Indian Statistical Service (ISS) Exam – An Accelerated Route To UPSC

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Are you a logical person with excellent analytical skills who enjoys problem-solving? Are you in search of a high profile and prestigious job? If you have answered yes, then UPSC has a provision for you in the office for national statistics. Your fitness for the mentioned post is determined wholly by the ISS( Indian Statistical Service) Exam conducted by the UPSC very year.

Indian Statistical Service Exam (ISS)

This is a competitive exam conducted by the UPSC for recruitment to Grade IV Officers of Indian Statistical Service. The exam spans three days. The exam is conducted in two parts as following :

Part I of ISS Exam:

This is a written examination with a maximum of 1000 marks and has questions with regard to the following subjects :

  • General English
  • General Studies
  • Statistics I (Objective)
  • Statistics II (Objective)
  • Statistics III (Objective)
  • Statistics IV (Objective)

General English

Questions in this section are designed in such a way that a normal graduate from any Indian University can answer them. The candidate will be asked to write an essay and this section will have questions to test the candidates’ acquaintance with basic English language and standard use of words. Questions to summarize a given passage will be set. The maximum marks for this section is 100 and the maximum time allotted is 3 hours.

General Studies

This paper is also set in such a way that a normal graduate from any Indian University is expected to answer. There will be questions pertaining to such topics as General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Indian Polity, History, Geography and Science which do not demand a specialized study. The maximum marks for this section is 100 and the time allotted for this section is 3 hours.

Statistics I (Objective)

This section has a total of 200 objective questions and the maximum time allotted for this section is 2 hours. The standard of the questions are such that the candidates require a Masters degree in the discipline from any Indian University. This section has questions from the following areas:

  • Probability

From this part, one can expect questions relating to the Classical And Axiomatic Definitions Of Probability  And Consequences, Law Of Total Probability, Conditional Probability, Bayes’ Theorem And Applications, Discrete And Continuous Random Variables, Distribution Functions And Their Properties, Standard Discrete And Continuous Probability Distributions, Random Vectors, Joint And Marginal Distributions, Conditional Distributions, Distribution Of Functions Of Random Variables, Modes Of Convergences Of Sequences Of Random Variables, Mathematical Expectations And Conditional Expectations, Characteristic Function, Moment And Probability Generating Functions, Inversion, Uniqueness And Continuity Theorems, Borel     0-1 law, Kolmogorov’s 0-1 law, Tchebycheff’s and Kolmogorov’s Inequalities, Laws Of Large Numbers And Central Limit Theorems For Independent Variables and related areas.

  • Statistical Methods

This section has questions relating to such areas as Collection, Compilation And Presentation Of Data, Charts, Diagrams And Histograms, Frequency Distribution, Measures Of Location, Dispersion, Skewness And Kurtosis, Bivariate And Multivariate Data, Association And Contingency, Curve Fitting And Orthogonal Polynomials, Bivariate Normal Distributions, Regression-Linear, Distribution Of The Correlation Coefficient, Partial And Multiple Correlation, Intraclass Correlation, Correlation Ratio, Standard Errors And Large Sample Test, Non-parametric Test, Order Statistics, Concept Of Asymptotic Relative Efficiency and related fields.

  • Numerical Analysis

This section has questions relating to such areas as Finite Differences Of Different Orders, Concept Of Interpolation And Extrapolation, Inverse Interpolation, Numerical Differentiation, Summation Of Series, Numerical Solutions Of Differential Equations and related areas.

  • Computer Application and Data Processing

This section has questions relating to such areas as Basics Of Computers And Basics Of Programming.

Statistics II (Objective)

This section has a total of 200 questions and the maximum time allotted for this section is 2 hours.  The standard of the questions is such that the candidates require a Masters degree in the discipline from any Indian University. This section has questions relating to the following areas :

  • Linear Models

This section has questions relating to such areas as Theory Of Linear Estimation, Gauss-Markov Linear Models, Estimable Functions, Errors And Estimation Space, Normal Equations And Least Square Estimators, Estimation Of Error Variance, Estimation With Correlated Observations, Properties Of Least Square Estimators, Generalized Inverse Of A Matrix And Solution Of Normal Equations, Variances And Covariances Of Least Square Estimators, One-way And Two-way Classifications, Fixed, Random And Mixed Effects Models, Analysis Of Variances (two-way classification only), Multiple Comparison Tests Due To Turkey, Scheffe And Student – Newmann-Keul-Duncan and related areas.

