UPSC Syllabus 2020 – Prelims, Mains and Interview
The UPSC board describes the standard IAS Exam Syllabus. At Elite IAS, we have presented the UPSC Syllabus for Prelims and Mains Exam. The IAS aspirants should go through the syllabus in detail before starting with preparation. Moreover, the UPSC revises the syllabus on a yearly basis. The civil services exam has three consecutive stages.
UPSC Civil Services Exam Syllabus
The complete syllabus prescribed by UPSC for the Civil Services Exam has been given here for the sake of the students and the IAS aspirants. The CSE is widely recognized as the toughest of all the competitive Exams across India.
Why Study the Syllabus thoroughly?
An IAS aspirant may very well reason that it is reading the books and the newspapers etc. that should be paid more of the attention to. So, why study the syllabus?
Well, time is a resource that always gets depleted continuously. And if you read, nay study the syllabus scrupulously, you would know better what to read and what not to. Staying away from all the diversions, no matter howsoever interesting they might be would finally help you save a lot of time.
Besides, preparing for the IAS Exam as per the UPSC syllabus also serves to keep your preparation well aligned with the CSE requirements. And it would serve to enhance your confidence for you would know that your preparation for the Exam has been moving ahead as per the syllabus that UPSC prescribes.
UPSC Syllabus Structure
It should be noted that the UPSC syllabus for the Civil Services Exam runs common for all the cadres including the:
- Indian Administrative Service,
- Indian Foreign Service,
- Indian Police Service,
- Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) etc.
|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|
|Papers to be Counted for Merit|
|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|
(a) How does the syllabus vary for various stages?
The Civil Services Exam is conducted in three stages.
It should be noted that though the Union Public Service Commission syllabus for the Civil Service Exam is common for various cadres, it does vary for all the three stages as listed above. Besides the first two stages, viz., the Prelims and the Mains assess the capabilities of the candidates as potential Civil Servants in different manner.
The Prelims makes an assessment of a candidate’s societal and general awareness by means of MCQs. Both the General Studies and the CSAT Paper are objective type in nature.
On the other hand, the papers for the Mains are highly subjective in nature. The syllabi for the 9 Papers at this stage are largely comprehensive. However, it should be noted that the first two papers for Mains are qualifying in nature.
Every IAS Aspirant will have to face all three stages to become the IAS Officer. to help you with the detailed syllabus for the same we have listed out all step by step UPSC Syllabus 2020 below:-
- Paper 1 – Prelims IAS Exam Syllabus (Download PDF Here)
- Paper 2 – Prelims IAS Exam Syllabus (Download PDF Here)
IAS Interview Syllabus
Preliminary Stage – IAS Exam Syllabus
The IAS candidates must clear prelims to attend the mains exam. The preliminary stage is a screening round. Its purpose is only to qualify the candidates to the next round. The estimation of the final IAS ranking does not consider the marks scored in prelims. As per the UPSC syllabus, the prelims stage has 2 papers. They are:
- General Ability Test – GAT
- Civil Service Aptitude Test – CSAT
The IAS Exam Syllabus is huge. As a result, the candidates must check the syllabus with caution. Elite IAS understands the importance and has put an extra effort into helping you with better preparation. Here is the list of detailed UPSC prelims syllabus that helps you to attain success.
Two papers of the prelims exam have a total of 200 marks. The candidates appearing for the exam will get 2 hours duration. In prelims stage, paper 2 is a qualifying paper. 33 percent is the minimum score to be obtained by every candidate. On the other hand, the marks obtained in paper 1 is taken into consideration for the final ranking. All the questions are objective type and have multiple choice. The attendance to both the papers is compulsory. Failing to attend, the candidates are considered as disqualified. Paper 1 and paper 2 IAS Exam syllabus is as follows.
Here are Some Resources to Check out:-
Paper 1 – IAS Prelims Exam Syllabus Chart
|Topic Name – Prelims UPSC Syllabus||Details|
|Current Events||Events in relation to national and international importance|
|Indian History||History of India, Indian National Movement|
|Indian Geography & World Geography||Physical Geography, Social Geography, Economic Geography (Both India and World)|
|Indian Polity & Governance||Constitution, Panchayati Raj, Rights Issues, Political System, Public Policy.|
|Economic & Social Development||Poverty, Demographics, Sustainable Development, Inclusion, Social Sector Initiatives|
|Environmental Studies||General issues of environmental ecology, Climate change, Biodiversity. Subject specialization is not necessary.|
UPSC Syllabus for Mains Examination
In the mains exam stage, the board examines the candidate’s complete intellectual traits. Every IAS aspirant must understand the subject in depth. Mugging up the information will not help in getting better scores. Commonly, the general studies paper (from paper 2 to paper 5) do not require specialized preparation. The well-educated person can easily answer without in-depth subject study. The questions are structured to test the candidate’s awareness of the subject on a general basis.
