Indian Railway Personnel Service Exam

What is IRPS Exam?

Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) is a Group-A Central Service of the Government of India and the youngest of all the Group 'A' Organized Services on Indian Railways.

It was constituted in 1976 and the first direct recruitment through the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC was in 1980. The officers of this service are responsible for managing the Human Resources of the Indian Railways.

The recruitment to the cadre is done through the Civil Services Examination.

IRPS officers man the Establishment Directorate and the Personnel department of the Ministry of Railways, at Zonal railway and divisional levels including the railway production units and workshops.


UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2023 Exam Date

Union Public Service Commission released the Notification on 01 February, 2023 and the last date to submit the application form till 21 February, 2023.

UPSC Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) Main Exam will be conducted in a Pen and Paper-Based Test Mode on 15, 16, 17, 23 & 24 September, 2023. As per the UPSC IRPS Exam Schedule 2023, the Civil Services Exam will be held in two session every day.

UPSC IRPS Forenoon Session will be conducted from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon and 2nd Session will be held from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The exam will take place on May 28, 2023.

  • Main Syllabus

  • Prelims Syllabus


Eligibility Criteria

  1. Nationality:

    Nationality of a candidate must be either of the following:

    • Citizen of India
    • Subject of Nepal
    • Subject of Bhutan
    • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962 for permanent settlement in India.
    • Migrant from any of the following countries for permanently settling in India:

    Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam

  2. Education qualification:

    A candidate must hold a degree from any of the universities recognised by the UGC or possess an equivalent qualification.

    Candidate applying for civil service exams is required to fulfill 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:

    • Minimum age 21 years
    • Maximum age 30 years as on 1st of August in the year of examination.

    Relaxable age limit is as follows:

    • Upto max. 5 years for SC/ST candidates.
    • Upto max. 3 years for OBC candidates.
    • Upto max. 5 years for candidate from the State of Jammu & Kashmir
    • Upto max. 5 years for Defence Services personnel
    • Upto max. 5 years for Ex-servicemen including Commissioned officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years Military Service and have been released.
    • Upto max. 5 years for ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of 5 years of Military Service.
    • Upto max. 10 years for Blind, deaf-mute and Orthopaedically handicapped persons
  4. Number of atempts:

    The maximum number of attempts is as follows:

    • General Category Candidates: 6 attempts
    • OBC Candidates: 9 attempts
    • SC/ST Candidates: No restriction
    • Physically handicapped- 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST

Roles and Responsibilities

IRPS is a unique service as it is the only one in the 'Group A' services that cater exclusively for the human resources in the Indian Railways. 


  • Personnel management
  • Industrial relations
  • Legal and court matter


  • Manpower Planning
  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Promotions
  • Seniority
  • Reservation
  • Transfer & Posting
  • Payments, Salary & Wages
  • Final Settlement
  • Maintenance of cordial Industrial Relations
  • Workers' participation in Management
  • All Welfare Activities
  • Grievance Redressal
  • Legal & Court Cases Work
  • Implementation of Labour Laws
  • Hours of Employment Regulations (HOER)


  • Dealing with provisions of various laws and acts such as Industrial dispute Act, Factory Act, Workman Compensation Act, Payment of Wages, Minimum Wages and their implementation in the railways is another responsibility. The interpretation of rules and orders is also done in this branch
  • All matters concerning the welfare of the staff such as provision of residential accommodation, canteens, holiday homes, consumer societies, schools, clubs, institutes, hospitals etc. also comes within its purview. Railway is one of the model employers with a large number of welfare measures being implemented to look after the staff and their families
  • Personnel officer is also the welfare officer in the railways
  • Being responsible for the service, as well as personal issues of the employees, the personnel department works in close coordination with all other departments in the railways by functioning as consultant and adviser
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