UPSC Syllabus 2020 - 2021 for Civil Services Prelims & Mains: Download PDF

UPSC Syllabus 2020 - 2021 for CSE Prelims & Mains: In this article, we have provided the detailed syllabus for UPSC (IAS) Prelims and Mains Exam 2020. The given syllabus will be helpful for the IAS aspirants preparing for UPSC Civil Service Exam 2020.


Sep 30, 2020 16:11 IST
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UPSC (IAS) Syllabus 2020: Download UPSC Syllabus PDF - Prelims & Mains
UPSC (IAS) Syllabus 2020: Download UPSC Syllabus PDF - Prelims & Mains

UPSC Syllabus 2020 - 2021 for CSE Prelims & Mains: With an ocean-wide syllabus and study material, complete knowledge of the defined UPSC (IAS) syllabus is a prerequisite for clarifying the exam. UPSC (IAS) exam syllabus for both prelims and mains exam is comprehensive as well as extensive. Hence the syllabus acts as a torchbearer for the IAS preparation as it sets the locus of the studies of every aspect of the IAS Exam. Right interpretations of IAS Syllabus can increase the chances of success in the exam.

UPSC IAS Exam has three exam stages:

(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for the Mains Exam.

(ii) Civil Services Mains Examination (Written) for the selection of candidates for the next level of the UPSC IAS Exam.

(iii) Civil Services Personality Test (PT)- The final stage for selection

The syllabus for all three stages of the exam is inter-linked and hence needs a deeper look to understand the requirement of each stage of the IAS Exam.

Check Subject-wise Study Material & Important Resources for UPSC (IAS) Prelims Exam 2020

UPSC IAS Prelims Exam 2020

In IAS Prelims, UPSC tests the analytical, logical, and reasoning ability of the candidates. The IAS Prelims Exam is divided into two parts:

(i) General Studies Paper-I

(ii) General Studies Paper-II

Both papers have the maximum time limit of two hours and the General Studies Paper-II, which is popularly known as CSAT, is only qualifying in nature. The exam is conducted on a single day with Paper 1 in the morning session and paper 2 in the evening session.

Check Tina Dabi’s (AIR 1) Preparation Strategy & Study Plan for Last 3 Months

UPSC IAS Syllabus Prelims Exam 2020: GS Paper I

Marks: 200

Duration:  2 hours

Sl. No

Subject-wise Division

Detailed Syllabus



History of India and Indian Freedom Struggle

Ancient History of India

Medieval History of India

Modern History 1857 to 1947

Indian National Movement



Geography of India and

Concept of Physical Geography

Physical Geography

Human Geography

Economic Geography

World Geography



Indian Polity and Governance issues

Union Executives

State Executives

Federalism in India

Judicial System

Panchayati Raj



Indian Economy and Social Development

Basic Principles of Indian Economy

Social Schemes of Government

Social Development through Economic Empowerment

Sustainable Development



Environment and Ecology

Principles of Environment and Ecology

General Principles

Climate Change and

Climate Summits and Conferences


General Science

Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Technology

General Principles

Latest Science and Technological Development


Current Events

It covers all the events of National and International Importance

Current Affairs

Current Affairs with all Dimensions

The UPSC does not follow any particular trend in its prelims question paper, hence it is tough to comprehend anything from the previous year question papers. But they can definitely give a clarity about what type of questions are asked in the UPSC IAS exam.

UPSC 2020 (IAS) Prelims: Check Important Questions on Government Schemes, Acts & Organisations
UPSC IAS Syllabus Prelims Exam 2020: General Studies Paper II (CSAT) [Qualifying]

Marks: 200 marks

Duration: 2 hours

1. Reading Comprehension

2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability

4. Decision making and problem-solving ability

5. General mental ability

6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level)

7. English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

8. Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

IAS Topper's Videos

UPSC IAS Mains Exam 2020

IAS Main Exam has four general studies papers, two compulsory language papers, one essay paper, and two papers of Optional subject. It is a descriptive type of exam and has a totally enhanced version of the IAS Prelims exam.

IAS Main Exam 2020 Syllabus

it can be said that the IAS Main Syllabus is a mammoth expansion of the IAS Prelims Syllabus.


Sl. No.

Name of Paper


1 Essay Paper Any Topic/Topics (Current issues) 250

GS Paper I

Indian Heritage and
Culture, Indian History, World History, World Geography, Indian Society, Important Geo-physical phenomena



GS Paper II

Governance, Indian Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and
International relations, Welfare Schemes, Statutory, regulatory and quasi-judicial bodies, Role of civil services in a democracy, India’s relation with neighbour countries, International institutions,



GS Paper III

Economic Development, Bio diversity,
Indian Economy and its various sectors

Government Budgeting

Land Reforms

Inclusive Growth

Security and Disaster Management



GS Paper IV

Ethics and Human Interface



Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Public/Civil service value

Probity in Governance

Case study on above topics

Indian Language Paper
(i) Comprehension of given passages
(ii) Précis Writing
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary
(iv) Short Essays
(v) Translation from English to the Indian
language and vice-versa 
7 English
Comprehension of given passages
Précis Writing
Usage and Vocabulary
Short Essays 


Optional Paper I

As opted by Candidate



Optional Paper II As opted by Candidate 250
List of Optional Subject in IAS Mains Exam 2020

The List of Optional Subjects is as follows:   

(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

The literature of any one of the languages such as Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.

Once you have thoroughly assessed the syllabus, the next step is the right selection of reference books.

You can check here the list of best recommended books by the UPSC IAS toppers.

UPSC (IAS) Prelims: Download Solved Previous Years Papers' & Important Resources



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