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    UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023

    The IAS mains exam comprises nine theory papers and marks in seven of those papers are taken into consideration for preparing the final merit list. The other two papers, English and Indian Language, are qualifying in nature (candidates have to score 25% or above to be eligible for selection).

    UPSC IAS Mains Exam Pattern 2023

    The Mains exam comprises nine papers and candidates have to score minimum qualifying marks in each subject. Language papers are of qualifying marks and the rest of the papers will be scored.

    UPSC Mains Exam
    Qualifying Papers Marks
    Paper-A One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution 300
    Paper-B English 300
    Papers Counted for Merit
    Paper-I Essay 250
    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
    Personality Test 275
    Grand Total 2025

    Important Points:

    1. There is two qualifying papersin the mains exam, Namely “Paper A” and “Paper B” of 300 marks each.
    2. Two Qualifying Papers are “Any Indian Language from Eight Schedule “and “English Language Paper”.
    3. Candidates need to score 25% in both qualifying papers i.e, 75 marks each.
    4. All other seven papers are scoring in nature their marks will be included in the final merit list.
    5. Candidates can answer all the scoring subjects in English or any of the eight schedule languages.
    6. Candidates have to select any one subject from the table as their Optional subject for Paper VI and Paper VII.


    UPSC IAS Syllabus Questions asked in both language papers are:

    1. Essay – 100 marks
    2. Reading comprehension – 60 marks
    3. Precis Writing – 60 marks
    4. Translation:

    (a) English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks

    (b) Compulsory language to English – 20 marks

    1. Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks

    Candidates can go through the UPSC IAS General Studies Papers Syllabus for each paper in the below section. The syllabus will help you to understand what to study and what not to study for the UPSC exam. The syllabus of all the four General Studies papers is given below. Each paper holds 250 marks out of 1750. The total marks of General Studies papers is 1000 marks. Candidates must prepare well for these papers as they are holding good marks in the final merit list.

    UPSC Mains General Studies I Syllabus

    This is the first General Studies paper. This paper is all about the History, Heritage, Geography and Culture of the World and Society. Candidates can check the main points of the General Studies I syllabus below as described by the commission.

    Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society:

    1. Indian culture covers the salient features of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
    2. Modern Indian history include the significant events, personalities, issues during the middle of the eighteenth century until the present
    3. Various stages and important contributors and contributions from different parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’
    4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
    5. History of the world includes events, forms and effects on the society from the 18th century like world wars, the industrial revolution, colonization, redraw of national boundaries, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.
    6. Salient aspects of Diversity of India and Indian Society
    7. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and remedies
    8. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
    9. 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
    10. Effects of globalization on Indian society
    11. 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
    12. Salient features of world’s physical geography.

    UPSC Mains General Studies II Syllabus

    The Mains General Studies II papers have questions related to the Polity, Governance, Constitution, Social Justice and Interrelations. Candidates can check the syllabus below.

    Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations:

    1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
    2. 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
    3. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
    4. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
    5. Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
    6. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
    7. 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
    8. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
    9. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
    10. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
    11. 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
    12. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
    13. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
    14. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
    15. Issues relating to poverty and hunger
    16. Role of civil services in a democracy
    17. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
    18. India and its neighborhood- relations
    19. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
    20. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

    UPSC Mains General Studies III Syllabus

    UPSC Mains General Studies III is all about the Science, Technology, Economics, Defense, Disaster Management and Nature. This paper can ask questions from every aspects of life, new development in any sphere of life.

    Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management:

    1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

    2.Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

    3.Government Budgeting.

    1. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
    2. 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
    3. Economics of animal-rearing.
    4. Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
    5. 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
    6. Land reforms in India.
    7. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
    8. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
    9. Investment models.
    10. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science and technology;
    11. Indigenisation of technology and developing new technology.
    12. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
    13. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
    14. Disaster and disaster management.
    15. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
    16. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
    17. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
    18. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
    19. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

    UPSC Mains General Studies IV Syllabus

    Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude: This paper includes questions to check the candidate’s attitude and approach towards the issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and their problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by them while dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects and cover area

    1. Ethics and Human Interface- Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships
    2. Human Values- lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values
    3. Attitude- content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion
    4. 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
    5. Emotional intelligence concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance
    6. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world
    7. 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
    8. 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
    9. Case Studies on the above issues.


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