UPSC ISS Exam 2020 (Indian Statistical Services)

Dates | Eligibility | Exam Pattern | Syllabus | Salary

 UPSC ISS Exam (Indian Statistical Service) is a part of the Central Civil Services. Candidates recruited through ISS are Group ‘A’ Officers concerned directly with the administration and permanent bureaucracy of the Govt. of India.

The aspirants recruited through ISS are also concerned and responsible for various surveys and studies conducted by the Govt. of India.

About UPSC ISS Exam

The ISS Exam is normally conducted in the month of June once a year. For which the notification is generally published in the month of March of the same year while the online applications can be submitted till mid of April or so.

Just like other UPSC exams, Indian Statistical Service is segregated into two parts –

  1. The written examination and
  2. The personal interview.

**NOTE: Only candidates clearing the written examination will be called for the personal interview.

The object of the interview is to assess his/her suitability for the service he/she is competing for. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination, but of a natural yet directed and purposive conversation intended to reveal the candidate’s mental qualities and his/her grasp of problems.

The Interview Board will pay special attention to assess the intellectual curiosity, critical powers of assimilation, a balance of judgment and alertness of mind, the ability for social cohesion, the integrity of character initiative and capacity for leadership.

UPSC ISS Exam Dates 2020

The UPSC has released its Exam Calendar for the year 2020. The following dates are in reference of the same.

Starting Date of Application25 March 2020
Last Date of Application13 April 2020
Date of Examination26 June 2020

**NOTE: The Dates mentioned are as per UPSC academic calendar 2020

UPSC ISS Exam Pattern

There are two parts of the examination. Part I consists of a written examination carrying a maximum of 1000 marks. And Part II is a viva voce of such candidates called by the UPSC carrying a maximum of 200 marks.

Part-I: Written Examination

There are six subjects in the written examination out of which two of them are objective type.

Sl. No.SubjectMarksTime Allowed
1.General English1003 hrs.
2.General Studies1003 hrs.
3.Statistics-I (objective)2002hrs.
4.Statistics-II (objective)2002hrs.
5.Statistics-III (descriptive)2003hrs.
6.Statistics-IV (descriptive)2003hrs.


  • Statistics I & II will be of Objective Type Questions (80 questions with maximum marks of 200 in each paper) to be attempted in 120 minutes.
  • Statistics III & IV will be of Descriptive Type having Short Answer/ Small Problems Questions (50%) and Long Answer and Comprehension problem questions (50%). At least one Short Answer and One Long Answer Question from each section is compulsory.
  • In Statistics-IV, an equal number of questions i.e. 50% weightage from all the sub-sections below and candidates have to choose any two sub-sections and answer.
  • All question papers must be answered in English;
  • Question papers will be set in English only.

Part-II: Viva Voce

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board of competent and unbiased observers who will have before them a record of his/her career. The object of the interview is to assess his/her suitability for the service for which he/she has competed.

Eligibility Criteria

To appear in Indian Statistical Service (ISS) examination a candidate is to be eligible on three grounds viz. Nationality, Age limit and Educational Qualification.


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 the 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 or East African Countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire and Ethiopia or from Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) above shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Age Limit

A candidate appearing for the ISS exam must have attained 21 years and have a maximum age limit of 32 years. It has some upper age relaxation for certain categories of candidates. Please refer the latest notification for the purpose.

Educational Qualification

A candidate for the Indian Statistical Service must have obtained a Bachelor’s Degree with Statistics/Mathematical Statistics/Applied Statistics as one of the subjects or a Master’s degree in Statistics/Mathematical Statistics/Applied Statistics from a recognized University.

UPSC ISS Exam Syllabus

The standard of papers in General English and General Studies will be such as may be expected of a graduate of an Indian University. The standard of papers in the other subjects will be that of the Master’s degree examination of an Indian University.

General English

Candidates will be required to write an essay in English. Other questions will be designed to test their understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. Passages will usually be set for summary or precis.

General Studies

General knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of everyday observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject.

