UPSC CSE/IAS 2020-21 Exam: DAF-I Released For Mains, Exam Schedule, Syllabus and Solved Papers

IAS Exam

UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is enshrined in the constitution of India. This constitutional body derives its powers and functions under Article 315 to 323, Part -14 of the Indian Constitution. It is entrusted with a duty to conduct various important exams, including -Civil Services Examination, Engineering Services, Combined Defence Services exam, Indian Economic Services/Indian Statistical Services, National Defense Academy Examination etc.

UPSC IAS/CSE 2020 Update – The Civil Services Main examination 2020 was conducted from 8th to 17th January 2021. The result will be declared in February 2021. The UPSC IAS 2020 Main exam result will be released in February 2021.

The IAS 2020 admit card for the Main exam was released on 17th December 2020. The candidates were to download the UPSC admit card 2020 on time to avoid any last-minute server issues.

IAS main exam is a descriptive type pen and paper-based exam conducted offline across the designated exam centres of IAS. The UPSC IAS prelims exam was conducted on 04th October 2020. Earlier, UPSC released the IAS Main 2020 Detailed Application Form-I (DAF-I) for the candidates declared qualified in the IAS prelims exam 2020.

UPSC IAS 2021 Update

The UPSC IAS 2021 official notification was scheduled to be released on 10th February 2021. However, the same has been delayed as the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding extra attempts for the 2020 exam is pending. The notification will be released only after the verdict. The IAS 2021 Preliminary exam is scheduled to be held on 27th June 2021.

Available Application Forms

IAS Exam 2020-21 Important Dates

Find the below-mentioned table to check the important dates of UPSC IAS 2020 exam:

About the Exam

Important Exam Dates

Commencement of Online Application

12th February 2020

Final Date to Submit Online Application

03rd March 2020

Date of IAS Preliminary Examination

4th October 2020 (Revised)

Preliminary Exam Result

23rd October 2020

Detailed Application Form submission

By 11th November 2020

IAS Main exam admit card

17th December 2020

Date of IAS Main Examination

8th January 2021 (Revised)

Main Exam Result

February 2021


March 2021

IAS Main Exam 2020 Time-Table

The Main exam date has been revised. Now the exam is scheduled to be held from 8th January 2020 onwards. It is a 5-days exam. The detailed schedule has not released yet. Till then, check out the paper covered in the Main exam as per the previous schedule.

The Main exam date has been revised. Now the exam is scheduled to be held from 8th January 2020 onwards. Check out the paper covered in the Main exam as per the decided schedule.

Tentative Date

Forenoon Session (9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon)

Afternoon Session

8th January 2021

Paper-I Essay

No paper

9th January 2021

Paper-II General Studies-I

Paper-III General Studies-II

10th January 2021

Paper-IV General Studies-III

Paper-V General Studies-IV

16th January 2021

Paper-A Indian Language

Paper-B English

17th January 2021

Paper-VI Optional Paper-I

Paper-VII Optional Paper-II

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The exact dates will be updated once the schedule is released.

IAS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers

IAS Exam 2020-21 Pattern & Syllabus

The Civil Services Examination has 3 different stages. A candidate should clear all stages of the exam to get selected by the commission. The 3 stages of the exam are-

  1. Preliminary stage – This is merely qualifying in nature. A candidate should pass this exam to get selected for the Mains exam.
  2. Mains Exam - This is the most important stage of the exam. A candidate should strive to score as many marks they could so that they can take competitive advantage over other candidates. The marks scored by the candidates in the Mains exam is counted while preparing the final merit list.
  3. Interview – This is the last stage of the exam. Those candidates who qualify the Mains exam are called for an Interview by the UPSC board. The marks of Interview are also added while preparing the merit list of candidates.

Stage 1- Prelims Exam Details

The Prelims exam which was based on the recommendations of the Kothari Commission has been changed from 2011 exam onwards.

Under the new pattern, the Prelims exam is called as the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test). There are 2 papers in the CSAT, Paper-1 and Paper-2 both are based on the General Studies.

