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13+ Magical UPSC Study Advice on How to Study for IAS?

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The UPSC Civil Services Exam is among the most prestigious exams in India. It is attempted by lakhs of people throughout the country every year. But, only a tiny fraction of them can fulfil their IAS ambitions. The IAS exam is not just challenging in terms of the period of its syllabus, but it's also daunting because of its exceptionally unpredictable nature.

In this guide, you can get all of the information that you need on how to prepare for your IAS exam and change your destiny.

The UPSC exam can't be cracked by just being a bookworm. The last point in the UPSC examination procedure is the character test around, whereas the UPSC board would interview the candidate for assessing his/her personality and its suitability for a career in the services. This requires an all-round maturation of the person besides academic understanding. And, even in academics, the focus shouldn't only be on finishing the syllabus, but on constantly gaining information and insight into the latest happenings/present affairs within the country and beyond.

How to prepare for IAS exam?

This section lists significant UPSC preparation strategies for beginners. These suggestions aim at helping aspirant devise a well-planned preparation plan for your upcoming UPSC 2020 exam.

    Tip #1: Educate Yourself

  • Before attempting to understand how to begin preparing for UPSC in your home, you need to prepare yourself for the journey.
  • Before beginning your preparation, prepare mentally and physically to the examination. Set objectives and devote time effectively.
  • Understand the UPSC exam pattern completely, and rate your IAS prep accordingly.
  • The UPSC exam has three stages -- prelims mains along with the interview.
  • To know more about this UPSC Prelims exam, click here.
  • To find out more about the UPSC Mains test, click here.
  • If you're working and also have determined to not stop your job, reevaluate how you'd devote time for research and chart a plan.
  • Today, with technology like the internet, it's possible to balance both preparation and a job with ease.

    Tip #2: Create a Time Table

  • To become an IAS officer, it's imperative to be like an officer using a well-organized daily regimen.
  • You should set a cozy timetable prior to your prep and stick with it.
  • Making a timetable will facilitate your preparation and allow it to be more compact. With deadlines, you'd work better and finish the syllabus quicker.

    Tip #3: Know that the UPSC Syllabus

  • The syllabus is the soul of any exam. Knowing that the syllabus is the foremost thing to do before you proceed through the books.
  • The UPSC has supplied the syllabus for the Civil Services Preliminary and Main examination in an elaborate manner.
  • Aspirants needs to understand and adhere to the syllabus for UPSC civil service examination. Understanding the syllabus can enable you to pick relevant study contents, prioritize the subjects, etc...

    Tip #4: Newspaper Reading/Current Affairs for IAS

  • The papers are the most important facet of the IAS examination.
  • Should you not read the daily newspaper or stick to the daily news to the IAS examination, you cannot hope to clear this examination.
  • The questions asked in the civil services examination are either directly or indirectly associated with present affairs. Consequently, it's very important to adhere to along with the appropriate news things in your everyday newspaper. It's possible to go through the BYJU'S Comprehensive News Evaluation that gives the exam-relevant news items in a succinct way.
  • You could also see our YouTube Channel to get a comprehensive video analysis of the daily news. See the information study videos here.

Tip #5: Selecting Optional

  • The optional topic balances for 500 marks from the UPSC final tally.
  • Thus, you should choose an optional topic wisely and after an exhaustive think-through of these advantages and disadvantages of these topics, you have in mind.
  • One of the factors to Remember before choosing an optional would be:
    1. Interest in the subject
    2. Prior knowledge in it/academic history
    3. Overlap using the GS papers
    4. Accessibility of coaching
    5. Accessibility of study material

    Tip #6: NCERTs

    • The NCERT textbooks from courses six to twelve play a very considerable role in IAS exam preparation.
    • Aspirants will get basic concepts and theories in NCERT textbooks.
    • These books provide the information quite honestly. Moreover, they are dependable too as the origin is the government itself.
    • In prior years UPSC has requested questions directly from NCERT textbooks.
    • So, NCERTs are undoubtedly the best books to start your IAS preparation with. Get a complete collection of all NCERTs necessary for the UPSC examination here.
    • Apart from the NCERTs, it's also advisable to adhere to a couple other innovative textbooks.
    • For more about which UPSC Books to follow, click on here.
    • You May Also get NCERT Notes for UPSC in the table below:

