About IAS

IAS is one of the toughest exams conducted by UPSC to recruite adminstrators to run the country.

It is conducted in three stages:-


» Preliminary Examination (objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination.

» Main Examination (Written, subjective) for the selection of candidates for interview for a Personality Test.

» Interview (Personality Test)

UPSC Preliminary Examination Syllabus

Current 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 - that do not require subject specializatio General Science.

 Syllabus for Paper II-(200 marks) Duration: Two hours

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 (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type.
Summary of the Latest Pattern of Civil Services (Mains) Examination
Paper Topics covered Marks
Paper - I Language 
Candidate can take any Modern Indian language but this paper is of qualifying nature
Paper - II English 
This paper is of qualifying nature
Paper - III Essay 250
Paper-IV General Studies-I 
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
Paper-V General Studies -II 
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Paper-VI General Studies -III 
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
Paper-VII General Studies -IV 
(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Paper-VIII Optional Subject - Paper 1 250
Paper-IX Optional Subject - Paper II 250
Interview/ Personality Test Candidate can give preference of the language in which they may like to be interviewed. 275
  Grand Total 2025 Marks


Syllabus for G.S for Mains Exam

  • Paper-I.
  • Essay - 250 Marks - To be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice - Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. 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.

  • Paper-II
  • General Studies-I 250 Marks (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.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • 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.
  • 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 water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

  • Paper-III
  • General Studies -II: 250 Marks (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 250 Marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
  • Development, Bio diversity, 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 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./li>
  • 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, 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

  • Paper-V
  • General Studies -IV 250 Marks (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.
  • 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
  • Case Studies on above issues.
  • Suggested books for Pre cum Mains

  • Indian History

  •   NCERTs 6th to 12th class
  •   Books by Rajiv Ahir (spectrum publication)
  •   Selected topics from Grover & Grover (for period 1757-1857).
  •   Political NCERT 12th class
  • World History

  •  NCERTs
  •  World wars, a Book by Norman Lowe
  • Culture

  • NCERTs of Ancient India & Medieval India (old)
  • NIOS booklet
  • Physical & World Geography

  •   NCERT s (principle of Geography, Human Geography & India people and economy)
  •   Certificate in Geography by Goh Chen Leong
  • Socio topics

  • 12th class NCERT (Indian Society)
  •  Selected topics from IGNOU
  •  Collect current material from Newspapers
  • Polity & Governance

  • Indian polity by Laxmikanth
  • Reports of sarkaria commission and Punchhi commission
  • Representation of people Act,
  • Topics from 12th Five Year plan (Govt. schemes)
  • IGNOU for Topics like Governance, Transparency etc
  • International relations

  •  Book on Foreign policy by V.K Khanna
  •  Updates from newspaper and Website of Ministry of External Affairs
  • Economy

  • Indian economy book by Ramesh Singh
  • Selected topics from book by Dutt & Sundaram and Yojana and kurukshetra
  • Science & Technology

  •  NCERTs 6th to 10th Classes
  •  Science and Tech book by Tata McGraw Hill
  •  Selected topics from Spectrum’s science book
  •  Current topics from Newspaper
  • Environment

  • Can be studied from NCERTs of Geography and Biology and spectrum book of science and technology
  • Security and Disaster Management

  •  Search from different sources like Internet and Ministry’ websites
  • Ethics paper

  • Selective topics from Public Administration and psychology Books (Mohit Bhattacharaya, Fadia & Fadia, Daniel Goleman)
    These books are for the "ABC" of the GS so you should thoroughly and regularly read newspaper for the "XYZ" of GS so that the paper can be handle easily



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