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Indian Administrative Services Exam is considered one of the most sorts after competitive exams in India among its graduate youth. UPSC examination importance lies in the fact that graduate of any stream or course whether it is Arts, Engineering, Science, Medicine, and Management etc. have an equal opportunity to compete in this exam. IAS aspirants from prestigious IIT’s or IIM’s will have an equal chance of cracking IAS’s as it will be to an MBBS from AFMC or AIIMs etc. IAS exam provides equal opportunity to all, to reach the apex of the Indian administrative system.

Young graduates who want to prove themselves and who want to be a part of the Government machinery in a real sense have to crack IAS examination. Also known as Civil Services exam before the independence of India UPSC examination is conducted by central body Union Public Service Commission every year in the month of May to selects approximately 400 candidates to serve on the top notch positions in the Central Government and its various departments.

Candidates applying for the UPSC Examination have to fulfill all the eligibility condition for appearing in the examination.

Educational Qualifications:

The most basic IAS exam eligibility is that the aspiring candidate should be at least a Graduate in any discipline from a recognized university. Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognized by the government are also eligible. Those who have appeared in the final year but do not have the result can also apply but they would have to produce proof of passing the exam with their application for the Main Exam.

Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical degree Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However, they must submit along with their Main Examination application, a certificate from the concerned authority of the University / Institution that they have passed the final professional medical examination. At the time of Interview, they are supposed to produce a certificate from a competent authority that they have completed (including internship) all the requirements for the award of the Medical Degree.

Note: There is no minimum percentage of marks in the qualifying examination is (Pass only) required to be eligible for taking IAS Exam.


For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India For other services, a candidate must be either:

  • A citizen of India, or
  • A subject of Nepal, or
  • A subject of Bhutan, or
  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India with the intention of permanently settling in India. or
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Srilanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
    Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) shall be a person in whose favor a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India. These candidates will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.

Age Limits:

Candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st August of the year in which examination is being held.

The upper age limit may be relaxed in respect of the SC/ST and other backward classes.

Number of attempts:

Maximum number of attempts permissible to different categories of aspirants, who are otherwise eligible, will be as given below:-

This exam is normally held in three parts:

Preliminary Exam taken by nearly 2,50,000-3,00,000 candidates every year

Mains exam taken nearly 10,000 selected candidates at preliminary level

Interview, the last part of the exam is taken by number of candidates nearly three times of the vacant seats.

IAS Preliminary Examination 2014 would consist of two papers- Paper I and Paper II. The syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination would be as under :

The competitive examination comprises two successive stages :
(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Main Examination; and
(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts

PartA—Preliminary Examination

Paper I - (200 marks) ; Duration :Two hours
• Current events of national and international importanc
• History of India and Indian National Movemen
• Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India+Wor
• 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.
• General Science

Paper II-(200 marks) ; Duration :Two hours • 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)
Note 1 : Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

Part B—Main Examination

Essay : Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact Expression.

General Studies-I : Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
1. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
3. The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
5. History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization,political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society
6. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
7. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
8. Effects of globalization on Indian society.
9. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
10. Salient features of world’s physical geography.
11. 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).
12. 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

General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
13. Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
14. 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.
15. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
16. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
17. Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
18. 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.
19. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
20. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
21.Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
22. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
23. Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
24. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions andBodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
25. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
26. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
27. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
28. Role of civil services in a democracy.
29. India and its neighborhood- relations.
30. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
31. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
32. Important International institutions, agencies and their structure, mandate

General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
33. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
34. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
35. Government Budgeting.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
39. Land reforms in India.
40. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
41. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads,Airports, Railways etc.
42. Investment models.
43. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
44. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
45. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
46. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
47. Disaster and disaster management.
48. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
49. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
50. 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.
51. Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
52. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity andAptitude
53. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
54. Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
55. Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
56. Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
57. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
58. 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.
59. 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.
60. Case Studies on above issues.

Suggested Basic Readings/Viewing
1.Arts and Culture
  1.1 Arts and Culture by Nitin Singhania
  1.2 Introduction to Indian Arts- Part 1 [NCERT].

