Civil Services

The Indian Civil Services forms the backbone of the Indian government machinery & constitutes all the major departments which run the state & central administration, also one of the most prestigious examinations conducted by UPSC. The three types of services recruited through the Civil Services Examination are All India Services, Central Services, and State Services. Civil Services is also popularly known as the IAS exam or the UPSC exam and is considered one the toughest competitive exams in the world.

Entry into the IAS, IPS and the Central Services, Group A and Group B is through the All India Combined Competitive Examination for the Civil Services conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in different centers spread all over the country.

Candidates must complete a three-phase process, with a success rate of about 0.1 percent of the total applicants:

  • Phase I: Civil Services Exam (Preliminary) – A qualifying test held in May/June every year(This year it will be June 12).
  • Phase II: Civil Services Exam (Main) – Main test, held in October/November every year.
  • Phase III: Personality Test (Interview) – Held in April/May every year.

Final results are announced just before the Civil Services Exam (Preliminary) of the following year are to be held. Preparation of Civil Services takes a lot of perseverance, hard work, time management, and proper guidance.

Posts and Positions Under Civil Service:

1. All India Services

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Indian Police Service (IPS)

2. Central Civil Services – Group A

  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS) – Income Tax
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS) – Customes & Central Excise
  • Indian Audits & Accounts Service (IAAS)
  • Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
  • Indian Defence Estate Service (IDES)
  • Indian Information Service (IIS)
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
  • Railways Protection Force (RPF)

3. Central Civil Services – Group B

  • Union Territories Administrative Service
  • Union Territories Police Service
  • Central Secretariat Service
  • Defence Secretariat Service

Civil Service Examination 2011 (Pattern and Procedure)

From Civil Service Examination 2011, Preliminary Examination would consist of two papers- Paper I and Paper II. The syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination would be as under:

(Paper 1) (200 marks) – Duration : Two hrs.

  • 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 donot require subject specialization
  • General science.

(Paper II) (200 marks) – Duration : Two hrs

  • 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)

Civil Services Mains Examination:

  1. The Main Examination will consist of a written examination and a subsequent interview.
  2. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type model. The range of questions may vary from just two marks to thirty marks, twenty words to 600 words answers.


  • General studies Paper I: 300
  • Paper II: 300
  • English language Single paper 300 (Matric level) only Eligibility in nature
  • Indian language single paper 300 (Matric level) only Eligibility in nature
  • Essay single paper 200
  • Optional Subject I Paper I 300
  • Optional Subject I Paper II 300
  • Optional Subject II Paper I 300
  • Optional Subject II Paper II 300
  • Total marks 2000

Education Qualification:

  1. Minimum qualification is a degree from a recognised university under the 10+2+3 scheme alone eligible.
  2. Degree received through Correspondence Education or Distance Education is also eligible
  3. Open University degree with 10-th standard eligible.
  4. Candidates who have appeared at their final year an examination the passing of which would render them educationally candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination.
  5. All candidates who are declared qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the 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.
  6. 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

Age Eligibility:

Prescribed age limits are minimum 21 years and maximum of 30 years as on 1 August of the year of Examination. As on 1 August candidates should not have attained or completed 30 years. In case on that day a candidate whose age is 29 years and 360 days means still he is qualified to take the examination. 1 August to 1 August is the criteria. Those who are in 20s should have attained 21 and those who are in 30s should not have attained 30 years.

Age relaxation:

  1. The upper age limit prescribed will be relaxable to General Category and the OBC candidates come under the category of creamy layer.
  2. The upper age limit prescribed will be relaxable to OBC candidates’ 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.
  3. The upper age limit prescribed above will be relaxable up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe.
  4. The upper age limit prescribed above will be relaxable up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped persons.
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