Union Public Service Commission exams are conducted every year to hire civil servants under the Indian Government. This exam is the bridge to all the jobs related to civil services in India, out of which the three primary services are IAS, IPS, and IFS. Vacancies are released every year as per the need of the government.

Have a Look at the Stages You have to Clear for Grabbing the Seat

Stage One

Objective-type question; known as preliminary exam (in short prelims). Two papers are conducted in this stage—Paper-I and Paper-II.

The syllabus for the paper-I involves the following topics:

  1. National and international current affairs
  2. Facts about Indian politics and government. These include the constitution, human rights, etc.
  3. Geography (social, economic, and physical geography of the whole world, especially India)
  4. Indian National Movement and Indian history
  5. Environmental and general science like environmental science, ecology, etc.
  6. Social development and economic

The syllabus for paper-II involves the following topics:

  1. Analytical ability and logical reasoningnciencies
  2. Comprehensive ability
  3. Interpersonal skills especially communication
  4. Mental ability skills
  5. Problem-solving and decision making skill
  6. Numerical ability

Stage Two

Subjective-type question; known as the main examination. Nine exams are conducted in this stage within four to five days. Out of all these papers, seven papers are merit-based. The other two are compulsory English paper and Indian language paper, which everyone can qualify.

  1. Paper One: In this paper, you are given various topics to write essays. The essays should be detailed and able to convey your message aptly.
  2. Paper Two: In this paper, questions related to Indian history, heritage, and geography are asked.
  3. Paper Three: Questions related to Indian polity, constitution, and International relations are asked.
  4. Paper Four: Economic development, disaster and security management, and environment-related questions are asked in this paper.
  5. Paper Five: Questions relevant to aptitude and ethics are asked.
  6. Paper Six: This is the optional paper I.
  7. Paper Seven: This is the optional paper II.

Stage Three

The qualified candidate’s personality is tested through personal interviews after the first two UPSC exams. This is a rank-making test for the candidates. This will decide whether they’ll be able to become an IAS, IPS, IFS. The interview is unbiased and is held under strict surveillance. It helps the recruiter to unfold the traits and various capabilities of a candidate and the ability to handle the job with enthusiasm is pointed out in the interview.

Do you know that only 50% of them sit for the exams out of one lakh aspirants? And out of this 50%, only four to five per cent of candidates make it through the prelims. That means your chances to grab the seat becomes higher.

Once the prelims are cleared, candidates become more confident, and that’s why almost everyone appears for the main exams, out of which two to three per cent clears it. In the last stage, the candidates get selected as per the number of total vacancies.

There is another type of civil service in India: IES, especially for engineering graduates. One who wants to continue his or her journey in the engineering field under the government can give the exam. You have to choose the subjects according to your branch, for example civil, mechanical, computer science, and electrical.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Age: For general criteria—21 years to 32 years, for OBC—21 years to 35 years, for S.C. and ST—21 years to 37 years.
  2. The number of attempts: For general—six, OBC—nine, and for SC/ST, it is unlimited until 37 years.
  3. Educational qualification: Graduate degree from any recognised college. I should have cleared the graduation exams with passing marks.
  4. Nationality: For IAS, IPS, and IFS, the nationality should be Indian, and for other services, migrants or refugees from other Asian and East African countries as per the government of India.

Total Vacancy in UPSC 2021

Usually, the total vacancy varies each year depending upon the requirement of different ministers. Out of lakhs of students, roughly thousands of them get selected after clearing all the three stages of the exam.

Have a look at the vacancies for the past ten years:

Year Total Vacancies
2010 1,043
2011 1,001
2012 1,091
2013 1,228
2014 1,364
2015 1,164
2016 1,209
2017 980
2018 759
2019 896
2020 796

The Union Public Services Commission advertises the total vacancies. As it is visible from the table, it’s been four years since it has announced 1,000 seats. The highest vacancy was recorded in 2014 with 1,364 seats, and in 2020, the lowest number of seats were recorded.

How Many Vacancies in UPSC 2021?

Do you know from the year 2017, the total vacancies are decreasing every year and went down to 796 in 2020? This year total vacancies are only 712. The Union Public Service Commission announced this on 4th March 2021.

Seats are reserved for candidates of the following disabilities:

  1. Hearing problem or deaf
  2. Low vision and blind
  3. Candidate having multiple disabilities
  4. Movement disability like leprosy, dwarfism, etc.

The total number of seats reserved for candidates with disabilities:

  1. Hearing problem or deaf: Six
  2. Low vision and blind: Five
  3. Candidate having multiple disabilities: Five
  4. Movement disability like leprosy, dwarfism: Six

List of Civil Services

The civil services you can get selected for after clearing the exam are as follows:

  1. Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  2. Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  3. Indian Police Service (IPS)
  4. Indian Accounts & Finance Service
  5. Indian Audit and Accounts Service
  6. Indian Revenue Service
  7. Indian Defence Accounts Service
  8. Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
  9. Indian Ordnance Factories Service
  10. Indian Postal Service
  11. Indian Civil Accounts Service
  12. Indian Railway Traffic Service
  13. Indian Railway Accounts Service
  14. Indian Railway Personnel Service
  15. Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force
  16. Indian Defence Estates Service
  17. Indian Information Service
  18. Indian Trade Service
  19. Indian Corporate Law Service
  20. Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service
  21. Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
  22. Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
  23. Pondicherry Civil Service
  24. Pondicherry Police Service

Past Vacancies Service-wise are as Follows

Service 2017 2018 2019
IAS 180 180 180
IPS 150 150 150
IFS 42 30 24
Indian customs and Account service 25 25 41
Indian Accounts & Finance Service 29 17 17
Indian Audit and Accounts Service

Indian Revenue Service

25 25 28
Indian Defence Accounts Service 15 15 20
Indian Revenue Service (I.T.) 180 65 75
Indian Ordnance Factories Service 3 4 0
Indian Postal Service 25 22 20
Indian Civil Accounts Service 12 16 18
Indian Railway Traffic Service 63 71 78
Indian Railway Accounts Service 31 34 33
Indian Railway Personnel Service 27 28 42
Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force 15 8 14
Indian Defence Estates Service 19 9 4
Indian Information Service 65 8 23
Indian Trade Service 5 4 15
Indian Corporate Law Service 10 15 10
Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service 67 48 74
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service 22 4 36
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service 31 4 25
Pondicherry Civil Service 0 2 0
Pondicherry Police Service 1 0 0

By looking at the given table, you can estimate what rank you have to secure for grabbing a particular post.


Each year, the total vacancy of UPSC changes according to the requirement of Indian ministers.

The three primary services, i.e., IAS, IFS, and IPS, have almost the same number of seats every year.

If you want to benchmark your seat out of 712 vacancies this year, have a look at the UPSC pathshala personalised courses. Having a personal mentor for the preparation of one of the toughest exams in the country is the best way to conquer it. The personal mentors are well-experienced and will help you keep track of your journey, solving doubts, and helping in improving your weak points.

Don’t miss out on the free demo classes offered by UPSC pathshala to get a tour of high-quality teaching techniques. Almost 15,000 students have been mentored, out of which numerous got selected, and of course, you can be one too!

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How Many Vacancies in UPSC 2021? Grab A Seat with Full Information about IAS, IPS, IFS Vacancy
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How Many Vacancies in UPSC 2021? Grab A Seat with Full Information about IAS, IPS, IFS Vacancy
From the year 2017, the total UPSC vacancies are decreasing every year and went down to 796 in 2020. In 2021, the total UPSC vacancies are only 712. Read to learn more!
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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