Civil services are one of the most coveted positions in our country. For years together this has been one of the sought after career paths. With our nation developing and need for good, young, motivated and diligent leaders rising, the competition to clear this exam is only getting tougher.

The responsibility of the civil services is to run the administration of India. The country is managed through a number of Central Government agencies in accordance with the policy directions given by the ministries.

The members of the civil services represent as administrators in the central government and state government; emissaries in the foreign missions/embassies; as tax collectors and revenue commissioners; as civil service commissioned police officers; as permanent representatives and employees in the United Nations and its agencies and as Chairman, Managing Director, full-time functional Director/Member of the Board of Management of various Public Sector Undertakings/ Enterprises, Corporations, Banks and financial institutions. Civil servants are employed to various agencies of India and can also be appointed as advisors or special duty officers or private secretaries to ministers of the Union and the State Government.

The UPSC Civil services now has a new examination pattern. The UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in two stages Prelims and Mains which are then followed by an interview.

Stage 1: Preliminary Examination: There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the Civil Services

  1. Both the question papers are of the objective type (multiple choice questions) of two hours each.
  2. The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language   Comprehension skills would be provided only in English.
  3. Blind candidates would be allowed an extra 20 minutes of time   at each paper.

Stage 2: Main Examination: This has 7 individual papers under it.

  1. Paper-I: Section 1 Essay 200 Marks and Section 2 English Comprehension & English Précis 100 Marks. The level of paper would be Matriculation/ 10th standard level.
  2. Paper-II: General Studies–1, this is for 250 Marks. This paper comprises of questions on Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
  3. Paper-III: General Studies –II, again for 250 Marks. This paper tests knowledge of Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
  4. Paper-IV: General Studies –III 250 Marks. This is based on Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
  5. Paper-V:  General Studies –IV 250 Marks. Based on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.
  6. Paper-VI: This paper is on the Optional Subject that the candidate chooses – Paper 1 for 250 Marks.
  7. Paper-VII: This paper is on the second Optional Subject – Paper 2 is also for 250 Marks.New Exam Pattern of Civil Services Mains 2013

Stage 3: Personal Interview. This is a personal interaction. This stage carries 275 marks.

Eligibility Criteria:

The minimum age to appear for the UPSC examination is 21 years. The upper age limit will be 37 years for SC/ST candidates with unlimited number of attempts; 35 years for OBC with 9 attempts; and 32 for the unreserved (general) category with 6 attempts.

For physically handicapped candidates age limit is 42, 45 and 47 years for General, OBC and SC/ST category respectively while the number of attempts is 9 for General and OBC and unlimited for SC/SC category.

Academic Eligibility:

  • The candidate must hold a degree of any of 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
  • Candidates who have appeared or intend to appear for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to appear for the Preliminary Examination. All such candidates who qualify to appear for the Civil Services Main Examination must produce proof of having passed the said examination along with their application for the Main Examination.
  • The UPSC may in exceptional cases treat a candidate without the foregoing requisite qualification as an eligible candidate if he / she has passed an examination conducted by other institutions, the standard of which justifies his / her admission in the opinion of the Commission.
  • Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees.
  • Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However they must submit along with their Main Examination application, a certificate from the concerned authority of the University / Institution that they have passed the final professional medical examination. At the Interview stage they must then produce a certificate from a competent authority that they have completed (including internship) all the requirements for the award of the Medical Degree.

The easiest way to beat the competition is by work hard and diligently practicing right from the start. There are a lot of good books available which guide you and tell you the know how’s of cracking the examination. Coaching classes is another way one can practice hard and do well in the exam. It is important to start early so that you are prepared well in advance. To find out the best coaching class around your area, visit the QuickSearch website.

Written by Taarini Chandramouli

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