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Difference Between UPSC and PCS



UPSC CSE is a very prestigious service, but not every candidate is lucky. That’s why many people try for the State Civil Services if their chances of getting selected in UPSC CSE’s are low.  Mostly, candidates are not even aware of the difference between the two administration services – UPSC and PCS.  In this article, we will explain the primary difference between the Civil Services and PCS, i.e., Provincial Civil Services and UPSC as IAS (Indian Administrative Services).

Service Scopes of UPSC and PCS

Union Public Service Commission

Union Public Service Commission, a central government organized, and a constitutional body of India means a description of this board is adequately mentioned in India’s Constitution. It is the leading recruitment board in India for higher and the highest post officers in India.

State Public Service Commission

There are many state public service commission boards in India to work on the state level as – MPPSC, MPSC, BPSC, GPSC, TPSC, TNPSC, UKPSC, RPSC, CGPSC, UPPSC, PPSC, HPSC, APPSC, KPSC, WBPSC, etc. and all these boards are formed to work on the state level, and the Central and the State government does formation.

The Process of Selection

The process of selection is very different in both the services. Although a candidate is going to serve his/her country, eventually, getting appointed is not the same.

Selection in UPSC

Officers in UPSC are appointed and recruited by the central level authorities. An examination is conducted, which is called often UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). 

India’s central government has established a CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal), which is hugely responsible for exercising all the powers and authorities of public servants within the country.

Selection in PCS

Officers and aspirants in the state government administrative department are appointed and recruited by the state-level authorities. An examination is often conducted, which is called the SPSC (State Public Service Commission). 

For this, India’s state government has established the SAT (State Administrative Tribunal), which is very much responsible for exercising all the powers, authorities, and service-related matters of all public servants in the state. Each state has its own SAT.


The most fundamental difference between the PCS vs. UPSC is who appoints? The same authorities do not make the appointment of State and Union officers.

There are established through the procedures and protocols for the appointment of government officers for the state and central level. As they also give their services to the different government departments, their selection is also made accordingly.

Appointment of UPSC

UPSC – Indian central government officers work to betterment a particular state or a district or city was given to them. Still, the office of the president in India directly appoints them.

Appointment of PCS

PCS – The State government officers are under full control of state authorities and work following the state government’s policies and instructions. The Governor of the state appoints state officers.

Pattern and Syllabus for the Selection Examination

PCS vs. UPSC is also different in terms of exam pattern and syllabus. Let’s see how they differ:

Exam Pattern & Syllabus of UPSC

Exam Pattern & Syllabus of PCS

Salary & Pay Scale

Of course, the salary and pay scale of IAS and PCS will differ because their level of – services, the roles, authorities, and the answerability also differ.

Salary, Pension & Pay Scale of UPSC IAS

Salary, Pension & Pay Scale of PCS

Promotion and Designation

In the PCS vs. UPSC employment, the designation makes a significant difference. Undoubtedly the classification of central employees is always higher than state officials. Check out further details in this regard.

Promotion and Designations of UPSC

An IAS officer begins his journey as a Joint Magistrate. With the increase in rankings, the designation and pay scale also changes. The highest designation of IAS could be Secretary to the Government of India.

Promotion and Designations of PCS

The initial designation of a state officer is decided as per the state service rules. At the state level, the promotion is a bit slower than IAS levels. A state officer may take a minimum of 12 to 15 years to reach the designation corresponding to that of IAS officers.


The new generation of India is getting attracted by Government services. This is justified by the increasing figures of Civil Service Exams candidates (both PCS and UPSC) every year. In this article, we went through the difference between civil services with PCS, i.e., Provincial Civil Services and UPSC as IAS (Indian Administrative Services).

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