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CSE - Syllabus

Civil Service Examination

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CSE 2022 Syllabus: Prelims and Mains Subjects-wise Topics Pdf

Updated On - February 04 2023 by Divyansh K

Civil Services Examination (IAS Exam) 2023 syllabus covers all the topics asked in the UPSC CSE exam. This exam is conducted by UPSC (Union every year to shortlist candidates for various services & posts in the Government of India. This exam is divided into two parts consisting of:

1. Civil Services Preliminary Exam (MCQ Type) for selecting candidates for the Main Examination.

2. Civil Services Main Examination (Written exam and Interview) for candidates selection in various services and posts.

UPSC CSE Preliminary Syllabus

The first stage of the exam is the Civil Services Preliminary Examination. This test is conducted only as a screening test for shortlisting candidates for the next level of exam i.e. Main Examination. Marks secured in Preliminary Exam will not be considered while preparing for the overall merit list of candidates.

1. General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

This paper consists of 100 questions covering the following topics. This paper consists of a maximum of 200 marks and must solve in 2 hours.

  • Current events of National and International importance.

  • History of India and Indian National Movement.

  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

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

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

  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and climate change – that do not require subject specialization.

  • General Science.

2. General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

This paper comprises 80 questions having questions from the following topics. This paper is a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

  • Comprehension.

  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.

  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability.

  • Decision making & problem-solving.

  • General mental ability.

  • Basic numeracy (including numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude) (up to Class X), Data interpretation (Class X level)

General Studies Paper-II of CSE Exam is a qualifying exam with a minimum qualifying mark of 33%.

Candidates have to appear for both the Papers of the IAS Prelim Exam for evaluation.

UPSC CSE Main Exam Syllabus

Civil Services Main Examination mainly consists of a written examination and interview (for personality test). This exam consists of papers divided into two categories – qualifying & papers to be counted for merit.

UPSC IAS Main Exam syllabus
Qualifying Exams Marks
Paper-AOne of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution300
Papers to be considered for Merit
Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I (including Indian Heritage, History and Geography of the World and Society)250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies-II (Government, Constitution, Politics, Social Justice and International relation)250
Paper-IVGenera Studies-III (Technology, Economic and Social Development, Bio-diversity, Security and Disaster Management)250
Paper-VGeneral Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)250
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper 1250
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper 2250
Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test 275
Grand Total 2025
Important Note:
1. Marks obtained by test takers in Indian languages and English (Paper A and Paper B) will not be counted for ranking. However, these subjects will be qualifying of nature and will be based on Matriculation or equivalent standard.
2. Papers on Essays, General Studies and Optional Subjects of only candidates will be considered who attain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language’ and 25% in ‘English’ as minimum qualifying standards in these papers.
3. Only marks obtained by candidates in Paper I-VII will be considered for merit ranking.
4. The question papers of the main exam will be of essay type and each paper will be of 3 hours.
5. Candidates will be provided with the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language Papers that are Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution or English.
6. The question papers (apart from the literature of language papers) will be in Hindi and English language only.
7. Additional time of twenty minutes per hour shall be provided for the Blind candidates and the applicants with locomotor disabilities in both Civil Services (Preliminary) and Civil Services (Main) Examination.

Syllabus of UPSC Main Examination Papers

Given below is the paper-wise syllabus of the UPSC Civil services examination:

I. Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:

English Language:

(i) Comprehension of the given paragraph

(ii) Precise Writing

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary

(iv) Short Paragraph/Essays

Indian Languages:

(i) Comprehension of the given paragraph

(ii) Precise Writing

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary

(iv) Short Paragraph/Essays

(v) Translation from English to Indian Language (Opted by candidate) and vice-versa

II. Paper-I: Essay

Test-takers have to write essays on various topics. They have to focus on the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas systematically and to write properly.

Scores will be given for effective and exact expression. Candidates must focus on sentence formation and vocabulary skills.

III. Paper-II: General Studies-I
Topics - Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

(i) Indian culture will include topics such as Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern time.

(ii) Modern Indian history includes questions from the middle of the eighteenth century till the present- significant events, personalities, and issues.

(iii) Questions in the Freedom Struggle include its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of India.

(iv) Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the whole nation.

(v) History of the world will cover all events from the 18th century like the industrial revolution, world wars, colonization and decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their different forms and effect of same on society.

(vi) Features of Indian Society and its Diversity.

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

(viii) Effects of globalization on India.

(ix) Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

(x) Features of the world’s physical geography.

(xi) 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).

(xii) Important Geophysical disasters such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

IV. Paper-III: General Studies-II
Topics - Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

(i) Indian Constitution topics including historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments and basic structure.

(ii) Functions and duties of Union and the States, issues and challenges in a federal structure, powers devolution and finances up to local levels and there challenges.

(iii) Power Separation between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.

(iv) Comparison between the Indian constitutional scheme and other countries.

(v) Parliament and State legislatures i.e. structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers and issues arising out of these.

(vi) Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Government Ministries and Department; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in society.

(vii) Features of Representation of People’s Act.

(viii) Appointment in Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

(ix) Statutory, regulatory and many quasi-judicial bodies.

(x) Government policies for development in various sectors and issues arising in their design and implementation.

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

(xii) 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.

(xiii) Problems in the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources.

(xiv) Problems relating to poverty and hunger.

(xv) Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

(xvi) Role of civil services in a democracy.

(xvii) India and its neighbourhood- relations.

(xviii) Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

(xix) Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

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

V. Paper-IV: General Studies-III
Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

(i) Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

(ii) Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

(iii) Government Budgeting.

(iv) Major crop-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.

(v) Issues in 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.

(vi) Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

(vii) Land reforms in India.

(viii) Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

(ix) Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

(x) Investment models.

(xi) Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

(xii) Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and development of new technology.

(xiii) Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

(xiv) Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

(xv) Disaster and disaster management.

(xvi) Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

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

(xviii) 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.

(xix) Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

(xx) Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

VI. Paper-V: General Studies-IV
Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitudes and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society.

Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered:

(i) 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; the role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

(ii) Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

(iii) 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.

(iv) Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

(v) Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

(vi) 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.

(vii) 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.

(viii) Case Studies on the above issues.

VII. Paper – VI & VII

Optional Subject Papers I & II.

A candidate may opt for any one Optional Subject from the following:

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) 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.

In each Optional Subject, the candidate must have to appear in two compulsory papers.











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