UPSC CSE 2024 Exam Pattern and Syllabus

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UPSC CSE Syllabus
UPSC CSE Syllabus

Looking for a detailed Syllabus and Exam Pattern for the UPSC Civil Services Examination? This article of NEXT IAS decodes the same to give you a comprehensive idea of the UPSC Civil Services Examination’s syllabus and exam pattern.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) every year to select candidates for India’s most prestigious jobs such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) etc. This exam is conducted in three stages. One needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the Syllabus and Exam Pattern for the three stages of the exam in order to prepare well for the same.

Synoptic Overview of UPSC Syllabus and Exam Pattern

StagesName of ExaminationNature of ExaminationPapers
Stage IPreliminary Examination (Prelims)Objective2 Papers (General Studies and CSAT)
Stage IIMain Examination (Mains)Descriptive9 Papers (General Studies I-IV, Essay Paper, Optional Paper I & II, 2 Compulsory Language Papers)
Stage IIIPersonality Test (Interview)Viva-voceViva-voce Examination

Exam Pattern for UPSC Prelims Exam

The UPSC Preliminary Examination (Prelims) serves as a screening test only, and the marks obtained in this exam are not counted for determining the final merit list. However, it must be noted that it is mandatory to clear this exam, failing which one will not be allowed to appear for the Main Examination.

The exam pattern for UPSC Prelims Exam can be seen as follows:

UPSC Prelims PapersType of PaperNature of PaperNumber of QuestionsTotal MarksTotal Duration
General Studies-I (GS)ObjectiveMarks counted for preparing Prelims result1002002 Hours
General Studies-II (CSAT)ObjectiveQualifying (minimum qualifying marks – 33%)802002 Hours

As per the current exam pattern for the UPSC Prelims Exam, the marking scheme is as follows:

i. General Studies-I (GS) Paper – 2 marks are awarded for every correct answer, and 0.66 marks are deducted for every wrong answer.

ii. General Studies-II (CSAT) Paper – 2.5 marks are awarded for every correct answer, and 0.83 are deducted for every wrong answer.

Syllabus for UPSC Prelims Exam

The syllabus for the two papers of the Prelims Exam, as provided by the UPSC, consists of a list of topics that are only indicative in nature. However, one needs to understand what all needs to be studied in order to cover a topic comprehensively. Thus, understanding the syllabus demands understanding the topics listed therein along with their detailed break-ups.

The UPSC syllabus for the two papers of the Prelims Exam is discussed in detail as follows:

Syllabus for UPSC Prelims Paper-I: General Studies

Current Events of National and International Importance

  • Current Events of National Importance – news of national importance related to History & Culture, Geography, Social Issues, Polity & Governance, Economy, Internal Security, Environment, Science & Technology etc.
  • Current Events of International Importance – major news related to India’s Bilateral Relations, International Organizations, Multilateral Bodies & Organizations, International Treaties & Agreements etc.

History of India and Indian National Movement

  • Ancient History of India – Pre-History Period; Indus Valley Civilization; Vedic Period; Rise of Heterodox Sects such as Buddhism, Jainism etc; Pre-Mauryan Period, Mauryan Period & Post-Mauryan Period; Gupta Period; Post-Gupta Period etc.
  • Medieval History of India – Early Medieval India; Delhi Sultanate; Mughal Period; Maratha Kingdom etc.
  • History of Modern India – Period from the decline of Mughals upto establishment of the British Rule in India; Revolt of 1857; Rise of Nationalism; India’s Freedom Struggle etc.

Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World

  • Physical GeographyLatitude & Longitude; Geomorphology; Oceanography; Climatology; Biogeography; Environmental Geography
  • Social and Economic Geography – Human population and its distribution and growth; Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Quaternary activities; Distribution of Minerals in India and the World; Location of Industries in India and the World; Agriculture in India and the World; Energy Resources, Transport etc in India and World.
  • World Geography – The continents and major geographic features therein such as Mountains, Plateaus, Rivers, etc.
  • Indian Geography – Physiographic Divisions of India; Drainage System of India; Indian Climate; Soils and Vegetations of India.

Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

  • Constitution of India – The Indian Constitution, its evolution and salient features; Preamble to the Indian Constitution; Citizenship; Fundamental Rights; Directive Principles of State Policy; Fundamental Duties; Amendment of the Constitution, etc.
  • Federal System of Government – Federalism; Centre-State Relations; Inter-State Relations; Emergency Provisions etc.
  • Legislature – Parliament; Parliamentary Committees; State Legislature; Major issues related to Legislature.
  • Executive – President; Vice President; Union Council of Ministers; Governor; State Council of Ministers; Local Self Governments including Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies
  • Judiciary – Supreme Court; High Court; Subordinate Courts; Major issues related to Indian Judiciary
  • Other areas – Major Constitutional Bodies; Major Non-Constitutional Bodies; Elections and Political Parties etc.

Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

  • Fundamentals of Economics – Factors of Production; Law of Demand and Supply; National Income Accounting etc.
  • Growth and Development – Human Development; Poverty, Inequality and Inclusive Growth; Employment and Skill Development etc.
  • Fiscal Policy in India – Development Planning and NITI Aayog; Government Annual Budgeting; Taxation System in India; Inflation; Business Cycles etc.
  • Monetary Policy in India – Money and its supply; Reserve Bank of India and Banking System in India etc.
  • Financial System in India – Money Market; Capital Market
  • Sectors of Indian Economy – Agriculture; Manufacturing and Industries; Service Sector etc.
  • External Sector – Foreign Trade; Balance of Payment; Foreign Exchange, Foreign Investment etc.
  • International Economic Organizations – World Bank; International Monetary Fund (IMF); World Trade Organization (WTO) etc.
  • Other areas – Infrastructure such as Transport, Energy etc; Investment Models etc.

General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization

  • Fundamental of Ecology and Ecosystem – basic terminologies such as Ecology, Ecosystem, Species, Speciation, Succession etc.
  • Biodiversity – Animal Diversity, Plant Diversity and Marine Organisms in India and World etc.
  • Protection and Conservation of Biodiversity – Protected Area Network in India such National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries etc; Other India efforts for biodiversity conservation such as Environmental Acts & Policies, Environmental Institutions etc; Global initiatives for biodiversity conservation such Man And Biosphere (MAB) program, international environmental organizations and conventions etc.
  • Environmental Pollution – types of Pollution; Climate Change, Global Warming, Acid Rain etc; Indian and International Efforts to fight Climate Change.
  • Other areas – Farming Systems, Irrigation Systems etc which aid in environmental protection.

General Science

  • Biology – Cell Biology; Genetics; Human Physiology; Health and Diseases
  • Physics – Force and Laws of Motion; Work, Energy and Power; Fluids; Heat & Temperature; Wave Motion; Sound; Optics; Electrostatics; Magnetism etc.
  • Chemistry – Matter & its states; Structure of Atom; Classification of Elements; Chemical Reactions; Chemistry in everyday life.

Some important links for UPSC Prelims GS Paper-I Preparation are listed below:

GS Foundation Course for CSE 2025 & 2026 Current Affairs Course for CSE 2025 Current Affairs for Prelims (CAP) for CSE 2024
GS Prelims Test Series for CSE 2024 GS Prelims Previous Year Question PapersANUBHAV Prelims 2024

Syllabus for UPSC Prelims Paper-II: CSAT

  • Comprehension
    • Reading Passages and answering questions based on them.
  • Interpersonal Skills including Communication Skills
    • Verbal Interpretations; Analogies; Critical Reasoning etc.
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability
    • Sequence & Series; Coding & Decoding; Blood Relations; Venn Diagrams; Distance & Directions; Seating Arrangements; Puzzles etc.
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
    • Ethical dilemmas and hypothetical questions based on them
  • General Mental Ability
    • Profit & Loss; Mixture & Alligations; Time & Work; Time & Distance
    • Geometry; Mensuration & Area
    • Partnerships; Clocks; Dices etc.
  • Basic Numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level)
    • Number Systems; LCM & HCF; Averages; Fractions; Ratio & Proportion
    • Averages; Percentage; Simple & Compound Interests etc.
  • Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. — Class X level)
    • Pie Charts, Bar Graph, Line Graph, Tables etc.

Some important links for UPSC Prelims CSAT Paper preparation are listed below:

CSAT Course for CSE 2024ANUBHAV Prelims 2024
CSAT Test Series For CSE 2024CSAT Previous Year Question Papers

Exam Pattern for UPSC Main Exam

The UPSC Main Examination (Mains) is a Written Examination consisting of a total of 9 papers of subjective type. The total marks obtained in this examination are counted to determine the final merit list. 

