UPSC Syllabus

Civil Services Exam Prelims, Mains and Interview

What are the subjects that should be studied for the Civil Services Exam – Prelims, Mains, and the Interview?

UPSC held Civil Services Examination in three stages.

That includes Preliminary, Mains, and Interview.

Each stage has been set up to analyze different skill set in an aspirant.

To clear the examination, you have to clear all of these stages.

So you have to be well prepared for all of these examinations.

But to be prepared, you have to be aware of the syllabus.

Thus, in this article, we will discuss the syllabus for the Civil Services examination holistically.

So let’s get started one by one

UPSC Preliminary Syllabus

Civil Services Preliminary exam includes two papers:

1 General Studies Paper I – 200 marks

2 General Studies Paper-II – 200 marks

The main points to be noted for this examination are:

Questions in both of the examinations are objective type(multiple-choice).
In Paper II, you just have to secure 33 % marks. That means it is just a qualifying exam. Its marks are not counted while counting qualifying marks.
Paper I marks are the only one that is counted as total qualifying marks.
Qualifying marks are declared by Commission every year.
There is also negative marking.
After noting down these points, let’s dig deep into the syllabus for Paper I and Paper II

Paper I: 200 marks
Current Affairs: 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 (no subject specialization required).
General Science.

Paper-II: 200 marks
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.) (Class X level), Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level).
English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level. (Will be tested through passages from the English language only without providing Hindi translation).

UPSC Mains Syllabus

You are qualified to be in the Mains examination only when you had cleared the Preliminary examination.

Your rank in the UPSC Civil Service examination is calculated as per the marks secured in Mains and Interview.

Total marks for the Main exam:- 1750

Total marks for Interview:- 275

Total Papers in the Main exam:- 9

Out of them in two exams, you just have to secure qualifying marks. Their marks are not added while calculating the final marks.

Rest 7 paper’s marks are counted while making the final merit ranking.

Now comes the question that what is the syllabus of all of these exams? Let’s discuss them one by one.

Paper 1:- Essay – 250 marks
In this examination, aspirants have to write an essay on the topic mentioned in the exam, that too in the word limit mentioned.

Paper 2:- General Studies Paper I – 250 marks
General Studies Paper 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 or contributions from different parts of the country.
Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
The history of the world will include events from the 18th century, such as the industrial revolution, world wars, national boundaries redrawn, 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 the world’s physical geography.
Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); 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, cyclones, etc., geographical features and their location – changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice caps), flora and fauna, and the effects of such changes.

Paper 3:- General Studies Paper-II – 250 marks
General Studies Paper-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 disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the 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 or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
Important aspects of governance, transparency, 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 4:- General Studies Paper III – 250 marks
General Studies Paper 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.
Government Budgeting.
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.
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, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; 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 5:- General Studies Paper IV – 250 marks
General Studies Paper 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; the 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 the 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 the above issues.

Paper 6:- Optional Subject Paper I – 250 marks
Paper 7:- Optional Subject Paper II – 250 marks
Paper 8:- Qualifying Paper A – Not counted for final ranking
Paper A:- Indian Language – 300 marks
In this, aspirants have to choose any one language mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of our Constitution. This paper is not compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim.

Paper 9:- Qualifying Paper B – Not counted for final ranking
Paper B:- English Language – 300 marks

UPSC Interview Syllabus

As we have already discussed that every stage of this examination has its own purpose, so does this interview.

In an interview, particular skill sets are analyzed within the candidate like pressure handling, awareness, and an understanding of issues, expression of thoughts, and much more, as found suitable by the board of interviewers.

Thus the primary purpose of the interview is to check the mental stability of the candidate.

So if you ask for a syllabus for an interview, it is nothing but to be prepared about yourself.

That means you have to be thorough about all you listed in the Detailed Application Form (DAF).

Because if the board found you lying at any point, then there is a very high probability that you will lose the game.

Be prepared with all the current issues, be realistic, and not lie to the interviewer. This is all you have to do for the interview.

By this, we end up our discussion on the syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Examination. If you still have any query then feel free to mail us at our official email id.

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