How to fill services preference in detailed application form (DAF) for UPSC CSE


MYUPSC UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series


The Indian Civil Services are organized into two main sections. These are the All India Services and the Central Services. Officers of the All India Services, on appointment by the Government of India, are placed at the disposal of the different State Governments. These services include:

  • The Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • The Indian Police Service (IPS)
  • The Indian Forest Service (IFS)

Officers of the Central Services, on the other hand, wherever they might be posted, serve the Government of India only. Central Services are of two types-Groups A&B.


Central Services comprise various different services/ posts. These include:

  • The Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • The Indian Railway Service
  • Indian Postal Service
  • Accounts and Auditing Services (including The Indian Audit and Accounts Service, The Indian Civil Accounts Service, The Indian Defence Accounts Service, The Indian Revenue Service.)
  • Indian Customs and Central Excise
  • The Indian Ordnance Factories Service
  • The Indian Defence Estates Service
  • The Indian Information Service
  • The Central Trade Services


  • The Group ‘B’ Services include the Central Secretariat Service (Section Officers Grade-CSS), the Railway Board Secretariat Service (Section Officers’ Grade- RBSS), the Indian Foreign Service (Section Officers’ Grade- IFS ‘B’), the Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Assistant Civilian Staff Officers Grade), the Customs’ Appraisers Service, the Delhi and Andaman & Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS), the Goa, Daman and Diu Police Service, Posts of Assistant Commandant, Post of Deputy Superintendents of Police in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Though officers of the Group ‘B’ Services start off almost at par with their Group ‘A’ counterparts, yet after the fourth year they lag behind by five to seven years. This gap widens further by the 18th year when Group’A’ Officers enter the Super Time Scale. The most coveted service among the “Group B” services is the Central Secretariat Service (CSS).


The IAS (Indian Administrative Service) was formally constituted in 1947. The IAS handles affairs of the government. At the central level, this involves the framing and implementation of policy. At the district level, it is concerned with district affairs, including developmental functions. At the divisional level, the IAS officers look after law and order, general administration and development work. In the Government of India (i.e. in the ministries), IAS officers deal with the formulation of policies and supervise their implementation. In each Ministry they supervise the allotment and utilization of funds by the field officers in the Ministry. They may also be asked to furnish information to the Parliament in response to queries relating to the Ministry. Sometimes, their works entail visits to the States. Depending on the rank, an IAS officer might even be the government nominee on the Board of Directors of some Public Sector Corporation. They may also at times be nominated to independently represent India at International forums or accompany the Minister for such meetings. From the rank of Deputy Secretary to the Government of India, they can sign international agreements on behalf of the Government of India. However, more than half their career life will be spent in the State they are allocated, where they will look after law and order, general administration, revenue work and developmental functions. During the course of their two-year probation they will be attached to various training schools, to the Secretariat and field offices and to a district collector’s office. Here they will do the work of a sub magistrate. On completion of their two-year’s probation they will be appointed as a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM). As SDM they will look after law and order, general administration, revenue work and such developmental work as may be assigned to them. In the next three scales i.e. Senior Scale, Junior Administrative Grade and Selection Grade they will serve as District Magistrate, Chief Development Officer, Director of a department, Managing Director of a Public Sector Unit or a Senior officer in the State Secretariat. In other words, they could be a District Magistrate in their fifth year of service and remain a DM till they are promoted to the Super Time Scale in the 17th year of their service. Following this there are promotions in scale to the ranks of Principal Secretary and additional Chief Secretary. The highest post in the State is that of the Chief Secretary.


