Detailed Information about UPSC Syllabus

Nitin Rao updated on : 06 Jan 2016
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UPSC Syllabus with subject wise description including weight-age assigned to each paper

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a constitutional body that conducts competitive examinations and interviews for recruitment of aspirants into civil services, defense services and other posts under the Union Government and the Central Government. It is considered one of most prestigious as well as toughest exam. Those candidates who manage to clear the UPSC exams end up clinching esteemed posts in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Forest Services (IFS) and Indian Police Services (IPS).

Those candidates, who are planning to pursue a career in any of these fields of services, must appear for the UPSC exam with a complete knowledge of the syllabus and the type of questions that are asked.  The UPSC exam is conducted in three parts, namely the Preliminary or popularly known as Prelims, Mains and the Interview. In the preliminary exam, there are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each (General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II). The question paper consists of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and the marks obtained in the preliminary examination are not counted for final ranking. It is a criterion that needs to be cleared to be eligible to sit for the main examination.

The UPSC syllabus for preliminary exam consists of:

Paper I

  • 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, Citizen Rights, 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 specialization
  • General Science

Paper II

  • Comprehension
  • 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)

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam Syllabus

The rank of the candidates is solely dependent on the mains and interview. The main exam carries 1750 marks while the interview has 275 marks allotted to it.

Qualifying paper: The marks obtained in the prelims/ qualifying paper will not be considered for the final ranking.

  • Paper ‐ A – Indian Language (One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. This paper will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.) - 300 Marks
  • Paper‐ B – English Language - 300 Marks

Papers for merit ranking

  • Paper‐I Essay - 250 Marks.
  • Paper‐II General Studies – I - 250Marks. (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society).
  • Paper‐III General Studies –II – 250 Marks. (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations).
  • Paper‐IV General Studies –III – 250 Marks. (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management).
  • Paper‐V General Studies –IV – 250 Marks. (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude).
  • Paper‐VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 – 250 Marks
  • Paper‐VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 – 250 Marks.

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