Annually, the UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) to shortlist the candidates for more than 20 services, such as IAS, IPS and IFS. On an average, more than eight lakh candidates register for the IAS exam and around five lakh candidates appear for the examination. 

The selection of the candidates will be made through the preliminary exam, main examination and an interview/personality test. This year-long selection process will begin in the month of June and conclude in April. The final merit list for the CSE will be released in May.

IAS (Indian Administrative Services)

The Indian Administrative Service is the premier administrative civil service of the Government of India.

It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment of officers for the All India Administrative Civil Service.

Members of these services serve the Government of India as well as the individual states. IAS officers are also deployed to various government establishments such as constitutional bodies, staff & line agencies, auxiliary bodies, public sector units, regulatory bodies, statutory bodies and autonomous bodies.

Upon confirmation of service, an IAS officer serves a probationary period as a sub-divisional magistrate. Completion of this probation is followed by an executive administrative role in a district as a district magistrate and collector which lasts several years. After this tenure, an officer may be promoted to head a whole state administrative division, as a divisional commissioner.

IAS 2022 Notification

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IAS 2022 Exam Eligibility

(i). Minimum Educational Qualification - A candidate must hold a graduate degree of any of the Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 or possess an equivalent qualification.

(ii) Age and Attempts

Category Upper Age limit for UPSC Maximum Number of Attempts
General 32 6
Economically Weaker Section (EWS) 32 6
OBC 35 9
SC/ST 37 Up to Age limit
Defence Services Personnel 35 9
Persons with Benchmark Disability 35 9

IAS Exam Pattern


Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is conducted by UPSC after the notification of IAS recruitment.

Paper Section Maximum Marks No. of Questions Time Allotted
Paper- I (Merit) General Studies I 200 100 2 Hours
Paper- II ( 33% or 66 Marks for Qualifying) General Studies II Or CSAT 200 80 2 Hours

Note: 1. All questions will be of equal marks and multiple choice (objective) type.
          2. For every wrong answer, 1/3 mark will be deducted.

Mains Examination

The Main Exam is conducted every year over week a week in September. It is a conventional type examination, where a candidate has to write his/her own answers. The main examination consists of:

Paper Section Maximum Marks Time Allotted
Qualifying Paper- I Indian Language 300 3 Hours
Qualifying Paper- II English 300 3 hours
Paper- I Essay in English or any Indian Language 250 3 hours
Paper- II G.S Paper I 250 3 hours
Paper- III G.S Paper II 250 3 Hours
Paper- IV G.S Paper III 250 3 Hours
Paper- V G.S Paper IV 250 3 Hours
Paper- VI  & VII Optional I 250 3 Hours
Optional II 250 3 Hours

(Note: Paper I & II are of Plus Two standard and are qualifying in nature. Their marks are not taken into consideration for final ranking)

The Main Exam carries 1750 marks that are counted for the final ranking. The results are announced by the end of December or early January of the following year. The Main Exam is the real test for the candidates taking the CSE. Interviews are held from February to April. It carries 275 marks and the ranking of the candidates in CSE is based on 1750 + 275 = 2025 marks. The final result with the ranking are announced by the UPSC in the second week of April. All candidates whose names are found in the merit list will get allotted to any of the Civil Services, based on the ranks they procure.

IAS Interview

The Personality Test is intended to assess the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is an assessment of not only the candidate's intellectual qualities but also his/her social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities that are assessed are: mental alertness, critical power of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion & leadership and moral integrity. 

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural and purposive conversation. It is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has already been 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 a well educated youth.

What the Institute attempts to help is to enable a candidate to appear before the interview board equipped with adequate knowledge, confidence and composure, by providing a personal session with an expert and two mock interview sessions before a panel of experts. After the mock sittings, a candidate is given a fair and candid assessment of his/her performance indicating his/her strengths and weaknesses with suggestions for improvement.

IAS Important Dates

Civil Services Examination, 2023
Notification 01.02.2023
Last Date for Receipt of Application 21.02.2023
Preliminary Examination 28.05.2023 (Sunday) (1 Day)
Main Examination 15.09.2023 (Friday) (5 Days)

IAS Preliminary Exam Syllabus

Paper I -(200 marks) Duration: Two hours

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

Paper II-(200 marks) Duration : Two hours

  • Comprehension;
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
  • Decision making and problem solving;
  • General mental ability;
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level);

Note :
1. Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
2. The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
3. It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

IAS Mains Exam Syllabus

Qualifying Paper- I & II

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates' ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian language concerned.
The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

Qualifying Paper- I

Indian Languages :
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.
(v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

Qualifying Paper- II

English :
(I) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.

Note :
1. The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
2. The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).

Paper – I

Essay :
Essay in English or any Indian Language Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

Paper – II

General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women's organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of world's physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

Paper – III

General Studies-II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
  • Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity. Salient features of the Representation of People's Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Paper – IV

General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country,- different types of irrigation and irrigation systems, storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope' and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money laundering and its prevention.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Paper – V

General Studies-IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

  • This paper will include questions to test the candidates' attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered :
  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen's Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.

Paper – VI & VII

Optional Subject Papers I & II

Candidate may choose any optional subject from amongst the List of Optional Subjects given below.

(i) Agriculture
(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
(iii) Anthropology
(iv) Botany
(v) Chemistry
(vi) Civil Engineering
(vii) Commerce and Accountancy
(viii) Economics
(ix) Electrical Engineering
(x) Geography
(xi) Geology
(xii) History
(xiii) Law
(xiv) Management
(xv) Mathematics
(xvi) Mechanical Engineering
(xvii) Medical Science
(xviii) Philosophy
(xix) Physics
(xx) Political Science and International Relations
(xxi) Psychology
(xxii) Public Administration
(xxiii) Sociology
(xxiv) Statistics
(xxv) Zoology
(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

IAS Posts

(I) All India Civil Services
1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
2. Indian Police Service (IPS)
3. Indian Forest Service (IFoS)

(II) Group 'A' Civil Services
1. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
2. Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS)
3. Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
4. Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
5. Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
6. Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
7. Indian Information Service (IIS)
8. Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
9. Indian Communication Finance Services (ICFS)
10. Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
11. Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
12. Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
13. Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
14. Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
15. Indian Trade Service (ITS)
16. Railway Protection Force (RPF)

(III) Group 'B' Civil Services
17. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service

Cut Off – Civil Services Examination, 2021

UPSC Cut Off – IAS Prelims 2021

Category UPSC Cut Off
General 87.54
EWS 80.14
OBC 84.85
SC 75.41
ST 70.71
PwBD-1 68.02
PwBD-2 67.33
PwBD-3 43.09
PwBD-4 45.80

UPSC Cut Off – IAS Mains 2021

Category UPSC Cut Off
General 745
EWS 713
OBC 707
SC 700
ST 700
PwBD-1 668
PwBD-2 712
PwBD-3 388
PwBD-4 560

UPSC Cut Off – IAS Final 2021

Category UPSC Cut Off
General 953
EWS 916
OBC 910
SC 886
ST 883
PwBD-1 892
PwBD-2 932
PwBD-3 689
PwBD-4 701

Classroom Courses


IAS Foundation

Graduate Students
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IAS Foundation

Graduate Students
(Duration : 36 Months)

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