UPSC Civil Services Eligibility Criteria, Syllabus, Exam Pattern

UPSC Civil Services Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the UPSC Civil Services Examination are detailed below:

Nationality:

  • A candidate must be one of the following:
    • A citizen of India.
    • A subject of Nepal or Bhutan.
    • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India.
    • 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, or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Age Limit for UPSC Civil Services

  • The candidate must be between 21 and 32 years of age as of August 1 of the examination year. There are age relaxations for certain categories:
    • OBC: Up to 35 years.
    • SC/ST: Up to 37 years.
    • Physically Handicapped (General): Up to 42 years.
    • Physically Handicapped (OBC): Up to 45 years.
    • Physically Handicapped (SC/ST): Up to 47 years.

Educational Qualification:

  • A candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. There is no specific percentage or division required for the degree.

Number of Attempts for UPSC Civil Services

  • The number of attempts for the UPSC Civil Services Examination is as follows:
    • General Category: Up to 6 attempts.
    • OBC Category: Up to 9 attempts.
    • SC/ST Category: No restriction on the number of attempts.

Physical Fitness:

  • Candidates must be physically fit as per the physical standards prescribed by the UPSC. They must also submit a certificate of physical fitness as and when required by the Commission.

UPSC Civil Services Syllabus

The UPSC Civil Services Examination covers a vast and diverse range of topics. Here’s a detailed syllabus with all the major topics for the Preliminary Examination and the Main Examination:

Preliminary Exam Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services

Paper 1: General Studies (GS)

  1. Current events of national and international importance:
    • Current affairs.
    • Events of national and international significance.
  2. History of India and the Indian National Movement:
    • Ancient India.
    • Medieval India.
    • Modern India.
    • Indian National Movement.
  3. Indian and World Geography:
    • Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India.
    • Geography of the World.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance:
    • Indian Constitution.
    • Political System.
    • Panchayati Raj.
    • Public Policy.
    • Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development:
    • Sustainable Development.
    • Poverty.
    • Inclusion.
    • Demographics.
    • Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change:
    • General awareness and subject-specific knowledge.
  7. General Science:
    • Basics of science and technology.
    • Developments in various fields of science.

Paper 2: Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

  1. Comprehension:
    • Reading comprehension skills.
  2. Interpersonal skills, including communication skills:
    • Communication abilities.
    • Listening skills.
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability:
    • Logical reasoning.
    • Analytical ability.
  4. Decision-making and problem-solving:
    • Problem-solving skills.
  5. General mental ability:
    • Cognitive abilities.
    • Numerical and data interpretation skills.

Main Exam Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services

The Main Examination consists of nine papers. Here are some major topics covered in these papers:

  • Essay (Paper-I – 250 Marks): Candidates write essays on a variety of topics.
  • General Studies Papers (Paper-I to Paper-IV – 250 Marks each):
    • These papers cover a wide range of topics, including Indian History, Indian Geography, Indian Polity, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations, Ethics, and more.
  • Optional Subject Papers (Paper-I and Paper-II – 250 Marks each):
    • Candidates choose one optional subject from a list provided by UPSC. The syllabus for optional subjects varies widely and can include subjects like History, Geography, Sociology, Public Administration, Economics, and many others.

Please note that the syllabus for the UPSC Civil Services Examination is vast, and candidates are expected to have a deep understanding of a wide range of subjects. It’s important to thoroughly study the topics mentioned in the syllabus, practice answer writing, and stay updated with current affairs to perform well in this competitive examination.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern

The UPSC Civil Services Examination consists of three stages: the Preliminary Examination, the Main Examination, and the Personality Test/Interview. Below, I’ll provide a detailed overview of the exam pattern for each stage:

1. Preliminary Exam

The Preliminary Examination, also known as the Civil Services Prelims, consists of two papers:

Paper I: General Studies (GS)

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Total Marks: 200 marks
  • Type of Questions: Objective-type multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
  • Total Questions: Approximately 100 questions

Paper II: Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Total Marks: 200 marks
  • Type of Questions: Objective-type multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
  • Total Questions: Approximately 80 questions

Note:

  • Paper-II (CSAT) is a qualifying paper with a minimum qualifying mark of 33%. However, its marks are not counted for ranking in the Preliminary Examination.
  • Negative marking is applicable in Paper I.

2. Main Exam

The Main Examination is a written examination and consists of nine papers. The papers include:

  • Essay (250 marks)
  • General Studies Paper I (250 marks)
  • General Studies Paper II (250 marks)
  • General Studies Paper III (250 marks)
  • General Studies Paper IV (250 marks)
  • Optional Subject Paper I (250 marks)
  • Optional Subject Paper II (250 marks)
  • Indian Language (Qualifying) Paper (300 marks)
  • English (Qualifying) Paper (300 marks)

3. Personality Test / Interview:

The Personality Test/Interview assesses the candidate’s suitability for a career in the Civil Services. It is conducted by a panel of experts and may include questions related to general awareness, current affairs, and the candidate’s specific subject knowledge. The interview carries a total of 275 marks.

4. Final Selection:

The final selection is based on the marks obtained in the Main Examination (excluding the qualifying papers on Indian Language and English) and the Personality Test/Interview. The Preliminary Examination is a screening test, and its marks are not counted for the final merit list.

Important Points:

  • Candidates who clear the Preliminary Examination are eligible to appear for the Main Examination.
  • The choice of optional subjects in the Main Examination is based on the candidate’s preferences and qualifications.
  • The final ranking of candidates is determined based on the total marks obtained in the Main Examination and the Personality Test/Interview.

The UPSC Civil Services Examination is known for its rigorous and competitive nature. Candidates should prepare thoroughly by studying the detailed syllabus, practicing previous years’ question papers, and developing a comprehensive strategy to succeed in this prestigious examination.

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