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About UPSC CSE

UPSC CSE

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is one of the most prestigious and challenging exams in India. It serves as a gateway to various civil services and administrative posts in the government. Here are key details about the UPSC Civil Services Exam:

  1. Structure of the Exam:
    • The Civil Services Examination is a three-stage process:
    • Preliminary Examination (Objective Type)
    • Main Examination (Written and Descriptive)
    • Personality Test (Interview)
  2. Preliminary Examination:
    • The Preliminary Exam consists of two papers: General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II (CSAT – Civil Services Aptitude Test). Paper-II is of qualifying nature, and candidates need to score a minimum of 33% to qualify.
    • Both papers are objective-type multiple-choice questions.
    • The Preliminary Exam serves as a screening test, and marks obtained are not counted for the final merit.
  3. Main Examination:
    • The Main Examination consists of nine papers, out of which seven are merit-based and two are qualifying in nature.
    • The merit-based papers include Essay, General Studies (four papers), and Optional Subject (two papers).
    • The qualifying papers are English and an Indian language chosen by the candidate.
  4. Optional Subjects:
    • Candidates can choose one optional subject for the Main Examination from a list of approved subjects. Some popular optional subjects include History, Geography, Public Administration, Sociology, Political Science, and Literature.
  5. Interview (Personality Test):
    • The final stage is the Personality Test (Interview) where candidates are assessed for their suitability for the administrative services.
    • The interview panel evaluates the candidate’s personality, communication skills, general awareness, and depth of knowledge.
  6. Eligibility Criteria:
    • Candidates must be Indian citizens.
    • They must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. Final-year students can also apply.
  7. Age Limit:
    • The age limit varies for different categories. Generally, candidates must be between 21 and 32 years of age as of August 1 of the exam year. Age relaxation is provided for certain categories.
  8. Number of Attempts:
    • The number of attempts is limited for candidates. The limit varies for different categories.
  9. Syllabus:
    • The syllabus for the Civil Services Exam is extensive and covers a wide range of subjects, including History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Science and Technology, Environment, and Current Affairs.
  10. Interview Panel:
    • The interview panel typically consists of experienced and senior members, including a psychologist.
  11. Ranking and Allocation:
    • Candidates are ranked based on their performance in the Main Examination and the Interview.
    • The top-ranked candidates are allocated to various services based on their preferences, merit, and the availability of vacancies.
  12. Training:
    • After selection, candidates undergo training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie, and then they move to their respective training academies based on their allocated services.

The Civil Services Exam is known for its high competition and rigorous selection process. Clearing this exam opens doors to prestigious services like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and other central services. Aspirants often dedicate months or even years to preparation, and coaching institutes and self-study are common methods of preparation.

UPSC CSE 2024 Time – Table

SR.NO.NAME OF EXAMINATIONDATE OF NOTIFICATIONLAST DATE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONSDATE OF EXAMINATIONDURATION OF EXAM
1

Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2024

 

Indian Forest Services (Preliminary) Examination 2024 through CS (P) Examination 2024

14.02.202405.03.202426.05.20241 Day
2

Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2024

 

Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination, 2024

  

20.09.2024

 

24.11.2024

5 Days

 

7 Days

Notification 2024

For Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2024 (Prelims 2024) UPSC has come out with notification. Candidates can submit the exam application from 14.02.2024 to 05.03.2024. For assistance you may contact A A Shah’s IAS Institute at +91-9004078746 / +91-9029088746

Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) are set by the Union Public Service Commission and are as follows:
  1. Nationality:
    • The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  2. Educational Qualification:
    • The candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
    • Candidates appearing in the final year of their degree can also apply for the examination, but they must submit the proof of passing the qualifying examination along with the application for the Main Examination.
  3. Age Limit:
    • The candidate’s age must be between 21 and 32 years as of August 1 of the exam year.
    • There is age relaxation for candidates belonging to certain categories:
      • OBC (Non-Creamy Layer): 3 years
      • SC/ST: 5 years
      • Physically Disabled (PwD): 10 years
      • Defense Services Personnel disabled in operations: 3 years (8 years for SC/ST)
      • Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs: 5 years
      • Jammu and Kashmir domiciled candidates: 5 years
      • OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) residing in Jammu and Kashmir between 1st January 1980 and 31st December 1989: 8 years
  4. Number of Attempts:
    • The number of attempts for the Civil Services Examination is limited:
      • General Category: 6 attempts
      • OBC Category: 9 attempts
      • SC/ST Category: Unlimited attempts until the age limit is reached
  5. Other Conditions:
    • A candidate must fulfill certain physical fitness criteria as per the guidelines issued by the UPSC.
    • Candidates must adhere to the rules regarding the acceptance or rejection of the application form and other conditions specified by the UPSC in the notification.
It’s important for candidates to thoroughly read the official notification issued by the UPSC for each year’s examination, as it contains detailed information on eligibility criteria, application procedures, and other relevant details. The eligibility criteria may be subject to change, so candidates should refer to the latest notification for accurate and updated information.