    UPSC Ancient History Notes

    UPSC Medieval History Notes

    UPSC Modern History Notes

    UPSC Art & Culture Notes

    UPSC Geography Notes

      Tip #7: Creating Notes

    • It is helpful to create short notes during UPSC preparation.
    • Considering that the UPSC syllabus is quite vast, it is helpful to keep tabs on the portions coated and also functions as a ready-reckoner such as revision.
    • You'll have different files or laptops for different subjects. Files are favored by many because they assist adding notes to a topic easier. This is especially useful in the event of adding present affairs-related information to a particular topic.

    Tip #8: Answer Composing Practice

    • It's mainly about analyzing your analytic, critical, and communicative skills.
    • It requires one to think with conceptual clarity and arrange your perspectives, perceptions, and thoughts in a perfect way.
    • Another factor to be kept in mind is the space and time constraint in the answer booklet.
    • Therefore, candidates must answer the questions quickly and efficiently and in minimum words.
    • This isn't possible without adequate response writing training.

      Tip #9: Overcoming Past Years' UPSC Question Papers

    • Preceding question newspapers would be the most trustworthy sources of UPSC pattern, problem level and query type.
    • It's possible to judge the trends in the UPSC exam paper easily.
    • It will also help you realize which regions are the most important in a particular subject.
    • Finally, it is a good source of self-assessment in your IAS prep.

      Tip #10: Mock Test Series

    • Self-assessment is an essential portion of UPSC preparation.
    • It helps civil service aspirant in learning and understanding from mistakes, shaping what approach they need to follow at continuing the groundwork and identifying weaknesses and strengths.
    • It is highly recommended to join mock test collection, especially if you are preparing from house. This will help you to assess yourself and assist you further.

      Tip #11: Significant Government Resources

    • Your ultimate aim whenever you are taking the IAS exam would be to operate for the Indian authorities.
    • Obviously, there are many government sources you are able to depend on during your preparation. Government websites such as the PIB, PRS, and federal tv programs featured on the Rajya Sabha TV are very useful.

    Tip #12: Revision

    • Revision is very important once you are facing an examination as hard as the UPSC examination.
    • Since the UPSC syllabus is more vast and varied, covering multifarious topics, it is natural to forget things you had studied earlier.
    • To avoid this, timely revision is crucial.

      Tip #13: UPSC Interview

    • As stated previously, the last stage in the UPSC examination method is that the UPSC interview or Personality Evaluation.
    • That is an important stage in the process and here, it is something more than academics that will help you.
    • You'll be assessed on attributes such as diplomatic abilities, communication skills, presence of mind, response to stress, etc..
    • You'll also be asked questions regarding your own interests, hobbies, schooling and job experience, if any. Therefore, you need to brush up on these facets.

    Tip #14: Relevant Magazines

    • Magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, Economic & Political Weekly, etc., are extremely important for the IAS examination.
    • They contain important information on topics like polity, governance, agriculture, market, etc...
    • You're able to find a gist of this Yojana, Kurukshetra and EPW magazines in our website.

      Tip #15: Stay Positive

    • The main aspect of the whole UPSC travel is to stay positive.
    • There are times when it could become rather overwhelming and you'll feel sad.
    • Eliminate negative thoughts from your head and operate on.

    Frequently Asked Questions on IAS Preparation

    Q. Can I prepare UPSC at home?

    A. You can, if you choose the right steps towards IAS preparation. With internet resources and plan available, you can easily prepare for the IAS test in your home. With focus and commitment, and the ideal advice, you can clear the IAS examination.

    Q. The best way to Get Ready for IAS in your home?

    A. Follow the Actions outlined below to kick start your IAS preparation in your home:

    • Know the UPSC pattern and process first.
    • Go through the UPSC syllabus thoroughly.
    • Read the newspaper frequently.
    • Chart out a preparation time table and follow it rigorously.
    • Enroll for a fantastic test series and get answer writing training.

