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New Delhi, May 24: The online filing of applications for this year’s civil services preliminary examination to select IAS and IPS officers has begun. This time the candidates will have the option to choose either the civil services or the Indian Forest Service or both, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has said. Candidates who appeared in the civil services examination, 2011 but are otherwise ineligible for the examination this year due to completion of the number of attempts available, shall be permitted an additional attempt, it said in the recently issued notification for the prestigious test. The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC annually in three stages– preliminary, main and interview –to select candidates for prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS),  Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others. (READ: UPSC to conduct NDA & Naval Academy Examination (I) 2015 on April 19) Also Read - Adorable or Unbelievable: In Fight Between Frog And Leopard, Who do You Think Will Win?

This year, the preliminary examination will be held on August 23 in 71 centres at about 3,000 venues. Candidates are required to apply through online mode on the Commission’s website–www.Upsconline.Nic.In. No other mode is allowed for submission of application. Filing of online applications started on May 23 and will conclude on June 19 (till 11.59 PM), according to the notification. Eligible candidates shall be issued an e-admission certificate three weeks before the commencement of the examination. The e-admission certificate will be made available in the UPSC website. No admission certificate will be sent by post, the UPSC said. Also Read - So Thoughtful! Twitter Learns Empathy From Migrant Worker as Picture With Pets in Arms, on Her Walk Back Home, Goes Viral

Every candidate appearing at the examination who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted six attempts at the examination, it said. It is estimated that this year, the number of applicants for the preliminary examination would increase to approximately 13 lakh. In 2014, the number of candidates who applied for preliminary examination had exceeded 9.45 lakh. The number of vacancies to be filled on the result of the civil services examination is expected to be approximately 1,129, the notification said. The Centre had recently decided to continue with the controversial aptitude test in the civil services preliminary examination and set 33 per cent minimum qualifying marks. It had also announced to form an expert committee to take a holistic view of the aptitude test. There are two compulsory papers–Paper I and Paper II– of 200 marks each in civil services preliminary examination.