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Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Why to Choose Civil Services as a Career?

Civil Services work as the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country. Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) are three of the most preferable services under this. IAS is most sought after among these services as IAS officers get the opportunity to serve on higher strategic positions in the Union Government and State Governments.

 

About the Examination Process

In order to get selected into these coveted services, candidates have to appear in the Civil Services Exam (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and should pass a three-phase selection process. The three phases are the Civil Services Preliminary Exam (Prelims), Civil Services (Main) Examination (Mains) and The Personality Test (Interview).

This year, as per the official UPSC Exam Calendar, Civil Services Preliminary Exam will be conducted on June 02, 2019. The Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2019 will be conducted from September 09, 2019 for five days.

 

Why to Choose Civil Services as a Career?

Civil Services work as the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country. Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) are three of the most preferable services under this. IAS is most sought after among these services as IAS officers get the opportunity to serve on higher strategic positions in the Union Government and State Governments.

 

About the Examination Process

In order to get selected into these coveted services, candidates have to appear in the Civil Services Exam (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and should pass a three-phase selection process. The three phases are the Civil Services Preliminary Exam (Prelims), Civil Services (Main) Examination (Mains) and The Personality Test (Interview).

This year, as per the official UPSC Exam Calendar, Civil Services Preliminary Exam will be conducted on June 02, 2019. The Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2019 will be conducted from September 09, 2019 for five days.

 

How to Apply

  • Candidates are required to apply Online using the official website of UPSC that is upsconline.nic.in.
  • Candidates need to complete the Online Application Form containing two stages viz. Part-I and Part-II as per the instructions available in the above mentioned website.
  • The candidates are required to pay a fee of Rs.100/- Rupees One Hundred only) [excepting SC/ST/ Female/Persons with Benchmark Disability candidates who are exempted from payment of fee] either by depositing the money in any branch of State Bank of India by cash, or by using net banking facility of State Bank of India or by using any Visa/Master/RuPay Credit/ Debit Card.
  • Before start filling up Online Application form, a candidate must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the jpg format in such a manner that each file should not exceed 40 KB and must not be less than 3 KB in size for the photograph and 1 KB for the signature.
  • Applicants should avoid submitting multiple applications. In case of multiple applications, the applications with higher Registration ID will be considered by the Commission.
  • The applicants must ensure that while filling their Application Form, they are providing their valid and active E-Mail IDs as the Commission may use electronic mode of communication while contacting them at different stages of examination process.
Important Dates

*These are tentative dates and liable to alteration, if the circumstances so warrant.

February 19, 2019 Date of Notification for Civil Service Prelims Examination and Indian Forest Service Prelims Examination
March 18, 2019 Last date to apply for Civil Service Prelims Exam and Indian Forest Service Prelims Exam
June 02, 2019 Date of Civil Service Prelims Examination and Indian Forest Service Prelims Examination
September 20, 2019 Date of Civil Services (Main) Examination
December 01, 2019 Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination

 

Plan of Examination

The Civil Services Examination consist of two successive stages

  1. Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination; and
  2. Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.

*Candidates who are declared qualified for Civil Services (Main) Examination; have to submit Detailed Application Form (DAF).

 

First Stage Details

  • The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination comprises of two papers of 200 marks each i.e. General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II.
  • GS Paper-II (also known as CSAT i.e. Civil Service Aptitude Test) is of qualifying in nature and in which a candidate has to secure 33% marks only.
  • Objective type (Multiple Choice Questions) is asked in this stage. Marks obtained in this stage are counted only to decide merit in preliminary examination, not for final selection. Clearing the Prelims makes one eligible for the next stage of the exam.

 

Second Stage Details

  • Civil Services (Main) Examination is the ‘written stage’ of the examination. It consists of nine papers of which, marks of only seven papers are counted in deciding the final merit list. In the remaining two papers, a candidate has to secure the minimum qualifying marks decided by UPSC each year. The question papers for the Mains examination are of conventional (essay) type.
  • The Civil Services Personality Test consists of a board of members for assessing the candidate’s personality. A candidate is 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.

Final rank of a candidate in merit list is depends upon the marks scored in second stage only i.e. written and Interview.

