The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS). Also simply referred to as the UPSC examination, it is conducted in three phases - a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II also popularly known as Civil Service Aptitude Test or CSAT), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type, in which two papers are qualifying and only marks of seven are counted followed by a personality test (interview).
Civil services, which is the backbone of Indian governance constitutes all ministries and their departments. The Civil services and Forest Services exams are conducted by the UPSC. The prestige, power, charm and responsibility that come along with the top jobs such as the IAS, IFS, IPS, etc are a definite reason for anyone to choose Civil Services and Forest services as a career option.
|EDUCATION||Any Degree (Recognized by UGC/AICTE)|
|Minimum Age||Maximum Age||No. of attempts|
|SC &ST||21||37||No restriction|
- Must have attained the age of 21 on 1st August of year of examination.
- Must not have attained 32 years(35|37 years) on 1st August of year ofexamination.
|SCHEDULE OF EXAMINATIONS|
|Notification||February / March|
|Preliminary Examination||May / June|
|Preliminary Exam Results||July / August|
|Main Exam Results||February 1st Week / 2nd Week|
|Interview||March - April|
The Civil Services Examination is considered to be one of the most difficult competitive examinations in India. On average, 900,000 to 1,000,000 candidates apply every year and the number of candidates sitting in the preliminary examination is approximately 500,000. Results for the Prelims are published in mid-August, while the final result is published in May of the next year.
- Stage I: Preliminary Examination - Held in May/June every year. Results are announced in August.
- Stage II: Mains
- Examination - Held in October every year. Results are announced in January.
- Personality Test (interview) - Held in March. Final results are usually announced in May.
The training program for the selected candidates usually commences the following September.
Preliminary Examination Syllabus:
Paper - I
- Current events of national and international importance.
- History of India and the Indian National Movement
- Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social and 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
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills
- Logical reasoning and Analytical ability
- Decision-making and Problem-solving
- General mental ability
- Decision-making and Problem-solving
- 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: The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
Note 2: 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).
Note 3: Appearing in any one of the papers on the examination day will be counted as an attempt.
Note 4: If a candidate has applied but not appeared for the examination, it will not be counted as an attempt.
Mains Examination Syllabus:
Paper - I
- Essay : Candidates will be required to write essays on specific topics given in the examination.
- They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
Paper - II
General Studies - I : Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society of India.
- 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 and 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 the 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 the Indian Society Diversity of India.
- Role of women and women’s organizations, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
- Effects of globalization on the Indian society. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism and 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)
- 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 - III
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 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, andpotential; citizenscharters, 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 - IV
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; etechnology 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.
- Awarenessinthefieldsof 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 - V
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 utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.
- 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, dedicationtopublicservice, empathy, toleranceandcompassion 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 - VI & Paper VII
Optional Subject : Papers I and II
- Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given in the UPSC Notification.