The Indian Foreign Service deals with the country’s external affairs, including diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. It is responsible for the administration and activities of Indian missions abroad, and for the framing and implementation of the Government’s foreign policy. After the training at Mussoorie, the IFS probationers are attached to the Ministry of External Affairs and have to become conversant in a major foreign language. During the second year they are appointed as Third Secretaries in Indian Embassy/High Commission where that language is spoken. They spend another two years in the same Embassy as Second Secretaries. After two postings abroad, the IFS Officers are posted in India in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). In the MEA, they will look after India’s political, economic and commercial work. In the Senior Scale and the Junior Administrative Grade the IFS Officers are appointed as First Secretaries. In the Selection Grade, IFS Officers serve as Counsellors. In very small countries the Indian Ambassador would be in that grade. In the super time scale, many IFS Officers become Ambassadors of medium sized countries while others are appointed as Ministers in the large embassies like Washington and Moscow. In the Additional Secretaries Grade, IFS Officers are made ambassadors in relatively big embassies or as Deputy High Commissioner in London. The Indian Embassies/High Commissions like Moscow, Washington and London are headed by Ambassadors of the rank of Secretary. At this level, some Ambassadors are non-IFS Officers like politicians, retired or serving IAS Officers or retired Defence Chief. There are four to five Secretary level officers in the MEA- the senior most being the Foreign Secretary.


The IPS (Indian Police Service) is responsible for public safety and security. The IPS mainly takes care of law and order, which, at the district level, is a responsibility shared with the IAS; crime prevention and detection; and traffic control and accident prevention and management. In order to fulfill these functions with greater efficiency, this service is divided into various functional departments, including: a) Crime Branch b) Criminal Investigation Department (CID) c) Home Guards d) Traffic Bureau. A number of Central Policing Agencies are also headed by the IPS. These include: the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Cabinet Secretariat Security, the Border Security Force (BSF), and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). During the probation period they will undergo a year training in the office of a Superintendent of Police of a district in the State they have been allocated. On completing their two-year probation, they will be confirmed as a three star Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). They will then in all probability be posted as the Police Officer of a sub-division (SDPO) for two years till they are promoted to the Senior Scale. As the SDPO, Superintendent of Police, Senior Superintendent of Police of a District and as Deputy Inspector General of a Range (group of districts), they will be exclusively responsible for the prevention and detection of crime. However, the law and order duties will be shared with their IAS counterpart. In cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, the law and order duties are the exclusive responsibility of the police force. In these cities the ASP, SP, and the DIG are called Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACPO), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and Commissioner of Police (CP). On being promoted to the Senior Scale they could serve as ASP of a larger district for the first two years or SP of a small district. They are likely to spend about thirteen years covering the Senior Scale, Junior Administrative Grade and Selection Grade as SP/SSP of a district, SP (Crime), SP (CID), SP (Home Guards), the head of some police battalion, SP (Traffic) and so on. Outside the districts, the most satisfying jobs are in the intelligence agencies of the Government of India especially in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). There are many other Central agencies to which the IPS Officers may be sent on deputation at every stage of their career, except in the Junior Scale. Some of these are the Cabinet Secretariat, the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Central Industrial Security Force. Unlike IAS Officers who cannot permanently serve the Central government, some IPS dominated central agencies absorb the IPS Officers till they retire. The senior posts in the IPS are those of the Deputy Inspector General, Inspector General, Additional DG and Director General.


It is basically concerned with two main aspects, mainly Customs and Excise. While Customs is concerned with the checking and levy of duty on taxable goods brought into the country, the Excise department is involved with the taxation of goods manufactured within the country.


Customs officers could be dealing with customs, excise or narcotics related matters. They are not only posted in important coastal and border towns or in towns with international airports, they can be posted anywhere. Their probation will be either in Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata or Delhi and in the Junior and Senior scales they will be designated as Assistant Commissioner of Customs. As Deputy Commissioner in the JAG they will move to much bigger towns. In this grade of Junior Administration Grade (JAG) they could later become Additional Commissioner of Customs.


Probation will be in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai or Chennai and will be posted in industrial townships to begin with and then in big cities. In the Junior Scale, the Central excise officer could serve as Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise. They can hold the latter rank in the senior scale also. In the JAG they could be a Deputy or Additional Commissioner of Central Excise. Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise are officers in the Senior Administrative Grade. They wield enormous power and the jurisdiction which normally extends over several states. Chief Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise are placed in the next higher grade which is similar to that of Additional Secretaries. After that they can aspire to become a member of the Central Board of Excise and Customs and later even its Chairman.


