Civil Services Main Examination Pattern

The Main Examination will be organized in December from 2016. 

12000 to 14000 candidates from the Preliminary Examination are selected for Main Examination. The questions for the Mains are of Subjective type. 

In this examination subjects included are—General Studies (Question Paper I, II, III and IV), Optional Subject-1 (Question Paper I & II), Optional, Essay & Compulsory English and Compulsory Indian Language. 

The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.

The scope of the syllabus for the optional subject papers for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors degree and lower than the masters degree. In the case of Engineering and law, the level corresponds to the bachelor’s degree.

(A) Syllabus of GS

The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socioeconomic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.

The syllabus is as follows:

General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) of 250 marks which may include following topics:

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
  • The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country. 
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women's organization
  • Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of world's physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) of 250 marks which may include following topics:

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States
  • Iissues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
  • Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs 
  • Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government;
  • Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People's Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • India and its neighborhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora. Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

General Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) of 250 marks which may include following topics:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy
  • Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

General Studies -IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) of 250 marks which may include following topics:

This paper will include questions to test the candidates' attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion. 
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weakersections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen's Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues



1 : The aim of the paper is to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly in English/Indian language concerned.

2 : The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay



  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essay
  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.


Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved)

(C)    ESSAY

Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.


List of optional subjects for Main Examination:

Agriculture ; Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science ; Anthropology ; Botany ; Chemistry ; Civil Engineering ; Commerce and Accountancy ; Economics ; Electrical Engineering ; Geography ; Geology ;History ; Law ; Management; Mathematics ; Mechanical Engineering ; Medical Science ; Philosophy ; Physics ; Political Science and International Relations ; Psychology ;Public Administration ;Sociology ;Statistics and Zoology, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.

Civil Services Preliminary Exam Pattern

The Preliminary Examination will be organised in August from 2016 and approximately five lakh candidates appear in it. 

Questions in Objective type format are asked in the examination and each question has four possible answers. The candidate has to select the right answer option among them.

From 2007 onwards the assessment of the Preliminary Examination is based on Negative Marking Pattern. It means, if the selected answer for any given question is wrong, then one-third of the total marks allotted to that question are deducted as penalty. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

Actually, the purpose of the Preliminary Examination is only to adjudge the aptness of the candidate; in the Final Selection its marks are not taken into account. While applying for preliminary examination, the candidate has to indicate his optional subjects (these can be changed while filling the mains detailed application form).

Syllabus of GS

The Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

Paper I - (Questions : 100,  Marks : 200,  Duration : Two hours)


  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion,
  • Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialisation
  • General Science.

Syllabus of CSAT

Paper II- (Questions : 80,  Marks - 200, Duration : Two hours)


  • Comprehension (Bilingual)
  • Interpersonal skills including
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • General mental ability

Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class-X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class-X level).

(i) Nationality

(1) For the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, a candidate must be a citizen of India.

(2) For other services, a candidate must be either:—

(a) A citizen of India, or

(b) A subject of Nepal, or

(c) A subject of Bhutan, or

(d) A Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January, 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or

(e) A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

⇒  Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be a person in whose favour a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

⇒ Provided further that candidates belonging to categories (b), (c) and (d) above will not be eligible for appointment to the Indian Foreign Service.

⇒ A candidate in whose case a certificate of eligibility is necessary, may be admitted to the examination but the offer of appointment may be given only after the necessary eligibility certificate has been issued to him/her by the Government of India.

(ii) Age Limits :

(a) A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August, 2014 i.e., he/she must have been born not earlier than 2nd August, 1982 and not later than 1st August, 1993. Necessary action to make corresponding changes in respective Rules/ Regulations pertaining to various services is being taken separately.

(b) The upper age limit prescribed above will be relaxable :

(i) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe. 

(ii) upto a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.

(iii) upto a maximum of five years if a candidate had ordinarily been domiciled in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the period from the 1st January, 1980 to the 31st day of December, 1989.

(iv) upto a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services personnel disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof.

(v) upto a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2014and have been released (i) on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st August, 2014) otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency, or (ii) on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service, or (iii) on invalidment. (vi) Up to a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2014 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. (vii) upto a maximum of 10 years in the case of blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped persons.


Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes who are also covered under any other clauses of para 3(ii) (b) above, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen, persons domiciled in the State of J & K, blind, deaf-mute and orthopaedically handicapped etc. will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.


The term ex-servicemen will apply to the persons who are defined as ex-servicemen in the Ex-servicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979, as amended from time to time.

