IAS Exam

Indian Administrative Service Exam

What is IAS Exam?

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was formerly known as Imperial Civil Service (ICS) is the Civil Services Examination and one of the toughest competitive exams in India. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment of officers for the All India Administrative Civil Service.


  • 1858 (as Imperial Civil Service)
  • January 26, 1950 (as Indian Administrative Service)

The Indian Administrative Service is the premier administrative civil service of the Government of India. Hierarchy-wise, IAS is the highest administrative post among the 24 services like IPS, IFS etc.

Popularly known as the IAS exam, officially it is called as Civil Services Examination (CSE), which is conducted every year by the central recruiting agency, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

IAS is the permanent bureaucracy in India and forms a part of the executive branch. It is one of the three All India Services, its cadre can be employed by both the Union Government, the State Governments and public-sector undertakings.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has been termed as one of the prestigious services among the 24 government services like IPS, IFS (Foreign), IFS (Forest), IP & TAFS, IAAS, IRS, IDAS, CMSE, IRTS, IRAS, IRPS, ITS, CAPF-AF to name a few.

All these examinations are conducted by UPSC in the form of Civil Services Examination (CSE) for selecting the appropriate candidates for the jobs. Every year lakhs of candidates appear for this examination, testing their lucks and hard work to get through one of these prestigious posts.

It is important to mention that any officer selected into the IAS can be employed by Union government, State governments and/or public-sector undertakings and gets exposure in numerous job roles like the collector, head of public sector units, commissioner, chief secretary, cabinet secretary to name a few.

When on deputation outside India, the IAS officer can be engaged in inter-governmental organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the United Nations (UN), or its agencies and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to name a few.

It is very important for aspirants to know and understand the requirements of the examination such as the UPSC  IAS syllabus, pattern, eligibility criteria, application procedure and other such significant details before kick-starting the registrations.

IAS Exam Highlights

Annually, the UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) to shortlist the candidates for more than 20 services, such as IAS, IPS and IFS. On an average, more than eight lakh candidates register for the IAS exam and around five lakh candidates appear for the examination. 

The selection of the candidates will be made through the preliminary exam, main examination and an interview/personality test. This year-long selection process will begin in the month of June and conclude in April. The final merit list for the CSE will be released in May.

Exam Civil Services Examination
Exam level National
Organising body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam type  Pen and paper-based (offline)
Number of services  24
Number of attempts  6 attempts
Number of Vacancies  Approximately 900
Admit card  online
Expected registrations More than 8 lakh

UPSC IAS Notification 2019

The UPSC has released the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2019 notification on February 19, 2019. Candidates who are aiming for the All India Services along with other services can apply online between February 19 and March 18, 2019. The CSE notification was released for more than 896 vacancies which include 39 vacancies for persons with benchmark disability category. Aspirants are advised to check the official notification for all the details. 

Click here to download UPSC IAS notification 2019

UPSC IAS Exam 2019 Important Dates  

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification will be released on February 19, 2019. Candidates can apply online until March 18, 2019. The preliminary exam will be held on June 2 and Main exam in the month of September.

Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification  February 19, 2019
IAS online application form February 19 to March 18, 2019
IAS Preliminary admit card  4th week of May 
IAS exam date  June 2, 2019
IAS Preliminary result  July 
IAS Main exam date  September 20, 2019 (5 days)
IAS Main exam result  December 2019
IAS personality test/ interview  February/March 2020
IAS final result  April 2020

UPSC IAS Main Exam Dates 2019 

The UPSC will release the Civil Services Main Exam dates on its official website. Aspirants who have passed with flying colours in Preliminary Exam are only eligible to appear for the Main Examination. The Commission conducts the Main Examination for a total of five days in the month of September. Candidates are advised to explore the Civil Services Main Exam dates 2019


Forenoon Session

(9.00 AM to 12.00 Noon)

Afternoon Session

(2.00 PM to 5.00 PM)

September 20, 2019




No Paper 

September 21, 2019



General Studies‐I


General Studies‐II

September 22, 2019



General Studies‐III


General Studies‐IV

September 28, 2019



Indian Language



September 29, 2019



Optional Paper-I


Optional Paper-II

IAS 2019 Number Of Vacancies 

The total number of vacancies announced in the official notification is approximately 896, out of which 39 vacancies are reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disability Category.