The job involves all the processes from investigation to decisions and policy planning. As the job deals with the fiscal policy and budget, aptitude for accounts as well as a legal aptitude is useful. The professional training is conducted in the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur and the probationer will also receive on-the-job training at an Assistant Commissioner’s office for some time. Following this they will serve as an Assistant Commissioner for about eight years. They will examine cases in which the tax assessed is more than the prescribed figure. In the Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) and Selection Grade they would be a Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax or Deputy Director (Investigation). In the Senior Administrative Grade they could be a Commissioner of Income Tax in a metropolitan town or one of the state capitals or a Director of Income Tax. Some of these Commissioners are designated Chief-Commissioners of Income Tax and are in a scale similar to that of Additional Secretaries. The Director General of Income Tax is also in this scale. The head of the Income Tax hierarchy is the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes and is assisted by six members.


It is essentially responsible for the running of India’s vast railway network. There are four non-technical and technical or engineering cadres in the railways. Entry for non-technical services- the Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS), the Indian Railway Personnel Services (IRPS), the Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS), and the Railway Police Service is through the Civil Services examination. However, the engineering services have a different recruitment procedure.


This service looks after commercial (goods and passengers) and operational (movement of trains) functions with an emphasis on safety. In the Junior Scale, they will serve as either Assistant Commercial Manager or Assistant Operating Manager and posted at the Divisional Headquarters. If posted at a very big railway station they may be designated as Assistant Transport Manager. Within four years of service they are likely to get the senior scale and posted at divisional headquarters as Divisional Commercial Manager or Divisional Operating Manager or Divisional Safety Officer. Most of the branch officers like the Senior Divisional Commercial Manager or Senior Divisional Operating Manager are in the JAG. At the zonal level the hierarchy is as follows: On the Commercial side, the structure is headed by the Chief Commercial Manager followed by the Additional Chief Commercial Manager and the Deputy Chief Commercial Manager. On the operations side, the Chief Operations Manager is at the head, followed by the Additional Chief Operations Manager, Chief Freight Traffic Manager, Chief Passenger Traffic Manager and the Deputy Chief Operations Manager.


This service monitors all the income and expenditure of the vast railway network. In the Junior Scale, as an IRAS officer they will be posted to divisional headquarters as Assistant Accounts Officers. On being promoted to the senior scale they will become a Divisional Accounts Officer and in the JAG they will be designated as Senior Divisional Accounts Officer. In the Senior Administrative Grade they are promoted to the coveted position of Financial Advisor-cum-Chief Accounts Officer of a zone.


As an officer in this service the IRPS officers will deal with recruitment, promotions, in service training and welfare of the employees. They will be interested to know that IRPS officers get the equivalent of the Super time Scale before any other service of the Government of India. The postings are as follows: In the junior scale, they will be designated Assistant Personnel Officer and posted at Divisional Headquarters. Following this they will become a Divisional Personnel Officer in the Senior Scale and Senior Divisional Personnel Officer of Deputy Chief Planning Officer in the JAG. They will be made Additional Chief Planning Officer once they get the selection grade. In the Senior Administrative Grade they will be designated Chief Personnel Officer and serve at Zonal Headquarters. At a non-divisional set-up there are commensurate posts for officers belonging to all the railway services.


This force protects one of the biggest railway networks in the world. RPF officer’s training will be at Vadodra and Lucknow. The Junior and Senior scales are similar to the other railway services. There is no equivalent of JAG or SG. Instead, they have the grades of Senior Commandant, Head Quarters and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) respectively. The Inspector General’s grade is the same as the IAS suppertime scale or the IPS IGP’s scale. The final promotion is as the Director General of the Force.


