IAS

IAS Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification

IAS
IAS Exam Dates, Fees, Eligibility & Notification
September 6, 2021
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About UPSC And IAS Exam

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts an exam every year for the Indian Administrative Civil Service. The purpose is to recruit civil servants for all Civil Administrative posts. We refer to this exam as the Indian Administrative Service Exam (IAS exam). Imperial Civil Service (ICS) was the former name of Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

Talking about the UPSC, it is a board of nine members. Currently, Pradeep Kumar Joshi is its chairman since August 2020. Moreover, the Indian constitution mentions the council in Article 320. It states that a council is required to look after all the recruitment processes. It should be especially for the civil services posts. The article also states some functions of the council. These are:

  • The most important function is to conduct the union service exams
  • This council should also recruit officials after the interview process
  • Another important function is to select them on absorption, promotion, and deputation
  • The council also has to frame, implement and amend all the rules and policies for various government posts.
  • Last but not the least, the UPSC can advise the government on any matter if the president refers it to them.
Abbreviation UPSC
Organization name Union Public Service Commission
Type Conducting authority
Location New Delhi
Chairman Pradeep Kumar Joshi

Table of Contents

Some additional points about IAS

The Indian Administrative Service is one of the prestigious services. However, it is the hardest competitive exam nationwide. It is also seen that lakhs of applicants across the nation apply for this exam every year.

Moreover, there are a variety of posts which an IAS officer can get. These can be roles like Cabinet Secretary, Chief Secretary, Collector, head of public sector units, etc.

It is also witnessed that the union government, the state government, and the public sector undertakings hire these officers. Furthermore, the primary role of these officers is to frame the policies and execute them.

 

About IAS Exam

Candidates who opt for the UPSC IAS exam have to qualify for its three steps.

  • The first is the preliminary examination (IAS prelims)
  • The second is the main’s examination (IAS mains)
  • The last one is the UPSC personality test or personal interview

IAS exam (prelims)

The IAS preliminary examination questions are multiple-choice or we can say that they are objective type. The appearing candidates have to give an exam for two separate papers. These papers are of two hours each. However, the mode of exam is an online test.

Talking about the papers, the first paper is the General studies. The second one is about the Civil Service Aptitude Test. It is also known as General Studies Papers-II.

Now, comes the nature of the papers. Generally, the General Studies Paper-I is of merit ranking. It is of 200 marks and consists of 100 questions. Whereas the CSAT paper is of qualifying nature. It only consists of 80 questions of 200 marks.

Calculations of marks:

All the appearing candidates have to sit in the exam for both papers. Being one of the toughest exams, there is negative marking for each wrong answer. This happens only in this stage. However, the negative marking for each wrong answer is 0.66 of the total marks of the allocated questions.

Besides, the UPSC will not include the marks obtained in this stage with the final score of the IAS exam. However, this exam works as a screening test for the candidates to qualify for the IAS exam. Further in this exam, only those candidates qualify who score up to the cut-off marks.

Moving forward with another aspect, UPSC does not leave any of the candidates behind because of their disabilities. There is also a provision for blind candidates as well. For them to compete with all the aspirants, they get extra 20 minutes to complete their paper in the IAS preliminary exam.

IAS mains:

Now we are at the second phase of the UPSC IAS exam. Unlike the preliminary stage, this exam is descriptive in nature. Being a written examination, the mode of exam is offline. In this stage, the candidates have to appear in the exam for nine papers. Moreover, the duration of the exam in this stage increases by one hour which means each paper is of a three-hour duration. Here is a little information about the papers of the IAS mains exam.

  • Paper A: It is qualifying in nature. It is a language paper of 300 marks. Here are a few language papers:  Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sindhi, Persian, Kashmiri, Sanskrit, etc.
  • Paper B: The second one is an English paper. It is also qualifying in nature and again of 300 marks
  • Paper-I: Then comes the Essay writing paper. This one is of merit ranking but only of 250 marks
  • Paper-II, III, IV, and V: All these are General Studies papers of 250 marks each. These are also of merit ranking nature.
  • Optional Paper VI and VII: These are the optional papers. This one is the exam of two additional papers. these are also of 250 marks. Some of the optional subjects are agriculture, botany, history, law, mathematics, management, physics, psychology, Urdu, statistics, zoology, etc.

IAS Personality Test/ Personal Interview

This is the last and final stage of the IAS exam. After this stage, UPSC recruits the candidates for different posts. This stage has one this similar to the previous one i.e., only those candidates appear here who clear the mains exam stage first. In the end, UPSC summons the qualified candidates and assesses their personality traits.

