UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus

UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus

UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus

Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Exam is widely known as one of the most difficult and crucial exam in India, which demands highly active studies, focus and smart work.

This exam in which UPSC conducts has three distinct stages and it is really important for the aspirant to understand the syllabus of all three stages thoroughly. Because their understanding will help them in better planning, better time management, etc.

Below we have mentioned the detailed syllabus which is mentioned by UPSC itself along with important topics which are covered by UPSC in the last couple of years in CSE.

The three stages of UPSC Civil Service Exam

  • Preliminary
  • Mains
  • Personality test

UPSC Civil Service Exam: Preliminary Exam Syllabus

Preliminary Exam consists of 2 papers, both of them are objective type.

Paper I- GS (General Studies) is of 200 Marks consists of a total of 100 questions, ⅓ marks will be cut for the wrong answer.

Paper I- GS Counted for the Merit rank in the Prelims Exam.

Paper II- CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) is of 200 Marks consists of a total of 80 questions, ⅓ marks will be cut for the wrong answer.

Paper II- CSAT Not Counted for the Merit rank in the Prelims Exam but it is a qualifying paper candidate just need 33% marks to clear the exam.

The duration of both Paper I and Paper II is two hours.

  • Paper I- GS (General Studies) Syllabus

    • Relevantly more focused topics in the last 5 years: Current events of national and international importance (6-9 questions), science and technology (20- 25 questions), General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization (15-20 questions), Economic and Social Development Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc (15- 20 questions), Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc (7-9 questions)
    • Sub-topics majorly covered are: science and technology, agriculture, government scheme, Indian economy, art and culture, DNA, biotechnology, Augmented reality, virtual reality, Supreme Court, import and export, virus, international relations, environment- climate change, schemes, CNG, Methane Hydrate, mining, ozone, RBI of India, Buddhism, digital signature, digitalization, GDP of country, Indian Economy, recent amendments, UN, and ISRO.
    • Comparatively less focused topics in the last 5 years: History of India and Indian National Movement. (2-3 questions), Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World (3-5 questions)
  • Paper II- CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Syllabus

    • Relevantly more focused topics in the last 5 years: Comprehension (30 questions), Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level), Logical reasoning and analytical ability. (10 – 15 questions come from each topic.)
    • Sub-topics majorly covered in Comprehension are: science environment, law, biology, microbiome, malnutrition, GM technology, limitations, private versus public research, environment, climate change, RTI, social justice,
    • Sub-topics majorly covered are: Alternative alphabets, sequence, numerator and denominator, parallelogram, runner, diagrams interpretation, blood relation, divisibility, square roots, data sufficiency, arrangement, average, possibilities, statements, Basic numeracy,
    • Comparatively less focused topics in the last 5 years: Interpersonal skills including communication skills, Decision-making and problem-solving, General mental ability. (2- 3 questions come from topics or no question come)

UPSC Civil Service Exam: Mains Exam Syllabus

Mains Exam Consists of total 9 papers out of which 2 of them are qualifying papers.

The marks of Qualifying Papers are not counted in merit, but the UPSC board checks the further papers only if the candidate qualifies in these 2 papers.

Questions pattern has been changed by UPSC, UPSC know giving lengthy questions as they want to know the opinion of the candidates.

Hindu can be one of the best source to prepare for GS papers of civil service exam.

UPSC is asking interrelated topics in CSE – GS exams.

Mains Paper I and Paper II is of 300 marks and Paper III to Paper IX is of 250 marks.

