How many attempts does one get to crack the Civil Services Examination?
Number of attempts for General Category candidates is 6; OBC is 9 and for a candidate belonging to SC/ST category is unlimited (there is no restriction on number of attempts for SC/ST category).
What is the level of competition in UPSC Civil Services Examination?
The number of candidates aspiring for the UPSC Civil Services has gone up to more than 9,00,000 who fill the form and almost 4,00,000 who appear in the 1st stage of the exam, Preliminary Exam.
The number of candidates who qualify the Preliminary exam to appear in the Main Exam is equal to 12 to 13 times the number of vacancies in the Civil Services Exam that year.
Out of these, the number of candidates who will qualify to appear in the Interview is 2 times the number of vacancies in the Civil Services advertised that year.
For instance, if the number of vacancies in given year is 1000, then about 13,000 candidates would be called (qualified) by the UPSC to appear in the Main exam & the number of candidates who will qualify the Main examination to appear in the Interview would be about 2,000.
When is the Examination Notice Issued?
UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the Rules of Examinations notified by the Government.
Examination Notices of all the 14 Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website (www.upsc.gov.in) around 3 months before the date of examination.
Examination Notices for direct recruitment examinations are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar.
The tentative dates of notification of Examinations for a year are also made available on UPSC’s website (www.upsc.gov.in) in July of the previous year.
What is the number of vacancies in Civil Services for which the examination is conducted every year by UPSC?
The number of vacancies is reported by Union Public Service Commission in its advertisement/notification for the exam. The number of vacancies varies every year; the number of vacancies per year in the last 4 years has varied between 1000 and 1200.
When does the UPSC advertise about the Examination?
UPSC publishes/releases the notification for holding the Civil Services Examination every year in the month of May for the Preliminary Test to be held in the month of August, of the same year. Applications are invited by UPSC till June end of that year.
What is the eligibility to appear for this Examination?
Candidates must be at least 21 years old on the 1st of August of the year in which they aspire to give the Exam and must hold a graduation degree (recognized by University Grants Commission) to appear for this Examination. Indian students holding a foreign degree need to ensure that their degree is accredited or recognized by UGC.
Can a candidate who has completed his education from an Open School/ University apply for Civil Services Examination?
Yes, provided it is a recognized University and he/she possess the educational qualifications prescribed for the exam and is otherwise eligible.
Is a candidate who has done his graduation without passing class Xth and class XIIth eligible for Civil Services Examination?
Yes, provided the graduation has been completed from a recognized University and he/she possess the educational qualifications prescribed for the exam and is otherwise eligible.
Is there any relaxation in number of attempts for physically handicapped?
A physically handicapped will get as many attempts as are available to other non-physically handicapped candidates of his or her community, subject to the condition that a physically handicapped candidate belonging to the General Category shall be eligible for nine attempts. The relaxation will be available to the physically handicapped candidates who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.
Whether a candidate belonging to a community included in the OBC list of states but not in the Central list of OBCs is eligible for age relaxation, reservation etc. for Civil Services Examinations?
No. Only candidates belonging to communities which are included in the Central list of OBC′s are eligible for such concessions.
Whether the relaxation on number of attempts and reservation applicable to all candidates included in the Central List of OBC′s?
Members of other backward classes, belonging to the Creamy layer (‘Creamy layer’ is the income limit beyond which OBCs are not eligible for quotas) will not be eligible for reservations in jobs and education. Right now the creamy layer bar stands at earnings of over rupees 6 lakhs annually.
Can a candidate write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English and take the interview in Hindi or in any other Indian language? level?
The candidates, who opt for an Indian Language medium to write Civil Services (Main) Exam, may choose either the same Indian Language or English or Hindi as the medium for the interview.
The candidates, opting to write the Civil Services (Main) Examination in English, may choose as the medium for interview either English or Hindi or any other Indian Language opted by them for the compulsory Indian Language Paper.
However, the candidates, who are exempted from the compulsory Indian Language Paper, will have to choose either English or Hindi as medium of Interview of Personality Test.
After the written examination, on what criterion is the answer books sent for evaluation? Is it on Roll no. basis or based on centre of examination? That is, will a particular examiner/set of examiners get to evaluate answer books only of a particular centre or a particular group of Roll nos.?