What is the Preliminary Examination pattern?

  1. The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers (General Studies Paper-I & paper-II) of Objective type (multiple choice questions) of 200 marks each. The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%. It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. 
  2. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination. 
  3. The Commission will draw a list of candidates to be qualified for Civil Service (Main) Examination based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper- II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper-I of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as may be determined by the Commission. 
  4. There will be negative marking for incorrect answers (as detailed below) for all questions except some of the questions where the negative-marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions. 
  5. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

What is Mains (Written) Exam?

  • Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.  Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and Posts. 
  • Civil Services Mains (Written Examination), is generally held in the month of September / October every year.

 

What is Optional Subject?

Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from;

Agriculture 

Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science 

Anthropology 

Botany 

Chemistry 

Civil Engineering 

Commerce & Accountancy 

Economics 

Electrical Engineering 

Geography 

Geology 

History 

Law

Management 

Mathematics 

Mechanical Engineering 

Medical Science 

Philosophy 

Physics 

Political Science and International Relations 

Psychology 

Public Administration 

Sociology 

Statistics 

Zoology 

Literature

 

What is the pattern of Mains Written Exam?

Qualifying Paper:

Compulsory Papers;

(Papers to be counted for merit

Papers not to be counted for merit

1750 Marks

Environment, Security and Disaster Management) General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

Justice and International relations)

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

)

Bio-diversity,

)

Paper-V

Paper-IV

Paper-I Paper-II

Paper A Paper B

Paper-III

Paper-VI Paper-VII

Essay 250 Marks General Studies – I

Optional Subject – Paper 1 Optional Subject – Paper 2

Indian Language (Matriculation or equivalent standard) (Qualifying Paper with 30%) English (Matriculation or equivalent standard) (Qualifying Paper with 25%)

300 Marks

250Marks

250 Marks

250 Marks

250 Marks

300 Marks

250 Marks 250 Marks

General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development,

General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social

Sub Total (Written test) (Each paper of 3-hour duration)

 

What is the Mains (Written) Examination pattern?

  1. The Mains Examination is held for those candidates who qualify the Prelims. 
  2. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type, out of which two papers will be of qualifying in nature. Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (Paper-I to Paper-VlI) and Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking. 
  3. Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Mains Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about three times the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). 
  4. Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various services keeping in view their ranks in the Examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts. 
  5. The mains Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. 
  6. The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio- economic goals, objectives and demands.
  7. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers. 
  8. The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honors degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree. 
  9. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination. 
  10. The question papers of the Mains Examination will be of conventional (essay) type. 
  11. Evaluation of the papers, namely, Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 30% marks in Indian Language and 25% marks in English as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers. 
  12. Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper-I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers. 
  13. If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him. 
  14. Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge. 
  15. Credit will be given for orderly, effective, and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.

 

What is Mains (Interview) – Personality Test?

Candidates, who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for interview for a Personality Test. Candidates who are selected in the Mains Written Examination will be eligible to appear before the Interview Board at New Delhi.

  1. The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Mains Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. (Ranking is based on score out of 2025 Marks).
  2. The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. The candidates will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
  3. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers.
  4. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs.
  5. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
  6. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
  7. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.

Syllabus

The syllabus for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is comprehensive and covers a wide range of subjects. The examination is conducted in three stages: Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Personality Test (Interview). Here is an overview of the syllabus for each stage:

Preliminary Examination:

Paper-I: General Studies (GS)
  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.
 
Paper-II: Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)
  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level).

 

Main Examination:

Paper-A: Indian Language (Qualifying)
  • Comprehension skills.
  • Precis Writing.
  • Translation of English to the Indian language and vice versa.
 
Paper-B: English (Qualifying)
  • Comprehension skills.
  • Precis Writing.
  • Translation of the Indian language to English and vice versa.

Paper-I: Essay Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. The choice of subjects will be given.

