The Examination Pattern for Civil services
The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. It is a three stage examination i.e.-
Stage I: Preliminary examination
Stage II: Main examination
Stage III: Personality Test (Interview)
Stage I: Preliminary examination
Scheme of Preliminary Examination
This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year are eligible for writing the Main Examination of that year.
Syllabus of Paper I -(200 marks) Duration : Two hours
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, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization
Syllabus for Paper II-(200 marks) Duration: Two hours
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)
English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type.
Note: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.
Stage II: Main examination
Scheme of Preliminary Examination:-
The Civil Services Main examination is designed to test the academic talent of the aspirant, also his/her ability to present his/ her knowledge in a clear and coherent manner. The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
The UPSC has revised the pattern of Civil Services Main examination from 2014.
Now there are 7 + 2 = 9 papers to be answered in the main examination. All of them are of descriptive type. There are two qualifying papers 1) any modern Indian language 2) English are of 300 marks each. Their marks will not be counted in the main examination.
The candidate is allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination.
According to the new pattern there are "FOUR" General Studies paper each comprising of 250 Marks with a total of 1000 Marks. The scope of the syllabus of General Studies is of degree level.
There is only "ONE" optional subject to choose from the list of subjects. It comprises of two papers each of 300 marks. So the total of optional paper is 600 marks. Candidate is allowed to take up literature as an optional subject "without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language's literature. The scope of the syllabus of optional paper is higher than the bachelor's degree but lower than the master's level.
Interview/Personality Test is of 275 Marks. Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.
The total mark of the written examination is 1750 Marks.
The Interview/Personality Test will be of 275 marks.
The Grand Total 2025 Marks.
Civil Services Mains Exam 2014 Syllabus
The written examination will consist of the following papers:
Paper A - Modern Indian language 300 Marks - Qualifying nature - Marks not counted - Passing mandatory-
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essay
(v) Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.
Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
Note 2 : The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).
Paper B - English -300 marks - Qualifying nature - Marks not counted- Passing mandatory
The aim of the paper is to test the candidates' ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.
The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:-
(i) Comprehension of given passages
(ii) Precis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary
(iv) Short Essay.
Paper-I:-Essay - 250 Marks
To be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice - Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
Paper-II:- General Studies-I 250 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
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.
Paper-III -General Studies -II: 250 Marks (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
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 andBodies 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.
PAPER-IV -General Studies -III 250 Marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster 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; issues of buffer stocks 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
Paper-V :-General Studies -IV 250 Marks (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
This paper will include questions to test the candidates' attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.
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'sCharters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
Case Studies on above issues.
Optional Subject - Paper I -250 Marks
Optional Subject - Paper II -250 Marks
Candidates may choose any ONE optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.
Interview/Personality Test - 275 Marks
Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.
Marks obtained by the candidates for all papers EXCEPT PAPER A & B will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination Aspirants can log on to UPSC's official website (www.upsc.gov.in) to see the detailed notification.
Stage III: Personality Test (Interview)
Interview,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. 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, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.