Table of Content: –

1.     What is UPSC?

2.     History

3.     What are the Functions of UPSC?

4.     Which Examinations are conducted by UPSC?

5.     UPSC Eligibility Criteria

6.     UPSC Exam Pattern

7.     UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021 Exam Dates

8.     What is the difference between UPSC and State PSC?

9.     FAQs

What is UPSC?

The Full form of UPSC is Union Public Service Commission. One of the most competitive and prestigious exams, civil services, is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), India’s major regulating body. UPSC also conducts a number of competitive exams to fill-in various civil service vacancies for the government of India.

The UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE), popularly known as IAS (Indian Administrative Service) exam. It is conducted in two phases namely- UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains. The prelims exam comprises objective-type questions, while the questions asked in mains need descriptive and essay-type answering. The UPSC is responsible for conducting various examinations for the post like IAS, IPS, IFS etc.


The British East India Company introduced the concept of a Civil Service exam in 1854. Initially, the examinations for the Indian Civil Service were conducted only in London. In 1864, the first Indian, Shri Satyendranath Tagore brother of Shri Rabindranath Tagore succeeded in this exam. It was only after the Montagu Chelmsford reforms that Indian civil service exams began to be held in India.

The Public Service Commission was set up in India for the first time on October 1, 1926. Sir Ross Barker, member of the Home Civil Service, United Kingdom was the first Chairman of the Commission. With the introduction of the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950, the Federal Public Service Commission came to be recognized as the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Hence, UPSC was formed as the central commission for conducting government job examinations.

What are the Functions of UPSC?

The functions of the UPSC under Article 320 of the Constitution include the following:

1.     Framing and amendment of the Recruitment Rules for services and posts under the Government.

3.     Conduct the recruitment examinations for appointment to the services of the Union.

4.     Direct recruitment of aspirants by selection through interviews.

5.     Appointment of officers in the cadre on promotion/deputation/ absorption.

6.     Advising the Government on any matter assigned to the Commission by the President of India.

Which Examinations are conducted by UPSC?

To understand UPSC, you must know the examinations conducted by the UPSC. Here is the list of exams conducted by UPSC:

1.     National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination (NDA)

2.     Indian Statistical Service Examination (ISS)

3.     Indian Economic Service Examination (IES)

4.     Indian Forest Service Examination (IFS)

5.     Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination

6.     Indian Civil Services Examination (ICSE) for recruitment to IAS, IPS, IRS, etc officers

7.     Indian Engineering Services Examination

8.     Combined Medical Services Examination

9.     Central Armed Police Forces (ACs) Examination

10.  Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS)

11.  Various Recruitment Tests for UPSC EPFO, other exams

UPSC Eligibility Criteria

Broadly, you need to qualify the below-mentioned parameters in order to apply for the UPSC Civil Services Examination.

IAS Age Limit21 to 32 years
Age relaxationAs per category (mentioned below)
Educational qualification for UPSC Civil ServicesGraduation from any recognized university

Number of Attempts for UPSC Exam for Any Candidate

  1. For General category and OBC Category and belongs to Creamy layer – 7 Attempts
  2. OBC non-creamy layer – 7 Attempts
  3. For Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe classification hopefuls there is no restriction on the number of attempts till they accomplish the age of 35 years.
  4. Candidates having a place with OBC/SC/ST can give the initial 4 attempts as General class competitors (on the off chance that they so crave) and from there on they can profit the unwinding in the number of attempts by availing the category relaxation.

UPSC Exam Pattern

UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern for Prelims Exam
Name of the PaperNo of QuestionsMarks AllottedTime AllottedNature of Exam
Paper I: General Studies (Objective-type)1002002 hoursThe score will be considered for Cut-off
Paper-II: General Studies-II (CSAT) (Objective-Type)802002 hoursQualifying Nature- Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify CSAT.
UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern for Mains Exam
PaperSubjectDurationTotal marksNature of paperType of Paper
Paper ACompulsory Indian language3 hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper BEnglish3 hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper IEssay3 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper-IIGeneral Studies I3 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper VIOptional I3 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper VIIOptional II3 hours250MeritDescriptive

IAS Exam Pattern for Personality Test

  • All candidates who secured the cutoff marks of the Mains examination will proceed towards the Personality Test.
  • This would include the Psychometric Test, Assessment Test as well as Personal Interview.
  • The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The candidate will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
  • The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate.
  • In broad terms, this is an assessment of not only the candidate’s intellectual qualities but also his social traits and his interest in current affairs.

UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021 Exam Dates

The deadline for applying for UPSC Exam 2021 is already over. Take a look at the important dates for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021:

Release of Notification – UPSC CSE 202104.03.2021
UPSC Online Registration for UPSC CSE 2021 (Begins on)04.03.2021
Deadline to Apply for UPSC CSE 202124.03.2021
UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 Exam10th October 2021
UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 ResultWill be announced later
UPSC CSE Mains 2021 ExamWill be announced later

What is the difference between UPSC and State PSC?