Paper-II: General Studies – I
  • Indian Heritage and Culture.
  • History and Geography of the World and Society.
  • Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International relations.
 
Paper-III: General Studies – II
  • Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International relations.
  • Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
Paper-IV: General Studies – III
  • Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
  • Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude.
Paper-V: General Studies – IV
  • Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude.
  • Optional Subject – Paper I.

Paper-VI: Optional Subject – Paper II Candidates can choose one optional subject from the list of approved subjects.

Personality Test (Interview):

The Personality Test (Interview) aims to assess the candidate’s suitability for a career in public service. It includes questions on current affairs, general awareness, communication skills, and the candidate’s understanding of various issues.

Candidates are advised to refer to the official UPSC notification for the most accurate and updated information on the syllabus, as changes may occur from year to year. Additionally, candidates should choose their optional subjects based on their interests and background knowledge.

 

For detailed syllabus

 

Click Here.

Booklist

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a highly competitive exam that requires extensive preparation. The choice of books for UPSC CSE preparation may vary based on personal preferences, background, and the chosen optional subject. Here’s a general booklist covering the various subjects included in the UPSC CSE syllabus:

Preliminary Examination:

1. General Studies Paper-I:
  • “Indian Polity” by M. Laxmikanth
  • “Indian Economy” by Ramesh Singh
  • “Certificate Physical and Human Geography” by G.C. Leong
  • “Indian Art and Culture” by Nitin Singhania
  • “History of Modern India” by Bipan Chandra
  • “A Brief History of Modern India” by Spectrum
  • “Science and Technology” by Ravi Agrahari
  • “Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure” by Rajagopalan
  • “Current Affairs” – Newspapers (The Hindu, The Indian Express) and magazines (Yojana, Kurukshetra)
2. General Studies Paper-II (CSAT):
  • “CSAT Manual” by TMH
  • “Analytical Reasoning” by M.K. Pandey
  • “Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning” by R.S. Aggarwal

Main Examination:

1. Essay Paper:
  • “151 Essays” by Arihant Publications
  • “Essays for Civil Services and Other Competitive Examinations” by Pulkit Khare
 
2. General Studies – I:
  • “Indian Art and Culture” by Nitin Singhania
  • “India’s Struggle for Independence” by Bipan Chandra
  • “History of Modern India” by Spectrum
  • “Geography of India” by Majid Husain
3. General Studies – II:
  • “Indian Polity” by M. Laxmikanth
  • “Introduction to the Constitution of India” by D.D. Basu
  • “Governance in India” by M. Laxmikanth
  • “Indian Economy” by Ramesh Singh
 
4. General Studies – III:
  • “Indian Economy” by Ramesh Singh
  • “Shankar IAS Environment Book” by Shankar IAS Academy
  • “Science and Technology in India” by Kalpana Rajaram
  • “Internal Security and Disaster Management” by Ashok Kumar
 
5. General Studies – IV (Ethics):
  • “Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude” by Chronicle Publications
  • “Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude” by G. Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chowdhury
 
6. Optional Subject:
  • Select a standard book for your chosen optional subject. For example:
  • “Public Administration” by M. Laxmikanth (for Public Administration)
  • “Indian Society” by Ram Ahuja (for Sociology)
  • “Introduction to Political Theory” by O.P. Gauba (for Political Science)

Newspapers and Magazines:

  • The Hindu or The Indian Express (for current affairs)
  • Yojana, Kurukshetra, Economic and Political Weekly
 

Current Affairs:

  • Monthly magazines like Civil Services Chronicle, Vision IAS Monthly Current Affairs, etc.
It’s important to note that the list above is not exhaustive, and candidates may need to supplement their preparation based on their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, staying updated with current affairs is crucial throughout the preparation period. As new editions of books may be released, candidates are advised to check for the latest editions. Also, the choice of optional subject determines additional readings. Always refer to the latest UPSC syllabus and official notifications for accurate information.

PYQP:

PYQP of UPSC CSE are important for practice as well as for understanding the pattern of asking questions by UPSC which never remains constant.
A A Shah’s IAS Institute provides comprehensively the questions which can be filtered as
Year-wise
Paper-wise
Subject-wise
Topic-wise.

To view previous year question papers

Click Here.