Total number of vacancies  896 (including 39 reserved vacancies)
Total reserved vacancies  39
Blindness and low vision 8
Deaf and hard of hearing 11
Locomotor disability 15
Multiple disabilities 5

Candidates have to note that the final number of vacancies may change after getting the firm number of vacancies from the Cadre Controlling Authorities. 

Being an IAS Officer

An IAS officer is given administrative command of an entire district as a District Collector. IAS officers also represent the Government of India at the international level in bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

Given below is the detailed scenario like eligibility criteria, roles & responsibilities, etc. for the upcoming Civil Services Examination 2019:

  • Main Syllabus

  • Prelims Syllabus


Eligibility Criteria

  1. Nationality:

    • Candidate must be a citizen of India
    • Candidate must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
    • Candidate must be a Tibetan Refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, to be settled permanently in India
    • Candidate must be person of Indian Origin who has migrated from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zaire, or Zambia with an intention of permanently settling in India
  2. Educational Qualification:

    Candidate applying for the Civil Services 2019 exam is required to fulfil the following criteria:

    • Candidate must hold a Bachelor's Degree from any of the recognized universities
    • Candidates who have appeared for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results or those who are yet to appear for the qualifying examination are also eligible for the Preliminary Examination. Such candidates have to produce proof of passing the said examination along with the application for the Main Examination
    • Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government or its equivalent are also eligible to apply
    • Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned University that they have passed the final professional medical examination
  3. Age Limit :

    A candidate should be a minimum of 21 years and maximum 32 years old as on August 01, 2019. But he/she must have been born not earlier than August 02, 1987 and not later than August 01, 1998. Necessary action will take to make corresponding changes in respective Rules/Regulations pertaining to various services.

    The upper age limit prescribed above is relaxable for the following candidates:

    • 5 Years - Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)
    • 3 Years - Other Backward Classes (OBC)
    • 3 Years - Defence Services personnel
    • 5 Years - ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years Military Service as on August 01, 2019
    • 5 Years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs
    • 10 Years - Blind, deaf-mute, and orthopedically handicapped persons
    • 5 Years -  In the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August, 2019 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment
  4. Number of attempts:

    Restriction on the maximum number of attempts is effective since 1984:

    • For General Candidates: 6 attempts (Up to 32 Years)
    • Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Candidates (SC/ST): No Limits (Up to 37 Years)
    • Other Backward Classes (OBC): 9 attempts (Up to 35 Years)
    • Physically handicapped- 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of IAS officers is very venerable, demands a great deal of responsibility and reverence. It is also important that an officer is physically and mentally fit and healthy to handle the work pressure without giving in. The following are the roles and responsibilities that an IAS officer is deputed:

  • Handling affairs of government that involve framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the concerned Minister
  • Implementing policies through supervision and also traveling to the places where the approved policies will be implemented
  • Implementing policies comprises disbursement of funds through personal supervision
  • Answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures for any violation of rules while on duty
  • Functions and responsibilities differ at different levels of career.
  • Initially, IAS officers join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, resuming their services as sub-divisional magistrates, and look after law and order, general administration and development work in the area assigned to them
  • The post of the District Officer also known as District Magistrate, District Collector or Deputy Commissioner is the highly respected and responsible post the IAS officers enjoy
  • At the district level, an IAS officer deals with district affairs, including implementation of developmental programs
  • The officers may also be appointed in the State Secretariat or they may serve as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings
  • They may serve in different positions from the State to the Centre and vice versa. This happens through deputation.
  • At the Centre, IAS officers serve at the highest position as the Cabinet Secretaries, Secretaries/Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Secretaries and Under Secretaries. They are appointed to these posts based on seniority.
  • At the Centre, the IAS officers play a key role in formulation and implementation of policies related to a particular area; for instance, finance, commerce, etc.
  • During formulation of a policy and decision making, IAS officers serving at different levels i.e. joint secretary, deputy secretary give their valuable inputs
  • The policy takes its final shape through a final decision the minister concerned or the cabinet, depending on the seriousness of the situation

IAS Officer Salary 

With the roles and responsibilities of an IAS officer, aspirants might have understood that Civil Services is opted not for attractive salary or perks though the pay scale of an IAS officer is lucrative. Aspirants have to consider that IAS is neither a profession nor a career to earn more perks, indeed, they should think about they're a part of nation-building for the future. 

The salary structure of a Civil Servant increased drastically with the 6th Pay Commission and this was further increased in the 7th Pay Commission in 2016. Despite a whopping increase with the successive Central Pay Commission (CPC), many still debate that the salary offered to an IAS officer doesn't match to the perks offered by the private companies. However, aspirants give the least preference to the benefits and perks because of the powers and responsibilities of an IAS officer. 