    • Q. How do I begin my IAS preparation during collaboration?

      A. It is possible to begin your IAS prep during graduation itself. All you have to do is go through the syllabus and chart out a study program for IAS. Beginning early has many advantages. You will have age on your side because the IAS age limitation will be far away. Also, being young and still a student, you would be connected with academics, giving you an advantage over older opponents. Also, being in college, you can make use of your college library to the preparation. And, be certain you take part in college fests and events as this experience can allow you to build a well-rounded personality, and also make up for your lack of job experience in the event you clear the exam shortly after your graduation.

      Q. How to get ready for IAS while performing technology?

      A. Many candidates have eliminated the IAS exam preparing for this while they were engineering students. Though it may get hectic, it isn't impossible. With a full-scale program and the correct advice, it's possible to decode the toughest exam in India even while in Technology College.

      Q. How Do I apply for the IAS Examination?

      A. The UPSC examination 2019 is already underway. The prelims 2019 and Mains 2019 are over. Outcomes of UPSC Mains are awaited. The UPSC 2020 will be held next year. You can apply for the 2020 prelims exam after the UPSC Notification 2020 is outside. It is expected to be out in February 2020. Visit our website Gyankikaksha.in regularly. We update all of the relevant UPSC information and information that you need to know.

    What is UPSC?

    What is UPSC

    What's UPSC and also how to get ready for the UPSC examination? This article tells you about the UPSC Assessment and also lets you know about the comprehensive info of the UPSC Paper routine that clears all your doubts concerning the UPSC Mains Exam.

    What is UPSC?

    UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission. It is the central agency of India which conducts various examinations according to the Rules of examination as specified by the Government of India. UPSC recruits candidates for the services like Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Revenue Services, etc. Basically, it is merit-based selection and recommendation of candidates for various Group A and Group B Services.

    What is the Current Exam Pattern for Civil Service Exam?

    Civil services Exam comprises of 3 Steps which are as follows:

     •          Step 1 – Preliminary Test

    •           Step 2– Main Exam

    •           Step 3– Personality test/Interview

    How many services are there in the UPSC IAS Exam 2020?

    All India Services

    •  Indian Administrative Services(IAS)

    •  Indian Police Service(IPS)

    •  Indian Forest Services(IFoS) [Prelims Only]

    Central Civil Services

    Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’

    Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’

    Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’

    Indian Foreign Services(IFS) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’

    Indian Audit and Accounts Service

     Group ‘A’

    Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)

    Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’

    Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’

    Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’         

    Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’

    Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’

    Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’

    Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'

    Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’

    Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group 'B'

    Pondicherry Police Service, Group ‘B’

    Pondicherry Civil Service, Group 'B'

    Indian Trade Service, Group 'A'

    Indian Corporate Law Service, Group ‘A’

    Indian Corporate Law Service, Group ‘A’

    Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group 'B'

    IAS Exam Highlights

    Exam Name

    Civil Services Exam 2020

    Conducting Body

    Union Public Service Commission(UPSC)

    Exam Level


    UPSC Vacancies


    Exam Frequency

    Once a year

    Exam Mode

    Offline - Pen and Paper Mode

    Exam Stages

    Prelims - Mains(Written) - Mains(Interview)

    Application Fee(Prelims)



    Prelims - English and Hindi

    No. of Test Cities

    Evaluation centers across the country.

    Exam Helpdesk No.

    011-23098543 / 23385271 / 23381125 / 23098591

    Official Website


    About Preliminary Test

     The preliminary test consists of objective type questions with a negative marking scheme for wrong answers. This test is basically held in May.

    • Paper I – General Studies consists of 200 marks and the time duration is Two hours.
    • Paper-II – CSAT, also consists of 200 marks of Two hours

    Cut Off listing is going to be maintained by the UPSC each year.

