Similarities & Difference between UPSC and UPPSC

UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission which is a constitutional body that conducts examinations to recruit candidates for All-India service, Group A & B services etc. through civil services examination (CSE.) UPPSC stands for Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission which is a state public service commission body that recruits candidates into Group A & B services of UP government through its provincial civil services (PCS) examination. Often candidates confuse UPSC with Uttar Pradesh PSC; hence, we bring you the similarities and differences between both the examinations.

The syllabus for the both the civil services examination and provincial civil services examination slightly overlap. While UPSC syllabus is more comprehensive in terms of its national expanse, UPPSC syllabus is more state-specific. Let’s know the difference between the exam pattern, syllabus and eligibility between the two examinations. 

UPSC and PCS Exam Pattern

UPSC conducts CSE annually. PCS is also an annual examination. The exam pattern of both the examinations are almost identical. The similarity between the exam patterns of UPSC and PCS is mentioned in the table below:


Stages of the Exam UPSC PCS
Preliminary 2 papers:

  • General Studies Paper 1
  • CSAT
2 papers:

  • General Studies I
  • General Studies II (CSAT)
Mains 9 papers:

  • English Language
  • Indian Language 
  • GS-I
  • GS-II
  • GS-III
  • GS-IV
  • Essay
  • Optional Paper-I
  • Optional Paper-II
8 papers:

  • General Hindi
  • Essay
  • GS-I
  • GS-II
  • GS-III
  • GS-IV
  • Optional Paper-I
  • Optional Paper-II
Interview Personality Test Interview


The difference in the exam pattern lies in the number of the papers in the mains stage. While UPSC has nine papers; PCS has eight as it doesn’t have English language paper. The marks allotted to each stage are also quite similar:

Stages of the Exam UPSC PCS
  • GS 1 – 200 marks
  • CSAT – 200 marks
  • GS 1 – 200 marks
  • GS 2 – 200 marks
  • 2 language papers – 300 marks each
  • 4 GS papers – 250 marks each
  • Essay paper – 250 marks
  • 2 optional papers – 250 marks each
  • General Hindi and Essay Papers – 150 marks each
  • 4 GS and 2 optional papers – 200 marks each
Interview 275 marks 100 marks
Total 1750 1500


As per the above-mentioned information, the underlined differences between UPSC and PCS exam pattern are:

  1. UPSC has 2 language papers in Mains, while PCS has only 1 language paper. 
  2. UPSC allots 275 marks to its personality test; whereas UP PCS allotts 100 marks to its interview stage. 

The similarities between the exam patterns of the two examinations can be concluded as below:

  1. Both the examinations have three stages.
  2. CSAT papers of both the examinations are of qualifying nature, i.e. only GS-1 paper is considered for merit. 
  3. There is a 1/3rd negative marking in the prelims papers of both the examinations. 
  4. Similar to UPSC, PCS candidates too have to select only one subject for optional paper. 

UPSC and PCS Syllabus

UPSC releases its syllabus along with the official notification that it usually releases in the month of February each year. Similarly, UPPSC also releases its syllabus with its PCS notification each year. PCS 2020 notification was released on 21st April 2020. Let’s see what is common in the syllabus of UPSC CSE and PCS exams.

The prelims syllabus of both the examination covers the following topics:

  1. Current Affairs 
  2. Indian History – Ancient, Medieval, Modern
  3. Geography – Indian, World, Socio-economic, Physical geography
  4. Indian Polity – Governance, Political System, Constitution, Public Policy, Panchayati Raj, Rights issues, etc.
  5. Indian Economy – Demographics, Sustainable Development, Poverty Inclusion, Social Sector initiatives etc.
  6. Environmental &  Ecology – Climate Change, and Biodiversity
  7. General Science

The only difference lies in the trends of the questions. While UPSC focuses on each subject from a national perspective; Uttar Pradesh PSC puts focus on state-oriented topics. For example:

  1. In history, while UPSC may question about the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) in general; UP Public Service Commission on the other hand may ask about the IVC sites found in the state.
  2. In Polity, questions in UPSC may revolve around national schemes, central and states’ legislatures, national governance; however, in PCS exam, questions may be asked from the UP state’s perspective.
  3. Similarly, in economy, geography, environment and current affairs; PCS examination puts slightly more emphasis on the state condition w.r.t economic development, its geographical features and current issues. 

In UPSC and PCS mains syllabus, the most of the topics in four general studies papers overlap with each other. The major subjects covered in both UPSC CSE and PCS Mains papers are given in the table below:

GS Papers UPSC & PCS Subjects
GS-I History, Geography 
GS-II Polity and International Relations
GS-III Indian Economy, Science and Technology
GS-IV Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude


The only difference between the mains syllabus of UPSC and PCS exams is that candidates sitting for provincial civil services exam, have to emphasise on state-related history, polity, geography, economics and current affairs along with the overall syllabus. 

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC and PCS Exams

The UPSC and Uttar Pradesh PSC eligibility criteria are mentioned in the table below:


UPSC Eligibility PCS Eligibility
An Indian Citizen Indian Citizen but for age relaxations, a UP domicile
A minimum of 21 years old (As of 1st August of the exam year) A minimum of 21 years old (As of 1st July of the exam year)
A maximum of 32 years (General Category) A maximum of 40 years (General Category)
A minimum of graduation degree as education qualification A minimum of graduation degree as education qualification

There are respective age concessions for different categories in both the examinations. Aspirants who are preparing for both the exams should visit the official website of UPSC and Uttar Pradesh PSC for more details. 

In 2020, UPSC prelims took place on 4th October; while PCS Prelims took place on 11th October. UPSC CSE prelims result is out whereas PCS Prelims 2020 result is not declared. 

CSE Mains 2020 will take place from 8th January 2021 onward and PCS Mains 2020 dates are not announced by the commission. 

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