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Overview Of UPSC
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is India’s premier central recruiting agency responsible for conducting various exams for civil services, engineering, medical, and defense services.
The Civil Services Examination is the most popular exam conducted by UPSC to recruit candidates for various prestigious posts such as Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
The UPSC exam consists of three stages: Preliminary, Main, and Personality Test (Interview). The exam tests the candidate’s knowledge, aptitude, and personality traits.
Candidates who clear all three stages of the exam are appointed to various government services based on their rank and preference.
Preparing for UPSC is a rigorous process and requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. However, a career in civil services is highly rewarding and offers immense opportunities to serve the nation and make a positive impact on society.
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What is UPSC Exam?
The UPSC exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is the central recruiting agency of India. The exam is a gateway for candidates to secure prestigious positions in various government services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
The exam consists of three stages: Preliminary, Main, and Personality Test (Interview). The Preliminary exam is a qualifying round, and the Main exam tests the candidate’s knowledge, aptitude, and writing skills. The Personality Test is conducted to assess the candidate’s personality traits, communication skills, and overall suitability for the job.
Preparing for the UPSC exam is a rigorous process that requires extensive knowledge, analytical ability, and critical thinking skills. However, a successful career in civil services is highly rewarding and offers numerous opportunities to make a positive impact on society.
Eligibility Criteria for UPSC
The eligibility criteria for UPSC exam are as follows:
- Nationality: The candidate must be an Indian citizen, a Nepal/Bhutan subject, or a Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962.
- Age Limit: The candidate must be at least 21 years old and not more than 32 years old as of August 1 of the exam year. Age relaxation is provided for reserved categories.
- Education: The candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. Candidates in the final year of graduation can also apply.
- Number of attempts: The number of attempts for the exam varies according to the candidate’s category. For general category candidates, the maximum number of attempts is six. There are relaxations for SC/ST and OBC candidates.
- Physical fitness: The candidate must meet the physical standards required for the job.
Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the exam by filling out the online application form available on the UPSC website. It is important to carefully read and understand the eligibility criteria before applying for the exam.
The UPSC exam is conducted in three stages: Preliminary, Main, and Personality Test (Interview).
Preliminary Exam: It is a qualifying round consisting of two papers, both of which are objective type (MCQs). Paper-I tests the candidate’s general studies, and Paper-II tests their aptitude and comprehension skills. The duration of each paper is 2 hours, and the total marks are 400.
Main Exam: The Main exam consists of nine papers, out of which seven are compulsory and two are optional. The compulsory papers include four General Studies papers, one Essay paper, and two Language papers (one English and one Indian language). The optional papers are chosen by the candidate based on their specialization. The duration of each paper is 3 hours, and the total marks are 1750.
Personality Test (Interview): Candidates who clear the Main exam are called for the Personality Test, which is conducted by a panel of experts. The interview assesses the candidate’s personality traits, communication skills, and overall suitability for the job. The interview carries a weightage of 275 marks.
The final merit list is prepared based on the marks obtained in the Main exam and the interview. Candidates who clear all three stages of the exam are appointed to various government services based on their rank and preference.
UPSC SYLLABUS PRELIMS
UPSC prelims syllabus as given in the official CSE notification is given below:
The UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Studies Paper 1 includes the following topics:
- Current events of national and international importance
- Indian history and National Movement
- Indian and World Geography
- Indian Polity and Governance
- Economic and Social Development
- General issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity, and Climate Change
- General Science
This paper is a qualifying exam, and marks obtained in it do not count towards the final UPSC result.
- The UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Studies Paper 2 includes:
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision-making and problem-solving
- General mental ability
- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.)
- Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.)
- The General Studies Paper 2 is also known as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).
- It is a qualifying exam and candidates need to secure a minimum of 33% marks to be eligible for the next stage of the UPSC exam.
UPSC SYLLABUS MAIN EXAM
The UPSC main exam is conducted in a descriptive format, requiring candidates to appear in all papers and achieve a score equal to or higher than the cutoff for each paper and the overall cutoff for the written exam. There are 9 papers in the UPSC main exam, and the syllabus for each is released separately in the official notification.
Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society
- Salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times (Indian Culture)
- Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
- The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country
- Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
- History of the world will include events from 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, re-drawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society
- Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
- Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies
- Effects of globalization on Indian society
- Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
- Salient features of the world’s physical geography
- Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
- Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, volcanic activity, cyclones etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes
- Constitution of India: historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein
- Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional settings with other countries
- Parliament and State legislatures: structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary: Ministries and Departments of the Government, pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies, statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
- Development processes and the development industry: role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
- Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger
- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
- Role of civil services in a democracy
- India and its neighborhood relations
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora: their structure, mandate.
- Indian economy: planning, mobilization, growth, development, and employment issues
- Inclusive growth and related issues
- Government budgeting
- Major crops and cropping patterns, different types of irrigation, storage, transport, and marketing of agricultural produce, e-technology for farmers
- Direct and indirect farm subsidies, minimum support prices, Public Distribution System, buffer stocks, food security, economics of animal-rearing
- Food processing and related industries in India, location, supply chain management
- Land reforms in India
- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy, infrastructure (energy, ports, roads, airports, railways)
- Investment models
- Science and technology developments, their applications, and effects in everyday life, achievements of Indians in science and technology, indigenization and development of new technology
- IT, space, computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, intellectual property rights
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
- Disaster management
- Linkages between development and extremism
- External state and non-state actors’ role in creating challenges to internal security, communication networks, role of media and social networking sites, cybersecurity, money laundering prevention
- Security challenges and management in border areas, linkages of organized crime with terrorism, mandate of various security forces and agencies.
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