Indian Administrative Services 2021, Exam dates, Exam pattern/syllabus, Eligibility Criteria, Apply online


The Indian Administrative Services (IAS) is the most sought after post in Indian government jobs and is basically known as Civil Service Examination

In India, it is one of the most difficult competitive examination having the most difficult selection procedure. It is carried out by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of officers for the All India Civil Administrative Service.

Any official who is selected in the IAS can be employed by the Union government, state governments or public sector companies and can be recruited for numerous jobs such as the collector, head of public sector units, commissioner, chief secretary, cabinet secretary and many more.

Applicants should know and understand the exam requirements, such as the UPSC IAS exam selection process, exam pattern, eligibility criteria, application procedure, and other important details before making a decision to appear in the examination.

Name of OrganisationBorder Security Force
IAS Exam Conducting BodyUPSC
Number of times conductedOnce every year
Mode of IAS examOffline
Prescribed age limit21 – 32 years (upper age relaxation for reserved candidates)
ExamNotificationExam Dates
IAS Exam NotificationUPSC Civil Services Examination Notification released12th February 2020
Online Submission StartedStarting date of online submission12th February 2020
Online Submission EndLast Date of online submission3rd March 2020
Admit Card (Prelims)IAS Preliminary Admit card releasedSeptember 2020
IAS Exam Date (Prelims)IAS Preliminary Exam Date Released4th October 2020
IAS Prelims ResultUPSC release the IAS Exam result 2020 after a month.November 2020
Admit Card (Main)IAS Main Admit card to be announcedDecember 2020
IAS Exam Date (Main)IAS Civil Services Main Examination Date8th January 2021
IAS Main ResultCivil Services Main Result to be AnnouncedFebruary 2021
IAS Personality TestInterview of IAS Civil Services ExaminationMarch 2021
IAS ResultIAS Final Result release by UPSCApril 2021

IAS officer 2021 Salary

In this article, we have had an in-depth discussion on IAS pay in India, as well as pay scales/pay scales of IAS officers after the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission. The salary structure has also been discussed.

The basic salary of an IAS officer per month starts at Rs 56,100 (TA, DA, and HRA is extra) and can reach Rs 2,500,00 for a cabinet secretary.

A career in IAS is one of the most sought after businesses in India. Every year lakhs of people take UPSC civil services examination but only a handful clear the exam and a single small number of cuts as IAS officers.


GradePay ScaleGrade PayYears of Service Required
Junior Scale50,000 – 1,50,00016,500NA
Senior Time Scale50,000 – 1,50,00120,0005 years
Junior Administrative Grade50,000 – 1,50,00223,0009 years
Selection Grade1,00,000 – 2,00,00026,00012 to 15 years
Super Time Scale1,00,000 – 2,00,00030,00017 to 20 years
Above Super Time Scale1,00,000 – 2,00,00030,000Varies
Apex Scale2,25,000 (Fixed)NAVaries( around 30 years)
Cabinet Secretary Grade2,50,000 (Fixed)NAvaries

The Civil Services Examination Standard has been designed to assess a candidate’s academic experience and that candidate’s ability to present themselves in a systematic and consistent manner.

The Indian Administrative Services exam pattern is intended to assess the general intellectual traits and level of understanding of candidates.

The UPSC 2021 Civil Services Exam is conducted in two stages, namely Preliminary and Major, which are then followed by an interview.

  1. Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)
  2. Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
  3. Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

IAS 2021 Exam Pattern

The Civil Services Examination Standard has been designed to assess a candidate’s academic experience and that candidate’s ability to present themselves in a systematic and consistent manner.

The Indian Administrative Services exam pattern is intended to assess the general intellectual traits and level of understanding of candidates.

The UPSC 2021 Civil Services Exam is conducted in two stages, namely Preliminary and Major, which are then followed by an interview.

Checkout the detailed page of Exam Pattern

  1. Stage I: Preliminary Examination (IAS Prelims)
  2. Stage II: Mains Examination (IAS Mains)
  3. Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (IAS Interview)

Indian Administrative Services Preliminary Exam Pattern 2021

SL.NO.Name of The PaperNature of the PaperDuration of The ExamQuestionsMarks
1IAS Exam Paper – I: General StudiesMerit Ranking Nature2 Hours100200 Marks
2IAS Exam Paper – II: General Studies (CSAT)Qualifying Nature2 Hours80200 Marks

Preliminary Exam Syllabus 2021

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation General Science
  • Comprehension
  • 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.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)

Indian Administrative Services Main Exam Pattern 2021

SL.NO.IAS Exam PaperName of The paperNature of The paperDuration of the examMarks
1Paper-ACompulsory Indian LanguageQualifying Nature3 Hours300 Marks
2Paper-BEnglishQualifying Nature3 Hours300 Marks
3Paper-IEssayMerit Ranking Nature3 Hours250 Marks
4Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I3 Hours250 Marks
5Paper-IIIGeneral Studies II3 Hours250 Makrs
6Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 Hours250 Marks
7Paper-VGeneral Studies IV3 Hours250 Marks
8Paper-VIOptional Paper I3 Hours250 Marks
9Paper-VIIOptional Paper-II3 Hours250 Marks
Total Marks1750 Marks
Interview/Personality test275 Marks
Grand Total2025 Marks

Check out our detailed page of IAS Exam pattern 2021

Main Exam Syllabus 2021

  • Comprehension
  • 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.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay
  • To be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice
  • Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic
  • The choice of subjects will be given
  • They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely
  • Credit will be given for effective and exact expression

Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

  • 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 industrial revolution, world wars, redraw 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, cyclone 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.

