Civil Services (Main) Exam, 2012

Civil Services (Main) Exam., 2012 is conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) for recruiting to various administrative services of the Indian government, like the IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), and Group A & B services under central government. The former Preliminary examination has been replaced by CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test), followed by Civil Services Main examination and interview. The main examination evaluates a candidate’s depth of understanding in a particular subject along with general intellectual traits.

Important Dates and Parameters
Date of Notification 4th February, 2012
Last Date for receipt of Application 5th March, 2012
Main Examination Date 5th October 2012
Duration of Examination 21 days
Application Mode Candidates need to fill up application form and send it to the UPSC along with examination of INR 100 (payable only through Central Recruitment Fee Stamp).

Contact Address:

Controller of Examinations,
Union Public Service Commission,
Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road,
New Delhi-110069

Eligibility Criteria Candidates who have cleared the civil services preliminary examination are eligible to appear for the main examination. Generally, nearly 20 times the number of vacant seats are selected for the main examination. Candidates need to complete their bachelors program from a recognized institute with not less than 50% in aggregate. Final year candidates are also eligible to apply for the preliminary examination. However, they need to produce documents of completion of graduation degree before appearing for the Main examination. The age of the candidates should be between 21 years and 30 years. For candidates belonging to SC/ST and OBC categories the upper age limit is relaxed by 5 years and 3 years respectively. Only Indian citizens are eligible to apply for IAS and IPS services. For all other services apart from Indians, subjects of Nepal or Bhutan are also eligible to apply.

A candidate can appear for 4 times only, subject to age limit. Appearance in one of the 2 papers in the preliminary examination will also be considered as an attempt. Candidates belonging to OBC category can attempt for maximum 7 times. There is no ceiling of attempts for candidates belonging to SC/ST categories, subject to age limit.

Preparing for Civil Services (Main) Examination

Apart from regular study materials Civil Services (Main) Exam., 2012 aspirants can also refer to these books:


The syllabus of the Civil Services (Main) Exam., 2012 is as follows:

Subject Maximum Marks Duration
I Language 300 3 hours
II English 300 3 hours
III Essay 200 3 hours
IV General Studies Paper I 300 3 hours
V General Studies Paper II 300 3 hours
VI Optional I – Papers I 300 3 hours
VII Optional I – Papers II 300 3 hours
VIII Optional II – Papers I 300 3 hours
IX Optional II – Papers II 300 3 hours

** The question papers III to IX will be set in both English and Hindi. Marks obtained in Paper I and II will be of qualifying nature. These I and II papers will be of matriculation level and the marks will not be counted toward ranking. Candidates qualifying the main examination will be called for interview (300 marks). Final list will be selected on the basis of performance in main and interview.

[For candidates from Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, North Eastern Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya the Indian language paper is not compulsory].

The detailed syllabus of the examination is as follows:

Optional Subject Papers

Optional papers will be set on the basis on bachelor (honors) level. For medical science, engineering, and law the papers will be as per the bachelors level. Candidates have to select any 2 subjects from the following list:

  • Agriculture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Medical Science
  • Mathematics
  • Anthropology
  • Philosophy
  • Botany
  • Physics
  • Political Science & International Relations
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Statistics
  • Commerce & Accountancy
  • Zoology
  • Geology
  • Economics
  • Indian History
  • Sociology
  • Geography

Candidates cannot opt for the following combinations as optional papers:

  • Anthropology and Sociology
  • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Management and Public Administration
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Political Science & International Relations and Public Administration
  • Commerce & Accountancy and Management
  • Medical Science and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Any 2 Engineering subjects (Civil/ Electrical/Mechanical)

Indian Language (Paper I) – any one from the following

  • Assamese
  • Bengali
  • Dogri (Devanagari)
  • Bedo (Devanagari)
  • Santali (Devanagari or olchiki)
  • Maithili (Devanagari)
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada
  • Hindi
  • Konkani
  • Kashmiri
  • Manipuri
  • Malayalam
  • Nepali
  • Marathi
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi
  • Persian
  • Sindhi (Devanagari or Arabic Script)
  • Sanskrit
  • Telugu
  • Tamil
  • Urdu

In January 2012, the UPSC will give notification about the detailed syllabus for CSE (Main) 2012 in Rozgar Samachar and Employment News.