UPSC Syllabus PDF – Complete UPSC Syllabus for Prelims, Mains and Optional Subjects

UPSC Syllabus PDF: Introduction

Mandatory papers: General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II (also referred to as the CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test). These papers cover various topics such as history, geography, economics, polity, environment, science, and current affairs.

UPSC Syllabus PDF Download

The UPSC Mains syllabus structures nine papers, incorporating an essay paper, four General Studies papers, two optional subject papers, and two language papers (both qualifying in nature).

Furthermore, the PDF version of the UPSC syllabus serves as a valuable guide for aspirants, providing them with a thorough understanding of the requirements for each stage of the test, namely the Preliminary Exam, the Main Exam, and the Personality Test (Interview). Aspirants can conveniently access the UPSC Syllabus PDF for both Prelims and Mains through the provided links.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus PDF

The initial phase of the examination, also known as the Civil Services Preliminary Exam, serves as a preliminary screening process to select potential candidates for the Main Examination. The scores obtained in the Preliminary Exam are not considered in the final merit ranking.

The Preliminary Exam includes two objective-type papers with a maximum of 400 marks each.

Number of Papers:2 mandatory papers
Question TypeMultiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Maximum Marks400 (200 for each paper)
Exam Duration2 hours each (extra 20 minutes per hour for visually impaired candidates and candidates with Locomotor Disability and Cerebral Palsy [with at least 40% impairment])
Penalty for Wrong Answers1/3 of the marks allotted for each question
Language MediumBoth Hindi and English
UPSC Prelims syllabus

Syllabus for General Studies Paper-I

The exam consists of 100 questions that cover a wide range of topics and are worth a total of 200 marks. Candidates have 2 hours to complete the exam.

  • Latest happenings in both National and International contexts.
  • The past events of India and the Indian independence movement.
  • Physical, social, and economic geography of India and the world.
  • Indian government and its administration – Constitution, political system, Panchayati Raj, public policies, human rights, etc.
  • Economic and social development, focusing on sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, and social sector initiatives.
  • General topics on environmental ecology, biodiversity, and climate change that do not require specialized knowledge.
  • Basic concepts of science.

Syllabus for General Studies Paper-II

There are a total of 80 questions in this assessment, with a maximum of 200 marks, covering various topics. These questions must be answered within a time limit of 2 hours.

  • Understanding Interpersonal abilities such as effective communication
  • Logical thinking and analytical skills
  • Making decisions and solving problems
  • Overall cognitive abilities
  • Fundamental mathematical skills (numbers and their relationships, scale of numbers, etc.) at the level of Class X, Data analysis (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.) at the level of Class X

The General Studies Paper-II of the IAS Exam is considered a qualifying paper, with a minimum requirement of 33% marks. It is mandatory for candidates to participate in both Papers of the IAS Prelim Exam in order to be evaluated.

Syllabus for UPSC Mains

The Civil Services Main Examination is comprised of a written exam and an interview, also known as a personality test. This examination is divided into two categories, namely qualifying papers, and papers that are considered for merit.

Eligible PapersTopicPoints
Paper-AOne of the Languages from the Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution300
UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Papers for Merit Evaluation

Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I (Indian Culture, History and Geography of the World, and Society)250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations)250
Paper-IVGeneral Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management)250
Paper-VGeneral Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)250
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper 1250
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper 2250
Sub-Total(Written Exam)1750
Personality TestInterview275
Total Score2075
UPSC Mains Syllabus
  • The Indian languages and English papers (Paper A and Paper B) will have a qualifying purpose and their marks will not be considered for ranking.
  • The Indian languages and English papers (Paper A and Paper B) will be at the level of Matriculation or its equivalent.
  • Only candidates who achieve a minimum of 25% marks in ‘Indian Language’ and ‘English’ in the qualifying papers will be considered for the Essay, General Studies, and Optional Subject papers.
  • The merit ranking will only be based on the marks obtained in Papers I-VII.
  • The main examination question papers will be in the form of conventional (essay) type and each paper will have a duration of 3 hours.
  • Candidates can choose to answer all the question papers, except for the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A, and Paper-B, in any of the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution or in English.
  • The question papers (excluding literature or language papers) will be available in Hindi and English.
  • Blind candidates and those with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy affecting their dominant (writing) extremity may receive an additional 20 minutes per hour for both the Civil Services (Preliminary) and Main examinations.