Mixing of the answer books received from different venues is done before sending them for evaluation. Computer-based randomized fictitious code no. is given to each answer-book before evaluation.
Is it likely that my evaluated performance suffers because my answer books were evaluated by a ‘strict’ examiner, while another candidate benefits as his answer books were evaluated by a liberal examiner?
The Paper Setter, who is an eminent person in his field, normally acts as the Head Examiner, and wherever the number of candidates in a particular subject is very large, the Commission appoints Additional Examiners for valuation of answer books.
To achieve uniformity in valuation, where more than one Examiner is involved, the Commission arranges a meeting of the Head Examiner with the Additional Examiners after the Examination is over. At this stage, they discuss thoroughly the question paper, the appropriate answers and decide the standard of evaluation.
To further bring about uniformity of assessment inter se the Examiners, the following procedure is undertaken: The Head Examiner conducts a sample survey of answer books of each Additional Examiner to verify whether the uniform standards of evaluation evolved in the meeting of Examiners have actually been followed. Depending on the standard adopted by the Additional Examiner, the Head Examiner may confirm the awards without any change if the Examiner has correctly followed the standard decided upon, or may carry out upward / downward moderation as considered necessary to ensure maximum possible degree of uniformity in the evaluation process.
Therefore, the aspect of inter examiner variation in standards of evaluation in a Paper affecting candidates performance is taken care of adequately.
Can I know the question-wise marks awarded to me for a paper?
In a competitive examination, what is relevant is not the absolute performance of a candidate, but his her relative performance that in fact determines whether the candidate qualifies and, if so, his/her position in the merit list. Accordingly, as already explained above, the evaluation process does not end after initial evaluation by an Examiner. Moderation, wherever applied, is on the total award initially given (the so-called raw marks) and not on question-wise basis.
Therefore, once the evaluation process is complete, neither raw marks nor question-wisemarks subsist. What subsists is the candidates total score in a paper awarded at the end of the evaluation process and this award is normally made available to the candidate in due course (a month or two) on the Commissions website.
Are subject-wise/paper wise marks of each candidate made accessible/available to him/her for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?
No. This is because the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is simply a short-listing (elimination) exercise to select candidates for the Main Examination and as such the scores obtained in this Examination are not communicated to candidates. However, an individual candidate desirous of knowing his/her marks may seek such information from the Commission pursuant to RTI Act 2005.
Q1: What are the Eligibility Criteria?
(c) Educational Qualification
(d) Physical Standard
(e) Number of Attempts
For details of each of the above, please refer further FAQ herein below:
Q2: What are the details of 'Nationality' criteria for UPSC-IAS Exams?
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.
Q3: What are the lower and upper age limits for UPSC - CSE?
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
|21 to 32 years. Age is calculated as on 1st August of the year of the examination. (For 2019 Exam, candidates born not earlier than 2 Aug, 1987 and not later than 1 Aug 1998 are eligible).|
|3 years relaxation (21 to 35 years)|
|SC/ST||5 years relaxation (21 to 37years).|
|Ex-serviceman||5 years relaxation|
|Blind, Hearing Impaired & Orthopaedically Handicapped||10 years relaxation|
(a) A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August, 2019 i.e. candidate must have been born not earlier than 2nd August, 1987 and not later than 1st August, 1998.
(b) The upper age-limit prescribed above will be relaxable:
(i) up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
(ii) up to a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates;
(iii) up to a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof;
(iv) up to a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2019 and have been released;
(a) on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st August, 2019 otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency; or
(b) on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service; or
(c) on invalidment.
(v) up to a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August, 2019 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.
(vi) up to a maximum of 10 yearsin case of (a) blindness or low vision; (b) deaf and hard of hearing; (c) locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy; (d) autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness; and (e) multiple disabilities from amongest persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness.
Note I:—Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who are also covered under any other clauses of Rule 6(b) above, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen, (a) blindness and low vision; (b) deaf and hard of hearing; (c) locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy; (d) autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness; and (e) multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness etc. will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.
Note II:—The term Ex-servicemen will apply to the persons who are defined as Ex-servicemen in the Ex-servicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979, as amended from time to time.
