UPSC Civil Services Exam Syllabus | UPSC IAS Mains and UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus


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The Union Public Service Commission Conducts Exams for selection into IAS, IPS, and other allied services. This page lists down the official UPSC Syllabus for UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains, All Subjects. Knowing the Syllabus is key to beginning your preparation for UPSC.

For Beginners: Beginner’s Guide to UPSC IAS Civil Services Examination

Below you can refer to the UPSC Syllabus for the UPSC Prelims Exam – General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus, CSAT (Paper 2) Syllabus and UPSC General Studies Mains Paper 1,2,3,4 ( All Papers ), as released in the UPSC Official Notification.

Click Here to Download UPSC Previous Year Question Papers

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus

  • UPSC Prelims General Studies Syllabus – Paper 1 & Paper 2 ( CSAT)

    UPSC Prelims Syllabus

    The Civil Services Preliminary exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each

    • General Studies Paper I and – which is like the old GS Paper
    • General Studies Paper II). – the new CSAT Paper

    UPSC Syllabus for Paper I – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours (Selection for Mains will be decided on the basis of this marks)

    • 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, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
    • General Science.

    UPSC Syllabus for Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours ( Qualifying in nature. You must score minimum 33%marks in this paper)

    • 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).

    UPSC Prelims Papers Question Marks and Types:

    The questions will be of the form of MCQs – or Multiple Choice Questions choice  type.

    Sample Questions:-

    Q) Which of the following is the Head of State?

    a) Prime Minister

    b) President

    c) Speaker of Lok Sabha

    d) Chairperson of Rajya Sabha


    Here, you have to choose one right option amongst the question.

    Marking in UPSC Prelims

    For each question in GS Paper 1, the below marking is followed :-


    Marks for Correct Answer 2
    Marks for incorrect Answer -0.67
    Marks for questions not attempted 0



    For each question in GS Paper 2 (CSAT), the below marking is followed :-


    Marks for Correct Answer 2.5
    Marks for incorrect Answer -0.83
    Marks for questions not attempted 0


    Process of evaluation for Prelims:

    1. Your CSAT paper will be evaluated to check if you are meeting the criteria of minimum 33% qualifying marks. That is your score for CSAT should be  67
    2. If you meet the qualifying score of 67 marks in CSAT, a rank list will be prepared on the basis of  GS Paper 1 score.
    3. A cut off will be decided and about 12,000 top rankers (this number is variable every year) will be chosen subject to reservation rules of 50% reservation for OBC, SC & ST candidates.


  • Marking & Evaluation in UPSC Prelims

UPSC IAS Mains Syllabus

  • General Studies Mains Syllabus Paper 1, Paper 2, Paper 3 & Paper 4 – All Papers

    General Studies (Mains) Paper – 1 Syllabus for IAS UPSC Mains Exam

    • Indian culture : The salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. | #IndianCultureQuestions |
    • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues. | #ModernIndianHistoryQuestions
    • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country. | #TheFreedomStruggleQuestions
    • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country | #PostIndependenceQuestions
    • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, | #WorldHistoryQuestions
    • Redrawal of national boundaries, Colonization, decolonization | #ColonizationDecolonizationQuestions
    • Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society | #PoliticaPhilosophyQuestions
    • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. | #IndiaSocietyQuestions
    •  Role of women and women’s organization, | #RoleOfWomenQuestions
    • Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. | #DevelopmentalIssuesQuestions
    • Effects of globalization on Indian society | #EffectsOfGlobalizationQuestions
    • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism. | #EmpowermentSecularismQuestions
    • Salient features of world’s physical geography | #WorldGeographyQuestions
    • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); | #NaturalResourcesQuestions
    • Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India) | #IndustriesQuestions
    • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., | #GeographicPhenomenaQuestions
    • 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. | #GeographicalFeautresQuestions

    General Studies (Mains) Paper – 2 Syllabus for IAS UPSC Mains Exam

    • Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries| Tag | #IndianConstitutionQuestions
    • 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. | #UnionandStatesQuestions | Tag
    • Separation of powers between various organs;Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions | Tags | #SeperationofPowersQuestions
    • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these | #ParliamentQuestions
    • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary, Ministries and Departments  of the Government; | #ExecutiveJudiciaryQuestions | Tag
    •  Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity. | #PressureGroupsQuestions | Tag
    • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act. | #RPAQuestions | Tag
    • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various
      Constitutional Bodies; Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies  | #ConstitutionalPostsQuestions | Tag
    • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.  | #DevelopmentPoliciesQuestions | Tag
    • Development processes and the development industry– the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders  | #DevelopmentIndustryQuestions | Tag
    • 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.  | #WelfareSchemesQuestions | Tag
    • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.  | #DevelopmentManagementQuestions | Tag
    • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.  | #PovertyQuestions | Tag
    • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency &accountability and institutional and other measures.  | #GovernanceTransperancyQuestions | Tag
    • Role of civil services in a democracy.  | #CivilServicesQuestions | Tag
    • India and its neighborhood- relations. | #IRNeighboursQuestions | Tag
    • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests  | #IRBilateralQuestions | Tag
    • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests,| #IRPoliciesQuestions | Tag
    • Indian Diaspora.  | #DiasporaQuestions | Tag’
    • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.  |  #IRInstitutionsQuestions | Tag

    General Studies (Mains) Paper – 3 Syllabus for IAS UPSC Mains Exam

    • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. | #IndianEconomyQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.  | #InclusiveGrowthQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Government Budgeting.  | #BudgetingQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • 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; e-technology in the aid of farmers Economics of animal-rearingFood processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.  Technology missions;| #AgricultureQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices;  | #SubsidiesQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Public Distribution System– objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security;  | #PDSQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Land reforms in India.  | #LandReformsQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.  | #LiberalizationQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc; Investment models.  | #InfrastructureInvestmentQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Science and Technology– developments and their applications and 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, bio-technology  | #SandTQuestions | Tag | Articles and
    • Issues relating to intellectual property rights.  | #IPRQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation , Environmental impact assessment  | #EnvironmentQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Disaster and disaster management.  | #DisasterManagementQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.  | #DevelopmentExtremismQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.  | #StateNonStateQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges,  | #InternalSecurityQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Basics of cyber security;  | #CuberSecurityQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Money-laundering and its prevention  | #MoneyLaunderingQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with
      terrorism  | #BorderSecurityQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.  | #SecurityForcesQuestions | Tag | Articles


    General Studies (Mains) Paper – 4 Syllabus for IAS UPSC Mains Exam

    • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.   | #EthicsQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;  | #HumanValuesQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.  | #RoleofFamilyQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.   | #AttitudeQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • 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.   | #Aptitude#AptitudeQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.  | #EmotionalIntelligenceQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.   | #MoralThinkersQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • 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;   | #CivilServiceValuesQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.   | #EthicsinIRQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • 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.   | #ProbityinGovernanceQuestions | Tag | Articles
    • Case Studies on above issues.   | #EthicsCaseStudiesQuestions | Tag | Articles

  • Download GS Mains Syllabus in PDF


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