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FAQ

How should one fill out the DAF form for the UPSC civil services?
1) Things to keep in mind while filling your DAF1. DAF is not like your resume, the more achievements the more you will score.Here DAF is only a way to know about you so that they can ask questions.2. Please do not try to fake or write for the sake of writing. If there is no achievement, then don’t create one, no hobby then don’t write fake one .3. Be specific. For you music might be a hobby (listening in free time), but they will expect you to know about music in detail. . You might like cooking but they will ask you anything related to cooking ( about preservatives, masalas, cooking recepies, types of cuisines etc).So better to avoid writing such open ended things. Write specific things which you know you can prepare.a4. Writing something and not able to answer basic questions related to those things sends a very wrong impression. When you are filling DAF ensure you write less but meaningful things you are confident about.2) Service Preference ListImportant : These are my personal views which can be biased. Detail about each service, growth opportunities can be found here http://persmin.gov.in/AIS1/Welco...Brief about Services1. IASGood work, Good Infrastructure and highly respectable. Issue is interference and work pressure. If you want a very peaceful life and tension free life then think about it.2. IFSWork as diplomats. Good services, especially for people who like to travel, pursue intellectual hobbies. You will have alternate terms in foreign country and India. Yes do give a consideration from family perspective and secondly from perspective that if you want paraphernalia you will not get it.3. IPSMostly work is in law and order domain. Lot of power, infra and Paraphernalia. However IPS is a very tough job and not everyone is made for it. It needs lot of patience, sacrifice in personal life and has maximum interference. So choose accordingly.4. IRS IT and CustomsMy personal advice would be to choose IT over customs ( stable cadre, timely promotions , decent infra and good places of postings) However work can appear to be boring due to a desk job restricted to taxation. Customs on the other hand is having more variety.5. IRTS vs IAASIRTS is IAS of railways. Lot of manpower under you. Good infra and facilities. However issue is very hectic life especially if you are in operations side as you have to manage timely running of trains. So don't opt it if you want a peaceful and tension free life.IAAS on the other hand is a totally different service. It audits almost everything in government. Remember it is not just auditing of accounts here but a larger purview. Also stable posting, normal working hours, postings in state capital and Delhi plus lot of foreign visits and yes timely promotions. Plus everyone fears an auditor. However you won't enjoy executive powers and perks like IRTS. So decide what kind of life you want.6. Accounting ServicesIRASBest among accounting services. Total financial power in railways. Good infrastructure, work life balance and good postings. Plus lot of opportunities for deputation due to finance.IDASThis is also a good service. Lot of financial power in defence sector. Good infrastructure, work life balance and good postings. Plus lot of opportunities for deputation due to financeICASThis is more of an accounting service. It has the responsibility to consolidate accounts of all the Dept except few. Posting in Delhi. However housing, car can be an issue.IPTAFSThis service has lost lot of ground due to BSNL and MTNL separating from DoT. So major work is collecting spectrum allocation and licence fee. Infrastructure issues are also there.7. Railway servicesRailway services have good infrastructure and facilities. Housing, car and manpower is not an issue.IRTS - IRAS - IRPSIRPSNot much work, dealing with unions and personnel management .RPFI would suggest to fill it among the bottom 5 services. Its like paramilitary force (Railway Protection Force)8. IPoSGood service. Administration of all post offices. Good infra and facilities. Plus post office's are getting modernized so new work is coming up.9. IDeSThis is a service where you work as CEO of cantonments/defence estates. There is huge infrastructure at your disposal, very good facilities. However growth is stagnant, work is not dynamic. Also you will not always be working in cantonments, HQ postings and other postings are there as well.10. ICLS and ITSBoth are new age services with postings in Capital cities and Delhi. ICLS are regulators of corporate sector. They implement company law and are involved in Registration, M&A, and Liquidation etc. Service seems to have a promising future but as of now it is not much preferred. Reasons include Infrastructure problem, desk work and stagnation as the top level.IT on the other