IAS Main Examination Syllabus

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam New Syllabus UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam New Syllabus

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam new Syllabus (after incorporating corrections suggested by Government) is not much different from the previous pattern except in double weightage to GS. The highlights of the latest IAS syllabus are the following.

  • There are still 9 papers (including two qualifying papers).
  • There is only 1 optional subject (with 2 papers) now, instead of 2 optional subjects.
  • There are now 4 General Studies papers with a total of 1000 marks.
  • Total marks now is out of 2025; mains = 1750; interview = 275.
  • Essay paper is now of 250 marks.
[sc name=”article2″ ]

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam New Syllabus Details

UPSC Civil Services Main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
The nature and  standard of questions in the General Studies papers will be such that a well-educated person will be able  to answer  them without any specialized  study.

Syllabi of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination are given as follows:-

PAPER A  – Qualifying Nature: English – 300 Marks
PAPER B  – Qualifying Nature: Any Indian Language in 8th Schedule – 300 Marks

PAPER -1: Essay (250 marks)

Candidates will be required to write multiple essays on specific topics. The choice of subjects will be given. 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.

[sc name=”article1″ ]

PAPER – 2: General Studies- I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society (250 marks)

  • 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 reorganisation within the country.
    • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars,
    redraw of national boundaries, colonisation, 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 organisation, population and associated issues, poverty and
    developmental issues, urbanisation, their problems and their remedies.
    • Effects of globalisation 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 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, 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.
[sc name=”display1″ ]

PAPER – 3: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations (250 marks)

  • 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, organisation 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
    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.
    • The role of civil services in a democracy.
    • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
    • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s
    • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
    • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
[sc name=”display2″ ]

PAPER – 4: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management (250 marks)

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and
    • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
    • Government Budgeting.
    • 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 liberalisation 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
    • 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.
    • The 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 organised crime with
    • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
[sc name=”feed1″ ]

PAPER – 5: General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude (250 marks)

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.

  • 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 behaviour; 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, Utilisation of public funds,
    challenges of corruption.
    • Case Studies on above issues.
[sc name=”feed2″ ]

PAPER- 6 & PAPER 7 – Optional Subject Papers I & II (250 marks each; 500 marks in total)

Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects provided by UPSC. The paper selected can be from Science, Humanities or Literature stream.


Welcome to Mod Education! I'm RK Yadav, an educator passionate about teaching Mathematics and Science. With a teaching journey spanning back to 2012, I've had the privilege of guiding students through the intricate realms of these subjects.