Civil Services Examination is India’s top most and highly respected services examination conducted by UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (UPSC).Every year UPSC conducts examination to fill the vacancies of group (A) and (B) of ALL INDIA SERVICES and CENTRAL SERVICES under the guidance and rules made by the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT).This examination is conducted in three stages- Prelims, Mains and Interview.

Scheme  for the Preliminary and Main Examinations


  1. Preliminary Examination

The Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

NOTE (i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions).

(ii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language

Comprehension skills of Class X level will be tested through passages from English Language only.

(iv)Each question paper will be of 2 hours duration.

(iii) Blind candidates will however; be allowed an extra time of twenty

minutes at each paper.

  1. Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following papers:


Section 1 Essay                                                 200 Marks


Section 2 English Comprehension

& English Précis                                              100 Marks

(Of Matriculation Xth standard





General Studies–I                                  250 Marks

(Indian Heritage and Culture,

History and Geography of the World

and Society)



General Studies –II                                         250 Marks

(Governance, Constitution,

Polity, Social Justice and

International relations)



General Studies –III                                       250 Marks

(Technology, Economic Development,

Bio-diversity, Environment, Security

and Disaster Management)



General Studies –IV                                       250 Marks

(Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude



Optional Subject – Paper 1                           250 Marks



Optional Subject Paper 2                           250 Marks


Sub Total (Written test)                                1800 Marks


Personality Test                                             275 Marks


Grand Total                                                   2075 Marks


IAS Prelims Syllabus

General Studies Paper I

Number of questions : 100

Total Time : 120 minutes (02 hours)


  1. History of India and Indian national movement

  2. Indian polity and governance-Constitution, Panchayati Raj Systems, Policies and Rights Issues.

  3. Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

  4. Economic and social development

  5. General issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity and climate change

  6. General Science-Physics, Chemistry, Biology and related developments in the fields.

  7. Current events of national and international importance

General Studies Paper II

Number of Questions : 80

Total Time : 120 minutes (02 hours)


  1. Comprehension

  2. Interpersonal skills which include communication skills

  3. Logical reasoning & analytical ability

  4. Decision making & problem solving

  5. General mental ability

  6. Basic numeracy

  7. English language comprehension skills (Class X level)

IAS  Mains  Syllabus


General Studies Paper I

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

  • Indian culture will cover the salient features 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 and different organizations.

  • 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 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

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 resolution 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


  • 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.

  • 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, 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, 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.

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 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; 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 nonpartisanship, 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 Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

  • Case Studies on above issues

List of optional subjects for Main Examination:

Section -1

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

Section -2

Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.