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.
- The essay paper is now of 250 marks.
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 close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
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 reorganization within the country.
• History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the 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 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.
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, 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
• 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 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
• Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
• Important International institutions, agencies, and fora- their structure, mandate.
PAPER – 4: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management (250 marks)
• Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization 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 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
• 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
• Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
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 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 & 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.