UPSC vs State PCS: Which one is better for you & why?

If you are preparing for government job exams, you may have heard about UPSC or State PSC holding several competitive exams. The full name of the State PSC is the State Public Service Commission, and UPSC stands for the Union Public Service Commission.

Although the UPSC and state PSC choose applicants for administrative positions, they are very different processes. Students frequently inquire about things like how IAS and PCS differ from one another or how the UPSC exam and state PSC differ from one another.


If you have similar concerns, read this article to learn about the main distinctions between these two commissions and choose which one is better for you.

UPSC vs PCS Career Growth

While deciding between an IAS or PCS, many students frequently need clarification about which professional path is best. Such students should look into the alternatives for professional development in both services, as described below.

IAS Career Growth

  • Young IAS officers receive responsibility at the sub-district level following their basic training at LBSNAA, Uttarakhand.
  • After some time has passed, they are given the duties of a District Magistrate. The management of the entire district is their job during this task.
  • Some IAS are also allowed to become Principal Secretaries before becoming Chief Secretaries.
  • IAS officers are eligible to retire at age 60. They can then receive a dearness allowance equal 50% of their most recent wage.

PCS Career Growth

  • State-level bureaucrats, also known as PCS officers, are state-level officers.
  • Chief Development Officers (CDOs) are promoted from state-level bureaucrat positions. PCS personnel in this position are in charge of overseeing the sectoral development of each district.
  • PCS officers may be promoted to Additional Divisional Commissioners (ADC) at the divisional level.
  • A PCS officer can advance to the highest rank of department secretary.
  • In addition, each state reserves three District Magistrate (DM) positions for PCS officers.
  • Later in their careers, PCS officers may decide to join the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

Authority and responsibilities of IAS and State PCS officers

IAS and PCS officers have much authority, which is why people respect them. Let's start by talking about the duties of an IAS official.

Authority and Responsibilities of IAS Officers

  • Major duties in government affairs fall to IAS officers. After engaging with government ministers, they concentrate on putting policies into practice.
  • IAS officers are in charge of executing and overseeing laws and policies at the local level following a government decision.
  • An IAS officer must inform the parliament of any anomalies in their field of expertise.
  • IAS officials receive their respective cadres at the sub-divisional level at the entry-level. Their duties in this situation are to deal with the law-and-order issue.
  • Seasoned IAS employees fill the District Magistrate positions. They are in charge of running the district as a whole here.
  • Some experienced IAS officers get promoted to Principal and Chief Secretaries. Principal secretaries partner with the government ministries. On the other hand, Chief Secretaries work with the Chief Ministers of various states.
  • IAS officers are in charge of overall expense management and are answerable for it.

Authority and Responsibilities of a State PCS Officer

  • The state assigns roles to PCS officers. They oversee the development activities at the block level and are nominated by the state administration.
  • Young PCS officials who have completed their initial training at the Administration Training Institute are appointed as Deputy Magistrate, Block Development Officers (BDO), or Deputy Collectors (DC).
  • A few PCS officers continue their careers by becoming Central Rank Officers.
  • The highest position available to PCS officers is Departmental Secretary.
  • The PCS officer's responsibility also ensures the state's administrative stability.
  • Verifying and overseeing various state development projects and contributing to the state’s expansion.
  • Collaborating with other state government departments to achieve the shared objective of the state's development and progress.

IAS and PCS officials exert considerable authority and influence within their spheres of accountability and are crucial players in managing governmental policies and initiatives. The power of these officers varies based on the particular post they hold and the level of government they work for. Therefore, it is inaccurate to suggest that one officer is more powerful than the other.

PayScale and Salary

Because of their level of authority and services, the IAS and PCS earn different salaries. Additionally, the cadre state pays the salary and pension of an IAS officer. The state government then has complete authority over the compensation scale for state-level officers or PCS.

First, examine a little bit more about the IAS officers.

  • As was already indicated, the cadre state provides salaries and pensions. The state for which an employee is providing his services is known as the cadre state.
  • Additionally, regardless of the state in which they work, all government employees will receive the same pay scale and remuneration depending on their positions.
  • Now let's look at the PCS salary information.
  • The state government is solely responsible for managing the PCS officers' pay structure and salaries.
  • Additionally, the General Administration Department, also known as the department of personnel, is the state agency in charge of managing, compensating, and training state officials.


Different officials have different tasks and roles. The status of the central government is, nevertheless, consistently higher than that of state officials.

IAS officials begin their careers as Joint Magistrates. Additionally, with higher positions, the title and pay scale also alter. The Secretary to the Government of India holds the most elevated position.

Additionally, the PCS's state service regulations determine the initial designation of the state officer. Additionally, promotion rates are lower at the state level than at the IAS level. Getting the classification equivalent to that of an IAS officer will likely take a minimum of 12 to 15 years.

UPSC vs PCS (State PSC)?

You should first be aware that UPSC differs from SPSC in type and number, as shown below.


  • In India, there is just one Union Public Service Commission and no branches.
  • According to Article 315 of the Indian Constitution, it is a constitutional body.

State PSC

  • In India, each state has a separate State Public Service Commission.
  • According to Article 315 of the Indian Constitution, State PSCs are constitutional entities like the UPSC.

Keep in mind that Articles 315 to 323 of the Indian Constitution address the makeup, authority, appointment of members, removal of members, and other issues relating to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and State Public Service Commissions (SPSC).

UPSC vs PCS (State PSC) Duties

The following table outlines the many similarities and differences between the general responsibilities of the UPSC and the State PSC.

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) State Public Service Commission (State PSC)

This commission annually administers examinations to choose applicants for Union or Central Government jobs.

Union or Central Government services comprise all Indian, central, and public services the Union Territories provide.

If requested by two or more states, UPSC also aids the state in developing and implementing joint recruitment plans for any services for which a candidate must meet specific qualifications.

Exams are organised by the State Public Service Commission to choose applicants for services available solely in that state.

For instance, the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission administers tests for appointments to positions in the cadre for that state.

The president receives a report from UPSC outlining the job it completed in a given year.

The president subsequently presented the information to both chambers of parliament, along with a memo outlining the instances in which the commission's recommendation was rejected and explaining why.

The State Public Service Commission gives the governor a report on the work it accomplished in a calendar year.

The governor then presented the two houses of the state legislature with the report, a memo outlining the instances in which the commission's advice was rejected and an explanation of why.

If necessary, the parliament might assign the UPSC additional tasks. Any department created by legislation can be added to the UPSC, improving its usefulness. If necessary, the state legislature may assign the state PSC extra responsibilities. Any department created by law can be added to the State PSC, increasing its functionality.
UPSC cares about running a fair examination procedure. The department of personnel and training within the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions oversee the classification of services, cadre management, service condition, training, etc. The State Government manages tasks for candidates chosen by the State Public Service Commission, such as transfer, posting, etc.

Which exam, the UPSC vs PCS, is easier?

The PCS and UPSC exam are complex and require much effort and study to pass. However, given the more significant number of applicants, the extensive material, and the intense level of competition, the UPSC exam type is typically regarded as a more challenging exam.

The magnitude and scope of the exams are one of the primary aspects that affect how difficult the PCS is compared to the UPSC exam. For the recruitment of applicants for various civil service positions in the IAS, IPS, and other central government services, the UPSC exam is a national-level examination. The preliminary test, the main exam, and the interview are the three stages of this exam, which is regarded as one of the most difficult in India.

In contrast, the Provincial Public Service Commission (PPSC) administers the PCS test at the state level to select applicants for various civil service positions within the state government of a given province. In Uttar Pradesh, the PCS test is administered by the PPSC. Candidates who pass all three parts of the PCS test—the preliminary exam, the main exam, and the interview—are assigned to various state government positions in Uttar Pradesh.


The material relating to the differences between the PSC and the UPSC exam is primarily covered in the article mentioned above. You benefit from the article's assistance by receiving all the details you need to understand their main differences.

After understanding all the relevant information, one can select the best option based on their interests and skills. Both titles are honourable and will benefit the country without a doubt. However, their tasks and responsibilities are different, and to pass the tests, one must work hard and make the extra effort.

Visit PhysicsWallah right away for more of these articles! They provide professionally curated preparatory material to assist candidates in passing the UPSC interview.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is there a distinct Public Service Commission for each Union Territory?

Ans. Union Territories have a variety of Public Service Commissions. The UPSC is in charge of choosing its officers.

Q2. Is it accurate to say that the State PCS and UPSC exams have identical formats and syllabi?

Ans. No, various State Public Service Commissions conduct the state PSC examinations. Every exam has a unique syllabus and exam format.

Q3. What is the minimum age requirement to take the UPSC exam?

Ans. To be eligible for UPSC exam types, a candidate's age must be greater than 21 and less than 32. According to the guidelines, candidates from reserved categories receive accommodations.

Q4. Which is a better option in terms of a career, IAS or PCS?

Ans. Well, that depends on the decision made by the individual. Both positions are devoted to serving the nation and are highly valued.

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