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How to Apply for UPSC CSE Exam Online, Under the New OTR System



The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) every year to recruit candidates for various prestigious posts in the Indian government. The UPSC CSE exam consists of two stages: the Preliminary exam and the Main exam, followed by a Personality Test. The UPSC CSE 2024 notification has been released on February 14, 2024, and the registration process has started from the same day. The last date to submit the application is March 5, 2024. The UPSC Preliminary exam will be held on May 26, 2024, and the Main exam will be conducted on October 19, 2024.


If you are an aspirant who wants to apply for the UPSC CSE exam online, you need to follow the new One Time Registration (OTR) system, which has been introduced by the UPSC to simplify the application process and reduce the chances of errors. The OTR system allows you to create a profile on the UPSC website, where you can fill in your personal details, educational qualifications, preferences, etc., and upload the required documents. Once you register on the OTR platform, you can apply for any UPSC exam by using your login credentials and paying the application fee. The OTR system also enables you to edit your profile and preferences, download your admit card, check your results, and access other services offered by the UPSC.


In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to apply for the UPSC CSE exam online, under the new OTR system. We will also provide you with some tips and tricks to avoid common mistakes and ensure a smooth application process.


Step 1: Visit the UPSC website and register on the OTR platform


The first step to apply for the UPSC CSE exam online is to visit the official website of the UPSC at upsc.gov.in and click on the ‘One Time Registration (OTR) for Examinations’ link on the homepage. Alternatively, you can also visit the direct link at upsconline.nic.in and click on the ‘One Time Registration’ tab.


You will be redirected to a page where you need to provide your basic information, such as your name, date of birth, gender, nationality, marital status, email address, mobile number, etc. You also need to create a password and a security question for your account. Make sure you enter the correct and valid details, as they will be used for all future communications and verifications by the UPSC. You will also receive an OTP on your email and mobile number to confirm your registration.


After you submit your basic information, you will get a registration ID, which you need to note down for future reference. You will also get an email and an SMS from the UPSC, confirming your registration and providing you with your login credentials.


Step 2: Complete your profile and upload the required documents


The next step is to complete your profile and upload the required documents on the OTR platform. You need to log in to your account using your registration ID and password, and click on the ‘Complete Profile’ link. You will see a dashboard with various tabs, such as Personal, Contact, Photo & Signature, Education, Preference, etc. You need to fill in the details and upload the documents in each tab, and save them before moving to the next tab.


The documents that you need to upload are:


  • A scanned copy of your photograph, in JPG format, with a file size between 20 KB and 300 KB, and dimensions of 350 pixels (width) x 350 pixels (height).

  • A scanned copy of your signature, in JPG format, with a file size between 20 KB and 300 KB, and dimensions of 350 pixels (width) x 100 pixels (height).

  • A scanned copy of your photo identity card, such as Aadhaar card, PAN card, passport, driving license, voter ID card, etc., in PDF format, with a file size up to 300 KB.

  • A scanned copy of your certificate of educational qualification, such as mark sheet, degree, diploma, etc., in PDF format, with a file size up to 1 MB.


You need to ensure that the documents are clear, legible, and in accordance with the prescribed specifications. You also need to verify that the details you have entered in your profile match with the details in your documents. Any discrepancy or mismatch may lead to the rejection of your application or cancellation of your candidature.


Step 3: Apply for the UPSC CSE exam and pay the application fee


The final step is to apply for the UPSC CSE exam and pay the application fee. You need to log in to your account using your registration ID and password, and click on the ‘Apply Online’ link. You will see a list of UPSC exams that are open for application. You need to select the ‘Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2024’ option and click on the ‘Apply Now’ button.


You will be redirected to a page where you need to fill in the details of the exam, such as the exam center, the optional subject for the Main exam, the language medium for the Main exam and the Personality Test, etc. You also need to declare that you have read and understood the instructions and eligibility criteria for the exam, and that you satisfy the conditions of the exam. You need to review your details and submit your application.


After you submit your application, you will be directed to the payment gateway, where you need to pay the application fee of Rs. 100/- (except for female/SC/ST/PwBD candidates who are exempted from payment). You can pay the fee online using net banking, debit card, credit card, or UPI, or offline by generating a pay-in-slip and depositing the cash at any branch of the State Bank of India. You need to ensure that the payment is successful and that you get a confirmation receipt.


Tips and Tricks to Avoid Common Mistakes and Ensure a Smooth Application Process


Here are some tips and tricks to avoid common mistakes and ensure a smooth application process for the UPSC CSE exam online, under the new OTR system:


  • Register on the OTR platform as early as possible, and do not wait for the last date to avoid any technical glitches or server issues.

  • Use a valid and active email address and mobile number for your registration, as they will be used for all future communications and verifications by the UPSC. Do not share your login credentials with anyone else.

  • Fill in your details and upload your documents carefully and accurately, and cross-check them with your original documents. Do not leave any field blank or incomplete. Do not provide any false or misleading information, as it may lead to the rejection of your application or cancellation of your candidature.

  • Choose your exam center, optional subject, and language medium wisely, as they cannot be changed once you submit your application. Make sure you are familiar with the syllabus and the exam pattern of the UPSC CSE exam before making your choices.

  • Pay the application fee on time and get a confirmation receipt. Do not forget to take a printout of your application form and fee receipt for future reference.