Note III :

The age concession under para 3(ii) (b) (v) and (vi) will not be admissible to Ex- Servicemen and Commissioned Officers including ECOs/SSCOs who are released on own request.


Notwithstanding the provision of age relaxation under para 3 (ii) (b) (vii) above, a physically disabled candidate will be considered to be eligible for appointment only if he/she (after such physical examination as the Government or appointing authority, as the case may be, may prescribe) is found to satisfy the requirements of physical and medical standards for the concerned Services/posts to be allocated to the physically disabled candidates by the Government.


The date of birth accepted by the Commission is that entered in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate or in a certificate recognised by an Indian University as equivalent to Matriculation or in an extract from a Register of Matriculates maintained by a University, which extract must be certified by the proper authority of the University or in the Higher Secondary or an equivalent examination certificate.

These certificates are required to be submitted only at the time of applying for the Civil Services (Main) Examination. No other document relating to age like horoscopes, affidavits, birth extracts from Municipal Corporation, service records and the like will be accepted.

The expression Matriculation/Secondary Examination Certificate in this part of the instruction includes the alternative certificates mentionedabove.

NOTE 1: Candidates should note that only the Date of Birth as recorded in the Matriculation/Secondary Examination Certificate or an equivalent certificate as on the date of submission of applications will be accepted by the Commission and no subsequent request for its change will be considered or granted.

NOTE 2 : Candidates should also note that once a Date of Birth has been claimed by them and entered in the records of the Commission for the purpose of admission to an examination, no change will be allowed subsequently (or at any other examination of the Commission) on any grounds whatsoever.

NOTE 3 : The candidates should exercise due care while entering their date of birth in column 3 of the Application Form for the Preliminary Examination. If on verification at any subsequent stage, any variation is found in their date of birth from the one entered in their matriculation or equivalent Examination certificate, disciplinary action will be taken against them by the Commission under the Rules.


The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.

NOTE I : Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination.

All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination. The applications for the Main Examination will be called sometime in the month of July/August, 2011.

NOTE II : In exceptional cases the Union Public Service Commission may treat a candidate who has not any of the foregoing qualifications as a qualified candidate provided that he/ she has passed examination conducted by the other Institutions, the standard of which in the opinion of the Commission justifies his/her admission to the examination.

NOTE III : Candidates possessing professional and technical qualifications which are recognised by Government as equivalent to professional and technical degree would also be eligible for admission to the examination.

NOTE IV : Candidates who have passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but have not completed their internship by the time of submission of their applications for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, will be provisionally admitted to the Examination provided they submit along with their application a copy of certificate from the concerned authority of the University/Institution that they had passed the requisite final professional medical examination. In such cases, the candidates will be required to produce at the time of their interview original Degree or a certificate from the concerned competent authority of the University/Institution that they had completed all requirements (including completion of internship) for the award of the Degree.


Every candidate appearing at the examination who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted six attempts at the examination.

Provided that this restriction on the number of attempts will not apply in the case of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates who are otherwise eligible.

Provided further that the number of attempts permissible to candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes, who are otherwise eligible shall be nine. The relaxation will be available to the candidates who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.

Provided further that a physically handicapped will get as many attempts as are available to other non-physically handicapped candidates of his or her community, subject to the condition that a physically handicapped candidate belonging to the General Category shall be eligible for nine attempts. Necessary action to make Corresponding Changes in respective Rules/Regulations Pertaining to various services is being taken separately. The relaxation will be available to the physically handicapped candidates who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.


   (i) An attempt at a Preliminary Examination shall be deemed to be an attempt at the Examination.

   (ii) If a candidate actually appears in any one paper in the Preliminary Examination, he/she shall be deemed to have made an attempt at the Examination.

   (iii) Notwithstanding the disqualification/cancellation of candidature, the fact of appearance of the candidate at the examination will count as an attempt.


A candidate who is appointed to the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Foreign Service on the results of an earlier examination and continues to be a member of that service will not be eligible to compete at this examination.

In case such a candidate is appointed to the IAS/IFS after the Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Examination, 2014 is over and he/she continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be eligible to appear in the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2014 notwithstanding his/her having qualified in the Preliminary Examination, 2014.

Also provided that if such a candidate is appointed to IAS/IFS after the commencement of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2014 but before the result thereof and continues to be a member of that service, he/she shall not be considered for appointment to any service/post on the basis of the result of this examination viz. Civil Services Examination, 2014.


Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Civil Services Examination. The regulations are published for the convenience of candidates and enable them to ascertain the probability of their possessing the required physical standard. The regulations are also intended to provide guidelines to the medical examiners.

NOTE-1 "The medical Board while conducted medical examination of the candidates who have applied against the posts reserved for physically handicapped category will keep the relevant provisions of the persons with Disabilities (equal opportunity. Protection of right and full participation) Act, 1995 wherein the extent of permissible physical disability has been defined."

NOTE-2 Further, Government also constitute Special Medical Board(s)/Appellate Medical Board to issue the Disability Certificate in the prescribed form to physically disabled candidates and also to conduct the regular medical examination of physically disabled candidates in terms of these regulations. Blind candidates shall be eligible only for selection/appointment in posts which are identified as suitable for them in the Brochure on Reservations and Concessions for physically handicapped in Central Government services.

2. (a) The Government of India reserve to themselves absolute discretion to reject or accept any candidate after considering the report of the Medical Board.

2. (b) The medical examination shall be conducted in two parts, i.e. Part I which shall consist of the entire medical examination which the medical board may prescribe for a candidate, except the Radiographic Examination of the chest (X-ray test ) and Part II which shall consist of Radiographic Examination (X-ray test of the chest ). The part II shall be conducted only in respect of the candidates who have been declared finally successful on the basis of the examination. The classification of various Services under the two categories, namely “Technical” and “Non-Technical” will be as under:-


     (1) Indian Railway Traffic Service.

     (2) Indian Police service and other Central Police Services Group 'A' and 'B'.

     (3) Group ‘A’ Posts in the Railway Protection Force.


IAS,IFS,IA, and AS, Indian Customs and Central Excise service, Indian Civil Accounts Service, Indian Railway Accounts service, Indian Railway personnel service, Indian Defence Accounts services, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Ordnance Factories Services. Group A, Indian Postal Service, Indian Defence Estates Service Group A, Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service, Group A and other Central Civil Services Group A and B.

1. To be passed as fit for appointment, a candidate must be in good mental and bodily health and free from any physical defect likely to interfere with the efficient performance of the duties on his appointment.

2. (a) In the matter of co-relation of age limit, height and chest girth of candidates of India (including Anglo-Indian race), it is left to the Medical Board to use whatever correlation figure are considered most suitable as a guide in the examination of the candidates. If there be any disproportion with regard to height, weight and chest girth, the candidates should be hospitalized for investigation and X-ray of the chest taken before the candidate is declared fit or not fit by the Board. However, the X-ray of the chest will be done in respect of only such candidates who are directed to appear before the medical board for Part II of the medical examination.

(b) However, for certain services minimum standard for height and chest girth without which candidates cannot be accepted, are as follows:-
*The minimum height prescribed is relaxable in the case of candidates belonging to scheduled Tribes and to races such as Gorkhas, Garhwalis, Assamese, Kumaonis, and Nagaland Tribal etc. whose average height is distinctly lower.

**The following relaxed minimum height standard in case of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes and to the races such as Gorkhas, Assamese, Kumaonis, and Nagaland are applicable to Indian Police Service.

Men  160cms. Women  145cms.

3. The candidate’s height will be measured as follows:-

He will be remove his shoes and be placed against the standard with his feet together and the weight thrown on the heels and not on the toe or other sides of the feet. He will stand erect without rigidity and with heels calves’ buttocks and shoulder touching the standard; the chin will be depressed to bring the vertex of the head level under the horizontal bar and the height will be recorded in centimeters and parts of a centimeter to halves.

4. The candidate’s chest will be measured as follows:

He will be made to stand with his feet together and to raise arms over his head. The tape will be so adjusted round the chest that its upper edge touches the inferior angles of the shoulder blades behind and ties in the same horizontal plane when the tape is taken round the chest. The arms will then be lowered to hang loosely by the side and care will be taken that the shoulders are not thrown upwards or backwards so as to displace the tape. The candidate will then be directed to take a deep inspiration several times and the maximum expansion of the chest will be carefully noted and the minimum and maximum will then be recorded in centimeters 84-89, 86-93.5 etc. In recording the measurements fractions of less than half a centimeter should not be noted.

N.B.- The height and chest of the candidates should be measured twice before coming to a final decision.

  1. The candidate will also be weighed and his weight recorded in kilograms; fractions of half a kilogram should not be noted.
  2. (a)The candidate’s eye-sight will be tested in accordance with the following rules. The result of each test will be recorded.

