All about the UPSC (CSE)

Article 320 of the Indian Constitution, stipulates the Union Public Service Commission to conduct various examinations to recruit capable persons for positions of responsibility in the Class I All India and Central Services. The Civil Service Examination in one of the toughest examinations in the world. It has been designed to test candidate's knowledge, creativity, personality and ability to work under pressure.

Here is a comprehensive plan of the examination and a brief introduction to the services offered to successful candidates.



  • Name of the exam - Civil Services Exam- IAS

  • Conducting authority Union Public Service Commission

  • Mode of exam - Offline

  • Number of Stages - Prelims, Mains Exam, Interview

  • Number of papers - Prelims:0 2 Mains : 09

  • Prelims marking scheme - Paper 1: +2 marks per question (- 0.66) Paper 2: +2.5 marks per question (- 0.83)

  • Duration - Prelims: 2 hours (Each paper) Mains: 3hours (Each paper)

  • Type of Questions - Prelims: Objective type Mains: Subjective type

  • Posts - 1000 approximate (Tentative)


Prelims Exam Pattern

  • Exam Mode - Offline

  • Number of Papers - 2- General Studies and Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)

  • Number of Questions - Paper 1- 100; Paper 2- 80

  • Question Paper Type - Multiple Choice Questions

  • Prelims Total Marks - 400

  • Nature of Exam - Qualifying

  • Exam Duration - 2 hours each, +20 minutes for blind students

  • Exam Language - English and Hindi


Mains Exam Pattern

Qualifying Paper

  1. Paper A - Either of the Indian languages can be selected from the 8th schedule of the constitution. Also, it carries 300 marks.

  2. Paper B - The 2nd exam is an English paper. And it also carries 300 marks.

Marked Papers

  • Paper 1 - Essay writing - 250 Marks

  • Paper 2 - General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)- 250 Marks

  • Paper 3 - General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) - 250 Marks

  • Paper 4 - General Studies –III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) - 250 Marks

  • Paper 5 - General Studies –IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude) - 250 Marks

  • Paper 6 - Optional Subject – Paper 1- 250 Marks

  • Paper 7- Optional Subject – Paper 2- 250 Marks

  • Sub Total in the written Test- 1750 Marks

  • Personal Interview- 275 Marks

  • Grand Total (for merit calculation) - 2025 Marks


Service Cadres under UPSC Civil Service Examination

UPSC offers three categories of posts through UPSC CSE –

1) All India Services,

2) Group ‘A’ Civil Services

3) Group ‘B’ Civil Services

All India Services

Brief details on the two All India Services are given below.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

  1. Indian Administrative Service is one of the 3 All India Services.

  2. IAS is the permanent arm of the Government of India and State Governments.

  3. IAS cadre is responsible for formulating and implementing Government policies.

  4. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is an All India Administrative Civil Service of India.

  5. The IAS probationers begin their training at LBSNAA, Mussoorie.

Indian Police Service (IPS)

  1. Indian Police Service is the one among the three All India Services.

  2. IPS officers are trained at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad.

  3. The IPS officers occupy senior positions in Police service.

  4. The IPS officers occupy senior positions in RAW, IB, CBI etc.

Group ‘A’ Civil Services

The details on all Group ‘A’ Civil Services are given below.

Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

  1. IFS officers begin their training at LBSNAA and then move on to Foreign Service Institute located in New Delhi.

  2. It is one of the most popular Group ‘A’ civil services.

  3. IFS officers handle the foreign affairs of India.

  4. IFS officers can go on to become High Commissioner, Ambassadors, Permanent Representative of India at UN, and Foreign Secretary.

  5. A candidate selected into IFS cannot reappear for the Civil Service Exam.

Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)

  1. IA&AS is one of the most popular Group ‘A’ civil services.

  2. They begin their training at NAAA, Shimla.

  3. This cadre comes under Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

  4. This cadre does the financial auditing of Central Government, State Governments and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).

Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)

  1. This cadre comes under the Group ‘A’ civil service.

  2. They function under the Ministry of Finance.

  3. The head of this cadre is Controller General of Accounts.

  4. They are trained at National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Faridabad & Institute of Government Accounts and Finance (INGAF).

Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)

  1. This is Group ‘A’ service that functions under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

  2. The primary objective of this service is to govern the corporate sector in India.

  3. Training for the probationary officers takes place at ICLS Academy, located at Manesar Campus of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA).

  4. ICLS officers would be given extensive training on law, economics, finance and accounting.

Indian Defense Accounts Service (IDAS)

  1. This cadre comes under the Ministry of Defense.

  2. The officers of this cadre are first trained at CENTRAD, New Delhi. Then, NIFM; National Academy Of Defense Financial Management Institute, Pune.

  3. IDAS cadre officers mainly serve the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories.

  4. The main objective of this cadre is to audit defence accounts.

  5. This service is headed by Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) and also acts as Chief Accounts Officer to the Heads of DRDO, BRO and Ordnance Factories.

Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)

  1. The training of officers from this cadre takes place at the National Institute of Defence Estates which is located in New Delhi.

  2. The primary objective of this service is to manage the cantonments and land belonging to the defence establishment.

Indian Information Service (IIS)