Posts

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is conducted to recruit candidates for various prestigious services and posts under the central government of India. Here are some of the key services and posts for which candidates are selected through the UPSC CSE:

 

1Indian Administrative Service.13Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
2Indian Foreign Service.14Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
3Indian Police Service.15Post of Assistant Security Commissioner, in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
4Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’.16Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
5Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.17Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
6Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) Group ‘A’.18Indian Trade Service, Group “A” (GR.III)
7Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.19Indian Corporate Law Service, Group “A”
8Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’.20Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS) Group “A”
9Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant WorksManager,Ainistration)21Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade)
10Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.22Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group ‘B’
11Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.23Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group ‘B’
12Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.24Pondicherry Civil Service, Group ‘B’
  25Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’
  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS): IAS officers are responsible for the administrative functioning of the government and are involved in policy formulation and implementation at various levels.
  • Indian Police Service (IPS): IPS officers are responsible for maintaining law and order, preventing and detecting crimes, and ensuring the safety and security of citizens.
  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS): IFS officers represent India in diplomatic missions abroad and are involved in the country’s external affairs, international relations, and diplomacy.
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS): IRS officers are responsible for the collection and administration of direct and indirect taxes in the country.
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS): IA&AS officers are responsible for auditing government accounts and ensuring financial accountability.
  • Indian Forest Service (IFoS): IFoS officers are involved in the management and conservation of forests, wildlife, and natural resources.
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS): IRTS officers are responsible for the management of railway operations, including traffic planning, scheduling, and coordination.
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS): IRAS officers handle the financial and accounting aspects of the Indian Railways.
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS): IRPS officers are involved in personnel management, recruitment, and welfare activities for railway employees.
  • Indian Trade Service (ITS): ITS officers work in the field of international trade, export promotion, and trade policy formulation.
  • Indian Postal Service (IPoS): IPoS officers are responsible for the management of postal services and related activities.
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS): IDAS officers are involved in the financial management of defense expenditure.
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS): IOFS officers work in the management and production of defense equipment and ordnance factories.
  • Central Secretariat Service (CSS): CSS officers work in various ministries and departments of the central government, involved in policy formulation, implementation, and administration.
  • Indian Economic Service (IES): IES officers work in economic planning, policy analysis, and program evaluation in various government departments.

These are just a few examples, and there are several other services and posts that candidates can be allocated based on their preferences, merit, and availability of vacancies. Each service has its own set of responsibilities and opportunities for career growth within the government system. Candidates participating in the UPSC CSE can choose their preferences for services based on their interests and career goals.

Pay scale and grades of IAS

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one of the most prestigious civil services in India. The pay scale and grades of IAS officers are determined by the Pay Commission recommendations. As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the Seventh Pay Commission is in effect. Please note that pay scales may be subject to change based on government decisions and subsequent Pay Commission recommendations. Here are the pay scale and grades for IAS officers under the Seventh Pay Commission:

1. Junior Scale (Entry Level):
  • Pay Scale: ₹56,100 – ₹1,77,500
  • Grade Pay: ₹16,500

 

2. Senior Time Scale:
  • Pay Scale: ₹67,700 – ₹2,08,700
  • Grade Pay: ₹20,000

 

3. Junior Administrative Grade:
  • Pay Scale: ₹78,800 – ₹2,09,200
  • Grade Pay: ₹25,000

 

4. Selection Grade:
  • Pay Scale: ₹1,18,500 – ₹2,14,100
  • Grade Pay: ₹30,000

 

5. Super Time Scale:
  • Pay Scale: ₹1,18,500 – ₹2,14,100
  • Grade Pay: ₹30,000

 

6. Above Super Time Scale:
  • Pay Scale: ₹1,44,200 – ₹2,18,200
  • Grade Pay: ₹30,000

 

7. Apex Scale:
  • Pay Scale: ₹2,25,000 (Fixed)

 

8. Cabinet Secretary Grade:
  • Pay Scale: ₹2,50,000 (Fixed)

 

In addition to the basic pay, IAS officers are entitled to various allowances and benefits, including Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), Travel Allowance (TA), and other perks as per government rules.

It’s important to note that the pay structure for IAS officers may be revised from time to time based on government decisions and subsequent Pay Commission recommendations. The information provided here is based on the Seventh Pay Commission as of my last update in January 2022. Candidates and individuals are advised to check the latest government notifications and orders for the most up-to-date information on pay scales and grades.

 

About UPSC

About UPSC

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a constitutional body in India responsible for conducting civil services examinations and recruiting candidates for various prestigious government services and posts. The UPSC was established on October 1, 1926, and its headquarters are located in New Delhi.

