UPSC Syllabus


General Studies Paper (Prelims Paper I)

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation.
  • General Science
  • CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Paper (Prelims Paper II)

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)
  • Exam Pattern

    Name of the Paper
    No. of Questions
    Marks Allotted
    Time Allotted
    Nature of Exam
    Paper I: General Studies  (Objective-type)
    100 200 2 Hours The score will be considered for Cut-off
    Paper-II: General Studies-II (CSAT)  (Objective-Type)
    80 200 2 Hours Qualifying Nature- Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify for CSAT.

    Mains General Studies-I

    • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
    • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present – significant events, personalities, and issues.
    • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
    • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
    • History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on society.
    • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
    • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
    • Effects of globalization on Indian society.
    • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
    • Salient features of the world’s physical geography.
    • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
    • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, Volcanic activity, and cyclones. etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

    Mains General Studies-II

    • Constitution of India —historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
    • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
    • Separation of powers between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
    • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
    • Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
    • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
    • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
    • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
    • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
    • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
    • Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
    • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
    • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources.
    • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
    • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
    • Role of civil services in a democracy.
    • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
    • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
    • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
    • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

    Mains General Studies-III

    • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
    • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
    • Government Budgeting.
    • Major crop-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
    • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
    • Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
    • Land reforms in India.
    • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
    • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
    • Investment models.
    • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
    • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and development of new technology.
    • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
    • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
    • Disaster and disaster management.
    • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
    • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
    • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money laundering and its prevention.
    • Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
    • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

    Mains General Studies-IV

    • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
    • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
    • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
    • Emotional intelligence concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
    • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
    • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
    • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
    • Case Studies on the above issues.

    Exam Pattern

    Total marks
    Time Allotted
    Nature of Paper
    Type of Paper
    General Studies I
    250 3 Hours Merit
    General Studies II
    250 3 Hours Merit
    General Studies III
    250 3 Hours Merit
    General Studies IV
    250 3 Hours Merit

    Language and Essay Papers

    • Essay Paper – It is the Paper-I of UPSC Mains
    Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

    • Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English
    Structure of the language papers: The types of questions asked are –
    1. Essay – 100 marks
    2. Reading comprehension – 60 marks
    3. Precis Writing – 60 marks
    4. Translation:
      • English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks
      • Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
    5. Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks
    The rest of the seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India or in English. The aim of the papers is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and to express ideas clearly and correctly, in the English and Indian languages concerned. The pattern of questions would broadly be as follows :
    (i) Comprehension of given passages.
    (ii) Precis Writing.
    (iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
    (iv) Short Essays.
    Indian Languages:-
    (i) comprehension of given passages.
    (ii) Precis Writing.
    (iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
    (iv) Short Essays.
    (v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

    Exam Pattern

    Total marks
    Time Allotted
    Nature of Paper
    Type of Paper
    Compulsory Indian language
    300 3 Hours
    300 3 Hours
    Essay 250 3 Hours
    Merit Descriptive

    Optional Subjects

    The UPSC Mains syllabus gives a list of 48 Optional Subjects which include Literature in different languages. Candidates need to choose any one of the ‘Optional Subjects’ from the list of subjects given below:

    Animal Husbandary & Veterinary Science
    Civil Engineering
    Commerce & Accountancy
    Electrical Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering
    Medical Science
    Political Science & International Relations

    Literature Of Assamese Language
    Literature Of Bengali Language
    Literature Of English Language
    Literature Of Gujarati Language
    Literature Of Hindi Language
    Literature Of Kannada Language
    Literature Of Maithili Language
    Literature Of Malayalam Language
    Literature Of Manipuri Language
    Literature Of Marathi Language
    Literature Of Oriya Language
    Literature Of Punjabi Language
    Literature Of Sanskrit Language
    Literature Of Sindhi(Devanagari) Language
    Literature Of Tamil Language
    Literature Of Telugu Language
    Literature Of Urdu Language
    Public Administration

    Exam Pattern

    Total marks
    Time Allotted
    Nature of Paper
    Type of Paper
    Optional I
    250 3 Hours
    Optional II
    250 3 Hours

    IAS Interview

    Known as Personality Test, UPSC Interview is the last stage of the examination. There is no defined UPSC syllabus for the interview. Questions are asked about wide-ranging issues.

    • Candidates who qualify for the UPSC Mains Exam will be called for the ‘Personality Test/Interview’. These candidates will be interviewed by a Board appointed by the UPSC.
    • The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in civil services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
    • The interview is more of a purposive conversation intended to explore the mental qualities and analytical ability of the candidate.
    • The Interview test will be 275 marks and the total marks for the written examination is 1750. This sums up to a Grand Total of 2025 Marks, based on which the final merit list will be prepared.

    About IALM
    Indian Academy of Law & Management ("IALM") bridges the skills gap between what is being taught in Indian law schools or in any Indian law institute, by providing online law courses in various disciplines...
    Contact Us
    81, National Park, Lajpat Nagar-IV, New Delhi, Delhi 110024, India
    Follow Us
    Social Links

    Copyright © 2013 - 2023, IALM All RIGHTS RESERVED
    Launch your GraphyLaunch your Graphy
    100K+ creators trust Graphy to teach online
    IALM 2024 Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us Refund policy