UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Prelims, Mains Syllabus in PDF

UPSC Syllabus (IAS Syllabus 2024) refers to the topics and subjects that candidates must study to prepare for the Civil Services Prelims, Mains, and Interview Examination conducted by the UPSC in India. Download the UPSC Syllabus PDF by using the Print and PDF options placed at the bottom of this page.

Every year UPSC conducts the IAS Exam under the prescribed UPSC Syllabus. However, having a clear idea of the Syllabus for UPSC and the proper methodology of study will help aspirants tackle the dream of clearing the Civil Service Examination.

Civil Services Exam is conducted in 3 stages therefore 3 parts of the UPSC Syllabus for Prelims, Mains, and Interviews.
UPSC Syllabus PDF for IAS Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Prelims Exam 2024

Firstly, the UPSC Preliminary exam comprises two papers and both are compulsory.  Each paper consists of 200 marks and of two hours duration.  In fact, both these papers are objective type and it will be in two sets [English and Hindi].

These papers are also considered as general studies-1 and general studies-2.  Although general studies paper -2 is only a qualifying paper, aspirants should obtain 33%of marks.  General Studies -2 is also known as CSAT ( Civil Service Aptitude Test).

UPSC Syllabus for Paper 1 for 200 Marks

  1. Current affairs: This includes matters relating to current events, both national and international importance.
  2. History: It consists of the Indian national movement and the history of India.
  3. Geography [Indian and world]: It comprises physical, social, and economic geography.
  4. Environment: Aspirants should include environmental ecology, biodiversity, and general issues on climatic change and general science.
  5. Indian polity and governance: Constitution of India, political system, Panchayati Raj, etc.
  6. Economics: It consists of social sector initiatives, sustainable development, inclusion, demographics poverty, etc.
  7. General Science –  Basic Science and Technologies which are useful in our daily life

The duration is of two hours and marks out of 200.

UPSC Syllabus for Paper 2 – 200 Marks

  1. Problem-solving and decision-making
  2. General mental ability
  3. Comprehension
  4. Analytical and logical reasoning
  5. Data Interpretation.
  6. Interpersonal skills including communication skills.

The duration is of two hours and marks out of 200. Presently, this paper will not consider passing prelims. However, you have to secure a  minimum of 33% of 200 marks, ie 66 marks.

UPSC Syllabus – Civil Services Mains Exam 2024

The marks you score for the Mains examination and interview sessions will decide your ranking. The UPSC mains consist of 1750 marks.  Moreover, the interview consists of 275 marks. UPSC mains consists of nine papers out of which seven are counted for final ranking. The rest two are language papers in which aspirants should secure minimum marks prescribed by UPSC every year. However, there is an exception for candidates residing in northeastern states. As a result, they only have to attempt the English language only.1.

1. Paper‐1: (Essay) – 250 Marks

In Essay Paper, candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely 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.

2. Paper 2: (General Studies 1) – 250 Marks

General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus of Civil Services Mains Exam comprises three major areas which Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society. The detailed syllabus is given below as per UPSC notification. General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Mains

  • 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 reorganisation within the country.
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars,
  • redrawal of national boundaries, colonisation, decolonisation, 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 organisation, population and associated issues, poverty and
  • developmental issues, urbanisation, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalisation 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.

3. Paper 3: (General Studies 2) – 250 Marks

General Studies 2 Paper Syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam comprises of four major areas: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations. The detailed syllabus is as follows below:

  •  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, organisation, 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 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.

4. Paper 4: (General Studies 4) – 250 Marks

General Studies Paper 3 Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam comprises of five major areas such as Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management. Detailed syllabus of General Studies Paper 3 as provided by UPSC is as below:

  • 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
  •  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 development of 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, 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 organised crime with
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

5. Paper 5: (General Studies 4 ) – 250 Marks

General Studies Paper 4 Syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam comprises three major areas ie Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. Details of the syllabus as provided by UPSC is as below: 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:

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  • 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, Utilisation of public funds,
    challenges of corruption.
  •  Case Studies on the above issue

6. Paper 6: (Optional Subject Paper 1) – 250 Marks

7. Paper 7: (Optional Subject Paper 2) – 250 Marks


  1. History Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  2. Geography Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  3. Public Administration Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  4. Economics Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  5. Sociology Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  6. Political Science Syllabus –UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  7. Philosophy Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  8. Psychology Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  9. Agriculture Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  10. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  11. Anthropology Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  12. Botany Syllabus – UPSC Services Mains Exam.
  13. Chemistry Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  14. Civil Engineering Syllabus –  UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  15. Commerce Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  16. Electrical Engineering Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  17. Geology Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  18. Law Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  19. Mathematics Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  20. Management Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  21. Mechanical Engineering Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  22. Medical Science Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  23. Physics Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  24. Statistics Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  25. Zoology Syllabus – UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
  26. 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, and English.