  1. Civil Services Examination (CSE): The most well-known examination conducted by the UPSC is the Civil Services Examination, which is held annually. Successful candidates in this exam are recruited for prestigious services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and other central services.
  2. Other Examinations: Apart from the Civil Services Examination, the UPSC conducts several other examinations, including the Combined Defense Services Examination (CDSE), National Defense Academy Examination (NDA), Indian Forest Service Examination (IFoS), and Engineering Services Examination (ESE), among others.
  3. Recruitment: The UPSC is responsible for recruiting candidates for various Group A and Group B services in the central government. These services cover a wide range of fields, including administration, defense, engineering, medical, and more.
  4. Constitutional Status: The UPSC is a constitutional body as per Article 315 of the Constitution of India. It is responsible for advising the President on matters related to appointments, promotions, and transfers of civil servants.
  5. Independence: The UPSC operates independently, and its members are appointed by the President of India. The commission functions autonomously without interference from the executive or legislative branches of the government.
  6. Examination Process: The Civil Services Examination consists of three stages – Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Personality Test (Interview). The examination is known for its rigorous selection process and high level of competition.
  7. Age and Eligibility: Candidates aspiring to appear for the UPSC exams must meet certain eligibility criteria, including educational qualifications and age limits. The eligibility criteria vary depending on the specific examination.
  8. Syllabus and Subjects: The syllabus for UPSC examinations covers a wide range of subjects, including general studies, optional subjects, and specific knowledge areas relevant to the services for which the exam is conducted.

Preparing for UPSC examinations requires dedication, hard work, and a deep understanding of the subjects covered in the syllabus. Many aspirants opt for coaching, self-study, and online resources to enhance their preparation. The successful candidates who clear the UPSC exams go on to play key roles in shaping and implementing government policies and administration in the country.

Historical Perspective

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has a rich historical perspective, dating back to the colonial era. Here is a brief overview of the historical evolution of the UPSC:

  1. Colonial Era (1858-1926): The roots of the UPSC can be traced back to the British colonial period. Initially, a Public Service Commission was set up in 1858, but it had a limited scope and was primarily concerned with recruitment to the civil services of the East India Company. Over the years, the structure evolved to include a more comprehensive examination system.
  2. Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms (1919): The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919 laid the groundwork for the establishment of a Public Service Commission in India. The Government of India Act, 1919, provided for the establishment of a Public Service Commission to recruit personnel for the civil services.
  3. Lee Commission (1923): In 1923, the Lee Commission was appointed to assess the structure and functioning of the public services in India. The recommendations of the Lee Commission laid the foundation for the establishment of the Public Service Commission in 1926.
  4. Establishment of UPSC (1926): The Union Public Service Commission was formally established on October 1, 1926, under the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1919. Sir Ross Barker was appointed as the first Chairman of the UPSC. Initially, the commission was headquartered in London, and its primary function was to conduct examinations for recruitment to the Indian Civil Service.
  5. Government of India Act, 1935: The Government of India Act, 1935, further enhanced the role and functions of the UPSC. The commission was now responsible for recruiting personnel to various services under the central government.
  6. Post-Independence Period: After India gained independence in 1947, the UPSC continued to play a crucial role in recruiting personnel for the newly formed Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and other central services. The headquarters of the UPSC was shifted from London to New Delhi.
  7. Constitutional Status (1950): With the adoption of the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950, the UPSC was granted constitutional status under Article 315. The commission was tasked with advising the President on matters related to appointments and promotions in the civil services.
  8. Expansion of Responsibilities: Over the years, the UPSC’s responsibilities expanded to include the conduct of various examinations, such as the Civil Services Examination, Combined Defense Services Examination, and others, for recruitment to different government services.

The UPSC has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the country, maintaining its significance in the recruitment and selection of candidates for key positions in the Indian government. It has played a crucial role in ensuring a fair and transparent process for the selection of civil servants in the country.

