Important Fields to Fill on DAF for UPSC Mains 2023

Once the prelims exam is over and the results are announced, the shortlisted candidates have to apply again for the Mains exam, and they have to fill in the Detailed Application Form or DAF. The candidates who clear the UPSC IAS Prelims Exam are the ones who are shortlisted based on their score in General Studies Paper I which is 200 marks. The candidates have to be very careful while filling the DAF and any serious mistake while filling will be a serious issue for the candidate.

The UPSC Detailed Application Form (DAF) 1 has been released on 11 July 2023. All candidates who have cleared the UPSC Prelims 2023 and qualified to take the Civil Services Mains Exam scheduled to be held in September should fill in the DAF and submit it online on the official UPSC website by 19 July 2023.

The Commission will upload the UPSC admit card and timetable for the mains exam 2023 about 2 – 3 weeks before the mains  exams start.

This article will guide on what is DAF, parts of DAF and other details related to it for the mains phase of UPSC Exam.


The Civil Services Mains Examination, 2022 is scheduled from 15th September 2023 onwards and the candidates who have qualified prelims 2023 should fill out the DAF (CSM) form online which has to be submitted on the official website of UPSC. This form has to be filled out by the candidates in order to indicate their preference for services.

What is the DAF in the UPSC exam?

DAF is the Detailed Application Form that candidates must fill out and upload online on the UPSC official website to apply for the mains exam.

Before knowing how to fill the DAF, let’s take a look at some of the important guidelines to follow while filling DAF.

Detailed Application Form 2023 – Salient Points

  1. Don’t send the DAF print preview PDF or original one also to UPSC by mistake. The DAF is now to be submitted online only by visiting the commission’s official website –
  2. Candidates have to register themselves by creating an account by providing their names, roll number, birth date and email-id on the DAF registration module online.
  3. Candidates will be sent a password on their registered number and email-id using which they will again have to log in with roll number as the username and password that is sent to them by the commission.
  4. UPSC DAF will have six modules:
    • Personal Information
    • Educational Information
    • Parental Information
    • Employment Information
    • Upload documents
    • Final Submission
  5. Before final submission, candidates can make changes, however, no changes will be entertained in any module after the candidate clicks on ‘final submission.’

For Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Exam, check the linked article.

Now let’s take a look at the important fields to be filled on the Detailed Application Form (DAF).

DAF, which stands for Detailed Application Form, is a very crucial document, and it defines everything from the career of a candidate to their posting. Hence, it is advised to all the candidates to take extra care while filling the DAF.

Parts of the DAF

DAF consists of 8 parts, and each part has to be filled.

To make it easy to fill the DAF and give a clear picture to candidates for filling the DAF, given below are the images of the DAF and highlighted are the important fields where the candidates have to be careful while filling it as once filled and submitted, candidates might not get a chance to change the same later.

Detailed Application Form UPSC sample/UPSC CSE DAF sample PDF/UPSC mains application form sample

Page 1 of 9

daf -UPSC-1

*Don’t forget to sign at the end of the form of page 1

Page 2 of 9


*Provide a proper and active email address as the commission may use this as the mode of communication with the candidate.

*Candidates who belong to SC, ST or OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) should enclose a copy of the certificate to support their claim.

Page 3 of 9


*Provide the right optional subject that you have chosen and prepared for as once entered wrong cannot be changed later.

Page 4 of 9


*Fill your educational and employment details very carefully and it is advised to read once after filling the form.

Page 8 of 9


*In the last page candidate should sign in two places, one after the declaration Para and the other at the end of the page.

UPSC DAF – Service Preference and Cadre Preference

The Service and cadre preferences are among the very important fields to be filled in the DAF. Candidates are advised to think carefully before filling the service preferences and the cadre preferences as once filled and submitted, they cannot change it.

Below given is the service and cadre preference list:

UPSC DAF – Service Preference

  1. IAS
  2. IFS
  3. IPS

(Above three are interchangeable)

  1. IRS (IT)
  2. IRS (Customs)
  3. IAAS
  4. Indian Railway Traffic Service (King of Railways)
  5. Indian Railways Accounts Service
  6. Indian Defence Estate
  7. Indian Defence Accounts
  8. Indian P & T Accounts & Finance
  9. Post of Asst Security Commissioner, RPF (Lot of manpower)
  10. Indian Railway Personnel Service
  11. Indian Ordnance Factories Service
  12. Indian Civil Accounts Service
  13. Indian Postal Service
  14. Indian Information Service
  15. Indian Trade Service
  16. Indian Corporate Law Service
  17. DANICS
  18. DANIPS
  19. Armed Force HQ
  20. Pondicherry civil service

(22 & 23 are interchangeable)

The other confusion among the candidates is on how to fill the cadre preference. While filling you may not understand the preference to one state or the other but while in service you will understand the importance of the cadre performance, hence choose what you want, and that which satisfies you.

Here is the list below.

