The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is an all India level competitive examination conducted by UPSC for recruitment of various Civil Services of GOI, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.
Civil Services Examination is conducted in three phases -
Preliminary Examination (Two objective-type papers i.e Paper-I General Studies and Paper-II CSAT)
Main Examination (Nine papers of conventional essay type)
Personality Test (Interview)
The Civil Services Examination is considered to be one of the most difficult and competitive examinations in India. On average, 900,000 to 1,000,000 candidates apply every year and the number of candidates appearing to sit the preliminary examination is approximately 450,000.
The examination consists of the following three stages:
Stage I: Preliminary Examination - Advertisied in Feb–March and held in June–July each year. Results are published in mid-August.
Main Examination - Held in October every year. Results are usually published in the second week of March.
Personality Test (interview) - held in march-april each year. Final results are usually announced in May
The training program for the selected candidates usually commences the following September.
Eligibility for the examination is as follows:
For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, the candidate must be a citizen of India.
For other services, the candidate must be one of the following:
A citizen of India
A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar,Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India
All candidates must have as a minimum one of the following educational qualifications:
A degree from a Central, State or a Deemed university
A degree received through correspondence or distance education
A degree from an open university
A qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equivalent to one of the above
The following candidates are also eligible, but must submit proof of their eligibility from a competent authority at their institute/university at the time of the main examination, failing which they will not be allowed to attend the exam.
Candidates who have appeared in an examination, the passing of which would render them educationally qualified enough to satisfy one of the above points
Candidates who have passed the final exam of the MBBS degree but have not yet completed an internship.
Candidates who have passed the final exam of ICAI, ICSI and ICWAI.
A degree from a private university.
A degree from any foreign university recognized by the Association of Indian Universities
The candidate must be between the age of 21-32 years (for the General category candidate) on August 1 of the year of examination. Prescribed age limits vary with respect to caste reservations.
For Other Backward Castes (OBC) the upper age limit is 35
For Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the limit is 37 years.
The upper age limit is relaxed for certain candidates who are backward with respect to other factors and physically handicapped (PH) people.
Numbers of attempts
The number of times a candidate may attempt the exam is limited as follows:
General category candidates = 6.
OBC category candidates = 9.
SC/ST candidates = unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.
Appearing to attempt one of the papers in the preliminary examination is counted as an attempt, including disqualification/ cancellation of candidature. However, applying to sit the exam but failing to attend is not counted as an attempt.
List of Languages
The examination is offered in the following languages, with the name of the script in brackets:
Santhali (Devanagri or Ol Chiki)
Sindhi (Devanagari or Arabic)
The subjects available for Papers VI and VII are:
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
Commerce and Accountancy
Literature of any one of the non-English languages listed above