The paper will also include questions on Indian Polity including the political system and the Constitution of India, History of India and Geography of a nature which a candidate should be able to answer without special study.

Statistics – I

2Statistical Methods
3Numerical Analysis
4Computer Application & Data Processing

Statistics – II

1Linear Models
2Statistical Inference & Hypothetical Testing
3Official Statistics

Statistics – III

1Sampling Techniques
3Applied Statistics

Statistics – IV (Descriptive)

1Operational Research & Reliability
2Demography & Vital Statistics
3Survival Analysis and Clinical Trial
4Quality Control
5Multivariate Analysis
6Design & Analysis of Experiments
7Computing with C & R

Application Process

The application process for applying in the ISS examination is as same as it is for other UPSC exams. Candidates have to apply online through UPSC official site.

The eligible candidates shall be issued an e-admit card weeks before the commencement of the examination.

Candidates are requested to keep ready the attested copies of the following documents for submission to the Commission soon after the declaration of the result of the written part of the examination.

  1. Certificate of Age.
  2. Certificate of Educational Qualification.
  3. Certificate in support of a claim to belong to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes where applicable.
  4. Certificate in support of a claim for age/fee concession, where applicable.
  5. Certificate in support of being Person with Benchmark Disability (where applicable).

Job Prospects

ISS is the gateway to the central service as Group A officers. Aspirants who successfully pass ISS examination are placed in various cadre posts in the

  1. Planning commission,
  2. Planning board,
  3. Ministry of economic affairs,
  4. National sample survey and
  5. Allied offices where specialists in statistics/economics are required.

The posts are primarily located in Ministries/Departments dealing with economic and social sectors.

Besides Cadre posts, ISS officers go on deputation to serve in various domestic and international organizations such as:

  1. United Nation bodies,
  2. Foreign governments,
  3. State governments and regulatory bodies.

Officers from the service are also appointed on deputation to posts in the Central Ministries/ Departments under the Central Staffing Scheme. The places of posting are usually in the State capitals or New Delhi.

A candidate selected at a favourable age can expect to rise quite high in the career and touch the level of even Secretary to the Government of India, in any Ministry concerned with economic affairs.

Salary of an ISS officer:

DesignationPay Structure
Principle/Chief Advisor₹ 80,000 (fixed)
Senior Advisor₹ 67,000 – (annual increment @3%)- ₹ 79,000
AdvisorPay Band-4: ₹ 37,400 – 67,000 + Grade Pay: ₹ 10,000
Director/Additional AdvisorPay Band-4: ₹ 37,400 – 67,000 + Grade Pay: ₹ 8,700
Joint Director/Deputy AdvisorPay Band-3: ₹ 15,600 – 39,100 + Grade Pay: ₹ 7,600
Senior Research OfficerPay Band-3: ₹ 15,600 – 39,100 + Grade Pay: ₹ 6,600
Assistant Director/Junior Research OfficerPay Band-3: ₹ 15,600 – 39,100 + Grade Pay:  ₹ 5,400

12 thoughts on “UPSC ISS Exam 2020 (Indian Statistical Services)”

  1. Hello Jay Hind Sir .Sir My is going in Computer application and Statistics, mathematics. Then after I will do Msc in Statistics.
    So I want to join civil service in ISS. I want preparation for all subject.

  2. I’m in the final year of B.Tech Biotechnology. I want to know if I’m eligible for this exam. I have a keen interest in this and even I have a knowledge of machine learning, R language, Data mining software, Advance Excel.

    • You must have a Bachelor’s Degree with Statistics/Mathematical Statistics/Applied Statistics as one of the subjects or a Master’s degree in Statistics/Mathematical Statistics/Applied Statistics from a recognized University.

    • Sir hamne kiya hai ar statistics as one of my subject to kya am I eligible for iss ,although I complete my and statistics is also one of my subject ,so plz clear my doubt regarding eligibility criteria for iss,as soon as possible ,I m very great ful to u,thanx,


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