This service audits the accounts of all Central and State government departments, P&T departments, defence, public sector organizations, railways, etc. It functions within the federal structure and coordinates effectively between the Centre and the states. As the head of the organization, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is a constitutional authority with a fixed tenure. During the career, the officer can go on deputation to various ministries, state governments, autonomous bodies, public sector organizations etc. They can also be posted at one of the two audit offices abroad- Washington or London. Presently India is one of the three countries auditing the accounts of the United Nations and a Director General of the service is based at New York for this purpose. Officers selected to this service undergo training in Shimla. They serve either in account offices in Central or State Governments or in Statutory Audit Offices under the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). In the Junior Scale, they will be posted as an Assistant AG in the office of an Accountant General (AG). They will be posted in similar offices throughout the career; only their designation and responsibilities will keep changing. In the senior scale, they will be a Deputy AG, in the JAG and Selection Grade a Senior DAG and in the Senior Administrative Grade a fully fledged AG. At the next rung is the Additional Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General. Above this is the Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who gets a Secretary’s salary. At the very top of the accounts/audit hierarchy is a constitutional authority, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.


It is the only service from which one can go on a deputation to the army and serve from Captain to Major General. An attractive aspect of a career in the Indian Postal Service is that there is job mobility as well as variety.

An Indian Postal Service officer can serve in any ministry at any level depending on the seniority and aptitude. Officers are also sent on deputation to the Universal Postal Union at Berne, Switzerland or on assignments to other countries.

Professional course is at the Postal Staff College, Ghaziabad. During probation the officer will be “attached” to “field” offices of the department, where they will work in various capacities. They will serve in divisional headquarters as Senior Superintendent of Post Office (SSPO) or Senior Superintendent Railway Mail (SSRM) in the junior scale as well as in the first 2-3 years of the senior scale. Only personnel from the Indian Postal Service go on deputation to the Army Postal Service. Later in the Senior Scale they will be promoted to the rank of Assistant PMG (Post Master General) or Assistant Director General at the Directorate. In the JAG they will be made a Director. In the selection grade they will remain as a Director. They can be promoted to the senior most level of PMG of a “Circle”. Promotions after that are to the posts of (a) Additional Secretary in a ministry (b) One of the members of the Postal Services Board (c) Chief PMG or rather HAG i.e. Higher Administrative Grade d) Secretary, Department of Post who is also ex-officio DG and Chairman of the Postal Services Board.


As in the case of the Indian Railways there is a separate P&T Finance and Accounts Service. Here an officer works for the Postal & Telecom departments. They are posted in major cities and as this is a comparatively new service, (established in 1974) the promotions are fast. Within 17 years one can be Joint Secretary (SAG) which corresponds with the Super Time Scale of the IAS. Officers start their career as the Assistant Chief Accounts Officer. Within two years, they are the Chief Accounts Officers. After six years they become the Director Finance and Accounts in the Junior Administrative Grade. In another eleven years they enter the SAG as GM Finance which is a field posting or as Deputy Director General at the Directorate. Following this promotions to the higher posts are limited as there is just one member Finance and one Senior DDG, Finance. However, they can go on deputation to other ministries or to the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) or Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) as Director Finance.


This was initially called the Central Information Service (CIS) which was constituted as late as 1960. As it is a comparatively new and expanding service there is scope for quicker promotions. The scales in this service are exactly the same as in the other services, till the Senior Administrative Grade (SAG). At the top is a grade which is called Selection Grade and has a fixed salary, equal to what the senior most Additional Secretary would get. Training during probation is at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi. An IIS Officer can be posted in organizations dealing with print media, in the electronic media or in an advertising agency. In short, IIS Officers can be posted to any of the several organizations that are controlled by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or the Ministry of Defence (Directorate of Public Relations).


An IDAS officer start off, after probation, as an Assistant CDA (Controller of Defence Accounts) in the Junior Scale, and will work in cantonment towns. In the next three scales, they will be Deputy CDAs, posted at State capitals (or bigger towns). In the Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) they will become a full-fledged CDA and will be posted at places where headquarters of defence ‘commands’ are located. In the Additional Secretaries’ Scale IDAS Officer’s are made Additional CGDAs (Controller General of Defence Accounts) incharge of Audit or Inspection. They could also be posted as Controller of Accounts (Factories), Calcutta.