These Papers test the candidate’s analytical abilities and the level of their general awareness.

Some important details about the Papers


General studies – The marks of this Paper-1 is counted to get selected for the Mains exams.

2 hours

200 marks


CSAT - Civil Services Aptitude test. The candidate is required only to qualify in this paper by scoring 33% of the marks.

2 hours


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  • The questions in both the papers are objective type.
  • The questions are in Hindi as well as English.
  • There is a scheme of negative marking in the Preliminary exam. For every incorrect response 1/3 rd. marks will be deducted.

The following topics are required to be covered in the Paper-1 for the exam.

  1. Current Affairs
  2. History of India
  3. Indian Polity
  4. Indian and World Geography
  5. Economic and Social Development
  6. General Issues on Environment
  7. General Science

The following topics are required to be covered in the Paper-2 for the exam.

  1. Comprehension
  2. English Language
  3. Inter-personal skills
  4. Logical Reasoning & Analytical Abilities
  5. Decision Making and General problem-solving skills
  6. General Mental Ability
  7. Basic numeracy of std. 10th level
  8. Data Interpretation

Stage 2 - The Mains Exam

Candidates who qualify the Prelims exam are further required to appear in the Mains exam. The Mains exam has 9 Papers. Out of the 9 papers, two papers are only qualifying in nature, while rest of the 7 paper scores are counted while preparing the merit list of the candidates. The Paper-A is a language paper which is to be selected by the candidate from the 8th language schedule of India and the Paper-B, which is an English language paper should be qualified by a candidate. If a candidate fails in any of these papers is considered as fail.

It is advised that the candidates should score well in rest of the seven papers of the Mains exam.

Find below the further details about the Mains exam -

Paper Name




Essay type



General Studies-1



General Studies-2



General Studies-3



General Studies-4



Optional Paper-1



Optional Paper -2



Language Paper (to be selected by the candidate from the 8th schedule of India



English language.


Total Marks of 7 papers which marks are counted, excluding Paper-A and Paper-B.



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Stage 3 - Personality Test or Interview

This is the final stage of the exam. The aim of this stage is to test the mental calibre of the candidates in the areas of - Social judgment, rational decision-making, intellectual abilities, leadership traits, capacity to comprehend complex social realities, moral understanding, the orientation of the personality of the candidate etc.

The interview board is considered to be a fair, impartial and supportive team of the jury to help candidates to expose their best intellect and talent.

The interview round of the exam carries 275 marks only, but it plays a crucial role while determining the rank of the candidates. So, the candidates should prepare equally hard for the Interview round of the exam, similar to the effort they have put in the Mains written exams. They must also groom their personality in order to appear for the exam.

IAS Exam 2020-21 Eligibility

Nationality –

A candidate should be an Indian citizen(for most of the services under the purview of the Civil Services examination). But for some of the Services, the PIO (People of Indian Origin) and the candidates from the Bhutan and Nepal are also given an opportunity to get selected for this illustrious exam.

Find below the details of the Nationality criteria.

  1. For the IAS (Indian Administrative Services), IPS (Indian Police Services) and the IFS (Indian Foreign Services) the candidate should be an Indian citizen. Or else, the candidate should be a PIO (People of Indian Origin) who have migrated to India with an intention to permanently settle down in India, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Myanmar, African nations of Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zaire, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zambia and the South-East Asian nation of Vietnam.
  2. For all other services under the purview of the Civil Services Examination, a candidate should be a citizen of India, Nepal or Bhutan.

Educational Qualifications

A candidate should have a Degree or Equivalent from –

  • Any Central, State or deemed University recognized under the section 3 of the UGC act of 1956.
  • From recognized Distance education or Correspondence.
  • From any Open University.   
  • The candidates who are appearing in their final exam are also eligible to apply for the exam, provided that during the Mains exam they will be able to furnish the result/ degree.
  • Candidates who have done their Degree from Private University or Foreign University can also apply for the exam, provided that those colleges are recognized by the Association of the Indian Universities.
  • Some specific candidates like MBBS, ICAI, ICSI, ICWAI who have passed their final exams but their internships are awaited can also apply for the exam.

