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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 2023 Exam Dates

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

9.      UPSC Posts

10.   Optional Subjects

11.     FAQs

What is UPSC?

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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 Limit 21 to 32 years
Age relaxation As per category (mentioned below)
Educational qualification for UPSC Civil Services Graduation from any recognized university
Nationality Indian

Number of Attempts for UPSC Exam for Any Candidate


    1. For General category and OBC Category and belongs to Creamy layer – 7 Attempts

    1. OBC non-creamy layer – 7 Attempts

    1. 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.

    1. 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 Paper No of Questions Marks Allotted Time Allotted Nature of Exam
Paper I: General Studies (Objective-type) 100 200 2 hours The score will be considered for Cut-off
Paper-II: General Studies-II (CSAT) (Objective-Type) 80 200 2 hours Qualifying Nature- Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify CSAT.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern for Mains Exam
Paper Subject Duration Total marks Nature of paper Type of Paper
Paper A Compulsory Indian language 3 hours 300 Qualifying Descriptive
Paper B English 3 hours 300 Qualifying Descriptive
Paper I Essay 3 hours 250 Merit Descriptive
Paper-II General Studies I 3 hours 250 Merit Descriptive
Paper III General Studies II 3 hours 250 Merit Descriptive
Paper IV General Studies III 3 hours 250 Merit Descriptive
Paper V General Studies IV 3 hours 250 Merit Descriptive
Paper VI Optional I 3 hours 250 Merit Descriptive
Paper VII Optional II 3 hours 250 Merit Descriptive

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 2023 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 2023:

UPSC 2023 Highlights
Notification Availability UPSC will release the official notification in February 2023 in both English and Hindi.
Availability of Application Form February 1, 2023
UPSC 2023 Stages Prelims, Mains and Interview
UPSC 2023 Vacancy Will be announced

UPSC 2023 Important Events Schedule
Availability of UPSC 2023 Notification February 1, 2023
UPSC Form Date 2023 February 1, 2023
UPSC Application Last Date 2023 February 21, 2023
UPSC 2023 Prelims Date May 28, 2023
UPSC Mains 2023 Exam Date September 15, 2023

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.

UPSC Posts – 3 Types of Civil Services


    • All India Civil Services

    • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)

    • Indian Police Service (IPS)

    • Indian Forest Service (IFoS)

    • Group ‘A’ Civil Services


        • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)

        • Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS)

        • Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)

        • Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)

        • Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)

        • Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)

        • Indian Information Service (IIS)

        • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)

        • Indian Communication Finance Services (ICFS)

        • Indian Postal Service (IPoS)

        • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)

        • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)

        • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)

        • Indian Revenue Service (IRS)

        • Indian Trade Service (ITS)

        • Railway Protection Force (RPF)

