ITS : Simple and Valuable Information Of The Exam

ITS created was as a special cadre in 1965 under the Group A Civil service to handle India’s International Trade and Commerce.


The cadre controlling authority of ITS lies to Directorate General of Foreign Trade(DGFT) , under the Ministry of Commerce.


The department is functionally organized in the following 9 division:

  1. International Trade Policy Division
  2. Foreign Trade Territorial Division
  3. Export Products Division
  4. Export Industries Division
  5. Export Service Division
  6. Economic Division
  7. Administration & General Service Division
  8. Finance Division
  9. Supply Division



ITS Exam

The UPSC generally releases the notification of the Civil Services Examinations notification in the month of February. Aspirants willing to appear for this All Indian Services along with other services can apply the online by visiting the official website of UPSC.

Notification Month
Civil Service Examination Advertisement February
ITS- Online Application Form February to March
ITS – Preliminary Admit Card 2nd Week of May
ITS  – Preliminary Exam October
ITS – Preliminary Result November
ITS -Main Exam January
ITS -Main Result February
ITS -Interview March to April
ITS -Final Result May


Eligibility Criteria : ITS Exam





  • Candidate must be a citizen of India
  • Candidate must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan.
  • Candidate must be a Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962 for settling permanently in India.
  • Candidate must a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Burma, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Myanmar, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zaire with the motive to settle permanently in India.

2.Educational Qualification 

  • Candidate must hold any Bachelor’s degree from any of he recognized universities. There is no minimum percentage required in graduation.
  • Candidate who have appeared for the qualifying exam and are awaiting results are also eligible.
  • Candidate with professional and technical qualification by recognized universities or its equivalent are also eligible to apply .


3.Age Limit & Number of Attempts 

A candidate should be a minimum of 21 years and maximum of 32 years to appear for the Civil Service Examination. The maximum age mentioned above is relaxable for the following candidates :

  1. Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) : 5 years
  2. Other Backward Classes(OBC) : 3 Years
  3. Defence Service Personnel : 3 years
  4. Ex-servicemen and ECOs/SSCOs who have served at least 5 years in Millitary Service as on 1st of August of the Notification Year : 5 years
  5. Blind, Deaf-mute and physically handicapped person : 10 Years.
Category Maximum Age Limit No of Attempts
General 32 Years 06
Other Backwards Castes (OBC) 35 Years 09
Economically Weaker Section(EWS) 32 Years 06
Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) 37 Years Till the age limit
Physically disabled candidates 42 Years For General and OBS candidates = 9

For SC/ST Candidates = Till age limit


ITS Officer: Roles & Responsibility

  • Policy formulation for the International trade
  • Trade policy implementation
  • Export promotion through various channels and initiatives.
  • Responsible for International trade Negotiations


Career Graph of ITS Officer

The highest position, an ITS officer can desire for is the rank of Director -General of Foreign Trade. The following is the career path of an ITS Officer :

  • Foundational Training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBNAA), Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.
  • Professional Training at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi.


The indicative hierarchy is given below (Top to Below) 

  • Director-General of Foreign Trade/Senior Development Commissioner, Special Economic Zone.
  • Additional Director-General of Foreign Trade/Development Commissioner, Special Economic Zone/Trade Advisor.
  • Joint Director-General of Foreign Trade/Director
  • Deputy Director-General of Foreign Trade/Under Secretary.
  • Assistant Director-General of Foreign Trade



UPSC conducts exam in three level as mentioned below.  The candidate has to clear all the 3 exam successfully to get the offer letter from Union Public Service Commission( UPSC)

  1. Preliminary Test
  2. Main Exam
  3. Interview.


Stage One-Preliminary Test (400 Marks) 

  • The Preliminary Exam consist of GS (General Studies) & CSAT( Civil Service Aptitude Test).
  • Both the papers are objective type (Multiple Choice Question)
  • The question papers are set in Hindi and English language.
  • Blind candidate gets an additional 20 minutes of time for both the paper.
  • Candidate appearing in the preliminary test must qualify the cut off score to get oneself eligible for the mains exam.
  • There is a negative marking associated with the question asked in the exam.
Paper Type Number of Questions Total Marks Negative Marking Duration
General Studies I Objective( MCQ) 100 200 Yes 2 Hours
General Studies II (CSAT) Objective( MCQ) 80 200 Yes 2 Hours


Stage Two-Main Examination (2025 Marks)

  • Candidates who qualify the preliminary test are called for the Main Exam.
  • Main exam consists of 9 papers.
  • Paper A & B are qualifying in nature (Highlighted below)
  • The candidate needs to obtain at least 25% in each of the Paper I to Paper VII to be given weightage to the Main Exam
  • Paper A is not compulsory for the candidate belonging to the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim as well as the candidate from hearing impairment provided the fact that they have been exempted from such  2nd or 3rd language courses from their board or university.
  • The language paper consists of the languages included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution.
  • All the paper is bilingual – Hindi & English except for the language papers.


The written exam consists of the following papers

Paper Subject Type Duration Total Marks
Paper A One of the Indian Language Descriptive 3 Hours 300
Paper B English Descriptive 3 Hours 300
Paper I Essay Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper II General Studies I Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper III General Studies II Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper IV General Studies III Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper V General Studies IV Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper VI Optional I Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Paper VII Optional II Descriptive 3 Hours 250
Sub Total Marks 1750
Interview Marks 275
Grand Total Marks 2025


The subject which are covered in the General Studies in Main Exam are mentioned below 

General Studies I General Studies II General Studies III General Studies IV
Indian Heritage and Culture Governance Technology Ethics
History and Geography of the World Constitution Economic Development Integrity
Society Polity Bio-Diversity Aptitude
  Social Justice Environment  
  International Relations Security and Disaster Management  


The list of the Optional Paper VI and VII of the Main Exam is enumerated below

Agriculture Chemistry History Geography Mathematics
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Political Science and International Relations Mechanical Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Electrical Engineering
Anthropology Psychology Statistics Physics Economics
Botany Sociology Law Medical Science Geology
Zoology Philosophy Civil Engineering Public Administration Management
Literature can be opted from any of the following language : Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit,  Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.


Stage Three- Interview (275 Marks )

The candidate who qualify the mains exam are called for the interview process. This is the last and final stage of the recruitment cycle before the final results are declared. The maximum marks in the interview is 275 thus accruing the total marks in the merit list to be 2025.


UPSC board takes the interview which consist of competent panelist, who would judge the candidature on following ground :

  • Mental Attentiveness
  • Critical power of assimilation
  • Clear and Logical Interpretation
  • Balance of Judgement
  • Ability of social solidarity and leadership
  • Intelligent curiosity


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