  • Statistical Inference and Hypothesis Testing

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Characteristics Of Good Estimators, Estimation Models Of Maximum Likelihood, Minimum chi-square, Moments And Least Squares, Optimal Properties Of Maximum Likelihood Estimators, Minimum Variance Unbiased Estimators, Cramer-Rao Inequality, Bhattacharya Bounds, Sufficient Estimators, Factorization Theorem, Complete Statistics, Rao-Blackwell Theorem, Confidence Interval Estimation, Optimum Confidence Bounds, Resampling, Bootstrap And Jacknife, Hypothesis Testing, Two kinds Of Error, Critical Region, Different Kinds Of Critical And Similar Regions, Power Functions,  Most Powerful And Uniformly Most Powerful Tests, Neyman- Pearson Fundamental Lemma, Unbiased And Randomized Tests, Likelihood Ratio Tests, Ward’s SPRT, OC And ASN Functions, Elements Of Decision Theory and related areas.

  • Official Statistics

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as National And International Official Statistical System, Official Statistics, National Statistical Organization, National Statistical Commission, Index Numbers, Sector-Wise Statistics, National Accounts, Population Census, Socio-Economic Indicators, Gender Awareness/Statistics, Important Surveys And Censuses and related areas.

Statistics III (Descriptive):

This section has a total of 200 marks and the maximum time allotted for this section is 3 hours. The standard of the questions are such that the candidates require a Masters degree in the discipline from any Indian University. The candidates have to illustrate theory by facts and are expected to apply their knowledge of theories to solve problems. This part has questions relating to the following areas :

  • Sampling Techniques

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Concept Of Population And Sample, Need For Sampling, Complete Enumeration v/s Sampling, Basic Concepts In Sampling, Sampling And Non-Sampling Errors, Methodologies In Sample Surveys By NSSO, Subjective Sampling, Random Sampling, Simple Random sampling With And Without Replacement, Estimation Of Population Mean, Population Proportions And Their Standard Errors, Stratified Random Sampling, Proportional And Optimum Allocation, Comparison With Simple Random Sampling For Fixed Sample Size, Covariance And Variance Function, Ratio, Product And Regression Methods Of Estimation, Estimation Of Population Mean, Evaluation Of Bias And Variance To The First Order Of Approximation, Comparison With Simple Random Sampling, Systematic Sampling( when population size is an integer multiple of sample size ), Estimation Of Population Mean And Standard Error Of This Estimate, Comparison With Simple Random Sampling, Sampling With Probability Proportional To Size, Des Raj And Das Estimators For n=2, Horvitz-Thomson’s Estimator, Equal Size Cluster Sampling, Concept Of Multistage Sampling And Its Applications, Two Stage Sampling With Equal Number Of Second Stage Units, Estimation Of Population Mean And Total Double Sampling In Ratio And Regression Methods Of Estimation,Concept Of Interpenetrating Sub-Sampling and related areas.

  • Econometrics

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Nature Of Econometrics, GLM And Its Extensions, OLS Estimation And Prediction, GLS Estimation And Prediction, Heteroscedastic Disturbances, Pure And Mixed Estimation, Auto Correlation, Theil BLUS Procedure, Estimation And Prediction, Multi Collinearity Problems, Ridge Regression, Linear And Stochastic Regression, Instrumental Variable Estimation, Errors In Variables, Auto Regressive Linear Regression, Lagged Variables, Distributed Lag Models, Estimation Of Lag By OLS Method, Koyck’s Geometric Lag Model, Simultaneous Linear Equations Model And Its Generalization, Identification Problem, Restrictions On Structural Parameters, Rank And Order Conditions, Estimation In Simultaneous Equations Model, Recursive System, 1 SLS Estimators, Limited Information Estimators, k-class Estimators, 3 SLS Estimator, Full Information Maximum Likelihood Method, Prediction And Simultaneous Confidence Intervals and related areas.

