UPSC Civil Services: How are Cadres allotted to IAS/IPS/IFS Officers after Selection?

After qualifying all the stages of UPSC Civil Services Exam selected candidates are allotted services and cadres based on their preferences and vacancy available. In this article, we have provided all the details about the mechanism of cadre allocation to IAS/IPS and IFoS officers.


Created On: Aug 21, 2020 10:12 IST
UPSC: How are Cadres allotted to IAS/IPS/IFS Officers after Selection?
UPSC: How are Cadres allotted to IAS/IPS/IFS Officers after Selection?

As per the Office Memorandum (OM) released in September 2017 by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the Central Government updated the system allocation policy for all Indian Services, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFoS), after consultation with the State Governments.

According to the memorandum, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of the Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), the Cadre Controlling Authorities shall decide the vacancies for each of these vacancies, including the break-up into Unreserved (UR) or Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Other Backward Classes (OBC) or Insider or Outsider vacancies.

UPSC (IAS): Salary Structure of IAS Officers from Joining to Promotion

States and Joint Cadres for All India Services

The States or Joint Cadres are divided into the following five Zones:

Zone-1 (AGMUT, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana), 

Zone-2 (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha), 

Zone-3 (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and. Chhattisgarh), 

Zone-4 (West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, and Nagaland) and 

Zone-5 (Telangana. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala).

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Candidates Preference for a Cadre

While filling up the Detailed Application Form (DAF) aspirants are asked for the zone and cadre preferences in case if they get selected. The candidates give their choice in the descending order of preference from amongst the various Zones. Upon classifying the zonal preference, the candidates need to indicate the preference of cadres from each preferred zone. The candidates will indicate their second cadre preference for every preferred zone thereafter. A similar process will continue till a preference for all the cadres is indicated by the candidate.

For example: If an aspirant chooses Zone 2 as first preference, he has to choose among the state cadres mentioned under that zone. If the candidate is a native of Gujarat, he may choose Gujarat as 1st preference, MP as second preference, Maharashtra as third, and so on. 

If a candidate does not give any preference for any of the Zones or Cadres, it will be presumed that the candidate has no specific preference for those Zones or cadres. Nevertheless, a candidate seeking reservation benefit under the Physically Disabled quota would have an additional option to indicate his / her preference (at the time of indicating preferences for specific zones and frameworks below) for anyone of his / her first choice zone states or frameworks (other than Home cadre).

Allocation of Cadres to Recommended Candidates

  1. A recommended candidate is allocated a cadre on the basis of the following categories:
  2. The rank of the candidate in the Civil Service Exam.
  3. Candidate’s order of preference for service.
  4. Candidate’s category.
  5. Availability of vacancy in the candidate’s category.
  6. Medical Board/Appellate Board’s reports with respect to the candidate.

During cadre allocation for IAS and IPS by DOPT the ratio of the outsider: insider which is 2:1 is to be maintained. And candidates' status of outsider and insider are decided on the basis of their Bonafide certificate or their parent’s resident status. And this ratio changes every year on the basis of retiring civil servants. 

Every year state governments send vacancies to the central government. The vacancies are categorized as insider and outsider. Insiders are those who have domicile of that state and outsiders are those who come from other states.

For instance, if you belong to UP and you fill UP as your first choice and the state government has only 3 vacancies 1 insider and 2 outsiders in that particular year then your rank plays a crucial role in the cadre allotment. If you are a top ranker in your state then you will get the MP Cadre otherwise not.

Hence Cadre allotment depends largely on the vacancies of that state (insider and outsider) and the candidate’s rank as well.

The Cadre allocation exercise for the lAS is done before the commencement of the Foundation Course in the LBSNAA. The Cadre allocation exercise for the IPS or IFoS is done immediately after the appointments have been made.

UPSC (IAS) Civil Services Exam Pattern 2020



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