Nowadays a graduate degree is a must for any applying for IBPS and other Bank Exams. So what if one has an eligibility beyond the degree course, what about professionals? Do they have any special consideration on account of their better skills and education? Well, such a privilege is not available to them in the case of regular IBPS exams in Clerical and PO cadres. However, professionals and the experienced get a better standing when it comes to IBPS Specialist Officers (IBPS SO) Recruitment, or where they could compete with the equally able candidates. IBPS’s specialist recruitment put forwards a very promising opportunity for Engineers, Business Managers, Chartered Accountants, Lawyers, looking forward to a safe, secure and rewarding career in Indian financial institutions.
What are the duties of Specialist Officers in the Bank? How their role is different from Clerk, PO positions?
Like any office, a bank requires people for keeping it’s “nuts and bolts” intact. While the Probationary Officers and Clerks run the day-to-day operations and business in a bank, the role of a Specialist Officer (SO) sprawls in the background activities, especially in the following areas.
- Duties of IT Specialist officers: It would be the responsibility of IT officers to oversee the technological perspectives of banking affairs, both software, and hardware. Nearly all banks contracting in the “IBPS recruitment” have shifted to core-banking for operations, and they use software like FLEXCUBE, Finacle, BanCS, SAP, etc. An IT officer will undergo training in all these domains; they should be able to service, configure troubleshoot the software, computers and networks that run the banking business. An IT officer in a senior manager role should be able to the assess the future IT interests of the bank, plan scaling, issue tenders, and report IT vacancies to the HR department. In this age of e-Banking, IT officers play a crucial role in acquiring more customers to the bank: no reason why the IT specialists contribute maximum number of jobs after management posts.
- Duties of Lawyers as Specialist Officers: Lawyers work on forming the policies of the banks in consultation with senior managers. The instructions and conditions we see in a loan, savings, credit card applications are documented and verified by practicing lawyers. They appear for the respective banks in Courts, process notices to the defaulting customers, and help a bank in taking over attached properties, etc. They are also responsible for making it sure that the bank functions in compliance with the law of the land.
- Role of a Bank specialist as Agriculture Field officer:The primary responsibility of an Agriculture officer is to promote banking services among farmers and cultivators. They have to evaluate the property and assets of potential customers and suggest a reliable approach for increasing the crop yield and performance, in such way that it would profit the banks. They should be able to communicate new technologies (Eg: Greenhouse and Hi-Tech farming ) to farmers, and explain about related financial products (Eg: Kisan Credit Cards) or loans available to them.
- Duties of Chartered accountants as Specialist Officers: CA or Chartered accountants do auditing and are the heads of all accounting in a bank. Charted Accountants hold top offices as financial planners, tax gurus and advisers to the General Managers. They are responsible for formatting and checking the accuracy of profit/loss statements and other documents for the investor community. They should be able to provide suggestions for the profitable operation of the bank based on RBI policies and other factors.
- Role of a Marketing Specialist Officer: The duty of an officer in this category is to improve the profits and market presence of the bank through various campaigns and promotions. They should have a precise perception about the financial products of the bank, and they may have to devise plans to sell it to the high net-worth individuals and others. In a sum, lead-generation and follow-up are the fundamental roles of marketing officers.
- Duties of Specialist Officers in HR Cadre: A Human Resources professional plays a critical role in any institution. Junior HR officers in a Bank usually handle the training and induction of new employees, circulating appraisal forms, forming leave schedules, creation of salary accounts, etc. Senior HR managers conduct interviews, take classes, deal with labor laws, promotion and other serious matters. In fact, it is HR specialist officers who report the open vacancies in a Bank to recruiting agencies like IBPS.
- Rajbhasha Adhikari: The Specialist Officer in an Indian Bank who deals with the National language is a Rajbhasha Adhikari. The individual applying for the post of Rajbhasha Adhikari should be able to create error-free Hindi documents, and translate smoothly between Hindi, English and other regional* languages.
