UPSC SCRA is a national level exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. SCRA exam is conducted by UPSC for selecting students for the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Jamalpur. Full-Form of UPSC SCRA is Union Public Service Commission Special Class Railway Apprentices. Interested and Eligible Candidates can apply online for UPSC SCRA through the official website

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC SCRA:


A Candidate must be either

i. a citizen of India, or

ii. a subject of Nepal, or

iii. a subject of Bhutan, or

iv.a Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 01 January 1962 with the intention of permanently settling in India, or

(v). a person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka and East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi Zaire, and Ethiopia or Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Provided that a candidate belonging to categories (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) above shall be a person in whose favor a certificate of eligibility has been issued by the Government of India.

Education Qualification:

  • Candidates should pass 10+2 Class from a recognized Board/University.

  • Candidates should have Mathematics as one subject along with Physics/Chemistry as a compulsory subject.

  • Candidates should have a minimum 2nd division in their 10+2 Class.

  • Candidates should pass their first year of a 3-year degree course with a minimum of 2nd division.

  • Candidates should pass their Pre-Engineering with a minimum of 2nd division.

Age Limit:

Minimum Age: 17 Years

Maximum Age: 21 Years

Age Relaxation

There is age relaxation for candidates belonging to some categories. The age relaxation for UPSC SCRA is as follows:


Age Relaxation


5 Years


3 Years

Jammu and Kashmir Residence

5 Years

Candidates from Defense Services

3 Years

Ex-Serviceman/ECOs/SSCOs/Military Services

5 Years

UPSC SCRA Selection Process: 

SCRA Examination is conducted in 3 stages.

1. Written Examination

2. Interview/Personality Test

3. Document Verification

Exam Pattern for UPSC SCRA:

SCRA exam consists of two parts

Part I

  • The papers in all the subjects will consist of Objective (multiple choice answer) Type questions only. The Question Papers (Test Booklets) will be set in English only.
  • In the question papers, wherever required, SI units will be used.
  • Question Papers will be approximate of the Intermediate standard.
  • Candidates must write the answers in their own hands. In no circumstances, will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them. Blind candidates will, however, be allowed to write the examination with the help of a scribe.
  • The time duration for each paper is 2 hours and maximum marks for General Ability test 200, Physical Science 200, Mathematics 200, Total Written Examination carries 600 marks.
  • An extra time of 20 minutes for each paper will be permitted to the blind candidates for papers (Objective type) of duration two hours each.
  • The Commission has the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the examination.
  • Candidates are not permitted to use calculators for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not, therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.

Written examination carrying a maximum of 600 marks in the subjects as shown below.



Time Allowed

Maximum Marks


General Ability Test (English, General Knowledge, and Psychological Test)

2 hours



Physical Sciences (Physics and Chemistry)

2 hours




2 hours






Part II

Interview/Personality Test:  

Personality Test carrying a maximum of 200 marks in respect of only those candidates who are declared qualified on the results of Written Examination. The selected candidates are called for an interview, which is followed by a medical examination. Each candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career both academic and extramural. They will be asked questions on matters of general interest. Special attention will be paid to assessing their potential qualities of leadership, initiative and intellectual curiosity, tact and other social qualities, mental and physical energy, power of practical application, and integrity of character.

Document Verification: Document Verification will be held after the candidate has qualified for the Interview / Personality Test.

UPSC SCRA Syllabus:

General Ability Test: General knowledge, English language, Vocabulary, History, etc

Physical Science Paper: Biochemistry, Electromagnetic induction, Polymer, Current, Electricity, etc

Mathematics Paper: Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, Matrices, Determinants, Probability, etc

Detailed Syllabus of UPSC SCRA:

(I) ENGLISH: The questions will be designed to test the candidates' understanding and command of the language.

(II) GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: The questions will be designed to test a candidate’s general awareness of the environment around him/her and its application to society. The standard of answers to questions should be as expected of students of standard 12 or equivalent.

Man and his environment: Evolution of life, plants, and animals, heredity and environment-Genetics, cells, chromosomes, genes.

Knowledge of human body-nutrition, balanced diet, substitute foods, public health, and sanitation including control of epidemics and common diseases. Environmental pollution and its control. Food adulteration, proper storage, and preservation of food grains and finished products, population explosion, population control. Production of food and raw materials. Breeding of animals and plants, artificial insemination, manures and fertilizers, crop protection measures, high yielding varieties and green revolution, main cereal and cash crops of India.

Solar system and the earth. Seasons, Climate, Weather, Soil—its formation, erosion. Forests and their uses. Natural calamities, cyclones, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. Mountains and rivers and their role in irrigation in India. Distribution of natural resources and industries in India. Exploration of underground minerals including Oil Conservation of natural resources with particular reference to the flora and fauna of India.

