IAS Exam 2021 Notification, Application Form, Dates, Eligibility, Exam Pattern

What is IAS Exam?

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was formerly known as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS) is the Civil Services Examination and one of the toughest competitive exams in India. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment of officers for the All India Administrative Civil Service.


  • 1858 (as Imperial Civil Service).
  • 1858 (as Imperial Civil Service) January 26, 1950 (as Indian Administrative Service).

The Indian Administrative Service is the premier administrative civil service of the Government of India. Hierarchy-wise, IAS is the highest administrative post among the 24 services like IPS, IFS etc.

Popularly known as the IAS exam, officially it is called as Civil Services Examination (CSE), which is conducted every year by the central recruiting agency, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

IAS is the permanent bureaucracy in India and forms a part of the executive branch. It is one of the three All India Services, its cadre can be employed by both the Union Government, the State Governments and public-sector undertakings.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has been termed as one of the prestigious services among the 24 government services like IPS, IFS (Foreign), IFS (Forest), IP & TAFS, IAAS, IRS, IDAS, CMSE, IRTS, IRAS, IRPS, ITS, CAPF-AF to name a few.

All these examinations are conducted by UPSC in the form of Civil Services Examination (CSE) for selecting the appropriate applicants for the jobs. Every year lakhs of applicants appear for this examination, testing their lucks and hard work to get through one of these prestigious posts.

It is important to mention that any officer selected into the IAS can be employed by Union government, state governments and/or public-sector undertakings and gets exposure in numerous job roles like the collector, head of public sector units, commissioner, chief secretary, cabinet secretary to name a few.

When on deputation outside India, the IAS officer can be engaged in inter-governmental organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the United Nations (UN), or its agencies and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to name a few.

It is very important for aspirants to know and understand the requirements of the examination such as the UPSC IAS syllabus, pattern, eligibility criteria, application procedure and other such significant details before kick-starting the registrations.

Also See: CTET 2021 Central Teacher Eligibility Test

IAS Exam Highlights 

Annually, the UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) to shortlist the applicants for more than 20 services, such as IAS, IPS and IFS. On average, more than eight lakh applicants register for the IAS exam and around five lakh applicants appear for the examination.

The selection of the applicants will be made through the preliminary exam, main examination and an interview/personality test. This year-long selection process will begin in the month of June and conclude in April. The final merit list for the CSE will be released in May.

Exam Civil Services Examination
Exam level National
Organizing body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam type Pen and paper-based (offline)
Number of services 24
Number of attempts 6 attempts
Number of Vacancies Approximately 900
Admit card online
Expected registrations More than 8 lakh

UPSC IAS Notification 2021 

The UPSC has released the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2021 notification on February 12, 2021. Applicants who are aiming for the All India Services along with other services can apply online between February 12 and March 3, 2021. The CSE notification was released for a total of 796 vacancies which include 24 vacancies for persons with benchmark disability category. Aspirants are advised to check the official notification for all the details.

UPSC IAS Exam 2021 Important Dates 

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification will be released on February 12, 2021. Applicants can apply online until March 3, 2021. The preliminary exam will be held on May 31 and Main exam in the month of September.

Event Dates Salient Features
UPSC Notification 2021 4 Mar 2021 The UPSC will issue the Civil Services (IAS) Exam Notification 2021 online on March 4.
Last date to apply for IAS Exam 2021 24 Mar 2021 The IAS online application online will be accepted till March 24.
IAS Prelims Exam 2021  27 June 2021
IAS prelims 2021 will be conducted on June 27 across the nation.
IAS Prelims 2021 Result July 2021 (Tentative) UPSC will announce the IAS result 2021 in the last week of July.
IAS Main Exam 2021 17 Sep 2021 UPSC will conduct the IAS main 2021 exam offline at the designated exam centers across the nation.
IAS Main 2021 result December/January 2022 (Tentative) The IAS Main Exam result 2021 will be released online only.

IAS 2021 Number Of Vacancies 

The total number of vacancies announced in the official notification is approximately 896, out of which 39 vacancies are reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disability Category. Aspirants should note that the list was prepared based on the previous year. The vacancies will be updated after the official notification.

Total number of vacancies 796 (including 24 reserved vacancies)
Total reserved vacancies 24
Blindness and low vision 3
Deaf and hard of hearing 9
Locomotor disability 8
Multiple disabilities 4

Applicants have to note that the final number of vacancies may change after getting the firm number of vacancies from the Cadre Controlling Authorities.

IAS Application Form  2021 

The UPSC has activated the IAS application form 2021 window on February 12. Interested applicants who meet all the eligibility conditions set by the Commission can register for IAS exam until March 3, 2021.

Aspirants need to complete the application form of IAS with great attention. A single mistake in IAS application form 2021 would lead aspirants to wait for one more year. Hence, we suggest applicants to refer our UPSC online application form 2021 page for detailed steps.

Also See: NIFT 2021 Entrance Exam

IAS Online Application Form 2021 Steps 

  • Visit the official site of UPSC – www.upsc.gov.in
  • Go to the ”Apply Online” tab.
  • Click on ”Online Application for Various Examinations”
  • Find the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination
  • Start IAS registration with Part-I.
  • Fill-up the personal details, educational qualification and address.
  • Pay the prescribed application fee (Rs 100)
  • Choose the exam center
  • Upload the photo, sign, and photo identity card.
  • Accept the declaration.
  • Check the complete details and submit.
  • Take a printout of the IAS application form for future reference.

