UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Detailed Syllabus for GS Paper I (History, Geography & Indian Society)

UPSC: Check UPSC IAS Mains syllabus for GS Paper 1. The General Studies Paper 1 includes History, Geography, and Indian Society combined syllabus. 

UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Detailed Syllabus for GS Paper I (History, Geography & Indian Society)
UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Detailed Syllabus for GS Paper I (History, Geography & Indian Society)

UPSC: Union Public Service Commission will conduct the UPSC Civil Services (Mains) examination 2020 from January 8, 2021. The UPSC Mains syllabus comprises of four GS Papers, Essay, and two Optional papers. All the mains papers are descriptive in nature. The GS Paper 1 of the UPSC Mains Exam includes History (India and World), Geography, Art and Culture, and Indian Society. In this article, we have provided the detailed syllabus of UPSC Mains 2020 GS Paper I. 

Also Check: Section-Wise Preparation Strategy for UPSC Mains GS Paper I 

Previous Year Question Papers UPSC Mains GS Paper I - 2019 to 2005

UPSC IAS Mains General Studies – I Syllabus


Modern Indian History

India Post Independence 

World History

Art & Culture


Indian Geography

World Geography

Indian Society

Social Issues, and Developments in Indian Society

UPSC IAS Mains General Studies I - History Syllabus

➨Modern India (middle of the 18th century until the present)

Career Counseling

All the Economic, Administrative & Socio-cultural impacts of the mentioned points.

  • European Penetration of India
  • British Conquest of India
  • British Policies & Their Impact 
  • Socio-cultural Reform Movements
  • Growth of Nationalism in India (1858-1905)
  • Freedom Struggle and Movements

➨India Post Independence

  • Partition and Its Aftermath
  • Integration of Princely States
  • Wars with Pakistan & China
  • Nuclear Policy
  • Green Revolution, Operation Flood & Cooperatives
  • Emergency
  • Popular Movements

➨ World History

  • Industrial Revolution
  • Renaissance
  • Discovery of Sea Routes
  • European Nations Settle North America
  • Rise of the Slave Trade
  • American War of Independence
  • French Revolution
  • Nationalism in Europe
  • Rise of Capitalism, Colonialism & Imperialism
  • World War I (Causes, Impacts, and After-effects)
  • World War II (Causes, Impacts, and After-effects)
  • Cold War
  • Rise of Asia & Africa
  • Developments in West Asia & North Africa
  • Spread of Communism
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • Cuban Crisis
  • Collapse of Soviet Union

➨ Art and Culture

Indian Art Forms

  • Indian Paintings
  • Classical Dance Forms
  • Folk Dance Forms
  • Classical Music
  • Puppetry
  • Pottery
  • Drama/Theatre
  • Martial Arts


  • Harappan Architecture
  • Temple Architecture
  • Cave Architecture
  • Indo-Islamic Architecture
  • Modern Architecture
  • Rock Cut Architecture
  • Colonial Architecture 


  • Ancient Indian Literature
  • Literature in Ancient Languages
  • Early Dravidian Literature
  • Medieval Literature
  • Women Poets of Bhakti
  • Modern Indian Literature

UPSC IAS Mains General Studies I - Geography Syllabus

➨ Geomorphology

  • Origin & Evolution of Earth
  • Interior of the Earth
  • Distribution of Continents & Oceans
  • Tectonic Plate Theory
  • Distribution of Earthquakes & Volcanoes
  • Landforms & their Evolution

➨ Oceanography

➨ Climatology

  • Earth’s Atmosphere – Composition & Structure
  • Solar Radiation, Heat Budget & Temperature
  • Atmospheric Circulation & Weather Systems
  • World Climate

➨ Geography of Soil

➨ Natural Resource

  • Land Resources
  • Forest Resources
  • Water Resources
  • Mineral & Energy Resources
  • Agricultural Resources

➨ Natural Disasters

  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Tsunami
  • Cyclone

Also Check: UPSC Mains - Detailed Syllabus for all Optional Papers

UPSC IAS Mains General Studies I - Indian Society Syllabus

➨ Features of Indian Society

  • Diversity based on caste, language, social and religious, race, tribe and ethnicity, culture)
  • Unity
  • Inequality and Exclusion
  • Family System

➨ Population and related developments

➨ Poverty and related issues (types, causes, consequences, comparisons etc.)

➨ Urbanization

➨ Globalization

➨Social Empowerment

➨ Role of Women 

  • Women's Organisations and SHGs
  • 19th Century Social Reform Movements and Early Women's Organisations – 

(1) Agrarian Struggles and Revolt, 

(2) Participation in the Freedom Struggle

  • Women's Organisations Post – 1947
  • The resurgence of the Women's Movement in the 70s: 

(1) Emergence of New Organisations,

(2) Approaches and Issues

➨ regionalism 

➨ Communalism

➨ Secularism

Also Check: UPSC Mains GS I Book List & Important Resources for Preparation

UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Structure of General Studies Paper-I

  1. The pattern of Mains General Studies Paper-I will consist of 20 questions that need to be attempted in a time frame of 3 hours.
  2. The paper is of a total of 250 marks with questions of 10 and 15 marks weightage
  3. The word limit for 10 marks questions is 150 and 15 marks are 250

Also Check:

UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Detailed Syllabus for GS Paper II (Polity, Governance & International Relations)
UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Detailed Syllabus for GS Paper III (Economics, Environment & Technology)
UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Detailed Syllabus for GS Paper IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)

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