Rules for Civil Services Examination

Rule 1

The examination will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission in the manner prescribed in Appendix I to these rules. The dates on which and the places at which the Preliminary and Main Examination will be held shall be fixed by the Commission.

Rule 2

A candidate shall be required to indicate in his /her application form for the Main Examination his/her order of preferences for various services/posts for which he/she would like to be considered for appointment in case he/she is recommended for appointment by Union Public Service Commission.

A candidate who wishes to be considered for IAS/IPS shall be required to indicate in his/her application if he/she would like to be considered for allotment to the State to which he/she belongs in case he/she is appointed to the IAS/IPS.

Note: The candidate is advised to be very careful while indicating preferences for various services/posts. In this connection, attention is also invited to rule 19 of the Rules. The candidate is also advised to indicate all the services/posts in the order of preference in his/her application form. In case he/she does not give any preference for any services/posts, it will be assumed that he/she has no specific preference for those services. If he/she is not allotted to any one of the services/ posts for which he/she has indicated preference, he/she shall be allotted to any of the remaining services/posts… in which there are vacancies after allocation of all the candidates who can be allocated to services/posts in accordance with their preferences.

Rule 3

The number of vacancies to be filled on the results of the examination will be specified in the Notice issued by the Commission. Reservation will be made for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Physically disabled categories in respect of vacancies as may be fixed by the Government.

Rule 4

Every candidate appearing at the Examination, who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted four attempts at the examination. Provided that this restriction on the number of attempts will not apply in the case ofs Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates who are otherwise eligible. Provided further that the number of attempts permissible to candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes, who are otherwise eligible, shall be seven.

I. An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the examination.
II. If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he/she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the examination.
III. Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.

Rule 5

(1) For the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.
(2) For other services, a candidate must be either :

Constitutional Provisions

The Union Public Service Commission has been established under Article 315 of the Constitution of India. The Commission consists of a Chairman and ten Members.

The terms and conditions of service of Chairman and Members of the Commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969.

The Commission is serviced by a Secretariat headed by a Secretary with two Additional Secretaries, a number of Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and other supporting staff.

The Union Public Service Commission has been entrusted with the following duties and role under the Constitution:

(a) A citizen of India, or
(b) a subject of Nepal, or
(c) a subject of Bhutan, or
(d) a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or
(e) a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.

A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him by the Government of India.

Rule 6

Prescribed Age Limit & Permissible Age Relaxation:

(a) A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years.

(b) The upper age-limit prescribed above will be relaxable:
(i) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
(ii) upto a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates;
(iii) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st day of December, 1989;
(iv) upto a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof;
(v) upto a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen  including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service.

(a) on completion of assignment otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency; or
(b) on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service; or
(c) on invalidment.

(vi). upto a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service 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.
(vii). upto a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped persons.
Note I:
Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who are also covered under any other clauses of Rule 6(b) above, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen, persons domiciled in the State of J & K, blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped etc. will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.
Note II:
The term ex-servicemen will apply to the persons who are defined as Ex-servicemen in the Ex-servicemen (RE-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979, as amended from time to time.
Note III:
The age concession under Rule 3(ii)(b)(v) and (vi) will not be admissible to Ex-Servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs, who are released on own request.
Note IV:
Notwithstanding the provision of age-relaxation under Rule 3(ii)(b)(vii) above, a physically handicapped candidate will be considered to be eligible for appointment only if he/she (after such physical examination as the Government or appointing authority, as the case may be, may prescribe) is found to satisfy the requirements of physical and medical standards for the concerned Services/Posts to be allocated to the physically handicapped candidates by the Government.

Save as provided above, the age limits prescribed can in no case be relaxed.
The date of birth accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate or in a certificate recognised by an Indian University as equivalent to Matriculation or in an extract from a Register of Matriculates maintained by a University, which extract must be certified by the proper authority of the University or in the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificate. These certificates are required to be submitted only at the time of applying for the Civil Services (Main) Examination. No other document relating to age like horoscopes, affidavits, birth extracts from Municipal Corporation, service records and the like will be accepted.
The expression Matriculation/Higher Secondary Examination Certificate in this part of the instruction include the alternative certificates mentioned above.

Note 1:
Candidates should Note that only the date of birth as recorded in the Matriculation/Secondary Examination certificate or an equivalent certificate on the date of submission of applications will be accepted by the Commission and no subsequent request for its change will be considered or granted.
Note 2:
Candidates should also Note that once a date of birth has been claimed by them and entered in the records of the Commission for the purpose of admission to an Examination, no change will be allowed subsequently or at any other Examination of the Commission on any grounds whatsoever.
Note 3:
The candidate should exercise due care while entering their data of birth in column 8 of the application form for the Preliminary Examination. If on verification at any subsequent stage, any variation is found in their date of birth from the one entered in their matriculationor equivalent Examination certificate, disciplinary action will be taken against them by the Commission under the Rules.