Indian Ordnance & Factories Services and Indian Civil Accounts Services


IOFS officers will be required to serve mostly where ordnance factories (i.e. factories that make equipment including sleeping bags and tents, for the defence services) are located e.g. Jabalpur. During the first 10 years in the Service, they could even be asked to serve for up to 4 years, as a Commissioned Officer in the Armed Forces. The promotions up to the Senior Administrative Grade are standard Central Service Promotions. In the Additional Secretaries’ Grade they would most probably be made a General Manager. After that, there is a scale which begins at the AS level. In this scale are the Members of the OFS (ordinance Factories Board)/the Additional DGOF (Director General Ordnance Factories). The head of the service is the chairman of the OFB/DGOF, who has the same fixed salary as the Secretaries.


Training will be in the office of the CGA (Controller General of Accounts), Department of Expenditure (Ministry of Finance) Delhi and in the offices of the Chief Controller of Accounts in the various ministries of Government of India. The first posting will be as Assistant Controller of Accounts in some ministry of the Government of India. In the Senior Scale, they will become the Deputy Controller of Accounts. In the Senior Administrative Grade they will be made Chief Controller of Accounts. The highest career post for an ICAS officer is Controller General of Accounts and has a salary fixed higher than that of the Additional Secretaries’ Scale.


This service deals entirely with spacious, well-planned, green, landscaped cantonments. In this service an IDES officer will begin his career in the junior scale, as an Executive Officer in a Class I or a Class II Cantonment. In the Senior Scale he would normally be sent to a Class I Cantonment as an Executive Officer of Assistant Director or Deputy Assistant Director General or Defence Estate Officer. Next promotion in the “Ordinary Grade” (similar to the JAG) will be as Joint Director the designation which he will retain in the Selection Grade as well. After the Selection Grade the IDES Officers are first promoted as Directors (Level I) before they are made Directors (Level III). The latter post is in the Senior Administrative Grade. The top officer is the Director General Defence Estates.


Current Affairs Half Yearly July-December for Civil Services Examination 2020

Current Affairs Yearbook 2020 Useful for UPSC & PSC Exams

Physical Economic and Human Geography of India

Indian Polity for Civil Services Examination

Indian History Complete Study Notes

Indian Art, Culture, Heritage and Architecture for Civil Services Examination

India Yearbook Question Bank: UPSC CSE Prelims Exam 2020

Indian Economy Question Bank: UPSC CSE Prelims 2020

Indian History Question Bank

Indian Geography Question Bank

Indian Polity Topic Wise Question Bank

UPSC IAS Prelims Previous Year Solved Paper 2010-19

Indian Geography-NCERT MCQ Compilation Class 6-12th

Science & Technology Current Affairs Yearbook 2019-20

Geography & Environment Current issues yearbook 2019

Indian Polity and Governance Yearbook 2019-20

2000 MCQ: IAS Preliminary exam 2020

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam 2020 GS Paper Study Material

UPSC IAS Main exam GS Paper-1 Complete study notes

UPSC IAS Main Exam GS Paper-2 Complete Study Notes

UPSC IAS Main Exam GS Paper-3 Complete Study Notes

UPSC IAS Main Exam GS Paper-4 Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