    UPSC Main Exam

    The Main Exam (Subjective papers of 2000 marks) consist of 9 papers which are typically held from right on time October for around 21 days. The current example of the Main examination is as per the following:-

    General Studies

    Paper 1 – 300 marks (3 hours),

    Paper 2 – 300 marks (3 hours),

    Optional Subject 1

    Paper 1 – 300 marks (3 hours),

    Paper 2 – 300 marks (3 hours),

    Optional Subject 2

    Paper 1 – 300 marks (3 hours),

    Paper 2 – 300 marks (3 hours),

    Essay – 200 marks (3 hours),

    English Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks excluded in Main Exam),

    Indian Language 300 marks (qualifying paper; marks excluded in Main Exam),

    Generally, Paper 1 held from 9 am to 12 pm and Paper 2 is held from 2 pm to 5 pm. Both the papers of either General Studies or Optional subjects are on the same day.

    Interview OR Personality Test

    Qualified candidates can be called by UPSC in the month of March or April. The Interviews generally begin 2 weeks after the Main Exam results are declared. The time of the Interview is around 40 days.

    Medical Examination Later IAS Interview

    Each candidate has to undergo the medical examination following the IAS character test. There'll be a Central Standing Medical Board (CSMB) that will analyze the mental and physiological status of the candidate according to which the service is going to be allocated. The UPSC has empaneled the below-given hospitals and the candidates (male or feminine) are sent to these designated hospitals for the medical exam. The list of those hospitals is provided below.

    •           Safdarjung Hospital

    •           AIIMS, New Delhi

    •           Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital

    •           Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital

    •           Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital

    •           Sucheta Kriplani Hospital

    •           Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital

    •           B.R. Ambedkar Hospital

    The candidates are intimated for the date, time, and place for your medical examination. Anyway, the candidate's Will Need to follow the given instructions for the medical examinations. The directions are given below:

    1. Candidates should come fasting for 10 hours or more on the afternoon of the Medical Examination.
    2. Candidates must come without requiring any medication on the day of Medical Examination.
    3. Candidates must bring together the spectacles, if any, being used by him/her along with the prescription to get the exact same.
    4. Candidates using Contact Lenses should quit using them at least 48 hours prior to the day of health examination.
    5. Candidates must bring together Hearing Aid if any, being used by him and its latest audiometry report.
    6. Candidates belonging to people with Benchmark Disability group is advised to bring along the appliances being used by him/her for his/her disability.
    7. Candidates must bring along a prescription for any type of medication being taken by him/her on a regular basis.
    8. Candidate must bring along records of any surgical process he's experienced in the past.
    9. Candidates must bring together the Disability Certificate, if any, issued to him/her by any Disability Medical Board in the past.
    10. Another relevant record a candidate may like to bring to the notice of the Central Standing Medical Board.
    11. The candidate will have to create a statement as per the format provided at para-18 prior to his/her Medical Examination and should sign the Declaration appended thereto.
    12. Candidates should submit to the Chairman of the Medical Board ten passport size photos with white background.
    13. A candidate's medical examination report along with the recommendations is also to be published in the dedicated page of this candidate that's accessible only to the candidate concerned through their password DoPT's website within 7 (seven) working days from the date of receipt of health reports from the hospital to DoPT. In the event, the offender is unsatisfied with the medical reports, he can appeal against it online within seven days. The DoPT will assign the candidates to the appellate board formed for this purpose only.

    Declaration Of Result

    This is based on the aggregate marks scored by applicants in Main Examination (2000) and Personality Test or Interview (300). The last result can be proclaimed around 10 days preceding the following year’s Preliminary Test.

    The final Ranking and Service portion are in light of the joined marks scored in Main Examination (2000), Interview (300), and on the inclination given by the competitors at the time of filling up off of the Main Examination application structure.

    Tie-Breaking Resolution in IAS Exam

    The UPSC has advised new tie-breaking resolution principles for the IAS exam. These rules will come into play where a couple of candidates having the exact same aggregate total marks in the IAS exam. The UPSC has described the settlement mechanism as follows:

    1. If the marks secured by two or more candidates are the same from the aggregate total(out of 2025), the offender who had secured more marks in the compulsory papers (Essay, GS I, GSII, GS III, GSIV) along with the character test(IAS interview) combined will probably be given preference over the others.

