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UPSC CSE Complete Syllabus
Civil Services Exam (IAS Exam), the most coveted exam of all, is conducted by UPSC every year to recruit candidates to various services & posts in the Government of India. It is a two stage exam consisting of:
UPSC IAS Preliminary Exam Pattern & Syllabus
The first stage of the exam i.e., the Civil Services Preliminary Exam is only a screening test and is conducted to shortlist candidates for the Main Examination. Marks secured in Preliminary Exam are not taken into account while preparing the final merit.
Preliminary Exam consists of two papers of Multiple Choice Questions carrying a maximum of 200 marks each.
Paper-I : General Studies Syllabus
It has 100 questions broadly covering the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.
Note: While 2 marks are awarded for each correct answer, 0.67 mark is deducted for each incorrect answer
Paper-II : Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) Syllabus
It comprises of 80 questions from the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.
Paper-II : Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) is a qualifying paper with a minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33% i.e. a minimum of 66 marks out of 200 is to be secured.
It is mandatory for a candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination for the purpose of evaluation.
Note: Paper-I is evaluated by UPSC only in respect of those candidates who secure minimum qualifying marks in CSAT.
UPSC Civil Services Main Exam Pattern & Syllabus
Civil Services Main Examination consists of written examination and interview (personality test).
Civil Services Main Examination consists of following papers divided into 2 categories – qualifying & papers to be counted for merit.
|Papaer-A||One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution||300|
|Papers to be Counted for Merit|
|Paper-II||General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)||250|
|Paper-III||General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)||250|
|Paper-IV||Genera Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||250|
|Paper-V||General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)||250|
|Paper-VI||Optional Subject – Paper 1||250|
|Paper-VII||Optional Subject – Paper 2||250|
|Sub Total (Written Test)||1750|
Syllabus of UPSC Main Examination Papers
I. Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English
The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.
(v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.
II. Paper-I: 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.
III. Paper-II: General Studies-I
Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
(i) Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
(ii) Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
(iii) The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
(iv) Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
(v) 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.
(vi) Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
(vii) Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
(viii) Effects of globalization on Indian society.
(ix) Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
(x) Salient features of world’s physical geography.
(xi) 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).
(xii) 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.
IV. Paper-III: General Studies-II
Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
(i) Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
(ii) 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.
(iii) Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
(iv) Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
(v) Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
(vi) 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.
(vii) Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
(viii) Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
(ix) Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
(x) Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
(xi) Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
(xii) 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.
(xiii) Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
(xiv) Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
(xv) Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
(xvi) Role of civil services in a democracy.
(xvii) India and its neighborhood- relations.
(xviii) Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
(xix) Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
(xx) Important International institutions, agencies and fora - their structure, mandate.
V. Paper-IV: General Studies-III
Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
(i) Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
(ii) Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
(iii) Government Budgeting.
(iv) 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.
(v) 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.
(vi) Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
(vii) Land reforms in India.
(viii) Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
(ix) Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
(x) Investment models.
(xi) Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
(xii) Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
(xiii) Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
(xiv) Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
(xv) Disaster and disaster management.
(xvi) Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
(xvii) Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
(xviii) 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.
(xix) Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
(xx) Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
VI. Paper-V: 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 utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.
The following broad areas will be covered:
(i) 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.
(ii) Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
(iii) 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.
(iv) Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
(v) Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
(vi) 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.
(vii) 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.
(viii) Case Studies on above issues.
VII. Paper – VI & VII
Optional Subject Papers I & II.
A candidate may opt for any one Optional Subject from the following 48 Optional subjects:
(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
(vi) Civil Engineering
(vii) Commerce and Accountancy
(ix) Electrical Engineering
(xvi) Mechanical Engineering
(xvii) Medical Science
(xx) Political Science and International Relations
(xxii) Public Administration
(xxvi) 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.
Each Optional Subject has 2 compulsory papers.
Civil Services (Main) Examination carries a total of 1750 marks as follows:
Personality Test (Interview) carries 275 marks. Thus, candidates are evaluated out of total 2025 marks.
UPSC General Studies Books
Recommended Books for UPSC General Studies
The Foundation and the First Line of reading while preparing for the Preliminary Test and Main Examination is the 18 Volumes of ‘Yellow Books’ on General Studies and the Monthly Current Affairs Digest published by Vajiram & Ravi. Apart from these Volumes, the aspirants should study the following books:
Advance Level Books:
Ecology & Environment
Science & Technology
Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude
An IAS officer of the 2006 batch from the Haryana cadre, A Mona Sreenivas is working as a director with the Election Commission of India for the last few years. In a freewheeling interview, she discusses, among other things, her fond memories of studying at Apeejay School, Faridabad and tips to prepare for the Mains and Prelims stages of the exam.
You bagged the top rank in the 2005 exam. What strategy did you adopt for the Mains and Prelims?
Start reading newspapers and magazines along with your NCERT textbooks and brush up your basic History, Civics and Geography: subjects that are part of the Civil Services Examination. The more focused preparation should begin at least a year before you actually write the exam. Begin with trying to understand the concepts. So it is better to go to Mains first and then go to Prelims and then get back to Mains again.
Your optional subjects were English Literature and Sociology. How important is a choice of subjects and time management to ace the exam?
Time management is important because the material is massive and you can’t spend years and years preparing. Regarding the choice of subjects, strike a balance between what is scoring and what one knows best. For the second subject, pick a subject that you like to read.
What are your memories of studying at Apeejay School, Faridabad?
I have such nice memories of being in class 5 and being the head girl of a school. Then I went to the senior school and studied in the senior school building in Sector 15. So, I have lovely memories of the huge playground and singing the theme song: Soaring High Is My Nature.
What are the challenges and opportunities of being a civil servant?
I think that whatever job profile you have in the Civil Services, it impacts people’s lives in a very good way. In the government sector whatever one does is a big responsibility. Government services give you a lot of scope to innovate and make things better.
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