Rule 7

Educational Qualification
A candidate must hold a degree of any of the Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

Note I:
Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination.
All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination along with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination.
Note II:
In exceptional cases the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate who has not any of the foregoing qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he has passed examination conducted by other institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his admission to the examination.
Note III:
Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by Government as equivalent to professional and technical degree would also be eligible for admission to the examination.
Note IV:
Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit along with their application a copy of certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination. In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.

Rule 8

A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Foreign Service on the results of an earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to compete at this examination.

In case such a candidate is appointed to the IAS/IFS after the Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Examination, is over and he/she continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be eligible to appear in the Civil Services (Main) Examination, of that year notwithstanding his/her having qualified in the Preliminary Examination.

Also provided that if such a candidate is appointed to IAS/IFS after the commencement of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, but before the result thereof and continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be considered for appointment to any service/post on the basis of the result of this examination viz. Civil Services Examination of that year.

Rule 9

Candidates must pay the fees prescribed in the Commission’s Notice.

Rule 10

All candidates in Government service, whether in a permanent or in temporary capacity or as work charged employee, other than casual or daily rated employees or those serving under Public Enterprises will be required to submit an undertaking that they have informed in writing their Head of Office/Department that they have applied for the Examination. Candidates should note that in case a communication is received from their employer by the Commission withholding permission to the candidates applying for appearing at the examination, their applications will be liable to be rejected/candidature will be liable to be cancelled.

Rule 11

The decision of the Commission as to the eligibility or otherwise of a candidate for admission to the examination shall be final. The candidates applying for the examination should ensure that they fulfill all the eligibility conditions for admission to the Examination. Their admission at all the stages of examination for which they are admitted by the Commission viz. Preliminary ExaminationMain (Written) Examination and Interview Test will be purely provisional, subject to their satisfying the prescribed eligibility conditions. If on verification at any time before or after the Preliminary ExaminationMain (Written) Examination and interview Test it is found that they do not fulfill any of the eligibility conditions, their candidature for the examination will be cancelled by the Commission.

Rule 12

No candidate will be admitted to the Preliminary/Main Examination unless he holds a certificate of admission for the Examination.

Rule 13

No request for withdrawal of candidature received from a candidate after he has submitted his application will be entertained under any circumstances.

Rule 14

A candidate who is or has been declared by the Commission to be guilty of:
(i) Obtaining support for his candidature by the following means, namely:
(a) offering illegal gratification to, or
(b) applying pressure on, or
(c) blackmailing, or threatening to blackmail any person connected with the conduct of the examination, or
impersonation, or
(iii) procuring impersonation by any person, or
(iv) submitting fabricated documents or documents which have been tampered with, or
(v) making statements which are incorrect or false or suppressing material information, or
(vi) resorting to the following means in connection with his candidature for the examination, namely
(a) obtaining copy of question paper through improper means,
(b) finding out the particulars of the persons connected with secret work relating to the examination.
(c) influencing the examiners, or
(vii) using unfair means during the examination, or
(viii) writing obscene matter or drawing obscene sketches in the scripts, or
(ix) misbehaving in the examination hall including tearing of the scripts, provoking fellow examinees to boycott examination, creating a disorderly scene and the like, or
(x) harassing or doing bodily harm to the staff employed by the Commission for the conduct of their examinations, or
(xi) violating any of the instructions issued to candidates along with their admission certificates permitting them to take the examination, or
(xii) attempting to commit or as the case may be abetting the commission of all or any of the acts specified in the foregoing clauses; may in addition to rendering himself liable to criminal prosecution, be liable:

(a) to be disqualified by the Commission from the examination for which he is a candidate; and/or
(b) to be debarred either permanently or for a specified period:

(i) by the Commission, from any examination or selection held by them;
(ii) by the Central Government from any employment under them; and

(c) if he is already in service under Government to disciplinary action under the appropriate rules.

Provided that no penalty under this rules shall be imposed except after:
(i) giving the candidate an opportunity of making such representation in writing as he may wish to make in that behalf; and
(ii) taking the representation, if any, submitted by the candidate within the period allowed to him into consideration.

Rule 15

Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the Preliminary Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion shall be admitted to the Main Examination; and candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the Main Examination (written) as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion shall be summoned by them for an interview for personality test:

Provided that candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or Other Backward Classes may be summoned for an Interview for a personality test by the Commission by applying relaxed standards in the Preliminary Examination as well as Main Examination (written) if the Commission is of the opinion that sufficient number of candidates from these communities are not likely to be summoned for interview for a personality test on the basis of the general standard in order to fill up vacancies reserved for them.

Rule 16

(1) After interview, the candidates will be arranged by the Commission in the order of merit as disclosed by the aggregate marks finally awarded to each candidate in the Main Examination. Thereafter, the Commission shall, for the purpose of recommending candidates against unreserved vacancies, fix a qualifying mark (hereinafter referred to as general qualifying standard) with reference to the number of unreserved vacancies to be filled up on the basis of the Main Examination. For the purpose of recommending reserved category candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes against reserved vacancies, the Commission may relax the general qualifying standard with reference to number of reserved vacancies to be filled up in each of these categories on the basis of the Main examination:

Provided that the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who have not availed themselves of any of the concessions or relaxations in the eligibility or the selection criteria, at any stage of the examination and who after taking into account the general qualifying standards are found fit for recommendation by the Commission shall not be recommended against the vacancies reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes.