    • Group ‘B’ Civil Services


        • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service

        • DANICS

        • DANIPS

        • Pondicherry Civil Service

        • Pondicherry Police Service

All India Services

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) One of the three All India Services is the Indian Administrative Service. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the permanent arm of the Indian government and state governments. The IAS cadre is in charge of formulating and enforcing government policies. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is India’s administrative civil service that serves the whole country. The IAS probationers start their training at Mussoorie’s LBSNAA.
Indian Police Service (IPS) Indian Police Service is the one among the three All India Services. IPS officers are trained at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad. The IPS officers occupy senior positions in Police service. The IPS officers occupy senior positions in RAW, IB, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) etc.
Indian Foreign Service (IFS) IFS officials are trained at LBSNAA before moving on to the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi. It is one of the most popular civil services in the Group ‘A’ category. IFS officers are in charge of India’s international affairs. High Commissioners, Ambassadors, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Foreign Secretaries are all possible career paths for IFS officers. A candidate who is accepted into the IFS programme is not eligible to return for the Civil Service Exam.
Indian Forest Service (IFoS) One of the three All India Services is the Indian Forest Service (IFoS). Director General (DG) of Forests is the highest rank held by IFoS personnel serving in the Central Government. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests is the highest rank held by IFoS personnel working for the State Government. The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change oversees the Indian Forest Service Cadre. Officers of the IFoS have the chance to work for a variety of organisations, including the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Indian Revenue Services On a macro level, the Indian Revenue Services include functions such as revenue collection, development, and allocation, as well as security and governance. The officer in charge of this service is in charge of tax administration, as well as the creation and execution of tax and revenue policies, as well as revenue investigations.
Indian Railway Traffic Services Candidates who are selected for this civil service must complete a Railway Foundation Course as well as specialised training in order to serve the Indian railways in important managerial positions. This service’s executives are in charge of passenger transportation as well as the manufacture and sale of goods and output via rail transportation.
Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS) One of the most popular Group ‘A’ civil services is the IA&AS. They begin their education at the NAAA in Shimla. The Comptroller and Auditor General is in charge of this group (CAG). The financial auditing of the Central Government, State Governments, and Public Sector Undertakings is performed by this cadre (PSUs).
Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) This cadre is part of the civil service’s Group ‘A’. They are overseen by the Ministry of Finance. The Controller General of Accounts is in charge of this group. They received their education at the Faridabad-based National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) and the Institute of Government Accounts and Finance.
Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS) The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is in charge of Group ‘A’ services. The primary goal of this service is to oversee India’s corporate sector. Probationary officers are trained at the ICLS Academy, which is located on the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs’ Manesar campus (IICA). Officers of the ICLS would get significant legal, economic, financial, and accounting training.
Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) The Ministry of Defense is in charge of this group. Officers in this cadre receive their first training at CENTRAD in New Delhi. Then there’s NIFM, or the National Academy Of Defence Financial Management Institute, which is based in Pune. Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Ordnance Factories are the principal employers of IDAS cadre officers. The primary goal of this group is to audit defence accounts. The Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) leads the service and also serves as Chief Accounts Officer to the heads of the DRDO, BRO, and Ordnance Factories.
Indian Information Service (IIS) This is the Group ‘A’ service, which is in charge of the Indian government’s media branch. This service’s principal role is to serve as a link between the government and the general public. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting oversees IIS. The Indian Institute of Mass Communication provides first training for this cadre’s trainees (IIMC). Officers from this cadre serve for a variety of media organisations, including DD, PIB, and AIR.


UPSC Optional Subject List and Syllabus

Agriculture Syllabus Zoology Syllabus
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science Syllabus Assamese (Literature) Syllabus
Anthropology Syllabus Bengali (Literature) Syllabus
Botany Syllabus Bodo (Literature) Syllabus
Chemistry Syllabus Dogri (Literature) Syllabus
Civil Engineering Syllabus Gujarati (Literature) Syllabus
Commerce & Accountancy Syllabus Hindi (Literature) Syllabus
Economics Syllabus Kannada (Literature) Syllabus
Electrical Engineering Syllabus Kashmiri (Literature) Syllabus
Geography Syllabus Konkani (Literature) Syllabus
Geology Syllabus Maithili (Literature) Syllabus
History Syllabus Malayalam (Literature) Syllabus
Law Syllabus Manipuri (Literature) Syllabus
Management Syllabus Marathi (Literature) Syllabus
Mathematics Syllabus Nepali (Literature) Syllabus
Mechanical Engineering Syllabus Odia (Literature) Syllabus
Medical Science Syllabus Punjabi (Literature) Syllabus
Philosophy Syllabus Sanskrit (Literature) Syllabus
Physics Syllabus Santhali (Literature) Syllabus
Political Science & International Relations Syllabus Sindhi (Literature) Syllabus
Psychology Syllabus Tamil (Literature) Syllabus
Public Administration Syllabus Telugu (Literature) Syllabus
Sociology Syllabus English (Literature) Syllabus
Statistics Syllabus Urdu (Literature) Syllabus

Download UPSC Syllabus In English 2023 PDF – Click here

Download UPSC Syllabus In Hindi 2023 PDFClick here

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.

UPSC 2023 Exam Highlights | Civil Services Examination

Name of the Exam UPSC Civil Services Examination, 2023
Conducted by Union Public Service Commission
Level National 
Exam Frequency Annual
Mode of the Exam Pen and Paper Mode/Offline
Test Centres Across Nation
Exam Stages 03 Stages- Preliminary Exam, Main Exam, and Personality Test
Application Fee 100/-
Official Website

UPSC Related Articles:

UPSC Exam Preparation GuidanceUPSC Books UPSC Posts – Types of Civil Services
Indian Foreign  UPSC Coaching in Delhi
How To Prepare UPSC Civil Services Mains Paper-II  UPSC Exam Pattern
Why do We Need Coaching for UPSC? Current Affairs For UPSC
UPSC Posts – Types of Civil ServicesIFS Exam IAS Exam Eligibility

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