UPSC Main Examination Papers Syllabus PDF

Qualifying Papers for Indian Languages and English in UPSC Syllabus PDF

The general structure of the questions will be as follows:

  • The English language is widely spoken and written.
  • Understanding of provided passages.
  • Accurate writing.
  • Usage and terminology.
  • Brief compositions.

Essay: Paper-I

It may be necessary for candidates to compose essays on a variety of subjects.

Individuals must adhere closely to the essay topic, systematically organize their thoughts, and use concise writing. The evaluators will award marks for effective and precise language.

The UPSC GS 1 syllabus covers:

  • Exploring World Society, Culture, and India’s History, Geography, and Heritage.
  • Delving into Indian culture, spanning Art Forms, literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Examining India’s history from the mid-18th century to the present, including significant events, personalities, and issues.
  • Discussing the Freedom Struggle and its various stages, emphasizing the contributions of individuals from diverse regions.
  • Shifting focus post-independence towards the consolidation and reorganization within the nation.
  • Studying world history from the 18th century, including events like the Industrial Revolution, world wars, changes in national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, and political philosophies’ impacts.
  • Highlighting key features of Indian Society and its diversity.
  • Analyzing the role of women, population issues, poverty, development, urbanization, and associated challenges and solutions.
  • Exploring the effects of globalization on Indian society.
  • Discussing concepts of social empowerment, communalism, regionalism, and secularism.
  • Studying the world’s physical geography, including salient features.


  • The UPSC Mains syllabus encompasses nine papers, including an essay paper, four General Studies papers, two optional subject papers, and two language papers (both qualifying in nature).
  • Aspirants can access the PDF version of the UPSC syllabus, which serves as a guide, providing a thorough understanding of the test’s requirements for each stage.
  • Candidates’ attitudes and approaches regarding integrity, moral principles, and problem-solving strategies in public life are evaluated in this paper.
  • Discussions focus on public service, emphasizing information sharing, transparency, the Right to Information, Codes of Ethics and Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, fostering a positive work culture, ensuring quality service delivery, and responsible use of public funds, while addressing challenges posed by corruption.
  • Imperative to address ethical considerations in international relations, funding, and corporate governance.

Main Topics Covered in the UPSC Mains GS Paper 2 Syllabus

  • Indian Constitution: Evolved with amendments and a rich historical background.
  • Specific Functions: Assigned to Unions and States, posing federal structure challenges.
  • Separation of Powers: Crucial aspect with mechanisms for dispute resolution.
  • Comparative Analysis: Indian constitutional scheme compared with other countries.
  • Parliament and State Legislatures: Structure, functioning, powers, privileges examined.
  • Executive and Judiciary: Distinct structures, roles, and organizations highlighted.
  • Representation of People’s Act: Features, powers, functions of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Additional Bodies: Statutory, regulatory, and quasi-judicial complement constitutional framework.
  • Government Initiatives: Development across sectors, with design and implementation challenges.
  • Development Industry: NGOs, SHGs, donors, institutions, and stakeholders play significant roles.
  • Welfare Schemes: Mechanisms, laws, and institutions for vulnerable sections’ protection.
  • Social Sectors: Health, Education, and Human Resources development concerns addressed.
  • Critical Issues: Poverty and hunger remain paramount for resolution.
  • Good Governance: Transparency, and accountability ensured through e-governance measures.
  • Institutional Measures: Citizens’ charters employed for transparency and accountability.
  • Civil Services’ Role: Pivotal in democracy’s functioning.
  • India’s Relations: With neighbors, bilateral, regional, and global involvements are crucial.
  • International Institutions: Various global organizations contribute to the global landscape.

Syllabus for UPSC General Studies Paper 3

UPSC Main Examination Papers Syllabus PDF

Various interconnected areas, including technology, economic development, biodiversity, environment, security, and disaster management, all play closely interconnected roles.

