IAS Exam

Indian Administrative Service Exam

What is IAS Exam?

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was formerly known as the 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.

UPSC Civil Service Examination 2023 Prelims Exam will be conducted on 28 May, 2023

Union Public Services Commission will release the notification on 01 February, 2023 and the last date of application form to submit is 21 February, 2023.

The UPSC Civil Service Examination 2023 Prelims Exam will be conducted on 28 May, 2023.

UPSC IAS 2023 Mains Exam will be conducted in a Pen and Paper-Based Test mode on 15, 16, 17, 23 & 24 September, 2023. As per the UPSC IAS Exam Schedule 2023, the Civil Services Exam will be held in two sessions every day.

UPSC CSE Forenoon session will be conducted from 9AM to 12 Noon and the 2nd Session will be held from 2PM to 5PM.

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 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 720
Admit card  online
Expected registrations More than 8 lakh

Civil Services Prelims 2023 Exam Date 

The UPSC will be conducting the IAS Prelims 2023 exam in pen and paper mode on 28 May, 2023. Candidates should note that the UPSC Civil Services 2023 exam date is based on the calendar issued in December.

UPSC IAS Notification 2023

The UPSC will release the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2023 notification on 01, February 2023. Candidates who are aiming for the All India Services along with other services can apply online between February 01 and February 21, 2023. The CSE notification will release for a total of 712 vacancies (Tentative) which include 22 vacancies for persons with benchmark disability category. Aspirants are advised to check the official notification for all the details.

UPSC IAS Exam 2023 Important Dates  

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification will be released on 01 February, 2023. Candidates can apply online until 21 February, 2023. The preliminary exam will be held on 28 May, 2023 and Main Exam on 15 September, 2023.

Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification  01 February, 2023
IAS online application form 02 February to 21 February, 2023
IAS Preliminary admit card 2023 2nd week of May 
IAS Prelims exam date 2023 28 May, 2023
IAS Preliminary result  August 2023
IAS Main exam date  15 September, 2023 (5 days)
IAS Main exam result  Nov / December 2023
IAS final result  June 2024

IAS Application Form 2023

The UPSC will activate the IAS application form 2023 window on 01 February, 2023. Interested candidates who meet all the eligibility conditions set by the Commission can register for IAS exam until 21 February, 2023.

Aspirants need to complete the application form of IAS with great attention. A single mistake in IAS application form 2023 would lead aspirants to wait for one more year. Hence, we suggest candidates refer our UPSC online application form 2023 page for detailed steps. 

IAS Online Application Form 2023 Steps 

  • Visit the official site of UPSC – www.upsc.gov.in 
  • Go to ''Apply Online'' tab. 
  • Click on ''Online Application for Various Examinations'' 
  • Find the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 
  • Start IAS registration with Part-I. 
  • Fill-up the personal details, educational qualification and address. 
  • Pay the prescribed application fee (Rs 100)
  • Choose the exam centre 
  • Upload the photo, sign and photo identity card. 
  • Accept the declaration. 
  • Check the complete details and submit. 
  • Take a printout of IAS application form for future reference. 

UPSC IAS Main Exam Dates 2023

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will release the notification of the UPSC IAS Examination 2023 on 1st February 2023. According to the Annual UPSC Calendar, the Prelims Examination will be conducted on 28th May 2023. After the announcement of the Prelims Result, the Commission will further notify the schedule of the Main Examination, followed by an Interview at its official portal, upsc.gov.in.

The Commission conducts the Main Examination for a total of five days on 15, 16, 17, 23 &  24 September, 2023. Candidates are advised to explore the Civil Services Main Exam dates in 2023


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 2023:

  • Main Syllabus

  • Prelims Syllabus


Eligibility Criteria

  1. Nationality:

    • For the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
    • 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. Education qualification:

    Candidate applying for the Civil Services 2023 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, 2022. But he/she must have been born not earlier than August 02, 1990 and not later than August 02, 2001. 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, 2022.
    • 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, 2022 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 atempts:

    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

    Number of Attempts

    Category to which the Candidate Belongs

    SC / ST OBC PwBD
    Unlimited 09 09 for GL / EWS / OBC & 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 2022

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 2022

The UPSC is responsible for releasing the Civil Services Prelims and Mains exam result. 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. Every year, the Commission will conduct the Main exam in the month of September. Candidates who score above the cut-off set by the Commission have to appear for the Personality Test/Interview round, which will be held in February/March. The final merit results will be released in April on the UPSC's official website after the interview round. Candidates can access the UPSC Civil Services Result for Prelims and Mains here.

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.


What does UPSC exam do?

 One of the most difficult examinations in India to qualify is UPSC .Through proper guidance and dedication, one can achieve his/her dream of becoming a civil servant. UPSC paves the path for the candidates who are interested in serving the nation through their will power, knowledge, experience, power to administer the state in a better way so that India progresses in every aspect. 

Which subject is best for IAS?

Choosing the most suitable subject for IAS to score good in the examination is considered to be a tough decision for the candidates because there are many situations which effect this aspect of the examination. Public Administration and Geography are the subjects which are being frequently selected by the candidates. 

Latest Updates

UPSC Civil Service Mains Result 2022 will be released soon

Union Public Service Commission is going to release the UPSC Civil Service Mains Result 2022 soon.

Candidates can check their UPSC Civil Service Main Result 2022 once it is released on the official website.

UPSC has released the notice regarding the result date and other information on the official website - upsc.gov.in.

25 November 2022
UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2022 begins from today

Union Public Service commission will begin UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2022 from 16 September, 2022 onwards.

USPC Civil Services Main Ecamination will be conducted on 16, 17, 18, 24 & 25 September, 2022 at various exam centres across the country. The Exam will be conducted in two sessions-forenoon will be conducted from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon and afternoon session will be conducted from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

16 September 2022
UPSC CSE 2022 Mains Exam tomorrow

Union Public Services Commission to scheduled to begin the UPSC Civil Services Main Eam tomorrow, 16 September, 2022.

UPSC IAS 2022 Mains Exam will be conducted in a Pen and Paper-Based Test mode on 16, 17, 18, 24 & 25 September, 2022. As per the UPSC IAS Exam Schedule 2022, the Civil Services Exam will be held in two sessions every day.

UPSC CSE Forenoon session will be conducted from 9AM to 12 Noon and the 2nd Session will be held from 2PM to 5PM.

15 September 2022
UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2022 Schedule Released

Union Public Service Commission has released UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2022 Schedule. Candidates who have appeared for prelims exam and have qualified the examination can check the schedule through the official site of UPSC on upsc.gov.in.

As per the schedule, the exam will be conducted in two sessions - forenoon session will be conducted from 9am to 12 noon and afternoon session will be conducted from 2 PM to 5 PM. The examination will be conducted on September 16, 17, 18, 24 and 25, 2022.

2 August 2022
UPSC Prelims Result 2022 Declared for IAS

THe Union Public Comission has declared the Civil Service Examination Result 2022 for prelims and IAS Result today 22 June, 2022. The UPSC Prelims Result 2022 has been declared om the Official website at upsc.gov.in. The Prelims result of UPSC IAS can be downloaded in PDF format containing roll numbers of the selected candidates.

Shortlisted candidates in the UPSC prelims exam 2022 are eligible to appear for the mains exam. UPSC CSE Main 2022 Exam will be conducted from 16 September, 2022 Onwards.


22 June 2022
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UPSC IAS 2021 Prelims Admit Card Released
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UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 To Be Held on June 5
Students Who Clear IAS Prelims Will Get Rs 50,000 Grants
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