An Overview of UPSC Mains Syllabus in the Civil Service Examination


The selection procedure in the different stages of Civil Service UPSC exams is very stringent. The topics that are covered in all 3 stages of the Civil Service UPSC exam are very vast. This article will share more information about the UPSC exams and UPSC Mains Syllabus.

Union Public Service Commission not only conducts Civil Service Examination, but also other UPSC exams such as Engineering Services Exam, National Defense Academy Exam, Combined Defense Services Exam, Indian Economic Service – Indian Statistical Service Examination, Combined Geo-Scientist Examination, Central Armed Police Forces Exam, etc. All these UPSC exams are conducted to recruit candidates into various Group A and Group B posts in the All India Services and Central Services.

UPSC Mains syllabus of General Studies Paper – I includes Geography which covers important geographical features, flora, fauna, distribution of natural resources across the Globe and in India. It will also cover different types of industries and contribution of these industries to the economic growth of the developed and developing countries like India. The Geography section will also cover important geophysical phenomena like the earthquakes, tsunami, cyclones, etc. UPSC Mains syllabus of General Studies Paper – I will also cover different types of Indian Architecture, different forms of Art, and Indian Literature. This paper also extensively covers the Freedom struggle of India, significant events, issues, personalities during the middle of the eighteenth century (1750s) until the present. Society is another important segment of this paper. It covers the role of women, women’s organization, developmental issues, social empowerment, poverty, etc.

UPSC Mains syllabus of General Studies Paper – II covers subjects such as Polity, Poverty, Governance, and International relations. GS Paper -II covers issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. This paper covers Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein, challenges pertaining to the federal structure. It also covers appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. GS Paper – II covers powers & privileges and issues of Parliament and State Legislatures, structure and functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures. UPSC Mains syllabus of GS Paper – II also covers separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions. This paper also covers citizens’ charter; potential, limitations, successes and applications of e-governance.International relations covers various bilateral relationships, multilateral relationships, intergovernmental organizations, relations between India and its neighborhood, the effect on India due to developments taking place in different parts of the globe, etc.

UPSC Mains syllabus of General Studies Paper – III covers subjects such as Economy, Security, Science & Technology, Agriculture, Environment, Disaster Management, etc. Under the subject of Security, the topics covered will be various Security forces and agencies and their mandate, linkages between development and spread of extremism, challenges to internal security, money-laundering, basics of cyber security. The Agriculture subject will cover topics such as Land reforms in India, issues related to food security in India, buffer stocks; limitations, functions, objectives of public distribution system, food processing and related industries in India, supply chain management, irrigation system in India, major cropping patterns, etc. The Economy section of the UPSC mains syllabus in General Studies Paper – III will cover topics such as infrastructure, changes in industrial policy, Inclusive growth and associated issues/challenges, Government Budget, employment, mobilization of resources, etc. Candidates must also prepare for disaster management initiatives taken by the Governments, developments in the IT field, Space technology, Defense technology, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

UPSC Mains syllabus of General Studies Paper – IV covers subjects such as Probity in Governance, Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration, Contributions of Thinkers and Philosophers, Emotional Intelligence, Aptitude, Attitude, Ethics and Human Interface. Probity in Governance will cover topics such as Challenges of corruption, Information sharing and transparency in government, Utilization of public funds, Right to Information, Quality of service delivery, Work culture, Citizen’s Charters, the philosophical basis of governance and probity, and Concept of public service. Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration will cover topics such as Ethical Issues in international relations and funding, Ethical concerns and dilemmas in Government and private institutions, Strengthening of Ethical and Moral Values in Governance, Laws, Rules, Regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance, Accountability and Ethical Governance. 


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