UPSC IAS Exam 2021: Dates, Vacancy, Eligibility, Exam Pattern & More

Union Public Service Commission recently released the UPSC IAS 2021 Exam notification. The UPSC IAS Exam 2021 was out for a total of 712 vacancies released across different categories. The application process started on 04 March 2021 and will end on 24 March 2021. The candidates who possess the required eligibility as mentioned in the official notification of the UPSC IAS Exam can apply for the same. The UPSC IAS exam 2021 will be conducted in three stages i.e. Preliminary Exam, Mains Exam and an Interview. The candidates who are preparing for the upcoming UPSC IAS Exam can check this article for more details i.e. exam dates, basic eligibility, the application process, and exam pattern, etc.

UPSC IAS Exam 2021 Highlights

The UPSC IAS 2021 Exam notification has been released on the official website of UPSC. The candidates can check the highlights of the UPSC 2021 on the space below:

Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Exam Name UPSC 2021/UPSC IAS 2021
Eligibility Criteria The candidate should hold a Bachelor degree in any discipline
Selection Process Preliminary Exam

Mains Exam


Online Application Dates 04 March 2021 to 24 March 2021
Preliminary Exam date 27 June 2021
Mains Exam date 17 September 2021


UPSC 2021 Vacancies

According to the official notification, the IAS Vacancy 2021 has come down to 712 vacancies. Although, the UPSC has mentioned that these vacancies are tentative and will undergo a change based on requirements by the different departments of Government.


IAS Exam 2021: Eligibility Criteria

UPSC releases the eligibility criteria for the candidates who prepare for the UPSC IAS exam. The Commission mentions the IAS eligibility criteria for the candidates of different categories. The candidates before applying for the UPSC IAS Exam 2021 should check all the important criteria to save themselves from rejection.



The candidates must fulfil the following eligibility criteria to apply successfully:

  • The candidate should be a citizen of India
  • Or a subject of Nepal, or 
  • Or a subject of Bhutan, or 
  • Or a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before 1st January 1962 to permanently settle in India, or 
  • a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania,


Age Limit

According to the age limit criteria, the candidate who is from the unreserved quota should be within the age limit of 21 years to 32 years as of 21 August 2021. However, the age relaxations for the candidates of reserved quota is mentioned below:

Category Age Relaxations
Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe 5 years
Ex-Servicemen 5 years
Other Backward Category 3 years
PWD 10 years


Educational Qualification

The candidate must have completed his Graduation degree in any discipline from a recognised University.


Maximum Attempts

The UPSC has set a limit on the maximum number of time the candidates can appear for the examination. 

Category Maximum Attempts
Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Unlimited
Ex-Servicemen 9
Unreserved 6
Other Backward Category 9


How to apply for the UPSC IAS 2021 Exam?

The candidates preparing for the UPSC IAS exam 2021 are required to apply for the examination online within the dates mentioned in the official notification. The candidates can follow the steps mentioned below to apply successfully:


Step 1: Registration

  • Visit the official website of UPSC.
  • On the homepage, the candidates are required to search for the Apply Online option.
  • Next, the candidates have to choose the name of the UPSC IAS Application form 2021
  • Then, the candidates have to click the Registration link i.e. Part 1. Therein the candidates will be required to enter all the details of the candidates asked in the application form.
  • In the next steps, the candidates have to choose the age relaxations applicable to the category of the candidate.


Step 2: Upload Images

  • On the next page, the candidates are required to upload the candidate’s image and signature.
  • The size of the image and the candidate’s signature should not be more than 20-300 kb.


Step 3: UPSC IAS Application Fee

  • At last, the candidates will be required to pay the application fee using the online mode i.e. Debit/Credit Card and Net Banking.
  • The UPSC IAS Application fee for the candidates of the Unreserved category is Rs 100. While the candidates who belong to the unreserved quota are exempted from paying the application fees.


UPSC IAS 2021: Exam Pattern

The UPSC IAS Exam 2021 Exam Pattern has three stages i.e. Preliminary Exam, Mains Exam and Interview. The candidates who clear all the three stages are called for an appointment under the different cadres of the UPSC IAS 2021 based on their ranks. The details of each stage of the UPSC IAS is mentioned below:


Stage 1: Preliminary Exam

The first stage of the IAS Exam 2021 is the preliminary exam and has two subjects i.e. General Studies and CSAT. The candidates have to separately clear the cut off of both the subjects to ace the preliminary exam.

  • The questions asked in the preliminary examination will be objective.
  • The General Studies will have 100 questions of 2 marks each while the CSAT paper will have 80 questions of 2.50 marks each.
  • A negative marking of 1/3rd of the total marks is also prescribed.
  • The candidates will get 2 hours to complete the preliminary exam.
Subjects Maximum Questions Maximum Marks
General Studies 100 200
CSAT 80 200


Stage 2: Mains Exam

Stage 2 or the Mains Exam will be a Descriptive paper having 7 papers. The major points of the IAS Mains exam are available below:

  • The questions will be descriptive.
  • The candidates will be required to obtain 25% of the marks to qualify for the language papers.
Subjects Maximum Questions
Language paper 1 300 (Qualifying in nature)
Language paper 2 300 (Qualifying in nature)
English/Hindi Essay 250
General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society) 250
General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations) 250
General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management) 2 250
General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude 250
Optional Subject – Paper I 250
Optional Subject – Paper II 250
Total 1750


Stage 3: Interview

The Interview is the last round of the UPSC Selection Process and the panel judges the candidate’s personality and overall ability to handle the pressure. The Interview is been held for 275 marks for all the candidates.


IAS Exam 2021 Syllabus

The UPSC IAS Syllabus for both the Preliminary and Mains Exam are available in the space below:

Subjects Syllabus
General Studies
  • 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 specialization. General Science.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills; 
  • Government strives to have a workforce that reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. 
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability; 
  • Decision making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  •  Basic numeracy



Q1 I am in the last year of Graduation and want to apply for the UPSC IAS exam. Am I Eligible?

A1 Yes, you are eligible to appear for the UPSC IAS Exam 2021 but you have to pass the final exam until the completion of the Interview date.


Q2 What are the Registration fees for the UPSC IAS Exam 2021?

A2 The registration fees of the UPSC IAS Exam is Rs 100 for the candidates who are from the unreserved quota. 


Q3 Who conducts the UPSC IAS Exam?

A3 The UPSC IAS Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.


Q4 What is the eligibility criteria for the UPSC IAS exam 2021?

A4 The eligibility criteria of UPSC IAS exam 2021 is having a Bachelor degree in any discipline from a recognized university and be within the age limit as mentioned in the notification of the UPSC IAS exam.


Q5 What is the maximum number of attempts for the candidate’s who are from the  Unreserved category in the UPSC IAS Exam 2021?

A5 The maximum number of attempts for the candidates who are from the  Unreserved category in the UPSC IAS Exam 2021 is 6 attempts.


Q6 What are the tentative dates for the UPSC IAS 2021 Exam?

A6 The dates for the UPSC IAS 2021 preliminary Exam is 27 June 2021 while the IAS Mains exam will be held on 17 September 2021.


Q7 How many papers are there in the UPSC IAS preliminary exam?

A7 There are a total of two papers in the UPSC IAS preliminary exam. While there are nine papers in the IAS Mains exam.

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