Civil Services Examination - 2019 Notification released

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Dear Aspirant,

Welcome to LearnersValley. Your learning partner for Civil Services Examination. Firstly, we need to understand what Civil Services Examination is all about and how to crack this exam with right strategy.

Civil Services Examination

The Civil Services is the permanent executive branch of the Republic of India. The civil service system is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country. In the parliamentary democracy of India the ministers lay down the policies and the Civil Servants carry out those policies. To qualify to become a Civil Servant, every aspirant takes an examination called the Civil Services Examination which is popularly known as IAS examination. Union Public Service Commission conducts the IAS exam every year which is said to be the mother of all examinations.

There is lot of information available to study for Civil Services Examination but a right strategy is very important to be followed by every aspirant to crack one of the toughest examinations in India. In order to prepare a strategy, it is very much necessary to understand the pattern and scheme of the examination.

Examination Pattern


Type of Examination

Tentative Date

IAS 2019 Prelims

Objective type (MCQ)

May – July

IAS 2019 Mains

Descriptive type

October – December

Personality Test


February – March

The notification for Civil Services will be released in between February and March of Every year.

Let us see the eligibility criteria for IAS exam

Candidates must be the citizen of India. Candidate must satisfy the minimum physical standard as per prescribed in the official notification. At any stage, if a candidate is found ineligible for the exam, he/she will be disqualified from further rounds of the recruitment process.

Age Limit

The minimum and maximum age of the candidates must be 21 years and 32 years respectively. The relaxation in the upper age for the candidates of the SC and ST category will be 5 years and for the OBC category will be of 3 years.

Educational Qualification

It is mandatory to possess a graduation degree in any discipline from a recognized university or from the central government. Applicants who are pursuing education and are in their final semester or final year may apply.

Upsc Civil Services (Ias) Exam Pattern

As previously said, the Civil Services Exam is conducted by the UPSC every year in three stages and they are:

Stage 1          : Preliminary Examination

Stage 2          : Main Examination

Stage 3          : Personality Test/Interview Round

The stage 1 of the civil services exam is prelims, which is a screening test for candidates and comprises of two papers with questions of objective or MCQ type.

The IAS Prelims Exam Pattern is as follows

Sl No


Qualifying/ Merit

Duration of Exam




Paper – 1 General Studies

Selected based on cutoff (merit)

2 hours


200 Marks


Paper – 2 CSAT

Qualifying paper

2 hours


200 Marks

There is ‘Negative Marking’ in the IAS prelims exam for each incorrect answer. The negative marking for incorrect answers will be 1/3rd (0.66) of the allotted marks of that question. The GS Paper II (CSAT) is of qualifying nature and candidates should score a minimum of 33 per cent in this paper to qualify to the next stage of the exam i.e. the Civil Services Mains.

Blind candidates are given an extra time of 20 minutes for each paper in the prelims exam. It is mandatory for the candidates to appear in both the papers of civil services prelims exam for the evaluation.

The marks scored by the candidates in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final score. Candidates who clear the Civil Services Prelims Exam with the required cutoff marks will qualify for the Mains examination.

The IAS Mains Exam Pattern is as follows



Name of Paper

Qualifying / Merit

Duration of exam



Paper A

Compulsory Indian Language

Qualifying Nature

3 hours

300 marks


Paper B

English Paper

Qualifying Nature

3 hours

300 marks


Paper – I


Merit based written examination

3 hours

250 marks


Paper – II

General Studies I

3 hours

250 marks


Paper – III

General Studies II

3 hours

250 marks


Paper – IV

General Studies III

3 hours

250 marks


Paper – V

General Studies IV

3 hours

250 marks


Paper – VI

Optional Paper I

3 hours

250 marks


Paper – VII

Optional Paper II

3 hours

250 marks


Total Marks (Excluding Qualifying nature papers)

1750 Marks


Interview or Personality Test

275 Marks


Total marks

2075 Marks


Once the candidate have cleared the mains examination with the required cutoff marks, he/she will be qualified for the final stage of examination (Personality test) which would be a face to face interview with board members of UPSC.

Syllabus for Prelims and mains examination

UPSC Preliminary Examination Syllabus

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
  • General Science

Syllabus for Paper II-(200 marks) Duration: Two hours

  • 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)
  • 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.

Note : The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type.

Civil Services Mains Exam 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 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.

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's

Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

Case Studies on above issues.

Paper-VI     Optional Subject - Paper I -250 Marks

Paper-VII    Optional Subject - Paper II -250 Marks

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


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 ( to see the detailed notification.

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.

Current Affairs (CIVIL-SERVICES---PRELIMS-2019)

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