Dear Mentor:

Where can I take the civil sercice exam in India?

Please send me the information about the centers where I can register my self for the IAS exam.

All About the IAS, Shiroda, Goa, India

Dear All About the IAS:

The Civil Service Examination (CSE)

The CSE is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as a common examination for various services like the IAS, IFS, IPS, Group A and Group B Central Services. The notification for the examination, giving rules and the syllabus for all subjects included in the exam is published in the month of November/December every year in Employment News/Rozgar Samachar and Gazette of India, as well as in some Newspapers. All students, aspiring to become a civil servant, are advised to get a copy of this notification from the Employment News or other publications.

The CSE consists of:

1.Civil Services Preliminary Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates to the Main Examination, and

2.Civil Services Main Examination (Written and Interview)

Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination has two papers of Objective type questions, and carries a maximum of 450 marks. Paper I (General Studies) carries 150 marks and Paper II (one subject to be selected from the prescribed list of optional subjects) carries 300 marks.

Each paper is of two hours duration. The course content of the syllabi for the optional subjects is at the degree level.

Date of Examination

The Preliminary Examination is usually held by the UPSC on a Sunday in the last week of May or the first week of June every year. The exact date is published in the Notification.

The Examination Centres for the Preliminary Examination generally are Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizwal, Allahabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur(Guwahati), Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kohima, Lucknow, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji(Goa), Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Ranchi, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupathi, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Visakhapatnam.

Main Examination

Only those who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in a year, are eligible for admission to the Main examination of that year, provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

The number of candidates admitted to the Main Examination is usually about 12 to 13 times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled that year in the various services and posts.

The Main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and the depth of understanding of the candidates, rather than merely the range of their information and memory. Sufficient choice of questions is allowed in the question papers.

The Main Examination consists of 9 papers of the conventional essay-type questions, in the subjects prescribed by the Commission.

Paper Number

Paper Name



One of the Indian Languages









General Studies - I



General Studies - II



Optional - I



Optional - II



Optional - I



Optional - II


Grand Total: 2000 marks

The Papers I and II are of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in them do not count for ranking purposes. The question papers (III to IX) are set in both Hindi and English.

The Optional Subject Papers are broadly at the Honours degree level, i.e. a level higher than the Bachelor's degree and lower than the Master's degree. In Engineering, Law and Medical Sciences, the level corresponds to the Bachelor's degree.


1.The aim of Papers I and II is to test the candidate's ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and to express his/her ideas clearly and correctly in English/the Indian Language concerned.

2.Paper I (Indian Language) is not, however, compulsory for candidates hailing from the North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland or the State of Sikkim.

3.Candidates have the option to answer Papers III to IX in English or in one of the Indian Languages as per Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India.


The number of candidates called for the interview is usually twice the number of likely vacancies. A total of 300 marks are alloted for the interview.

Basis of Final Ranking

The total marks obtained in the Main Examination, both written and interview, determine the candidate's rank in the final selection.

Date of Examination

The written part of the Main Examination is usually conducted in November/December every year.

The Examination Centres for the Main Examination generally are Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cuttack, Delhi, Dispur(Guwahati), Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Shillong, Shimla and Trivandrum.

Eligibility Conditions

  1. A candidate for CSE must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years. The upper age limit is relaxable by 5 years for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates, by 3 years for candidates of OBC and by various terms for certain other categories.
  2. A candidate must hold a degree from any Indian University or other educational institution deemed as University or possess an equivalent qualification (there is no restriction on the basis of marks, class or duration of the course.) A candidate who is in the final year of his/her degree course can apply for and appear in the Prelim Examination. However, he/she should be able to submit proof of his/her qualification while applying in August for the Main Examination, if selected.
  3. A candidate is allowed four attempts only, subject to age limits. Appearance in any one of the two papers of the Prelim Examination will be considered as an attempt. Submission of Prelim application to UPSC and receipt of the Hall Ticket will not be treated as an attempt, if the candidate does not apear at all in either paper. An OBC candidate is allowed a maximum of seven attempts subject to the age limit with relaxation. There is no ceiling on the number of attempts for a candidate belonging to SC/ST, subject to the age limit with relaxation.
  4. Reservation is made for candidates belonging to SC/ST, and OBC in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government from time to time.

Admission Fee for UPSC Prelim Examination

A candidate seeking admission to the Preliminary Examination must pay the prescribed fee (currently Rs. 40/- only) to the UPSC (candidates from SC/ST are not required to pay any fee.) Payment must be made by pasting Central Recruitment Fee Stamps on the Application Form (as indicated by the UPSC notifications).


Application should be submitted for the Preliminary Examination only. Candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified for admission to the Main Examniation, will have to apply again in the detailed application form which will be supplied to them directy by the UPSC.

The application forms are NOT supplied by the UPSC. Candidates can utilise in original, the form published in the Newspapers/Employment News/Rozgar Samachar, or they may send it type written neatly in white paper in double spacing and on one side of the paper only. There is no objection to the use of printed application forms and attendance sheets from Private Agencies, if the format is true to the one published. The form must be filled in the candidates own handwriting, with a ball point pen.

The completed Application form must reach the Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, New Delhi 110 011, by Registered Post or by personal delivery at the counter, on or before the due date.

Syllabus and other details

The notification and syllabus for CSE are released by the UPSC in November/December of every year in Employment News and Rozgar Samachar. You are advised to see the Press advertisement and obtain Employment News/Rozgar Samachar from News Agents or by remitting Rs. 10/- by MO/IPO to one of the addresses given below.

  1. M/s. Pandey News Agency
    Employment News
    Behind Gulab Bhawan
    Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
    New Delhi - 110 002

  2. M/s. R. B. Singh
    Magazine Distributors
    146, D.N. Road
    Bombay - 400 001

  3. M/s. K. K. Puri
    Newspaper Agent
    9, Dacre's Lane
    Flat No.2, Ground Floor
    Calcutta - 700 069

  4. M/s. Southern News Mart
    46-C, E. V. K. Sampath Road
    Chennai - 600 007


The results of Prelim/Main Examinations are normally available with Press Information Bureau or through Employment News.

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