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IAS Course

Core structure
Aspirants of the Civil Services Examination are at the right place to get the details of the UPSC Syllabus. Here, you will find the complete IAS Syllabus for all the stages of the examination:

  • Preliminary Stage – General Studies & CSAT
  • Mains Stage – 9 Theory Papers (GS I-IV, Language Papers, Essay & Optional)
  • Personality Test – Interview


Upsc prelims exam pattern

Two Compulsory PapersGeneral Studies Paper-I
General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I100
Number of Questions asked in CSAT80
Total Number of Marks


GS Paper-I – 200 Marks

CSAT – 200 Marks

Negative Marking ⅓ of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer
Time Allotted

Two hours each;

GS Paper-I – 2 Hours (9:30 AM -11:30 AM)

CSAT – 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)

UPSC Syllabus for Mains:

IAS Mains Exam Pattern

Paper-IEssay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)250
Paper-IIGeneral Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)250
Paper-IVGeneral Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)250
Paper-VGeneral Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)250
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper I250
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper II250

UPSC Syllabus for IAS Interview:


  • Candidates who qualify the UPSC Mains Exam will be called for the ‘Personality Test/Interview’. These candidates will be interviewed by a Board appointed by the UPSC.
  • The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in civil services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
  • The Interview test will be 275 marks and the total marks for the written examination is 1750. This sums up to a Grand Total of 2025 Marks, based on which the final merit list will be prepared.


UPSC Notification 2023:


As mentioned in the UPSC Calendar, the CSE notification has been released on 1st February 2023.

The UPSC notification also gives the IAS exam dates as mentioned below:

  • The UPSC online application process for the prelims exam will commence on 1st February 2023.
  • The IAS Prelims exam is to take place on Sunday, 28th May 2023.
  • The UPSC mains exam will take place on 15th September 2023 onward.
  • UPSC Personality Test/interview dates will be announced.


UPSC Age Limit – Minimum and Maximum Age for IAS

categoryMinimum Age Limit for UPSCMaximum Age Limit for UPSC
IAS exam Age Limit for General Category2132
IAS OBC Age Limit2135


IAS Eligibility – Age Relaxation & Number of Attempts

UPSC Exam Age Limit for General, SC/ST, OBC & Other categories
CategoryUPSC Age Limit- Upper RelaxationNumber of Attempts
SC/ST37Unlimited (Up to age limit)
Disabled Defence Services Personnel359
Benchmark Disability – EWS (Economically Weaker Section)429




  • Environment
  • Agriculture
  • Geography
  • History- freedom struggle
  • Art & culture
  • Polity
  • International relations
  • Science & technology
  • Economy



General Studies 1 Paper Syllabus for UPSC Mains

The GS 1 Syllabus for UPSC Mains clarifies that the paper will include geography, art & culture, and history in general. To complete GS Paper 1 of the Mains test, one must thoroughly understand every topic taught in the course.


World History

Beginning of the Modern WorldWorld War IWorld War IIWorld Between the Two Wars

       American War of Independence


Discovery of Sea Routes

European Nations Settle North America

French Revolution

Industrial Revolution

Nationalism in Europe



Rise of Capitalism, Colonialism & Imperialism

Rise of Slave Trade





Causes of the War

Consequences of the War

End of the War & Peace Treaties

League of Nations

Russian Revolution

Scope & Course of the War

















         After-effects of the War

Fascist Aggression & Response of Western Democracies

Global Nature of the War

The outbreak of the War

Resistance Movements

The Holocaust

Theatres of the War

US Entry into the War











       The emergence of the Soviet Union

Europe After the War – Fascism & Nazism

Nationalist Movements in Asia & Africa

The Great Depression

·         US as a Strong Power













Indian Society 

  • 19th Century Social Reforms Movements and Early Women’s Organisations – Agrarian Struggles and Revolt, Participation in Freedom Struggle
  • Basic Demography of India
  • Causes and Effects of Over Population
  • Causes of Communalism, Poverty and Regionalism
  • Challenges faced by Secularism in India, Women’s Organisations and Population Explosion
  • Challenges posed by Diversity
  • Changing Age Structure of the Indian Population
  • Communalism – Its Characteristics
  • Communalism in Contemporary India
  • Communalism in India in the Past
  • Concept of Development and Poverty, Region & Regionalism, Secularism and’ Sons of Soil’
  • Consequences of Communalism, Poverty and Regionalism
  • Contemporary Women’s Issues &Organisation Response
  • Demographic Dividend: Boon or Bane for India
  • Different Forms of Regionalism
  • Dimensions of Social Empowerment
  • Diversity – caste, linguistic, social and religious, race, tribe and ethnicity, culture
  • Does Globalisation Cause Poverty?
  • Factors Driving Globalisation and Urbanisation
  • Family System
  • Federalism & Regionalism
  • Globalisation& Culture – Homogenisation vs. Glocalisation
  • Globalisation& India
  • Government Initiatives to Aide Social Empowerment
  • Impact of Globalisation on India – Socio-cultural, economic, women, agricultural sector, etc.
  • Impact of Urbanisation in Rural Areas
  • Indian Model of Secularism
  • India’s Population Policy & Initiatives
  • Inequality
  • Inequality and Exclusion
  • Measurement of Poverty – Poverty Line
  • Measures to Contain Regionalism and Control & Eradicate Communalism
  • Steps to Make India Truly Secular
  • Nature & Practice of Secularism in India
  • Pluralism
  • Population Aging in India
  • Population Trends in India and their Implications
  • Poverty Alleviation Initiatives
  • Poverty as a Social Problem
  • Problems of Slums
  • Problems of Urban Areas
  • Reforms Required and Government Initiatives Taken So Far
  • Regionalism in India
  • Regionalism in the International Sphere
  • Relation between Poverty Reduction and Development: Poverty-Inequality-Development Nexus
  • Role of Regional Parties
  • Secularism as an Antidote to Communalism
  • Secularism in India
  • Social Consequences of Urbanisation
  • Socio-economic Spread of Poverty
  • State of Service Delivery and Challenges posed by Urbanisation
  • The policy shift from Trickle Down Economics to Inclusive or Pro-poor Development to Reduce Poverty
  • The problem of Rising Urban Poverty
  • The resurgence of Women’s Movement in the 70s: Emergence of New Organisations, Approaches, and Issues
  • Types of Poverty
  • Understanding Globalisation – Its Different Dimensions
  • Uniform Civil Code
  • Unity
  • Unity in Diversity
  • Urban Planning and Role of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs)
  • Urbanisation Trends in India and Their Implications – Demographic and Social Dimensions
  • Which are the Socially Disadvantaged Groups?
  • Who is worst affected by Poverty?
  • Women’s Organisations – Empowerment through Action
  • Women’s Organisations and SHGs
  • Women’s Organisations Post 1947


World Geography

  • Salient features of the 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 Tsunami, Volcanic activity, earthquakes, cyclones etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including Water-bodies and Ice-caps) and flora and fauna and the effects of such changes


General Studies 2 Paper Syllabus for UPSC Mains

The GS 2 paper has the following 3 subjects.

  • Polity & Governance
  • Welfare
  • International Relations


Indian Constitution          

  • Historical underpinnings of the constitution
  • Evolution of the Constitution
  • Salient features
  • Basic structure
  • Amendments
  • Significant provisions
  • Challenges in the devolution of power
  • Comparison of India’s constitutional scheme with other countries
  • Devolution of finances and powers up to the local government level
  • Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  • Responsibilities and functions of the states and the Union territories
  • Issues and challenges related to the Federal Structure
  • Separation of powers between various organs of the govt.


Governance & Polity       

– Parliament and State Legislatures

– Structure

– Functioning

– Conduct of Business

– Powers & Privileges

– Issues arising out of the Powers and Privileges of legislative bodies

  • Executive and Judiciary
  • Structure
  • Organization
  • Functioning
  • Ministries and departments of the government
  • Pressure groups
  • Formal & Informal associations and their role in the polity
  • Salient features of the People’s Representation Act



  • Appointment to various constitutional posts
  • Powers, functions and responsibilities of various constitutional bodies
  • Development processes and the development of industry
  • Government policies and interventions for the development of various sectors
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability
  • Issues arising out of the design and implementation of government intervention
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • The role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • e-governance
  • applications
  • models
  • successes
  • limitations and potential
  • citizens charters
  • Transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of Civil Services in a Democracy


Social Justice        

  • Issues related to poverty and hunger

Issues related to the development and management of the social sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources

  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections of the population



Economic Development

Indian Economy – Issues related to planning, mobilization of resources, employment, growth, and development.

Inclusive growth 

Government Budgeting

Land reforms in the country

Effects of liberalization on the economy

Changes in industrial policy 

Industrial growth.

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Airports, Roads, Railways, and others

Investment models


Major crops and the cropping pattern in different regions/ parts of India

Types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage

Transport and marketing of agricultural produce – issues and related constraints

E-technology in the aid of farmers

Issues in direct and indirect farm subsidies

Issues relating to minimum support prices

Public Distribution System – objectives, limitations, functioning, revamping

Issues of buffer stocks and food security

Technology missions

Food processing and related industries in India – significance and scope, location, upstream and downstream requirements, and supply chain management.


Developments, applications, and effects in everyday life

Achievements of Indians in science and technology

Indigenization of technology and development of new technology

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, robotics, Computers, nano-technology, and biotechnology



Environmental pollution and degradation

Environmental impact assessment

Internal Security

Basics of cyber security

Challenges to internal security through communication networks

Linkages between the development and spread of extremism

Linkages of organized crime with terrorism

Money-laundering and its prevention

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

Role of media and social networking sites 

Security challenges and their management in border areas

Various Security forces/agencies and their mandate

  • The performance of welfare schemes
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the centre and states


International Relations    

  • India and its neighborhood
  • Relations between India and the neighboring countries
  • 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
  • Important International institutions and agencies
  • Indian diaspora – Its structure and mandate


General Studies 3 Paper Syllabus for UPSC Mains

  • Economy
  • Agriculture
  • Science
  • Environment
  • Internal Security
  • Disaster Management


GS 4 Syllabus mains

Ethics and Human Interface      

  • The Essence of Ethics
  • Determinants and Consequences of Ethics in Human Interaction
  • Dimensions of Ethics
  • Ethics in public and private relationships
  • Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators
  • Role of society, family, and educational institutions in inculcating ethical and moral values



  • Content, structure, and function of attitude
  • Influence of attitude in thought and behavior
  • Relation of attitude to thought and behavior
  • Political and moral attitudes
  • Social influence and persuasion



  • Aptitude and foundational values of Civil Service
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality and non-partisanship
  • Objectivity
  • Dedication to public service
  • Empathy, compassion, and tolerance towards the weaker sections of the society


Emotional Intelligence     

  • Concepts of emotional intelligence
  • Utility and application of emotional intelligence in governance and administration


Contributions of Thinkers and Philosophers 

  • Contributions of philosophers and moral thinkers from India and the world to the concepts of morality


Public/ Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration         

  • Status and associated 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     

  • Challenges of corruption
  • Citizen’s Charters
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Codes of ethics


Concept of public service

  • Information sharing and transparency in government
  • Quality of service delivery
  • Right to Information
  • The philosophical basis of governance and probity
  • Utilization of public funds
  • Work culture