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What is UPSC Full Form? History, Functions And Exams Conducted by UPSC

What is UPSC Full Form? History, Functions And Exams Conducted by UPSC are provided below. How it formed? What are the examinations under UPSC? What is the function of UPSC? Know everything about the UPSC exams. UPSC or Union Public Service Commission is the central recruiting agency of India established on 1 October 1926. It conducts the major recruitment examinations of the country to appoint candidates in the top central government posts. Several UPSC exam notifications are released every year where lakhs of aspirants sit for thousands of vacancies. It is considered amongst the toughest examinations of India recruiting for the gazetted central government posts.

Organization UPSC
UPSC Full-Form Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Group of posts under UPSC Group A and B posts
Official website
Exam mode Offline
Minimum eligibility criteria Graduate in concerned stream/ 12th Pass
UPSC Chairman Pradeep Kumar Joshi

UPSC Calendar 2021

UPSC Full Form and History

UPSC’s full form is Union Public Service Commission. The concept of a merit-based modern Civil Service exam in India was introduced in 1854 by the British East India Company. Initially, the examinations for the Indian Civil Service were conducted only in London. But the syllabus was designed in such a way that only the British candidates could succeed in it. Nevertheless, in 1864, the first Indian, Shri Satyendranath Tagore brother of Shri Rabindranath Tagore succeeded. It was only after the First World War and the Montagu Chelmsford reforms that Indian civil service exams began to be held in India.

The Public Service Commission was set up in India for the first time on October 1, 1926. Sir Ross Barker, member of the Home Civil Service, United Kingdom was the first Chairman of the Commission. With the introduction of the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950, the Federal Public Service Commission came to be recognized as the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Hence, UPSC was formed as the central commission for conducting government job examinations. 

UPSC Previous Year Papers: Download 2013 to 2019 IAS Papers

What are the Functions of UPSC?

The functions of the UPSC under Article 320 of the Constitution include the following:

  1. Conduct the recruitment examinations for appointment to the services of the Union.
  2. Direct recruitment of aspirants by selection through interviews.
  3. Appointment of officers in the cadre on promotion/deputation/absorption.
  4. Framing and amendment of the Recruitment Rules for services and posts under the Government.
  5. Managing disciplinary cases related to different Civil Services or officers.
  6. Advising the Government on any matter assigned to the Commission by the President of India.

Which examinations are conducted by UPSC?

To understand UPSC, you must know the examinations conducted by the UPSC. Here is the list of exams conducted by UPSC:

  • National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination (NDA)
  • Indian Statistical Service Examination (ISS)
  • Indian Economic Service Examination (IES)
  • Indian Forest Service Examination (IFS)
  • Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination
  • Indian Civil Services Examination (ICSE) for recruitment to IAS, IPS, IRS, etc officers
  • Indian Engineering Services Examination
  • Combined Medical Services Examination
  • Central Armed Police Forces (ACs) Examination
  • Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS)
  • Various Recruitment Tests for UPSC EPFO, other exams

What are the Minimum Qualifications for appearing for UPSC Exams?

If you are planning to apply for any of the mentioned examinations by UPSC, you must know about the minimum educational qualifications required by the particular exams. Check out below:

Examination Minimum Qualifications Required
National Defence Academy and Naval Academy Examination (NDA) 12th pass
Indian Statistical Service Examination (ISS) Bachelor’s Degree with Statistics/Applied Statistics/Mathematical Statistics
Indian Economic Service Examination (IES) Post-Graduate Degree in Economics/Applied Economics/Business Economics etc
Indian Forest Service Examination (IFS) Bachelor’s degree in any one of the mentioned subjects.
Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination Master’s degree in mentioned subjects
Indian Civil Services Examination (ICSE) for recruitment to IAS, IPS, IRS etc officers Bachelor’s degree in any subject.
Indian Engineering Services Examination Degree in Engineering
Combined Medical Services Examination MBBS
Central Armed Police Forces (ACs) Examination Bachelor’s degree
Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS) Bachelor’s degree


UPSC Civil services exam consists of 3 stages passing which a candidate will be appointed for the posts under administrative departments:

  1. Preliminary examination
  2. Mains examination
  3. Interview

UPSC Preliminary examination

It consists of 2 mandatory papers for 200 marks each to be attempted in the duration of 2 hours. Paper 1 contains questions from General Studies (GS) while paper 2 from the Aptitude Test.

Paper Subject Marks Duration
Paper 1 General Studies (GS) 200 marks 2 Hours
Paper 2 Aptitude Test 200 marks 2 Hours

UPSC Mains examination

The Mains exam consists of subjective type questions with a total of 9 papers with 2 papers that are qualifying in nature while the marks scored in 7 papers are added in the final merit. Each paper is of 3 hours duration.

Paper Subject Marks
One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate 300 marks
English 300 marks
Paper-I Essay 250 Marks
General Studies-I
Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society 250 Marks
General Studies -II
Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations 250 Marks
General Studies -III
Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management 250 Marks
General Studies -IV
(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)- 250 Marks 250 Marks
Paper-VI Optional Subject Paper 1 250 Marks
Paper-VII Optional Subject Paper 2 250 Marks

UPSC Full Form FAQs

Q. What is the full form of UPSC?
The UPSC full form is Union Public Service Commission.

Q. Are UPSC and IAS the same?
No. UPSC or Union Public Service Commission conducts the examinations for central govt posts. IAS or Indian administrative service is a central government department and its examination is conducted by UPSC.

Q. What is the UPSC CSE examination?
UPSC CSE is a UPSC Civil services examination conducted for top posts in central government. It includes IAS, IPS, IRS, and other services.

Q. What are the jobs in UPSC?
UPSC conducts examinations for various jobs namely NDA, ISS, IES, IFS, IAS, IPS, Indian engineering service, medical officers, defense services, Assistant Commandants, and other central government services.

Q. Is the UPSC exam tough?
Yes, UPSC is considered one of the toughest exams in India.

Q.How long is the IAS Training Program?

IAS Training currently lasts for 75 weeks including the duration spent at LBSNAA and central government attachments.

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