 

Table shows the Marks distribution counted for final merit
Paper Subject Marks
Paper-1 Essay 250
Paper-2 General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) 250
Paper-3 General Studies–II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 250
Paper-4 General Studies–III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250
Paper-5 General Studies–IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 250
Paper-6 Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
Paper-7 Optional Subject – Paper 2

Sub Total (Written test)

Personality Test

Grand Total

250

1750

275

2025

 

Two Qualifying Papers are:

  • Paper-A (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution): 300 Marks
  • Paper-B (English): 300 Marks

Eligibility Criteria

  • For the IAS and the IPS, a candidate must be a citizen of India. For other services, a candidate must be either a citizen of India or a citizen of some other country (eligible after meeting with some special conditions).
  • 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 of examination year. The upper age-limit is relaxable, maximum of 5 years for SC/STs candidates and 3 years for OBC candidates. Age relaxation is also applicable for Ex-Defense personnel and candidates with certain disability.
  • A candidate must hold a Universities degree, or possess an equivalent qualification for appearing in Civil Services Examination. Candidates who have appeared in the final year of degree examination and also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination. But such candidates have to produce proof of passing the requisite examination before appearing in Civil Services (Main) Examination.

*A candidate who got appointed as an IAS or IFS officer in earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to compete at this examination. Moreover, a candidate who is appointed to the Indian Police Service will not be eligible to opt for the Indian Police Service in the next exam.

 

 

Other ‘Group A’ Services

  • Indian P&T Accounts & Finance Service
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service
  • Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service
  • Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
  • Indian Postal Service
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service
  • Indian Railway Protection Force (Assistant Security Commissioner)
  • Indian Defence Estates Service
  • Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
  • Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ (Gr. III)
  • Indian Corporate Law Service

 

 

‘Group B’ Services

  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer’s Grade)
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service (DANICS)
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service (DANIPS)
  • Pondicherry Civil Service
  • Pondicherry Police Service

 

 

List of optional subjects for Main Examination:

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPSC Preliminary Examination Syllabus

  1. Paper I – (200 marks)
  • 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 – (200 marks)

  • 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).

Note 1: Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
Note 2: The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

The Exam Pattern of the UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims Examination
The Prelims Examination is an Objective type of Examination with Multiple Choice Questions (the candidate has to choose an option from the given options for that question). This examination consists of two papers namely Paper I and Paper II. ThePaper I contains 200 marks and Paper II also contains 200 marks. The Duration forPaper I is 2 hours as well as Paper II is also 2 hours. The exam Pattern of the UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims Examination is as follows:

Name of the Paper No. of Questions Duration Given Marks.
Paper I: General Studies. 100 2 Hours. 200
Paper II: Aptitude. 80 2 Hours. 200
Total Marks.     400

Note: The marks which are secured in the prelims are only for qualifying the Mains Examination. It is not counted to determine the order of merit. The Qualifying marksfor Paper II: Aptitude is 33%. But the candidates will be promoted to the Mains only based on the Qualifying marks in Paper I: General Studies.


UPSC Exam Pattern of the UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains Examination

The Mains Examination is a written Examination. It consists of 9 Papers out of which 2 are Qualifying in nature namely Paper A and Paper B; remaining 7 papers which are namely Paper I to Paper VII which are based on Ranking. The Questions will beavailable in Hindi as well as English in the Question Papers.

S.No. Name of the Paper. Name of the Subject. Marks.
1. Paper-A. Modern Indian Language. (Qualifying Paper). 300.
2. Paper-B. English (Qualifying Paper). 300.
3. Paper-I. Essay. 250.
4. Paper-II. General studies-I. 250.
5. Paper-III. General studies-II. 250.
6. Paper-IV. General studies-III. 250.
7. Paper-V. General studies-IV. 250.
8. Paper-VI. Optional Subject (Paper-1). 250.
9. Paper-VII. Optional Subject (Paper-2). 250.
Sub-Total. 1750.    
Interview. 275.
Total. 2025.

The Final Ranking of the candidates: This is done based on the marks obtained in the Mains and the Interview.