    2. In the event, the candidates tied in the above-mentioned situation, in addition, the candidate who is older will be given preference over the younger person.

    IAS Exam Centers

    IAS examination centers are advised in the IAS telling annually. IAS preliminary examination is conducted in about 72 cities across India. IAS mains examination is conducted in a number of 24 cities across India. The IAS examination centers for prelims and main examination are advised from the official UPSC telling 2020.

    Salary of an IAS officer

    Salary though is not the motivating factor for your IAS aspirants but it is essential and consequential to the selection of the candidate. It is the chance to serve the society at large which motivates the IAS aspirants. In addition, the IAS salary ought to maintain congruence social standing enjoyed by the IAS officers.

    Notification of UPSC Exam

    UPSC announces the notice for holding the Civil Services Examination consistently in January for the Preliminary Test to be held in May, of that year. Applications are accepted by UPSC till February of that year.

    Eligibility for UPSC

    Candidates must be degree holders or graduates (degree received by University Grants Commission) to show up for this Examination. Indian students holding a foreign degree need to guarantee that their degree is authorized or perceived by UGC.

    Minimum and Maximum Age For UPSC Exam

    • A student who belongs to the General class and OBC (creamy layer) must have achieved the age of 21 on 1 August of the year of the Exam yet should not have accomplished the age of 30 on the first August of the year of the Exam.
    • Students belong in with OBC (non-velvety layer) classification must have accomplished the age of 21 on 1 August of the year of the Exam however should not have achieved the age of 33 on 1 August of the year of the Exam.
    • Candidates belongs in with SC classification must have achieved the age of 21 on the 1st August of the year of the Exam, yet should not have accomplished the age of 35 on the 1 August of the year of the Exam.
    • Students having a place with ST class must have achieved the age of 21 on the 1 August of the year of the Exam however should not have accomplished the age of 35 on the 1 August of the year of the Exam.

    Number of Attempts for UPSC Exam for Any Candidate

    For General category and OBC Category and belongs to Creamy layer – 7 Attempts

    OBC non-creamy layer – 7 Attempts

    For Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe classification hopefuls, there is no restriction on the number of attempts until they accomplish the age of 35 years.

    Candidates having a place with OBC/SC/ST can give the initial 4 attempts as General class candidates (on the off chance that they so crave) and from there on they can profit the unwinding in the number of attempts by availing the category relaxation.

    Schedule for UPSC Exam

    The proper timetable of the UPSC Main exam changes consistently and is generally informed by UPSC on its site www.upsc.gov.in.

    Notice and Form filling for Preliminary Test – January

    Date of Preliminary Test – Second or third week of May

    Aftereffect of Preliminary Test – Late July or Early August

    Primary Examination initiation – October (Time – 21 days)

    Statement of Main Examination results – February or March (Next year)

    Personal Interview – March and April (Next year)

    Statement of Final Authority list – Early May (Next year)

    Subject Combination of Optional Subjects that are not allowed

  • Any literature subjects
  • Commerce & Accountancy + Management
  • Anthropology + Sociology
  • Public Administration + International Relations &  Political Science
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science + Medical Science
  • Agriculture + Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Mathematics + Statistics
  • Management + Public Administration
  • Any Engineering building subjects
  • IAS Exam Application Form

    Candidates can fill the IAS application form in online mode @upsconline.nic.in over a designated time period. Once the application form is filled, candidates also need to pay the IAS form application fee in online or offline mode. The details of the category-wise IAS application fee are as follows.

    Category                             Preliminary Exam Fee                Mains Exam Fee

    General/ EWS/OBC                    Rs 100                                       Rs 200

    Females/ SC/ ST/                        Nil                                              Nil

    Individuals with

    Benchmark Disability                                                  

    IAS Admit Card

    UPSC IAS 2020 admit card was released on September 1. It was unexpected for all the candidates as well as all for the others.  The e-admit card to your IAS prelims 2020 premiered online. Nominees who successfully satisfied the online application form may download their IAS admit card 2020 from the official site. It could be noted that admit cards won't be delivered by post to any candidate. Additionally, candidates who don't take the admit card on the day of examination won't be permitted to appear at the examination.

