No More Paper Admit Cards for Civil Service Examinations


UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission. It is the central agency that has the authority to conduct various examinations across different streams for various posts in the government agencies of India. The most popular among these is the civil services examination. A candidate writes the civil services examination to work as an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, IFS (Indian Foreign Service) officer, IPS (Indian Police Service) officer, or as an IRS (Indian Revenue Service) officer. It is a highly competitive examination and conducted across 23 centres in the country. A candidate can write the examination multiple times as long as (s)he satisfies the eligibility criteria of the examination.

What and How

The civil services examination is taken up by lakhs of students every year. In 2015, close to 9,50,000 students applied for the examination. Out of this, close to 6,81,549 students had downloaded their e-admit card and 4,65,882 students had appeared for the preliminary examination. The examination is conducted in three rounds – preliminary round, main exam, and personal interview. The preliminary examination contains two papers which have a duration of two hours each. The main exam paper consists of 9 papers. In 2015, only 15,000 students had passed the prelims exam.

This year, close to 11,00,000 students applied for the examination, and approximately 15,300 were shortlisted for the mains examination. The main exam is going to be held between 3rd December and 9th December this year. It will be held across 23 examinations centres in the country.

UPSC had released a public notice earlier today in which it stated that the students who are eligible for the mains examination need to take the printout of their admit card which will be available online. UPSC has decided to do away with paper admit cards this year and have asked the students to download their e-admit cards. The student will have to bring his/her e-admit card to the examination centre in order to write the examination. In case the photograph of the candidate is not clearly visible on the e-admit card, (s)he will have to carry an identical photograph to each session of the examination along with a government issued identity card such as the Aadhaar card, driving license, passport or a voter identification card. The Commission has strictly taken the decision not to issue paper admit cards.

The candidates will also have to preserve this e-admit card till the results of the examination are declared.

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