Note III:—The age concession under Rule 6(b)(iv) and (v) will not be admissible to Ex-servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs, who are released on own request.
Note IV:—Notwithstanding the provision of age relaxation under Rule 6(b)(vi) above, candidates of Persons with Benchmark Disability will be considered to be eligible for appointment only if he/she (after such physical examination as the Government or appointing authority, as the case may be, may prescribe) is found to satisfy the requirements of physical and medical standards for the concerned Services/Posts to be allocated to the Persons with Benchmark Disability by the Government.
Save as provided above, the age-limits prescribed can in no case be relaxed.
The date of birth, accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate or in a certificate recognised by an Indian University as equivalent to Matriculation or in an extract from a Register of Matriculates maintained by a University which extract must be certified by the proper authority of the University or in the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificate. These certificates are required to be submitted only at the time of applying for the Civil Services (Main) Examination. No other document relating to age like horoscopes, affidavits, birth extracts from Municipal Corporation, Service records and the like will be accepted.
The expression Matriculation/Higher Secondary Examination Certificate in this part of the Instruction include the alternative certificates mentioned above.
Note 1:—Candidate should note that only the date of birth as recorded in the Matriculation/Secondary Examination certificate or an equivalent certificate on the date of submission of application will be accepted by the Commission, and no subsequent request for its change will be considered or granted.
Note 2:—Candidates should also note that once a date of birth has been claimed by them and entered in the records of the Commission for the purpose of admission to an Examination, no change will be allowed subsequently or at any other Examination of the Commission on any grounds whatsoever.
Note 3:- The candidate should exercise due care while entering their date of birth in the online Application Form for the Preliminary Examination. If on verification at any subsequent stage, any variation is found in their date of birth from the one entered in their matriculation or equivalent Examination certificate, disciplinary action will be taken against them by the Commission under the Rules.
Q4: What are the educational qualification required for UPSC - CSE?
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.
Q5: Are there any physical fitness / standard for UPSC - CSE
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.
Q: What are the requirements for physically disabled candidates?
For details refer notification
Disbaled category code
Q6: How many attempts a candidate can have for UPSC - Civil Services Exams?
|Category||No. of Attempts Allowed|
|OBC (Non-creamy Layer)||9 attempts|
|SC/ST||Up to 37 years (No limit).|
|Physically Handicapped (General)||9 attempts|
Q7: How attempts are counted for UPSC - CSE?
Q8: For OBC candidates what are the requirements?
Q9: In OBC category who are included?
Q10: In SC category what castes are included?
Q11: What are the relaxation for Ex- serviceman?
Q12: Are Charted Accountants eligible for UPSC - CSE ?
Prelims Exam is the first stage of Civil Services Exam
Scheme of Prelims Exam
Paper I (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 Polity3 and governance – constitution, political system, panchayat raj, public policy, Rights issues, etc.
- Economic & 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 (CSAT)
- 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).
- English language comprehension skills (Class X level).
- The CSAT aptitude test or Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) examination will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to sit for the Civil Services (Mains) exam.
- The questions in both Paper-I (GS) and Paper-II (CSAT) will be of multiple choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours.
- It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he or she does not appear in both the papers of the (Prelims) exam.
