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All About Union Public Service Commission - Establishment Year And The Updated UPSC Syllabus 2021

Last updated date: 22nd May 2024
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Union Public Service Commission Of India: An Introduction

Union Public Service Commission, popularly known as UPSC is one of the important and critical bodies of the country. This body is said to be responsible for the recruitment of the Group A officers of the country. It is also a constituent body. The Chairman as well as members of the UPSC are said to be appointed by the President as per the Constitution of India. In this article, we will be covering basic details about the UPSC and about the CSE exam that is conducted by it. 

About UPSC & CSE

UPSC or the Union Public Service Commission conducts a nationwide competitive examination in India called the Civil Services Examination (CSE) to recruit higher Civil Services of the Government of India, including the following:

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS), 

  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and 

  • Indian Police Service (IPS).

Civil Services Examination (CSE) is also called the UPSC examination that is conducted in the following three phases:

  • Phase I and II are objective kinds, i.e., General Studies (GS) Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II and we popularly call them Civil Service Aptitude Test or CSAT.

  • Phase-III: The third phase is an essay-type examination. 

The Union Public Service Commission Syllabus is consistently revised as per the latest trends, which you will find on this page. Along with the exam pattern, you will get to know the latest updates on the UPSC exam, like the current Union Public Service Commission chairperson.

Process of The Union Public Service Commission Examination

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is established on the guidelines of the British era Imperial Civil Service exams, in addition to the civil service exams conducted by ancient Indian empires such as the Mauryan Empire and Mughal Empire.  

UPSC is the hardest competitive exam in India. A single attempt in this exam takes entire years of preparation - one year prior to the prelims and one year from prelims to interview. Results for the Prelims are published in mid-August, while the final result is published in May of the subsequent year.

  • Stage I: Preliminary Examination

Scheduled in June every year. Results are announced in August.

  • Stage II: Mains

Examination - Held in September - October every year. Results are announced in January.

Personality Test (interview) - Held in February - March. Final outcomes are usually announced in May.

  • The Training session

The training program for the selected candidates typically commences in the following September.

Syllabus of Union Public Service Commission 

Below, you will Find the Updated Union Public Service Commission Syllabus:

1. General Studies Paper-I 

This paper comprises 100 questions that widely cover the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours:

  • Current events of National and International importance.

  • History of India and Indian National Movement.

  • Indian & World Geography covering the Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.

2. Indian Polity & Governance carrying the following sub-topics:

  • Constitution, 

  • Political System, 

  • Panchayati Raj, 

  • Public Policy, 

  • Rights Issues, etc.

3. Economic and Social Development carrying the following sub-topics:

  • Sustainable Development, 

  • Poverty, Inclusion, 

  • Demographics, 

  • Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

4. General issues on the following sub-topics:

  • Environmental ecology, 

  • Bio-diversity, and

  • climate change – that does not need a subject specialization.

5. General Science (GS)

2. General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

It comprises 80 questions from the following topics bearing a maximum marking of 200 to be solved in 2 hours:

  • Comprehension

  • Interpersonal skills incorporating communication skills

  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability

  • Decision-making & problem-solving

  • General mental ability

General Studies Paper-II of the IAS Exam is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks of 33%.

Educational Qualification For The UPSC Examination

All applicants ought to have as a minimum one of the following educational qualifications:

  • A degree from either a Central, State or a Deemed university, or

  • A degree obtained via correspondence or distance education, or

  • A degree from an open university.

A qualification recognized by the Government of India as being equal to one of the above.

The following applicants also are eligible, however, ought to submit the proof of their eligibility from an able authority at their institute/university at the time of the main exam, failing which they may not be allowed to wait for the examination.

  • Candidates who appeared in an exam the passing of which might render them educationally qualified enough to fulfill one of the above points.

  • Candidates who've passed the final examination of the MBBS degree, however, have not yet completed an internship.

  • Candidates who've passed the final exam of ICAI, ICSI, and ICWAI.

  • A degree from a private university.

  • A degree from any foreign college recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.

Important Points To Remember For The UPSC Exam 

  • The papers on Indian languages and English (Paper A and Paper B) will be of qualifying nature and the marks acquired in those papers will now no longer depend on ranking.

  • The papers on Indian languages and English (Paper A and Paper B) will be of Matriculation or equal standard.

  • The papers on Essay, GS, and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language’ and 25% in ‘English’ as minimum qualifying requirements in those qualifying papers.

  • Marks acquired by the candidates for Paper I-VII will only be considered for merit ranking.

  • The question papers for the main exam will be of conventional (essay) kind and each paper will be of three-hour duration.

  • Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language Papers, i.e., Paper-A, and Paper-B, in any one of the languages incorporated in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English.

  • The question papers (apart from the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.

  • Compensatory time of 20 minutes per hour will be accredited for the Visually handicapped candidates and the candidates with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy where dominant (writing) extremity is affected to the extent of slowing the overall performance of function (minimum of 40% impairment) in both the Civil Services (Preliminary) in addition to in the Civil Services (Main) Examination.

Did You Know?

  • Do you know the current chairman of the Union Public Service Commission? Well! The current chairman of the Union Public Service Commission is Dr. Pradeep Kumar Joshi who assumed office in August 2020.

  • Do you know that in UPSC, an aggregate of 900,000 to one million candidates apply for this examination every year and the variety of applicants sitting in the initial exam is around 550,000?

  • The Union Public Service Commission was established (set up) on October 1, 1926. The child commission in India is Public Service Commissions in India.


Thus, here we have covered basic information about the UPSC and CSE exam, the syllabus and other key points. Besides this, you should follow the yearly exam calendar released by the UPSC every year to check the dates of the exams and go through the latest notification of the exam for the detailed syllabus. 

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FAQs on All About Union Public Service Commission - Establishment Year And The Updated UPSC Syllabus 2021

1. What jobs are there in UPSC?

At present, there are 23 different Civil Services that candidates enter into, via UPSC. The most popular services are as mentioned below:

  • Indian Administrative Services (IAS), 

  • Indian Police Services (IPS), 

  • Indian Revenue Services (IRS), and 

  • Indian Foreign Services (IFS). 

These services are allotted to successful candidates depending upon the ranking they obtain in the examination.

2. Who is the founder of UPSC? Name the parent organisation of UPSC.

The founder of UPSC was the parliament of the UK. The government of India is the parent organisation of UPSC. It is said to be a constitutional body which was established and worked as per the Part XIV of the Constitution of the country. The earlier name was said to be Public Service Commission which was changed to UPSC after adoption of the Constitution.

3. What was the UPSC 2020 exam cut-off?

As per the cut-off marks official notice shared for the UPSC 2020, the cut-off marks for CSE Prelims for the general category were 92.51, For the Main exam, it was 736, and for the Final (exam + Personal Interview), it was 944. The cut-off marks for the UPSC exam are prepared on the basis of GS Paper-I only. However, the second phase, i.e., GS Paper-II was of a qualifying nature with fixed 33% marks.