(i) General- The candidate’s eyes will be submitted to a general examination directed to the detection of any disease or abnormality. The candidate will be rejected if he suffers from any morbid conditions of eye, eyelids or contiguous structure of such a sort as to render or are likely at future date to render him unfit for service.

(ii) Visual Acuity- The examination for determining the acuteness of visions includes two tests-one for distant the other for near vision. Each eye will be examined separately.

(b) There shall be no limit for maximum naked eye vision but the naked eye vision of the candidates shall however be recorded by the Medical Board or other medical authority in every case, as it will furnish the basic information in regard to the condition of the eye.

(c) The following standards are prescribed for distant and near vision with or without glasses for different types of services.

Class of Service

   Better eye Worse eye(corrected vision)  Better eye Worse eye(corrected vision)
1. Distant vision 6/6 or 6/9 6/12 or 6/9 6/6 or 6/9 6/18 to Nil or 6/12
2. Near vision J1** J2** J1** J2 J3 to Nil** J2
3. Types of corrections permitted Spectacles   Spectacles 10L*Radial Keratotomy*/ Lasik Laser Surgery  
4. Limits of refractive permitted +4.00 D (including cylinder)-Non- Pathological Myopia +4.00 D (including cylinder) (Hypermetropia)   None but without  
5. Colour vision requirements High Grade   Low grade  
6. Binocular vision needed Yes   No  


* To be referred to a Special Board of Ophthalmologists.

** Near vision for Railways Service viz., IRTS, IRAS, IRPS and RPF is JI in better eye and JII in worse eye

  (i) in respect of the Technical service mentioned above any other service concerned with the safety of public the total amount of Myopia (including the cylinder) shall not exceed minus 4.00 D. Total amount of hypermetropia (including the cylinder ) shall not exceed plus 4.00 D:

Provided that in case a candidate in respect of the services classified as “Technical” (other than the Services under the Ministry of Railways) is found unfit on grounds of high myopia the matter shall be referred to a special board of three ophthalmologists to declare whether this myopia is pathological or not. In case it is not pathological, the candidate shall be declared fit, provided he fulfils the visual requirements otherwise.

  (ii) In every case of myopia, fundus examination should be carried out and the results recorded. In the event of pathological condition being present which is likely to be progressive and affect the efficiency of the candidate, he/she should be declared unfit.

(e) Field of vision: The field of vision shall be tested in respect of all services by the confrontation method. When such test gives unsatisfactory or doubtful result the field of vision should be determined on the perimeter.

(f) Night Blindness: Broadly there are two types of night blindness (1) as a result of Vitamin A deficiency and (2) as a result of Organic disease of Retina-common cause being Retinitis Pigmentosa. In (1) the fundus is normal, generally seen in younger age group and ill nourished persons and improves by large doses of Vitamin A. In (2) the fundus is often involved and mere fundus examination will reveal the condition in majority of cases. The patient in this category is an adult and may not suffer from malnutrition persons seeking employment for higher posts in the Government will fall in this category. For both (1) and (2) dark adaptation test will reveal the condition. For (2) specially when fundus is not involved electro-Retinography is required to be done. Both these tests (dark adaptation and retinography) are time-consuming and require as a routine test in a medical check up. Because of these specialized set up, and equipment and thus are not possible as a technical considerations, it is for the Ministry/Department to indicate if these tests for night blindness are required to be done. This will depend upon the job requirement and nature of duties to be performed by the prospective Government employees.

For Railway Services (IRTS, IRAS, IRPS and RPF) - Night blindness need not be tested as a routine but only in special cases. No standard test for the testing of night blindness or dark adaption is prescribed. The Medical Board should be given the discretion to improvise such rough test e.g., recording of visual acuity with reduced illumination or by making or by making the candidate recognize various objects in a darkened room after he has been there for 20 to 30 minutes. “Candidates” own statements should not always be relied upon but they should be given due consideration.

(g) Colour Vision: The testing of color vision shall be essential in respect of the Technical Services mentioned above. As regards the non-Technical Services/posts the Ministry/ Department concerned will have to inform the medical board that the candidate is for a service requiring colour vision examination or not.

Colour perception should be graded into higher and lower depending upon the size of aperture in the lantern as described in the table below:-

  Grade Higher Grade 
Colour Perception
Lower Grade 
Colour Perception
   1  2  3
 1  Distance between the lamp and the candidate  16 ft  16 ft
 2  Size of aperture  1.3 mm.  13 mm.
 3  Time of exposure  5 second  5 second


For the IPS and other Police Services, Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ Indian Railway Traffic Service Group A posts in the Railway Protection force and for other Services concerned with the safety of the public higher grade of colour vision is essential but for others lower, grade of colour vision should be considered sufficient.