To evaluate these candidates for the last stage of the IAS exam, the UPSC questions them on various parameters. These include questions based on general knowledge, candidates’ hobbies, current affairs, and situational questions. The main motive of the board is to find the candidate who fits the position. Moreover, UPSC holds the IAS exams personality test in UPSC Bhavan, New Delhi.

Subject Details
Exam Name Indian Administrative Service Exam
Abbreviation IAS
Exam Level National
Application Mode Online
Frequency Once a year
Mode of Exam
  • Prelims-Online
  • Main’s-Offline
Stages
  • Preliminary
  • Main’s
  • Personal Interview/ Personality Test
Website https://www.upsc.gov.in/

 

Exam date and Notification

A notification was available on the UPSC website on March 4, 2021, informing about the submission of IAS exam forms. Furthermore, candidates could submit their forms online mode on the same portal. Also, the last date for submission was March 24, 2021.

In the same notification, there was a mention of the total number of vacancies. For the current year, the total vacancies were 712 for which the candidates could apply.

Apart from this, there is a mention of other few dates. Some of them are tentative and others are not yet released. Here are the exam date details.

  • The IAS official notification came out on March 4, 2021. The start date of exam forms submission was also the same. However, the closing date was March 24, 2021.
  • Then, there was a mention of the IAS application form withdrawal starting and closing dates. These were from March 31- April 6, 2021, respectively.
  • Moreover, the first stage of the exam prelims exam is set for October 10, 2021. However, its result will be available in November 2021.
  • Some of the tentative dates for other stages are also available. The tentative date for the mains exam is January 7, 2022, whereas its result date is not yet released.
  • Lastly, the personality test exam date is also not available yet.

 

Application Form

As mentioned above, the dates for the submission of the application form for the IAS exam were from March 4-24, 2021. For this purpose, applicants could visit the official UPSC website and start the process.

Moreover, this process was of five steps. Those were.

STEP 1: Registration

  • Firstly, the candidates can visit the website at https://www.upsc.gov.in/
  • Then, in the second step, click on UPSC Civil services examination 2021.
  • In the third step, fill in your personal, parental, educational, and employment (if any) details.
  • Lastly, check your above-mentioned details. Then click on the submit button.

STEP 2: An application fee for the IAS exam

Now we are our second step. This step includes the available fee payment methods. UPSC has given the choice of both online and offline payments to the candidates. Here is small information about it.

  • Firstly, the candidates who opt for online payment can use credit card/ debit card/ Rupay card or internet banking services
  • secondly, the candidates who opt for offline payment can pay their application fee in the State Bank of India (SBI) bank branches via e-challan.
  • The application fee for the general category is Rs. 100.  However, candidates of SC/ST/PwD categories do not have to pay any fee.

STEP 3: Centre selection for the IAS exam

Once the application fee process is over, the candidates can select their examination centers. UPSC gives candidates a choice to select the centers as they desire. However, it only depends on the capacity of the center. Once the center capacity is full, candidates cannot get the same center. Furthermore, here is a state-wise list of the available centers.

  • Andhra Pradesh: Aurangabad, Tirupati, Vijayawada, and Visakhapatnam
  • Assam: Jorhat
  • Bihar: Gaya
  • Chhattisgarh: Bilaspur
  • Gujarat: Rajkot
  • Haryana: Faridabad
  • Himachal Pradesh: Shimla
  • Jharkhand: Ranchi
  • Karnataka: Bangalore, Dharwad, and Mysuru
  • Kerala: Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram
  • Madhya Pradesh: Bhopal and Jabalpur
  • Maharashtra: Mumbai, Nagpur, Navi Mumbai, and Thane
  • Meghalaya: Shillong
  • Nagaland: Kohima
  • Odisha: Cuttack and Sambalpur
  • Punjab: Ludhiana
  • Rajasthan: Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur
  • Sikkim: Gangtok
  • Tamil Nadu: Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, and Vellore
  • Telangana: Warangal
  • Uttar Pradesh: Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Gautam Buddh Nagar, and Varanasi
  • Uttarakhand: Dehradun
  • West Bengal: Siliguri
  • Chandigarh: Chandigarh
  • Delhi: Delhi
  • Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Srinagar

STEP 4: Photograph and Signature

On arriving at step 4 of this process, candidates have to upload a photograph and their signature with the given specifications. Photographs must be JPG in format with dimensions 3.5cm x 4.5 cm. The size should not be more than 1Kb-40Kb. In the case of signature, the format is the same as for the photographs. The dimensions should be 3.5cm x4.5 cm and the size should be 1Kb-40Kb.

STEP 5: Declaration

This is the last step of the application process. In this step, candidates have to agree that the information they provide is correct. For this, they have to click on the agree button. Moreover, they can also take a print-out of this for any future purposes.

