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UPSC or Union Public Service Commission is a central agency of the government of India that conducts various Civil Services examination. The existence and formation of UPSC date back to pre-independent India. A merit-based modern Civil Service was introduced to India in 1854, headquartered at Dholpur House (Delhi), India.

UPSC is considered to be the toughest exam in India that takes almost two years to complete for a UPSC aspirant, starting from prelims till the final interview. Every year, around 3-4 lacs candidates apply for the civil services examination. The number of candidates who sits in the preliminary examination is approximately 550,000 against 1100 openings.

In India, the UPSC exams were initially conducted in Allahabad but now shifted to New Delhi, after the setting up of the Federal Public Service Commission.

The lists of exams under UPSC are: 

  • All India Services
    Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
    Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
    Indian Police Service (IPS)

  • 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
    Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force
    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
    Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
    Pondicherry Civil Service
    Pondicherry Police Service

UPSE Exam Pattern:

UPSC civil services exam is conducted in three phases -  

  1. A preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type question papers – General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper-II, also known as the Civil Service Aptitude Test or CSAT.
  2. UPSC mains – 9 theory papers (Paper A – 2 papers and  Paper B – 7 papers)
  3. IAS Interview

Where to Contact?

The registered contact number of UPSC is 2309 859, 23098591, 23385271, 23381125, 23098543. For residents outside Delhi, please add the STD code (011) before each number you dial. (Service hours: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm in all official working days).

For the official website, https://www.upsc.gov.in/

How to download the Admit Card?

The admit card is issued online and candidates have to download it from the official website. Here is a list of requirements to download the Admit Card:

  • Either Registration Number and Date of Birth or
  • Roll Number and Date of Birth

Candidates can download the admit card by visiting https://www.upsc.gov.in/e-admit-cards

Cut off marks 

The Union Public Service Commission decides Cut Off marks based on several factors like – total number of vacancies, the total number of candidates in each stage, level of difficulty, reservation norms based on various categories, marking allotment scheme and last year cut off trends.

The services of UPSC as listed under Article 320 are as follows:

  • Conduct entrance examinations for appointment to the services of the Union.
  • Direct recruitment conducting selection through interviews.
  • Appointment of officers on promotion, deputation or absorption.
  • Framing and amendment of Recruitment Rules for various services and posts under the Indian government.
  • Disciplinary cases relating to different civil services.
  • Advising the Government of India on any matter referred to the Commission by the President of India.

Eligibility criteria for UPSC exam

The eligibility criteria to appear for the UPSC exam are as follows:


  • The candidate must be a citizen of India. (for IAS, IFS & IPS)
  • A citizen of India or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India. (For Indian Revenue Service exam)
  • A citizen of India or a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India (for all other entrance exam conducted by UPSC).

Educational qualification for UPSC exam

  • One degree from a Central, State or Deemed university
  • One degree received through correspondence or distance education
  • One degree from an open university
  • One qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equivalent to one of the above.
  • Marksheets and reports granted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) are only accepted by UPSC.

Age limit for the exam

  • General candidates: 21 years – 32 years (on August 1 of the year of the exam)
  • OBC candidates: 21 years – 35 years
  • SC and ST candidates: 21 years – 37 years
  • Physically Disabled (Blind, Deaf, Orthopedic) candidates: 42 years
  • Upper age limit for Defense Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area: 35 years.
  • Upper age limit for Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service: 37 years.

Special age limit for citizens of J&K

  • General Category: 37 years
  • OBC: 40 years
  • SC/ST: 42 years
  • Physically challenged candidates: 50 year

Numbers of attempts

  • General category candidates: 6 attempts till 32 years of age
  • OBC category candidates: 9 attempts till 35 years of age
  • SC and ST candidates: Unlimited attempts till 37 years of age


  • Offline applications: 100 INR (through a single Central Recruitment Fee Stamp)

UPSC candidates applying on-line (excepting Female/SC/ST/physically handicapped candidates who are exempted from payment of fees) are required to pay a reduced fee of Rs. 50/- (Rupees fifty only) either by remitting the money in any branch of SBI by cash, or by using net banking facility of SBI or by using visa/master credit/debit card.

Physically challenged, Female Candidates and SC/ST candidates: No fees.

Every year, UPSC announces its exam schedule and plan for the rest of the year in the month of January. Applicants can apply for this exam until February, every year.

To register online for UPSC exams, click here.

An approximate schedule of UPSC exam:

  • Notice, announcements and application for Preliminary Test – January
  • Preliminary Test – second or third week of May
  • Result of Preliminary Test – late-July or early August
  • Primary Main Examination begins– October (Time – 21 days)
  • Main Examination results – February or March (Next year)
  • Interview – March and April (Next year)
  • Final legitimacy list – Early May (Next year)

The following exam combination in graduation (college) is not accepted by UPSC:

  • Any literature subjects
  • Political Science & International Relations + Public Administration
  • Commerce & Accountancy + Management
  • Anthropology + Sociology
  • Mathematics + Statistics
  • Agriculture + Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Management + Public Administration
  • Any Engineering building subjects
  • Medical Science + Animal Husbandry + Veterinary Science

List of subjects accepted-

Social Science 

  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Indian History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Law


  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Medical Science
  • Physics
  • Zoology
  • Anthropology
  • Geology

Engineering Subjects

  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Commerce and Management Subjects

  • Commerce
  • Management

Indian Languages

  • Assamese
  • Bengali
  • Bodo
  • Dogri
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Maithili
  • Malayalam
  • Manipuri
  • Marathi
  • Nepali
  • Oriya
  • Pali
  • Persian
  • Punjabi
  • Sanskrit
  • Santali
  • Sindhi
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Urdu

Foreign Languages

  • English
  • Arabic
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