UPSC DAF – Cadre Preference

North Indian Candidates

  1. Rajasthan
  2. Bihar
  3. Uttar Pradesh
  4. AGMUT
  5. Madhya Pradesh
  6. Punjab
  7. Gujarat
  8. Jharkhand
  9. Himachal Pradesh
  10. Uttarakhand
  11. Haryana
  12. Maharashtra
  13. Chhattisgarh
  14. Karnataka
  15. Andhra Pradesh
  16. Tamil Nadu
  17. Telangana
  18. Odisha
  19. Kerala
  20. West Bengal
  21. Assam, Meghalaya
  22. Jammu & Kashmir
  23. Sikkim
  24. Tripura
  25. Nagaland
  26. Manipur

South Indian Candidates

  1. Karnataka
  2. Andhra Pradesh
  3. Tamil Nadu
  4. Telangana
  5. Odisha
  6. Maharashtra
  7. Kerala
  8. Rajasthan
  9. Bihar
  10. Uttar Pradesh
  11. AGMUT
  12. Madhya Pradesh
  13. Punjab
  14. Gujarat
  15. West Bengal
  16. Jharkhand
  17. Chhattisgarh
  18. Himachal Pradesh
  19. Uttarakhand
  20. Haryana
  21. Assam, Meghalaya
  22. Jammu & Kashmir
  23. Sikkim
  24. Tripura
  25. Nagaland
  26. Manipur

North East Candidates

  1. Assam, Meghalaya
  2. Sikkim
  3. Tripura
  4. Nagaland
  5. Manipur
  6. West Bengal
  7. Himachal Pradesh
  8. Uttarakhand
  9. Jammu & Kashmir
  10. Rajasthan
  11. Odisha
  12. Andhra Pradesh
  13. Tamil Nadu
  14. Karnataka
  15. Telangana
  16. Kerala
  17. Maharashtra
  18. Bihar
  19. Uttar Pradesh
  20. Jharkhand
  21. Madhya Pradesh
  22. Gujarat
  23. Punjab
  24. Madhya Pradesh
  25. Haryana
  26. Chhattisgarh

For more clarification, candidates who qualify for the UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam 2022 are advised to refer to the Rules of the Civil Services Examination 2022, which is available on the official website of the UPSC. To follow up on EWS Certificate Criteria, check the linked article.

Aspirants appearing for UPSC 2023 exam can check the linked article to know more information about the exam and application process.

We now hope that all your doubts and queries regarding how to fill DAF for IAS 2022 exam are cleared. Go on, fill the DAF to write the best exam of your life!


UPSC DAF 2021 is released on 22nd November 2021. Candidates who have cleared prelims have to re-apply for Mains through the UPSC detailed application form. The Civil Services Mains Examination, 2021 is scheduled from 7th January 2022 onwards and the candidates who have qualified prelims should fill the DAF (CSM) form online and has to be submitted on the official website of UPSC. This form has to be filled by the candidates in order to indicate their preference of services.

UPSC DAF 2021 Notification:-Download PDF Here


For admission to the Civil Services Mains Examination, 2020 which is to be held from January 8, 2021, onward, all candidates who would have qualified should fill up the DAF (CSM) online and submit the same online for admission to the UPSC Mains Examination. On 28th October, the commission has released the DAF for UPSC Mains 2020. Candidates have to fill in all the required details in the DAF for UPSC between 28th October and 11 November 2020. Check all the important fields to be filled in the IAS Mains detailed application form in this article.

UPSC DAF Official 2020 Notification:-Download PDF Here

Go through the UPSC DAF form sample PDF instructions, and for UPSC Notification check the linked article.


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  1. Can I choose marathi medium for all GS papers and essay paper and English medium for my optional subject. Let me know please.

  2. I am BSC final year student from kuk . My plan to attemt the UPSC exam next year . But According to UPSC calendar prelims are held in 27 June and as per Universitiy guidelines final year examination are held in July can I show the Universitiy result awaited in DAF form ??? Is it possible Because Universitiy will declare the result after 1months

  3. Hi

    My father and Mother currently working under the state government as Class 1 or group A. Both had crossed the age of 45 before getting promoted to that post. Both my father and mother’s annual income(only salary) crosses 6 lakhs each. we have a property which gives an income of 3 lakh per year.
    Other than that there’s no other income.

    So my questions are:
    1. Do we fall under the non-creamy layer? as per the notification, I feel yes, need confirmation.
    2. In DAF, the annual income of father and mother is asked should I put total annual income under their name including salary and other source income or should I exclude the salary and only income from other sources need to be shown?

    • Hi
      1. As per the supplementary creamy layer report of NCBC, the children of Group A/Class I officers are excluded from availing the benefits of the reservation.
      2. Annual income comprises income from all sources.

  4. I had a doubt if i preferred ias irs and ifs in my form then if my rank become lower for these services then it is possible to get job in other services which is not included in form

  5. Sir what should I do if my permanent residence address at the time of filling upsc pre form changes at the time of filling mains daf form ie change in residential address within same district

    • Hi, you may have to contact UPSC and communicate the change in address in the format they will require you to do. Please reach out to the UPSC query portal.

  6. If one select IFS,IAS &IPS is it necessary to select cadre?