 

Eligibility Criteria for the IAS exam

For the eligibility of any candidate, they need to pass the below-mentioned criteria. The eligibility of IAS candidates depends on these factors:

  • First and foremost, the nationality of the candidates
  • The second one is their educational qualification
  • Then comes another important factor; age limit.
  • The last one is the number of attempts for which they can keep on trying.

Now, further, we will discuss these factors in a detailed manner

Nationality:

  • Firstly, any aspirant willing to become an IAS officer must be a citizen of India
  • Secondly, any person of Indian origin or a subject of Nepal and Bhutan or a refugee from Tibet is also eligible. However, they should have settled in India before 1962.
  • Moreover, any person from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burma, Zaire, Ethiopia, etc., who are of Indian origin are also eligible. However, the condition is that they should intent to settle permanently in India after their migration.
  • Apart from the citizens of India, all other applying candidates would have an eligibility certificate. Moreover, only the Government of India can issue this certificate for them.
  • Lastly, there is a leniency for some candidates to appear in exams without this certificate. But, they have to submit this certificate to get the offer of appointment.

Educational qualifications for the IAS exam:

This section is about the educational qualifications of IAS candidates. The minimum qualification for candidates applying for this is graduation. Apart from that, a degree in any discipline from a recognized university that is equivalent to graduation is also considered. However, there is no barrier of minimum passing percentage for candidates to appear in exams. The candidates who are in their final year of graduation with results awaited are also eligible. They can submit their documents later during the Detailed Application Form (DAF) process. Similarly, the MBBS candidates or any other Medical background candidates are also eligible. However, their final year result must be clear. The only thing which can be pending is their internships.

Age Limit

UPSC has set different age limits for candidates of different categories. Though, the minimum applying age must be 21 as of August 1, 2021. Also, the candidates must not have been born before August 2, 1989. However, the upper age limit varies for different categories. In the general category, the upper age limit is 32 years whereas for SC and ST there is an age relaxation of 5 years. For OBC and defense service personnel, the age relaxation is of 3 years. Lastly, for differentially abled and ex-servicemen commissioned officers, it is of 10 and 5 years, respectively.

Number of Attempts

When we talk about the number of attempts, there was no such thing till 1984. However, this restriction if effective since then. These attempts also vary for different categories.

Category Attempts
General Six (up to 32 years of age)
SC/ST No limits (up to 37 years of age)
Differentially abled Nine attempts for General and OBC whereas unlimited for SC/ ST
OBC Nine attempts (up to 35 years of age)

 

IAS Exam Documents

Documents play an important part in the recruitment process. All the candidates have to submit these documents at different stages of the IAS exam.

For the prelims stage of the IAS exam:

The documents that the candidates have to submit are a scanned signature and a scanned photograph. Apart from that, a scanned copy of ID proof like Aadhar/ PAN/ Passport, etc., is also required.

For the mains stage of the IAS exam:

The most important document is the matriculation and degree certificate. The Economically weaker sections can provide this certificate as well. Also, the candidates who belong to any category like SC/ ST or PwD can provide these certificates. Moreover, candidates can also submit disability certificates approved by the Medical Board. Apart from this, candidates from states of the northeast like Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, etc., need to give a certificate proof of their statehood. Similarly, citizens of Jammu and Kashmir have to provide a Domicile certificate.

For the personality test of the IAS exam:

Candidates have to provide their matriculation and degree certificates in this stage as well. They also need to keep a copy of the e-summon letter with them. Again a copy of their ID proofs. Moreover, here candidates have to keep self-attested copies of their photographs with them. Candidates can also carry a copy of age relaxation and caste certificates.

 

Salary

A hike in the salary of IAS officers can be seen after the 7th pay commission. The IAS officers receive a basic pay of Rs. 56,100. However, their pay increases on the basis of their years of service and experience.

Grade Basic pay Grade Pay Years of Service
Junior scale 50,000-1,50,000 16,500 N/A
Senior Scale 50,000 – 1,50,001 20,000 5 Years
Junior Administrative Grade 50,000 – 1,50,002 23,000 9 Years
Selection Grade 1,00,000 – 2,00,000 26,000 12-15 Years
Super Time Scale 1,00,000 – 2,00,000 30,000 17-20 Years
Above Super Time Scale 1,00,000 – 2,00,000 30,000 Varies
Apex scale 2,25,000 (Fixed) N/A Around 30 Years
Cabinet Secretary Grade 2,50,000 (Fixed) N/A Varies

Perks and Allowances:

Apart from basic pay and grade pay, IAS officers have some perks and allowances under their names. Thus, some of them are listed below:

  • Dearness Allowance (DA): When the Government pays for the living adjustments of an employee, it is called dearness allowance. Furthermore, it is an essential part of an IAS officer’s salary and has increased to 103% of their basic salary.
  • House Rent Allowance (HRA): It varies from city to city. It means that the posting of an officer at a place will decide its HRA. Moreover, it ranges from 8-24% of their basic pay.
  • Medical Allowance: IAS officers receive some medical allowances. Besides, they can use this allowance in times of any medical emergency.

