What is Civil Service?

Civil Services in India is a permanent professional branches of a government administration, excluding military judiciary and elected politicians.

What is Civil Services Exams?

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), every years conducts Civil Services Exams for 24 services in Group A and Group B category. The List is given in top to bottom hierarchy of Merit.

Group A


  • 1. Indian Administrative Service
  • 2. Indian Foreign Service
  • 3. Indian Police Service
  • 4. Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service
  • 5. Indian Audit and Accounts Service
  • 6. Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
  • 7. Indian Defense Accounts Service
  • 8. Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
  • 9. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
  • 10. Indian Postal Service
  • 11. Indian Civil Accounts Service
  • 12. Indian Railway Traffic Service
  • 13. Indian Railway Accounts Service
  • 14. Indian Railway Personnel Service
  • 15. Indian Corporate Law Service
  • 16. Indian Defense Estates Service
  • 17. Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III)
  • 18. Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
  • 19. Indian Railway Protection Force (Assistant Security Commissioner)

Group B


  • 20. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer's Grade)
  • 21. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
  • 22. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
  • 23. Pondicherry Civil Service
  • 24. Pondicherry Police Service

What is Civil Services Exam ?

Civil Services Exam are nessicity to be a civil Servant in India, Civil Services Exam is divided into three parts :
      Part I : Civil Services Prelims
      Part II: Civil Services Mains
      Part III: Interview

PART I - Civil Services Prelims Exam :

PAPER ONE - General Studies (Marks counted for Merit to qualify for Mains)

It is 2 hours objective type paper with 100 questions of 2 marks each totaling it to 200 marks with .66 approx negative marking on wrong answer. The marks scored in the Prelims exam is not counted in the Mains exam or the Interview.
The Syllabus covers 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 and General science

PAPER TWO - Aptitude Test or CSAT (33% marks required to qualify , marks not counted for merit )

It is 2 hours objective type paper with 80 questions of 2.5 marks each totaling it to 200 marks with .83 negative marking on wrong answer. This paper is of qualifying nature, candidate must score at least 33% marks to pass, marks of this paper are not counted for writing the Mains examination

The Syllabus covers, 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),English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level), Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level. (will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation)

PART II : Civil Services Mains

TOTAL 9 Papers to attempt, 2 papers are qualifying in Nature and 7 for Merits

PAPER ONE (25% marks required to qualify , marks not counted for merit)–
Indian Language (any one languages Listed in Eighth Schedule ) It is a 3 hours paper of 300 Marks and at least 25% is needed to qualify, The Marks obtained are not counted for Merits of Mains Exams , 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, the syllabus is of High School Level .
      (i) Comprehension of given passages.
      (ii) Precise Writing
      (iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
      (iv) Short Essay

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

PAPER TWO – English Compulsory (25% marks required to qualify , marks not counted for merit)

It is a 3 hours paper of 300 Marks and at least 25% is needed to qualify, The Marks obtained are not counted for Merits of Mains Exams , 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, the syllabus is of High School Level .
      (i) Comprehension of given passages
      (ii) Precise Writing
      (iii) Usage and Vocabulary
      (iv) Short Essay

PAPER THREE - Essay

In this 3 hour paper, candidate has to write 2 essays from 2 sections with 4 topics in each section, in 1000-1200 words . Each essay is of 125 marks. The essay can be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice

PAPER FOUR - General Studies I

Indian Heritage and Culture,History and Geography of the World and Society
It is a 3 hour subjective paper of 250 Marks , The subtopics covers the following

  • 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, redrawa 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 FIVE - General Studies II:

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
It is a 3 hour subjective paper of 250 Marks , The subtopics covers the following

  • 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 .
PAPER SIX - General Studies III :

Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
It is a 3 hour subjective paper of 250 Marks , The subtopics covers the following

  • 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 nonstate 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 SEVENTH - General Studies IV :

Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
It is a 3 hour subjective paper of 250 Marks , The subtopics covers the following

  • 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 nonstate 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 EIGHT - Literature (Optional Languages )

Languages
Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English

PAPER NINE - (Optional Subjects)

Subjects
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology


What is the Academic Eligibility to sit for Civil Services Exams ?

1. The candidate must hold a PASS BACHELOR'S degree from any of the 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.
2. Candidates who have appeared or intend to appear for the final examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to apply for the Preliminary Examination.
3. All such candidates who qualify the Prelims examination must produce a proof of Pass Bachelor Degree to appear for the Civil Services Main Examination. This Degree has to be attached with their application for the Main Examinations.
4. The UPSC may in exceptional cases treat a candidate without the foregoing requisite qualification as an eligible candidate if he / she have passed an examination conducted by other institutions, the standard of which justifies his / her admission in the opinion of the Commission. The criteria may apply to candidates having bachelor's degree from any reputed foreign university for example Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard etc.
5. Candidates with professional and technical bachelor's degrees that are recognised by the Government are also eligible to apply example MBBS, BE etc.
6. Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned authority of the University / Institution that they have passed the final professional medical examination along with their Main Examination application. At the Interview stage they must produce a certificate from a competent authority that they have completed (including internship) and all the requirements for the award of the Medical Degree.

What is the Age and Age Relaxation criteria for Civil Services Exams ?

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, 2017 i.e., he/she must have been born not earlier than 2nd August, 1985 and not later than 1st August, 1996.

The upper age limit prescribed above is relaxed:

1. Up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste (SC) or a Scheduled Tribe (ST).
2. Up to a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC) who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates
3. Up to a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st December, 1989
4. 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.
5. 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, 2017 and have been released
6. On completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st August, 2017) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service
7. Up to a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2017 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
8. Up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped persons.

Who are not eligible for upper limit age criteria for Civil Services exams ?

1. Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who are also covered under any other clauses of para 3(ii) (b) above, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen, persons domiciled in the State of J & K, blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped etc. will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.
2. 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.
3. The age concession under para 3(ii) (b) (v) and (vi) will not be admissible to Ex Servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs who are released on own request.
4. Notwithstanding the provision of age-relaxation under para 3 (ii) (b) (vii) above, a physically disabled candidate 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 physically disabled candidates by the Government.

How many attempts are allowed for Civil Services Exams?

The UPSC has raised the upper age limit and number of attempts of applicants of the Civil Service Examination with effect from 2015.
1. The upper age limit will be 32 years for the unreserved (general) category with 6 attempts.
2. It will be 35 years for OBC candidates with 9 attempts.
3. it will be 37 years for SC/ST candidates with unlimited number of attempts.
4. For physically handicapped candidates the age limit is 42, 45 and 47 years for General, OBC and SC/ST category respectively while the number of attempts is 9 for General and OBC and unlimited for SC/SC category

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