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UPSC CSE Syllabus For Prelims And Mains

The Civil Services Examination is conducted in three phases:

1. Phase 1: Civil Services Examination (Prelims) which is an objective exam

2. Phase 2: Civil Services Examination (Mains) which is a descriptive exam

3. Phase 3: Personal Interview for Personality Test

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Prelims

The Civil Services Preliminary Exam has two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. Both these papers are of objective type. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)are asked in both these papers. Both the papers are of 2 hours duration.

marks each

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Prelims: General Studies (Paper 1)

The UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services (IAS) Preliminary exam (General Studies) are tabulated below:

  1. Current events of national and international importance. Study Current Affairs at:

  2. History of India and Indian National Movement.

  3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World. Study Physical Geography at

  4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc. Study Indian Polity at:

  5. Economic and Social Development Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc. Study Economics at:

  6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation. Study now:

  7. General Science.

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Prelims: Civil Services Aptitude Test (Paper 2)

The UPSC Syllabus (IAS) for Prelims – CSAT is tabulated below:

  1. Comprehension.

  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills.

  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability.

  4. Decision-making and problem-solving.

  5. General mental ability.

  6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),

  7. Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level).

The CSAT examination can be easily cracked if you have prepared for banking exams. It is to be noted that the CSAT exam is a qualifying paper and the marks will not be added to the final ranking. Candidates will have to secure a minimum of 33% marks in the CSAT to be eligible to appear for the Main examination.

CSAT can easily be mastered with help of our foundation course :


Demo Lectures:

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Mains

The second phase of the Civil Services Examination – the Main exam tests candidates of their in-depth knowledge. The Main exam is descriptive in nature and has 9 papers. Out of these 9 papers, 7 are considered for final ranking. These 7 papers are of 250 marks each. The UPSC Syllabus for the Main exam is vast.

1. Paper 1: Essay

2. Paper 2: General Studies 1

3. Paper 3: General Studies 2

4. Paper 4: General Studies 3

5. Paper 5: General Studies 4

6. Paper 6: Optional Subject – Paper 1

7. Paper 7: Optional Subject – Paper 2

The detailed UPSC Syllabus (IAS) for each of these papers are as under:

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Mains: Paper 1 – Essay

1. To be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice.

2. Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics.

3. Essays to be kept close to the subject.

4. Ideas to be presented in a concise manner, in an orderly fashion.

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Mains: Paper 2 – General Studies 1

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society

1. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

3. The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganisation within the country, History of the world will include events from 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonisation, decolonisation, and political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

5. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

6. Role of women and women’s organisation, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanisation, their problems, and their remedies.

7. Effects of globalisation on Indian society.

8. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

9. Salient features of the world’s physical geography.

10. 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)

11. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, 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.

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Mains: Paper 3 – General Studies 2

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations

1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. 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.

3. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

4. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

5. Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

6. 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.

7. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

8. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

9. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

10.Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

11.Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

12.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.

13.Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

14.Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

15.Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

16.Role of civil services in a democracy.

17.India and its neighborhood- relations.

18.Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

19.Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

20.Important International institutions, agencies, and fora, their structure, mandate .

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services (IAS) For Mains: Paper 4 – General Studies 3

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development, and employment.

2. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

3. Government Budgeting.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

7. Land reforms in India.

8. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

9. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

10.Investment models.

11.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

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

13.Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

14.Disaster and disaster management.

15.Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

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

17.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

18.Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

19.Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Mains: Paper 5 – General Studies 4

Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

1. This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.

2. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants, and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

3. 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.

4. Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

5. 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.

6. Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

7. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10.Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilisation of public funds, challenges of corruption.

11.Case Studies on the above issues.

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Mains: Paper 6 – Optional Subject (Paper 1)

Candidates may choose any one optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.

1. History

2. Geography

3. Economics

4. Sociology

5. Public Administration

6. Philosophy

7. Psychology

8. Political Science

9. Agriculture

10.Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science




14.Civil Engineering


16.Electrical Engineering





21.Mechanical Engineering

22.Medical Science




UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Mains: Paper 7 – Optional Subject (Paper 2)

Candidates may choose any one optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.

UPSC Syllabus (IAS) For Main Exam: Optional Subject Paper 2

1. Assamese

2. Bengali

3. Bodo

4. Dogri

5. Gujarati

6. Hindi

7. Kannada

8. Kashmiri

9. Konkani

10. Maithili

11. Malayalam

12. Manipuri

13. Marathi

14. Nepali

15. Oriya

16. Punjabi

17. Sanskrit

18. Santhali

19. Sindhi

20. Tamil

21. Telugu

22. Urdu

23. English

The two qualifying papers for Civil Services Main Examination are:

1. Paper A – Indian Language: Candidates will have to select one of the Indian languages selected from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

2. Paper B – English language.

Both of these papers are of 300 marks each.

A. The optional subjects for UPSC Mains are as follows:

1. Law

2. Agriculture

3. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

4. Botany

5. Anthropology

6. Chemistry

7. Civil Engineering

8. Commerce and Accountancy

9. Economics

10.Electrical Engineering



13.Indian History



16.Mechanical Engineering

17.Medical Science



20.Political Science and International Relations


22.Public Administration





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