  • Paper I Modern Indian Language

  • Paper II English Language

  • Paper III ESSAY Syllabus

    • Section A- Consists of 4 topics: Topics covered: Philosophical, Culture (Interlinked with Regional or international perspective), Social Issues (education and Health), Democracy (biased media), and Science and technology.
    • Section B – Consists of 4 topics: Topics covered: Philosophical, Culture (Interlinked with Regional or international perspective), Social Issues (education and Health), Democracy (biased media), and Science and technology.
    • Things to keep in mind for this Paper: Thematic Preparation, Strengthening Ethics concepts based on GS- 1V Syllabus, Weekly Practice, and Daily reading and writing broad themes.
  • Paper IV GS I (General Studies 1) Syllabus

    • 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 the 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redraws of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc. their forms and effect on 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, 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.
    • Relevantly more focused topics in the last 5 years: Art and Culture (1 question), Modern History (4 questions), World History (13 questions), Indian Society (3 questions), Urbanization (16 questions), Secularism (10 questions), Women Issues (2 questions), Critical Geographical physical features (5 questions), and Location factors for industries (2 questions).
    • Sub-topics majorly covered are: Gandhara, 1857 year, Gandhi, digital divide, secularism, water, LGVT- gender issues, AI, marine life, and climate change.
    • Questions one should definitely prepare: What makes the Indian society unique in sustaining its culture? Discuss, What are the challenges to our cultural practices in the name of secularism?, Many voices had strengthened and enriched the nationalist movement during the Gandhian phase. Elaborate, Do we have cultural pockets of small India all over the nation? Elaborate with examples, and Are we losing our local identity for the global identity? Discuss.
  • Paper V GS II (General Studies 2) Syllabus

    • 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 the 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 the 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.
    • Relevantly more focused topics in the last 5 years: Parliament and Union Executive (3 questions), Separation of Power (1 question), Quasi-Judicial bodies (2 questions), Pressure group (3 questions), federalism (4 questions), comparison of Indian Constitution (5 questions), Developmental and Welfare issues (4 questions), poverty and hunger (7 questions), e-governance (8 questions), bilateral relations (3 questions), international organization (10 questions), and representation of people act (RPA) (11 questions).
    • Sub-topics majorly covered are: J&K, France- secularism, YOJANA, NITI report, and economic survey.
    • Questions one should definitely prepare: What can France learn from the Indian Constitution’s approach to secularism?, Despite the consistent experience of High growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive., There is a growing divergence in the relationship between poverty and hunger in India. The shrinking of social expenditure by the government is forcing the poor to spend more on Non-Food essential items squeezing their food budget Elucidate., Individual Parliamentarian’s role as the national lawmaker is on a decline, which in turn has adversely impacted the quality of debates and their outcome. Discuss, and The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized Nations has disappeared on account of its newfound role in the emerging global order elaborate.
  • Paper VI GS III (General Studies 3) Syllabus

    • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development, and employment. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it, and 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. and 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, 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.
    • Relevantly more focused topics in the last 5 years: Indian Economy- taxation + GDP growth + Fiscal management (3 questions), agriculture (3 questions), irrigation methods-schemes (4 questions), contribution of Indians in the field of Science and Technology (6 questions), India’s Space technology and development (6 questions), environment and conservation (2 questions), disaster management (2 questions), security issues (2 questions), inclusive growth (11 questions), PDS system (13 questions), food processing (1 question), IPR (1 question), biotechnology (1 question), and border management (20 questions).
  • Paper VII GS IV (General Studies 4) Syllabus

    • 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 and 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.
    • Relevantly more focused topics in the last 5 years: Emotional intelligence (5 questions), Public services (6 questions), Governance (3 questions), quotes (2 questions), and case studies (6 questions)
    • Sub-topics majorly covered are: constitutional morality civil services values and western philosophies.


UPSC Civil Service Exam: Personality Test Syllabus

This is the last stage of the UPSC Civil Services Exam, the aspirants are interviewed by the board of competent and unbiased observers, who tests the overall personality of the aspirants based on the Detailed Application form (DAF), which every candidate has to fill before the Mains Examination.

The objective of this Personality test is to judge the candidate’s personal suitability for the various positions alloted.

This is not an assessment of intellectual abilities, but the overall personality of the aspirant, viz, his social traits, confidence, empathy, personal interest, critical power of assimilation, logical reasoning, the balance of judgment, moral integrity. leadership traits, and general intellect,

The test consists of a total 250 marks

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