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UPSC Syllabus 2023, UPSC Syllabus PDF For Civil Services Examination (CSE)

UPSC Syllabus

The UPSC Syllabus is released by the Union Public Service Commission every year along with the UPSC Notification 2023 PDF which has been released on 1st February 2023 for UPSC 2023 exam. UPSC Syllabus is a comprehensive document to better understand the coverage area and topics of the UPSC CSE examination. 

With the help of a detailed syllabus of the UPSC CSE, candidates can easily rectify which topics, news articles, information, and current affairs are required to read. Read the complete article for a detailed UPSC Syllabus 2023. It’s crucial to be familiar with the UPSC Syllabus if you want to succeed in the civil service exams. All of the IAS exam toppers have one thing in common, they always follow the Syllabus seriously. The UPSC IAS Examination Syllabus varies depending on the different stages. In order to get the right candidates out of lakhs of applicants for the renowned services, they examine many qualities and aspects of the candidate.

Read More: UPSC Syllabus in Hindi

UPSC Syllabus For Prelims

UPSC Syllabus for Prelims Exam is divided into two papers i.e., General Studies Paper 1 and General Studies Paper 2. UPSC Prelims 2023 exam will be held on 28th May 2023.  For a detailed Prelims UPSC Syllabus, refer to the following table given below.

UPSC Syllabus General Studies 1 (GS-I)

General Studies 1 of the UPSC Prelims Syllabus mainly consists of History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology, General Science and Current Affairs based events. UPSC categorizes the General Studies Prelims Paper 1 Syllabus into the following broad categories:

  1. Current events of national and international importance.
  2. History of India and Indian National Movement.
  3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  7. General Science

Read more: UPSC Exam Pattern 2023

CSAT Syllabus UPSC (GS-II)

General Studies 2 of UPSC CSE is also known as the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Paper. This paper was first introduced in 2011 as a compulsory qualifying paper for every candidate. This is a part of the UPSC CSE Prelims examination in order to assess the aptitude, analytical skills, and reasoning ability of the candidate. To qualify for this paper, a minimum of 33% (66 marks) is required for every candidate. 

UPSC categorizes the CSAT Syllabus UPSC into the following broad categories:

  • 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)

Read more: UPSC Calendar 2023

UPSC Syllabus for Mains

UPSC Mains Syllabus consisted of 9 conventional/theoretical papers. Every paper has its own significance. UPSC Mains 2023 Mains examination will be held on 15th September 2023 and will be conducted in 5 days by the commission. The UPSC CSE Mains Examination’s objective is to assess the overall intellectual abilities and level of understanding of candidates instead of just testing candidates’ knowledge and memory. The UPSC Syllabus for Mains Examination is described below in detail.

UPSC Syllabus Mains Essay Paper

Essays on a wide range of topics will be asked from the candidates. They will be expected to write concisely and stick to the essay’s topic. They will also be expected to organize their thoughts. An essay is one of those papers where candidates can score better and improve their rank meticulously. The essay paper is divided into two sections and each section contains 4 topics. Each essay you write obtains a score out of 125, for a total of 250 marks.

Read More: UPSC Syllabus 2023

UPSC General Studies Mains Syllabus

General Studies Paper Topics Covered
Paper 2 – General Studies I General Studies Paper I consists mainly of History and Geography of the World and Society, Indian Heritage and Culture. This paper mainly revolves around History, Geography and Society.
Paper 3 – General Studies II General Studies Paper II consists mainly of Polity, Constitution, Governance, Social Justice and International relations.
Paper 4 – General Studies  III General Studies Paper III consists mainly of Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Biodiversity, Security and Disaster Management.
Paper 5 – General Studies  IV General Studies Paper IV consists mainly of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.

UPSC Syllabus For Mains General Studies I

The History, Heritage, Geography, and Culture of the World and Society are the main topics of the first General Studies paper. The commission has outlined the essential themes of the General Studies I syllabus which is mentioned below for candidates.

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society:

  • Indian Culture: It covers the salient features of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient times to modern times.
  • Modern Indian History: It includes the significant events, personalities, and issues from the middle of the 18th century until the present.
  • In The Freedom Struggle, Various stages and important contributors and contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Consolidation and Reorganisation of the country after independence.
  • Events from the 18th century will be included in the history of the world, such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national borders, colonisation, and decolonization, as well as political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, and others—their manifestations and social effects.
  • Important characteristics of Indian society and India’s diversity.
  • The role of women and the organisation of women, population and related issues, poverty and developmental challenges, urbanisation, related issues, and solutions.
  • The social effects of globalisation in India.
  • Communalism, Regionalism, Secularism, and Social Empowerment.
  • Important physical geography characteristics of the world.
  • Distribution of major natural resources worldwide (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); determinants of where primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries are located globally (including India).
  • Critical geographic features and their location-changes in flora and fauna, as well as in water bodies and ice caps and the impact of such changes. Important geophysical phenomena include earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.

UPSC Syllabus For Mains General Studies II

The Polity, Governance, Constitution, Social Justice, and Interrelations topics are covered in the UPSC Mains Syllabus General Studies II paper. The detailed syllabus is provided to candidates below.

Governance, Polity, Constitution, Social Justice and International Relations:

  • The basic structures, features, modifications, major provisions, and historical context of the Indian Constitution.
  • Functions and duties of the Union and the States, problems and difficulties with the federal system, and obstacles with the devolution of authority and resources to local levels.
  • Power separation between multiple organs, conflict resolution procedures, and institutions.
  • Comparing the Indian constitutional design to other countries’ systems
  • Structure, administration, business practises, powers, and privileges of the Parliament and State Legislatures, as well as challenges resulting from these.
  • Governmental Ministries and Departments; Pressure Group organisations and formal/informal associations; and their purpose in the Polity.
  • Structure, organisation, and operation of the Executive and the Judiciary.
  • The Representation of People’s Act’s key characteristics.
  • Appointment to several constitutional Bodies, as well as their respective duties and responsibilities.
  • Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial agencies; Government interventions for development in many sectors; Problems resulting from the planning and execution of these interventions.
  • The role of NGOs, SHGs, diverse groups and associations, funders, charities, institutional, and other stakeholders in development processes and the development industry.
  • Welfare programmes put in place by the federal government and individual states for the population’s most vulnerable groups, as well as the effectiveness of these programmes; institutions, laws, and other organisations created to safeguard and improve the lives of these vulnerable groups.
  • Issues pertaining to the growth and administration of the social sector and services in the fields of health, education, and human resources.
  • Hunger and poverty-related issues.
  • Transparency and accountability are crucial components of governance, as are e-governance applications, models, accomplishments, limitations, and possibilities; citizens’ charters, transparency & accountability, and institutional and other measurements.
  • The function of the civil service in a democracy
  • India’s relationship with its neighbours.
  • Groupings and agreements at the bilateral, regional, and international levels involving or impacting India and/or its interests.
  • Effect of developed and developing countries policies and politics on India’s interests and the Indian diaspora.
  • Important international organisations, agencies, and forums: their makeup and objectives.

UPSC Syllabus For Mains General Studies III

The subjects of Science, Technology, Economics, Defense, Disaster Management, and Nature are thoroughly covered in UPSC Mains General Studies III. This paper would raise ask relating to many facets of life as well as recent developments in all areas of life.

Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Bio-diversity, Security and Disaster Management:

  • Indian Economy, including planning, resource mobilisation, growth, development, and employment difficulties.
  • Inclusive growth and the problems it raises.
  • Budgeting of Government.
  • Major crops, patterns of cropping in various regions of the nation, various types of irrigation and irrigation systems, challenges with storage, transport, and marketing of agricultural products, and related limitations; the use of e-technology by farmers.
  • Concerns about buffer stocks and food security, direct and indirect farm subsidies, and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System goals, operations, and shortcomings; Technology missions; and the economics of animal husbandry.
  • Food processing and related sectors in India: their size and importance, where they are, what is needed in the upstream and downstream, and supply chain management.
  • Indian land reforms.
  • The economic implications of liberalisation, changes to industrial policy, and how these affect the expansion of the industrial sector.
  • Infrastructure includes things like ports, roads, airports, and railroads.
  • Models for investments.
  • Science and technology breakthroughs, as well as how they are used and impact daily life.
  • Scientific and technological advances made by Indians; indigenization of technology; and the creation of new technology.
  • Awareness of issues relating to intellectual property rights as well as IT, space, computers, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.
  • Environmental impact assessment, pollution and degradation of the environment, and conservation.
  • Disasters and disaster management; Relationships between extremism’s growth and dissemination.
  • The contribution of non-state and state actors from outside to the problems with domestic security.
  • Threats to internal security posed by communication networks, the media’s and social media’s role in such threats, the fundamentals of cyber security, and money laundering and its prevention.
  • Security issues and how to manage them in border regions – connections between organised crime and terrorism.
  • The function of various security agencies and organisations.

UPSC Syllabus For Mains General Studies IV

Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude: This paper contains questions to assess the candidate’s attitude and approach toward matters relating to integrity, probity in public life, and their approach to problem-solving when dealing with a variety of challenges and disputes in society. In order to determine these elements and cover area, questions may use the case study approach.

  • Ethics and Human Interaction: The purpose, factors, and outcomes of ethical behaviour in people; the dimensions of ethics; and the application of ethics in both personal and professional settings. The importance of family community and educational institutions in instilling values may be seen in the study of human values, which draws lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators.
  • Moral and political attitudes, social influence, and persuasion are all aspects of attitude that include its content, structure, and function as well as its relationship to cognition and behaviour.
  • Civil service aptitude and core principles, including honesty, objectivity, and non-partisanship; dedication to public service; empathy; tolerance; and compassion for the weaker groups.
  • Emotional intelligence concepts, as well as their benefits and use in governance and administration.
  • Contributions from moral philosophers and thinkers in India and around the world.
  • Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and Issues; Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding; Corporate Governance; Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance. Accountability and Ethical Governance.
  • Probity in governance includes the idea of public service, the philosophical underpinnings of governance and probity, information sharing and transparency in government, the right to information, codes of ethics and conduct, citizen’s charters, workplace culture, the effectiveness of service delivery, the use of public resources, and challenges posed by corruption.
  • Case Studies on the aforementioned concerns

UPSC Mains Syllabus For Qualifying Papers

The purpose of these papers is to evaluate a candidate’s aptitude for reading and comprehending serious discursive prose as well as for expressing ideas in the relevant Indian and English languages in a clear and precise manner. The marks obtained in these papers would not be used to determine to rank. These papers are of qualifying nature only (a minimum of 25% marks are required in each paper).

Read about: UPSC Previous Year Question Papers

UPSC Syllabus For Indian Language

In this UPSC Mains Indian Language Paper, major topics are covered:

  • Comprehension of given passages. 
  • Precis Writing. 
  • Usage and Vocabulary. 
  • Short Essays.
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

The candidate can choose any of the following Indian Languages from the given table.

Language Script
Assamese Assamese
Bengali Bengali
Gujarati Gujarati
Hindi Devanagari
Kannada Kannada
Kashmiri Persian
Konkani Devanagari
Malayalam Malayalam
Manipuri Bengali
Marathi Devanagari
Nepali Devanagari
Odia Odia
Punjabi Gurmukhi
Sanskrit Devanagari
Sindhi Devanagari or Arabic
Tamil Tamil
Telugu Telugu
Urdu Persian
Bodo Devanagari
Dogri Devanagari
Maithili Devanagari
Santhali Devanagari or Olchiki*
Note: The question paper for the Santhali language will be printed in Devanagari script, however, candidates are free to answer in Olchiki or Devanagari.

Read about: UPSC Interview Tips

UPSC Syllabus For English Language

UPSC Syllabus Mains English Paper: The English paper is also a qualifying paper which consists mainly of the Comprehension of given passages, Precis Writing, Usage and Vocabulary and Short Essays.

UPSC Syllabus Optional Subjects List

UPSC Syllabus Optional Subjects: Papers 6 and 7 are the optional subject papers which are compulsory papers. These papers are one of those papers in which candidates can get good marks because in most cases these subjects are either a graduation subject or interest area subject of the candidates. 

Every optional subject has its own comprehensive syllabus which the candidate must read carefully once before deciding on the optional subject. There are several factors and parameters to decide the best optional subject for the UPSC mains exam such as syllabus, resources available for that subject, the time required for preparation etc.

Candidates may select any one of the optional subjects from the  UPSC Optional Subjects List given below.

UPSC Optional Subjects List

UPSC Agriculture Syllabus UPSC Law Syllabus
UPSC Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus  UPSC Management Syllabus
UPSC Anthropology Syllabus Mathematics
UPSC Botany Syllabus Mechanical Engineering
UPSC Chemistry Syllabus Medical Science
UPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus UPSC Philosophy Syllabus
UPSC Commerce and Accountancy Syllabus UPSC Physics Syllabus
UPSC Economics Syllabus UPSC Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Syllabus
UPSC Electrical Engineering Syllabus UPSC Psychology Syllabus
UPSC Geography Syllabus UPSC Public Administration Syllabus
UPSC Geology Syllabus UPSC Sociology Syllabus
UPSC History Syllabus UPSC Statistics Syllabus
UPSC Zoology Syllabus Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Malayalam, Konkani, Manipuri, Maithili, Marathi, Odia, Nepali, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Sindhi, Santhali, Tamil, Telugu, English and Urdu.

Read more: UPSC Prelims 2023

UPSC Syllabus PDF

For better and more detailed information of the UPSC Syllabus, check the complete UPSC Syllabus PDF here.

Other UPSC 2023 Related Links

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What are the subjects for UPSC CSE?

The main subjects of the UPSC CSE exam are History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology and Current Affairs.

Is UPSC CSE easy to crack?

Without a doubt, UPSC CSE is a tough exam. To crack this exam, candidates need proper planning, preparation and perseverance along with the proper guidance and strategy.

What are the 7 papers in UPSC?

In UPSC CSE mains exam, there are 7 papers which are counted for a merit namely Essay paper, General Studies paper I, II, III, IV and Optional paper 1 and 2.

What are the compulsory subjects in UPSC?

Except Indian Language and English paper, all other 7 papers out of 9 is a compulsory paper in UPSC CSE mains exam and compulsory subjects are History, Polity, Geography, Economy, Environment and Science and Tech.

Can a weak student crack IAS?

UPSC demands a basic educational qualification to appear in the UPSC CSE exam. This exam required only dedication and proper planning according to the syllabus, exam pattern and level of examination. So, there is no harm if you are weak.

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