Salary and other benefits available to Specialist officers
Specialist Officers enjoy a plethora of perks in Indian banks, usually equivalent to the Probationary Officers (PO) in the same rank. As of 2019, the starting salary of an IBPS Specialist Officer is around 46000, that includes their starting Basic Pay 23700 on IBA scale, DA (17000) (71.7 percent of Basic Pay), Special Allowance, HRA and the City Compensatory Allowance, if any. The range of benefits provided to a Specialist Officer vary with the financial institution: many of them provide newspaper/laundry allowances, medical coverage, TA and rented accommodation.
Specialist Officers will get adequate training in respective departments before their appointment to the JMG (Junior Management) Scale I position. They will be promoted to JMG Scale II to and MMG (Middle Management) Scales in the upcoming years based on performance in tests/interviews, and service rules. Experienced hands may directly join the JMG Scale II post by clearing the relevant IBPS Specialist Exam.
IBPS specialist recruitment 2020 process and dates
Now let’s talk about the IBPS SO Exam in 2020 and what’s in store for this year. As always the online registration for the Specialist Recruitment is the first step when you decide to proceed with this opportunity. Registrations start on November 2019, followed by all the events listed in the following table.
The main part of IBPS’s Specialist recruitment is the Online exam that they conduct every year in the month January. Unlike the PO recruitment, there isn’t a preliminary exam for the Specialist recruitment. Applicants directly take the main exam and then proceed to the interview sessions if get qualified.
Applicable job positions in IBPS SO recruitment 2019. (2020 intake)
Here is the total number of vacancies for IBPS Specialist Officer cadre in 2020.
- IT Officer Scale 1: 76
- Rajbasha Adikari Scale 1: 27
- HR Officer Scale 1: 20
- Agricultural field officer Scale 1: 670
- Law officer Scale 1: 60
- Marketing Officer Scale 1: 310
Click here to get the list of banks participating in IBPS SO exam 2020 and the vacancies available for each officer position.
How to apply online for IBPS Specialist Exam 2020
IBPS has strict guidelines on how you apply online for the SO Exam. They have listed everything on their advertisement for Specialist recruitment, which you may download here.
- Since the specialist job has varying responsibilities , the eligibility requirements are different when it comes to the educational qualification. Age and relaxation applicable are same across the posts, you can read about it on our article on IBPS eligibility.
- Earlier, IBPS used to select Scale I,II and III officers as a part of the yearly specialist recruitment process but now it is limited to the Scale-I category.
- Eligible candidates may proceed to the link given below to read more about IBPS application system and further steps.
- The IBPS specialist Exam is quiet similar to Clerk, PO and RRB exams when you compare the model of administration. It is a web-based exam where proficiency of the candidates get tested through objective questions. However, the testing pattern of the Specialist Exam is slightly distinctive from the rest of the IBPS recruitments on account of the professional competency part included in the syllabus. Professional knowledge section included in SO syllabus has the maximum marks among all subjects. Click here to check the full syllabus and pattern of IBPS specialist exam.
- The application fee for IBPS Specialist Exam is 600 INR.
How to prepare for IBPS Specialist Exam 2020
- Out of the 200 marks you could score in IBPS Specialist Exam, 75 marks come from the “professional knowledge” section. Therefore, IBPS SO applicants should give more attention to the subjects associated to their domain or profession, especially the portions that touch banking business. For example, If you’re applying the IBPS specialist exam for lawyers, you should be concentrating on various laws and acts related to banking. Rules on contracts, recovery of debts, foreign exchange, securities, money laundering, RBI policies, etc. are a few important topics.
- Quantitative and reasoning section for IBPS specialist Exam carries basic to advanced mathematics and logical questions. At first it may appear a bit difficult when you start solving the logical questions or figure problems; do it one by one, you will find some similarities and the topic will get easier with time. Solve at least 1000 questions from this section by referring previous years question papers. You will understand the style of puzzles and will be able to find so many closely related problems.
- Time management is a very crucial thing if you want to crack IBPS specialist online examination. The reasoning/quantitative aptitude section kills a significant share of the time allocated to candidates. We recommend you get training from a good coaching center if you want to manage time wisely: they can guide you on reappearing questions and short-cut methods for solving them.
- Test of English holds only 25 marks in IBPS specialist exam. Your command of the English vocabulary, skill of reading comprehensions and understanding about the “errors in English” will get an analysis here.
