UPSC Cadre Allocation List: Policy Objectives, Five Zones of IAS Cadre Allocation

By K Balaji|Updated : November 9th, 2022

UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy (CAP) 2017 was modified after the Government of India stated in January 2019 that the state cadre of "Jammu & Kashmir" would be eliminated. CAP was previously updated in 2017 for the All India Services and went into effect from UPSC 2017 exam. A quick summary of the New UPSC cadre allocation policy is provided here.

The classification of UPSC cadres, how IAS candidates designate their chosen cadre for the IAS exam, and how insider and outsider vacancies are filled are all significantly different in the current IAS cadre allocation policy from the prior cadre allocation policy. The Government revised the cadre allotment policy for all India Services, including the IAS, IPS, and other services, through the Office Memorandum (OM) in September 2017. The same rule will apply to UPSC cadre allocation 2022.

Table of Content

IAS Cadre Allocation Policy

IAS cadre allocation for each candidate follows the set procedure explained here. The policy seems a little complicated but candidates must trust the process as it is straightforward to understand. Aspirants must indicate their preferences, zones, and UPSC cadres in the application.

  • All authorities must determine the number of vacancies, including reserved and unreserved categories in each zone and cadre.
  • Under the new policy, the UPSC cadre list is divided into 5 zones.
  • Candidates must choose the descending order of zones.
  • Select one cadre from one zone, then choose from the 2nd zone, and so on. Once the preferences are done, the UPSC will not accept any changes.
  • UPSC allocates the cadre based on the candidate's preferences.
  • If the candidates have not provided any preference in the application, it is preassumed they have no specific selection.
  • The home cadre is allotted based on merit and availability of vacancies. If candidates have not mentioned the home cadre, they will get it as per their preference.
  • If the candidates do not get preferred choices, they are allotted a cadre based on the availability of vacancies.
  • For same-rank candidates, the UPSC cadre allocation is done in alphabetical order of names.
  • Candidates who are physically challenged may also indicate their preference for a UPSC cadre from any state or cadre (other than their home cadre) within their first chosen zone.
  • If a reserved category candidate is selected under the unreserved category, they will be allotted unreserved category seats based on preference. The reserved vacancy will be allocated if the unreserved vacancy is unavailable.
  • IAS officers enrolling in the Foundation Course at LBSNAA receive IAS Cadre Allocation before the start of training, whereas IPS and IFoS candidates receive it after their appointments.

Objectives of New IAS Cadre Allocation Policy

The Government of India and the State Governments have three primary objectives that the New IAS cadre allocation policy seeks to accomplish:

  • Heighten national integration
  • Rationalize openings in light of the size of the IAS cadre
  • Relocating officers from surplus to deficit states will improve administrative efficiency.

UPSC Cadre Zones

Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India has divided the 26 cadres into 5 UPSC cadre zones under the new UPSC Cadre Allocation Policy, 2017. Candidates of All India Services, i.e., Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Forest Service (IFoS), will get any one cadre according to their preference from these cadres. Check the ias cadre zone list in the table below:

UPSC Cadre Zones - All India Services


State Cadre

Zone 1

AGMUT, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana

Zone 2

Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha

Zone 3

Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh

Zone 4

West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura

Zone 5

Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala

Candidates can only make one cadre from the UPSC cadre list their first choice under the new policy. They must choose from a different location for their second, third, fourth, and fifth options. For instance, a candidate cannot choose Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Assam, or Sikkil as his second preference if West Bengal (Zone 4) is his first preference (other cadres in Zone 2).

How is Home Cadre Allocated in UPSC?

As per the UPSC Cadre Allocation list, the allocation of the home cadre and outside cadre is based on the number of vacancies and the rank of candidates in their categories. Candidates must select the first preference as a Home cadre and express the same. If the candidate fails to describe the home cadre, he will be allotted any available cadre based on rank and preference of IAS Cadre Allocation.

UPSC Cadre Allocation 2022 PDF

Aspirants can download the UPSC Cadre Allocation PDF to understand cadre allocation. It contains all the changes introduced by the Government in the IAS cadre allocation process.

UPSC Cadre Allocation 2022 PDF

How to Check IAS Cadre Allocation List 2022?

Candidates who appeared for the interview can check the IAS cadre allocation list by following the steps below:

  • Visit the official website of cseplus. nic. in.
  • Under the announcement section, the link to cadre allocation based on the CSE exam is given.
  • Click on the link, and a new PDF file will open with the allocation list table.
  • Save the PDF for future reference, or take the UPSC cadre allocation list printout.

Also Check:

Important Notes for UPSC
Commonwealth GamesChild Labour
UN Security CouncilTirthankara of Jainism
Medieval History of India UPSC NotesAdvent of European in India
IRS vs IASArticle 12 of Indian Constitution
Article 356 of Indian ConstitutionPortuguese in India


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FAQs on UPSC Cadre Allocation List

  • UPSC Cadre Allocation is a process through which the candidates will be allocated a cadre based on their preference, rank, and number of vacancies available. The officer will get the following vacancy in the respective category if all the preferences are exhausted.

  • The IAS Cadre allocation is based on the candidate's rank, preference, and vacancies. The assignment is based on the candidate's preference and the number of vacancies remaining in respective categories.

  • All the cadres are divided into 5 cadre zones to ensure the equal presentation of candidates in each zone. This is done to ensure the national integration of caste and race. There is a gap of 5 states from another part of the country between the same zone in the new UPSC cadre allocation process.

  • The Government has decided to change the IAS Cadre Allocation policy to increase national integration by making the preference method uncertain. Now candidates can only select one state in any zone after that, and they can choose the other state in the same zone after 5 preferences.

  • The home cadre in UPSC is allotted based on merit, category, availability of vacancies, and preference. Candidates must indicate the home cadre and home zone in the IAS Cadre allocation preference. Otherwise, they will not be eligible for home cadre in IAS.

  • Cadres are the states or a group of states where the selected officer will work for their entire life under All India Services. Officers may apply for the central cadre after years of service to work in the central government departments.

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