The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination is a national-level screening test to recruit for various civil services posts of the Government of India, such as the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Forest Services (IFS), Indian Revenue Services (IRS), etc.
A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and not be more than 32 years of age as on August 1 of the year of examination. For other backward classes (OBC), the upper age limit is 35, and for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates, the age limit is 37 years. The number of attempts to clear the exam is capped at four for general-category candidates, and seven for OBCs; there is no such cap for SC/ST candidates.
The UPSC Civil services exam is conducted in three phases; the notification for the exam comes in April and the Preliminary test is conducted in August. The prelim results, which qualify a candidate for the mains exam, come in September. The mains exam is held in December and its result is mostly out in February-March next year. This is followed by an interview.
The preliminary examination or CSAT (Objective Section) consists of two objective-type papers (general studies and aptitude test). The main examination is the subjective section, consisting of nine papers of conventional (essays).
Formed in 1926, the UPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the president of India. The constitution does not specify the strength of the commission but leaves the matter to the discretion of the President. Hence, the composition of the commission is determined by the president. Usually, the commission consists of 9 to 12 members, including the chairman.