UPSC IAS Main Exam Dates 2021 (Tentative)

The UPSC will release the Civil Services Main Exam dates on its official website. Aspirants who have passed with flying colours in Preliminary Exam are only eligible to appear for the Main Examination. The Commission conducts the Main Examination for a total of five days in the month of September. Applicants are advised to explore the Civil Services Main Exam dates 2021.

Date Forenoon Session (9.00 AM to 12.00 Noon) Afternoon Session (2.00 PM to 5.00 PM)
September 18, 2021 (Friday) Paper-I Essay No Paper
September 19, 2021 (Saturday) Paper-II General Studies‐I Paper-III General Studies‐II
September 20, 2021 (Sunday) Paper-IV General Studies‐III Paper-V General Studies‐IV
September 26, 2021 (Saturday) Paper‐A Indian Language Paper‐B English
September 27, 2021 (Sunday) Paper‐VI Optional Paper-I Paper‐VII Optional Paper-II

Being an IAS Officer 

An IAS officer is given administrative command of an entire district as a District Collector. IAS officers also represent the Government of India at the international level in bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

Given below is the detailed scenario like eligibility criteria, roles & responsibilities, etc. for the upcoming Civil Services Examination:

Eligibility Criteria 

Nationality :

  • Applicant must be a citizen of India.
  • Applicant must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan.
  • The applicant must be a Tibetan Refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, to be settled permanently in India.
  • Applicant must be person of Indian Origin who has migrated from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zaire, or Zambia with an intention of permanently settling in India.

Educational Qualification :

  • Applicant applying for the Civil Services 2021 exam is required to fulfil the following criteria :
  • Applicant must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from any of the recognized universities.
  • Applicants who have appeared for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results or those who are yet to appear for the qualifying examination are also eligible for the Preliminary Examination. Such applicants have to produce proof of passing the said examination along with the application for the Main Examination.
  • Applicants with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government or its equivalent are also eligible to apply.
  • Applicants who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned University that they have passed the final professional medical examination.

Age Limit 

  • An applicant should be a minimum of 21 years and a maximum of 32 years old as of August 01, 2021. But he/she must have been born not earlier than August 02, 1988, and not later than August 01, 1999. Necessary action will take to make corresponding changes in respective Rules/Regulations pertaining to various services.
  • The upper age limit prescribed above is relaxable for the following applicants :
  • 5 Years – Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST).
  • 3 Years – Other Backward Classes (OBC).
  • 3 Years – Defence Services personnel.
  • 5 Years – ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years Military Service as on August 01, 2021.
  • 5 Years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs.
  • 10 Years – Blind, deaf-mute, and orthopedically handicapped persons.
  • 5 Years – In the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August, 2019 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.

Number of attempts 

  • Restriction on the maximum number of attempts is effective since 1984 :
  • For General Applicants : 6 attempts (Up to 32 Years).
  • Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Applicants (SC/ST) : No Limits (Up to 37 Years).
  • Other Backward Classes (OBC) : 9 attempts (Up to 35 Years).
  • Physically handicapped- 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST.

Roles and Responsibilities 

The role of IAS officers is very venerable, demands a great deal of responsibility and reverence. It is also important that an officer is physically and mentally fit and healthy to handle the work pressure without giving in. The following are the roles and responsibilities that an IAS officer is deputed :

  • Handling affairs of government that involve framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the concerned Minister.
  • Implementing policies through supervision and also traveling to the places where the approved policies will be implemented.
  • Implementing policies comprises the disbursement of funds through personal supervision.
  • Answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures for any violation of rules while on duty.
  • Functions and responsibilities differ at different levels of a career.
  • Initially, IAS officers join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, resuming their services as sub-divisional magistrates, and look after law and order, general administration and development work in the area assigned to them.
  • The post of the District Officer also known as District Magistrate, District Collector or Deputy Commissioner is the highly respected and responsible post the IAS officers enjoy.
  • At the district level, an IAS officer deals with district affairs, including the implementation of developmental programs.
  • The officers may also be appointed in the State Secretariat or they may serve as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings.
  • They may serve in different positions from the State to the Centre and vice versa. This happens through deputation.
  • At the Centre, IAS officers serve at the highest position as the Cabinet Secretaries, Secretaries/Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Secretaries and Under Secretaries. They are appointed to these posts based on seniority.
  • At the Centre, the IAS officers play a key role in the formulation and implementation of policies related to a particular area; for instance, finance, commerce, etc.
  • During the formulation of a policy and decision making, IAS officers serving at different levels i.e. joint secretary, deputy secretary give their valuable inputs.
  • The policy takes its final shape through a final decision the minister concerned or the cabinet, depending on the seriousness of the situation.

IAS 2021: Fictitious Fee List Released :

  • The UPSC has released the list of applications rejected due to non-payment of a fee (fictitious fee). The Commission has not received the application fee of Rs 100 from the Bank authorities of the 51 applicants. Hence, UPSC has canceled their applications and they are not eligible to appear for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2021.
  • In case of any appeal, applicants should contact the UPSC within 10 days along with the documentary evidence of application fee payment. Aspirants can send the evidence either speed post or by hand only to The Under Secretary (CSP), Union Public Service Commission, Examination Hall Building, Hall No.2, 4th Floor, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi- 10069.
  • The UPSC will conduct IAS Preliminary exam on May 31, 2021.

Kunji Team

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