Civil Services Examination (CSE)

Civil Services Examination (CSE)


Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for various posts of Civil Services of Government of India. This includes prestigious posts like Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), etc. It is commonly known as IAS examination because of the popularity of its most famous and sought-after services, the IAS.

Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the most competitive exams in India where about 10 lakhs candidate apply and more than 5 lakhs attend preliminary exam every year for about 750 – 1300 vacancies. This exam consists of three phases includes preliminary examination, main examination and personality test (interview).

Important Dates (Tentative Schedule based on previous year pattern)

Notification: Notification mostly in the month of January / February. (For 2019 examination it was 19 February 2019)

Last date of application: One Month From Notification (For 2019 examination it was 19 March 2019)

Preliminary Examination: June (For 2019 examination it is on 2 June 2019)

Results of Preliminary: August

Main Examination: October – November

Personality Test (Interview): March (Next year)

Final Result: May (Next year)

Training Starts: September (Next year)

Eligibility for Civil Services Examination (CSE)

1. Nationality

For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, the candidate must be a citizen of India.

For other services, the candidate must be one of the following:

  • A citizen of India
  • A citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  • A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India

2. Education

All candidates must have as a minimum one of the following educational qualifications:

  • A degree from a Central, State or a Deemed university
  • A degree received through correspondence or distance education
  • A degree from an open university
  • A qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equivalent to one of the above

The following candidates are also eligible, but must submit proof of their eligibility from a competent authority at their institute/university at the time of the main examination, failing which they will not be allowed to attend the exam.

  • Candidates who have appeared in an examination, the passing of which would render them educationally qualified enough to satisfy one of the above points
  • Candidates who have passed the final exam of the MBBS degree but have not yet completed an internship.
  • Candidates who have passed the final exam of ICAI, ICSI and ICWAI.
  • A degree from a private university.
  • A degree from any foreign university recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.

3. Age

The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years (for the General category candidate) on 1st August of the year of examination. Prescribed age limits vary with respect to caste reservations.

  • For Other Backward Castes (OBC) the upper age limit is 35
  • For Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), the limit is 37 years.
  • The upper age limit is relaxed for certain candidates who are backward with respect to other factors and differently abled

4. Number of attempts

The number of times a candidate may attempt the exam is limited as follows:

  • General category candidates = 6.
  • OBC category candidates = 9.
  • SC/ST candidates = unlimited attempts till 37 years of age.

Appearing to attempt one of the papers in the preliminary examination is counted as an attempt, including disqualification/ cancellation of candidature. However, applying to sit the exam but failing to attend is not counted as an attempt.

List of Services

Following are the services which one gets on qualifying the Civil Service Examination.

  1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  2. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  3. Indian Police Service (IPS)
  4. Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’.
  5. Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  6. Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’.
  7. Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  8. Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’.
  9. Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration).
  10. Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’.
  11. Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  12. Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.
  13. Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group ‘A’.
  14. Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
  15. Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
  16. Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’.
  17. Indian Information Service(Junior Grade), Group ‘A’.
  18. Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’.
  19. Indian Corporate Law Service, Group “A”.
  20. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade).
  21. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group ‘B’.
  22. Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group ‘B’.
  23. Pondicherry Civil Service, Group ‘B’.
  24. Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’.

Centres of Civil Services Examination (CSE) Preliminary


Centres of Civil Services Examination (CSE) Mains



The information given here is for informative purpose only. Please visit UPSC official site / notification for latest and correct information. Please visit for application.

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