Qualifying Paper A – but not counted for final ranking

The Indian Language paper is a qualifying paper in the UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam. The candidates have to choose any one of the Indian languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The paper is of 300 marks and the candidates need to score a minimum of 25% (75 marks) to qualify for the other papers.

The syllabus for the Indian Language paper is as follows:

  1. Comprehension of given passages
  2. Precis writing
  3. Usage and Vocabulary
  4. Short Essay
  5. Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa

The following is the list of Indian languages that the candidates can choose from:

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Gujarati
  4. Hindi
  5. Kannada
  6. Kashmiri
  7. Konkani
  8. Malayalam
  9. Manipuri
  10. Marathi
  11. Nepali
  12. Oriya
  13. Punjabi
  14. Sanskrit
  15. Sindhi
  16. Tamil
  17. Telugu
  18. Urdu

Note: The syllabus and languages mentioned above are based on the information available up to my knowledge cut-off date. It is recommended to check the official UPSC website for the latest updates and information.

Qualifying Paper B – but not counted for Final ranking

Paper ‐ B – English Language Syllabus. 300 Marks.

UPSC Syllabus for Interview – 2024

UPSC Syllabus PDF - Interview

  • The shortlisted candidate will be examined by an interview Board who will have before them a bio-data. He/she will be asked questions/opinions on matters of general interest. The aim of the interview is to examine the personal suitability of the aspirant for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased examiners. The personality test is meant to identify the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only the candidate’s intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, a balance of judgment, variety, and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
  • The technique of the personality test is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which aims to identify the mental qualities of the candidate.
  • The personality test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their mains written papers. Also, aspirants are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should arouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.

Subtotal [Mains written test]:1750 marks
Personality test (Interview): 275 marks
Grand total: 2025 marks

Also read: Know the UPSC Cut off 2021: Detailed cut-off Mark Analysis

UPSC Syllabus Hindi – 2024

Download UPSC Syllabus in Hindi as PDF from here.

Recommended Books for UPSC Preparation

We have prepared an essential UPSC Book list for IAS Preparation as per the suggestion of many toppers. Books also can buy at the offer Price on the provided links. Also read: How to select Optional Subject for IAS Exam?. IASSolution Prelims Mock Test SeriesSimply reading standard books and materials will not help you to perform in the real UPSC Exam. Firstly, you need to identify your weak area and then try to improve it. You can improve your ability to perform in an actual exam only when tested in the exam atmosphere with negative marking. Take free UPSC Prelims Online Mock Tests by IASSolution to find where you stand, what are the weak and strong areas in our artificial intelligence-enabled exam platform. Happy learning! Important UPSC Exam updates and other information

FAQ About UPSC Syllabus – 2024

Q1: Where I can find the UPSC Syllabus PDF in Hindi?

A1: Download UPSC Syllabus in Hindi as a PDF from here.

Q2: What are the different subjects in UPSC?

A2: The UPSC syllabus has different subjects under four General Studies papers, namely GS Paper 1 (History, Geography, and Indian Society), GS Paper 2 (Indian Polity, Governance, Constitution, and International Relations), GS Paper 3 (Indian Economy, Science & Technology, Agriculture, and Environment), and GS Paper 4 (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude).

Q3: What is the application fee for UPSC?

A3: The application fee for UPSC is Rs. 100. However, female candidates and candidates belonging to SC/ST/PH categories are exempted from paying the fee.

Q4: Is the IAS Syllabus tough?

A4: Yes, the IAS syllabus is considered tough due to its vastness and comprehensiveness, but with proper planning and dedicated preparation, it can be cracked.

Q5: Does the UPSC syllabus PDF contain both Prelims and Mains syllabus?

A5: Yes, the UPSC syllabus PDF contains the complete syllabus for both prelims and mains exams, including optional subjects.

Q6: Can one download the UPSC syllabus in Marathi?

A6: The official UPSC syllabus PDF is published in English and Hindi languages only. However, aspirants can translate the syllabus into their preferred language using online translation tools.

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