Plan of Exam

Indians still feel British administration was the best and the civil servants during British period did exemplary service. Before independence, Imperial service (British India civil Service) was in force. British parliament enacted India government Act in 1858. From 1886 on wards it was redesignated as Indian Civil Service (ICS). In the service in higher echelon 1000 senior officers were Britishers and the others were Indians. By 1942 the number came down to 600 Indians and 590 Britishers.

Post independence

After Independence most of the britishers got their transfers to their native land. After partition, separate services for India and Pakistan were created.

Indian Civil Services (IAS) and Pakistan Civil Services (PAS)

We inherited this Civil service system, Railways, Judicial system and defence administration from Britishers. Candidates between 21 and 24 years were eligible to compete for ICS. Selection for foreign services, Home services was done. Two years probation at Oxford and Cambridge Universities was compulsory. They were trained in oriental Institutions In Revenue administration. Jawaharlal Nehru with a broader vision appointed ICS officers like ChintamaniDeshmukh and KPS Menon to important Ministries as Secretaries and they exceedingly did well during the formative years.

Burra Venkatappaiah ICS 1932, SontiRamammurthy (ICS 1911), VKRao were prominent ICS officers O PullaReddi (ICS 1925), was Defence Secretary and the first Chief Secretary to Andhra at Karnool. Later he was appointed vice chancellor, Agricultural University. Some of the ICS officers later became Governors – Dharma Veera, BD Pandey, Govind Narayan etc.

IAS regime

After independence IAS officers joined service and joined service and made the country to march forward. The training to them is imparted at Lal bahudrSastri National Academy, Mussori.

Central deputation to IAS officers is a must and most of the officers made an indelible mark as Secretaries over the last 65 years. The aspiration is of any civil servant is to raise upto the rank of cabinet Secretary.

Historical background

Indianization of the superior Civil Services became one of the major demands of the political movement compelling the British Indian Government to consider setting up of a Public Service Commission for recruitment to its services in the territory. The first public service commission was set up on October 1st, 1926. However, its limited advisory functions failed to satisfy the people’s aspirations and the continued stress on this aspect by the leaders of our freedom movement resulted in the setting up of the Federal Public Service Commission under the Government of India Act 1935. Under this Act, for the first time, provision was also made for the formation of Public Service Commission s at the provincial level.

The Constituent Assembly, after independence, saw the need for giving a secure and autonomous status to Public Service Commission both at Federal and Provincial levels for ensuring unbiased recruitment to Civil Services as also for protection of service interests. With the promulgation of the new Constitution for independent India on 26th January, 1950 the Federal Public Service Commission was accorded constitutional status as an autonomous entity and given the title – Union PublicService Commission.

Constitutional Provisions

The Union Public Service Commission has been established under Article 315 of the Constitution of India. The Commission consists of Chairman and ten Members. The terms and conditions of service of Chairman and Members of the commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969.

The terms and conditions of service of chairman and members of the commission are governed by the Union Service Commission (Members) Regulation 1969. The Union Public Service Commission has been entrusted with the following duties and role under the Constitution.

  • Recruitment to services and posts under the Union through conduct of competitive exminations.
  • Recruitment to services and posts under the Central Government by selection through Interviews.
  • Adivising on the suitability of officers for appointment on promotion as well as transfer- on- deputation.
  • Advising the Government on all matters relating to methods of Recruitment to various services and posts.
  • Disciplinary cases relating to different civil services etc
  • Miscellaneous matters relating to grant of extra ordinary pensions, reimbursement of legal expenses etc.

The major role played by the Commission is to select persons to man the various Central Civil Services and Posts and the Services common to the Union and States

All India Services

The All India Services Act,1951 and Rules and Regulations farmed there under, regulate the recruitment and conditions of service in respect of the All India Services viz. Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service. As far as direct recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service Examination and for the Indian Forest Service through the Indian Forest Service Examination held by the Commission.

1a.Indian Civil Sercices:

UPSC Conducts Examination for various posts in central government. UPCS gives prescribed syllabus for various competitive examinations conducted by them. Indian Civil services Examination is conducted by UPSC for the following posts

  • Indian Administrative Service I.A.S.
  • Indian Foreign Service I.F.S.
  • Indian Police Service I.P.S.
  • Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group “A”
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group “A”
  • Indian customs and central excise services Group “A”
  • Indian Defence Accounts service Group “A”
  • Indian Revenue Service Group “A”
  • Indian ordnance factories service,Group “A” (Assistant works manager Non-technical)
  • Indian Postal Service, Group “A”
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group “A”
  • Indian Railway Traffic service, Group “A”
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group “A”
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group “A”
  • Posts of assistant security officer, Group “A” in Railway Protection Force.
  • Indian Defense Estates Services, Group “A”
  • Indian Information service (junior Grade), Group “A”
  • Indian Trade Service , Group “A” Grade III
  • India Corporate Law Service, Group “A”
  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group “B” (Section officers grade)
  • The Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islanda, Laksha Dweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Services, Group “B”
  • The Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islanda, Laksha Dweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Services, Group “B”
  • Puduchery Civil Service, Group “B”
  • Puduchery Police Service, Group “B”

The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers 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 confliction socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.