hand deals with trade policy implementation. Officers working closely with traders and exporters. Also working in SEZ, policy work and some International exposure. So work is interesting and promising.Issue with both the services is similar. These are comparatively new service & do not have a huge infrastructure compared to postal, defence and railways. So Car, housing, other facilities might be a little problem. Also at senior level stagnation issue.11. IoFSNot much of an idea but their scope is more or less related to management of ordinance factories. Infra won’t be much of an issue. But usually filled among bottom few services12. Danics & DanipsThese are like State civil services(UT civil service) with a difference that promotions are better compared to most of the states. Many people prefer them at the bottom due to Group B. However in terms of power, work, infra these are better than many group A central services.13. Indian Information ServiceThis is like a PR Job. Most IIS officers work in various media units which are under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting such as DD News, All India Radio, Press Information Bureau etc. Even posted with various Ministries as spokespersons to handle the Ministry's information and communication needs and help in policy formulation. So work wise this is a nice service, plus majorly you stay in Delhi. Infrastructure, car housing is again an issue.14. AFHQ + Pondicherry civil serviceBottom services to be filled.Now how to fill service preference listSee this is a totally personal choice depending on what you want from your life. What matters to you : balanced life? Quality work? Power & Infrastructure? Delhi Posting? Decide accordingly. Here are some hints based on common choice1. Most preferred services (IAS ‡ IFS –IPS ‡ IRS IT –IRS Customs ‡ IRTS /IAAS) .2. Less preffered services ( AFHQ , Pondicherry civil services , RPF, IoFS, IPTAFS ,ICLS )3. Middle Category ( IRAS, IDAS, ICAS, IPOS,IDES,ITS,IIS,IRPS)As per meIRTS IRASIRPSIRASIDASICASIPOSIDESIDASIDESICAS, IIS, ITS (one is accounts, other is media/PR and one relates to Trade. Usual preference is ICAS ‡ IIS-ITS)4. Adjust DANICS & DANIPS as per your convenience. Some people prefer them after Railway, Defence and Postal while majority put it at the end. Decide as per your own choice.Delhi Posting : ICAS , IISServices where Infrastructure won’t be an issue (Apart from Most preferred services ): IRAS,IRPS,IPOS,IDES,IDAS . I think infra will not be an issue even in IOFS and RPF.3) CADRE PreferenceP.S : Totally personal views. For details you can refer here http://www.iascoachingindelhi.or...UP: great work opportunities and infrastructure. But if you don't want an exciting and challenging life, it should not be high on your list.Bihar: Mostly like UP but more backward.MP, Rajasthan, Haryana: Good cadres. Balanced ones. Usually preferred by people.Punjab: Mixed reviews about the cadre.Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, Odisha: People carry lot of misconceptions. These are nice cadres to work plus good infra. Naxal problem is prevalent only in certain areas. Other issue is these are little backward areas. But I think these are highly underrated cadres .Uttarakhand and Himachal : Decent cadres to work but terrain issues. Not everyone likes hill posting so keep that in mind.Northeast cadres : Mostly people fill them lower in their preference due to factors like distance, culture, hills, personal life etc. Assam-Megahalya is the most preferred choice among north east cadres.J&K : considered a tough posting. Hills + security concerns etc.West Bengal and Kerala : Work wise normal but their political setup is different so many people don't prefer these cadres. So decide accordingly .Andra and Telangana : Good cadres to work. North Indians prefer them most among southern states.Karnataka: fineTamil Nadu : state services is very strong here so at times they hold important posts in the district .Maharashtra : Good cadreGujarat : Mixed reviews.Agmut: mixed reviews. Good thing is you get to stay for long in Delhi.Making choicesI can’t tell you what to opt. But I can share what people preferably fill at lower preference. Again as per my knowledge.- North eastern States- J&K- Kerala and WB ( some people prefer to fill them low)Also sharing some favoured cadres due to different reasons:- Rajasthan, Haryana, MP (Delhi proximity and balanced cadres )- UP & Bihar (Strong power centres for IAS)- AGMUT (Delhi posting, but not for those who like UP , Bihar work culture )- Sorry but I am not able to comment on south Indian cadres due to lack of in depth knowledgeCadres considered bad but are actually not- Chhattisgarh and JharkhandThat is all from my side. Hopefully this post can help you to some extent. All the best
How do I know if the Civil Service Retirement System will prmy beneficiaries benefits after my death?
