The Union Public Service Commission conducts recruitment examinations to many departments of the Government of India. Some of the central government examinations conducted by UPSC are the National Defence Academy Examination, Combined Defence Services Examination, Civil Services Examination, Indian Forest Service Examination and so on.
All the examinations have a different pattern, prescribed syllabi and interview process which are well-defined and published periodically under Examination Notifications on the UPSC Website and government publications like the Gazette of India, Employment News, etc. Perhaps the most well-known of these exams is the UPSC Civil Services Examination, commonly known as the IAS Exam.
Most of these examinations have multiple stages of written exams followed by a personality test or board interview. The rules governing the UPSC recruitment process are framed and amended by the commission from time to time.
The following is the list of exams conducted by the UPSC and the frequency with which these are conducted:
|Civil Services Examination||Annual|
|Engineering Services Examination||Annual|
|Combined Defence Services Examination||Semi – Annual|
|Combined Medical Services Examination||Annual|
|National Defence Academy Examination||Semi – Annual|
|Indian Economic Services/ Indian Statistical Service Examination||Annual|
|S.O Steno Grade B/Grade I Examination||Annual|
|Indian Forest Service Examination||Annual|
|Combined Geo – Scientist and Geologist Examination||Annual|
|Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandant) Examination||Annual|
This list is not exhaustive as the UPSC periodically announces examinations based on departmental needs as well to fill lateral entry vacancies in various departments. Over the years some examinations have been combined with other exams to rationalise intake, such as the Special Class Railway Examination which was combined with Engineering Services Examination in 2015 and has not been conducted as a separate examination since.
The UPSC Civil Services Examination follows a long drawn out annual process consisting of the following stages:
- The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination
- The Civil Services (Main) Examination
- The Civil Services Interview/Personality Test
The Engineering Services Examination follows a similar pattern, though the subjects are restricted to four branches of engineering as opposed to a wide range of subjects in the Civil Services Examination.
The recruitment for other departments are conducted by the UPSC and the schedule is announced in the UPSC exam calendar published on the official website of the UPSC.
The UPSC publishes the notification for each examination a few months before it is conducted. This gives ample time for interested candidates to go through the application procedure, stages of the exam, age limit and other UPSC eligibility criteria and apply for the exam.
The UPSC offers age relaxation and relaxation in the number of maximum attempts and cut off marks to candidates who identify as SC, ST, OBC, PWD or Defence Personnel provided they can furnish the required documentary proof of their status while applying for the examinations. However, there is no age or physical fitness exemption extended in the NDA, CDS and CAPF (AC) examinations except an age relaxation for serving or honourably discharged Defence/Police Personnel due to the extreme physical demands of the job roles these exams recruit for.