(2) While making service allocation, the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes recommended against unreserved vacancies may be adjusted against reserved vacancies by the Government. If by this process they get a service of higher choice in the order of their preference.

(3) The Commission may further lower the qualifying standards to take care of any shortfall of candidates for appointment against unreserved vacancies and any surplus of candidates against reserved vacancies arising out of the provisions of this rule, the Commission may make the recommendations in the manner prescribed in sub-rules (4) and (5).

(4) While recommending the candidates, the Commission shall, in the first instance, take into account the total number of vacancies in all categories. This total number of recommended candidates shall be reduced by the number of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes who acquire the merit at or above the fixed general qualifying standard without availing themselves of any concession or relaxation in the eligibility or selection criteria in terms of the provision to sub-rule (1). Along with this list of recommended candidates, the Commission shall also declare a consolidated reserve list of candidates which will include candidates from general and reserved categories ranking in order of merit below the last recommended candidate under each category. The number of candidates in each of these categories will be equal to the number of reserved category candidates who were included in the first list without availing of any relaxation or concession in eligibility or selection criteria as per provision to sub-rule (1). Amongst the reserved categories, the number of candidates from each of the Scheduled Caste, the Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class categories in the reserve list will be equal to the respective number of vacancies reduced initially in each category.

(5) The candidates recommended in terms of the provisions of sub-rules (4), shall be allocated by the Government to the services and where certain vacancies still remain to be filled up, the Government may forward a requisition to the Commission requiring it to recommend, in order of merit, from the reserve list, the same number of candidates as requisitioned for the purpose of filling up the unfilled vacancies in each category.
Rule 17

The minimum qualifying marks as specified under rule 15 and 16 may be relaxable at the discretion of the Commission in favour of physically handicapped candidates in order to fill up the vacancies reserved for them:

Provided that where a physically handicapped candidate obtains the minimum qualifying marks in his own merit in the requisite number for General, or the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Tribe or other Backward Class category candidates, then, the extra physically handicapped candidates, i.e., more than the number of vacancies reserved for them shall not be recommended by the Commission on the relaxed standards.

Rule 18

The form and manner of communication of the results of the examination to individual candidates shall be decided by the Commission in their discretion and the Commission will not enter into correspondence with them regarding the results.

Rule 19

Due consideration will be given at the time of making allocation on the results of the examination to the preferences expressed by a candidate for various services at the time of his application. The appointment to various services will also be governed by the Rules/Regulations in force as applicable to the respective Services at the time of appointment.

Rule 20

Success in the examination confers no right to appointment unless Government are satisfied after such enquiry as may be considered necessary that the candidate, having regard to his character and antecedents, is suitable in all respects or appointment to the Service.

Rule 21

A candidate must be in good mental and bodily health and free from any physical defect likely to interfere with the discharge of his duties as an officer of the service. A candidate who after such medical examination as Government or the appointing authority, as the case may be, may prescribe, is found not to satisfy these requirements will not be appointed. Any candidate called for the Personality Test by the Commission may be required to undergo Part I of the medical examination and the candidates who are declared finally successful on the basis of this examination, may be required to undergo Part II of the medical examination. The details of Parts I and II of the medical examination are given in the Appendix III to these Rules. No fee shall be payable to the Medical Board by the candidate for the medical examination except in the case of appeal.


In order to prevent disappointment, candidates are advised to have themselves examined by a Government Medical Officer of the standing of a Civil Surgeon, before applying for admission to the examination. Particulars of the nature of the medical test to which candidates will be subjected before appointment and of the standards required are given in Appendix III to these Rules of Examination published in Gazettee of India dated 29th December 2007. For the disabled ex-Defence Services Personnel, the standards will be relaxed consistent with the requirements of the Services(s).

Rule 22

For being considered against the vacancies reserved for them, the physically disabled persons should have disability of Forty per cent (40%) or more. However, such candidates shall be required to meet one or more of the following physical requirements/abilities which may be necessary for performing the duties in the concerned Service/Posts:-

Rule 23

No person-
(a) who has entered into or contracted a marriage with a person having a spouse living, or
(b) who, having a spouse living, has entered into or contracted a marriage with any person: shall be eligible for appointment to Service:

Provided that the Central Government may, if satisfied that such marriage is permissible under the personal law applicable to such person and the other party to the marriage and there are other grounds for so doing, exempt any person from the operation of this rule.

Rule 24

Candidates are informed that some knowledge of Hindi prior to entry into service would be of advantage in passing departmental examinations which candidates have to take after entry into service.

Rule 25

Brief particulars relating to the Services/Posts to which recruitment is being made through this examination are given in Appendix II.

Physical Requirements
Note : Services identified suitable for physically disabled category and number of vacancies reserved there against is as under (as per the CSE 2007 notification):
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