History, Politics, and Society in India: Vedic, Mahavir, Buddha, Mauryan, Sunga, Andhra, Kushan. Gupta ages (Mauryan Pillars, Stupa Caves, Sanchi, Mathura and Gandharva Schools, Temple architecture, Ajanta, and Ellora). The rise of new social forces with the coming of Islam and the establishment of broader contacts. The transition from feudalism to capitalism. Opening of European contacts. Establishment of British rule in India. Rise of nationalism and national struggle for freedom culminating in Independence.

Constitution of India and its characteristic features: Democracy, Secularism, Socialism, equality of opportunity, and Parliamentary form of Government.

Major political ideologies: Democracy, Socialism, Communism, and Gandhian idea of non-violence. Indian political parties, pressure groups, public opinion, and the Press, electoral system. India’s foreign policy and non-alignment-Arms race, the balance of power.

World organization: political, social, economic, and cultural. Important events (including sports and cultural activities) in India and abroad during the past two years.

Broad features of Indian social system: The caste system, hierarchy — recent changes and trends. Minority social institution — marriage, family, religion, and acculturation. Division of labor, co-operation, conflict and competition, Social control — reward and punishment, art, law, customs, propaganda, public opinion, agencies of social control — family, religion, State educational institutions; factors of social change — economic, technological, demographic, cultural; the concept of revolution.

Social disorganization in India: Casteism, communalism, corruption in public life, youth unrest, beggary, drugs, delinquency and crime, poverty, and unemployment. Social planning and welfare in India, community development and labor welfare; the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.

Money: Taxation, price, demographic trends, national income, economic growth. Private and Public Sectors; economic and non-economic factors in planning, balanced versus imbalanced growth, agricultural versus industrial development; inflation and price stabilization, the problem of resource mobilization. India’s Five Year Plans.

(iii) Psychological Test: The questions will be designed to assess the basic intelligence and mechanical aptitude of the candidate.

Paper-II Syllabus:


  • Length measurements using vernier, screw gauge, spherometer, and optical lever.
  • Measurement of time and mass.
  • Straight-line motion and relationships among displacement, velocity, and acceleration.
  • Newton's Laws of Motion, Momentum, impulse, work, energy, and power.
  • Coefficient of friction.
  • Equilibrium of bodies under the action of forces. Moment of a force, couple. Newton’s Law of Gravitation. Escape velocity. Acceleration due to gravity.
  • Mass and Weight; Centre of gravity, Uniform circular motion, centripetal force, simple Harmonic motion. Simple pendulum.
  • Pressure in a fluid and its variation with depth. Pascal’s Law. Principle of Archimedes.
  • Floating bodies, Atmospheric pressure, and its measurement.
  • Temperature and its measurement. Thermal expansion, Gas laws, and absolute temperature.
  • Specific heat, latent heats, and their measurement. Specific heat of gases.
  • Mechanical equivalent of heat. Internal energy and First law of thermodynamics, Isothermal, and adiabatic changes. Transmission of heat; thermal conductivity. Wave motion; Longitudinal and transverse waves. Progressive and stationary waves, Velocity of sound in the gas, and its dependence on various factors. Resonance phenomena (air columns and strings).
  • Reflection and refraction of light. Image formation by curved mirrors and lenses, Microscopes and telescopes. Defects of vision.
  • Prisms, deviation, and dispersion, Minimum deviation. Visible spectrum. Field due to a bar magnet, Magnetic moment, Elements of Earth’s magnetic field. Magnetometers.
  • Dia, para and ferromagnetism.
  • Electric charge, electric field, and potential, Coulomb’s Law.
  • Electric current; electric cells, e.m.f. resistance, ammeters, and voltmeters. Ohm’s law; resistances in series and parallel, specific resistance and conductivity. Heating effect of current.
  • Wheatstone’s bridge, Potentiometer.
  • Magnetic effect of current; straight wire, coil, and solenoid electromagnet; electric bell.
  • Force on a current-carrying conductor in a magnetic field; moving coil galvanometers; conversion to ammeter or voltmeter.
  • Chemical effects of current; Primary and storage cells and their functioning, Laws of electrolysis.
  • Electromagnetic induction; Simple A.C. and D.C. generators. Transformers, Induction coil, Cathode rays, the discovery of the electron, Bohr model of the atom. Diode and its use as a rectifier.
  • Production, properties, and uses of X-rays.
  • Radioactivity; Alpha, Beta, and Gamma rays.
  • Nuclear energy; fission and fusion, conversion of mass into energy, chain reaction.