Satisfactory colour vision constitutes, recognition with ease and without hesitation of signal red, green and yellow colours. The use of Ishihara’s plates, shown in good light and a suitable Edrige Green’s lantern shall be considered quite dependable for testing colour vision. While either of the two tests may ordinarily be considered sufficient in respect of services concerned with road, rail and air traffic, it is essential to carry out the lantern test. In doubtful cases where a candidate fails to qualify when tested by only one of the two tests, both the tests should be employed. However both the Ishihara’s plates and Edrige Green’s lantern shall be used for testing colour vision of candidates for appointment to the Indian Railway Traffic Service and Group ‘A’ posts in the Railway protection Force.

(h) Ocular condition other than visual acuity-

(i) Any organic disease or a progressive refractive error, which is likely to result in lowering visual acuity, should be considered a disqualification.

(ii) squint: For technical services where the presence of binocular vision is essential squint, even if the vision acuity in each eye is of prescribed standard should be considered a disqualification. For other services the presence of squint should not be considered as a disqualification if the visual acuity is of the prescribed standards. For Railways technical services binocular vision is essential.

(iii) if a person has one eye or if he has one eye which has normal vision and the other eye is amblyopic or has subnormal vision the usual effect is that the person is lacking stereoscopic vision for perception of depth. Such vision is not necessary for many civil posts. The medical board may recommend as fit such persons provided the normal eye has-

  • 6/6 distant vision j/I near vision with or without glasses provided the error in any meridian is not more than 4 dioptres for distant vision.
  • Has full field of vision.
  • Normal colour vision wherever required:

Provided the Board is satisfied that the candidate can perform all the functions for the particular job in question.

The above relaxed standard of visual acuity will NOT apply to candidates for post/services classified as “TECHNICAL” The Ministry/Department concerned will have to inform the medical board that the candidate is for a “TECHNICAL” post or not.

(iv) Contact Lenses: During the medical examination of Candidate, the use of contact lenses is not to be allowed. It is necessary that when conducting eye test the illumination of the typed letters for distant vision should have an illumination of 15 footcandles.


Special ophthalmic Board for eye examination shall consist of 3 ophthalmologists:

  • Cases where the Medical Board has recorded visual function within normal prescribed limits but suspects a disease of progressive and organic nature, which is likely to cause damage to the visual function should refer the candidate to a special ophthalmic Board for opinion as part of the first Medical Board.
  • All cases of any type of surgery on eyes. IOL, refractive corneal surgery, doubtful cases of colour defect should be referred to special ophthalmic Board.
  • In such cases where a candidate is found to be having high myopia or high hypermetropia the Central Standing Medical Board/State Medical Board should immediately refer the candidates for a special Board of three ophthalmologists constituted by the Medical Superintendent of the hospital/A.M.O. with the head of the Department of ophthalmology of the hospital or the senior most ophthalmologist as the Chairman of the special Board . The ophthalmologist/Medical Officer who has conducted the preliminary ophthalmic examination cannot be a part of the special Board.


The examination by the special board should preferably be done on the same day. Whenever it is not possible to convene the special board of three Ophthalmologists on the day of medical examination by the central standing Medical Board/State Medical board, the board may be convened at an earliest possible date.

The special Ophthalmic Board may carry out detailed investigation before arriving at their decision.

The Medicals Board’s report may not be deemed as complete unless it includes the report of the Special board for all such cases which are referred to it.


Union Public Service Commission will issue notification for Civil Service Examination in May from 2014 onwards. On an average, every year 7 to 8 lakh candidates apply for it. The format of this examination is as follows: 


Month of Conducting Exam (in General)


Total Marks

*1 Preliminary


General Studies Paper I & II

Paper I – 200 

Paper II – 200



General Studies (Paper–I)

General Studies (Paper–II)

General Studies (Paper–III)

General Studies (Paper–IV)

Optional Sub. (Paper–I)

Optional Sub. (Paper–II)

Essay Writing










*2 Compulsory : English  

*3 Compulsory: Indian Language





Personality Test



*1 Marks obtained in the Preliminary Examinations are not included in the marks fixed for the Main Examination and Interview

*2, *3 Marks of Compulsory English and Indian Language are also not included in the marks (1750+275=2025) fixed for the Main Examination and Interview. The final selection is based on marks obtained by the candidate in the Main Examination and Interview.

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