  • Indian Constitution- 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 disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the 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 the 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.
  • 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 neighbourhood- 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
  • Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
  • This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.
  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
  • Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s
  • Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption
  • Case Studies on the above issues.

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology.

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English

Indian Administrative Services 2021 Personality Test/ Interview

The interview is one of the most important parts of the Indian Administrative Services exam. It is vital for you to convey your thoughts clearly to the interviewers.

So focus on polishing your communication and body language skills. Some candidates are blessed with such skills.

Some need to practice to become excellent communicators in their field. Candidates without communication skills can approach those, who have already taken the civil service exams, to get useful advice from them.

The interview portion of the civil service exams is not designed to judge one’s experience on a topic.

However, a candidate has to speak from the heart or answer all questions honestly.

There is a common misunderstanding among candidates that if they tell lies about their hobbies just to end the interview, it will never help them.

Interviewers from Indian Administrative Services are there not only to ask questions but also to assess a candidate’s personality and ability to have a clear understanding that a “no” is a “no”, it cannot be replaced with a “yes” and vice versa.

Important Dates 2021

Exam NameDate
IAS Exam – Prelims 2021May 2021
IAS Exam – Mains 2021September 2021 (exams for five days)

Check out our detailed page of IAS exam dates 2021

IAS Eligibility Criteria 2021

Age Limit

A candidate must be a minimum of 21 years old and a maximum of 32 years old as of August 1, 2020. But they must have been born before August 2, 1988, and no later than August 1, 1999. Action will be taken. necessary to make the corresponding changes in the respective Rules / Regulations related to various services.

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

  • 5 years: SC / ST
  • 3 years – Other classes late (OBC)
  • 3 years – Defense services personnel
  • 5 years: former military, including commissioned officers and ECO / SSCO who have loaned at least
  • 5 years of military service as of August 1, 2020.
  • 5 years in the case of ECO / SSCO
  • 10 years – Blind, deaf and dumb people with orthopaedic disabilities
  • 5 years: in the case of ECO / SSCO who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of military service as of August 1, 2019, and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in which case the Ministry of Defense issues a certificate that they can apply for civilian employment and that they will be released with a notice of three months from the date of receipt of an appointment offer.

Check out the Eligibility Criteria for IAS

Education Qualification

  • The candidate must have a bachelor’s degree from any of the recognized universities.
  • Candidates who have appeared for the qualifying exam and are awaiting results or those who have yet to appear for the qualifying exam are also eligible for the Preliminary Exam. These candidates must present proof of approval of said exam along with the application for the main exam.
  • Candidates with government-recognized professional and technical qualifications or equivalent are also eligible to apply.
  • Candidates who have passed the last year of MBBS or any medical exam but have not yet completed the internship may also apply for the main exam. However, they must present a certificate from the university in question that they have passed the final professional medical examination.


  • The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • The candidate must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  • The candidate must be a Tibetan refugee who arrived in India before January 1, 1962, to settle permanently in India.
  • The candidate must be a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zaire or Zambia with the intention of permanently settling in India.

IAS Interview

The interview is one of the most important parts of the IAS exam. It’s very necessary for you to clearly state your thoughts to the interviewers.

As a result, you need to focus on brightening your communication skills and body language. Some candidates are blessed with such skills.

Some require practice to become excellent communicators of their ideas. Candidates with no communication skills can contact those who have already appeared in the Civil Services Examinations, to get useful suggestions from them.

Because this portion of the Civil Services Examination is not designed to judge someone’s expertise on a subject.

However, a candidate must speak from the heart or answer all questions honestly.

There is a common misconception among the candidates that if they lie about their hobby just to get through the interview, it will never help them.

Interviewers are not just to ask questions, but to evaluate a candidate’s personality and ability to evaluate whether a ‘no’ is a ‘no’, it cannot be changed to a ‘yes’ and vice versa.

Apply Online 2021 IAS

Below are the steps to request the UPSC-Indian Administrative Services exam.

  1. Log in to the official UPSC website.
  2. On the home page, click on the link that says: ONLINE APPLICATION FOR SEVERAL UPSC TESTS.
  3. You will be directed to a new page. Click the link to sign up for Part I.
  4. Important instructions for completing the application form will be displayed on the screen. Please read them carefully.
  5. Click the Yes button to confirm that you accept the instructions.
  6. You’ll see the application form on the screen.
  7. Enter all the details and continue.
  8. Pay the application fee.
  9. Choose the centre you prefer.
  10. Tick the declaration checkbox. finally, complete the registration process.

Points to be remembered by the applicant.

  • Candidates should apply to register on the UPSC official website.
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit a single registration form.
  • In certain unavoidable situations, if more than one request is made, the requestor must ensure that the request with the highest RID (Registration ID) is complete in all respects.
  • Candidates who are already in the Government organization, government-owned industries, or other similar fields or in private employment should apply directly to the Commission.
  • However, candidates who are already in the Government Service, either in a permanent or temporary capacity or as employees with job positions other than occasional or daily qualified employees or those who serve in Public Companies, must present a commitment that they have informed their Head of Office / Department in writing that they have requested the examination.
  • Candidates should be aware that in the event that the Commission receives a communication from their employer withholding permission from applicants applying / appearing on the exam, their application will be rejected / the application will be cancelled.

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