Home UPSC UPSC Syllabus Download Pdf: Detailed Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus Download Pdf: Detailed Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus Download Pdf: Detailed Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus Download: We are going to provide you with the complete each and every minute detail about the UPSC syllabus. As the exam is conducted by Union public service commission.

You know the syllabus is so wasteful that you have to go through each and every line of the syllabus very carefully.

You might have seen almost every topper is talking about the Importance of SYLLABUS. Be it Kanishak Kataria, Tina Dabi, or Anudeep Durishetty.

Hence, you know now the importance of the UPSC syllabus. UPSC is considered to be the mother of all examinations. And most prestigious exam in India.

There is a huge competition when seeing the trends and its passing ratio which is less than 0.0001% Hence you have to be in front of the other competing student.

Hence in UPSC it is Said that:


Hence the syllabus Part becomes very IMPORTANT. It will guide you through what you have to read and whatnot.

As the syllabus is huge, it is practically impossible to go through each and every minute detail of the UPSC Syllabus (Download Pdf) and everything out there in the market.

You will find many people are just busy collecting the study material. Just don’t do that just buy a pdf of the UPSC syllabus and stick it on the desk you study. Or on the wall you frequently see it.

Why you should know the syllabus?

Many would tell that the syllabus is must you have to mug it up or just read it daily and “Ratta Mar Lo”. There are many reasons to it, here are some most favorable reasons are:

  • It will help you to filter out what is IMPORTANT and what is NOT?
  • Your Time and Effort will be saved.
  • You will stick with the focused approach.
  • It helps in boosting confidence and you know what to read and what not to.

The list is long, hence ultimately if you want to prepare for UPSC, you should know the syllabus. Ask Every topper or serious aspirants they will tell you this.


Every Year around the month of February the official Notification for the exam is released. So, you can get details about the UPSC syllabus in the pdf notification.

You can also find it on the UPSCs official website: Here is the link

Or we are doing the work simpler for you, just keep reading and in the end, we are providing a detailed syllabus. Optional, pre, and mains complete in PDF format, so that you can just print it and stick before the place you study. You can also download the syllabus in the Hindi language also.

As you know UPSC civil services examination is a three stages exam. Hence you have different syllabus for each stage you qualify.

Also for prelims, the syllabus for different services like Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service is almost the same.

In prelims, your test of general awareness and societal awareness is checked. Hence you have to answer the Objective type questions ie MCQs in prelims exam which is of 200 Marks.

The main syllabus is a bit comprehensive and covers details.

Stage 1Prelims Exam, Objective Type
Stage 2Mains Exam, Descriptive Type
Stage 3Personal Interview

Stage 1: Prelims Exam, Objective Type: UPSC Syllabus Download Pdf

General Studies:

In this stage you will have to solve objective type questions MCQs which are of 200 marks, each question here carries 2 marks for Correct Answer and -0.66 for Wrong ones. The structure is somewhat like this.

PaperTotal marksNumber of QuestionsTotal Duration
General Studies paper I200100 (2 Marks each)2 Hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
CSAT paper II20080 (2.5 Marks Each)2 Hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)

Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

The CSAT paper is of qualifying Nature, hence you just have to score 1/3 rd marks meaning you have to get above 67 marks in this paper to qualify for the Prelims.

If you are not able to score minimum marks in CSAT you will not be qualified to prelims. Don’t just IGNORE this paper. many student score good in Paper 1 bus failed to qualify the minimum marks in paper 2.

Hence the result is they are out of RACE. Please don’t Ignore this Paper. Just practise daily 1 or 2 Hour you will get good results.

Summary of the above passage is that, if you want to qualify for the UPSC exam Mains you have to clear the prelims in both paper 1 and CSAT. So, totaling around 400 Marks.

Important Note:

If you attempt only ONE paper and leave the Examination and Don’t give the second paper. Then your attempt will not be counted of that Year. Hence if you are not confident of clearing the exam you can just leave paper 2 and try next year.

But Mostly don’t do this as if you are appearing for paper meaning you have studied enough and you can be confident about your preparation.

The Brief about two UPSC papers:

Stage 1: General studies (paper 1) is conducted between 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

This test will test your basics of General awareness and it will include subjects like Indian Polity, Geography, History, Indian Economy Science and technology, environment and Ecology, IR, and hence complete current affairs of a whole one and half year.

CSAT paper, it is conducted between 2:30 PM to 04:30 PM.

This will intend to assess the Aptitude which is of class 10th level of UPSC Syllabus Download Pdf.

You will be tested on Reasoning, Analytical and comprehensive passages. Hence some are decision-making questions that will be there.

Remember: your prelims is just a movie Ticket for your Main real exam i.e. mains exam. Hence get this ticket ASAP. The marks of the preliminary exam will not be counted in your Final Result of UPSC.

Hence, if you want to come in the list you have to score good in the Mains Examination.

Syllabus of Prelims: Given By UPSC official site look like this

Syllabus for GS Paper (Prelims Paper I)

  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

Syllabus for CSAT Paper (Prelims Paper II)

  1. Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  4. Decision-making and problem solving
  5. General mental ability
  6. 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 Mains Syllabus

Stage 2: UPSC Mains Examination (1750 Marks)

If you qualify in the prelims examination, then you would be allowed to write the IAS Mains Exam.

The Exam Will test your Academic talent in Depth and your Ability to present your views and understanding of the Subject will be tested.

There is time constraint also within that time you have to work out the best and unique answer to the question asked to you.

The mains exam consist of total 9 Papers and out of which two are just qualifying Nature of 300 marks Each.

They are:

  • Any Indian Language paper
  • English Language paper.

Also, remember you have to get a minimum of 25% Marks in these two subjects as well. There are many students who is getting failed at this stage also. There are not able to clear Language papers many times hence don’t ignore them.

Structure of the language papers:

You can be asked in the following manner:

  1. Essay – 100 marks
  2. Reading comprehension – 60 marks
  3. Precis Writing – 60 marks
  4. Translation:
    1. English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks
    2. Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
  5. Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks

Remaining 7 Papers can be written in the language you choose while filling your Application form of the UPSC Exam. These are 8th schedules languages or in English, you can write.

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 Mains and Syllabus Mentioned Below:

PaperUPSC Exam PatternMarks
AIndian Language – UPSC Syllabus. 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 Sikkim300 (25% for Qualifying)
BEnglish Language300 (25% for Qualifying)
Paper-IEssay – UPSC Syllabus, can be taken in the language of choice. Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to stick to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.250
Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I – UPSC IAS Syllabus Topics – Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies-II – UPSC IAS Syllabus Topics – Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations250
Paper-IVGeneral Studies-III – UPSC IAS Syllabus Topics – Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management250
Paper-VGeneral Studies-IV – UPSC IAS Syllabus Topics – Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude250
Paper-VIOptional – Paper 1250
Paper-VIIOptional – Paper 2250

UPSC IAS Mains 2020 GS Paper 1 Syllabus Topics 

Indian Heritage and CultureIndian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
Modern Indian HistoryModern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present – significant events, personalities, issues

The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
World HistoryHistory of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc. their forms and effect on the society.
Indian SocietySalient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems, and their remedies.

Effects of globalization on Indian society Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
GeographySalient 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 earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone, etc., geographical features and their location – changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

UPSC IAS Mains 2020 GS Paper 2 Syllabus Topics


Indian Polity and ConstitutionIndian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.

Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues, and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Separation of powers between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges, and issues arising out of these.

Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Social JusticeGovernment policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
GovernanceImportant aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability, and institutional and other measures.

Role of civil services in a democracy.
International RelationsIndia and its neighborhood- relations.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, Indian diaspora.

Important International institutions, agencies, and fora- their structure, mandate.

UPSC IAS Mains 2020 GS Paper 3 Syllabus Topics


Indian EconomyIndian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Government Budgeting.

Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System – objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

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

Land reforms in India.Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.Investment models.
Science and TechnologyScience and technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
EnvironmentConservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Disaster ManagementDisaster and disaster management.
Security Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

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

Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money-laundering, and its prevention.

Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

UPSC IAS Mains 2020 GS Paper 4 Syllabus Topics 


Ethics and Human InterfaceEthics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants, and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

Human Values lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators; the role of family, society, and educational institutions in inculcating values.
AttitudeAttitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
AptitudeAptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
Emotional IntelligenceEmotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
Civil Services Values and Probity in GovernancePublic/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and 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: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

Case Studies on the above issues.

FAQs related to UPSC Syllabus and IAS Exam Preparation

Q. What is the syllabus for UPSC prelims exam?

The syllabus for the prelims exam provided by UPSC is not comprehensive, it provides the broad topics of the subjects. To know more about UPSC Prelims Syllabus you can find on our website.

Q. What is the syllabus of the UPSC General Studies Mains exam?

A. In the IAS mains exam, there are four general studies papers. 

GS Paper 1 deals with History, Geography, Society; 

GS Paper 2 covers Polity, Governance, International Relations, and Social Justice topics;

GS paper 3 topics include Economy, Science and Tech, Environment, Security and Disaster Management; 

GS paper 4 is ethics, integrity, and aptitude. 

Check out the detailed UPSC Mains GS Syllabus here

Q. Where can I find the syllabus of UPSC Mains Optional Subjects?

A. In UPSC mains, there is a total of 25 major subjects and 23 literature subjects. The detailed Syllabus for the Optional Subject will be provided by UPSC in the Civil Services Preliminary Exam Notification. In the meantime, candidates can check their respective optional subject syllabus in detail provided here.

Q. What is the difference between the UPSC Prelims and UPSC mains Syllabus?

A. There is no major difference between the UPSC prelims and the UPSC Mains syllabus. In general, the UPSC Prelims syllabus is the subset of the UPSC Mains exam syllabus. If any aspirant prepares for the Civil Services exam, if he/she prepares comprehensively for the UPSC Mains syllabus, then his/her prelims exam preparation is taken care of.

Q. What is the importance of UPSC Syllabus in IAS Exam preparation?

A. UPSC Syllabus is the key to Civil Services exam preparation. Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam should have a copy of UPSC Syllabus handy and need to prepare all the subjects according to topics mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus.

Also, if you are aware of all the syllabus topics provided by UPSC, then it will be helpful in newspaper reading and current affairs preparation.

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