In turn, these questions from IAS Exam syllabus are related to the civil services career. How well has the candidate understood the current issues? Does he or she have the ability to analyze the situation? Grasp the ability to understand the socio-economic conflicting issues. Being an aspiring candidate, he or she must primarily focus on UPSC Syllabus. Consequently, the candidates can give meaningful and relevant answers.
In the case of optional subjects, the syllabus is one level higher than the bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, the syllabus standard is below the master’s degree. Here is the IAS Exam syllabus as per the UPSC scheme.
Here are Some Resources to Check out:-
Mains Exam Qualifying Papers – UPSC Mains Syllabus
The main examination has a quite different pattern as compared to prelims. Paper I has two qualifying papers which include one Indian language as Paper A and English Language as Paper B. The main objective of these papers is to test the comprehension skills of the candidate. How well can a candidate understand the prose? In turn, he/she must express the thoughts clearly. It applies to both English and Indian Language papers as per UPSC Syllabus. Here is the broad classification of question pattern in four ways:
- Comprehension Passages
- Precise Writing
- Vocabulary Usage
- Short Essays
In the case of the Indian language paper, an additional question pattern is present. The UPSC board asks the questions based on language translation. It can be from the Indian language to English or vice-versa. Both language papers are qualifying in nature. As a result, the final ranking metrics do not include the marks obtained in Paper A and Paper B. The candidates should mandatorily answer the English language paper in English. Also, the Indian language paper in the Indian language respectively. Here is the list of the Indian language options:
Paper I Mains Exam Merit Papers – UPSC Syllabus
According to IAS Exam Syllabus 2020, the paper one has essay type subjective questions. It is surely not an objective type question. The questions examine the writing skills of IAS candidate. The marks obtained in Paper I to Paper VII affects final IAS ranking. All the candidates must answer the Paper I questions in English only. The questions appear for the total marks of 250 in Paper I.
The IAS Exam Syllabus mentions that the candidate must write essays on various topics. The panel members expect the candidate to answer the essay concisely. Good marks in essay demand an effective and expressive answer. Focus on UPSC Syllabus under the language section while practicing essays.
Paper II Mains Exam Merit Papers – UPSC Syllabus
Paper II has questions about Indian Heritage and Culture. It also asks about History & Geography of the world as well as society. The questions are objective type with multiple choice. Paper II has a total of 250 marks based on IAS Exam Syllabus. It is known as General Studies Paper I of IAS mains exam.
Paper II – UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus Chart
|Topic Name||UPSC Syllabus Details|
|Indian Culture||Salient aspects of art forms, architecture, and literature from ancient times to modern times|
|Modern Indian History||History from the middle of the 18th century, significant events, issues, and personalities|
|The Freedom Struggle||Various stages of freedom struggle, Its Important contributors/contributions from various parts of the country|
|Post-Independence||Reorganization and consolidation events within the country|
|History Of World||Events from the 18th century, Industrial revolution, redrawal of national boundaries, world wars, colonization, decolonization, and political philosophies such as capitalism, socialism, and communism. Their effect on society.|
|Indian Society||Salient features of Indian diversity and society.|
|Role Of Women in India||Importance of Women’s organization, populations & associated issues, developmental issues, and poverty. Urbanization, problems faced, & their remedies.|
|Globalization||Effects of globalization on the Indian Society|
|Social Empowerment||Communalism, secularism, and regionalism|
|World Geography||World’s physical geography salient features.|
|Natural Resources||Distribution of all the key natural resources all over the world. It includes Indian sub-continent and South Asia. Factors responsible for the presence of primary, secondary & tertiary industry sectors in several parts of the world. It includes India too.|
|Geophysical Phenomena||Phenomena like Tsunami, earthquakes, cyclone, volcanic activity, many more. Geographical features, Location changes in critical geographical features like ice caps and water bodies, flora & fauna, consequences of such changes.|
Here are Some Resources to Check out:-
- Best Study Plan for Beginners Targeting 2020 IAS Exam
- IAS Exam Preparation Schedule For Working Professionals
Paper III Mains Exam Merit Papers – UPSC Syllabus
The paper III has questions about Governance and Constitution. It also asks about Polity, international relations, and social justice. The questions are objective type with multiple choice. The Paper III has a total of 250 marks based on UPSC Syllabus 2020. It is known as General Studies Paper II of IAS mains exam.