Physical Chemistry

1. Atomic structure; Earlier models in brief. Atom as a three-dimensional model. Orbital concept. Quantum numbers and their significance, only elementary treatment. Pauli’s Exclusion Principle. Electronic configuration. Aufbau Principle, s.p.d. and f. block elements. Periodic classification only long form. Periodicity and electronic configuration. Atomic radii, Electro-negativity in period and groups.

2. Chemical Bonding, electro-valent, co-valent, coordinate covalent bonds. Bond Properties, sigma and Pie bonds, Shapes of simple molecules like water, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and ammonium chloride. Molecular association and hydrogen bonding.

3. Energy changes in a chemical reaction. Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions. Application of First Law of Thermodynamics, Hess’s Law of constant heat summation.

4. Chemical Equilibria and rates of reactions. Law of Mass action. Effect of Pressure, Temperature, and concentration on the rates of reaction. (Qualitative treatment based on Le Chatelier’s Principle). Molecularity; First and Second order reaction. Concept of Energy of activation. Application to manufacture of Ammonia and Sulphur trioxide.

5. Solutions: True solutions, colloidal solutions, and suspensions. Colligative properties of dilute solutions and determination of Molecular weights of dissolved substances. Elevation of boiling points. Depressions of freezing point, osmotic pressure. Raoult’s Law (non-thermodynamic treatment only).

6. Electro-Chemistry: Solution of Electrolytes, Faraday’s Laws of Electrolysis, ionic equilibria, Solubility product. Strong and weak electrolytes. Acids and Bases (Lewis and Bronstead concept). pH and Buffer solutions.

7. Oxidation-Reduction; Modern, electronics concept, and oxidation number.

8. Natural and Artificial Radioactivity: Nuclear Fission and Fusion. Uses of Radioactive isotopes.

Inorganic Chemistry

Brief Treatment of Elements and their industrially important compounds :

1. Hydrogen: Position in the periodic table. Isotopes of hydrogen. Electronegative and electropositive character. Water, hard and soft water, use of water in industries, Heavy water, and its uses.

2. Group I Elements: Manufacture of sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium chloride.

3. Group II Elements: Quick and slaked lime. Gypsum, Plaster of Paris. Magnesium sulfate and Magnesia.

4. Group III Elements: Borax, Alumina, and Alum.

5. Group IV Elements: Coals, Coke, and solid Fuels, Silicates, Zolitis semi-conductors. Glass (Elementary treatment).

6. Group V Elements. Manufacture of ammonia and nitric acid. Rock Phosphates and safety matches.

7. Group VI Elements. Hydrogen peroxide, allotropy of sulfur, sulphuric acid. Oxides of sulfur.

8. Group VII Elements. Manufacture and uses of Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, and Iodine, Hydrochloric acid. Bleaching powder.

9. Group O. (Noble gases) Helium and its uses.

10. Metallurgical Processes: General Methods of extraction of metals with specific reference to copper, iron, aluminum, silver, gold, zinc, and lead. Common alloys of these metals; Nickel and manganese steels.

Organic Chemistry

1. Tetrahedral nature of carbon, Hybridisation, and sigma pie bonds, and their relative strength. Single and multiple bonds. Shapes of molecules. Geometrical and optical isomerism.

2. General methods of preparation, properties, and the reaction of alkanes, alkenes and alkynes, Petroleum, and its refining. Its uses as fuel. Aromatic hydrocarbons: Resonance and aromaticity. Benzene and Naphthalene and their analogs. Aromatic substitution reactions.

3. Halogen derivatives: Chloroform, Carbon Tetrachloride, Chlorobenzene, D.D.T. and Gammexane.

4. Hydroxy Compounds: Preparation, properties, and uses of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary alcohols, Methanol, Ethanol, Glycerol and Phenol, Substitution reaction at the aliphatic carbon atom.

5. Ethers; Diethyl ether.

6. Aldehydes and ketones: Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Benzaldehyde, acetone, acetophenone.

7. Nitro compounds amines: Nitrobenzene TNT, Aniline, Diazonium Compounds, Azodyes.

8. Carboxylic acid: Formic, acetic, benzoic and salicylic acids, acetylsalicylic acid.

9. Esters: Ethylacerate, Methyl salicylates, ethyl benzoate.

10. Polymers: Polythene, Teflon, Perspex, Artificial Rubber, Nylon, and Polyester fibers.

11. Nonstructural treatment of Carbohydrates, Fats and Lipids, amino acids, and proteins - Vitamins and hormones.


1. Algebra: Concept of a set, Union and Intersection of sets, Complement of a set, Null set, Universal set and Power set, Venn diagrams, and simple applications. Cartesian product of two sets, relation, and mapping — examples, Binary operation on a set — examples. Representation of real numbers on a line.

