Do you want to know about Civil Services? Do you want to become an IAS officer but don’t know where to start? If yes, then you are at the right place. We have come up with “What is Civil Service Exam?”. It will answer all your questions.

The civil service examinations are held yearly by the UPSC Union public service commission. This merit-based civil service was first introduced in 1874; for selecting higher rank officers, a commission board was set up in London. 

However, the competitive examinations were started from the very next year after the board of commission was established. 

At that time, the exams were called Indian civil service (ICS). 

In the year 1922, these civil services exams were also held in India. This exam was first introduced in Allahabad and then held in Delhi after setting up the Federal public service commission. How let’s discuss What is Civil Service Exam in detail.

What is CSE?

What is Civil Service Exam?
What is Civil Service Exam?

The UPSC recruits the candidates based on their performances in the civil services exam. The post offered is of Indian civil services, A level civil services, and other services. The topper of the exams is given a chance to get appointed as the Cabinet Secretary of India. 

The CSE standards are well-appreciated worldwide and are known for their toughness. Students have to do a lot of hard work to clear the exam. There are many IAS Coaching that helps the students in the preparation.

Now let’s see some services that one gets appointed to after clearing the CSE examination.

Central Services

1. Indian Administrative Services ( IAS) 

2. Indian Police Services (IPS) 

3. Indian Forest Services (IFos) 

Rank A Services

1. Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS) 

2. Indian Informative Service (IIS) 

3. Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) 

4. Indian Postal Service (IPoS) 

5. Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) 

6. Indian Revenue Service (IRS) 

7. Indian Trade Service (ITS) 

8. Railway Protection Force (RPF)

9. Indian Foreign Service (IFS) 

10. Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS) 

Rank B services

1. Pondicherry Police Service 

2. Pondicherry Civil Service 

3. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service 



Let’s learn about all the three central services of India.


The IAS service is considered the best one among all three services. It acts as a permanent arm of the central and state government. This arm of the government implements and formulates policies for the government. 

The candidates who are selected for the IAS services began their training at LBSNAA, Mussoorie. Many people aspire only to get into the IAS services. 

Read More: UPSC Preparation Tips for Working Professionals


IPS is also the best technical service. The officers are trained at Sardar VallabhBhai Patel national police Academy, Hyderabad. These police services are high posts and include several agencies like the RAW, CBI, IB, etc.


The director-general of forests in the central government is in the highest position in the IFOS service. These IFoS officers also get chances to work at Food and Agricultural organizations (FAO).

Eligibility for Civil Services Exam?

In 2021 UPSC and the supreme court have decided to increase the attempts to crack UPSC exams for the aspirants, As it is not that easy to crack the exam in a few attempts, and have agreed on providing an extra chance to attempt for CSE exams.

 UPSC gives many eligibility criteria. Let’s see all of them. 

1. Nationality

What is Civil Service Exam?
What is Civil Service Exam?

For applying in the administrative and police services, the applicant must be a citizen of India. 

However, the person can also be a subject of Nepal or Bhutan. A Tibetian refugee who settled in India before 1st January 1962. An Indian origin person migrated from countries like Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Burma, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. 

The applicants having the above criteria cannot apply for Indian foreign services (IFS). What should be the maximum age limit for CSE? 

Read More: How to Crack Civil Service Exam

2. Age Limit 

The minimum age for appearing for the exam is 21 years, and the maximum age for appearing for the exam is 32 years. 

But there is some relaxation for specific categories. 

SC and ST castes have a relaxation of 5 years. 

OBC has a relaxation of about 3 years 

Siblings of defense service officials are given a relaxation time of 3 years. 

Commissioned officers and Eco’s serving for about 5 years in the military. Relaxation of 5 years 

PWD – Relaxation of 10 years 

3. Educational Qualifications 

What is Civil Service Exam?

The applicant must be a graduate of any degree and from any college or university well established. Students in the final year of graduation can also apply in these exams. 

They only need to submit proof of passing the graduation exams when appearing for the mains exam.

4. Attempts for Clearing CSE 

There is a maximum of six attempts for all the categories. However, This is only limited to general and weaker sections of society. 

While the SC, ST class, and PwD are given chances till the age limit. Other backward classes (OBC) are offered 9 chances to crack the exam.

Let’s know about these CSEs in a bit of detail. 

There are usually 3 rounds of selections in the CSE. These are the preliminaries, mains, and the interview round. 

How are CSE Conducted?

1. Prelims 

The main motive of the prelims exam is to select students that have passed the exams from a bunch of aspirants, as lakhs of aspirants apply for these examinations. And allow the selected students to go ahead with the next exam. So you have to work hard to clear the mains exam. You can also join a good IAS coaching to stay ahead of other aspirants. 

Filling the DAF Form 

Note that the candidates who have cleared the prelims exam must fill a form called the Detailed application form before appearing for the mains exam. 

This form is very important in terms of service allocation and interview rounds as the candidates need to mention their state and service preferences in this DAF form. 

If you clear the IAS exam, you are given information on vacancies and services available through this DAF form. 

2. Mains 

After clearing the preliminary paper, the aspirants have to appear for the mains paper. The main paper is divided into nine descriptive papers. This exam is entirely based on long essay-type answers. 

One needs to practice writing skills before appearing for the exam as this exam is quite lengthy, and there is no time goofing around while writing the paper. 

Anyways, the 9 papers in the mains exams are 

● Literature (one of Indian language) 

● English 

i. Essay 

ii. General studies GS paper 1 

iii. General studies GS paper 2 

iv. General studies GS paper 3 

v. General studies GS paper 4 

vi. Optional subject 1

vii. Optional subject 2 

3. Interview 

The final round of the civil service exam is of great importance. This round decides whether you are capable of getting into civil services. This round is most intense as there is a group of people that will be judging you. 

These members are appointed only to spot mistakes in the applicant and manipulate them. However, there are many IAS Institutes that help the students in interview preparation, so you can join them. The person clearing this exam is then capable of applying for any services according to the vacancies available.

Read More: Life of IAS Officer

However, this round is not that simple in comparison with the prelims and the mains exam. One must be well prepared in advance before appearing for the Interview rounds. 

Medical Checkup 

After clearing the personal interview round, the candidates undergo a medical test to ensure mental and physical health, based on their recruited services. 

UPSC provides some specific hospitals which hold the medical examinations for the candidates. The hospitals which conduct medical examinations for CSE candidates are given below:-  

1. AIIMS, New Delhi 

2. Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital 

3. Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital 

4. Sucheta Kriplani Hospital 

5. Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital 

6. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital 

7. Safdarjung Hospital 

8. B.R. Ambedkar Hospital 

Declaration of IAS results 

The candidates clearing the exams with marks near to or more than the cutoff for IAS exams get promoted to the next stage. At each stage, cutoff marks are displayed, and at the end, A final result sheet is made and displayed on the UPSC website. 

The top rankers and qualified candidates make their way to begin their new journey as a civil officer and go on for the training. 

They get recruited according to the details provided by the candidate in the DAF form.

Importance of CSE Exams in India

Civil services are required nationwide and have a solid binding character as it plays a vital role in implementing policies and their regulations. 

They also act as an advisory unit for political leadership in cases of political instability. This service also coordinates with the departments of various interests. 

Civil services are of great importance in leadership and delivery at different stages of deployment and administrators. 

Some Functions of Civil Services 

1. Governmental Basis 

As you can see, every government body needs an administration unit to check that the policies and rules are being correctly followed. 

The civil services administer these policies and impose strict rules to create stability in the region.

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2. Laws and Policies Implementation 

These civil bodies are responsible for implementing laws and executing policies that are framed by the governmental body. 

3. Force Stabilizers 

During any political instability, These bodies assure forces and securities to the political leaders and ministers. The civil body is responsible for this administrative work during these situations. 

4. Economic Development and Social Changes Indicator 

Now suppose the government has implemented a policy regarding some developmental improvements; these civil bodies take care that the procedure gets perfectly executed among the citizens. 

This brings a positive vibe amongst the citizens, leading to economic growth in some underprivileged groups. 

5. Developmental Boost

These services keep promoting developmental techniques in various fields and set up different sectors to administer over other industries with multiple aspects and introduce changes which ultimately helps in improving the particular sector. 


This article was based on what CSE exams are, their role in India, the maximum age limit for applying in CSEs, the type of paper in CSE, How CSE exams are conducted, and finally importance and functions of CSE. 

I hope you liked the article, And I appreciate it.


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