The Nature of UPSC Exam

UPSC (Union Public Service commission) holds civil services, IAS exam every year. The exam pattern mainly involves three stages: The prelims stage, the Mains Exam and the personality interview. All the three stages are carried out by UPSC.

Three Stages of IAS Exam

The Prelims Stage    The Mains Examination   The Personality Interview

First stage of IAS Exam Pattern

The preliminary is the initial level of the civil service exam. It’s generally conducted around second or third Sunday of May every year. While, around one and a half lac of population, hoping to be an IAS takes part in the examination, a few of them are able to crack it. The prelims include two papers carrying two hundred marks. This paper is expected to cover the questions about GK, economics, history, Geography, political science, etc. Prelims results are announced during the second week of August positively and the passing students get eligible to appear in the second level of the examination.

Second stage of IAS examination

The second level of the examination is named as the Mains exam. This examination consists of 2000 marks. The candidate must bear in mind that the score of the first and second level of examination is not considered for the final merit list. The candidates are supposed to pick out any two optional papers for Civil Services Mains, whereas GS and Essay are general for all the candidates. Besides, one Indian language paper, English is also compulsory for the candidates.

However, the scores are not taken into account for merit determination.

Third stage of IAS examination

The third stage of IAS examination is the personality Interview round. Only the candidates who score well and pass the MAINS examination are eligible to appear in the final stage of the IAS Examination. A board of experts sits in the Union Public Service commission headquarters placed on Shahjahan Road, New Delhi. Generally, very few of the candidates are given a final call for this final stage. The personality interviews start almost in the last week of March and continue till the initial week of May.

The results for the same are out, when the next year exams of IAS are about to start, i.e. a few days before the preliminary examination. Thus, the whole procedure takes around a year.

Types of Services UPSC Offers
Civil Service exams open doors to many services. Below is the list of services that UPSC offers.

All India Services

1. Indian Administrative Service
2. Indian Police Service

Group A Services

1. Indian Foreign Service
2. Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service
3. Indian Audit and Accounts Service
4. Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
5. Indian Defence Accounts Service
6. Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
7. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
8. Indian Postal Service
9. Indian Civil Accounts Service
10. Indian Railway Traffic Service
11. Indian Railway Accounts Service
12. Indian Railway Personnel Service
13. Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force
14. Indian Defence Estates Service
15. Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
16. Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III)
17. Indian Corporate Law Service

Group - B Services

1. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer's Grade)
2. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
3. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
4. Pondicherry Civil Service
5. Pondicherry Police Service

Indian Forest Service

Salary Scales of an IAS Officer:

Although private sectors may offer healthy packages, but a huge list of candidates do not hesitate to leave their comfortable jobs to enter in the public employment sector. The reason is that the candidates don’t choose the Government sectors merely for the salary or the perks. Government services actually matter a lot and have a lot more facilities to provide its employees. Now, saying this doesn’t mean that the Government offers reduced amount of packages, obviously not!
Salary scale of the Public employees differs according to the post and other criteria.

IAS salary structure comprises of different pay scales: Junior Scale, Senior Scales, Super Time Scale, Above Super Time Scales etc. Every pay scale advances with different pay bands.

1. Junior Scale: Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 plus Grade Pay Rs 5400
2. Senior Time Scale: Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 plus Grade Pay Rs 6600
3. Junior Administrative Grade: Pay Band: Rs 15600-39100 plus Grade Pay Rs 7600
4. Selection Grade: Pay Band: Rs 37400-67000 plus Grade Pay Rs 8700
5. Super Time Scale: Pay Band: Rs 37400-67000 plus Grade Pay Rs 10000
6. Above Super Time Scale
• Rs 37400-67000. Plus Grade Pay of Rs 12000.
• The Apex Pay Scale of Rs 80000 (fixed). No Grade Pay.
• Cabinet Secretary Grade of Rs 90000 (fixed). No Grade Pay.

Understanding the IAS officer’s salary and allowances

The above mentioned chart reflects on the basic salaries. You may also get enabled to acquire HRA (40% of Basic or official accommodation), DA (the DA has increased from 72% in 2012 to 107% of Basic Salary in 2015), TA etc. DA is revised on half yearly (January and July every year) basis depending on the inflation index. Not only this, one can also anticipate further increase in package once the 7th pay commission reports are accepted.

An Approx Division of Scales of IAS officers
1. Junior Scales (0-4 years)
2. Senior Scales (4-9 years)
3. ->Senior Time scale (4 years+)
4. ->Junior Administrative grade (9 years+)
5. Selection Grade (13 years+)
6. Super Times Scale(16 year+)
7. Above Super Time Scale(25 years+)

Number of Attempts:

• Every candidate from general category who has satisfied all other eligibility criteria is allowed to sit in the UPSC examination for 6 times.

• For the candidates belonging to other backward classes, the number of attempt is extended to nine who are otherwise eligible to appear in the examination.

• For Scheduled castes or scheduled tribes there is no limitation of the attempts. They can appear in the UPSC examination until and unless they don’t reach the age limit prescribed by the committee.

• If in case the candidate is eligible to avail of reservation applicability, he/she shall be given relaxation.

• A physically handicapped candidate belonging to general as well as other backward categories will be eligible for nine attempts.

• A physically handicapped candidate belonging to the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe has opportunity to take the examination endless times till the age of 47.

• The relaxation will be offered to the physically handicapped candidates who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.


• If any candidate once appears in the preliminary examination, it will be considered as an attempt.

• If any candidate has filled the application form, but due to one or the other reason could not appear in the prelims, for him/her it will not be counted as an attempt.

Centers for UPSC examination

The Union Public service commission has made the arrangement of IAS exam in different regions of India for potential aspirants of civil services exam 2015. The UPSC has put in most of the efforts in ensuring the mass that there are exam centers in almost all the state capital cities. This facility has made it easy for the candidates to choose the examination center of their convenience. Candidates require filling in the examination center details carefully while filling the application form for the civil services. Following is the list of the places where the examination centers for civil services exam 2015 will be held.






There is a possibility of change in the center of examination if the commission proclaims it. Whereas, the commission will put in all the efforts to allocate the center chosen by the candidate only, but if in case circumstances are not in favor, the candidates can be asked to appear for the examination at the suggested center by the commission.

However, blind candidates are required to choose any one examination center out of the seven provided: Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dispur and Chennai. If in case there are any changes of any change of the examination center, the candidates will be informed accordingly.

Note: Candidates will not be allowed to make any changes in the center already granted.

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Examination
It is important for the candidates appearing in UPSC to know the eligibility criteria for admission to UPSC examination. The candidates need to satisfy all the eligibility conditions to be the part of it. After filling all the eligibility certificates, commission does not assure that your application has been accepted by them. They take up the charge of verifying the eligibility conditions by cross checking your original documents, once you qualify the interview/ personality test. The detailed information about the eligibility criteria for civil services examination is given below:

Age eligibility:

According to the information shared on the website of the Department of Administrative Reform, the maximum age limit for SC/ST category is 37 years, for OBC category it is 35 years and finally for general or the unreserved category, the age limit is 32 years.

Number of attempts:

Candidates of SC/ST category are allowed to appear in the exam as many times as they wish to as there is no limit to them till they turn 37 in age. For OBC candidates the number of attempts allowed are 9 and for general category candidates 6 attempts are allowed.

Age eligibility and number of attempts allowed for physically challenged:

Age limit for physically handicapped candidates is 47, 45 and 42 for SCD/ST, OBC and General category. While the number of attempts allowed are 9 for General and OBC both and unlimited for SC/ST category.

Scholastic Eligibility for IAS Exams

All candidates must have Candidates must have at least the following certificates of education.
• A degree from deemed university, may it be central or state
• A degree from a distance or correspondence education institution.
• A degree received from the Open University.
• Qualification recognized by the Government of India
• Candidates willing to appear in the examination and are awaiting results are eligible to sit in the prelims. Qualifying candidates of prelims examination are asked for the proof of passing the said examination together with the application form of appearing in the MAINS, i.e. the second level of examination.
• Candidates who have passed the examination conducted by another institution or some standardized institution are not required to go through the prerequisites, as the commission approve their eligibility including and treat them as exceptional cases.
• Candidates having technical or professional degrees recognized by the Government equal to the proficient and the scientific degrees.
• Candidates having passed MBBS or any Medical Examination but are not done with the internship program are eligible for the MAINS examination. However, they are required to submit the certificates from the concerned university or institution as an evidence of the completion of final professional medical examination. Finally, at the interview stage the candidates are required to submit all the certificates including internship certificates.
• A candidate who is appointed to the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) or IFS (Indian Foreign Service) based on the results of earlier examination result and continues to be the part of service is not eligible to compete at this examination.

Additional Eligibility Conditions for IAS Exams


a. The candidate must be Indian for appearing in the Indian Administrative service or In Indian Police Services.
b. For additional services, a candidate must be either :—

1. A citizen of India, or
2. Resident of Nepal, or
3. Subject of Bhutan, or
4. A Tibetan immigrant who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
5. 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.
c. Provided that a candidate belonging to categories last four categories shall be a person, holding a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India.
d. Note: The candidates belonging to the 3rd, 4th and 5th categories will not be above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.
e. If in case there is any candidate in whose case, certificate of eligibility is essential, may get admission to the examination, but appointment offer is given only after the essential eligibility certificates is issued to him/ her by the Indian Government.

How to apply for Civil Services

This year application procedure for Civil Services Examination has changed. Now, it’s no longer the time to post your application forms, all you need to do is apply online for it. There’s no other mode to apply for UPSC examination. Simply visit the website The candidates are required to fill in the application form and submit it before the due date. They will be issued E admission certificates 3 weeks prior to the final date of examination. Candidates can also get their E admission certificate on the website It can be easily downloaded from there. Remember, there is no service to post your Admission certificate by post.


(a) Candidates can apply online using the website Detailed information for filling up the application form is visible on the website. It is advisable to fill only one application form. However, in some cases if there is any need to fill in multiple number of application forms, it is very important for the aspirant to fill in all the details carefully. Candidates must bear in mind that if they are filling multiple number of application forms, in that case only the applications with higher level of registration ID will be entertained. Candidate will have to pay fee for every RID.

(b) All the candidates, even if they are already in government services, government owned industrial responsibilities, in other such organizations or in private employment sector need to submit their application forms directly to the commission persons already in Government services at any post. They are however, required to submit an undertaking in writing that they have informed in writing to their Head of Office/ department that they have applied for the


Candidate must be careful enough before submitting choosing the center of examination. He /She is supposed to reach the indicated place only. If in case they reach some other place, they will not be allowed to take the exam and their application will be cancelled.


Candidates need not to submit any certificate along with their application forms declaring their age, educational qualifications, caste, tribe or anything. These certificates are verified at the time of MAINS exam only.


Candidates need to make sure that they fill all the eligibility conditions to take admission in the examination.


Commission states that admission to all the stages of examination is purely provisional.


If in case, at the time of verification before or after any stage of the exam candidate fails to fulfill any of the eligibility conditions, their application will be cancelled.