UPSC Civil Services Introduction

UPSC Civil Services Introduction

Civil Services Examination is conducted by UPSC for recruitment of class I officers in number of Indian Central Government Services including IAS, IPS, IFS etc. The jobs are highly challenging and consequentially the recruitment process is designed to tests the overall capability of the candidates. The candidate will be tested in the areas of communication, analytical, comprehension and decision making ability in the chosen subjects and general knowledge.

This year UPSC clubbed Indian Forest Services Exam with IAS Preliminary exam.

UPSC Civil Services Exam is conducted in two phases:

Phase 1:

UPSC Preliminary Examination.

Phase 2:

UPSC Main Examination.

For those who just started their preparation here we are giving some useful information about the exam.

Phase 1 : UPSC Preliminary Examination

This comprises of two papers of 200 marks each. Paper 1 is General Studies and Paper 2 Aptitude Test. This examination is of objective type questions which have multiple answer choices. One of the answer choice is correct. There is negative marking for incorrect responses.

Paper I is graded for calculating the eligibility for UPSC Main Examination. Approximately top 3% of the total number of candidates appearing for the paper qualify for the UPSC Main Examination

Paper II is qualifying in nature and its marks are not graded for eligibility to the UPSC Main Examination. The candidate has to score a minimum of 33% (66 marks) for qualifying.

Paper 1 General Studies :

Number of Questions        :        100
Marks for each Question  :         2
Duration                               :         2 Hours
Negative marks                  :         1/3 of marks per question.

Paper 2 Aptitude Test :

Number of Questions       : 80
Marks for each Question  : 2 .5
Duration                               : 2 Hours
Negative marks                  : 1/3 of marks per question.

To qualify for writing UPSC Mains examination one should get minimum 33% (66 marks) marks in paper 2 and should be among the top 3% of the candidates who wrote the UPSC Preliminary examination that year.

Marks obtained in paper 2 are used only to see if the candidate got 33% (66 marks) or not.

Top 3% of the candidates who wrote Paper 1 will be qualified for UPSC mains, provided they obtain the qualifying mark in paper 2.

Phase 2 : UPSC Mains Examination

UPSC Main Examination consists of 9 papers:-

Qualifying Papers: (A candidate is expected to qualify in these papers and marks obtained here are not counted for short listing candidates for Interview.)
1.       Language Paper A (Marks 300: Any one Indian Language from the Eight Schedule of the Constitution)
2.       Language Paper B (Marks 300: English)
Graded Papers (The marks obtained are counted for shortlisting students for interview)
3.       Essay Writing Paper 3 (Marks 250)
4.       General Studies Paper 1 (Marks 250: History and Geography )
5.       General Studies Paper 2 (Marks 250: Governance, Polity, Constitution,  Social Justice and International relations)
6.       General Studies Paper 3 (Marks 250: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
7.       General Studies Paper 4 (Marks 250: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)
8.       Optional Paper 1 (Marks 250: Any one of the subjects from the given list)
9.       Optional Paper 2 (Marks 250: Any one of the subjects from the given list)
Each of the graded papers carry 250 marks, which amount to a total marks of 1750. The interview and personality test carry 275 Marks. Candidates are evaluated for the total of 2025 marks (1750+275) for decide their final ranking in the UPSC Examination.
This entire process will take roughly about one and half years.

Details of each paper are :-

Language Paper 1     : Any Modern Indian Language from the prescribed list.
Marks                          : 300

Language Paper 2    : English.
Marks                          : 300

A candidate is expected to qualify in these papers and marks obtained here are not counted for short listing candidates for Interview.

From the following papers on-wards marks obtained will be counted for the qualification in mains.Writing an effective essay is very important. Valuator will look for the effective presentation and clarity of thought. How well the topic is analyzed and presented is evaluated.  It should be easy to understand. Essay need not be like a research paper kind of material.

Essay Writing        : Essay writing can be in any language from the prescribed list. The topics for essay may come from Current Affairs, Social Issues ,Philosophy, Indian politics, Science and Technology or any other topic as per general studies syllabus. 
Marks                 : 250

General Studies Paper 1    : History and Geography
Total Marks 250

Indian Heritage and
Indian Culture, History and Geography of the World and Country.
Indian culture covering all aspects of Art Forms, Architecture and Literature from ancient to modern times.
Modern Indian history from  the middle of the eighteenth century until the present including significant events,personalities, issues.
The Indian Freedom Struggle its various stages and important known contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Post - independence consolidation as well as reorganization within the country.
History of the world includes events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redraw-al of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like socialism ,communism, capitalism and so on; their forms and effect on the society.

Diversity of India, Features of Indian Society, Role of women and women’s organization, Issues related to population, poverty and developmental and urbanization, associated problems and their remedies.
Effects of regime of globalization on Indian society Social empowerment, regionalism , communal-ism, & secularism.

World’s physical geography and its salient features.
Natural Resources and their distribution across the world ;
Industry location and 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 Tsunami ,earthquakes,  Volcanic activity, cyclone and so on; geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features including water-bodies and ice-caps and in fauna and flora and the effects of such changes.

General Studies Paper 2    : Governance, Polity, Constitution,  Social Justice and International relations
Total Marks 250

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

General Studies Paper 3    : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
Total Marks 250
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, development and employment,  mobilization of resources, growth, Government Budgeting.

Major crops and cropping patterns in various parts of the country,  transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints different types of irrigation and types of irrigation systems storage; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
Issues related to indirect and direct farm subsidies and minimum support prices; PDS-Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, revamping, limitations, issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Food processing and related industries in India- location, scope and significance, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Land reforms in India.
Effects of liberalization policy on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Infrastructure: Ports, Energy, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Investment models.
Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Indiginisation of technology and developing new technology,Achievements of Indians in science & technology.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Computers,Space, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Disaster and disaster management system.
Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Role of external state and non state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Internal Security and Challenges, impact of communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, Role of 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
General Studies Paper 4    : Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
Total Marks 250

This paper is based on case study method. This aims to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to tackle real life situations , to judge his integrity, and his problem solving approach.The following broad areas will be covered.
Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; different dimensions of ethics; ethics in public and private 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: component , structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and impact of persuasion.
Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , impartiality, integrity and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, tolerance ,empathy and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
Emotional intelligence-concepts, and its importance and application in administration and governance.
Contributions of philosophers & moral thinkers from India and world.
Values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; rules, laws, accountability and ethical governance ,regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance;; strengthening of moral & ethical values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Relevance of Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Conduct, Codes of Ethics, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Utilization of public funds, Quality of service delivery,  challenges of corruption.
Optional Paper 1 and Optional Paper 2    :  You may select optional from the following list.
Total Marks 250
  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Medical Science
  18. Philosophy
  19. Physics
  20. Political Science and International Relations
  21. Psychology
  22. Public Administration
  23. Sociology
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology

In addition to the above mentioned optional subjects, one may decide to choose literature as optional.

Literature of any of these languages Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and English)is also offered as optional.

Out of 9 papers for written test, 2 language papers are evaluated for qualification.

From essay  the remaining 7 papers  written test,  carry 250 Marks per paper, will amount to a total marks of 1750.

The interview and personality test will carry 275 Marks.

Candidates will be evaluated for the total 2025 Marks (1750+275) to decide the final ranking in the UPSC Examination.

This entire process will take roughly about one and half years.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 2:12 AM