 

Administration and control

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) operates as an independent and constitutional body in India. The administration and control of UPSC involve several key aspects:

  1. Constitutional Status: The UPSC is a constitutional body, as provided for in Article 315 to 323 of the Constitution of India. The provisions related to the Public Service Commission are outlined in Part XIV of the Constitution.
  2. Appointment of Members: The President of India appoints the Chairman and other members of the UPSC. The appointments are made after consultation with the Union Public Service Commission, as specified in Article 316 of the Constitution.
  3. Tenure: The Chairman and members of the UPSC hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Reappointment is not possible after completing the term.
  4. Independence: The UPSC functions independently of the executive and legislative branches of the government. This independence is crucial to ensure impartiality in the recruitment process and to maintain the integrity of the selection procedures.
  5. Removal: The Chairman or a member of the UPSC can only be removed from office by the President on the grounds of misbehavior, provided that the Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it by the President, holds an inquiry and recommends removal.
  6. Functioning: The UPSC conducts examinations for recruitment to various civil services and posts under the central government. This includes the prestigious Civil Services Examination, as well as other exams like the Combined Defense Services Examination, Engineering Services Examination, and others.
  7. Advice to the President: One of the primary functions of the UPSC is to advise the President on matters related to the methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts. The President consults the UPSC on issues concerning the appointment, promotion, and transfer of civil servants.
  8. Reports to the President: The UPSC submits an annual report on its work to the President. This report includes details of the examinations conducted, appointments made, and other relevant information.
  9. Regulations and Rules: The UPSC has the power to make regulations and rules for the conduct of its business. These regulations may cover matters such as the procedure for conducting examinations, the eligibility criteria for candidates, and other administrative aspects.
  10. Headquarters: The UPSC’s headquarters are located in New Delhi. The commission may have regional offices as needed for the conduct of examinations.

In summary, the administration and control of the UPSC are governed by constitutional provisions that emphasize its independence from the executive and legislative branches. This autonomy is essential to uphold the integrity and credibility of the commission in its role of recruiting personnel for the central government services

Recruitment rules

The recruitment rules of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are established to govern the appointment, conditions of service, and other related matters for various posts and services under the central government. These rules are formulated and periodically updated by the UPSC in consultation with the government. The recruitment rules provide a framework for the selection and appointment of candidates to different positions. Here are some key aspects of the recruitment rules of UPSC:

  1. Prescription of Qualifications: The rules outline the educational qualifications, experience, and other eligibility criteria required for candidates applying for specific posts or services. These criteria are essential to ensure that candidates possess the necessary skills and knowledge for the positions they seek.
  2. Age Limit: The recruitment rules specify the age limits within which candidates must fall to be eligible for particular posts. Age criteria may vary depending on the nature of the service or position.
  3. Method of Recruitment: The rules detail the method of recruitment for each post or service. This includes information on whether recruitment is through direct recruitment, promotion, deputation, or a combination of these methods.
  4. Examination Process: For positions that require competitive examinations, the rules specify the examination process. This includes the structure of the examination, the subjects to be covered, and the marking scheme.
  5. Reservation Policy: The recruitment rules incorporate the government’s reservation policy, which ensures the representation of various categories, such as Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), and economically weaker sections (EWS), in government services.
  6. Probation and Confirmation: The rules outline the probationary period for newly appointed candidates and the conditions for confirmation in the service. This period allows the authorities to assess the performance and suitability of the candidate for the position.
  7. Promotion Criteria: If applicable, the rules specify the criteria for promotion within the service, including the minimum service required, the evaluation process, and the eligibility conditions.
  8. Pay Scales and Allowances: The rules provide details regarding the pay scales, allowances, and other benefits associated with the position. This ensures transparency in compensation and helps attract qualified candidates.
  9. Deputation and Transfer: The rules may include provisions for deputation, transfer, and other service-related matters. This ensures flexibility in managing the workforce and meeting organizational needs.
  10. Amendments: The UPSC has the authority to amend the recruitment rules as needed. Amendments may be made to accommodate changes in the requirements of a position, address evolving organizational needs, or comply with government directives.

It’s important for candidates applying for positions through UPSC examinations to carefully review the recruitment rules associated with the specific examination or service they are interested in. These rules provide crucial information about the eligibility criteria, selection process, and conditions of service for the respective positions.