Paper III – Mains Exam Syllabus Chart
|Topic Name||UPSC Syllabus Details|
|Indian Constitution||Basic Structure, Significant Provisions, Historical, Underpinnings, Evolution, Amendments and Features.|
|Functions & Responsibilities of Union and States||Challenges pertaining to the devolution of powers, issues, and challenges faced by federal structure, and finances up to local level.|
|Separation Of Powers||Separating powers between the various organs, institutions and redressal mechanisms.|
|Indian Constitutional Scheme||Comparing the Indian Constitutional Scheme with other Countries.|
|Parliament & State Legislatures||Issues arising due to the Conduct of Business, Powers and Privileges, Functioning and Structure of the Parliament and its State Legislatures.|
|Ministries and Departments of Government||Functioning, Structure, and Organization of the Executive and Judiciary. Also, the role of Pressure groups & Formal/Informal associations.|
|People’s Act||Representation of the salient features – People’s Act|
|Appointment to Different Constitutional Posts||Appointing different functions, powers, posts, and responsibilities of different constitutional bodies.|
|Quasi-Judicial Bodies||Regulatory & Statutory measures, Different Quasi – Judicial Bodies.|
|Government Policies||Issues arising due to design and implementation, the intervention of development in various sectors by the government policies.|
|Development Processes & Development Industry||The role of NGO’s, SHG’s, donors, stakeholders, associations and other groups in the development process.|
|Welfare Schemes||Schemes for protecting the betterment of vulnerable sections based by the population such as mechanisms, schemes, laws, governing institutions.|
|Social Service Issues||Issues related to the development and management of the social service sector which relates to Human Resource, Education and Healthcare.|
|Poverty Issues||Serious issues of Poverty and Hunger|
|Important Aspects Of the Governance||Important aspects based upon the transparency, governance, and accountability of applications, models, success, citizens charters, accountability, and their other measures.|
|Role of Civil Services||Features of Civil Services in Democracy.|
|India and Neighborhood Relations||The relation between India and its neighboring countries.|
|Groupings and Agreements||Global, Regional or Bilateral groupings; Agreements which can conflict interests between India and its neighbors.|
|Effect of Policies||The role of policy and politics by the developing countries on India’s interest and Indian diaspora.|
|Salient International Institutions||The important International institutions, agencies and their mandate structure.|
Paper IV Mains Exam Merit Papers – UPSC Syllabus
The paper IV has questions about Technology and Economic Development. It also asks about biodiversity, security & disaster management, and the environment. The questions are objective type with multiple choice. The Paper IV has a total of 250 marks based on IAS Exam Syllabus. It is known as General Studies Paper III of IAS mains exam.
Paper IV – Mains Exam Syllabus Chart
|Topic Name||UPSC Syllabus Details|
|Indian Economy||Issues pertaining to planning and mobilization of employment, growth, development, and resources; Government Budgeting.|
|Major Crops and Cropping Pattern||Different types of irrigation & irrigational storing systems, issues related to the mode of transport and marketing of agricultural products. Usage of e-technology and its benefit to farmers.|
|Public Distribution System||Issues related to the direct and indirect minimum support price and farm subsidies; Objective, functioning, revamping and limitations of Public Distribution System; problems of Buffer stocks and Food Security; Animal Rearing, technology mission and economics.|
|Food Processing||Scope and Significance of Food Processing and its related industries. Location Upstream and Downstream requirements; Supply Chain Management.|
|Effects of Liberalization||Land reforms in India,|
|Science and Technology||Applications and Development of Science in everyday life.|
|Achievements of Indians||The role of Indians in developing new technology, achievements, and indigenization.|
|Awareness in Technology fields||Issues related to Intellectual Property Rights and awareness in the fields of Robotics, Nanotechnology, Bio-Technology, and Space.|
|Conservation of Environment||Assessment of Environmental Hazards, Pollution, and degradation.|
|Environment Disaster||Types of Disaster and Combating of Disasters.|
|Extremism||The linkage between the development and spread of its extremism.|
|Internal Security and its challenges||The challenges faced by internal security through communication, social networking sites, and preventive measures of money laundering; Security challenges faced by border areas, organized terrorism crimes and the role of various security forces.|
Here are Some Resources to Check out:-
Paper V Mains Exam Merit Papers – UPSC Syllabus
The paper V has questions about ethics. It also asks about Integrity and aptitude. The questions are objective type with multiple choice. The Paper V has a total of 250 marks based on UPSC Exam Syllabus. It is known as General Studies Paper IV of IAS mains exam.
