UPSC Mains Syllabus
IAS Mains Exam Pattern
Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)
General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)
General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)
General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)
General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
Optional Subject – Paper I
Optional Subject – Paper II
- The Mains examination constitutes the 2nd phase of the Civil Services Examination. Only after successfully qualifying in the prelims exam would the candidates be allowed to write the IAS Mains.
- The Mains exam tests the candidate’s academic talent in depth and his/her ability to present his/her understanding according to the requirements of the question in a time-bound manner.
- The UPSC Mains exam consists of 9 papers, out of which two are qualifying papers of 300 marks each.
- The two qualifying papers are:
- Any Indian Language Paper
- English Language Paper
The papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates who attain 25% marks in both the language papers as a minimum qualifying standard in these qualifying papers, will be taken cognizance of, for evaluation.
In case a candidate does not qualify in these language papers, then the marks obtained by such candidates will not be considered or counted.
Structure of the language papers:
The types of questions asked are –
- Essay – 100 marks
- Reading comprehension – 60 marks
- Precis Writing – 60 marks
- English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks
- Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
- Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks
The rest of the seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India or in English.
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.
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.
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 waterbodies and icecaps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
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.
General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, 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.
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.
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.
General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
This paper will include 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 behavior; 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 & PAPER VII
Optional Subject Papers I & II
Candidate may choose any optional subject from amongst the List of Optional Subjects given below
- 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 one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English
UPSC Syllabus for IAS Interview
Known as Personality Test, UPSC Interview is the last stage of the examination. There is no defined UPSC syllabus for the interview. Questions are asked from wide-ranging issues.
- Candidates who qualify the UPSC Mains Exam will be called for the ‘Personality Test/Interview’. These candidates will be interviewed by a Board appointed by the UPSC.
- The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in civil services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
- The interview is more of a purposive conversation intended to explore the mental qualities and analytical ability of the candidate.
- The Interview test will be 275 marks and the total marks for the written examination is 1750. This sums up to a Grand Total of 2025 Marks, based on which the final merit list will be prepared.
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