  • UPSC Syllabus
    UPSC Syllabus for Prelims The preliminary examination of UPSC is for screening purpose only. It is also known as CSAT. The marks obtained in the UPSC prelims examination amount to a qualification to take the UPSC Main examination and will not be counted for determining a candidate's final order of merit. Syllabus of Paper I (200 marks) Duration : 2 hours
    1. Current events of national and international importance
    2. History of India and Indian National Movement
    3. Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
    4. Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc
    5. Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc
    6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization General Science
    Syllabus for Paper II-(200 marks) Duration: 2 hours
    1. Comprehension
    2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
    3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
    4. Decision-making and problem solving
    5. General mental ability
    6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level)

    UPSC Syllabus for Mains

    The Main examination of UPSC is designed to test a candidate's academic expertise and ability to present his/her knowledge in a consistent manner. The UPSC Mains exam intends to assess the overall intellectual traits and understanding of concept by the candidates.

    Syllabus of the Written Examination: The standard of the paper in General English will be such as may be expected of a Science Graduate. The papers on geological subjects (Geology, Geophysics, Chemistry & Hydrogeology) will be approximate of the MSc degree standard of an Indian University and questions will generally be set to test the candidate’s grasp of the fundamentals in each subject. General English Paper: Candidate will be required to write a short Essay in English. Other questions will be designed to test their understanding of English and workmanlike use of words.

    Paper I - Modern Indian language - 300 Marks

    Qualifying nature: Marks not counted, Passing mandatory

    • Comprehension of given passages
    • Precis Writing
    • Usage and Vocabulary
    • Short Essay
    • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa

    Note 1: 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.

    Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).

    Paper II - English - 300 marks

    Qualifying nature: Marks not counted, passing mandatory

    The aim of the paper is to test the candidates' 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:-

    • Comprehension of given passages 
    • Precis Writing
    • Usage and Vocabulary
    • Short Essay
    Paper III - Essay - 250 Marks
    • To be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice
    • 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
    Paper IV - General Studies - 250 Marks

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

    • 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 countryHistory 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
    • Salient features of world's physical geography
    • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); 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 water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

    Paper V - General Studies II - 250 Marks

    (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

    • 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 dupscpora.
    • Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
    Paper VI - General Studies I & II - 250 Marks

    (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Paper VII - General Studies IV - 250 Marks

    (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.
    Paper VIII - Optional Subject - Paper I - 250 Marks
    • Candidates may choose any ONE optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.
    Paper XI - Optional Subject - Paper II -250 Marks
    • Candidates may choose any ONE optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.

    Interview/Personality Test - 275 Marks

    Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.

  • UPSC Pre and Mains Paper Free Download
    State Service Exam - UPSC 2018
    UPSC - Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination Paper -1 || Paper-2
    Civil Services (Main) Examination Paper -1 || Paper-2 || Paper-3 || Paper-4
    State Service Exam - UPSC 2017
    UPSC - Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination Paper -1 || Paper-2
    Civil Services (Main) Examination Paper -1 || Paper-2 || Paper-3 || Paper-4 |
    State Service Exam - UPSC 2016
    UPSC - Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination Paper -1 || Paper-2
    Civil Services (Main) Examination Paper -1 || Paper-2 || Paper-3 || Paper-4
  • UPSC Cutoff - Civil Services Examination, 2017 – minimum qualifying marks

    In the Civil Services Examination 2017, the minimum qualifying standards/marks secured by the last recommended candidate in various categories at various stages are as under:-

    Exam General OBC SC ST PH-1 PH-2 PH-3
    CS(Prelim)* 105.34 102.66 88.66 88.66 85.34 61.34 40.00
    CS(Main)# 809 770 756 749 734 745 578
    CS(Final) 1006 968 944 939 923 948 830

    *Cut off marks on the basis of GS Paper-I only. GS Paper-II was of qualifying nature with 33% marks as per Rule-15 of Civil Services Examination, 2017.

    # Subject to 10% marks in each of the seven competitive papers i.e. Essay, GS-I, GS-II, GS-III, GS-IV, Optional-I and Optional-II.

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