The questions in this paper tests the candidate’s way of approach to integrity in public life. How can he or she approach the conflicts and issues while dealing with society? As a result, questions can be case-study based. The broad areas covered in the UPSC Syllabus is below.
Paper V – Mains IAS Exam Syllabus Chart
|Topic Name||UPSC Syllabus Details|
|Ethics & Human Interface||Consequences, determinants, and essence of Human behavior on ethics. Preaching the lessons of lives by moral leaders, reformers and administrators. Role of society, educational institutions to inculcate core human values.|
|Attitude||The influence of attitude such as content, structure, and thought function behavior. The attitude of moral and political influencers.|
|Aptitude & Foundational Values||Promoting dedication to public service, Foundational values for civil service. Integrity, impartiality, empathy, tolerance, and compassion towards the weaker section of society.|
|Emotional Intelligence||The contribution of moral thinkers, philosophers from India & World.|
|Public or Civil Service Values – Ethics in the Public Administration||Dilemmas and ethical concerns in government and private institutions. Rules and regulations, laws pertaining to ethical guidance, strengthening of moral and ethical values, ethical issues in funding and international regulations; Corporate Governance; Status and Problems of Public Administration and Civil Services.|
|Probity in Governance||The concept of the Public Service; Transparency in government and Information sharing such as Right to Information, Citizen Charter, Quality of Service given, utilization of public allocated funds, Codes of Ethics, Code of Conduct and Work Culture; Challenges faced due to corruption;|
|Case Studies in all the above issues||The detailed case study of above-listed issues.|
Paper VI & VII Mains Exam Merit Papers – UPSC Syllabus
In the UPSC mains exam, every candidate must attend two optional subject papers. Choose any one of the subjects from the below list. They prepare the in-depth subject questions for this paper. The optional paper II questions are generally asked from current affairs and subject based. The optional paper II questions are generally theoretical. Here is the list of optional subjects you can choose from:
|Agriculture||Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science||Anthropology||Botany||Chemistry|
|Civil Engineering||Commerce and Accountancy||Economics||Electrical Engineering||Geography|
|Geology||History||Law||Literature (Any Non-English Language From Above List)||Management|
|Mathematics||Mechanical Engineering||Medical Science||Philosophy||Physics|
|Political Science & International Relations||Psychology||Public Administration||Sociology||Statistics|
UPSC Syllabus for Interview Phase
If a candidate successfully clears the mains exam with a good score, he/she is called for a final interview. The maximum marks allotted to this round is 275. UPSC board panel members test the overall suitability of the appearing candidate. There is no particular Syllabus for an interview. However, here is the list of things you should learn about.
- The interviewer asks questions from the candidate’s detailed application form
- Based on the details in the application form, the interviewer asks questions to test the candidate’s morality, mental alertness, and reasoning ability.
- Candidates are not only tested from academic study syllabus. In turn, they must learn about the current affairs happening in and around the state they live.
IAS Mains Previous Years Questions Papers
IAS Main Question Papers 2019
General Studies Question Paper I (2019) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper II (2019) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper III (2019) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper IV (2019) [Download]
IAS Main Question Papers 2018
General Studies Question Paper I (2018) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper II (2018) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper III (2018) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper IV (2018) [Download]
IAS Main Question Papers 2017
General Studies Question Paper I (2017) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper II (2017) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper III (2017) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper IV (2017) [Download]
IAS Main Question Papers 2016
General Studies Question Paper I (2016) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper II (2016) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper III (2016) [Download]
General Studies Question Paper IV (2016) [Download]
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