  • Candidates may apply online by using the website


  • Examination Fee
  • Examination Fee - Exemption
  • Acknowledgement of Payment
  • Filling up the Application Form for Preliminary Examination
  • Submission Guidelines
  • e-Admission Certificate
  • Last Date for Receipt of Online Application Form for Preliminary Examination
  • Withdrawal of Applications for Preliminary Examination
  • Choosing the Examination Centre
  • Correspondence with the Commission
  • Verification of Identity
  • Eligibility for Availing Reservation
  • Disciplinary Action - Rule 14 of the Rules for the Civil Services Examination
  • Exam Centres - Preliminary Examination


The competitive examination comprises two successive stages:

  • Civil Service (Preliminary) Examinations (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination.
  • Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts.

The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in subsection (A) of Section- II 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 to admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts. 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 a provided they are otherwise eligible for admission the Main Examination.

There will be negative marking for incorrect answers.
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 vide sub – section ‘C’ of section – II. Marks obtained in the papers will be counted for ranking. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about Twice the number of vacancies to be filled.

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.

The written examination for mains will consist of a papers of conventional essay type.
A set of sample questions for both Papers is available on the UPSC website. for reference of the prospective candidates.



Section – II

B. Main Examination

The written examination will consists of the following papers:

Qualifying papers:

Indian languages : 300 Marks

English : 300 Marks

Section 1 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

Sub Total (Written test) : 1750 Marks

Personality Test : 275 Marks

Grand Total : 2025 Marks


  • Marks obtained by the candidates for all papers (Paper I - VII) will be counted foe merit ranking, however, the commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination.
  • Marks obtained in qualifying papers will not be counted for ranking.

PART A: Preliminary Examination :

The Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each

Paper I-(200 marks) Duration : Two hours

  • 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 Goverance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayat 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) Duration: Two hours

  • 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) (ClassX level), Data interpretation (charts,graphs,tables,data sufficiency etc,- ClassX level)
  • English Language Comprehension skills (ClassX level)

Note 1: The questions papers will be set both Hindi and English. Questions relating to English language Comprehension skills of ClassX level (last item in the syllabus of Paper II) will be tested through passage from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

Note 2: The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of civil services(prelim) Exam for the purpose of evaluation. He will be disqualified in case he does not appear both the papers


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 besuch as to test a candidate’s general awereness 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 brodly of the honours degree level i.e a level higher than the bachelor’s degree and lower than the master’s degree. In thecase of Engineering, Medical Science and Law, the level corresponds to the bachelor’s degree.

syllabus of the paper included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination are given as follows :-

Qualifying papers on Indian Languages and English

The aim of the paper is to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand serious dsicursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correcty, in English and Indian Languages concerned.

The pettern of questions would be broadly as follows:

  • 1. Comprehension of given passages
  • 2. Precis writing
  • 3. usage and vocabulary
  • 4. short essay

Indian Languages

  • 1. Comprehension of given passages
  • 2. Precis writing
  • 3. Usage and vocabulary
  • 4. Shor essay
  • 5. translation from english to the Indian languages 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 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 isj involved )



candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They wil 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 culture wil cover the salient aspects of Art forms, Literature and Architecture form from anicent 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 remidies. 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 subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

Importance Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes. Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., grographical 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


General Studies- II : 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 counties.
Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, power & privileges and issues arising our of these. Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and 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.

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 populations by the center and States and performance of these schemes; mechanism 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, limitationsj and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability andj 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. Effects of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. Important International institutions, agencies and fore – 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. 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 Systems, - objective 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 India. Effects of liberalization on the economy, change industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways ect., Investment models. Science and Technology – development and their applications and effects in everyday life. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indiagenization 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 pollutions 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 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 candidate’s 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 utilize 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 including values.


Content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; 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 services 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:

Concepts of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizens Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruptions.


Optional Subject Papers I & II

Candidates may choose any one optional subjects from amongst the list of subjects given in para 2 (Group 1).


  • The candidates who qualify in the Main Examination will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them, a record of his/her career.
  • 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.
  • He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
  • The test is intended to judge the mental calibre 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 judgement, 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 specialised 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.