DAF means Detailed Applicaton Form.Every student who clears UPSC prelims will have to fill DAF two weeks after the results of Prelims.

DAF is a very crucial document and it determines everything from your career to posting.Thats why special care is needed to fill DAF.

DAF has 8 parts and each part has to be filled completely.

Tips for filling DAF

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The Detailed Application Form or the DAF for UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination is perhaps more important than any other document for an aspirant. However many of us fill it casually and half-heartedly. And this haunts us later on at the time of interview or service allocation or cadre allocation. In this regard, here are some tips which can help in filling up the form, especially for the first timers.

1.      Take DAF seriously.

First and foremost, take the DAF seriously. Even if you are not very confident about study or about clearing Mains, fill DAF properly. Fill the DAF with some thought and consideration. Do not blindly copy somebody else’s form. Even for people who have filled it before, do not simply copy paste last year’s DAF.

2.      Fill it quickly and resume studying.

Once you have drafted out what you are going to write in the DAF, fill it at the earliest. Many aspirants lose precious time out of the already limited time available for Mains preparation in the process of filling DAF. Don’t keep it pending till the last date.

3.      Name, Photo, Sign etc.

Generally it is better to write name as it appears in SSC certificate, which normally has Surname-Name-Father’s Name pattern in Maharashtra. Try to maintain same pattern throughout the examination. Make sure that photo and sign are clear and as per the criteria. Hazy photos can lead to rejection of form. It is better to use same photo which you used in Prelims form. Keep 10-12 copies of the same photo with you and use the same photo throughout the process. Similarly maintain a single signature pattern. Do not forget to sign wherever mentioned.

4.      Personal details.

Fill in details like address, email id, birth place carefully. Mention the birth date which is on record. Do not make silly mistakes in gender, marital status, category etc. Try to be accurate in annual income of parents. You can use Income tax returns data.

Fill in the details of marks obtained, subjects accurately. Similarly mention details of previous job if applicable. For very short term job experience (few months), you can skip it. Do not mention internship in this section.

5.      Achievements and Extra-curriculars.

This is very crucial section from point of view of Interview. You need not produce any documentary record for these details. Don’t shy away from filling all major achievements. Fill in only genuine achievements. Do not go overboard for impressing the panel. In leadership positions, mention major roles you have played (better to avoid ‘class monitor in school’ here). The heading is ‘Other Extra-curricular activities and interests’ and hence you have freedom to mention a wide range of things here.

In case of hobbies, be very honest. You should have genuine interest in that hobby otherwise it will make interview difficult for you. Even if you are not having enough information, it is okay to fill it. Information can be gathered after Mains. More importantly, be very specific in hobbies. Avoid vague terminologies like ‘listening music’ or ‘reading books’. Mention something specific like ‘listening to contemporary Hindi music’ or ‘reading high-fantasy fiction’. This narrows down the area and presents a better picture.

6.      Certificates required.

Try to attach all the attested Xerox copies of the certificates required with the form itself. Even in case that you do not have any certificate, just attach a letter that you will send it later. UPSC generally gives a chance. For OBC Non creamy layer candidates, the Non-creamy layer certificate needs to be in Central Government’s format which is available on NCBC website. The caste and sub-caste name and the number should be as per the list on NCBC site (and not as per State list).

7.      Service Preference.

At this stage, your first preference must be crystal clear. But ask yourself thrice before filling in the first preference. Once you are fully convinced, do not hesitate in filling that service even if it is not as per the traditional thought. Do not fear about the probable interview question about ‘Why this service first’.

Another issue is about IPS and IFS. Some aspirants may not have an inclination towards these services. In this case, you can put preference as Zero. Or you can also put them behind IRS so that you practically make yourself unavailable for these services. Personally, I feel that it is better to avoid putting IPS and IFS at second-third preference if you are not at all interested for these services. If your final aim is IAS then it is better to have IPS above IFS as it gives you chance to try again.

First five slots are filled in by IAS-IPS-IFS-IRS IT-IRS CE in most cases. In the remaining central services, I find IAAS as a very promising service. After that comes IPoS (Postal). Central Services can be divided in sub-groups like Accounts- Finance related (IAAS, ICLS, ICAS, ITS), Railways related (IRAS, IRTS, IRPS) and Defence related (IDAS, IDES). You can choose the sub-group as per interest. In general, IRTS and IDES are more preferred ones. I would suggest to keep Group B services after Group A services. Group A services at any day have a better footing than any Group B service. DoPT website has information about various services which can be useful to avoid confusions. (e.g. IIS is related to information and broadcasting and not about RTI.)http://persmin.gov.in/ais1/WelcomeCSE.asp

8.      Cadre Preferences.

Home cadre is the natural choice for first preference. It offers advantages like one-third insider quota and language-culture-system familiarity. Plus if you do not put home cadre at first place, it is automatically considered at last place. For other cadres, you can ponder on these criteria:

·         Distance from home town.

·         Language issue.

·         Political system- National party ruled state cadres are better.

·         Special interests/ aversions- Hilly state cadres.

Overall, MP, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra are considered as top cadres. If you have a special liking for some specific cadre, make sure that you are well informed about this choice. In case of AGMUT cadre, decide if you are happy with being transferred across the nation or you prefer a relatively more settled life in single state cadre. In cadre preferences, do not imitate anybody else.

9.      Declaration and Annexures.

Fill in the declaration and any other annexure (if required) properly. Be cautious not to miss signature on declaration. For the details of earlier attempt, it is okay if you do not have the roll number. But fill in the year properly.

10.  Consult wisely.

Most importantly, consult only a few but knowledgeable people for filling DAF. Do not fall for generic perceptions and myths while filling the form. Consult your family in deciding the preferences for service or cadres. Family, close friends can also help you in hobbies, interests sections.

To conclude, I would suggest to devote some time for filling up DAF. But do not waste a full week in it.  Keep the DAF and Summary sheet safely with you in hard and soft copy. Think original and fill in the details confidently. All the best!!

Note : No need to send DAF From 2016 to UPSC.