UPSC (Union Public Service Commission)State PSC (State Public Service Commission)
UPSC is a constitutional body under Article 315 of the Indian Constitution.All-State PSCs are also a constitutional body under Article 315 of the Constitution of India.
There are no other branches of the Union Public Service Commission in India.Every state of India consists of a State Public Service Commission.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is made of a chairman and other members.A State Public Service Commission (SPSC) is also made of a chairman and other members.
The members of the UPSC are appointed by the President.The members of the State Commission are appointed by the Governor of the respective state.
The Chairman and members of the Union Public Service Commission are appointed for a term of six years or till the age of 65 years.The Chairman and members of the State Public Service Commission are appointed for a term of six years or till the age of 62 years.
The UPSC submits an annual report to the President consisting of all the work details done by the Commission.The State Public Service Commission, annually, submits a report to the Governor on its performance.

FAQ: –

1. When is the Examination Notice issued?

Answer –   UPSC Examination Notices encapsulate the Rules of Examinations notified by the Government. Examination Notices of all the 13 Structured Examinations are uploaded on the Commission’s website around 3 months before the date of Examination. Examination Notices (indicative) are also published in the Employment News/Rozgar Samachar. 

2. What is the UPSC’s Annual Programme (Calendar) of Examinations/RTs (Recruitment Tests)?

Answer – The UPSC publishes an Annual Programme (Calendar) of all the Structured Examinations/RTs conducted by it at least 6 months in advance (i.e. in June) for the Examinations/RTs to be conducted during the next calendar year. The Programme is uploaded on the UPSC’s website as also published in the leading newspapers of the country. The date of issue of Examination Notice for each Examination is also mentioned in this Annual Programme.

3. How to apply for Examinations conducted by the UPSC?

Answer – Candidates can apply online for the UPSC Examinations by accessing the online portal hosted on the UPSC’s website (

4. When are the e-Admit Cards issued?

Answer – The eligible candidates are issued e-Admit Cards around three weeks before the commencement of the Examination. The e-Admit Cards are made available on the UPSC website [] for downloading by the candidates. The Admit Card is not sent by post.

5. What is the procedure adopted for allotment of Roll Numbers, Centre and Venues to the candidates?

Answer – Allotment of Roll Numbers and Venues to the eligible candidates is carried out though computer in a random manner without manual intervention. The Commission makes all efforts to allot the candidate the Centre of his/her choice, which is done on the “first-apply-first allot” basis

6. Are requests for change of Centre/ Venue accepted?

Answer – The candidates should note that no request for change of Centre / Venue is accepted.

7. Can a candidate appear at a Centre/Venue other than the Venue mentioned his/her e-Admit Card?

Answer – No candidate is allowed to appear at a Centre/Venue other than the Centre/Venue mentioned by the Commission in his/her e-Admit Card. If a candidate appears at such a Centre/Venue (except by a court order), the papers of that candidate shall not be evaluated and his/her candidature will be liable for cancellation.

8. Is there any negative marking at the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination?

Answer – Candidates should note that there is penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Page 12 of 19 Examination. There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. (i) For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (1/3rd) of the marks assigned to that question is deducted as penalty. (ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it is treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question. (iii) If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate; there will be no penalty for that question

9. Who are the Cadre Controlling Authorities for the IAS/IPS/IFS?

Answer – The Central Government is the Cadre Controlling Authority for the three All India Services. In terms of the provisions of the respective IAS/IPS/IFS Promotion Regulations, the Central Government means Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Personnel & Training for IAS, Ministry of Home Affairs for IPS and Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change for IFS. The vacancies to be filled under the Promotion Quota for each year are determined by the Central Government in consultation with the respective State Government and the final appointments are also made by the Central Government.

10. What is the role of the UPSC in promotion/selection to the All India Services?

Answer – Once the vacancies for promotion/selection to the All India Services  have been determined by the respective Cadre Controlling Authorities in consultation with the State Governments concerned, the State Government forwards the proposal for promotion/selection for the relevant year(s) to the Commission through the Single Window System.

11. Who does play the role of State Government for Union Territories (UT)?

Answer – For promotions to UT segment of Joint AGMUT Cadre the State Government means Ministry of Home Affairs for IAS and IPS and the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change for IFS.

Is it essential to carry Photo ID Card for appearing at an Examination/Interview? Answer – The applicant is required to fill in the number of the Photo ID Card (viz. Aadhaar Card/Voter Card/PAN Card/Passport/Driving Licence/Any other Photo ID Card issued by the Central/State/UT Government) and to upload the same while filling up the online application form of an Examination of the Commission.

12. Not submitting the choice of Centre.

Answer – The online system will not allow the candidate to submit the form if he/she has left the choice of Centre blank in Part II and status of the application will remain “not submitted”. Thus, he/she will not be the candidate of that particular Examination. Therefore, candidates are advised to click on the “submit” button after selecting the Examination Centre.

13. If a candidate has applied for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination but has not appeared at any paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, will it be counted as an attempt?

Answer – No, an attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.