Reports

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) submits annual reports to the President of India, as mandated by the Constitution. These reports provide a comprehensive overview of the activities, performance, and functioning of the UPSC during a specific period. Here are key points related to UPSC reports:

  1. Constitutional Requirement: Article 323 of the Constitution of India mandates that the UPSC shall present an annual report to the President. This report includes details about the work done by the Commission.
  2. Contents of the Report: The UPSC’s annual report typically covers a range of topics, including the examinations conducted, the number of candidates who appeared for these examinations, the appointments made, and any other significant aspects of the Commission’s functioning.
  3. Examinations and Selection Process: The report provides information on the various examinations conducted by the UPSC during the specified year. This includes details about the Civil Services Examination, Engineering Services Examination, Combined Defense Services Examination, and others. It may also include statistics on the number of candidates who appeared, qualified, and were recommended for appointment.
  4. Appointments and Recommendations: The report highlights the appointments made by the President on the basis of the UPSC’s recommendations. This could include appointments to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and other central services.
  5. Vacancies and Recruitment Challenges: The report may discuss the status of vacancies in different government services and the challenges faced in the recruitment process. It may also provide insights into measures taken to address these challenges.
  6. UPSC’s Recommendations and Suggestions: The report may contain recommendations or suggestions made by the UPSC to the government for improving the recruitment process, modifying examination patterns, or addressing any other issues relevant to its functioning.
  7. Statistical Data: The report often includes statistical data, charts, and graphs to present a visual representation of the UPSC’s activities and performance. This data may cover aspects such as the number of candidates in different age groups, gender distribution, and regional representation.
  8. Challenges and Innovations: The report may discuss challenges faced by the UPSC in conducting examinations and any innovative approaches taken to overcome these challenges. This could include the adoption of technology, changes in examination patterns, or improvements in the evaluation process.
  9. Financial Overview: The report may include a financial overview, providing details on the budget allocated to the UPSC, its utilization, and any financial challenges or requirements.
  10. Transparency and Accountability: Through the annual report, the UPSC aims to maintain transparency in its operations and be accountable to the President and, by extension, to the citizens of India.

These annual reports play a crucial role in assessing the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the UPSC’s functioning and contribute to ongoing efforts to improve the recruitment processes in the country.

Commission

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a constitutional body in India responsible for conducting civil services examinations and recruiting candidates for various government services and posts. Here are key details about the UPSC Commission:  
Designation Name & Date of Birth Dae from which holding Date of Retirement
Chairman Dr. Manoj Soni 17/02/1965 16/05/2023 (FN) 15/05/2029
Membe Sh. Rajiv Nayan Choubey(FN) 28/01/1959 01/02/2019 (FN) 7/01/2024
Member Lt. Gen. Raj Shukla (Retd) 27/03/1962 18/07/2022 (FN) 26/03/2027
Member Mrs. Preeti Sudan 30/04/1960 29/11/2022 (FN) 29/04/2025
Member Ms. Suman Sharma 30/07/1967 25/05/2023 (FN) 24/05/2029
Member Sh. Bidyut Behari Swain 05/09/1963 01/06/2023 (FN) 04/09/2028
Member Dr. Dinesh Dasa 29/03/1974 29/09/2023 (FN) 28/09/2029
  1. Establishment: The UPSC was established on October 1, 1926, under the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1919. It became a constitutional body with the enforcement of the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950.
  2. Constitutional Status: The UPSC is mentioned in Articles 315 to 323 of the Constitution of India, which deal with the Public Service Commissions at the Union and the States. Article 315 specifically provides for the establishment and composition of the UPSC.
  3. Appointment of Members: The President of India appoints the Chairman and other members of the UPSC. The appointments are made after consultation with the UPSC, and the members hold office for a term of six years or until they reach the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
  4. Composition: The UPSC is composed of a Chairman and other members. The Constitution does not specify the number of members, but it empowers the President to determine the composition based on the need for the effective and efficient functioning of the commission.
  5. Independence: The UPSC operates independently of the executive and legislative branches of the government. This independence is crucial to ensure impartiality in the recruitment process and to maintain the integrity of the selection procedures.
  6. Functions: The primary function of the UPSC is to conduct examinations for recruitment to various civil services and posts under the central government. The commission advises the President on matters related to appointments, promotions, and transfers of civil servants.
  7. Examinations: The UPSC conducts several examinations, with the Civil Services Examination being the most prominent. Other exams include the Combined Defense Services Examination (CDSE), National Defense Academy Examination (NDA), Indian Forest Service Examination (IFoS), and Engineering Services Examination (ESE), among others.
  8. Advisory Role: The UPSC plays an advisory role in matters related to personnel management and administration. It assists the government in formulating and implementing policies related to recruitment and appointments in the civil services.
  9. Reports: The UPSC submits annual reports to the President of India, detailing its activities, performance, and recommendations. These reports are an essential part of maintaining transparency and accountability.
  10. Headquarters: The UPSC’s headquarters are located in New Delhi. It may have regional offices or examination centers as required.
The UPSC plays a pivotal role in the selection and appointment of civil servants in the central government. Its commitment to fairness, transparency, and merit-based selection has made it a crucial institution in India’s administrative setup. The commission’s work contributes significantly to the functioning of the government and the implementation of policies and programs.

