UPSC Mains Syllabus GS 3

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Welcome to ForumIAS, as a UPSC aspirant you might know the syllabus of UPSC but you might not know what topic has to be studied to clear the UPSC Exam? For Example, every aspirant knows the UPSC syllabus from History includes topics such as Ancient History, Medieval History, Modern History, and Art and Architecture. But not every aspirant knows what are the sub-topics to cover within the above-mentioned topics.

This post clearly segregated all the sub-topics listed in the UPSC Syllabus. So that an aspirant who read the article can cover the topic and sub-topics completely, and those aspirants who already completed the topics can measure whether they covered all the sub-topics completely or any other portion has been left out during their preparation.

Why Sub-topics are important?

Breaking up of UPSC syllabus is one of the crucial steps to make one’s preparation wholesome. Without simplification of topics the UPSC preparation is incomplete. A quote by Martin H. Fischer – (a notable physician) sums it up clearly.

“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification”

Based on the above saying one can derive the UPSC preparation is a process of piling up facts but to get wisdom (Clear the UPSC exam) breaking up of the UPSC syllabus is the key to success.

Breaking of the UPSC syllabus will provide many advantages like,

  • An aspirant can have a clear roadmap as to how many topics s/he has covered, and to what extent.
  • The sub-topic list will ensure that what all to be covered under a topic to complete the topic.
  • The sub-topics helps in segregation of current affair article and it will come in handy during the last-minute revisions.
  • The sub-topic classification can help candidates to avoid reading unnecessary topics or jumbling up of topics.

Topics and sub-topic list for UPSC Syllabus:

The General studies part of the UPSC syllabus cover various domain such as History, Polity, Economy, Geography, Environment, Science and Technology, International Relations and Current events.



To know the UPSC Syllabus for GS III: Click here


Important Topics and Sub-topics in Economic Development:

Important topicsSub-topics under each topic
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment


·         National Income Accounting concepts such as GDP, GNP, NNP, Factor cost etc and various types to measure National income.

·         Various changes brought down in indices like GDP, CPI, WPI etc and the debate around the same

·         Inflation – Definitions, types, causes, various methods in measuring inflation in India, Inflation control methods etc.

·         Employment – Types of unemployment, government measures, Labour indices and government initiative to improve the employment, etc

·         Money and Banking – Including Various definitions of Money, Factors affect money supply in India, Need for banks, functions, Central Bank’s role and monetary policy etc.

Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.·          Concept of Inclusive growth and various initiatives taken by government and their impact and progress, challenges in inclusive growth and solutions.
Government Budgeting·         Evolution of Indian budget, Budgeting institutions and laws

·         Various parts of Indian budget including Revenue account, Capital account etc

·         Fiscal policy – role and importance of fiscal policy, Public revenue and utilization including various direct and indirect taxes, social and economic objectives of taxation, various deficit and deficit financing etc.

·         FRBM Act – Provisions, mandate, rationale, present target and governments commitments towards the same.

Land reforms in India.·      Various Government and non-government initiatives, status of land reforms, Reason, challenges in implementation and solutions etc.
Effects of liberalization on the economy.·      Balance of payments, FDI, FPI, Current and Capital account convertibility, Exchange rates, Performance of Indian currency, Balance of trade, capital markets etc

·      International trade and bodies associated (WTO, IMF and World bank group), Impact of international trade in India and abroad, challenges and reforms proposed to the international trade and bodies associated, etc

·      Five-year plans and economic reforms since 1991

·      Trade policy, product wise and region wise trade data, Intellectual property Rights (IPR) and various disputes etc

Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.·      Various industrial policies and reforms proposed, Labour codes and reforms, Licencing, MSME sector, organised and unorganised sector in India, challenges in Industrial development, etc.

·      Service sector like aviation, tourism, insurance, IT etc – potential, challenges, reforms, government policies, etc.

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc. And Investment models.·      Status, need, Government policies to boost infrastructure, challenges faced by various sector and solutions etc

·      Various Investment models such as PPP, BOT, BOOT, BOO, BLT etc and their challenges, advantage etc.

Agriculture and Food ProcessingAgriculture and allied sector

·      Major crops-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

·      Various e-technologies developed to aid the 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 and economics of animal-rearing.

·     Growth of various allied sector such as apiculture, dairy industry etc and its challenges, potential, solutions etc

Food processing sector

·         Food processing and related industries in India

·         scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

Important Topics and Sub-topics in Science and Technology:

Important topicsSub-topics under each topic
Science and Technology·         Technological developments and their applications, effects in everyday life

·         Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

·         Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Important Topics and Sub-topics in Biodiversity and Environment:

Important topicsSub-topics under each topic
Biodiversity and ConservationBiodiversity

·         Basic concepts, ecosystem and types, Plant and animal diversity, Marine diversity, various threats to bio diversity, etc

·         Concept of protected area networks including National parks, wildlife sanctuaries, biosphere reserves and community reserves, etc.

Conservation efforts in India and the world

·         Institutional and organisational efforts towards conservation, Environmental Act, Policies, Schemes, Initiatives etc

·         Various International conventions towards conservation, Bio piracy, bio safety etc.

Environmental pollution and degradationEnvironmental Pollution

·         Pollutants, Various types of pollutions like water, air, noise, soil, e-waste, Medwaste etc

·         Various policy initiatives towards curbing the pollution and innovative solutions like Bio-remediation, etc

·         Challenges and solutions for reducing pollution, contribution from various sections including state and non-state actors to curb pollution

Environmental degradation

·         Climate change and various initiatives associated towards curbing climate change, challenges, reasons, solutions, COP21 and its performance and upgrades, etc

·         Other environmental degradations like acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion etc and challenges, solutions to curb the same.

·         GHG’s and its potential impacts, Kigali agreement and its performance etc.

·         Various initiatives in India to curb the Climate change including INDC, National Mission on Climate change, etc.

·         Concept of sustainable development and the various initiatives associated with the same.

·         Other various initiatives such as Initiatives in Coastal Regulation Zones, wetland conservation and management rules, etc.

Environmental impact assessment.·         History of EIA in India, EIA act and its provisions, process and stakeholders of EIA, amendments proposed, challenges and solutions etc.

Important Topics and Sub-topics in Disaster and disaster management:

Important topicsSub-topics under each topic
Disaster and disaster management·         India’s vulnerability to disaster, Various classifications of disasters, challenges and solutions associated, 2nd ARC recommendations etc.

·         National Disaster Management Act – provisions, evolutions, challenges and solutions.

·         Various international Initiatives and steps to curb disaster like Sendai Framework, UNDDR etc.

Important Topics and Sub-topics in Security Issues:

Important topicsSub-topics under each topic
Security Issues·         Linkages between development and spread of extremism and government steps to curb extremism in India

·         Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

·         Challenges to internal security through communication networks, 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.

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