Apart from these allowances, there are some perks and benefits for these IAS officers. Meanwhile, it includes transport allowance, house help benefits, mobile bills, travel expenses, pension, and retirement benefits.

 

Syllabus

Here is the IAS exam syllabus for prelims and mains.  

IAS Exam Syllabus for prelims:

For the prelims exam, candidates have to prepare for two subjects. These are General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II. The detailed syllabus is as follows:

  • General Studies Paper-I: It includes topics like international and national importance. It also includes Indian history, the history of Indian national movements, and world geography. Topics like economic and social development are also its part. Lastly, there are  general issues on topics like environmental ecology, biodiversity, and climate Change
  • General Studies Paper-II: It includes topics like comprehension. Candidates also need to prepare interpersonal and communication skills for this paper. Apart from this Logical reasoning and analytical ability are also included. Decision-making and problem, general mental ability solving, and numeracy are the other topics in the syllabus of this paper.

IAS Syllabus for mains:

Here is the subject wise detailed syllabus for IAS mains

1) Syllabus for Qualifying papers (Indian Languages and English):

 English  Indian Language
Comprehension of passages Comprehension of passages
Precis Writing Precis Writing
Usage and Vocabulary Usage and Vocabulary
Short Essays Short Essays
                                 – Translation of Indian Languages to English and vice versa

 2) IAS Exam Syllabus for Paper-I: Essays:

  • Aspirants have to pen down essays on various topics.
  • Meanwhile, essays should be in order and revolve around the theme.

 

Admit Card

Admit cards for the IAS exam are usually uploaded three weeks before the preliminary exams. Moreover, the IAS prelims exam has been scheduled for October 10, 2021; the admit cards will be available on their website by the third week of September 2021.

However, admit card works as identity proof for a candidate to be allowed in the exam centers. For this purpose, candidates can visit their website https://www.upsc.gov.in/ and search for admit cards.

Meanwhile, in case a candidate faces any problem, they can mail the UPSC on the provided email ID’s:

How to download Admit Card:

  • Firstly, visit https://www.upsc.gov.in/
  • Downloading admit card: For this purpose, a candidate needs to provide some details to download the admit card. However, the candidates can download their admit cards in two ways, registration number, and date of birth or roll number, and date of birth.
  • Then, click on the login.
  • Save it afterward
  • Lastly, take print-out.

Details in admit card:

  • Admit cards include all essential information of candidates to prove their identity. It includes,
  • Candidate’s name
  • Candidates roll number
  • Candidate’s date of birth
  • Exam center name
  • Candidates’ father’s name
  • Candidates’ mother’s name
  • Instructions related to exam

 

Results

Candidates who have appeared in the IAS exam have to check their results for three stages. Though, this is done to make sure if they have qualified for the UPSC IAS exam. With this intention, here are a few exam and result details.

How to check results:

The IAS result is available on their official website once announced. While the candidates can follow the steps given above to check their results.

  • Firstly, visit https://www.upsc.gov.in/
  • Then, the search result
  • Click on the available link of result
  • Download pdf
  • Lastly, look for your name or roll number in the pdf file.

Note: Your name or roll number will appear in the pdf only if you have qualified for your exam

 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q 1: What does IAS stand for?

Ans: IAS stands for Indian Administrative Service

Q 2: How difficult is the IAS exam to qualify?

Ans: The UPSC IAS exam is considered one of the toughest exams in India. However, any candidate with good preparation can qualify.

Q3: How much time is sufficient to prepare for the IAS exam?

Ans: One year of preparation is enough to complete the syllabus of the IAS prelims and mains. Moreover, if candidates are in proper preparation, they can easily qualify.

Q4: How many hours should I study every day to prepare for the IAS exam?

Ans: Around 14-15 hours of studying every day to prepare for the IAS exam.

Q5:  Where can I check the IAS exam result?

Ans: IAS exam results are available on their official website https://www.upsc.gov.in/

Q6: What is the new date of the IAS preliminary exams to be conducted?

Ans: UPSC has released the new date for the IAS preliminary exam, October 10, 2021. The exam was postponed earlier due to a hike in Covid cases across the country.

Q7: How many vacancies are there in the IAS exams?

Ans: UPSC has released a vacancy list of 712 posts for the year 2021.

Q8: How much does an IAS officer earn?

Ans: The salary of an IAS officer ranges between 56,100- 2,50,000. These officers receive their pay based on their years of service, experience, and post.

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