UPSC- exam patterns and syllabus content in detail


UPSC exam Pattern-

The main format of the prelims and the mains exams Is given below-

For prelims exam-

Name of the paperNumber of questionsmarksTime allotmentExam nature
Paper 1 – general studies- objective type1002002 hoursConsidered as cut-off exam
Paper 2- general studies- objective paper802002 hoursQualifying in nature

For MAINS exam-

PapersubjecttimemarksNature of paperType of paper
Paper ACompulsory Indian Language3 hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper BEnglish3 hours300QualifyingDescriptive
Paper 1Essay3 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper 2General studies 13 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper 3General studies 23 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper 4General studies 33 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper 5General studies 43 hours250MeritDescriptive
Paper 6Optional 13 hours250meritDescriptive
Paper 7Optional 23 hours250meritDescriptive

UPSC exam syllabus-

UPSC Exam has a comprehensive syllabus that covers all papers in UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and UPSC Exam.

Preliminary UPSC Exam Syllabus

General Studies Paper-I

These topics are included in the IAS Syllabus of UPSC Prelims Exam:

Current Events of National Importance and International Importance

History of India and Indian National Movement.

Indian and World Geography: Physical, Social, and Economic Geography of India.

Indian Governance and Polity – Constitution, Political System. Panchayati Raj. Public Policy. Rights Issues.

Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty and Inclusion, Demographics and Social Sector Initiatives, among others.

General Issues in Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – which do not require subject specification General Science

General Studies Paper-II

The GS-II exam in UPSC Prelims can also be known as CSAT, Civil Services Aptitude Test. These topics are covered in the IAS syllabus:


Interpersonal skills, including communication skills

Logica l reasoning and analytical ability

Problem-solving and decision-making

Mental ability

Basic numeracy (numbers with their relations, orders, magnitudes, etc. – ClassX level); Data interpretation (charts graphs, tables, and data sufficiency, etc. – ClassX level).

963776 962416 upsc

PSC Exam Syllabus For Main Examination

PAPER-I Essay:

Essays on multiple topics may be required of candidates. Candidates will need to organize their thoughts in a systematic way and write clearly. For their precise and effective expression, a credit will be given. Syllabus

PAPER-II General Studies I: Indian Heritage, Culture, History, and Geography of the World.

Indian culture will include the most important aspects of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from ancient times to today.

Modern Indian History, from the middle of the 18th century to the present- important events, personalities, and issues.

Freedom Struggle – its stages and important contributors/contributions, from different parts.

Consolidation and reorganization of the country after independence.

History of the World will cover events starting in the 18th century, such as the Industrial Revolution, World Wars and redrawing of national borders, colonization, decolonization, and political philosophies such as communism or capitalism, socialism, etc. – along with their effects on Society.

The salient features of Indian Society and the Diversity of India. Role of women, women’s organizations, population, and related issues, poverty, development issues, urbanization, and their problems and solutions. Globalization’s effects on Indian Society: Social empowerment, regionalism, secularism, and communalism.

The salient features of the world’s geographical geography.

Distribution of key natural resources across the globe (including South Asia, the Indian subcontinent), factors that determine the location of primary, second, and tertiary sectors industries in different parts of the world (including India); Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies, ice caps, and flora, and the consequences of these changes.

PAPER-III General Studies II: Governance and Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, International Relations

Indian Constitution: History, evolution, features, and amendments.

The functions and responsibilities of the Union, the States, and issues and challenges related to the federal structure, the devolution of powers, finances, and up to local level, and the challenges and solutions therein.

The separation between different organs, dispute redressal mechanism, and institutions.

Comparative analysis of India’s constitution with other countries, including the functioning of Parliament and State Legislative, and any issues that may arise from these structures.

Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive, the Judiciary and Ministries, and Departments, Government; pressure groups, formal/informal organizations and their role within the Polity.

The Representation of Peoples Act has some salient features.

Appointment to various constitutional posts, powers, and responsibilities of different Constitutional Bodies.

Legislative, regulatory, and other quasi-judicial bodies, as well as Government policies and interventions for the development of various sectors, and any issues that may arise from their design or implementation.

The role of NGOs, SHGs, and various groups and associations in development processes and the industry – how they interact with donors, charities, institutions, and other stakeholders.

The Centre and States provide welfare schemes for vulnerable groups of the population and perform these schemes. They also have mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies that are constituted to protect and improve these sections.

Development and management of Social Sector/Services within the Health, Education, and Human Resources fields.

These issues relate to hunger and poverty.

Important aspects of government transparency and accountability, eGovernance – Applications, models, successes and limitations, potential, citizens charters, transparency and accountability, institutional and other measures.

Role of civil services in a democracy

Relations between India and its neighbors. India, its neighbors, and international groupings and arrangements that involve or affect India’s interest. The effect of the policies and politics of developing and developed countries on India’s interest, Indian diaspora.

Important international agencies, institutions, and fora- Their structure, mandate.


PAPER-IV General Studies III: Technology, Economic Development and Biodiversity, Security, Disaster Management, and Environment.

Indian Economy and issues related to planning, mobilization, growth, development, and employment. Inclusive growth and the issues that arise from it.

Budgeting by the government. Major cropping patterns across the country, various types of irrigation, storage, transport, and marketing of agricultural produce, and other issues;

E-technology for farmers: Issues related to direct or indirect farm subsidies, minimum support prices, and other issues;

Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, and revamping; issues regarding buffer stocks, food security; Technology missions. Economics of animal-rearing.

India’s food processing and related industries – their importance, location, upstream, downstream, and supply chain management.

India’s land reforms. Liberalization’s effects on the Economy and changes in industrial policy, as well as their impact on industrial growth.

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

Investment models. Technology and Science-developments and their effects on everyday life Achievements of Indians in science and technology; indigenization and development of new technology.

Awareness in the areas of IT, Space and Computers, robotics, and biotechnology, as well as issues related to intellectual property rights.

Conservation, environmental degradation, and environmental impact assessment Disaster management.

There are links between extremism’s spread and development.

Role of the external state and other non-state actors when creating security challenges for internal security

Internal security threats through communication networks, role media, and social networking sites within internal security challenges, basics cybersecurity, money laundering, and its prevention

Security issues and their management in border regions; links of organized crime and terrorism


PAPER-V General Studies IV: Ethics and Integrity.

This paper will ask questions that test candidates’ attitudes and approaches to issues related to integrity, probity, and problem-solving. These aspects can be determined using the case study approach.

These broad areas will be covered. The Ethics and Human Interface: What are the essence, determinants, and consequences of ethical actions in humans? Dimensions of ethics; how they affect private and public relationships.

Human Values – Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators; role and responsibilities of family, Society, and educational institutions in inculcating value.

Attitude: Content, structure, and function; influence and relationship with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; influence and persuasion.

Civil Service: Integrity, impartiality, and non-partisanship.

 Indian and international contributions of moral thinkers, philosophers.

Public/Civil Service Ethics and Values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and Problems; ethical concerns, dilemmas, and laws in government; rules, regulations, and conscience as sources for ethical guidance; accountability; strengthening of moral and ethical values in governance; funding and international relations; corporate governance.

Governance with probity: Philosophical foundation 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 money. Challenges of corruption. These are some of the cases.

UPSC – updates, basic information and criteria.

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