I worked under one of the large state pension systems.If you passed away while still employed, and were 50 or older, the pension plan would classify you as “retired", and pay the maximum pension benefit available to your designated survivor plus a small one time life “death benefit".If you were still employed and under age 50, your beneficiary would receive a small one time death benefit plus the plan would refund them all contributions you made into the plan, plus interest.If you had retired, and were already drawing a pension benefit, the beneficiary would receive the one time death benefit, and if you, the retiree, elected to leave a benefit to your survivor, that would also be paid. If you opted to receive the maximum benefit payable, the pension payments would end with your death.
Civil Engineering: How do I calculate road cut fill?
Well, normally, I would use my drafting software to help me, however, the typical basis for calculating earth volumes is the average end area method. You have an existing surface and you have a design surface. Sometimes, you add material, or fill, to reach the design surface. Sometimes, you need to excavate, or cut, to get to the design surface.In the picture above, Area 1 and 3 are cut sections. Area 2 is a fill section. You need to find the area of Area 1 and 3 and use the calculation below to determine the cut volume.You need to know the cross-sectional area for at least 2 locations, and their distance apart. The method assumes that the volume between each cross section is a trapezoid. Calculate the area of each section, A1 and A2, and and use the following formula for a trapezoid:Volume Cut = L* ((A1+A3)/2)There is no fill area on the section with A3. Assume, the fill area is zero at this location. In this case, you use the equation for a pyramid. This is because there is assumed to be a single zero point at the furthest cross section. In actuality, it could be zero somewhere within the length between the cross sections.Volume Fill = L*(A2/2)
How do I crack UPSC CSE in the first attempt while being under any circumstances?
I will share my story and the strategy that I followed to clear the coveted Civil Services Exam in the first attempt.First of all, let me tell you a bit about myself. Civil services was never childhood dream. I did not start preparing from my school days and if anyone tells you that you need to start preparing from 8th standard, it is a myth and do not take them at face value.I did my B.Tech from College of Engineering, Trivandrum in Kerala. After graduating in 2021 I was working with ITC Limited, as a mechanical engineer. It was during my stint at ITC that I decided to prepare. So, I put in my papers in the June of 2021 and started preparing from July 2016.Term of preparation:- I started my preps from July 2021 and wrote Prelims in June 2021. So that is a total of 11 months of focused preparation before appearing for CSE 2017.So let me now come to the topic of how to crack civil services in the first attempt.These are some prerequisites that anyone should have before starting their preparation.Unflinching self belief:- No one in the world is going to believe in you and your capabilities. And every tom, dick and harry will not miss any oppertunity to question your abilities and to blame you for every decision. So you of all people should believe in you, without that kind of confidence in yourself, seeing through this exam would become a Herculian task.Having an original plan/strategy:- Before I started my preparation for civil services, I had gone through strategies of many toppers. What I found out was that no two people had cleared this exam with the same strategy, but the common factor that runs through all those toppers were that they had their own strategies. Now that is rule number one. Do not blindly follow the strategy shown to you by a coaching institute or any topper, you need to have your own plan which magnifies your strong points and diminishes your weaknesses.Be tougher than the exam:- The civil services exam is dubiously dubbed as the toughest exam in the world. So to master the exam you need to tougher than it. You need to be prepared to face failures and get up and fight back stronger.Know your syllabus:- The most common mistake that most aspirants make is that they fail to go through the syllabus for the exam. Knowing what the syllabus demands and not demands is absolutely necessary fpr clearing this exam. Only then will we be able to target our efforts for quick results. Merely pouring through volumes and volumes of history and geography is not what the exam demands. there is a very highly defined syllabus and our effort should be to cover as much of the syllabus with as much clarity as possible.It is breadth that matters and not depth:- The Civil Services Exam is an examination to recruit generalist bureaucrats who