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Indian Civil services; Plan of Examination

Author: Guest, Posted on Thursday, May 15 @ 00:00:00 IST by RxPG  

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IAS and Civil Services

1. 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.

2. The Preliminary Examination will consists of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 450 marks in the subjects set out in sub-section (A) of Section II. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of cacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services. Only these candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary examination in a year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examinatio of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

3. The Main Examination will consist of a written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type in the subjects set out in sub-section (B) of Section II. Also see Note (ii) under para 1 of Section II(B)

4. Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned be them for an interview for a Personality Test vide sub-section "C" of Section II. However, the papers on Indian Languages and English will be a qualifying nature. Also see Note (ii) under para 1 of Section II (B). The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking. the number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 300 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks)

Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.

Section II

Scheme and subjects for the Preliminary and Main Examinations.

A. Preliminary Examination

The examination will consist of two papers.

Paper I General Studies 150 marks

Paper II One Optional subject selected 300 marks

Total 450 marks

2. List of optional subjects


Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science



Civil Engineering



Electrical Engineering



Indian History

Law Mathematics

Mechanical Engineering

Medical Science



Polical Science


Public Administration

Sciology Statistics


Note : (i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions).

(ii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.

(iii) The course content of the syllabi for the optional subjects will be of the degree level. Details of the syllabi are indicated in Part A of Section III

(iv) Each paper will be of two hours duration.

B. Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following papers :

Paper 1 One of the Indian 300 marks

Language to be selected by the candidates from the Languages included in the English Schedule to the Constitution.

Paper II English 300 marks

Paper III Essay 200 marks

Papers General Studies

IV and V for each paper

Papers Any two subjects to 300 marks

VI, VII, VIII be selected from

and IX the list of the optional subjects set out in para 2 below. Each subject will have two papers. Interview Test will carry 300 marks

Note : (i) The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature; the marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

(ii) The papers of Essay. General studies and Optional Subjects of only such candidates will be evaluated as attain such minimum standard as may be fixed by the Commission in their discretion for the qualifying papers on Indian Language and English.

(iii) The paper 1 on Indian languages will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North-Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also for candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim.

(iv) For the Language papers, the script to be used by the candidates will as under :-

Language Script

Assamese Assamese

Bengali Bengali

Gujarati Gujarati

Hindi Devanagari

Kannada Kannada

Kashmiri Persian

Konkani Devanagari

Malayalam Malayalam

Manipuri Bengali

Marathi Devnagari

Nepali Devnagari

Oriya Oriya

Punjabi Gurmukhi

Sanskrit Devnagari

Sindhi Devanagari or Arabic

Tamil Tamil

Telugu Telugu

Urdu Persian

2. List of optional subjects :


Animal Husbandary & Veterinary Science




Civil Engineering

Commerce and Accountancy


Electriical Engineering







Mechanical Engineering

Medical Science



Politcal Science and International Relations


Public Administration




Literature of one of the following languages Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannade, Kashmiri, Marathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Rusian, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu.

Note : (i) Candidates will not be allowed to offer the following combinations of subjects

(a) Political Science & International Relations and Public Adminstration ;

(b) Commerce & accountancy and management;

(c) Anthropology and Sociology;

(d) Mathematics and Statistics

(e) Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science;

(f) Management and Public Administration;

(g) Of the Engineering subject, viz, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering - not more than one subject.

(h) Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science and Medical Science.

(ii) The question papes for the examination willl be of conventional (essay) type.

(iii) Each paper will be of three hours duration.

(iv) Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the language papers viz. Paper I and Ii above in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schadule to the Constitution or in English.

(v) Candidates exercising the option to answer papers III to IX in any one of the languages included in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the tgechnical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them.

Candidates should, however, note that if they misuse the above rule, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to them and in extreme cases, their script(s) will not be valued for being in an unauthorised medium.

(vi) The question papers other than language papers will be set both in Hindi and English.

(vii) The details of the syllabi are set out in Part B of Section III.

General :

(i) Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances be they will allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them. However, visually handicapped (blind or partially blind) candidates will be allowed to write the examination with the help of a scribe.

Note : The eligibility conditions of a scribe, his/her conduct inside the examination half and the manner in which and extent to which he/she, can help the visually handicapped in writing the Civil Services Examination shall be governed by the instructions issued by the UPSC in this regard. Violation of all or any of he said instructions shall entail the cancellation of the candidature of the visually handicapped candidate in addition to any other action that the UPSC may take against the scribe.

(ii) The commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the examination.

(iii) If a candidate's hand writing is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.

(iv) Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.

(v) Credit will be given for orderly effective and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.

(vi) In the question papes, wherever necessary questions involving the Metric System of weights and measures only will be set.

(vii) Candidates are premitted to bring and use battery operated pocket calculators for conventional (essay) type papers only. Loaning or interchanging of calculations in the Examination Hall is not permitted.

It is also important to not that candidates are not permitted to use calculator for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not therefore bring the same inside the Examination Hall.

C. Interview Test

1. The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbaised observers the test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his itellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to obe judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimitation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest ability for social cohension and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

2. The technique of the interview is not that of which to intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

3. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should arouse the curiosity of well educated youth.


Syllabi for the examination Part A - Priliminary Examination

Compulsory Subject

General Studies (Code No. 99)

The paper on general studies will include questions covering the following fields of knowledge. General Science

Current events of national and international importance, History of India.

World Geography.

Indian Policy and Exonomy

Indian National Movement and also Questions on General Mental Ability

Questions on General Science will cover general appreciation and understanding of science including matters of everday observation and experience as may be expected of a well educated person who has not trade a special study of any in History emphasis will not on broad general understanding of the subject in its social economic and political aspects. In Geography emphasis will relate to physical social and economic Geography of the country, including the main features of Indian agricultural and natural resources. Questions on Indian Policy and Economy will test knowledge on the contry's political system. Panchayati Raj community development and planning in India. Questions on the Indian National Movement will relate to the nature and character of the nineteenth century resurgence growth of nationalism and attainment of Idepdndence.

4 (Excellent) 3(Good) 2(Good) 1(Bad)   

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