Here, we display the current salary of an IAS Officer depending upon the post. The source of the below data is the 7th Pay Commission. 

Post Pay Scale  Grade Pay
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) & SDO INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,000 INR 16,500
Sub-Collector (2 years after probation) INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,000 INR 16,500
District Magistrate (DM) INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,001 INR 20,000
Collector INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,001 INR 20,000
Joint Secretary (Government of India) INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,001 INR 20,000
Special Secretary  INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,002 INR 23,000
Head of Government Departments  INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,002 INR 23,000
Secretary (Minister) INR 1,00,000 to INR 2,00,000 INR 26,000
Principal Secretary INR 1,00,000 to INR 2,00,000 INR 30,000
Chief Secretary (States)  INR 2,25,000 -
Union Secretary (Ministries of Government)  INR 2,25,000 -
Cabinet Secretary of India INR 2,25,000 -

IAS Admit Card 2019 

The UPSC is responsible for releasing the admit card. Aspirants who submitted their online applications successfully can download the admit card from the Commission's official website. The admit card will be released separately for preliminary and main examination. The admit card will be available on the website until the exam date. The admit card download process is similar to the preliminary and main examination. Check the steps to access IAS E-admission certificate. 

  • Aspirants need to visit the official website to download the IAS admit card. 
  • Visit the E-Admit Cards tab. 
  • Click on the ''E-Admit Cards for Various Examinations of UPSC''
  • Select the relevant link and enter login credentials. 
  • Download the IAS admit card from the official website of UPSC. 

Note: Aspirants should know what are the details mentioned on IAS admit card. Hence, we advise candidates to read our UPSC admit card page.

IAS Result 2019 

The UPSC Civil Services Prelims Result 2018 has been declared on the official website on July 12. Aspirants who have qualified in the preliminary exam are only eligible to appear for the Main exam. Candidates whose numbers were present in the list should fill up the Detailed Application Form-I (DAF) for the Main Examination. The Commission will conduct the Main exam in the month of September 2019. The qualified candidates have to appear for the interview round, which will be held in March 2019. The final merit results will be released in April 2020 on the UPSC's official website after the interview round.  

Click here for UPSC Civil Services Result 2019

How To Become An IAS Officer 

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one amongst the All India Services, which include Indian Foreign Services (IFS) and Indian Police Services (IPS). There are three ways to become an IAS officer: Through Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), promotion of State Civil Service officers to IAS and selection of non-State Civil Service officers. 

The best way to become an IAS officer is through clearing the CSE conducted by the UPSC because it will take you to the highest positions, such as Cabinet Secretary. The Civil Services is a common examination conducted every year to shortlist the candidates for various services, such as IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, IAAS, etc. To pass with flying colours in Civil Services, aspirants should know about the important stages to become an IAS officer. 

Stage 1: Civil Services Preliminary 

The preliminary examination is the first stage in the selection process of Civil Services Examination (CSE). This is considered as the screening round. The Civil Services preliminary is an objective-type exam consisting of two papers and carries a total of 400 marks. The Paper-I consists of general studies subjects, such as history, geography, polity, science, environment, etc. Paper-II is a Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), which consists of comprehension, interpersonal skills, decision making, basic numeracy, etc. The preliminary is a screening test meant only to shortlist the candidates for the main examination. 

Stage 2: Civil Services Main Examination 

Candidates who qualify in the preliminary examination and obtain minimum cut-off score are only eligible to appear for the main examination. The number of candidates eligible to appear for the main examination will be around twelve to thirteen times the total the approximate number of vacancies. 

The main examination is conducted to assess the overall intellectual traits of a candidate. It consists of nine papers that include two qualifying papers. However, the merit is counted only for an essay, general studies and optional papers. Candidates who obtain a minimum qualifying mark in the written examination fixed by the UPSC will be called for the interview/Personality Test. The total number of candidates called for the interview will be twice the number of vacancies. 

Stage 3: Personality Test 

The personality test will be conducted in Delhi at the Commission's headquarters. The interview is conducted for 275 marks. There will be no minimum qualifying marks for personality test. Marks obtained by the aspirants in the main examination and interview will be considered for the final ranking. Candidates will be allotted the services such as IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS, etc. based on their ranks and preferences. 

Aspirants should note that apart from the selection through Civil Services Examination, UPSC also promotes the state government officers to the rank of an IAS officer.

