UPSC vs PCS: Difference and Comparison

UPSC and PCS differ in terms of their scope. The UPSC is responsible for monitoring IAS recruitment while the PSC is hiring candidates for public service roles within a state.

The UPSC controls the IAS test and recruits candidates for government jobs at the national level, while the SPSC manages state-level exams and services.

Key Takeaways

  1. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams recruit candidates for central government positions in India, while Public Service Commission (PCS) exams select candidates for state-level government jobs.
  2. UPSC exams have a broader scope and more competition than PCS exams.
  3. UPSC-selected candidates may serve in various parts of India, while PCS-selected candidates serve within their respective states.


UPSC is responsible for the recruitment of officers for central government positions, while PCS is responsible for the recruitment of officers for state government positions. UPSC candidates must comply with its strict requirement which is the same in all states, unlike PCSC candidate criteria.


UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission, and its main civil service tests include the IAS exam. Every year, many people, particularly graduates, take these exams.

The job is also in high demand because of the perks it provides, the best of which is “receiving an honorary position.”

Then there’s the money, the work description, and the other advantages, which explain why people are so interested.

The PCS conducts various examinations for entry-level positions and promotions to higher positions within the civil service. The assessments are considered one of the most prestigious in India.

State governments may also conduct separate examinations for their services, such as secretarial service, administrative service, and police service.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonUPSCPCS
Stands for UPSC is an acronym for Union Public Service Commission. PCS is an acronym for Public Service Commission.
Jurisdiction   UPSC’s chosen candidate selection, complaints, and other procedures are subject to the jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).PCS is governed by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), which may be established at the state’s request.
AppointedThe members of the UPSC are appointed by the President of the country.The Governor of the individual State appoints the members of the State PSC.
Examinations sector Exams for designations are sent to Union Services, including all Indian services. The state’s PSC directs examinations for designations to the state’s services. For example, the BPSC (Bihar Public Service Commission) exclusively conducts tests for positions in the Bihar sector.
Organization In the entire country, the UPSC is the only one.Every state has its own set of rules in the Public Service Commission.
Supervision UPSC is responsible for overseeing the IAS candidates.The PCS examination is overseen by the State Public Service Commission (SPSC), which is set up by each state.
Syllabus The exam syllabus and qualifications are the same throughout India. The curriculum and qualifying criteria may differ from one state to the next.

What is UPSC?

The Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) in India, divided into three parts: a preliminary exam with two objective-type exams (general studies and aptitude test), two major examination papers with seven subjective-type papers, and an interview round.

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With a passing rate of fewer than 1%, the test is one of the most difficult in India.

The examination syllabus covers a wide range of topics. The subjects covered include General Studies, Aptitude and mental ability tests, optional subjects, and interviews.

The civil service examination is held twice a year, with the preliminary exam consisting of two objective-type exams and the main exam.

There is also an interview round for a personality test. The final selection is based on written test marks and interview marks.

It is a significant responsibility to conduct the Civil Services Exam. The UPSC has the following responsibilities:

• Conducting competitive tests and interviews for recruitment to Union services and jobs.

• Providing disciplinary advice to the Union Government.

• Advising the Union Government about recruiting strategies for various services and positions.

• In conjunction with the relevant departments, drafting recruitment rules for various Union services and roles.

What is PCS?

The primary goal of a PCS officer is to maintain and enforce law and order. The Provincial Civil Service (PCS) is a civil service branch that operates at the state level. It was formerly known as the Subordinate Civil Service.

The state governments are in charge of administering the civil services.

The PCS exam, also known as the PCS-J, is overseen by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC), an autonomous body established by the Uttar Pradesh government to recruit qualified candidates for various positions in the state’s various departments, as well as advise the state government on all matters related to civil services.

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The Public Service Commission (PSC) is an organization that acts as an independent agency to provide examination services for government jobs in India.

There are PSCs in every state, but only some states have PCS officers because not all states have their civil services. For example, Delhi does not have a PCS because it has a union territory (UT) status.

The territories of Puducherry and Chandigarh have their civil services and therefore do possess a PCS cadre.

Main Differences Between UPSC and PCS 

  1. The President of the country appoints UPSC members, while the Governor of each state appoints State PSC members.
  2. The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has jurisdiction over UPSC candidate selection, complaints, and other procedures, whereas the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) has authority over PCS.
  3. Although the UPSC test syllabus is uniform across India, the PCS curriculum and qualification conditions may differ from state to state.
  4. Exams for designations are submitted to the Union Services, which encompasses all Indian services, whereas the state’s PSC directs examinations for designations to the state’s services.
  5. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) oversees the IAS test, whereas the State Public Service Commission (SPSC), created by each state, oversees the PCS examination.
  6. The Union Public Service Commission is the UPSC, while the State Public Service Commission is known as the PCS.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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