The Union Public Service Commission Conducts Exams for selection into IAS, IPS, IFS and other allied services. Here is the list of the UPSC Syllabus for UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains. Knowing the UPSC Syllabus is key to begin your preparation for UPSC Exam.
UPSC Syllabus – Preliminary Examination
UPSC Syllabus of Preliminary Exam consists of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each (Paper I and Paper II) and carries a maximum of 400 marks. The Preliminary Examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidate who is declared qualified for appearing in the Main Examination are not counted for final ranking; it is just for the qualification for Mains Exam.
UPSC Syllabus for Paper I of Prelims
- 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 of Prelims
- 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).
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Note 1: The CSAT or Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to sit for the Civil Services (Mains) Exam.
Note 2: The questions in both Paper-I (current affairs) and Paper-II (aptitude test) will be of multiple choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours.
Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he or she does not appear in both the papers of the (Prelims) Exam.
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UPSC Syllabus – Mains Examination
UPSC Syllabus of Main Examination consists of written examination and an interview test. The written examination consists of 9 papers of conventional essay type in the subjects out of which two papers are of qualifying in nature. Marks obtained in compulsory papers (Paper I to Paper VII) and in Interview for Personality Test are counted for ranking.
Candidates will be allocated to the various services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preference expressed by them for the various services and posts.
The written examination will consist of the following papers:-
Paper-A, Marks – 300
(One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution).
Paper-B, Marks – 300
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Papers to be counted for Merit
Paper-I, Marks – 250
Essay: Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
Paper-II, Marks – 250
General Studies – I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society.
- 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, 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 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redraw of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
- Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
- The 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 world’s physical geography.
- Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); 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, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
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Paper – III, Marks – 250
General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
- Indian Constitution – 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, a 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
- 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 development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,
Education, 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.
- The role of civil services in a democracy.
- India and its neighborhood- 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.
Paper-IV, Marks – 250
General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
- Government Budgeting.
- 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.
- 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 developing new technology.
- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology 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.
- The 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
- Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
Paper-V, Marks – 250
General Studies- IV : Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
This paper includes 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:
- 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; 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 above issues.
Paper-VI, Marks – 250
Optional Subject – Paper I
Paper-VII, Marks – 250
Optional Subject – Paper II
Candidates may choose any one optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.
List of Optional Subjects for Mains Examination
- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
- Civil Engineering
- Commerce and Accountancy
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Science
- Political Science and International Relations
- Public Administration
- Literature of any of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.
NOTE: the expression “Qualifying” suggests that if one does not get 33% in the qualifying subject he/she is not entitled to get final result from UPSC.
UPSC Syllabus – Interview/Personality Test, Marks 275
- Candidates who qualify the UPSC Mains Exam move to the next and final phase called ‘Personality Test/Interview’ in which s/he is interviewed by a Board that has before them a record of his/her career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs.
- Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety, and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
- The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate. Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.
- The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thoughts and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of a well-educated youth.
Total Marks for Written Examination – 1750 Marks
Interview/Personality Test – 275 Marks
Grand Total – 2025 Marks