Common Mistakes To Avoid In Civil Services Main Exam

The Civil Services Main Exam is the second stage of the selection process after Preliminary. The UPSC will shortlist around 12,000 candidates for the Main exam and 2,500 candidates for the Personality Test, i.e., Interview. Aspirants should never go wrong with the Main exam after the success in Preliminary. Unfortunately, a few candidates commit mistakes unknowingly in the conventional exam. Hence, Careerindia has decided to list the common mistakes to avoid in the Civil Services Main Exam.

  • Aspirants should not write any irrelevant matters in the answer booklet.
  • They should remember that matters irrelevant to answers also not considered.
  • One should not disclose his/her own identity in any part of the answer booklet.
  • Candidates should avoid writing partly in ink and pencil.
  • An appeal to examiner should be avoided because it will impact all the parts of the paper.
  • Candidates’ handwriting should be in a readable way.

Aspirants are advised to avoid these points while preparing for the Civil Services Main Exam. They are also advised to explore the perfect way to cancel the attempted answers and correct way to fill a QSCAB first page in the Civil Services Main Exam.

Explore IAS Preliminary Exam Analysis 2019

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has conducted the IAS Preliminary 2019 on June 2.  The year-long selection process for the Civil Services Examination (CSE) kick-started with the screening round, i.e., Preliminary. Over 5 lakh candidates appeared for the CSE Preliminary exam which held in two shifts. 

Aspirants who have appeared for the Preliminary examination expressed that the question paper is tough compared to the previous year. Candidates who appeared for the previous year examination said that both General Studies and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) question papers are moderate.  

Click here for complete IAS Preliminary exam analysis 2019

There are some changes in the pattern of the English verbal sections in CSAT. There is no change in the quantitative and reasoning sections. This year, the cut-off score for general candidates will be more than 108. However, the cut-off score for SC/ST will be between 90 and 97. 

3 June 2019
Top 10 Qualities Of An IAS Officer 

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a dream to every graduation passout. IAS is not only a lucrative career but also a profession with the highest degree of respect across the world. In order to become an IAS officer, one should pass with flying colours in the Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. 

Lakhs of candidates put their blood and sweat for the Civil Services' preparation every year to ace the exam. If you assess what makes the difference between the successful and unsuccessful, you will certainly figure out some astonishing qualities. If you are aiming for an IAS, start honing these qualities while preparing for the Civil Services. 

Click here to read the qualities of an IAS officer

Some of the best qualities of an IAS officer are leadership, commitment hard work, ethics & honesty, discipline, communication, patriotism, time management, out of box thinking, decision-making ability and service oriented.

12 December 2018
UPSC Civil Services Main Examination 2018 begins today

The Civil Services Main Examination has started from September 28, 2018, and will be scheduled to take place next on September 29, 2018, September 30, 2018, October 06, 2018, and October 07, 2018. On the basis of marks secured in the Main exam and Interview, the UPSC release the final result of all candidates who have selected.

The Main exam consists of Paper A, Paper B, Paper I to Paper VII, Paper VI, and Paper VII are the optional subjects. Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects.

A candidate has to understand the examination pattern before kick-starting the exam preparation. Click here to know more about the Civil Services Main Exam Pattern 2018.

28 September 2018
UPSC Civi Services Main Examination Admit Card 2018

The Civil Services Main Examination will be held from September 28, 2018, to September 30, 2018, and October 06, 2018, to  October 07, 2018. UPSC Civil Services Main Examination 2018 Admit Card has been released on the official website of UPSC.

The e-Admit Cards will bear exam date, venue and timing of the Main Examination. A candidate who has successfully qualified the Prelims can follow the instructions below and download his/her e-Admit Card on or before 7th October 2018 up to 6:00 PM.

Click here to know more about the steps to download the UPSC Civil Services Main e-Admit Card 2018.

12 September 2018
UPSC IAS 2019 Exam Details

The UPSC 2019 notification is going to be released on February 19, 2019. The UPSC Preliminary Exam 2019 will take place on June 2, 2019, whereas the Civil Services Main exam will be held on September 20, 2019.

A registration will start from February 19, 2019, and it will end on March 18, 2019, up to 6:00 PM. Application forms will be available only on the official website and it can be submitted through online mode only. No other mode is available to submit the application form.

Aspirants who desire to apply for the Civil Services 2019 Exam is required to fulfil the eligibility criteria. Click here to know more about the important dates for 2019.

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