Age Limit

  • A candidate should not be less than 21 years of age and should not have exceeded 32 years.
  • The 1st August is counted for calculating the age limit of the candidate.
  • The reserved category candidates are given an age relaxation in the exam.

Find the details below-

Category of the Candidate

Relaxation in Upper Age Limit




35 years


37 years

PH (Blind, Deaf, Orthopedically handicapped)

42 years

J & K Candidates General

37 years

J & K Candidates OBC

40 years

J & K Candidates SC/ST

40 years

J & K Candidates PH

50 years

Disabled Servicemen General

37 years

Disabled Servicemen OBC

40 years

Disabled Servicemen SC/ST

40 years

A candidate can apply for the exam for a limited number of attempts. However, for the reserved category candidates, there are no limits on the number of attempts.

Category of Candidates

Number of attempts




No bar until 37 years of age.



Note – If a candidate has applied for the exam, but did not write his/her paper then the attempt would not be counted.

IAS Exam 2020-21 Application Process

The application forms for the Civil Services Examination 2020 is available from 12th February 2020 onwards, while the last date to apply for the same is 03rd March 2020. The Union Public Service Commission examination will be held in two phases- Phase 1 (Preliminary Exam) and Phase 2 (Main Exam).

How To Apply -

  • A candidate should visit the official website of the Union Public Service Commission.
  • Here, they should click on the Application form link to access it.
  • The Application form will be opened in the two parts, Part -1 and the Part-2. A candidate should fill both parts of the Application form in a sequence. A candidate should fill the first part of the Application form and only then proceed to the next part of the Application to fill it.
  • The Part-1 of the Application form is for the registration of the candidate. A candidate in this Part of the Application should fill their basic details, like Name, Address, Mobile number, and the valid Email id.
  • Upon registration, a candidate is given a Registration id and Password.
  • A candidate should note down their Registration id and Password and keep it until the completion of the exam process.
  • By entering the Registration id, a candidate can access the Part -2 of the Application form, which is the main Application form. It will be used by the commission during the selection process of the candidate.
  • A candidate should fill all the specified columns with an utmost care.
  • A candidate should upload the scanned copy of their photo and signature.
  • The Application fee should be paid along with the Application form.
  • Finally, after the successful submission of the Application form, a candidate should take its print copy for any reference in future.

Application Fee

  • A General candidate should pay ₹ 100
  • The Reserved category(OBC/SC/ST/PH) and Female candidates are exempted from paying any Application fee to the commission.

Mode of Payment

  • It can be paid in both Online as well as Offline.
  • A candidate can pay the Application Fee online through the Net Banking, Credit Card and Debit Card.
  • A candidate can also pay the Application fee Offline in Cash made at any SBI Bank branch.


In case of any confusion regarding the applications, contact UPSC’s facilitation counter near gate ‘C’ of its campus in person or over telephone No. 011-23385271/ 011-23381125/011-23098543 on working days between 10 AM to 5 PM.

Other Details

How To Fill IAS Detailed Application Form (DAF)-I?

 The candidates, who clear the IAS prelims exam released on 23rd October 2020, need to fill the Detailed Application Form (DAF) for the IAS main exam. The DAF is a very important document and plays a very important role in the IAS Interview and during the service allocation process. It is important because the candidates mention his service preference and state preference in this form only. Based on the information given in the DAF and the IAS vacancies, the services and the state cadres are allotted to the candidates after the IAS result.

In order to fill IAS Detailed Application Form (DAF)-I online, one should need to pay the application fee as set by the UPSC. For General and OBC Candidates Fees is ₹ 200 and there is a total fee exemption for female candidates and SC/ST Candidates.

Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the authorized UPSC website i.e. as the Detailed Application Form has to be filled by the Candidates and have to submit Online.
  2. Click on the relevant link mentioning on the website.
  3. Now, enter your login credentials and starting filling UPSC MAIN DAF form.
  4. It is necessary to ensure via candidates that all columns should be filled correctly. No correspondence will be entertained by the Commission from candidates to change any of the entries made in the online Detailed Application Form.

Documents To Submit Along With DAF Form –

The candidate should also scan their relevant original documents as listed below in 200 dpi grey scale and convert to a single PDF file up to 3 MB, before filling in the online DAF:-

  1. Scanned copy of Certificate of age.
  2. Scanned copy of Certificate(s) of educational qualifications (including a copy of recognition letter/equivalence certificate from AIU / UGC, if applicable).
  3. Scanned copy of Certificate in support of the claim to belong to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes (where applicable) Annexure VI and VII may be filled online by OBC candidate.
  4. Scanned copy of Certificate in support of the claim for age relaxation (where applicable).
  5. Scanned copy of the certificate in support of the claim to being physically challenged (along with the certificate of Disability in Dominant (writing) Extremity, wherever applicable).
  6. Scanned copy of Hailing from Certificate to show that the candidate hails from Arunachal Pradesh/ Manipur/ Meghalaya/ Mizoram/ Nagaland or Sikkim (where applicable).
  7. Scanned copy of undertaking for the candidate who is in Government service that he /she has intimated in writing the Head of the Office / Department about his/her appearance in the examination.
  8. Scanned copies of documentary proof in support of service/status/landholding/income from different sources/property held by parents of OBC (non-creamy layer) candidates.

IAS/CSE Exam Admit Card 2020

UPSC IAS 2020 admit card for the mains exam was released on 17th December 2020 for the exam held on 08th January 2021 onwards. UPSC has changed the format of the IAS admit card 2020 and for the first time, it also included the identity card number. All the participants must have to visit the authorized website of the UPSC to download the admit card. It is advisable to the fellow participants to bring their admit cards/hall tickets in the premises of the exam center during the time of examination. Without admit card, a student is not permitted to sit in the examination hall.

The candidates need to carry the same identity proof to the exam centre. This is a recent change that the number of ID proof is printed on the IAS admit card. UPSC has done this for more transparency in the IAS exam process. The IAS prelims admit card is the sole authority letter which makes the candidates eligible to appear in the exam.

How to download IAS admit card?

Step 1: Go to the official website of the UPSC-

Step 2: Click on the e-admit card for the Civil Services Main e-admit card.

Step 3: A new page showing the e-admit card link for Civil Services main exam 2020.

Step 4: On clicking above, a new page showing e-admit link will appear on the screen.

Step 5: On clicking above, an instruction page will open.

Step 6: Read the instructions fully and click on the yes button given at the bottom.

Step 7: Log in with the registration number or roll number.

Step 8: After logging in, the candidates can see and download their UPSC admit card.

Step 9: Take two printouts of the UPSC admit card for future reference.

IAS/CSE Exam Result 2020

The Commission has released the Civil Services Preliminary 2020 result on 23rd October 2020. Aspirants are advised to save the pdf files until the final result came out. One should note that the marks, cut off marks and answer keys of screening test held through CS (P) Examination, 2020 will be uploaded on the official website only after the final result of the exam.

Candidates can obtain and check their UPSC IAS 2020 results on the official website of the commission. In order to check their results, apprentices need to enter their Registration Number and DOB that they have filled while participating in the UPSC IAS 2020 application process to check and download the final results. The results can be accessed by digital mode only.

How to check the IAS Result 2020?

The candidates can check the IAS result in the following way

  1. Go to the official website -
  2. The UPSC Prelims Result 2020 link will appear on the home screen, click on it.
  3. On clicking above, "Result: Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam 2020" link will appear.
  4. Click on the link as appear above, The UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 Result will open.
  5. Search the roll number in the UPSC Result pdf.
  6. Download the UPSC IAS Prelims result 2020 pdf for future reference.


UPSC IAS/CSE Exam Frequently Asked Qeuestions - Click Here.


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