UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy

In January 2019, the Government of India announced the deletion of the state cadre of ‘Jammu & Kashmir,’ bringing an amendment in the Cadre Allocation Policy (CAP) 2017. It was earlier revised in 2017 for All India Services – IAS, IPS and IFoS and enforced from UPSC 2017 examination. This article gives a brief overview of the New UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy.

The UPSC CSE Notification contains all the information about the examination and the rules related to it.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy:-Download PDF Here

The new UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy has major differences from the earlier cadre allocation policy in the classification of UPSC cadres, the way IAS candidates indicate their preferred cadre for the IAS exam as well as the way insider and outsider vacancies are filled. The same policy will be in force for UPSC 2022.

Cadre Allocation Policy – Five Zones

There are five zones in which state cadres/joint cadres have been divided:

State Cadres/ Joint Cadres for UPSC – All India Services
Zones  State Cadres
Zone-I AGMUT, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana
Zone-II Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha
Zone-III Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh
Zone-IV West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura
Zone-V Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala

Aims of the New UPSC Cadre Policy

The New Cadre Allocation Policy aims to fulfil three main goals of the Government of India and the State Governments:

  1. Increase national integration
  2. Rationalise vacancies according to IAS cadre strength
  3. Increase efficiency of administration by redistributing officers from surplus states to deficit states.

UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy Simplified

The UPSC allots IAS cadres based on the following procedure:

  1. The cadre controlling authorities for IAS (Department of Personnel and Training, IPS(Ministry of Home Affairs) and IFoS(Ministry of Environment, Forests Climate Change) should determine their respective vacancies, including unreserved and reserved categories based on procedures established by them.
  2. The IAS Cadres are now grouped into five zones which are mentioned above in the article.

The candidates should indicate their UPSC Cadre preference in the following order:

  1. Preference for Zone
  2. Preference for cadre
  3. The process should be repeated for each Zone and Cadre in the order of preference.
  4. If the UPSC Candidate fails to indicate their preference for one or more cadre of UPSC, it is presumed that they have no particular preference for that specific Zone or UPSC Cadre and the following may happen:
    • The candidate may be allotted a zone and cadre which has been indicated by them based on their merit rank if enough vacancies are available.
    • If the candidates have not been allotted any cadre for which they have indicated their preference, they will be allotted cadres with other such candidates in the following way:
      • The cadre will be allotted based on merit ranking of the remaining candidates on vacancies remaining after cadres have been allocated to other candidates who have indicated their preference.
      • The cadres will be arranged in alphabetical order for the purposes of allotment.

For example, if candidate X and candidate Y have not indicated their preference, cadre A and cadre B have vacancies remaining and their order of merit is:

Rank 1: Y

Rank 2: X

Candidate Y will be allotted cadre A and candidate X will be allotted cadre B.

  1. Physically disabled candidates have an additional option of indicating their UPSC Cadre preference from any one state/cadre (apart from home cadre) from his first preferred zone.
  2. Home Cadre in UPSC will be allotted on merit, preference and availability of vacancies. For this candidates should indicate their home zone and home cadre for IAS Cadre Allocation or they would not be considered for home cadre at all.
  3. Cadre allocation has three steps:
    • Insider vacancies are filled first based on category.
    • Candidates eligible for home cadre are allotted UPSC cadre after insider vacancies are filled.
    • Outsider vacancies will be filled next.
  4. A reserved category candidate who gets selected on general merit is eligible to be allocated an unreserved vacancy based on his merit and preference. If an unreserved vacancy is not available for their first preference, they will be allotted a UPSC Cadre from reserved vacancies based on availability, merit and preference.
  5. UPSC Cadre Allocation is done before the commencement of training for IAS officers proceeding for the Foundation Course at LBSNAA and for IPS and IFoS as soon as the appointments have been made.

UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy seems very complicated, but the only stage where candidates get involved is when they indicate their preference. Preference for an IAS cadre and zone should be indicated carefully as the UPSC cadre controlling authorities do not entertain any change in preference after application. Also, if one forgets to indicate even one preference, their cadre allocation is done as the last priority, which means that the candidate may not get the preferred cadre even after securing a high merit ranking. Preparing for the Civil Services Exam well and being attentive during the UPSC Online Application process will get candidates the posting of their choice.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2022.

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