UPSC Syllabus: Download UPSC IAS Syllabus PDF 2023

Apr 20, 2023, 16:45 IST

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts UPSC Civil Service Exam (UPSC CSE) to recruit qualified candidates for various Grade-A positions in the government sector. UPSC IAS is considered one of the toughest examinations in India. To crack the examination, aspirants need an in-depth understanding of the IAS syllabus. You must score the required marks to clear the UPSC cut-off list in order to be considered for the most prominent government job.
A UPSC aspirant needs the right strategy to prepare and clear the exam easily. To achieve this, a thorough comprehension of the UPSC Syllabus is essential. In this article, we have provided a detailed syllabus of the UPSC 2023 for Prelims, Mains, and Interview. The Candidates can download the subject-wise IAS syllabus PDF for Prelims and Mains from the links mentioned below.

UPSC Syllabus 2023 for Prelims

Prelims is the first stage of the UPSC Civil Services Exam. It is a screening test to determine which applicants will appear in the Mains Examination. The marks scored in the preliminary exam are not considered for determining the merit list.

UPSC CSE Prelims Exam Pattern 2023
Paper Subjects Marks No. of Questions Duration
I General Studies (GS) 200 100 2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
II CSAT 200 80 2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)

Detailed UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus

  1. General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

It consists of 100 questions covering the following topics, with a maximum of 200 marks to be answered in 2 hours.

  • Current events of National & International importance
  • History of India & Indian National Movement
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change
  • General Science
  1. General Studies Paper-II (CSAT) Syllabus

It consists of 80 questions covering the following topics, with a maximum of 200 marks to be answered in 2 hours.

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability
  • Decision making & problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy and Data interpretation

Note: General Studies Paper-II of the IAS Exam is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

UPSC Syllabus 2023 for Mains

The Mains Examination is the 2nd stage of the civil services examination. The aim of the Mains examination is to check the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.

UPSC CSE Mains Exam Pattern 2023
Qualifying Papers Marks
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
Paper-B English 300
Papers Counted for Merit
Paper-I Essay 250
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 General 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

Detailed UPSC IAS Mains Syllabus

Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English

Paper A - English Language

  1. Comprehension of given passages
  2. Precis Writing
  3. Usage and Vocabulary
  4. Short Essays

Paper B - Indian Languages

  1. Comprehension of given passages
  2. Precis Writing
  3. Usage and Vocabulary
  4. Short Essays
  5. Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa

Note1. The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only.

Paper I - Essay

Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics.

Paper II - General Studies-I

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

  1. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times
  2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, and issues
  3. The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country
  4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
  5. History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society
  6. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
  7. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies
  8. Effects of globalization on Indian society
  9. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
  10. Salient features of the world’s physical geography
  11. 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)
  12. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

Paper III - General Studies-II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations

  1. Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
  2. 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
  3. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  4. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  5. Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
  6. 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
  7. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
  8. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  9. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  10. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  11. Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  12. 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
  13. Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources
  14. Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  15. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  16. Role of civil services in a democracy
  17. India and its neighbourhood- relations
  18. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  19. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
  20. Important International institutions, agencies and fora - their structure, mandate

Paper IV - General Studies-III

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

  1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment
  2. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it
  3. Government Budgeting
  4. 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 aid of farmers
  5. 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
  6. Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management
  7. Land reforms in India
  8. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth
  9. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc
  10. Investment models
  11. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  12. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology
  13. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights
  14. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  15. Disaster and disaster management
  16. Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  17. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  18. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
  19. Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organised crime with terrorism
  20. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Paper V - General Studies-IV

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

  1. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in personal and public relationships. Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values
  2. Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion
  3. Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections
  4. Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance
  5. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world
  6. Public/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
  7. 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

Paper VI - Optional Subject-Paper 1

Paper VII - Optional Subject-Paper 2

A candidate may opt for any one optional subject from the following:

UPSC CSE Optional Subjects List for Mains Exam
Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology Botany Chemistry
Civil Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Economics Electrical Engineering Geography
Statistics Sociology Physics Philosophy Medical Science
Political Science and International Relations Public Administration Psychology Mechanical Engineering Mathematics
Zoology Geology History Management Law
Literature of 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 and English.

UPSC CSE Interview Test

It is the last stage of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). The Interview or Personality Test will carry 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks. Marks obtained in the Interview/Personality Test will be counted for ranking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How to Download UPSC Syllabus 2023?

Ans- UPSC Wallah, one of the most trusted sources for UPSC preparation materials provides aspirants with comprehensive and up-to-date information on the latest UPSC syllabus 2023. 

Q2. Can I prepare UPSC Syllabus in 6 months?

Ans- UPSC IAS examination offers a wide range of syllabi. Cracking the examination in 6 months is possible but it largely depends on your dedication, commitment, and prior knowledge of the subjects covered in the syllabus. 

If you are preparing for the examination from scratch, then 6 months might not be enough time to cover the entire syllabus. However, if you have a fundamental understanding of the subjects, then with proper preparation and time management, you can cover the syllabus in 6 months.

Q3. Is there any difference between the UPSC syllabus for IAS and IPS?

Ans-There is no difference between the UPSC syllabus for IAS and IPS. The recruitment of both IAS & IPS is done through the Civil Service Examination(CSE) conducted by UPSC. 

Q4. Is UPSC Exam tough?

Ans- No doubt, UPSC is the toughest examination in India. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to crack the examination. 

Q5. Is there any change in IAS Syllabus 2023?

Ans- As of now, there is no specific change in the UPSC IAS syllabus. 

Q6. Is there any similarity between the UPSC syllabus for prelims and GS Paper 2?

Ans- Yes, there is similarity between the UPSC syllabus for prelims and GS Paper 2. Aspirants can check the latest UPSC Syllabus to know everything. 

Q7. What is the eligibility criteria for UPSC CSE 2023?

Ans- A candidate who has a degree in any stream from a Government recognised University or holds an equivalent qualification is eligible for UPSC CSE 2023. Final-year students can also apply.

Q8. What is the age limit for UPSC CSE 2023?

Ans- The candidate should not be over 32 years old and not be under 21 years old. However, UPSC also provides age relaxation for different categories.

Talk to Our counsellor