  2.1 Ancient+Medieval+Modern:Themes in Indian History I,II,II
  2.2 Ancient India : Old NCERT-RS Sharma - Class 11th
  2.3 Medieval India : Old NCERT -Satish Chandra -Class 11th
  2.4 Ancient & Medieval : Tamil Nadu Board Class 11th History.
  2.5 Modern India : Old NCERT -Bipin Chandra - Class 11th
  2.6 India after Independence:Politics in India Since Independence [NCERT 12th]
  2.7 World History [NCERT Class 10th]
Suggested Viewing: 1.PradhanMantri of ABP News for Post Independence India 2.Bharat Ek Khoj for Ancient and Medieval India

  3.1 Physical Geography : Fundamentals of physical geography [NCERT 11th]
  3.2 Human Geography : Fundamentals Of Human Geography [NCERT 12th]
  3.3 Indian Geography : India Physical Environment[ NCERT 11th]
  3.4 Indian Geography :India People and Economy [NCERT 12th]
  3.5 World Geography:Certificate Physical and Human Geography: GC Leong.

  4.1 Indian Society:Textbook in Sociology: [NCERT Class 12th]
  4.2 Social change and development in India :Textbook in
Sociology [NCERT 12th]
Extra Curricular Reading :Wise and Otherwise by Sudha Murthy

  5.1 Indian constitution at work [NCERT Class 11th]
  5.2 Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
Suggested Viewing : Samvidhan by Rajya Sabha TV
Extra Curricular Reading : Animal Farm by George Orwell

6.International Relations
  6.1 Contemporary World Politics [Political Science NCERT 12th]
Suggested Viewing : Thirteen days- a movie on Cuban Missile crisis
Suggested Reading : India’s foreign policy by VP Dutt- National Book Trust

  7.1 India Economic Development [NCERT Class 11th]
  7.2 Introductory Macroeconomics[NCERT Class 12th]

8.Science and Technology
  8.1 Science [NCERT Class 9th and 10th]
Suggested Viewing : Ted-Ed videos on Youtube.com

9.Environment and Ecology
  9.1 Biology [Only Unit X(Chapters 13 to 17th) NCERT Class 12th]
Suggested Viewing :An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore.

  10.1 Lexicon for Ethics by Chronicle
  Extracurricular Reading: Difficulty of being Good by Gurcharan Das

Other Extracurricular reading:(of different genres)
1.Nithalle ki Diary by Harishankar Parsai (Satire)
2.Godan by Premchand (Rural life)
3.Tarkash by Javed Akhtar (Poetry)
4.Wings of Fire :An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam. (Self-Help, Motivation)

IAS exam is normally held in the month of August.

Civil Services Posts that are filled through IAS Exam

Major Civil Services posts that are filled through Indian Administrative Services Exam are:

Indian Administrative Service IAS Officer India Foreign Service IFS Officer Indian Police Service IPS Officer Group – A

Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service

Indian Audit and Accounts Service

Indian Customs and Central Excise Service

Indian Defence Accounts Service

Indian Revenue Service

Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, non-technical)

Indian Postal Service

Indian Civil Accounts Service

Indian Railway Traffic Service

Indian Railway Accounts Service

Indian Railway Personnel Service

Posts of Assistant Security Officer in Railway Protection Force (RPF)

Indian Defence Estates Service

Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)

Group – B

Railway Board Secretariat Service (Section Officer’s Grade)

Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer’s Grade)

Customs Appraisers’ Service

Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service and Police Service

Pondicherry Civil Service

A candidate can buy an application form with information brochure from the General Post-office by paying Rs.100 (No fee for women candidates).The duly filled in application form and the acknowledgment card should then be mailed in the special envelope supplied with the Information Brochure to Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110

The aspirants must apply in the Common Application Form devised by UPSC for its examinations, which can be purchased from the Head Post Offices throughout the country on payment of Rs.30 only. Each such form can be used only for one examination once only. In case of non-availability of the form from the designated PO immediately contact UPSC ”Form Supply Monitoring Cell” over Phone No. 011-23389366.

Address for receipt of the IAS Exam Application form


Union Public Service Commission

Dholpur House

Shahjahan Road

New Delhi-110069

IAS Exam Test Centres

IAS exam is conducted in all major cities in the country and in leading cities abroad.

For details regarding the Syllabus and Scheme of the Examination, Centre of Examination, Guidelines of filling up the application form etc. visit website :upsc.gov.in

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