Complex numbers: Modulus, Argument, Algebraic operations on complex numbers. Cube roots of unity. Binary system of numbers, Conversion of a decimal number to a binary number, and vice-versa. Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic progressions. Summation of series involving A.P., G.P., and H.P. Quadratic equations with the real coefficient. Quadratic expressions: extreme values. Permutation and Combination, Binomial theorem and its applications.

Matrices and Determinants: Types of matrices, equality, matrix addition, and scalar multiplication - properties. Matrix multiplication — non-commutative and distributive property over addition. Transpose of a matrix, Determinant of a matrix. Minors and Cofactors. Properties of determinants. Singular and non-singular matrices. Adjoint and Inverse of a square-matrix, Solution of a system of linear equations in two and three variables- elimination method, Cramer's rule, and Matrix inversion method (Matrices with m rows and n columns where m, n < to 3 are to be considered). The idea of a Group, Order of a Group, Abelian Group. Identity and inverse elements- Illustration by simple examples.

2. Trigonometry: Addition and subtraction formulae, multiple and sub-multiple angles. Product and factoring formulae. Inverse trigonometric functions — Domains, Ranges, and Graphs. DeMoivre's theorem, expansion of Sin n0 and Cos n0 in a series of multiples of Sines and Cosines. The solution of simple trigonometric equations. Applications: Heights and Distance.

3. Analytic Geometry (two dimensions): Rectangular Cartesian. Coordinate system, the distance between two points, equation of a straight line in various forms, the angle between two lines, a distance of a point from a line. Transformation of axes. Pair of straight lines, general equation of second degree in x and y — condition to represent a pair of straight lines, point of intersection, the angle between two lines. Equation of a circle in standard and in general form, equations of tangent and normal at a point, orthogonality of two circles. Standard equations of parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola — parametric equations, equations of tangent and normal at a point in both cartesian and parametric forms.

4. Differential Calculus: Concept of a real-valued function — domain, range, and graph. Composite functions, one to one, onto and inverse functions, algebra of real functions, examples of polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Notion of limit, Standard limits - examples. Continuity of functions - examples, algebraic operations on continuous functions. Derivative of a function at a point, geometrical and physical interpretation of a derivative - applications. A derivative of the sum, product, and quotient of functions, derivative of a function with respect to another function, a derivative of a composite function, chain rule. Second-order derivatives. Rolle's theorem (statement only), increasing, and decreasing functions. Application of derivatives in problems of maxima, minima, greatest and least values of a function.

5. Integral Calculus and Differential equations: Integral Calculus: Integration as inverse of differential, integration by substitution and by parts, standard integrals involving algebraic expression, trigonometric, exponential, and hyperbolic functions. Evaluation of definite integrals-determination of areas of plane regions bounded by curves - applications.

Differential equations: Definition of order and degree of a differential equation, formation of a differential equation by examples. General and particular solution of a differential equation, solution of the first order, and first-degree differential equation of various types - examples. The solution of second-order homogeneous differential equation with constant coefficients.

6. Vectors and its applications: Magnitude and direction of a vector, equal vectors, unit vector, zero vector, vectors in two and three dimensions, position vector. Multiplication of a vector by a scalar, sum, and difference of two vectors, Parallelogram law and triangle law of addition. Multiplication of vectors — scalar product or dot product of two vectors, perpendicularity, commutative and distributive properties. Vector product or cross product of two vectors. Scalar and vector triple products. Equations of a line, plane, and sphere in vector form - simple problems. Area of a triangle, parallelogram, and problems of plane geometry and trigonometry using vector methods. Work is done by a force and moment of a force.

7. Statistics and probability: Statistics: Frequency distribution, cumulative frequency distribution - examples. Graphical representation - Histogram, frequency polygon - examples. The measure of central tendency - mean, median, and mode. Variance and standard deviation - determination and comparison. Correlation and regression.

Probability: Random experiment, outcomes, and associated sample space, events, mutually exclusive and exhaustive events, impossible and certain events. Union and Intersection of events. Complementary, elementary, and composite events.  Definition of probability: classical and statistical - examples. Elementary theorems on probability - simple problems. Conditional probability, Bayes' theorem - simple problems. Random variable as function on a sample space. Binomial distribution, examples of random experiments giving rise to Binomial distribution.

UPSC SCRA Salary Structure:

They are inducted in Level-10th of the pay scale, whose beginning basic pay is Rs 15,600–39,100/- with 5400 G.P.

Their gross salary is around 65,000/- to 70,000/- per month