In how many languages can we write the IAS exam?

The first paper of the UPSC civil services mains exam is the Indian/regional language paper, formally known as Paper 'A.' Regardless of the fact that this is merely qualifying in nature, aspirants are encouraged not to ignore it in their preparation because of inability to get the minimum needed marks will end in failure to pass the mains, leading to the loss of a precious try. According to the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution, the candidates are allowed to choose from a list of 22 modern Indian languages, as permitted by the UPSC board.

Continue reading to learn about the statistics on the number of applicants in the UPSC mains test for each language.

The most common language chosen by the applicants is ‘Hindi’ in Paper-A which is the language paper, as it is one of India's official languages. On an average basis, 65 percent of applicants go for choosing Hindi, while the remaining 35 percent choose any of the other languages that are mentioned below:

  1. Hindi
  2. Kannada
  3. Kashmiri
  4. Malayalam
  5. Assamese
  6. Manipuri
  7. Marathi
  8. Tamil
  9. Telugu
  10. Odia
  11. Maithili
  12. Urdu
  13. Gujarati
  14. Dogri
  15. Konkani
  16. Bodo
  17. Punjabi
  18. Nepali
  19. Bengali
  20. Sanskrit
  21. Santhali (Devanagari/Olchiki script)
  22. Sindhi (Devanagari/Arabic script)

Marathi being the second foremost language, followed by Tamil and Telugu and the list goes on. 

Here are some of the FAQs related to the UPSC language paper (Paper-A):

Is the Paper-A (language paper) mandatory?

Out of the nine papers related to the UPSC, Paper A is the Compulsory Indian Language Paper (often known as UPSC language paper) and Paper B is English in the UPSC-CSE Mains Exam. Generally, A and B are both qualifying exams. However, Paper-A on Indian Language is not mandatory for aspirants applying from the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim. If an applicant is from one of these North-Eastern states, the option for Indian Language in the online application will be deleted automatically.

Which language is included in the UPSC exam?

The languages that are included in the prelims exam of the UPSC are Hindi and English. This procedure is the same in the Mains exam also. Although, according to the 8th schedule in the Indian constitution, applicants can write the exams in any of their scheduled languages.

How many languages are included in the UPSC exam?

Candidates applying for the civil services exam can choose to write from a list of 22 modern languages, according to the 8th schedule which is mentioned in the Indian constitution.

How many languages are included in the IAS interview?

Candidates who are going to pick the Indian Language as their medium of writing for the Mains examination may choose the same Indian Language which is English, or Hindi in the interview round. While filling out the Complete Application Form, the candidate must indicate the linguistic medium of the interview as well (DAF).

Is the Hindi language a requirement for the IAS?

Absolutely no. It is not mandatory that the candidate have to choose Hindi for the Mains exam. 

For the obligatory Indian Language Paper in the written part of the Mains exam, candidates who choose to write the exam in English may pick either English, Hindi, or any other form of the 22 modern Indian languages being mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution.