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One of the civil service exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is Indian Railway Service (IRS). This leads to recruitment in the revenue department of Government of India.

IRS is one of the Group A Service exam conducted by UPSC and falls under administrative revenue service of Government of India.

IRS is a central civil service functioning under the revenue department in the Union Ministry of Finance comprising two units – IRS (Income Tax) and IRS (Customs and Central Excise). Income tax is controlled by Central Board Of Excise and Customs (CBEC) while, Customs and Central Excise is headed by Central Board Of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

IRS is the fourth most respected officer post of civil services of India. Its preceded by Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Salary of IRS officers

The salary range of IRS officers can be from 4000INR – 90,000INR per month. However, the salary range depends on designation of IRS officer as well.

Qualified IRS officers are offered job roles like collector, commissioner, head of public sector units, chief secretary, cabinet secretary and more.

Those aiming a career as IRS officer has to clear three stages of IRS exam:

  • IRS Prelims (August)
  • IRS Mains (December)
  • IRS Interview (April – May)

The final result/ list of qualified IRS officers comes in the month of June.

For complete syllabus of IRS civil service exam, click here.

Age eligibility of IRS exam

Applicants in the age bracket of 21-30 years is eligible to apply for IRS exam.

For SC/ST students, age relaxation is upto 5 years.

For OBC students, age relaxation is upto 3 years.

Academic eligibility of IRS exam

Candidate with the following degrees can apply for IRS civil service exam:

a)  Graduation  degree from a central, state or deemed university of India

b)  Correspondence Education or Distance Course degree from a central, state or deemed university of India

c)  Open university students can also apply

d)  Students with the above or equivalent qualification can apply for IRS exam

Citizenship criteria of IRS exam

Candidates with citizenship of India, Bhutan, Nepal Or Tibet can apply for IRS exam.

Number of reattempts of IRS exam

General Category Students:  6 Attempts

OBC Students : 9 Attempts

SC/ST Candidates = No limits of reattempts

Online application of IRS exam

Those who qualify the IRS civil service exam are trained in the following places:

  1. Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Missouri
  2. National Institute of Financial Management, Faridabad
  3. National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur

IRS Prelims question pattern

The very first stage of IRS exam – the prelims contains objective/multiple choice questions (MCQ). Each candidate’s General Studies and Aptitude is judged in this round of IRS exam. IRS prelims are conducted in August and results come out by mid October. The total marks in IRS prelims exam is 400.

IRS mains exam

The IRS main exam, alike other civil service exam is a subjective paper that has 9 papers to qualify. Candidates who clear the IRS prelims session can only write the mains paper during the month of December. Results of IRS mains exam are out by March. The questions of IRS mains exam is requires long essay type answering. The total marks of IRS mains paper is 1750.

IRS interview session

The interview is the last phase of civil service/IRS exam. Candidates clearing both IRS prelims and mains exam can take up the final round of interview. Headed by a panel this has a total score of 275 marks.

The grand total score of all rounds of IRS/civil service exam is 2025.

For junior level entry into IRS, applicants need to clear the Combined Graduate level Examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission (SSC). This can be applied by graduates of any stream within the age bracket of 18 -27 years.

Books to refer for IRS exam

IRS Enrolled Agent Exam Study Guide 2016-2017 Paperback
Applicants of 2017 IRS civil service exam, must get a copy of this book as the syllabus and content covered in updated according to 2017 exam module proposed by UPSC.

IRS Enrolled Agent Exam Study Guide 2014-2015
For any civil service exam, its recommended to solve or keep an eye on old papers and notes. Hence this book is an useful pick as it covers the updated IRS syllabus vividly till 2014-15. The book should be referred to from the very initial stage of preparation of IRS exam.

IRS Enrolled Agent Exam Study Guide, Part 3: Representation, Practices and Procedures
Often students remain confused on the strategy they should follow to crack civil service exam like IRS. Get this book, to learn IRS syllabus and exam pattern with tips on how to prepare. The book is available online in Amazon.com.

Passkey EA Review, Part 1: Individuals IRS Enrolled Agent Exam Study Guide 2015-2016 Edition
Every year the IRS exam syllabus gets updated. This book has the updated coverage up to 2016. Its therefore helpful to learn IRS content up to 2016 from this book. Get a copy by ordering in Amazon.com, right now.

Passkey EA Review, Part 2: Businesses, IRS Enrolled Agent Exam Study Guide 2016-2017 Edition Paperback
This latest edition of Passkey EA Review book covers IRS syllabus up to 2017. All applicants of IRS exam should definitely grab a copy of this book to know the new syllabus and prepare accordingly.

Tips for IRS exam

a) Knowledge About Different Taxes and Taxation system of India
All applicants of IRS exam must have clear knowledge about the tax system of the country. If required they can consult with a professional tax teacher or practitioner for guidance. Please note, the connection of IRS and taxing does not extend to any other civil service exam conducted by UPSC.

b) Leadership Qualities
Though leadership quality is not required to clear the IRS civil service exam. However its a requisite for IRS aspirants for each job role offered after clearing IRS civil service exam is usually challenging and unique of its kind. To perform good in these roles, IRS aspirants should have leadership qualities.

c) Communication Skills
As Indian Railways caters a mass population, almost every IRS officer has a significant interactive role to play with audience of varied nature. Hence command over communication is important for IRS examinees.

d) Decision Making Skills
As mentioned earlier, the job roles of IRS applicants are unique. So each of them involves decision making at their respective genre. Its therefore recommended to IRS applicants to build in a decision making capability in order to perform good in the work they take up at a later stage.

e) Practice the IRS test
Its important for IRS applicants to practice the IRS test because the exam pattern is unique in nature and not very relatable to other tests. The test can be practiced in the form of mock test conducted online or offline by civil service exam trainers/tutorials.

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