrative Service (JAS)
  • Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS)
  • Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS)
  • Kerala Administrative Service (KAS)
  • Manipur Civil Service (MCS)
  • Mizoram Civil Service (MCS)
  • Meghalaya Civil Service (MCS)
  • Nagaland Civil Service (NCS)
  • Odisha Administrative Service (OAS)
  • Provincial Civil Service (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Punjab Civil Service (PCS)
  • Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS)
  • Sikkim Civil Service (SCS)
  • Telangana Civil Service-Executive Branch (TCS)
  • Tamil Nadu Civil Service (TNCS)
  • West Bengal Civil Service (WBCS)

State Judiciary

All State Judicial Services ultimately group A service & as par with All India Services, i.e., IAS. The Governor usually makes Their appointment of respective states after the consultation/approval of the individual states High Courts.

  • Higher Judicial Service (HJS)
  • Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Branch (PCS-J)

State Forest Service

All State Forest Services above the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forest(ACF) are group A services. The officers of this service are later promoted to IFS.

State Police Service

All State Police Services above the rank of Deputy SP are group A service. The officers of the following services are later promoted to IPS.

  • Andhra Pradesh State Police Service (APPS)
  • Arunachal Pradesh Police Service (APPS)
  • Assam Police Service (APS)
  • Bihar Police Service (BPS)
  • Goa Police Service (GPS)
  • State Police Service (SPS)
  • State Police Service (SPS)
  • Gujarat Police Service (GPS)
  • Haryana Police Service (HPS)
  • Himachal Pradesh Police Service (HPPS)
  • Jharkhand Police Service (JPS)
  • Kashmir Police Service (KPS)
  • Karnataka State Police Service (KSPS)
  • Kerala Police Service (KPS)
  • Manipur Police Service (MPS)
  • Mizoram Police Service (MPS)
  • Meghalaya Police Service (MPS)
  • Nagaland Police Service (NPS)
  • Odisha Police Service (OPS)
  • Provincial Police Service (Uttar Pradesh) (PPS)
  • Punjab Police Service (PPS)
  • Rajasthan Police Service (RPS)
  • Sikkim Police Service (SPS)
  • Telangana Police Service (TSPS)
  • Tamil Nadu Police Service (TPS)
  • Uttarakhand Police Service (UPS)
  • West Bengal Police Service (WBPS)

Group B

The state civil services (Group B) deal with subjects such as land revenue, agriculture, forests, education, etc. The officers are recruited by different States through the respective State Public Service Commissions, and appointed by the Governor of that State.

  • Sub Divisional Officer (S.D.O.) of various departments
  • Assistant Registrar Cooperative Societies
  • Block Development Officer
  • District Employment Officer (D.E.O.)
  • District Food and Supplies Controller/Officer (DFSO)
  • District Treasury Officer (S.T.O.)
  • District Welfare Officer (D.W.O.)
  • Excise and Taxation Officer (E.T.O.)
  • Tehsildar/Talukadar/Assistant Collector
  • Forest Range Officer (F.R.O.)
  • Any other Class-I/Class-II service will be notified as per rules by the concerned state, i.e., officers, lecturers, assistants, associate professors, or principals of Government Degree Colleges, Class I

Class-I (SCS)

This is the spot of a first-class officer who qualifies the State Civil Services exam.

  • You can join the State Police Service, Class-I (SPS)
  • Then there is the Block Development Officer.
  • After that, there are several vacancies for the posts of – Tehsildar/Talukdar/Asst. Collector
  • Next in hierarchy comes the – Excise and Taxation Officer
  • After that, there is the post of District Employment Officer.
  • District Treasury Officer
  • District Welfare Officer
  • Assistant Registrar Cooperative Societies
  • District Food and Supplies Controller/Officer
  • Any other Class-I/Class-II service will be notified as per rules by the concerned state.

A majority of these jobs are executive, and candidates will directly be responsible for implementing the State Government’s plans, schemes, and programs.

Initially, the kind of jobs aspirants get in the State Civil Services range from the Sub-Divisional Magistrates/Deputy Collectors to Land Acquisition Collectors, Additional District Magistrates, Municipal Administrators, Under/Deputy Joint Secretaries, and Deputy/Joint /Additional Directors or the Assistant Commissioners in the State administration.

In the cases of State Police Services, recruits generally get the job of a Deputy/Additional Superintendent of Police. Working in the State Civil Services offers excellent growth opportunities. Candidates will get regular opportunities to take up more prominent roles with more responsibilities within the state administration as you gain more experience.

After aspirants work in the State Civil Services or the State Police Services for a few years, candidates may get promoted to the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) or maybe as the IPS (Indian Police Services) officer’s post and work directly under the Central Government of India. These kinds of promotions are generally based on seniority and merit.

