UPSC IAS Syllabus For Preliminary And Main Exams

Published on : 20th November 2017    Author : Tanvi Mittal
IAS Exam

UPSC (Indian Administrative Services) IAS Exam syllabus can be divided into:

  • Preliminary exam syllabus
  • Main exam syllabus

Total of 11 papers are conducted in both Preliminary and Main phase taken together. Let’s have a look on the complete syllabus of Preliminary and Main papers.

UPSC IAS Syllabus – Preliminary Examination

Paper I

  • 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

Paper II

  • 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.), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.) All topics will be of class X level.

UPSC IAS Syllabus – Main Exam

UPSC IAS Syllabus & Main Exam

Qualifying Papers

Paper I

Candidates have to select one of the Indian languages as included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution. The pattern of question paper will include:

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short essays
  • Translation form English to selected Indian language and vice-versa.

Paper II

This paper tests candidate’s ability to read and understand discursive prose and to express his ideas clearly in English language. The paper pattern includes:

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short essays

Papers Counted for Merit

Paper I – Essay Writing

Candidates are required to express their ideas on a specific topic in an arranged format.

Paper II – 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, redrawal 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
  • 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 sub-continent); 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 water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

Paper III – 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 dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, 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 Constitutional Bodies
  • 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 
  • 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 – General Studies III – Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • 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, nano-technology, bio-technology 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.
  • 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.

Paper V – General Studies IV – Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

  • 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 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 – Optional Subject (Paper 1) and Paper VII – Optional Subject (Paper 2)

  • Candidates are required to select any one of the optional subjects given below:
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Law
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
  • Literature*
  • Candidates can select from 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
  • English

 

Candidates who successfully get through the Preliminary and Main exams are called for the Interview round.


IAS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers



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