  • Applied Statistics

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Index Numbers, Time Series Analysis, And  Detailed Analysis Of The Stationary Processes including MA, AR, ARMA and ARIMA Models and related areas.

Statistics IV (Descriptive):

This section has a total of 200 questions and has a total time of 3 hours. The standard of the questions is such that the candidates require a Masters degree in the discipline from any Indian University. This section has an equal number of questions from the subsections below out if which the candidate has to attend any two :

  • Operation Research and Reliability

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Definitions And Scope Of Operations Research, Transportation And Assignment Problems, Bell man’s Principle Of Optimality, General Formulation, Computational Methods And Applications Of Dynamic Programming To LPP, Decision – making In The Face Of Competition, Two-person Games, Pure And Mixed Strategies, Existence Of Solutions And Uniqueness Of Value In Zero-sum Games, Finding Solutions In 2×2, 2xm,mxn Games, Analytical Structure Of Inventory Problems, EOQ Formula Of Harris, Its Sensitivity Analysis And Extensions Allowing Quantity Discounts And Shortages, Multi Item Inventory Subject To Constraints, Models With Random Demand, The Static Risk Model, P And Q-systems With Constant And  Random Lead Times, Queuing Models, Sequencing And Scheduling Problems, Branch and Bound Method For Solving Traveling Salesman Problems, Replacement Problems, PERT And CPM, Reliability Concepts and Measures, Life Distributions, Notion Of Aging, etc.

  • Demography and Vital Statistics

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Sources Of Demographic Data, Census, Registration, ad-hoc surveys, Hospital Records, Demographic Profiles Of Indian Census, Complete Life Table, Measurement Of Fertility, Mortality And Internal Migration and related areas.

  • Survival Analysis and Clinical Trials

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Concept Of Time, Order And Random Censoring, Likelihood In The Distributions, Life Tables, Failure Rates, Mean Residual Life, Estimation Of Survival Functions, Two Sample Problem, Semi-Parametric Regression For Failure Analysis, Competing Risk Model, Introduction To Clinical Trials, Data Management, Design Of Clinical Trials, Reporting And Analysis and related areas.

  • Quality Control

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Statistical Process And Product Control, Basic Concepts Of Process Monitoring And Control, General Theory And Review Of Control Charts For Attribute And Variable Data, Acceptance Sampling Plans For Attribute Inspection and related areas.

  • Multivariate Analysis

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Multivariate Normal Distribution, Wishart Matrix, Hotelling’s T^2, Classification Problems, Principal Components, Dimension Reduction, Canonical Variates And Canonical Correlation and related areas.

  • Design and Analysis of Experiments

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Analysis Of  Variances For One Way And Two Way Classifications, Need For Design Of Experiments, Basic Principle Of Experimental Design, Complete Analysis And Layout Of Completely Randomized Design, Randomized Block Design And Latin Square Design, Missing plot Technique, Factorial Experiments, Analysis Of Covariance, Non-orthagonal data And Missing Data and related areas.

  • Computing with C and R

This section has questions pertaining to such areas as Basics Of C, Control Statements, Functions, Structure, Files In C, Statistical Methods And Techniques In R and related areas.

Part II of ISS Exam

The second part of the examination is a viva voce of a maximum of 200 marks where a board of unbiased and exceptional specialists from the discipline will analyze the candidate’s suitability for the proposed position. Apart from your academic knowledge, your basic awareness and interest in social affairs are evaluated. It supplements the written examination in evaluating the interpersonal skills and abilities of the candidate.

If you are really agile and innovative and wants to make a difference, invest your time and efforts in the exam and be assured of a promising career where your contributions will be counted and your efforts will be valued. Enjoy an efficient work-life balance while being a part of a reputed institution that shapes the lives of millions. Good luck for your attempts!