RPSC RAS/RTS Prelims Exam Rajasthan GK Complete Study Material in English

Geography of Rajasthan Complete Study Notes with Practice MCQ

Polity and Administration of Rajasthan Complete Study Notes with MCQ

History of Rajasthan Complete Study Notes with Practice MCQ

Art Culture & Heritage of Rajasthan

Economy of Rajasthan Complete Study Notes with Practice MCQ

Current Affairs Rajasthan Yearbook 2019

Polity & Administration of Rajasthan: RAS Mains Solved Questions-200+

RPSC RAS Mains Exam Solved Questions: Geography of Rajasthan

APPSC Andhra Pradesh Current Affairs Yearbook 2019-20

Haryana Current Affairs Yearbook 2019-20 Updated

UPSC Civil Services Prelims and Mains Exam Syllabus


MYUPSC UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series

Exam Syllabus

S.No. Subject (Paper-I)S.No. Subject (Paper-II)
1. Indian History and Freedom Struggle 1. Decision Making & Problem Solving
2. World and Indian Geography : Physical, Social, Economic, Political Geog. 2. Interpersonal Skill & Communication Skill)
3. Indian Polity : (i) Constitution 3. Comprehension
4. Indian Economy 4. Administrative Analytical Reasoning
5. General Science : (i) Zoology (ii) Botany (iii) Physics and Chemistry 5. Basic Numeracy
6. Bio diversity 6. General Mental Ability
7. Ecology & Environment 7. Data Interpretation
8. Current Events of National and International Importance

Note 1: The CSAT aptitude test or Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) examination will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to sit for the Civil Services (Mains) exam.

Note 2: The questions in both Paper-I (current affairs) and Paper-II (aptitude test) will be of multiple choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours.

Note 3: 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 or she does not appear in both the papers of the (Prelims) exam.

Civil Services Mains Exam 2020 Syllabus

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Paper A – Modern Indian language 300 Marks – Qualifying nature – Marks not counted – Passing mandatory-

Comprehension of given passages.

Precise Writing

Usage and Vocabulary

Short Essay

Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa

Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).

Paper B – English -300 marks – Qualifying nature – Marks not counted- Passing mandatory. The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:-

Comprehension of given passages

Precise Writing

Usage and Vocabulary

Short Essay


Essay – 250 Marks:-

  • To be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice – Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic.
  • The choice of subjects will be given. 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 250 Marks :-( Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

  • 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, 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 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 Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • 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)
  • 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: 250 Marks: – (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, and potential; citizens charters, 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.


General Studies -III 250 Marks :-( Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

  • 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; e-technology 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.
  • Awareness in the fields of 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.


General Studies -IV 250 Marks (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 utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.
  • 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.
  • 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, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion 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.


Optional Subject – Paper I -250 Marks


Optional Subject – Paper II -250 Marks

Marks obtained by the candidates for all papers EXCEPT PAPER -A & B will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination Aspirants can log on to UPSC’s official website ( to see the detailed notification.

Must Read Books For UPSC Prelims

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2020 Complete Study Material GS Paper-1


MYUPSC UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series

Civil Services Examination (CSE): Am I eligible?

“Where do you see yourself when you grow up?”

This is the most cliché question a child must answer. And the most common answer given by children is engineer or doctor (given by the more ambitious ones).

Little do these young ones know about the wonderful job that IAS is? Otherwise, why would we have so many engineers qualifying the Civil Services Examination, Kanishka Kataria Rank 1, and CSE 2019 being the latest example. Ira Singhal, Athar Aamir khan, Srushti Jayant Deshmukh and Akshat Jain are some of the engineer-turned-IAS officers. Dr Shah Faesal and Dr Sheena Aggrawal are the doctor-turned-IAS officers.

Being a civil servant offers something that many top corporate jobs, businesses and even many reputed government jobs can’t.

It could be power, fame, prestige, self-actualization, perks, a grand accommodation, very own staff, an opportunity to serve the nation and comfortable life.

Many young aspirants start preparing for CSE just after completing their intermediate (12th standard).

But it is very vital for a candidate, especially for a fresher to know the right time to take the mother of all examinations.

This is not as simple as it sounds. Many deserving candidates fall short of their attempts because they come to know about the existence of Civil Services Examination (CSE) very late in their life when they are on the verge of completing the maximum age limit.

It takes time to understand the demand for this examination and everybody has his/her speed of assessing their strengths and weaknesses. Having no time or lesser number of attempts due to age issues creates additional pressure on the candidate. Yet the lucky ones can sail through.

