UPSC IAS Syllabus PDF, Download Prelims, Mains & Optional Syllabus

The CCE will consist of two stages: Preliminary Examination and Main Examination. Candidates who are interested in applying for this exam should start preparing early.

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UPSC IAS Syllabus PDF: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) shared the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) Syllabus. For students getting ready for the UPSC CSE, it’s really important to understand this syllabus. It helps them prepare well for the exam. This article is here to give a short overview of the Syllabus. This way, students can get to know the important things they need to study.

UPSC IAS Syllabus Overview

UPSC has announced a recruitment drive for various Grade-A posts in the government sector. The selection process will involve a Civil Services Exam (CSE) conducted by UPSC. The CCE will consist of two stages: Preliminary Examination and Main Examination. Candidates who are interested in applying for this exam should start preparing early.

The UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) is divided into three stages:

  • Preliminary exam
  • Main exam
  • Interviews
Conducting AuthorityUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Name of Exam UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE)
PostsIndian Administrative Services (IAS)
Indian Police Services (IPS)
Indian Revenue Services (IRS)
Indian Foreign Services (IFS) etc…
Job CategoryGovt Job
Exam ModeOffline
UPSC IAS SyllabusAvailable Now
Selection ProcessPrelims
UPSC Official

UPSC CSE Syllabus PDF Download

UPSC conducts 3 stages for the recruitment of the UPSC Civil Services exam Prelims, Mains, & interviews. UPSC Preliminary Exam is an objective type for shortlisting candidates for the Main exam. Only candidates qualifying all papers in Mains will be called for the Interview round. Candidates can download the UPSC IAS Syllabus PDF from the link given below:

Important Links
Download UPSC IAS Syllabus Prelims PDF | CLICK HERE
Download UPSC IAS Syllabus Mains PDF | CLICK HERE
UPSC IAS Previous Year Question Papers | CLICK HERE
UPSC IAS Study Material/Books/Notes for Exam Preparation | CLICK HERE

UPSC Exam Pattern

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

Before going to check the UPSC Syllabus, candidates should understand the pattern of the UPSC CSE (Civil Service Examination).

PaperSubjectsMarksNo. of QuestionDuration
IGeneral Studies (GS)2001002 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
IICSAT200802 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)

Important Points:

  1. For every incorrect answer, 1/3rd mark of the total mark will be deducted.
  2. For the blank answers, no marks will be deducted.
  3. In General Studies (Paper I), each question is of 2 marks and there is a negative marking of 0.66 marks
  4. In CSAT (Paper-II), each question is of 2.5 marks and a negative marking of 0.833 marks for each wrong answer.
  5. The prelims marks will not be included in the final result (merit list).
  6. Paper II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

UPSC IAS Mains Exam Pattern

The Mains exam comprises 09 papers and candidates have to score minimum qualifying marks in each subject. Language papers are of qualifying marks and the rest of the papers will be scored.

Qualifying PapersMarks
Paper-AOne of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from  the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution300
Papers Counted for Merit
Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)250
Paper-IVGenera Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)250
Paper-VGeneral Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)250
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper 1250
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper 2250
Sub Total (Written Test)1750
Personality Test275
Grand Total 2025

Important Points:

  1. There are two qualifying papers in the mains exam, Namely “Paper A” and “Paper B” of 300 marks each.
  2. Two Qualifying Papers are “Any Indian Language from Eight Schedule ” and “English Language Paper”.
  3. Candidates need to score 25% in both qualifying papers i.e., 75 marks each.
  4. All other seven papers are scoring in nature their marks will be included in the final merit list.
  5. Candidates can answer all the scoring subjects in English or any of the eight schedule languages.
  6. Candidates have to select any one subject from the table as their Optional subject for Paper VI and Paper VII.

UPSC IAS Syllabus

The committee published a detailed curriculum for the comprehensive competitive examination through its website. The syllabus is suitable for both the preliminary examination and the main-stage examination.

UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus

SubjectsUPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus
Paper 1National & International Current Affairs
History of India
Indian National Movement
General Science
Indian and World Geography–Physical, Social, Economic Geography
Indian Polity and Governance–Constitution, Panchayati Raj, Political System, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc
Economic and Social Development– Poverty, Demographics, Sustainable Development, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
Environmental Ecology,
Biodiversity and Climate Change
Paper 2General mental ability
Interpersonal skills including communication skills
Logical reasoning and analytical ability
Decision-making and problem-solving
Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.–Class 10th level)
Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.–Class 10th level)

UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus

For the UPSC IAS mains exam, there will be 6 major subjects and 2 optional papers. Check the detailed UPSC IAS syllabus for major subjects below:

SubjectsUPSC IAS Syllabus
General EnglishComprehension
Usage & Vocabulary
Precise writing
Short Essay
Essay WritingCurrent topics
General Studies 1 (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)1. Indian culture covers the salient features of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
2. Modern Indian history includes the significant events, personalities, issues during the middle of the eighteenth century until the present.
3. Various stages and important contributors and contributions from different parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’.
4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
5. The History of the world includes events, forms and effects on society from the 18th century like world wars, the industrial revolution, colonization, redrawing of national boundaries, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.
6. Salient aspects of Diversity of India and Indian Society.
7. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and remedies.
8. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
9. 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.
10. Effects of globalization on Indian society.
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.
12. Salient features of the world’s physical geography.
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. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
4. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
5. Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
6. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
7. 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.
8. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
9. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
10. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
11. 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.
12. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
13. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
14. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
15. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
16. Role of civil services in a democracy.
17. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
18. India and its neighborhood- relations.
19. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
20. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
General Studies 3 (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
2. Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
3. Government Budgeting.
4. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
5. Major crop 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.
6. Economics of animal-rearing.
7. Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
8. 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.
9. Land reforms in India.
10. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
11. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
12. Investment models.
13. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science and technology;
14. Indigenisation of technology and developing new technology.
15. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
16. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
17. Disaster and disaster management.
18. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
19. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
20. 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.
21. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
22. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
General Studies 4 (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)1. Ethics and Human Interface- Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
2. 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.
3. Attitude- content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
4. 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.
5. Emotional intelligence concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
6. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Case Studies on the above issues.

UPSC IAS Optional Subjects

For optional subjects, candidates have advised the prepare the graduation-level topics of the respective subject-

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Geography
  6. Geology
  7. Management
  8. Mathematics
  9. Chemistry
  10. Sociology
  11. Statistics
  12. Zoology
  13. Commerce and Accountancy
  14. Economics
  15. History
  16. Law
  17. Civil Engineering
  18. Electrical Engineering
  19. Mechanical Engineering
  20. Medical science
  21. Philosophy
  22. Physics
  23. Political Science & International Relations
  24. Psychology
  25. Public Administration

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Fazil Zargar

Fazil Manzoor Co-founder and CEO of JK Chrome. 6+ years of experience in the education and career domains. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from AMIE Kolkata. At JK Chrome, he manages the back end and writes content on News, Education, Jobs and Current Affairs.
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