would be able to handle any department under the government. The exam, therefore, demands the exact same thing, your vastness and breadth of understanding matters and not depth of understanding in any subject. A common mistake that I have seen aspirants make is that they try to cover a subject from cover to cover and in the end amassing as much knowledge in the subject as a PhD holder in that subject would have. Whereas the exam demands a mere fraction of that knowledge.Should one attend a coaching class to clear Civil Service Exam?This is perhaps the first decision any civil service aspirant will have to make before starting your preparation. Now this is highly subjective. Given the huge amount of online content that is available now-a-days it is perfectly possible to clear the CSE without joining any coaching institute.But I had enrolled at a coaching centre in Kerala. I did so because, at the start of my preparation I had absolutely no idea about the exam or how to prepare for the same. So for me some amount of guidance and handholding was necessary for me.Now I should add a word of caution here. Even if a candidate decides to join some coaching class there is only so much classes can do (at best say 20–30% of the work might get done in a classroom), it will entirely depend on how much effort that you put in that will decide your result.What books should I read?This is again a very subjective topic and there is not a single comprehensive book list that will help you clear this exam.NCERT Text books of history, geography, economics and polity from class Vi to XII are a must read in my opinion. Reading these books will help you cover and basics and create a strong foundation which you can supplement with your further reading. Personally almost 60% of my knowledge base for the static subjects come from NCERT text books.Below is a list of books that I followed for my preparation.The key here is to select the books you are comfortable with and to stick with them. Reading all the material that comes out daily is both impractical and unfruitful. Reading the same texts multiple times will be much more beneficial.How important is newspaper reading?Newspapers are vital for any preparation strategy. I used to spend atleast 2–3 hours daily reading the newspaper. It helps one cement the concepts and helps you evolve opinions and will help you analyse a given situation from multiple perspectives. This will come in handy especially during mains and interview stages.I used to prepare notes from The Hindu daily on the evernote app. This helped me stay organised. During the last 2 months of prelims preparation, I further reduced my one year worth of newspaper notes into crisp notes that filled one 100 page notebook. I read this condensed version multiple times and was the major source for current affairs preparation for prelims as well as mains.How important is mock exams?Mocks tests are very very very very very important in all the three stages of the exam. I cannot stress the importance of mock tests any more.For Prelims, giving lot of mock tests will help you refine your strategy to maximise your scoring. For some answering only those questions which they are absolutely sure of will do the trick. Whereas for someone else (like me) maximizing the number of attempts may help clear the cut off. And there is only one way to find out the strategy that will work for you, do umpteen number of mock exams.Perhaps, mock tests for mains are the most important. In mains it is not how much you know that matters, but how well you can articulate the things that you know in the limited time that is available. Mains answer writing is a skill, which can be mastered only with practice.Choosing the right optional subjectThe optional paper can make or break your career. So be very careful in choosing your optional. Your criteria while choosing the optional should beDo you like the subject, enough to spend thousands of hours pouring over it.Is there good guidance available for the subject. Especially are there good mock tests with good feedback available for the chosen subject.Also check the trend of past few years and check the scoring trend. However this should be the last consideration and the primary consideration should be for your passion for the subject.Pacing your preparation:-It is of utmost importance to rightly pace your preparation so that you never run out of steam. One must start slowly, but steadily build up momentum so that he/she can give the final push close to the examination.But the most important aspect to clearing this exam is to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. One must thoroughly enjoy the preparation phase to be able to bear with the stress that this exam puts on an aspirant. Take it one day at a time, enjoying the learning process and you are sure to succeed.All the very best??