The UPSC Prelims exam is meant to serve as a screening test only. The marks of Paper 1 are alone considered for making the merit list for this exam. Only those candidates who have qualified the Prelims can write the Mains exam. The marks scored in the Prelim exam is not counted in the final tally of the Mains exam or the Interview
IAS Prelims Exam is also known as CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test)
- The Prelims Exam shall comprise of two Compulsary Papers of 200 Marks each having objective type questions (MCQ)
- It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination
- Paper- II will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualify marks fixed at 33%. It means UPSC will evaluate Paper- II first. If candidate secures 330% or more marks in Paper- II than only Paper- I will be evaluated
- Whether a candidate qualifies Prelims Exam or not will be decided on the basis of marks obtained in Paper- I. Cut off marks is declared every year for prelims Paper- I. Candidates seeking marks above cut off mark are declared qualified and as such are eligible for writing Mains Exam/li>
- To qualify Civil Services Exam, candidates are required to qualify all the three stages (Prelims. Mains and Interview) in one and the same year. It means if a candidate fails at any stage he/she has to start the exam process once again next year from Prelims./li>
PRELIMS 2018 GS-I TOPIC WISE
UPSC - Civil Services
2 Papers - Languages (Compulsory, Non-Ranking, qualifying)
1 Paper - Essay
4 Papers - General studies (GS)
2 Papers - Optional Subject
Total 9 Papers
|Qualifying Papers (Non-Ranking)|
|Paper A||One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the languages included in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution.||300 Marks|
|Paper B||English||300 Marks|
|Papers to be Counted for Merit (Ranking)|
|Paper I||Essay||250 Marks|
|Paper II||General Studies I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)||250 Marks|
|Paper III||General Studies II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)||250 Marks|
|Paper IV||General Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||250 Marks|
|Paper V||General Studies IV ( Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)||250 Marks|
|Paper VI||Optional Subject- Paper 1||250 Marks|
|Paper VII||Optional Subject- Paper 2||250 Marks|
|For the optional papers in the Main Examination, UPSC has a list of about twenty-six subjects out of which any one subject has to be selected by the candidate.|
|Subtotal (Written Test)||1750 Marks|
|Personality Test (Interview)||275 Marks|
|Grand Total||2025 Marks|
The main 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.
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.
The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.
The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree 1evel 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.
- The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
- The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).
UPSC MAIN SYLLABUS
QUALIFYING PAPERS ON INDIAN LANGUAGES AND ENGLISH
The aim of the paper is to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.
The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:-
(i) Comprehension of given passages
(ii) Precis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary
(iv) Short Essay.
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essay
(v) Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.
Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given.
They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
General Studies- I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
Indian Heritage and Culture
- Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
- The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
- Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
- History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
- Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
- Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
- Effects of globalization on Indian society
- Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
Geography of the World
- Salient features of world’s physical geography.
- Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
- Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
Governance, Constitution, Polity
- Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
- Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
- Role of civil services in a democracy.
- India and its neighborhood- relations.
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
- Government Budgeting.
- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
- Investment models.
- Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
- Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
- Land reforms in India.
- Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
- Disaster and disaster management.
- Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
- Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
- Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.
- Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
- Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
- Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
- Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
- Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
- Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
- Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
- Case Studies on above issues.
As you start reading the books I mention here for GS mains, please keep the following points in mind: (Feedback 2017 AIR 1 Anudeep)
- Along with these books, get a printout of the syllabus and read it carefully. Your final aim must be: for each topic mentioned in the syllabus, you should have enough content to write a 250-word answer.
- Go through the past five years’ question papers to understand the breadth and depth of questions UPSC usually asks. It’ll give you a good perspective of what’s important and what’s not.
- Use the internet extensively, especially for topics like Science and Tech. Your target must be to gain knowledge, be it through books or through the internet.
- For all subjects, you have to superimpose current affairs over it, especially for GS-2 and GS-3. For both these papers, current affairs form the nucleus. You will inevitably do a lot of reading on the internet, so use Evernote to organise and highlight content like this.
- Give adequate time for revision. Without it, you will not be able to recollect whatever you may have read. So please dedicate enough time to it, whether you are giving a mock test or the actual exam.
- Many aspirants commit one fundamental mistake: they read and revise, over and over, but never practise. Remember that the examiner checking your copy will have no idea about the number of books you’ve read or the number of hours you’ve slogged. Your answers are all that he has to judge you. So it makes sense to learn it, practise it and perfect it.
- Mains exam demands not only our memory and intelligence but also endurance. If you lack prior practice, writing relentlessly for 6 hours a day and do this for 5 days will cause both mental and physical fatigue. The only way to overcome it is to practice enough before the final exam.
- General Studies demands only a peripheral understanding of an expansive set of topics. So it’s important that you try to gain minimum sufficient knowledge over a diverse set of subjects rather than obsessively focussing on one topic. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to read World History for three months at the expense of all other subjects. Always maintain that fine balance between all the topics and don’t get imprisoned in one.
- In GS, there will be very few questions where you will have absolutely no clue. Even if you only have a vague idea, write those generic points. For instance, in last year’s GS-1 paper, for the question on Malay peninsula, I knew no specific fact except a vague idea that Singapore had a partition story similar to India. So I just wrote a generic answer comprising of problems such as ethnic strife, insurgency, and economic collapse. The examiner checking my copy might have given 2-3 marks for it, which I am sure any aspirant would gladly take.