    IAS Preparation

    IAS preparation is the sole way to receive chosen at the IAS exam. IAS prep plan ought to be based on the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. It's essential to plan pragmatically for IAS preparation. Every participant is an individual having a different perspective and worldview. It is the opinion along with the entire world opinion which changes the orientation of the candidate. A consistent effort of more than one year might assist in breaking the IAS exam.

    Current Affairs for IAS

    Current Affairs is the secret to IAS preparation. The IAS prep is the interplay of both Current Events of National and Global significance and the General Studies syllabus topics. The IAS preparation is guided by the current affairs and its own backlinks with the state General Studies topics. The current affairs segment is the tip of this iceberg called IAS preparation. IAS toppers and experts suggest efficiently preparing the current affairs to get a grip on the overall research topics.

    IAS Question Paper

    The IAS question paper is essential in IAS preparation. IAS question paper provides a real outline of the syllabus and functions as an eye-opener for its IAS aspirants. The candidates must practice with the previous year question papers of IAS so that they can tackle the actual question paper in a better way.

    IAS FAQs

    Q. Is IAS prelims 2020 postponed?

    A. Yes, the UPSC has postponed the IAS prelims examination 2020. The date for the IAS 2020 prelims exam is October 4.

    Q. What's the educational qualification needed to become an IAS?

    A. The educational qualification required to become an IAS Officer is a grad degree in any field from any university established by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India. The candidates also see IAS eligibility for details.

    Q. Is coaching required for cracking the IAS Exam?

    A. Every participant has different needs and skills. Joining a training institute is a really subjective choice. It can help a few of the applicants in understanding the construction and routine of the IAS Exam however a number of them find it unworthy.

    Q. Could I prepare for IAS Assessment with no training?

    A. Yes, any candidate may prepare for the IAS exam without training. Nowadays so much info is available online which may help the candidates to prepare for IAS Exam independently. The candidate must pick the best authentic source of information that can prepare for the IAS Exam by themselves.

    Q. How to start IAS prep in your home?

    A. The candidates should begin preparing the basics with the NCERT Books and Daily Newspaper. Complete the NCERT of History, Geography, Economics, and Sociology initial then begin reading the dedicated books for every subject supplemented using the Newspaper.

    Q. What's the difference between IAS and PCS?

    A. IAS signifies Indian Administrative Services and PCS signifies the Provincial Civil Services. PCS is the state-centric civil agency offered through the State Public Service Commissions.

    Q. Can an ordinary student crack IAS?

    A. The IAS examination is an open platform with no limitation for the typical students. There is not any minimum percentage of marks required in the graduation course to appear in the IAS Exam. Every year, many of Average students crack the IAS Assessment.

    Q. So when does UPSC issue the IAS Exam Notification?

    A. The IAS 2021 notification is going to be published on February 10, 2021, and the IAS Prelims 2021 will be conducted on June 27.

    Q. Could State PCS Officers be encouraged to IAS?

    A. Yes, the State PCS Officers could be promoted to the IAS subject to specific conditions laid down by UPSC. Each year, out of the total deductions of IAS, 33% is filled via the advertising.

    Q. Who's the Cadre Controlling Authority of IAS?

    A. Ministry of Personnel that works under the supervision of the Prime Minister of India is the Cadre controlling authority for the IAS.

    Q. How many papers are there from the IAS Main Exam?

    A. You will find 9 question newspapers in the IAS Main Exam. Out of those 9 question papers, the candidates will need to be eligible from the General English and General Hindi newspapers, and their amounts aren't counted for the last honor.


    These reports are based on recent UPSC regulations and rules. We've attempted to simplify Government regulations for any updates regarding UPSC please WhatsApp Name/City/UPSC in +91 7970782873 as lots of the rules of the UPSC vary and we aren't able to update pages on the site. You might also email us at gyankikaksha@gmail.com. We will be delighted to help you.