  • The Indian economy and its issues concerning planning, resource mobilization, growth, development, and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and the problems arising from it.
  • Government budgeting.
  • Main crops and their patterns in different regions of the country, various types of irrigation and irrigation systems, storage, transportation, and marketing of agricultural produce, and the related challenges; use of e-technology to assist farmers.
  • Concerns regarding direct and indirect agricultural subsidies, minimum support prices, functioning and objectives of the Public Distribution System, constraints and limitations, buffer stocks and food security, technology missions, and the economics of animal husbandry.
  • Food processing and associated industries in India – scope and significance, location, requirements upstream and downstream, and supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Impact of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy, and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Developments in science and technology and their applications and impact on daily life.
  • Accomplishments of Indians in science and technology; indigenous development of technology and creation of new technology.
  • Knowledge in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology, and issues related to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, and environmental impact assessment.
  • Disasters and their management.
  • Connections between development and the spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Internal security challenges posed by communication networks, role of media and social networking sites, basics of cyber security; prevention of money-laundering.
  • Management of security challenges in border areas – links between organized crime and terrorism.
  • Various security forces and agencies and their responsibilities.

Syllabus for GS Paper 4

Ethics, Honesty, and Competence

This paper comprises questions designed to assess candidates’ attitudes and approaches regarding integrity and moral principles in their public life. Furthermore, it will evaluate their problem-solving strategies when faced with various issues and challenges in societal interactions.

The case study approach can be employed to identify these factors through questioning.

UPSC Main Examination Papers Syllabus PDF

The subsequent broad categories will be discussed:

  • Studying ethics involves examining its impact on human actions and understanding the diverse factors that shape ethical behavior in personal and public relationships. Moreover, it underscores the significance of imbibing human values from influential leaders, reformers, and educators. Additionally, it highlights the crucial role of family, society, and educational institutions in cultivating these values.
  • The concept, structure, and function of attitude, and its connection to thoughts and actions. The influence of moral and political attitudes, as well as social influence and persuasion.
  • The essential qualities and values needed for a Civil Service, such as integrity, impartiality, non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance, and compassion for marginalized groups.
  • The understanding and application of emotional intelligence in administration and governance.
  • The contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and around the world.
  • The values and ethics required for public administration, including current issues and ethical dilemmas in government and private institutions, are crucial considerations. Additionally, the role of laws, rules, regulations, and personal conscience in guiding ethical behavior is paramount. Moreover, it emphasizes the importance of accountability and ethical governance. Furthermore, there is a pressing need for stronger ethical and moral values in governance. Addressing ethical considerations in international relations and funding, as well as corporate governance, is imperative.
  • Discussions revolve around the concept of public service and its ethical foundations, encompassing the sharing of information and ensuring transparency in government, upholding the Right to Information, adhering to Codes of Ethics and Conduct, implementing Citizen’s Charters, fostering a positive work culture, ensuring quality service delivery, and promoting responsible use of public funds. Additionally, the challenges posed by corruption are addressed.
  • Case studies that illustrate the aforementioned issues.

Syllabus for Optional Subjects in UPSC Exam

Papers I & II for Optional Subjects:

An individual has the option to choose any one Optional Subject from the list below:

The syllabus for UPSC Agriculture includes subjects such as Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, and Zoology.

Moreover, candidates can choose to study literature in any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, or English.

Two mandatory papers are required for each Optional Subject.

Other UPSC Article: –

Guide to the Best UPSC Preparation Books for IAS Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus 2024: A Comprehensive Guide for Prelims, Mains, and Interview

UPSC Syllabus 2024: Comprehensive Guide for Civil Services Prelims and Mains

Unveiling the Success Stories: UPSC Toppers of Recent Years

4 thoughts on “UPSC Syllabus PDF – Complete UPSC Syllabus for Prelims, Mains and Optional Subjects”

  1. Pingback: Download JPSC Answer Key 2024: Official Solutions & Answer key

  2. Pingback: Discover Lakshadweep: 7 Islands, Beaches & Adventure

  3. Pingback: Crown Publication: Engaging Reads & Essential Knowledge

  4. Pingback: Bihar Board Result 2024: Check BSEB Class 10th & 12th Results

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top