UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Exam 2020-21, A journey of “UPSC Form to Form an IAS!”

UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Exam 2020-21, A journey of “UPSC Form to Form an IAS!”

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UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Exam 2020-21, A journey of “UPSC Form to Form an IAS!”

The Indian Civil Services (Through UPSC-CS Exam) which includes the top services i.e. the IAS, IPS, IRS, and IFS and allied services of the Nation, is the dream career for millions of aspirants from all over the country. 

Why (UPSC-Civil Services Exam ) to Choose Civil Services as a Career?

Civil Services work as the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country. Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) are three of the most preferable services under this. IAS is most sought after among these services as IAS officers get the opportunity to serve on higher strategic positions in the Union Government and State Governments. As well as Its included Indian Revenue Services (IRS) and other allied services of UTs/States of India. In the way of this  program was designed to train senior officials from the corresponding ministries of the Indian government in the areas of public management, energy, private/public partnerships, and economic development. The ultimate goal was to teach them how to utilize best practices in governance.

Examination Process

In order to get selected into these coveted services, candidates have to appear in the Civil Services Exam (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and should pass a three-phase selection process. The three phases are the Civil Services Preliminary Exam (Prelims), Civil Services (Main) Examination (Mains) and The Personality Test (Interview).

In the year 2020, as per the official UPSC Exam Calendar, Civil Services Preliminary Exam will be conducted on Sun, 31st  May 2020. The Civil Services (Main) Examination-202 will be conducted from 18th September 2020  for five days as per the UPSC official calendar 2020.

How to Apply

  • Candidates are required to apply Online using the official website of UPSC that is
  • Candidates need to complete the Online Application Form containing two stages viz. Part-I and Part-II as per the instructions available in the above mentioned website.
  • The candidates are required to pay a fee of Rs.100/- Rupees One Hundred only) [excepting SC/ST/ Female/Persons with Benchmark Disability candidates who are exempted from payment of fee] either by depositing the money in any branch of State Bank of India by cash, or by using net banking facility of State Bank of India or by using any Visa/Master/RuPay Credit/ Debit Card.
  • Before start filling up Online Application form, a candidate must have his/her photograph and signature duly scanned in the jpg format in such a manner that each file should not exceed 40 KB and must not be less than 3 KB in size for the photograph and 1 KB for the signature.
  • Applicants should avoid submitting multiple applications. In case of multiple applications, the applications with higher Registration ID will be considered by the Commission.
  • The applicants must ensure that while filling their Application Form, they are providing their valid and active E-Mail IDs as the Commission may use electronic mode of communication while contacting them at different stages of examination process.

UPSC CSE Pattern 2020-21

The Civil Services Examination consist of two successive stages

  1. Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination; and
  2. Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts.

*Candidates who are declared qualified for Civil Services (Main) Examination; have to submit Detailed Application Form (DAF).

Preliminary Exam: First Stage Details (Q.N.E.-Qualifying Nature Exam)

  • The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination comprises of two papers of 200 marks each i.e. General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II (CSAT Paper).

(Consisting 100 MCQs for 200Marks: History/Geography/Polity/Economics/Environmental Studies & Basic Science (Xth Std.)/Current Affairs )


  • GS Paper-II (also known as CSAT i.e. Civil Service Aptitude Test) is of qualifying in nature for GS-I Paper and in which a candidate has to secure 33% marks only.

            (Consisting 80MCQs for 200 Marks: Q.A., Reasoning, VARC-English, DS/DA/DI)


  • Objective type (Multiple Choice Questions) is asked in this stage. Marks obtained in this stage are counted only to decide merit in preliminary examination, not for final selection. Clearing the Prelims makes one eligible for the next stage of the exam.

Mains Exam: Second Stage Details (M.N.E.-Merit Nature Exam)

  • Civil Services (Main) Examination is the ‘written stage’ of the examination. It consists of nine papers of which, marks of only seven papers are counted in deciding the final merit list. In the remaining two papers, a candidate has to secure the minimum qualifying marks decided by UPSC each year. The question papers for the Mains examination are of conventional (essay) type.

PT/PI: Phase Third Stage Exam

  • The Civil Services Personality Test consists of a board of members for assessing the candidate’s personality. A candidate is asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate.

*Final rank of a candidate in merit list is depends upon the marks scored in second stage only i.e. written and Interview.

Passing Percentage for each MNE Paper is 10% = 25 /250 Mark

Two Qualifying Papers are:

  • Paper-A (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule (22 Languages) to the Constitution): 300 Marks
  • Paper-B (English): 300 Marks

*25%=75/300 Marks is QNE for each paper

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Civil Services Exam

  • For the IAS and the IPS, a candidate must be a citizen of India. For other services, a candidate must be either a citizen of India or a citizen of some other country (eligible after meeting with some special conditions).


  • A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August of examination year. The upper age-limit is relaxable, maximum of 5 years for SC/STs candidates and 3 years for OBC candidates. Age relaxation is also applicable for Ex-Defense personnel and candidates with certain disability.


  • Attempt restricted for Gen/EWS Catogary as 06-Attempts, for OBC-09Attempts, No restriction of attempts for SC/ST Candidates. 


  • A candidate must hold a Universities degree, or possess an equivalent qualification for appearing in Civil Services Examination. Candidates who have appeared in the final year of degree examination and also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination. But such candidates have to produce proof of passing the requisite examination before appearing in Civil Services (Main) Examination.


*A candidate who got appointed as an IAS or IFS officer in earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to compete at this examination. Moreover, a candidate who is appointed to the Indian Police Service will not be eligible to opt for the Indian Police Service in the next exam.

CLICK HERE to Read UPSC Civil Services Exam Strategy 


List of optional subjects for Main Examination:

(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.

UPSC 2020-21 CLICK HERE to Download UPSC Civil Services Exam Brochure

CLICK HERE for UPSC Civil Services Exam Syllabus and Strategy


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