UPSC IAS Syllabus (Mains General Studies)

UPSC IAS Syllabus (Mains General Studies)

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The UPSC conducts a nationwide competitive examination in India for the recruitment of various government positions known as the civil services examination. The exam is divided into two parts: the preliminary examination, which consists of two objective-type papers, and the main examination, which consists of nine papers followed by a personality test.


Since 2013, the Union Public Service Commission has drastically altered the mains syllabus.
Instead of two optional papers in the UPSC mains syllabus 2013, students will now choose only one. General Studies now have a higher weightage.
The following is the new UPSC General Studies syllabus for the Civil Services mains examination


Essay (250 Marks)
To be written in the candidate’s preferred medium or language – Candidates may be required to write essays on a variety of subjects. The subjects will be assigned. They will be expected to stick to the topic of the essay, arrange their ideas in an orderly manner, and write concisely. Effective and precise expression will be rewarded.


General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, World History and Geography, and Society (250 Marks)

  1. From ancient to modern times, Indian culture will cover the most important aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture.
  2. Significant events, personalities, and issues in modern Indian history from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present.
  3. The Freedom Struggle and its various stages, as well as significant contributors/contributions from various parts of the country.
  4. Consolidation and reorganisation of the country following independence.
  5. The history of the world will include events beginning in the 18th century, such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonisation, decolonization, political philosophies such as communism, capitalism, socialism, and so on—their forms and effects on society.
  6. Indian Society’s Highlights, India’s Diversity
  7. The role of women and women’s organisations, population and related issues, poverty and development issues, urbanisation, its problems and solutions
  8. Globalization’s Impact on Indian Society Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism, and secularism are all important concepts.
  9. Highlights of the world’s physical geography.
  10. Distribution of key natural resources around the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors influencing the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries around the world (including India)
  11. Important geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, cyclones, and so on, geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice caps) and flora and fauna, and the effects of such changes


Governance, Constitution, Politics, Social Justice, and International Relations are some of the topics covered in General Studies II (250 Marks)

  1. Historical foundations, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure of the Indian Constitution
  2. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges related to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to the local level, and challenges therein
  3. Separation of powers among various organs, mechanisms for resolving disputes, and institutions
  4. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme to that of other countries’ Parliaments and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, business conduct, powers and privileges, and issues arising from these.
  5. Structure, organisation, and operation of the Executive and Judiciary Ministries and Departments of Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations, and their role in the Polity
  6. The main features of the People’s Representation Act.
  7. Appointment to various Constitutional offices, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  8. Legislative, regulatory, and quasi-judicial bodies
  9. Government policies and interventions for development in a variety of sectors, as well as the issues that arise as a result of their design and implementation.
  10. The role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders in development processes and the development industry
  11. Welfare schemes implemented by the Centre and States for vulnerable segments of the population, as well as the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies established to protect and improve the lives of these vulnerable segments.
  12. Issues concerning the development and management of the social sector/services in the areas of health, education, and human resources.
  13. Poverty and hunger are two of the most pressing issues facing the world today.
  14. Transparency and accountability, e-governance-applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency and accountability, and institutional and other measures are all important aspects of governance.
  15. The function of civil services in a democracy.
  16. India’s relations with its neighbours.
  17. Groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests at the bilateral, regional, and global levels.
  18. The impact of developed and developing countries’ policies and politics on India’s interests, as well as the Indian diaspora.


Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management are some of the topics covered in General Studies III (250 Marks)

  1. The Indian economy and issues concerning planning, resource mobilisation, growth, development, and employment.
  2. Growth that is inclusive and the issues that arise as a result of it
  3. Budgeting by the government.
  4. Cropping patterns of major crops in various parts of the country, various types of irrigation and irrigation systems, storage, transport, and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology to assist farmers
  5. Direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, and revamping; buffer stock and food security issues; technology missions; animal-rearing economics
  6. The scope and significance of the food processing and related industries in India, as well as their location, upstream and downstream requirements, and supply chain management.
  7. India is undergoing land reforms.
  8. Economic effects of liberalisation, changes in industrial policy, and their effects on industrial growth
  9. Infrastructure includes things like energy, ports, roads, airports, and railways.
  10. Models of investment
  11. Science and technology developments, as well as their applications and effects in daily life
  12. Indians’ achievements in science and technology; indigenization of technology and development of new technology
  13. IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, and issues concerning intellectual property rights.
  14. Conservation, pollution and degradation of the environment, and environmental impact assessment
  15. Disaster relief and disaster management
  16. Relationships between extremism’s development and spread
  17. External state and non-state actors’ roles in posing threats to internal security
  18. Internal security threats posed by communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security threats, the fundamentals of cyber security, and the prevention of money laundering
  19. Border security challenges and management; links between organised crime and terrorism
  20. The mandates of various security forces and agencies


Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude in General Studies IV (250 Marks)

  1. This paper will include questions designed to assess the candidates’ attitudes and approaches to issues of integrity, probity in public life, and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts encountered in dealing with society. To determine these aspects, questions may employ the case study approach. The following broad topics will be addressed.
  2. Human Interaction and Ethics: Ethics in human actions: its essence, determinants, and consequences; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons learned from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators; the role of family, society, and educational institutions in instilling values.
  3. Attitude: its content, structure, and function; its influence and relationship with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; and social influence and persuasion
  4. Aptitude and fundamental values for civil service, such as integrity, impartiality, and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance, and compassion for the underprivileged.
  5. Concepts of emotional intelligence, as well as their utility and application in administration and governance.
  6. Moral thinkers and philosophers from India and around the world have contributed.
  7. 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
  8. Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical foundations 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, Use of public funds, Corruption Challenges
  9. Case Studies on the aforementioned issues

::Paper-VI & VII::

Subject Papers I & II (Optional)

  1. The candidate may select any optional subject from the list of optional subjects provided in Para 2.