UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020

Exam Highlights
Level of ExamGraduate
Exam MediumEnglish, Hindi
Exam FrequencyOnce in a year
Purpose of the ExamSelection of candidates to the various posts of Civil Services of India.
Conducting BodyUnion Public Service Commission

UPSC Civil Service Exam is considered among the top competitive exams of India. Hence, it is very important that the UPSC Civil Service Exam pattern is well known to all its aspirants. Commonly known as the IAS exam, UPSC Civil Service Exam syllabus is a must known thing if you really consider yourself as an aspirant.

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (UPSC CSE) is a nationwide competitive conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) among many others.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Important Dates 2020

EventDate
IAS Civil Services Date of NotificationFebruary 12, 2020
Starting of Online Registration for PrelimsFebruary 12, 2020
Last Date of Online Registration for PrelimsMarch 3, 2020
Date of Commencement of Preliminary ExaminationMay 31, 2020
Result of Preliminary Examination 2nd week of July
Date of Commencement of Main ExaminationSeptember 18, 2020

UPSC Civil Services Exam Eligibity Criteria 2020

  1. Nationality
  2. For the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
    For other services, a candidate must be either:—
    (a) a citizen of India, or
    (b) a subject of Nepal, or
    (c) a subject of Bhutan, or
    (d) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
    (e) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.
    Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

  3. Educational Qualification
  4. Candidate applying for civil service exams is required to fulfill the following criteria:

    • He/she must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from any of the recognized universities
    • Candidates who have appeared for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results or those who are yet to appear for the qualifying examination are also eligible for the Preliminary Examination.
    • Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government or its equivalent are also eligible to apply.

  5. Age Limit
  6. The age of the candidate to appear in the exam should be minimum of 21 years and maximum of 32 years.
    However, there are age relaxations for candidates belonging to the reserved categories. They are given below in the table.
    CategoryUpper Age Limit
    Other Backward Class (OBC)35 years
    Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)37 years
    Ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years military service as on 1st August 2020 and have been released37 years
    Defence Service Personnel disabled during service35 years
    PwD [(a) blindness and low vision; (b) deaf and hard of hearing; (c) locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy; (d) autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness; and (e) multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness]42 years

  7. Restrictions on Attempts
  8. The number of times candidates are permitted to take the UPSC Civil Services Exam is given below:
    CategoryNumber of Attempts
    General6
    OBC9
    SC/STNo restriction
    Physically Handicapped (General)9
    Physically Handicapped (OBC)9
    Physically Handicapped (SC/ST)No restriction

UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern 2020

The Civil Service Examination pattern can be segregated into three stages:
Stage I: A Preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II also popularly known as Civil Service Aptitude Test or CSAT)
Stage II: After that, Mains examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type
Stage III: And a personality test (interview).

Pattern for Preliminery Exam

The preliminary examination, now popularly known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) (officially it is still called General Studies Paper-1 and Paper-2), intends to focus on analytical abilities and understanding rather than the ability to memorize.

Sl. No.Name of the PaperNature of the PaperNos. of QuestionsQuestion TypeDurationNegative MarkingMarks
1Paper – I: General Studies
Merit Ranking Nature100Objective (Multiple Choice)2 hrs 1/3rd marks will be deducted for each wrong answer.200
2Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT)
Qualifying Nature80Objective (Multiple Choice)2 hrs 1/3rd marks will be deducted for wrong answers.200
Total Marks*200

*The total marks shown here are considered for merit ranking purposes.

Pattern for Mains Exam

The written examination consists of nine papers, two qualifyings and seven rankings in nature. The range of questions may vary from just one mark to sixty marks, twenty words to 600 words answers. Candidates who pass qualifying papers are ranked according to marks and a selected number of candidates are called for interview or a personality test at the Commission’s discretion.

Sl. No.Name of the PaperNature of the PaperNos. of QuestionsQuestion TypeDurationNegative MarkingMarks
1Paper – A: Compulsory Indian Language

One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the languages included in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution.

Qualifying NatureDescriptive3 hrs300
2Paper – B: English
Qualifying NatureDescriptive3 hrs300
3Paper-I: Essay

To be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice. Candidate is required to write an essay on a specific topic.

Merit Ranking NatureDescriptive3 hrs250
4Paper-II: General Studies-I

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society

Merit Ranking NatureDescriptive3 hrs250
5Paper-III: General Studies-II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations

Merit Ranking NatureDescriptive3 hrs250
6Paper-IV: General Studies-III

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Merit Ranking NatureDescriptive3 hrs250
7Paper-V: General Studies-VI

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Merit Ranking NatureDescriptive3 hrs250
8Paper-VI: Optional Paper-I

Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of optional subjects.

Merit Ranking NatureDescriptive3 hrs250
9Paper-VII: Optional Paper-II

Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of optional subjects.

Merit Ranking NatureDescriptive3 hrs250
Total Marks*1750

*The total marks shown here are considered for merit ranking purposes.

Pattern for Personality Test

Total marks allotted: 275

Officially called the “Personality Test“, the objective 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 evaluate the mental calibre of a candidate.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Syllabus 2020

Syllabus for Preliminery Exam

1 Prelims Paper – I: General Studies for 200 marks

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation General Science.

2 Prelims Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT) for 200 marks

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)

Syllabus for Mains Exam

1 Mains Paper – A: Compulsory Indian Language for 300 marks

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay
  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa

2 Mains Paper – B: English for 300 marks

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay

3 Mains Paper-I: Essay for 250 marks

  • Any Topic/Topics (Current issues)

4 Mains Paper-II: General Studies-I for 250 marks

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism. Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); 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 earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

5 Mains Paper-III: General Studies-II for 250 marks

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

6 Mains Paper-IV: General Studies-III for 250 marks

  • Management Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.

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

7 Mains Paper-V: General Studies-VI for 250 marks

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public 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: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.

8 Mains Paper-VI: Optional Paper-I for 250 marks

  • Paper I is theoretical in nature.
  • The list of optional subjects are given below.

9 Mains Paper-VII: Optional Paper-II for 250 marks

  • Paper II is often dominated by Current Affairs and Application based questions.
  • The list of optional subjects are given below.

Points Related to the Mains Exam

The subjects available for Mains Papers VI and VII are:
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology.

Public administration is one of the most sought after optional subjects in Mains examination as it has overlapping content with other subjects like Current Affairs, History, Polity. The standards of Optional papers are of the Post Graduate level.

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.

Syllabus for Personality Test

There is no specific syllabus for IAS interview. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only a candidate’s intellectual qualities but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, the ability for social cohesion, LEADERSHIP, and intellectual and moral integrity.

List of Services under UPSC CSE

All India Services (Group A)

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Indian Police Service (IPS)
  • Indian Forest Service (IFS)

Central Services (Group A)

  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS)
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
  • Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
  • Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • Indian Information Service (IIS)
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
  • Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS)
  • Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS-IT)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS-C&CE)
  • Indian Trade Service (ITrS)
  • Railway Protection Force (RPF)

Group B Services

  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (AFHCS)
  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS)
  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS)
  • Pondicherry Civil Service (PCS)
  • Pondicherry Police Service (PPS)
Click to Get Updates on
+

Pin It on Pinterest