- You must develop the skill to speed read a committee or an organisation’s report on your computer (reading online saves you a lot of time) and highlight important lines as you read along. In the second reading, this highlighted portion is what you need to revise. It should look something like this.
- In GS papers, map of India is your most effective tool for illustration. For example, I drew India maps and labelled relevant parts for questions on river linkage (GS-3), North-East insurgency (GS-3), Inland navigation (GS-1), India’s 18th-century fragmented polity (GS-1) etc. Practise it enough so that you are able to draw and label it under 60 seconds.
- If you are taking a test series, please give those tests with all the seriousness of the final UPSC exam. In the mock test, if you take 10-15 additional minutes to finish the paper, you are cheating no one except yourself. Observe strict time limits.
- You will never feel content with your Mains preparation and there is always a nagging tendency to just keep reading and procrastinate writing answers or skip an upcoming test. You have to overcome this reluctance through conscious effort. Suppose before a mock test if you were unable to finish the syllabus, you can postpone your test by a day or two, but don’t skip it altogether.
- Perfectionism is your enemy. If you keep referring to countless sources to make that “perfect notes”, if you keep postponing your mock tests in order to write “perfect tests”, this mentality will bring you to ruin. Getting a good score in Mains is about attempting all questions to which some answers are excellent, some good and many above average. So instead of waiting for that elusive perfection, start imperfect and then keep improving.
- When you are buying coaching material, always ask yourself: “what new is this material adding to my preparation?” If you can’t answer that question convincingly, then the material probably isn’t really useful.
- Just because I am AIR-1, it does not mean that my notes are the best or that this book list is the last word. If you have been studying some other material, that’s fine, too. To succeed in this exam, the source of material is not important. What’s important is you to understand the concepts, memorise the facts well and have a firm grip over the entire syllabus.
PERSONALITY TEST (INTERVIEW)
The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination(written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. (Ranking is based on score out of 2025 Marks). 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.
The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled.
The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
The tenor of the interview is that of a purposeful conversation. The objective is the assessment of the thoughts and overall personality of the candidate and not merely bookish knowledge or even theoretical concepts, with the latter already being an area of evaluation in the main examination. What the board usually endeavours to assess in the aspirants, is her/his sincerity of purpose, clarity of thoughts and expression, balance of judgement, ability to reason, to think critically, analytically in a wholistic way, positiveness of approach, awareness and concern for socio-economic issues and problems, inter alia other attributes. But what is of utmost importance is the ability to think with an honest approach, sincerity of purpose and willingness to toil hard.
- Start early!: It is very important not to lose time. Start early. Don’t wait for the results of UPSC Civil Services Main exam. Start polishing your personality as early as possible.
- Know your-self: The most crucial problem with us is that we don’t know ourselves fully. A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the hearts. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves. Try to know the different aspects of your personality, even hidden or unknown. If any of your personality traits does not suit an IAS officer, try to overcome that weakness.
- Read your bio-data multiple times: Most of the questions in UPSC interview will be based on the biodata of the candidate. Copies of the Detailed Application Form (DAF) will be shared with each of the board members. It is extremely important not to fumble on personal questions. Revise your bio-data many times and prepare well for questions from areas like hobbies, education, work experience, service-preference etc.
- Develop a positive attitude: There are many myths and rumors about IAS interview. You might have bad experiences from previous interviews as well. But don’t let negative thoughts to ruin your chances. Don’t worry about matters – interview board, position, questions etc. – which are beyond your control. Hope for the best.
- Don’t take UPSC interview in a light spirit: Be serious about the process and questions. Give respect to the board members who take your personality test. Never underestimate the persons in the board. They have vast experience and knowledge. Don’t be too casual on serious questions.
- Develop self-confidence: Everyone loves people with self-confidence. If you are sure about your beliefs, answers or solutions, express them confidently. But at the same time ensure that you don’t go overboard. Remember that the line between self-confidence and arrogance is very narrow.
- Don’t lie: Don’t say lies to impress UPSC interview board. Never create fake facts in your bio-data. Very often they will catch you.