Nationality (UPSC)

Citizen of India

Citizen of India. (Subjects of Nepal, Bhutan & others are eligible for posts other than IAS, IPS)

(1) For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
(2) For other services, a candidate must be either:—
(a) a citizen of India, or
(b) a subject of Nepal, or
(c) a subject of Bhutan, or
(d) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
(e) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.
Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.
A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the Government of India.

IAS Exam Age Limit

Minimum 21 years. Maximum 32 years (Relaxation for OBC, SC/ST)
  • GENERAL: 21 to 32 years.
  • O.B.C (Non-creamy Layer): 21 to 35 years
  • SC/ST: 21 to 37 years
 
Category Age Relaxation
General 21 to 32 years. Age is calculated as on 1st August of the year of the examination. (For 2024 Exam, candidates born not earlier than 2nd August, 1992 and not later than 1st August, 2003 are eligible).
OBC (Non-creamy Layer) 3 years relaxation (21 to 35 years)
SC/ST 5 years relaxation (21 to 37 years).
Ex-serviceman 5 years relaxation
Blind, Hearing Impaired & Orthopaedically Handicapped 10 years relaxation

Education Qualification

Graduation degree from UGC recognised University

The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

(Note: Proof of passing requisite exam is required to be produced with Main Exam application form. Thus candidates who appeared for degree exam awaiting result are eligible)

Candidates, who passed M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination under proviso as per notification.

The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

Note I: Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination. All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination. The applications for the Main Examination will be called sometime in the month of July/August, 2018.

Note II: In exceptional cases the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate who does not have any of the foregoing qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he/she has passed examination conducted by the other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his/her admission to the examination.

Note III: Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degree would also be eligible for admission to the examination.

Note IV: Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit along with their application a copy of certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination. In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original Degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.

Physical Standard

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Civil Services Examination as per guidelines given in Appendix-III of Rules for Examination published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary.

No. of Attempts Allowed

 
Category No. of Attempts Allowed
General 6 attempts
OBC (Non-creamy Layer) 9 attempts
SC/ST Up to 37 years (No limit).
Physically Handicapped (General) 9 attempts

Restrictions on applying for the examination

(v) Restrictions on applying for the examination: (a) A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Administrative Service or the India Foreign Service on the results of an earlier examination. In case such a candidate is appointed to the IAS/IFS after the Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Examination, 2018 is over and he/she continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be eligible to appear in the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2018 notwithstanding his/her having qualified in the Preliminary Examination, 2018.
Also provided that if such a candidate is appointed to IAS/IFS after the commencement of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2018 but before the result thereof and continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be considered for appointment to and service/post on the basis of the result of this examination viz. Civil Service Examination, 2018.


(b) A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Police Service on the results of an earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to opt for the Indian Police Service in Civil Services Examination, 2018.

Physically Disabled

For details refer notification

Disbaled category code

8. The eligibility for availing reservation against the vacancies reserved for the physically disabled persons shall be the same as prescribed in “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016,” Provided furthe that the candidates of Persons with benchmark Disability shall also be required to meet special eligibility criteria in terms of physical requirements/functional classification (abilities/disabilities) consistent with requirements of the identified Service/Post as may be prescribed by its Cadre Controlling Authority at note-II of Para-1 of this Notice. The physical requirement and functional classification can for example be one or more of the following:
Code Physical Requirements Code Functional Classification
S Sitting OH Orthopaedically Handicapped
ST Standing VH Visually Handicapped
W Walking HH Hearing Handicapped
SE Seeing OA One Arm
H Hearing/Speaking OL One Leg
RW Reading and Writing BA Both Arm
C Communication BH Both Hands
MF Manipulation by Finger MW Muscular Weakness
PP Pushing & Pulling OAL One Arm One leg
L Lifting BLA Both Legs and Arms
KC Kneeling and Croutching BLOA Both legs One Arm
BN Bending LV Low Vision
M Movement B Blind
CP Cerebral Palsy PD Partially Deaf
LC Leprosy Cured FD Fully Deaf
DW Dwarfism BL Both legs

Examination Stages

  1. Preliminary Examination  (Objective Type)

  2. Main Examination (Written Test and Interview)

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