The exam pattern for UPSC Main Exam can be seen as follows:

Qualifying Papers (minimum Qualifying Marks – 25% of total marks)
PapersSubjectTotal MarksTotal Duration
Paper AOne language selected by the candidate from the languages included in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution3003 Hours
Paper BEnglish3003 Hours
Papers to be Counted for Merit
PapersSubjectTotal MarksTotal Duration
Paper-IEssay2503 Hours
Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I2503 Hours
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies-II2503 Hours
Paper-IVGeneral Studies-III2503 Hours
Paper-VGeneral Studies-IV2503 Hours
Paper-VIOptional Paper-I2503 Hours
Paper-VIIOptional Paper-II2503 Hours
Sub Total (Main Examination) – 1750 Marks

Note:

a. The two Qualifying Papers (Paper A and Paper B) are of Matriculation or equivalent standard.

b. Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from amongst the list of subjects provided by the UPSC.

Syllabus for UPSC Main Exam

The UPSC has provided the syllabus for each of the 9 papers of the Main Exam in the form of a list of topics that are only indicative in nature. Understanding the syllabus holistically requires a clear-cut understanding of what all needs to be studied in order to cover a topic comprehensively. Thus, the topics listed in the syllabus as well as their detailed break-ups must be understood to get a clear picture of the syllabus for the UPSC Main Exam.

The syllabus for the 9 papers of the UPSC Main Exam is discussed in detail as follows:

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-A: Indian Languages

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

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-B: English

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essays

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-I: Essay

This paper expects the candidates to write essays on multiple topics. As per the current pattern, the Essay Paper is divided into two sections having multiple topics. The candidate is expected to write essays on two topics, choosing one from each of the two sections.

The UPSC expects that the essays are presented as an effective expression of ideas that are relevant to the topic and are arranged in an orderly fashion.

Essay Course Cum Test Series For CSE Mains 2024

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-II: General Studies-I

The title for this paper, as given by the UPSC, is – Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society. The topics given as part of the syllabus for Main General Studies-I paper and their detailed break-ups are presented as follows:

  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
    • Evolution and salient features of Constitution; Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policies, Fundamental Duties; Process of amendment, 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.
    • Indian Federalism and its features; Centre-state relations and related issues; Inter-state relations and related issues; Cooperative Federalism; Emergency provisions etc.
    • 73rd Constitutional Amendment, PRIs and issues faced by them; 74th Constitutional Amendment, ULBs and issues faced by them. 
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
    • Doctrine of separation of powers and constitutional provisions related to it; System of checks and balances
    • Functional overlaps among various organs of the government and issues arising out of it; Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions such as Inter-State Council, Judiciary, NITI Aayog etc.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
    • Major sources of Indian Constitution; Comparison of major features of Indian Constitution vis-a-vis that of other democracies
  • Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
    • Structure, functions and major issues related to Parliament and State Legislatures such as misuse of Money Bill, inadequate control of Legislature over Executive etc; Parliamentary Committees; Sovereignty of Parliament; Parliamentary Privileges etc. 
  • 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.
    • Executive – Powers and functions of President and Governor; Parliamentary System of Government and functioning of Union and State Council of Ministers.
    • Judiciary – Powers and functions of the Supreme Court and High Courts and issues related to them such as Judicial Accountability, Judicial Overreach etc. 
    • Subordinate Courts, their structures and functions; Lok Adalats, Gram Nyayalayas etc. 
    • Pressure Groups, their functions and significance. 
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
    • Major provisions of Representation of People’s Acts of 1950 and 1951; Election System in India and issues related to it such as Model Code of Conduct, Criminalization of Politics etc. 
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
    • Major Constitutional Bodies of India such as Election Commission of India, Finance Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General etc, their functions and issues relating to them.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
    • Major Statutory Bodies such as Securities Exchange Board of India, National Human Rights Commission etc, their functions and issues related to them 
    • Major Regulatory Bodies such as Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Competition Commission of India etc, their functions and issues related to them
    • Major Quasi-Judicial Bodies such as National Green Tribunal, Central Information Commission etc, their functions and issues related to them 
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
    • Major schemes and policies of the government related to areas such as Drinking Water, Sanitation etc, and challenges remaining.
  • Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
    • Civil Society Organizations, NGOs, SHGs etc, their functions, significance and issues related to them; Participatory governance and people’s participation in governance
  • 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.
    • Vulnerable sections such as Women, Children, SCs etc, challenges faced by them and initiatives taken for their betterment. 
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
    • Major schemes and policies of the government related to Health, Education, Employment, Skill Development etc, and challenges remaining.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
    • Poverty, its causes, implications and steps taken to alleviate poverty.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
    • Transparency and Accountability, their meaning, significance and steps taken to promote them; Corruption in India. 
    • e-Governance, its meaning, significances and applications, challenges in implementation etc. 
    • Citizen Charter, its meaning, benefits, challenges in its implementation etc. 
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
    • Role of Civil Services in governance; Reforms in civil services, its need and recommendations of major committees thereon
  • India and its neighborhood- relations.
    • India’s bilateral relationship with its neighboring countries such as Pakistan, China, Nepal etc. 
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
    • India’s bilateral relationship with major countries of its interests such as Russia, USA etc.
    • Regional and Global Groupings such as BRICS, SAARC, G-20 etc. 
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
    • Major developments from across the globe which impacts India’s interests such as Ukraine War, change in US Visa Policy etc. 
    • Indian Diaspora, their roles in promoting India’s interests, challenges faced by them etc.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate
    • International bodies such as the UN, IMF, WHO etc, their structure, functions, challenges faced by them etc.

Some important links for UPSC Main General Studies-I Paper Preparation are listed below:

GS + CSAT Pre cum Main Foundation Course for CSE 2025 and 2026GS Pre cum Main Foundation Course for CSE 2025 and 2026GS + CSAT + Optional Foundation Course for CSE 2025
GS + Optional Foundation Course for CSE 2025Mains Advance Course (MAC)GS Mains test series for CSE 2024
Mains (Subject Wise) Previous Year PapersMains (Year Wise) Previous Year PapersANUBHAV Mains 2024

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-III: General Studies-II

The title for this paper, as given by the UPSC, is – Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.The topics given as part of the syllabus for Main General Studies-II paper and their detailed break-ups are presented as follows:

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
    • India’s bilateral relationship with major countries of its interests such as Russia, USA etc.
    • Regional and Global Groupings such as BRICS, SAARC, G-20 etc. 
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
    • Major developments from across the globe which impacts India’s interests such as Ukraine War, change in US Visa Policy etc. 
    • Indian Diaspora, their roles in promoting India’s interests, challenges faced by them etc. 
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate
    • International bodies such as the UN, IMF, WHO etc, their structure, functions, challenges faced by them etc.

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-IV: General Studies-III

The title for this paper, as given by the UPSC, is – Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

The topics given as part of the syllabus for Main General Studies-III paper and their detailed break-ups are presented as follows:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
    • Planning in India, its achievements & failures, and challenges faced; primary tools for mobilization of resources such as government budgeting, taxation, disinvestment etc. 
    • Growth path of Indian economy from independence till now, and issues related to it such as Regional Disparity.
    • Employment and skill development, challenges therein, and initiatives taken to promote them 
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
    • Inclusive growth, challenges and initiatives taken; Issues related to inclusive growth such as poverty, income inequality etc.
  • Government Budgeting.
    • Government Budget, its types, issues with budgeting process, and issues related to it such as Gender Budgeting; Other Fiscal Policies of the government.
  • 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.
    • Major crops of India such as Rice, Wheat etc and their cropping pattern across the country.
    • Major types of irrigation system prevalent in India, and issues therein
    • Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural goods, their needs and issues therein 
  • 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.
    • Different types of agricultural subsidies, their needs and issues therein
    • Agricultural price policies of the government; MSP, its needs and issues therein
    • PDS, its needs, limitations, and initiatives taken to revamp it.
    • Food Security, present status in India, challenges associated with it, steps taken to achieve it such as Buffer Stock, and related issues such as Hunger, Food Safety etc. 
    • Major technology missions related to agriculture in India such as Green Revolution, National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology, promotion of Farm Mechanisation etc. 
    • Livestock sector, its significance, challenges faced by it and steps taken
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
    • Food Processing Industries, its potential and present status in India, its significance for India, challenges faced by it, and steps taken.
  • Land reforms in India.
    • Factors necessitating land reform in India, its progress, and challenges coming in its way. 
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
    • Liberalization, policy changes made under it and their impacts on different sectors of the economy such as external trade, foreign investment, agriculture etc.
    • Industrial Policy, its need and evolution from the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 through New Industrial Policy of 1991 upto present.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
    • Major industrial infrastructures as mentioned above, steps taken for their development, challenges coming in the way such as their financing, land constraints etc, and other issues related to them. 
  • Investment models.
    • Need for investment in the Indian economy, its types such as FDI, and issues related to it.
    • Types of investment models such as PPP, their advantages and limitations, and steps taken to promote them 
  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
    • Major emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, their applications and impacts.
    • Role of Science & Technology in areas such as Health, Education, Agriculture etc, major developments in those directions and issues arising out of them
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
    • Development of science & technology in India since 1950s upto now, and major achievements such as atomic energy, missiles, space etc. 
    • Steps taken towards indigenization of technologies in major sectors such as Defense, Manufacturing etc. 
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
    • Major developments in the fields of IT & Computers, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology etc such as GM Crops, AI etc, their applications, and issues related to them.
    • Intellectual Property Rights such as Patent, GI etc, their benefits and issues related to them. 
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
    • Efforts taken for conservation of natural resources such as forest, wildlife, rivers etc at India and international level. 
    • Environmental pollution, its major types, causes, and their impacts such as Global Warming, Ozone Depletion etc. 
    • Environmental Impact Assessment, its need, initiatives taken and challenges faced
  • Disaster and disaster management.
    • Basic concepts related to Natural Hazards, Disasters, and Disaster Management; Different phases of disaster management, steps taken in India such as Disaster Management Act of 2005
    • Major types of disasters concerning India such Flood, Drought, Earthquake etc, their causes, impacts, and steps taken to mitigate them
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
    • Relation between developmental issues and rise of extremism; Various forms of extremism in India such as Left-Wing Extremism, Insurgency etc, factors helping their rise, challenges posed by them, steps taken to contain them and remaining challenges. 
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
    • Security challenges posed by external state actors such as those by Pakistan, China etc; Security challenges posed by non-state actors such as Terrorism, Smuggling etc.
  • 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.
    • Security challenges posed by social media and other forms of media such as propagation of extremism, rumor mongering etc. 
    • Cyber security, its significance, steps taken and challenges faced
    • Money laundering, its process, challenges posed by it and steps taken
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
    • Land and Coastal Borders of India, challenges in their management, and steps taken 
    • Organized crimes, its types such as Trafficking, Smuggling etc, challenges posed by them, their connecting with terrorism, and steps taken to tackle them
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
    • Major security agencies of India such as Central Armed Police Forces, Intelligence Agencies etc, their functions and related issues.

Some important links for UPSC Main General Studies-III Paper Preparation are listed below:

GS + CSAT Pre cum Main Foundation Course for CSE 2025 and 2026GS Pre cum Main Foundation Course for CSE 2025 and 2026GS + CSAT + Optional Foundation Course for CSE 2025
GS + Optional Foundation Course for CSE 2025Mains Advance Course (MAC)GS Mains test series for CSE 2024
Mains (Subject Wise) Previous Year PapersMains (Year Wise) Previous Year PapersANUBHAV Mains 2024

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-V: General Studies-IV

The title for this paper, as given by the UPSC, is – Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. The topics given as part of the UPSC syllabus for Main General Studies-IV paper are as follows:

  • Ethics 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; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • 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.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • 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.
  • 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 above issues.

Syllabus for UPSC Main Paper-VI: Optional Papers I and II

One may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of Optional Subjects as provided in the notification for UPSC CSE. The UPSC syllabus for different optional subjects is different. 

Some important links for UPSC Main Optional Paper preparation are listed below:

Optional Foundation CoursesOptional Advance CoursesMains Test Series (GS & Optional)

Personality Test (Interview)

It is the third and final stage of the UPSC Civil Services Examination. It is a Viva-voce type of examination wherein the candidate is interviewed by a Board.

UPSC does not provide any defined syllabus for this stage of examination. However, the experiences of the past interviewees suggest that questions asked in the interview are generally based on the Detailed Application Form (DAF) of the candidate, matters of general interest, current affairs, etc.

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