- Improve your communication skills: Improve your command over the language for UPSC interview. If you search for words in the 25-30 minutes UPSC personality test, you may run short of time to express your ideas completely. Listening to debates and news on television channels is one practical way to improve communication skills. Also, start talking with your friends in the medium for UPSC interview.
- Get straight to the point: Master the art of giving to-the-point answers. Very often, long answers can be condensed into crisp, but interesting statements. If you need more guidance on do’s and don’ts for IAS interview, read our article on civil services interview where we have mentioned about the books which help in UPSC interview preparation.
- Don’t stop reading newspapers: Candidates often stop reading newspapers once the UPSC main exam is over. But, information about current happenings is very important for IAS interview, just like the UPSC main exam. Have a general idea about the major happenings for last one year. Also, be familiar with the headlines and stories of the newspapers on the interview day.
- Prepare well on your hobbies: Very often this is the first question UPSC interview board ask, many times in a light mood. Make sure you start well. Don’t give cliche answers. Hobbies help the interviewer to understand the personalities of candidates. Keep practicing your hobbies till the last week before UPSC interview.
- Revise your optional subject: It is seen that many candidates tend to neglect their optional subject after UPSC CSE Mains. But UPSC interview panel may ask questions from your optional subject on the interview day. Brush up recent happenings related to your optional subject.
- Go through your graduation text books: UPSC expects candidates to take their graduation seriously. As this is one area where the interview panel perceives the candidates to have expertise with. So, more in-depth questions can come from this area.
- Learn to give balanced answers: Your views should be balanced and impartial. This does not mean that you should not take a stand. Ideally, you should have stand – without any political or social biases. Once you take a stand on controversial topics, be prepared with your justification for the same. Don’t give sweeping generalizations without a proper base.
- Know your district and state: Questions may be asked about the district and state. Collect details about your birth place. Know the problems in your village or city. Be prepared with solutions as well.
- Keep calm: The questions may be from a wide area of topics/subject. You sometimes may not be knowing answers of many. If you do not know anything about a topic you are asked, then admit that you do not have any idea. Don’t panic. Keep calm. Your emotional intelligence matters. Nobody knows about everything under the Sun. UPSC board obviously knows that.
- Don’t compromise your moral integrity: UPSC not only measures one’s intellectual qualities but also social traits. Ensure that your moral integrity is sound.
- Maintain a positive body language: Reinforce your spoken words through your body language. Avoid gestures which do not suit the occasion.
- Understand the real ‘IAS interview questions’: Most of the questions forwarded as ‘IAS interview questions’ on the internet are not questions asked in UPSC interview. UPSC says ‘The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers’. Read ClearIAS UPSC toppers interview section to know about real UPSC interview experience.
- Don’t be swayed by rumours: Many UPSC candidates are seen to be carried about by the rumours about the personality test. Certain boards are seen are tight in awarding marks while others are perceived as liberal. Though slight variations may come, in reality, all boards award high and low marks depending on the performance of the candidate on the date of UPSC interview.
- Use common sense: Sometimes UPSC members ask questions which can be answered just by using common sense. But the stress on the interview day may hamper your thinking process. Realise that common sense is not common. Expect some puzzles which require on-the-spot critical or lateral thinking.
- Dress neat: The first impression matters. But it is not necessary to wear expensive blazers or suits for UPSC interview. Be comfortable with what you wear. For gents, a light colored shirt and dark trousers should give a professional appearance. A simple churidar or saree is recommended for ladies. Whatever you wear, in that dress you should look confident and neat.
- Re-check your documents: We advice to carefully verify the documents before-hand to avoid last minute panic. Ensure that you have all necessary documents ready. Read our article – check list for UPSC interview – to know about the documents that should be brought in for IAS Interview.
- Take mock IAS interviews: Rehearsals help to avoid common mistakes. Good mentors and friends can find your strengths and weakness and suggest necessary suggestions. IAS toppers like Gaurav Agarwal (2013 All-India Rank 1) has said that mock interviews help. They also help to improve your consistency. At the same time, care should be taken not to lose your genuine personality, because of the confusion created by different opinions from different people.
- Be yourself: Don’t try to present before UPSC board a fake personality. Don’t mug up ready-made answers for UPSC interview. Be yourself and express your opinion.