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How are cadre and state allocation done by the UPSC?

The Cadre Allocation Policy seeks to achieve three key objectives of the Government of India and the State Governments: to increase national integration; to rationalize vacancies following IAS cadre strength, and to increase administrative efficiency by reassigning officers from surplus to deficit states.

The following process is used by the UPSC to assign cadres:

According to their own established procedures, the cadre controlling authorities for the IAS (Department of Personnel and Training), IPS (Ministry of Home Affairs), and IFoS (Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change) should decide on the number of openings in each of their respective unreserved and reserved categories.

Cadres are divided into five zones that are

Zones State Cadres
Zone-IAGMUT, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana
Zone-IIUttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha
Zone-IIIGujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh
Zone-IVWest Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura
Zone-VTelangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala


How do you select Zones and Cadres?

The following order should be used by applicants to express their choice for a UPSC Cadre:

  • Zone Preference
  • Cadre Preference
  1. Each Zone and Cadre should go through the procedure again in the preferred sequence.
  2. It is assumed that the UPSC candidate has no special choice for that particular Zone or UPSC Cadre if they fail to state their preference for one or more UPSC Cadres, and the following may occur:
  3. If there are adequate openings, the candidate may be given the zone and cadre they have requested depending on their merit rank.
  4. The following is how applicants will be placed in cadres alongside other candidates who have expressed a preference for the same cadre but have not yet been assigned to one: Following the allocation of cadres to other applicants who have expressed a preference, the cadre will be assigned based on the merit ranking of the remaining candidates for open positions. To facilitate allocation, the cadres will be ordered alphabetically.
  5. There are three steps to cadre allocation: Following categorization, insider positions are filled first. After insider openings are filled, candidates who are qualified for the home cadre are assigned a UPSC cadre. Next, positions for outsiders will be filled.


What about Home Cadre?

The UPSC will assign Home Cadre based on merit, preference, and the availability of openings. To be considered for the home cadre, applicants must specify their home zone and home cadre for the IAS Cadre Allocation.


Is there any difference for physically challenged/differently-abled students?

Candidates who are physically challenged may also choose to indicate their choice for a UPSC cadre from any state or cadre (other than their home cadre) within their first chosen zone.


What about unreserved seats?

A candidate from a reserved category who is chosen based on general merit is entitled to get an unreserved vacancy assignment based on his qualifications and preferences. They will be assigned a UPSC Cadre from reserved openings based on availability, merit, and preference if an unreserved post is not available for their first preference.


Because the UPSC cadre regulatory authorities do not accept any change in choice after application, it is important to specify a preference for an IAS cadre and zone properly. Additionally, even if an applicant has a high merit score, their cadre allocation may not be done according to their preferences if they neglect to list even one choice. IAS officers enrolling in the Foundation Course at LBSNAA get UPSC Cadre Allocation before the start of training, whereas IPS and IFoS candidates receive it after their appointments. . If you have similar doubts regarding IAS Exam preparation, consider joining our offline/online programs as we offer the best IAS coaching in Chennai and mentoring programs where we support you every step of the way. All the best!


Published by
Officers IAS Academy – Best IAS Academy in Chennai.

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