Union Public Service Commission 

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Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) (Hindi- संघ लोक सेवा आयोग) is India‘s premier central recruiting agency. It is responsible for appointments to and examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services. While Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is the central personnel agency in India. The agency’s charter is granted by Part XIV of the Constitution of India, titled as “Services Under the Union and the States”.

The commission is mandated by the Constitution for appointments to the services of the Union and All India Services. It is also required to be consulted by the Government in matters relating to the appointment, transfer, promotion and disciplinary matters. The commission reports directly to the President and can advise the Government through him. Although, such advice is not binding on the Government.

The commission is headquartered at Dholpur House, in New Delhi and functions through its own secretariat. Established on 1 October 1926 as Public Service Commission, it was later reconstituted as Federal Public Service Commission by the Government of India Act, 1935; only to be renamed as today’s Union Public Service Commission after the independence.

Functions of the UPSC

As per Art. 320, it shall be the duty of the Union Public Service Commissions to conduct examinations for appointments to the services of the Union. It shall also assist two or more States, if requested so, in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services.

The Union Public Service Commission shall be consulted:

on all matters relating to
methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts
making appointments to civil services and posts
making promotions and transfers from one service to another
the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers
on all disciplinary matters against a civil servant serving in a civil capacity, including memorials or petitions relating to such matters.
on any claim by or in respect of a person who is serving or has served in a civil capacity, that any costs incurred by him in defending legal proceedings instituted against him in respect of acts done or purporting to be done in the execution of his duty should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
on any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a person while serving in a civil capacity, and any question as to the amount of such award.

It shall be the duty of a Union Public Service Commission to advise on any matter referred to them; provided that the President has not made any regulations specifying the matters in which it shall not be necessary for Union Public Service Commission to be consulted.

Organisational structure of UPSC

The Commission consists of a chairman and other members appointed by The President of India. Usually, the Commission consists of 9 to 11 members including the chairman. Every member holds office for a term of six years or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier. The terms and conditions of service of chairman and members of the Commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969.
The chairman and any other member of the Commission can submit his resignation at any time to the President of India. He may be removed from his office by the President of India on the ground of misbehaviour (only if an inquiry of such misbehaviour is made and upheld by Supreme Court) or if he is adjudged insolvent, or engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office, or in the opinion of the President unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.


The Commission is serviced by a Secretariat headed by a Secretary with four Additional Secretaries, a number of Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and other supporting staff. The secretariat, for administrative purpose, is further divided into divisions, each undertaking a specific responsibility.


Administers the Secretariat as well as looks after personal matters of Chairman/Members and other Officers/Staff of the Commission.

All India Services:

Recruitment to All India Services is done either by direct recruitment (through Competitive Examinations) or by promotion from the State Service. The AIS Branch handles the promotions of State Service officers to the IAS, IPS and IFS. It also handles policy matters relating to All India Services and amendments in the ‘Promotion Regulations’ of respective services.


It carry out appointments to central services based on Promotion(based on proposals from various Ministries/Departments/Union Territories and from certain local bodies) and by the means of Deputation and Absorption.


It carries out merit-based selection and recommendation of candidates, through various examinations, to Group A and Group B Services of the Government of India.


Primarily deals with day-to-day housekeeping works for Commission, like, arrangements and facilitation for conduction of Examinations by the UPSC, printing Annual Report etc.


This branch carries out Direct Recruitment (out of the 3 possible mechanisms of : ‘direct recruitment’, ‘recruitment by promotion’ and ‘recruitment by transfer and permanent absorption’) by selection to all Group `A’ and certain Group `B’ posts of the services of the Union (including some Union Territories). These recruitment are done either by selection (interview) or through competitive examination.

Recruitment Rules:

The Commission is mandated under Art. 320 of the Constitution of India, read along the UPSC (Exemption from Consultation) Regulations, 1958, to advise on framing and amending of Recruitment and Service Rules for various Group A and Group B posts in the Government of India, and certain autonomous organizations like EPFO, ESIC, DJB, NDMC & Municipal Corporations(s) of Delhi. This Branch carries out this responsibility by facilitating the Ministries / Departments / UT Administrations / Autonomous Organisations in this regard.

Services I:

Handles disciplinary cases received from various Ministries/Departments and State Governments for advice of the Commission, as required under Article 320 (3) (c).

Services II:

Handles all other cases that ‘Services I’ branch doesn’t. It compiles the Annual Report. Also, it coordinates visits of foreign delegations, correspondence with foreign countries and hosting of international events concerning Public Service Commissions, including the SAARC Member States.

Competitive Examinations conducted by the UPSC

The Commission conducts examinations on biannual/annual/biennial basis throughout India for appointment to various Civil/Defence services/posts. The notifications for these examinations are published in the Gazette of India and Employment News/Rozgar Samachar. A shorter version of notification is also published in major Indian newspapers including regional language newspapers. Copies of the notifications are also sent to all Employment Exchanges and Universities, etc.

UPSC conducts following examinations:

Civil Services Examination(CSE)
Engineering Services Examination(ESE)
Combined Medical Services Examination(CMSE)
Combined Defence Services Examination(CDSE)
National Defence Academy Examination(NDA)
Naval AcademyExamination
Special Class Railway Apprentice(SCRA)
Indian Forest ServiceExamination
Indian Economic ServiceExamination
Indian Statistical ServiceExamination
Combined Geo-scientist and Geologist Examination
Central Armed Police Forces(Assistant Commandant) Examination (CAPF)
Central Labour Service(Assistant Commissioner) Examination
Section Officers/Stenographers (Grade-B/Grade-I) Departmental Competitive Examination

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