Many officers who qualify CSE cannot get the service of their choice since they have crossed the age limit, they can’t give it another shot.

If you are OBC/SC/ST /Physically Handicapped (PH), you should know that you are given extra attempts and extended age limit as compared to the general category students. You can feel thankful about it and start preparing for the exam more rigorously.

If you are a GENERAL category student, you should know that you have limited attempts as compared to others and try cracking the examination in one go.

The point is that it is crucial to know the various eligibility criteria to prepare yourself the best possible way and start at the right time in advance.

Knowing all the UPSC eligibility criteria thoroughly, in fact, makes you smarter and gives you an edge over others who are unaware( believe it or not) because then you can plan your UPSC journey( the journey of a lifetime) in a manner best suitable for you.

In the light of that, below are the various UPSC eligibility criteria you must know to give your best shot.




For Indian administrative service, Indian Foreign Service, & Indian Police Service

  • A candidate must be a citizen of India.

For other services

  • A candidate must be a citizen of India/ Nepal/Bhutan.
  • A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India. or
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, 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.

If you are from Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet or other above-mentioned countries ( having the intention of permanently settling in India), knowing only the fact that you are eligible for such coveted posts will boost your confidence and surely, you would not want to miss this chance.

There are many youngsters from such countries living in India yet unaware of this golden opportunity in their way. 

By studying the job profiles, you are eligible for, you can choose one dream job that drives you crazy and it will motivate you in your hard times throughout the UPSC journey.

A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the Government of India.


You should be at least 21 year of age to sit in the Civil Services Examination. Further, you can give your valid number of attempts till you attain the age of 32 years. (Relaxations described below excluded).

SC/ST Five years
OBC Three years
Defence Services Personnel Three years
Ex-servicemen Five years
Blindness and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, loco motor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy, autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability, mental illness and multiple disabilities including deaf blindness. Ten years
If you are domiciled in State of Jammu and Kashmir Five years



The candidate must hold a degree, or possess an equivalent qualification to fulfil the eligibility criteria for IAS. Your degree should be recognized either by an act of parliament or state legislature or University Grants Commission. With the intention of bringing socio-economic balance in our society, government encourages women to apply for CSE in large numbers.

Candidates who have appeared or intend to appear for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to appear for the Preliminary Examination.

Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination.

The UPSC may in exceptional cases treat a candidate without the foregoing requisite qualification as an eligible candidate if he / she have passed an examination conducted by other institutions, the standard of which justifies his / her admission in the opinion of the Commission.

Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees can also appear for Civil Services Examination.


Every candidate appearing at the examination, who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted six attempts at the examination.
Age Educational Qualification No. of Attempts
General 21-32 Yrs Graduate (any stream) Six
OBC 21-35 Years Graduate (any stream) Nine
SC/ST 21-37 Years Graduate (any stream) Any number of attempts till the age limit


General 21-42 years Nine
OBC 21-42 years Nine
SC/ST 21-47 years Any number of attempts till the age limit

What will count as an attempt at the Civil Services Examination?

An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the Civil Services Examination If:

Appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.

If a candidate just applies for UPSC CSE but don’t appear, that won’t be counted as an attempt by UPSC.

If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he/she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the Examination.


  • A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Foreign Service on the results of an earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to compete at this examination. In case such a candidate is appointed to the IAS/IFS after the Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Examination, 2019 is over and he/she continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be eligible to appear in the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2019 notwithstanding his/her having qualified in the Preliminary Examination, 2019. 
  • Also provided that if such a candidate is appointed to IAS/IFS after the commencement of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2019 but before the result thereof and continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be considered for appointment to any service/post on the basis of the result of this examination viz. Civil Services Examination, 2019.
  • A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Police Service on the results of an earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to opt for the Indian Police Service in Civil Services Examination, 2019.


Candidates must be physically fit for admission to Civil Services Examination, 2019. Guidelines are given in Appendix-III of rules of examination.

These were some of the criteria which will surely help you in a manner that will guide before you start your UPSC journey.