If you are aspiring to become a OAS officer, you might be wondering what it takes to achieve this prestigious and challenging career. OAS stands for Odisha Administrative Service, which is the highest level of government job in Odisha and one of the services under the Odisha Civil Services Examination (OCSE). OAS officers are responsible for various administrative and developmental functions in the state, such as collector, commissioner, chief secretary, etc.
In this article, we will provide you with detailed information on how to become a OAS officer, including the eligibility criteria, exam pattern, syllabus, salary, and more. We will also share some tips and strategies on how to prepare for the OCSE and clear it in your first attempt.
Before you apply for the OCSE, you need to make sure that you meet the following eligibility criteria:
Educational Qualification: You must have a degree from any recognized university in any field. You must also have knowledge of Odia language and must have studied Odia as a subject in high school.
Age Limit: You must be between 21 and 32 years of age as on January 1 of the year of examination. However, there is some relaxation for different categories of candidates, such as general, OBC, SC/ST, female, etc. For example, SC/ST candidates can apply till 37 years of age.
Number of Attempts: You can attempt the OCSE up to six times if you belong to the general category. For OBC candidates, the limit is nine times. For SC/ST candidates, there is no limit on the number of attempts.
Nationality: You must be a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, or any other country with the intention of permanently settling in India.
Physical Health: You must be physically fit and healthy to perform the duties of an OAS officer. You must also meet the physical fitness requirements for different services under OCSE, such as height, chest, eyesight, etc.
The OCSE consists of three phases: preliminary exam, main exam, and personality test/interview. You need to clear each phase to qualify for the next one. The exam pattern for each phase is as follows:
Preliminary Exam: This is an objective type test with two papers: General Studies I and General Studies II. Each paper carries 200 marks and has a duration of two hours. The syllabus for General Studies I includes topics like current affairs, history, geography, polity, economy, environment, science and technology, etc. The syllabus for General Studies II includes topics like comprehension, logical reasoning, mental ability, decision making, basic numeracy, data interpretation, etc. The preliminary exam is only a screening test and its marks are not counted for the final merit list. However, you need to score at least 33% in General Studies II to qualify for the main exam.
Main Exam: This is a descriptive type test with nine papers: Odia Language (300 marks), English (300 marks), English Essay (200 marks), General Studies I (300 marks), General Studies II (300 marks), Optional Subject I Paper I (300 marks), Optional Subject I Paper II (300 marks), Optional Subject II Paper I (300 marks), and Optional Subject II Paper II (300 marks). The total marks for the main exam are 2600. The duration for each paper is three hours. The syllabus for Odia Language and English includes topics like grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, translation, precis writing, etc. The syllabus for English Essay includes topics like social issues, economic issues, political issues, international issues, etc. The syllabus for General Studies I includes topics like history and culture of India and Odisha, geography of India and Odisha, polity and governance of India and Odisha, social justice and empowerment, etc. The syllabus for General Studies II includes topics like science and technology, environment and ecology, disaster management, economic development, international relations, etc. You can choose two optional subjects from a list of 26 subjects, such as anthropology, economics, history, mathematics, public administration, sociology, etc. The syllabus for each optional subject is based on the graduation level curriculum of that subject.
Personality Test/Interview: This is the final stage of the OCSE and carries 250 marks. The candidates who qualify the main exam are called for the personality test/interview. The purpose of this phase is to assess the suitability of the candidates for the OAS service and their personal qualities, such as leadership, communication skills, mental alertness, critical thinking, social awareness, etc. The candidates are asked questions on their academic background, hobbies, interests, current affairs, etc. The candidates are also expected to have a good knowledge of Odisha’s history, culture, geography, economy, etc.
After clearing the OCSE, the selected candidates undergo rigorous training for about two years before joining the OAS service. The training process and duration are as follows:
Foundation Course: This is a common course for all the civil services under OCSE and lasts for about four months. It is conducted at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie. The course aims to impart basic knowledge and skills on various aspects of governance, administration, law, ethics, etc. The course also includes physical training, yoga, sports, cultural activities, etc.
Professional Course: This is a specialized course for the OAS service and lasts for about six months. It is conducted at the Gopabandhu Academy of Administration (GAA) in Bhubaneswar. The course covers topics like revenue administration, land reforms, urban development, rural development, disaster management, etc. The course also includes field visits, case studies, projects, etc.
District Training: This is a practical training for the OAS service and lasts for about one year. It is conducted in various districts of Odisha under the supervision of senior OAS officers. The trainees are assigned different roles and responsibilities in various departments and offices of the district administration. They learn how to handle various issues and challenges faced by the district administration.
Final Passing Out: After completing the district training, the trainees are evaluated by a board of senior officers and experts. They are awarded certificates and medals based on their performance and merit. They are then allotted their first posting as OAS officers.
As an OAS officer, you can expect a rewarding and fulfilling career in terms of promotion, posting, salary, perks, etc. Some of the benefits of becoming an OAS officer are:
Promotion: You can get promoted to higher ranks and positions in the OAS service based on your seniority and performance. Some of the ranks and positions are: Sub-Collector (Junior Scale), Additional District Magistrate (Senior Scale), Collector (Selection Grade), Commissioner (Super Time Scale), Chief Secretary (Apex Scale), etc.
Posting: You can get posted to various districts and departments of Odisha as an OAS officer. You can also get deputed to the central government or other states or foreign countries on special assignments or missions.
Salary: You can get a handsome salary as an OAS officer according to the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The basic pay scale ranges from Rs. 56,100 to Rs. 2,25,000 per month depending on your rank and position. You also get various allowances and benefits such as Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), Travel Allowance (TA), Medical Allowance (MA), etc.
Perks: You can enjoy various perks and privileges as an OAS officer such as official residence, official vehicle, security guards, telephone and internet facilities, etc. You also get various perks and privileges such as official residence, official vehicle, security guards, telephone and internet facilities, etc. You also get various opportunities to travel and interact with different people and cultures.
Becoming an OAS officer is not an easy task. It requires hard work, dedication, perseverance, and passion. However, it is also a very rewarding and satisfying career. It gives you the chance to serve the people of Odisha and contribute to the development of the state. It also gives you the respect and recognition of the society.
If you are interested in becoming an OAS officer, we hope this article has given you a clear idea of how to achieve your dream. We also hope that you have found some useful tips and strategies on how to prepare for the OCSE and clear it in your first attempt. Remember, nothing is impossible if you have the determination and confidence.
We wish you all the best for your future endeavors. May you become a successful OAS officer and make Odisha proud.