- General awareness and banking knowledge can be effortlessly acquired by watching business news and referring online portals on a day-to-day basis. IBPS “Law officer” and “Rajabhasha Adhikari ” aspirants should give this module a greater priority- it is easy to score that 50 marks.
Best books for IBPS specialist examination in 2020
IBPS Clerk, PO, and RRB exams have a nearly similar syllabus. However, for the Specialist exam there is a slight difference, to be precise, the presence of Professional Knowledge module. A candidate reading IBPS’s Syllabus for Specialist Recruitment may not get any impression about the nature of questions that would come for the actual examination. Here comes the importance of getting books that cover the past years IBPS question papers and studying in accordance with that pattern. We strongly suggest that you buy the books given below if you’re preparing for IBPS Specialist Exam: it could be useful for other IBPS recruitments too.
IBPS IT Specialist officer exam: Kiran’s latest book for IBPS IT Specialist Recruitment is here. It only covers the professional knowledge section for the IT Specialist Exam 2016. Questions from the previous IBPS SO-IT exam (2011-2016) are also included. Buy Now. The book is a bit costly at 635 but the content is extensive and reliable.
IBPS Specialist Law officer exam: Kiran Prakashan has published an updated book for the candidates applying for 5th IBPS recruitment in the Law Officer category. Click here to Buy.
This book includes all the fundamental topics for preparing IBPS SO Law exam- more emphasis is given on Professional Knowledge related to Legal domain along with the solved questions from IBPS Specialist Exams 2012 to 2015.
IBPS Agriculture Specialist Officer Exam:Kiran Publication hasn’t released the updated 2016 edition of the book for Agriculture Specialist exam. However, you can still purchase the last year’s release with solved question papers up-to 2014. Click Here to Buy.
Manorama Yearbook 2020 (GK& Banking knowledge): General Knowledge is part of the syllabus for IBPS Specialist Officers (SO) Exam in the prelimenery stage. The latest 2020 edition of Manorama Yearbook will be released in the first week of December and is definitely a good purchase all IBPS/UPSC/SSC exam applicants and others applying to State level PSC exams.
Advantage: Top selling GK book in the country covering all topics. Also comes with Encyclopedia Britannica CDs and online access.
Disadvantage: Too wide for a short-term preparation and is at least one year old. You may have to order another book latest information on developments in the banking sector. Also the topics related to banking knowledge is limited in Manorama Yearbook. As an alternative, buy a separate book for covering banking awareness.
5. IBPS Marketing Specialist Officer Exam: Candidates appearing for the IBPS’s recruitment for Marketing Specialist may buy this book for interviews and the online exam. This text comes with solved question papers from 2012-2016 for Scale-1 marketing specialist exam.
6. IBPS HR Specialist Officer Exam: Kiran Prakshan has updated their book for IBPS Human Resource Officer recruitment to include the solved questions from 2015’s exam and to accommodate changes in the new syllabus. Click here to buy.
- IBPS Exam for Rajbhasha Adikari: Those who are looking for a book the covers the professional knowledge in Hindi language may pick Kiran’s practice workbook for Rajbhasha Officer. Click here to buy. The new edition of this book will be released in a few days.
The books mentioned above are particularly for preparing the professional knowledge module of the IBPS Specialist Exam. Consider checking the following titles for advanced coverage on rest of the syllabus.
- IBPS + Bank Reasoning Question papers solved in a bundle : BUY
- IBPS + Bank Quantitative Aptitude question papers solved: BUY
- IBPS + Bank English previous years question papers (full set) : BUY
The last three books incorporate questions from multiple bank exams organized in India from 1999-2014. This bundle has approximately 10000 questions and its solutions: it would be a great treasure in your arsenal if you buy the three as a combo for IBPS bank exam preparations.
IBPS’s minimum and maximum scores for Specialist recruitment.
The final stage of the IBPS Specialist Recruitment is the common interview. IBPS combines the score secured by the candidates in Main Exam and Interview through a special formula and forms a provisional allotment list. The following image shows the minimum and maximum scores of the IBPS SO applicants who made it to the provisional allotment list in 2018.
Candidates applying for IBPS Specialist Recruitment has to score something in this range to get a specialist job in Indian Govt. Banks, in the coming year.