GS Syllabus

  • G.S. Syllabus

UPSC Civil Services Syllabus and Exam Pattern of Prelims and Mains 2018.

UPSC Civil Services Syllabus 2018 Prelims

Paper I –General Studies 1 (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • 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.

  • Paper II – General Studies 2 (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data Sufficiency etc. -Class X level)
  • English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

  • Note:

  • Both the papers are Objective in nature, and every wrong attempt will cost you 1/3rdmarks of the attempted question.
  • CSAT is just a qualifying test with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • Candidates clearing the cut-off in Preliminary Examination Paper I as well as qualifying Paper II, shall only be eligible for appearing in the Mains Examination.
  • Marks of Preliminary examination are not considered in the final scores for deciding merit.

  • UPSC Civil Services Syllabus & Exam Pattern 2018 Mains

    This phase will test your academic and intellectual talent in depth. It consists of the following papers:

    Civil Services New Mains Format

    Paper Subject Marks
    Paper A (One of the Indian languages listed below, to be selected by the candidate (from the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India) (Qualifying) 300
    Paper B English (Qualifying) 300
    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
    Papers VI, VII Two papers on subjects to be selected by the candidate from the list of optional subjects below (250 marks for each paper) 500
    Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
    Personality Test (Interview) 275
    Total Marks Total Marks

    PAPER I:QUALIFYING PAPER (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution) – 300 Marks

    PAPER II:QUALIFYING PAPER English – 300 Marks

    Note 1: These two papers are qualifying only and marks obtained will not be considered or counted.

    PAPER-III : Essay Candidates may be required to write essays to multiple topics. They wills be expected to keep closely 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.

    PAPER -IV : GENERAL STUDIES-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)


  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms,
  • Literature and
  • Architecture from ancient to modern times.


  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
  • History 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.


  • Salient 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


  • Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); 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 water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

  • PAPER-V : GENERAL STUDIES-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) which may include following topics:

    Ind. Constitution

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

  • Polity & Const.
  • 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, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, 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; Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

  • Bodies/Associations/Groupings

  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

  • Social Justice

  • Government 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 development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

  • Aspects of Governance

  • Important 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.

  • IR/Diplomacy

  • India 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

  • PAPER-IV : GENERAL STUDIES III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) which may include following topics:


  • 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
  • Investment models


  • Science 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, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights


  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster and disaster management


  • 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, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; 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

  • PAPER-VII: GENERAL STUDIES-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Status and problems; ethical concernsand 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.


  • 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.

    PAPER-VIII & PAPER IX comprises Optional Subject Papers I & II