UPSC IAS Exam 2020 - Notification, Dates, Eligibility, Pattern and Syllabus

UPSC IAS Exam 2020 - Civil services exam (CSE) is a competitive exam conducted by UPSC for the recruitment of elite IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS and other Group A, Group B services. UPSC Civil Services Exam is also popularly called as IAS exam since it is the most preferred services and reputed government services in India. UPSC IAS exam is conducted in three phases - Prelims, Mains and Interview. The notification for the IAS Exam 2020 will be released on 12th February 2020. IAS Prelims exam is scheduled on 31st May 2020. Prelims qualified candidates will be eligible for IAS Mains exam, which is scheduled on 18th September 2020. 

Note: For UPSC Civil Services Exam 2019, the Mains examination will begin from 20th September 2019. Aspirants appearing for the exam can download their UPSC Admit Card till 20th September 2019! 

UPSC IAS Exam 2020

Official Name of Exam

UPSC Civil Services Exam

Conducting body

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Exam Cycle 

Yearly

Mode of Exam

Offline for both Prelims and Mains

Number of Vacancies

Will be released in the official notification

Number of candidates apply for the exam

Around 10-12 lakhs

Total Number of Services included in exam

24

Attention UPSC CSE Aspirants

UPSC Syllabus

for Prelims & Mains

IAS Counselling

by Subject Experts

Free Material

for UPSC Preparation

UPSC IAS Exam 2020 - Dates

Notification Release Date

12th February 2020

Application Form Filling

12th February 2020 to 03rd March 2020

IAS Prelims Admit Card Release Date

April 2020 (Tentative)

IAS Prelims Exam Date

31st May 2020

IAS Prelims Result Date

Mid-July, 2020 (Tentative)

IAS Mains DAF Form Filling

August 2020 (Tentative)

IAS Mains Exam Date

18th September 2020

IAS Mains Result Date

December 2020/ January 2021 (Tentative)

IAS Interview Date

February to March 2020 (Tentative)

UPSC IAS Eligibility Criteria 2020

Nationality

For All India Services (IAS and IPS), the candidate must be a citizen of India.

For Other Services like IRS, IAAS, IRTS etc., the candidate must be either

  1. a Citizen of India, or
  2. a Citizen of Nepal, or
  3. a Subject of Bhutan, or
  4. a Tibetan refugee, who came over to India before 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
  5. a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Educational Qualification

Candidates must hold the graduation or equivalent qualification from the recognised universities.

Age limit

The lower age limit for UPSC IAS exam 2020 is 21 years as on August 2020 and the upper age limit is 32 years. 

The age relaxation is provided for OBC, SC, ST, Physically challenged and Ex-servicemen. The age relaxation detail is mentioned below:

Category

Upper age limit after relaxation

OBC

35 years

SC / ST

37 years

Physically Challenged 

42 years

Ex-Servicemen

37 years

Defense Services Personnel disabled

35 years

ECOs/SSCOs - completed five years of Military Service

37 years

Number of Attempts

UPSC provides 6 attempts IAS exam in general Category, For OBC the number of attempts is 9 and SC / ST - there is no restriction on number of attempts.

Read More: UPSC Eligibility Criteria 

Guidance For IAS Preparation

UPSC Booklist

for Prelims Exam

IAS Optional Choosing

suggestion by experts

Online Courses

by Top IAS Teachers

UPSC IAS Application Form 2020

UPSC IAS Exam 2020 application form will be available from 12th February 2020 onwards. Aspirants preparing for UPSC IAS 2020 exam need to register online from the official website - upsconline.nic.in.

Check the procedure to fill the form for UPSC IAS Exam 2020

  1. Check the eligibility for UPSC IAS exam before start applying.
  2. Visit UPSC official website upsconline.nic.in and click on “Online Application For Various Examinations of UPSC”
  3. Fill the details asked in Part 1 of Registration and complete the process of Part 1 of UPSC IAS prelims exam application
  4. Login to Part II registration by entering your date of birth and registration id and make the payment, upload photo, signature and ID details to complete the application process.
  5. Confirmation email will be sent to your registered email once IAS application form filling is done.
Read More: UPSC Application Form

List of posts under UPSC Civil Services Exam

UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) - Group A Services

Indian Administrative Services (IAS)

Indian Civil Accounts Services

Indian Foreign Services (IFS)

Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS)

Indian Police Services (IPS)

Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS)

Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Services

Indian Railway Personnel Services

Indian Audit and Accounts Services (IAAS)

Indian Railway Protection Force (Assistant Security Commissioner)

Indian Revenue Services (Customs and Central Excise) - IRS Customs

Indian Defence Estates Services

Indian Defence Accounts Services

Indian Information Services (Junior Grade)

Indian Revenue Services (I.T.) - IRS (I.T.)

Indian Trade Services, Group 'A' (Gr. III)

Indian Ordnance Factories Services (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)

Indian Corporate Law Services

Indian Postal Services (IPoS)

 

UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) - Group B Services

Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (Section Officer's Grade)

Pondicherry Civil Services

Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Services

Pondicherry Police Services

Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Services


UPSC IAS Admit Card 2020

Admit card / Hall ticket for UPSC IAS prelims exam will be released on April 2020 (tentative) candidates can download the UPSC IAS exam admit card from the official website (upsc.gov.in) once the admit card is released for UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam.

Read More: UPSC Admit Card Download Procedure

UPSC IAS Exam Pattern

UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Pattern

The UPSC IAS Prelims exam is divided into two papers: Paper 1 for General Studies and Paper 2 for Civil Services Aptitude Test.

Number of Papers

2

Type of Questions

MCQs

Number of Questions in GS Paper 1

100

Number of Questions in GS Paper 2

80

Total Marks

400

Exam Duration

2 Hours

Negative Marks

1/3rd marks will be deducted for wrong answers

Medium of Exam

English and Hindi

Mode of Exam

Offline - Mark answers on OMR Sheet

Cut off Marks based on

GS Paper 1 alone (GS Paper 2 Qualifying in nature)

Note: Paper 2 or the CSAT paper is a qualifying paper and the cut-off marks are 33% of the total marks of the CSAT paper. A candidate needs to score 66 marks (the 33% cut-off score) to qualify for the UPSC IAS exam mains. The total marks are 200.

UPSC IAS Mains Pattern

Total Number of Papers in UPSC Mains Exam

9

Qualifying papers - marks not included in the merit 

2 (English and Indian Language*)

Competitive papers - marks included in merit 

7 (1 Essay Paper, 4 GS Papers, 2 Optional Papers)

Exam Type

Subjective

Competitive papers marks 

250 Marks for each paper

Duration of Exam

3 hours for each paper

Total Marks in UPSC IAS Mains exam

1750 Marks

Exam Mode

Offline

Medium of Exam

English, Hindu and all Indian Languages listed under schedule 8 of Indian Constitution

 

*Note: The only exception to the paper A format on Indian Language is for candidates belonging to or appearing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim.

UPSC IAS Interview Pattern

UPSC shortlist candidates based on the performance in IAS Mains exam. Qualified candidates need to appear before the UPSC board for interview. The IAS interview is conducted to assess the personality of candidates. The marks alloted for IAS interview is 275 marks.

Read More: IAS Exam Pattern 

UPSC IAS Syllabus

UPSC provides the IAS exam syllabus at the time of notification every year. In the syllabus there is no change since the 2015 exam. Download UPSC Syllabus for IAS exam here 

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus

GS Paper 1

GS Paper 2 (CSAT)

Modern History and INM

Comprehension

India and World Geography

Logical Reasoning

Polity and Governance

Decision Making

Economic and Social Development

General Mental Ability & Data Interpretation

Ecology and Environment

Class 10 Level numeracy

Science and Technology

Interpersonal Skills and Communication

Current Affairs

English language comprehension

UPSC IAS Mains Syllabus

Paper

Syllabus Topics

Marks

Paper A

Indian languages (candidates should be select one of the Indian languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution). (Qualifying)

300

Paper B

English (Qualifying)

300

Paper I

Essay

250

Paper II

General Studies I (Indian heritage and culture, History and Geography of India and the World)

250

Paper III

General Studies II (Governance, constitution, polity, social justice and International relations)management

250

Paper IV

General Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

250

Paper V

General Studies IV (ethics, integrity and aptitude)

250

Paper VI and VII

Two papers on optional. Candidate should be opted subject from the list provided by UPSC.

500

List of Optional Subjects included in UPSC IAS Mains Exam

For the UPSC CSE Mains , there is a list of optional subjects. The candidate has an option to choose only one of the listed subjects. In other words, there is only 1 optional subject to write during the UPSC CSE mains.

Click on the icon to go to the respective optional subject syllabus page.

Literature of any one of the following language:


Books List for UPSC IAS Exam Preparation 2020

In UPSC Civil Services exam candidates need to stick to standard preparation books and read these books as many times as possible instead of reading the same subject from multiple books.

The important books for IAS Exam preparation are listed below:

Subject

Must Read (NCERT)

Primary Material

Reference Material

History

OLD NCERTs: Ancient India RS Sharma Medieval India Sathish Chandra Modern India Bipan Chandra


New NCERTs: 9th to 12th Standard New NCERTs Themes in Indian History

Brief History of Modern India (Spectrum) 

Geography

Geography NCERTs 6th to 12th Contemporary India (9th and 10th standard) Fundamentals of Physical Geography

(11th Standard) India Physical environment (11th Standard) Fundamentals of Human Geography (12th Standard) India People and Economy (12th Standard)

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong

School Atlas - Oxford or Orient BlackSwan School Atlas

Indian Polity

Political Science NCERTs (11th and 12th Standard) Indian Constitution at Work Politics in India Since Independence

Indian Polity - Laxmikanth

Science

Science NCERTs (6th to 12th Standard)

Hindu Newspaper Science and Tech Weekly Column (Sunday)

Indian Economy

Economy 11th and 12th NCERTs Micro and Macroeconomics Indian Economic Development

Indian Econmy - Ramesh Singh

Art and Culture

Art and Culture NCERTs (11th Standard) Introduction to Indian Art

Indian Art and Culture By Nitin Singhania

Environment

Science Biology 12th Standard NCERT (Last four Chapters 13 to 16)

Shankar IAS Environment Material (Act, Policies and Convention)

IGNOU Environment notes.

Current Affairs

The Hindu or Indian Express

Live Mint, Economic Times, Business Standard

Magazines

Yojana

Kurukshetra Frontline Economic and Political Weekly

Year Book

India Year Book - PIB Publication

How to prepare for UPSC IAS exam 2020?

To clear UPSC IAS exam 2020, candidates should prepare for civil services exam with complete dedication and hard work. 

Before starting the IAS exam preparation, candidates should understand the IAS exam pattern and IAS syllabus. Also, they need to analyse the UPSC previous year question papers to understand the nature and type of questions asked by UPSC, that will help candidates what to read and how to read.

The preparation for IAS exam starts with NCERT textbooks, which provides the basics and conceptual knowledge of all syllabus subject topics. Apart from NCERTs, candidates need to follow one standard books as mentioned in this article. For current affairs preparation candidates need to read one national newspaper regularly (recommended The Hindu / Indian Express). 

Create your own annual plan and daily plan, which will be helpful to structure your IAS exam preparation.

For more detailed preparation strategy read our Smart Strategy with month-wise preparation tips to crack UPSC IAS exam 2020 here

UPSC IAS Exam Prelims Answer Key

UPSC releases the official answer key for IAS prelims exam once the exam process is over, i.e. after the declaration of Final result. Candidates can check the official answer key and their marks in the upsc website (upsc.gov.in). 

We at NeoStencil in association with top IAS coaching institutes release the IAS answer key on the day of UPSC prelims exam to help aspirants check their expected score using our score calculator and predict the cut off marks to guide aspirants for further IAS mains exam preparation. 

UPSC Prelims 2019: Answer Key with Score Calculator

UPSC IAS Exam Result

For civil services exam, UPSC releases three stages of exam result: IAS Prelims result, IAS mains Result and IAS final result. Candidates can check their result in the official website. In the meantime, we at NeoStencil announce the result information on our result pages.

Find the expected dates of UPSC IAS exam results provided below:


UPSC IAS Exam Results 2020

Release Date

Result Page

UPSC IAS Prelims Result

Mid-July, 2020 (Tentative)

Check here

UPSC IAS Mains Result

December 2020/ January 2021 (Tentative)

Check here

UPSC IAS Final Result

March / April 2021

Check here


UPSC IAS Exam Cut off marks

IAS Cut off marks is the minimum marks required to qualify the exam. UPSC civil services exam is conducted in three stages and at every stage the cut off marks are different - IAS Prelims Cut off, IAS Mains cut off and IAS Final cut off marks.

The cut off marks depend on various factors like the number of vacancies, the difficulty level of the question, the number of applicants. The official cut off marks will be released after the declaration of final results on their official website. 

Candidates can check the official cut off marks of 2018 provided below:


Category 

UPSC IAS Prelims Cut off 2018

UPSC IAS Mains Cut off 2018

UPSC IAS Final Cut off 2018

General

98

774

982

OBC

96.66

732

938

SC

84

719

912

ST

83.34

719

912


Read more: IAS Cut Off Marks 

UPSC IAS Exam Online Coaching

We at NeoStencil in association with top IAS coaching institute offer UPSC IAS online coaching for all stages of IAS exam - Prelims, Mains and Interview, which also includes prelims and test series.

In the 2018 result, 124+ candidates are online students of NeoStencil, in that 5 toppers in top 20. Overall along with our partner institutes we delivered 500+ results in the UPSC civil services exam 2018.

List of Online courses offered for UPSC IAS exam 2020 are listed below:



What is IAS?

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is classified as a 'Category A service' in the government service. IAS, IPS, and IFS are three of the most sought-after posts. IAS officers are given strategic positions in the Union Government, State Government and PSUs.

It is very important to know what IAS is before one takes a plunge into this competitive warfare. A person appointed through the Civil Services Exam has personal morality and professional responsibility, to oversee important matters related to the able administrative functioning of a vast country like India. People who have complete information about Indian Civil Services are motivated enough to take multiple attempts to crack the IAS exam. 

IAS officers initially work at the sub-divisional level in the state administration. They also work as a sub-divisional magistrate, overseeing administration/development of the specialist work area they are assigned to. An IAS Officer is expected to perform diverse roles like that of a Collector, Commissioner, Chief Secretary, PSU Head, Cabinet Secretary and more. There is an ample scope to gain more experience and handle challenges to make a positive impact on a million lives.

History of UPSC IAS Exam

When India was declared a democratic nation, it was a moment to reckon with. Going strong and globally unified with its democratic beliefs and values, at the Centre and state level both, these public representatives are successfully performing the duties of a responsible elected official. The system at the central and state level need to work in sync to bring a change. One needs to make judicious use of the evolving state machinery to create and execute effective policy-making decisions.

The set of skilful and knowledgeable government officials are formally called bureaucrats.

The history of Indian Civil Services under the British dictation was a one-way command structure. It was the political system existing during the British Raj which led to the implementation of wrong policies for Indian governance.

Factually, only later, Article 311 of the Constitution in 1949 was conceptualized to encourage bureaucrats to inquire or even criticise their superiors. If they did so on justified grounds, there was no fear of losing their jobs in the pretext of an imposed penalty for incompetency or individual wrongdoing by their superiors or the system.

The apex court's decision has given a further flex-muscle to the Indian Civil Service officers. It has recently notified the Centre and the State Governments to establish a Civil Services Board and handle the bureaucratic affairs of transfers, postings, promotions, inquiries, rewards and punishments, disciplinary action and stipulating job tenure of the bureaucrats. The aim of this decision is to reduce dependency on political interference concerning bureaucracy.

Today, the Indian system of bureaucracy is focused towards delivering in good public faith and a step towards achieving the objective is to enthuse the masses and thus raise the public participation level, entice the youths to join the Indian Civil Services system and thus, make a big leap forwards in general administrative procedure.

Roles & Responsibilities of an IAS officer

An IAS Officer is part of the administrative unit of the executive branch of the Government of the Republic of India. The prime responsibility of an Indian Civil Service official is to handle the various Government Affairs including the officers appointed at the central or the state level.

A Civil Services officer plays a significant role in the administration and execution of the day-to-day matters concerning the vast landscape of our country's governance. An IAS Officer has the authority to appropriate all important matters, specifically the policy-making decisions and is empowered with essence or custodianship to operate the nation.

An IAS Officer is allocated the task of managing various administrative departments and the respective function of each of these departments. Their role can include policy framing, acting in an advisory role to the ministries and the responsibility for effective execution of designated or appointed duties as an IAS officer in charge of the administration of single (small) administrative units.

An IAS officer is also responsible for maintaining the law and order situation, supervising revenue administration and general administration of the designated area under his/her official jurisdiction. Some of the prime functions of an IAS Officer are donning the role of a Chief Development Officer or District Development Commissioner, Executive Magistrate, overseeing and implementing State level and Central Government policies, supervising the expenditure of Public Funds among others.

FAQs related to UPSC Civil Services Exam (IAS, IPS, IRS)

Q. What is IAS Full form?

A. Indian Administrative Services is the full form of IAS Exam. IAS officers are popularly called as District Collector.

Q. What is UPSC IAS Exam?

A. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer is, one of the strong pillars of Indian bureaucratic system. The UPSC IAS exam (Civil Services Exam) is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on all India basis to recruit directly for IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS and other Group A and B officers.

The exam is conducted in three phases Prelims, Mains and Interview. The notification for CSE exam is released by UPSC every year on February month.

Q. What is the salary of the IAS Officer?

A. At the entry level the salary of an IAS officer after the implementation 7th pay commission is 56000 as basic pay apart from this allowances - DA, HRA and TA will be provided. 

In the IAS officer pay scale, there are various levels as you progress in the laddar your pay scale will increase accordingly. For more read our IAS officer salary article here.

Q. When UPSC releases notification for IAS Exam?

A. UPSC releases the official notification for Civil Services Preliminary examination on February / March of every year. In the notification, UPSC provides the total number of vacancies, eligibility criteria, Syllabus and all other details related to civil services exam (CSE).

Q. Can I write UPSC IAS prelims exam in my regional language?

A. In UPSC IAS Prelims exam, board provides objective questions (MCQs) in English and Hindi Language only. 

Q. Can I write my UPSC IAS Mains exam in my regional language?

A. Yes, you can write UPSC IAS Mains exam in your regional language. UPSC allows candidates to write mains exam in their regional languages which are mentioned Schedule 8 of Indian constitution. 

List of Languages candidates are allowed to write in UPSC Mains exam - 1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili, (22) Dogri and (23) English

Q. How many marks should I get in IAS prelims exam to qualify for UPSC IAS Mains?

A. Every year the IAS Prelims exam cut off marks to qualify for UPSC Mains exam varies depending upon the number of vacancies and difficulty level of question paper. 

To be on the safer side to qualify for mains exam, candidates should secure more than 100+ marks in UPSC Prelims GS Paper 1.

Q. What is the full form of UPSC?

A. Union Public Service Commission is the full form of UPSC. UPSC is the exam conducting body and recommends for various services in the central government vacancy like IAS, IPS, IRS, IFoS, IES, Statistical Officers, Economic Services, Medical Services, Geological Officers and other Group A and Group B services.

Q. What is the total number of vacancies for UPSC Civil Services Exam?

A. The total number of vacancies vary from 700 to 1100 depending upon the requirement of Central Government. The exact number of vacancies will be available UPSC Prelims notification. 

Q. Every year how many IAS and IPS officers are selected from Civil Services exam?

A. Out of total vacancies, every year 180 IAS Officers and 150 IPS officers are selected from the Civil Services exam.

Q. What is the minimum qualifying marks for UPSC IAS Exam Interview?

A. In IAS interview, there are no minimum qualifying marks. Candidates will be allocated marks based on their interview performance. The maximum marks for UPSC IAS interview are 275. 

Candidates are shortlisted for civil services posts based on Mains written marks out of 1750 and interview marks 275 marks.

Q. What qualification required for IAS and IPS?

A. The minimum qualification required to become IAS and IPS officer is a graduation from recognised university. For IPS you need to qualify physical fitness test.

Q. Can students apply for IAS Exam if he/she gets a degree from a foreign university?

A. Yes, candidates who graduated from foreign universities can apply for the civil services exam but they should ensure that, they need to get the equivalent certificate from the Association of Indian Universities as per the eligibility clause of UPSC notification.

Q. How many attempts can I give for UPSC IAS Exam?

A. For General category total 6 attempts, OBC - 9 attempts and for SC/ST there is no upper limit they are eligible to appear for exams till 37 years of age.

Q. How and where to fill the application form for UPSC Civil Services Exam?

A. Candidates appearing for the Civil Services exam need to apply for the exam online. The application form is available on upsconline.nic.in website.

Q. What is the minimum and maximum age limit of General, OBC, SC and ST?

A. The minimum age limit to appear for the Civil Services exam is 21 years and maximum age limit varies for different categories. For General - 32 years, OBC - 35 years, SC/ST - 37 years

Q. What is the application fee for IAS Prelims and IAS Mains Exam?

A. The application fee for IAS Prelims exam is Rs 100; Fee is exempted for SC/ST, PH and women candidates.The application fees for IAS Mains exam is Rs 200. 

Q. How to pay the application fee for IAS Prelims and Mains Exam?

A. Candidates can pay the fee in the online mode using debit/credit/netbanking or offline from SBI branches.

Q. What if I failed the interview round, will I get another chance?

A. If the candidate failed on the interview round, then he need to appear for the next Civil Services exam and crack all the phases - Prelims and Mains to appear for Interview.

Q. What is the syllabus of UPSC IAS exam?

A. The syllabus of UPSC IAS exam is provided elaborately on UPSC notification for IAS Prelims and IAS Mains exams for both General Studies and optional subjects. Candidates can check the UPSC Syllabus here.

Q. What is the job of an IAS officer?

A. The functions of IAS officer is to maintain law and order, revenue management, central and state government schemes implementation and managing day to day activities for smooth functioning of district administration.

Q. What rank should you get for IAS?

A. The rank is based on the merit score that you get both on IAS mains written and interview cumulatively. Depending upon the category the minimum rank for IAS varies accordingly. As per last few year data, for general 105-110 rank; for OBC 260 to 280; for SC 580 to 620 and for ST 630 to 650. Note: Depending upon the vacancies the minimum rank will vary accordingly.

Q. What is a foundation course for IAS?

A. The foundation course is for officers trainee for those candidates recommended by UPSC based on Civil Services examination

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