Comparison between the State Civil Services Exam and the UPSC Civil Services Exam

As per the UPSC aspirants, they feel the State Civil Services exam are more complicated than UPSC CSE, because:

  • State PSC exam dwells upon the content of information to be memorized by the aspirants.
  • The questions both in Prelims of mains are factual oriented.
  • Many numbers and Years will be asked, which is, at times, difficult for UPSC Standards.
  • The state PSCs lack transparency, and at the interview stages, you will be asked a hefty amount of money.
  • At times, the courts call for the cancellation of all appointments done, because the corruption has happened.
  • In-State PSC exams, filling up pages is essential rather than hitting the bull’s eye.
  • THE UPSC exam is challenging, owing to the marks given to the selected candidates. (The topper would have scored only 50% of marks.) But I believe UPSC easier compared to State PSC because,
  • It evaluates your analytical skill rather than your memory skill, although you have to remember a few things.

There is transparency in exams and has a limited period for finishing up the whole procedure, unlike in State PSCs, where the process itself depends on the government’s decision and takes 2 to 3 years, leaving students in a cliff-hanger.

State PSCs are meant for hard workers, but UPSC is intended for smart workers. Never think you are not a smart worker. Working with a strategy is nothing but optimizing your preparation according to the needs of the exam. This comes by your way of development.

Having a reliable backup in mind is very much essential while preparing for UPSC. The exam itself is very unpredictable and intensely competitive in every possible dimension.

Why the State Public Service Commission can Act as Good Backup

  1. Syllabus of UPSC and State PSCs have substantial overlaps. Not much additional preparation necessary.
  2. Job profiles are similar.
  3. There is much less competition in State PSC exams than in UPSC. Hence, chances of clearing are more in case of State-level exams.

BUT, here is the flip-side;

  1. Some State PSCs can be unprofessional and inefficient when compared to standards of UPSC. West Bengal Public Service Commission, for example, sometimes takes nearly two years to complete one recruitment cycle. This can be frustrating for those who base their career on such exams.
  2. The competition in State PSC exams is tilted in favor of local candidates. Most outsiders face problems in handling the paper on regional language.
  3. Some States have been notorious for scams and corruption in Civil Service recruitment. In 2016, such allegations surfaced in Assam PSC recruitment. Candidates who are used to the high levels of integrity and fairness of UPSC can find it tough to live and deal with such issues in State exams.

Note – State exams should be kept as a side-kick during your UPSC preparation. Focus most of your energy on clearing UPSC. That will help you gain the necessary fundamentals and perspective for making many exams, including the State PSCs and RBI Grade B.

Applying for the State Civil Services Exam

  • Every state in India has its own – ‘Public Service Commission,’ responsible for recruiting suitable candidates into vacant entry-level positions and vacant higher posts in the State Civil Services.
  • Most vacancies at the entry-level are filled by conducting competitive examinations (yearly, in most cases) and then recruiting the highest-ranked candidates. The number of jobs differs from year to year and State to State.
  • Vacant and higher-level posts in the State Civil Services (SCS) are also filled through The examinations and interviews. Still, these exams and interviews are often conducted less regularly, and only when the vacancies arise.
  • To get into the State Civil Services (SCS) as a college graduate, you will need to appear for the competitive examination conducted for the respective state- For example- For Delhi- you need to perform for the exam conducted by the Delhi State.

Eligibility Criteria for State Public Service Commission Exams

Most states do not accept the candidates below the age of 21. The upper age limit – ranges between 28 – 35 for a majority of the states. You will also need to be a graduate in any specific field to be eligible. Even though you will not need a domicile of the state you are applying to, you must have detailed knowledge about the customs, culture, language, and geography of that state if you wish to be recruited.

Exam Pattern of the State Civil Services Exams

A significant number of states follow the Civil Services Exam’s pattern and syllabus conducted by the UPSC CSE. The State Public Services Commission Exams are also divided into three stages-  Preliminary Exam, Mains Exam, and Personality Test (Interview). However, this does not apply to all the states, as some smaller states do not conduct the Preliminary Exam.

The significant difference between the UPSC Civil Services Exam and the Civil Services Exam conducted by a State’s Commission is that you will be asked questions about that particular state in the State Public Service Commission Exam. These problems can be about the demography, laws, culture, customs, or geography of the state.

Official Websites

Click on the links mentioned below to gather detailed information about the State Civil Services Exam for a particular state:


Most of the jobs for the State PSC require you to report to the senior IAS officer in the same locality. This is because of the executive nature of the situation. The best part about it is that you can get the promotions, officially promoted to the rank of an IAS or IPS, after a few years of work. It takes place under the authority of the Central government. But always keep in mind that your promotions will happen based on your seniority and, of course, merit.

If you plan to prepare for State PSC, you can do the same as early as possible. Get a clear idea of the syllabus. People say it is easier than IAS or UPSC exams but do not get deceived by the talks. Check out the complete program and do your research.

Areas covered in this article

  • The State Public Service Commission Exam
  • Job Posts for the State PSC
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Comparison of the State PSC and the UPSC Civil Services Exam

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