Current events of national and international importance, history of India and Indian National Movement, Indian and world geography, Indian polity and economy, general mental ability are to be read. The civil services examinations are conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
The age limit for applying for the examination is 21-30 years as on August 1 of the year of examination. That is preliminary examination. The prelims consist of two papers of objective type. The question papers are set in English and Hindi. Paper1: General studies carry 150 marks and paper 2, based on one of the optional subjects from the prescribed subjects, carries300 marks.
The structure of the examination
Civil services preliminary examination for the selection of candidates for the main examination and
Civil services main examination written and interview for the selection of candidates for the various services and posts such as Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Revenue Service
And Indian Customs and Central Excise Services, etc.
There are in all 26 services (as per gazetteer 2001) offered through this single examination. The candidates are put through three kinds of testing to ensure that the person selected has:
- A wide range of general awareness
- Analytical ability and content retention capacity
- Cheerful mental disposition even under stressed conditions
The preliminary examination consists of two papers of objective type and carries maximum of 450 marks. The two papers are: General studies for 150 marks, consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions. Any one of the optional subjects from the list of various optional subjects viz. agriculture, animal husbandry and veterinary science, botany, chemistry, civil engineering, commerce, economics, electrical engineering, geography, geology, Indian history, law, mathematics, political science, psychology, public administration, sociology, statistics and zoology.
The number of candidates admitted to the main examination is roughly around 11 to 12 times of the approximate number of vacancies existing in a year. The examination consists of the following nine papers: Paper1: One of the Indian languages to be selected by the candidates from the languages included in the English schedule of the Constitution. This paper is of matriculate or equivalent standard and is of qualifying nature, the marks obtained in this paper are not counted for ranking purpose. This paper is of 300 marks.
Paper2: English language paper too is compulsory and is of matriculation standard and qualifying nature. The marks obtained in this paper are also not counted for ranking purpose.
Paper 3: This is a compulsory essay paper, consisting of300 marks.
Paper 4and 5: These are two compulsory papers on various segments of general studies, each consisting of 300 marks.
Paper 6 and 7: Two papers of chosen first optional subjects, each carrying 300 marks
Paper 8 and 9: Like wise, two papers of second optional subjects, each carrying 300 marks. Thus the total marks of the written papers of the main examination for the ranking purpose will be 2000 without counting the marks of two languages papers which are non ranking. The papers of essay, general studies and optional subjects of only such candidates will be evaluated who have obtained minimum qualifying marks as fixed by the commission in their discretion for qualifying the paper on Indian language and English. Optional subjects for the main examination include: Agriculture, animal husbandry and veterinary science, botany, chemistry, civil engineering, commerce, economics, electrical engineering, geography, geology, Indian history, law, mathematics, political science, psychology, public administration, sociology, statistics and zoology.
Literature of one of the following languages: Arabic, Assamese Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Marathi, Manipuri, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi etc.
The civil services exam consists of two successive stages:
a. Civil services preliminary examination for the selection of candidates for the main examination.
b. The civil main examination for selection of candidates for the various services and posts.
- Indian Administrative Services
- Indian foreign Services
- Indian Police Service
- Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service (Group A)
- Indian Audit and Accounts Service (Group A)
- Indian Revenue service (Group A).
- Indian Defense Accounts Service (Group A).
- Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Group A).
- Indian Postal Service (Group A).
- Indian Civil Accounts Service (Group A).
- Indian Railway Accounts Service (Group A).
- Indian Railway Personnel Service (Group A).
- Posts of Assistant Security Officer in Railway Protection Force (Group A).
- Indian Defense Estates Service (junior Grade), Group A.
- Indian Trade Service Group A(Grade-3)
- Armed Forces headquarters Civil Service, Group B(Section Officers grade)
- Delhi Andaman and Nicobar island, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, & Dadra &Nagar Haveli service ,Group B
- Delhi Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, & Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group B Pondicherry Police service , Group B