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Civil services preliminary exams to be held on June 18 in 2017 Pictured: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) building in New Delhiupsc website

The civil services preliminary examination, which usually takes place in August, will happen two months early, in June 2017. The annual exam is the first step towards selecting IAS and IPS officers.

This is the first time in three years that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will conduct the examination in June.

The date has been set for June 18.

For 2016, 2015 and 2014, the exams were held during August. In 2013, the preliminary exams took place on May 26.

"The preliminary exam will be held early in June this year. The decision has been taken to ensure that the entire process of the examination is completed in time," a UPSC official told the Indian Express.

The UPSC conducts the civil service exam in three stages i.e. preliminary, main and interview. Officers are selected for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.

Over 4.65 lakh people took the test in 2015, of which more than 15,000 people qualified for the exam. Of the 9,45,908 candidates who had applied for the exam, almost 4.63 lakh had sat for it in 2015. Almost 50 percent people did not appear for the exam, which is believed to be one of the toughest in the world.