Judicial Services Examination or the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Examination which they are commonly referred to, are entry-level exams for law graduates to become members of the subordinate judiciary. The state governments under the supervision of the respective high ourts appoint members of the lower judiciary based on the competitive examination.
- Judicial Services Examination– Eligibility Criteria
Lower Judiciary Services– The eligibility criteria for appearing in Judicial Services Examination is a degree in LL.B and he/she has enrolled or qualified to be enrolled as an advocate under the Advocates’ Act 1961. No experience is required and final year candidates can also appear. The age limit varies according to the state. it is usually between 21 to 35 years.
Higher Judiciary Services– Candidates must be graduates in law and have a minimum number of years of litigating practice; it is usually between 3 to 7 years.
- Judicial Services Examination– Structure of the exam
Judicial Service Examination is held in three successive stages namely Preliminary Examination, Mains and Viva-Voce/Interview.
Preliminary Examination– The preliminary examination serves as a screening for mains exam. It comprises objective type questions. The marks secured in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final selection. The percentages of qualifying marks vary as per state. The minimum qualifying marks in the preliminary examination is 60 percent for general and 55 percent for reserved categories.
Mains Examination– The mains examination is subjective type. The exam comprises three to four papers. The marks secured by candidates are counted for the final selection. Candidates equal to three times the number of vacancies are called for viva-voce.
Viva-Voce/Personal Interview– This is the final stage of selection where candidates are assessed on general interest, personality and intelligence among other factors.
- Judicial Services Examination– Syllabus
The syllabus varies across states. It is broadly divided into Civil law, Criminal Law and Language paper. The weight given to the language paper is around 20 percent to 35 percent. The mains examination constitutes six to seven papers and almost 70 percent of the questions are of law.
- States conducting Judicial Services Examination
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal