The Main written examination comprises a total of nine (9) papers of two types:
- 2 papers of non-ranking types
- 7 papers of ranking type
♦ Non-ranking Papers
Two papers of non-ranking type include:
Paper A: Indian language, to be selected by the candidate out of languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution
Paper B: English, which is a compulsory paper
- Both the papers of non ranking type will be 300 marks and for 3 hours duration each.
♦ Ranking Papers
- Paper - I : Essay
- Four (4) papers of General Studies in the following manner:
- Paper – II: General Studies – I on Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society
- Paper – III: General Studies – II on Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
- Paper – IV: General Studies – III on Technology, Economic Development, Bio?diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
- Paper – V: General Studies – IV on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
Paper VI & Paper VII: Two (2) papers in any one optional subject (candidates may choose any one optional subject from amongst the UPSC’s list of optional subjects in the Mains Examination).
All the 7 papers of ranking type will be 250 marks and for 3 hours duration each. Blind candidates will, however be allowed an extra time of thirty minutes at each paper.
- The paper on Indian Language and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
- The paper on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North-Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also for candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim.
- Evaluation of the ranking papers, namely, ‘Essay’, ‘All the papers of General Studies’ and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on ‘Essay’, ‘General Studies’ and ‘Optional Subject’ of only such candidates will be taken cognizance of who attain such minimum standard as may be fixed by Commission at their discretion for the qualifying papers on ‘Indian Language’ and ‘English’.
- Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language papers, Paper – A & Paper - B, in any of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English. For the Language medium/ literature of languages, the scripts to be used by the candidates will be as under:
Devanagari or Arabic
Devanagari or Olchiki
- Candidates exercising the option to answer the papers in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them. (Candidates should, however, note that if they misuse the above rule, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to them and in extreme cases, their script(s) will not be valued for being in an unauthorised medium).
- The question papers other than language papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
Syllabus of General Studies papers
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
- The Freedom Struggle : its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
- 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 waterbodies and icecaps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
General Studies II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
- Indian Constitution: historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and 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.
- Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
- 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; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi?judicial bodies
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 diasporas.
- Important International institutions, agencies and further structure, mandate.
General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
- Government Budgeting.
- 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.
- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
- 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
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.
- 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 issue.
- The Main written examination comprises a total of nine (9) papers of two types: