• UPSC Syllabus 2024: IAS Prelims, Mains Syllabus

  • Exam Mode : Both
Update on: 07 Sep 2023 16:21:40 PM

UPSC 2024 Syllabus is provided in this article. Candidates appearing for the IAS exam can check the latest UPSC syllabus for Prelims and Mains exam here. Know about the important topics and chapters asked in the exam. 

UPSC Syllabus 2024

The UPSC Civil Services Exam (IAS Exam) is the country’s most coveted examination for which lakhs of candidates appear. However, cracking the UPSC exam cannot be done in just a few weeks. Thus, to crack the UPSC IAS exam an aspirant needs to have a thorough knowledge of the UPSC syllabus. 

The UPSC syllabus is composed of a Preliminary Examination (objective type) and Mains Examination (descriptive type). Lastly, an interview is also held. Here is a brief of the UPSC syllabus for your reference: 

  • Preliminary Stage – General Studies & CSAT
  • Mains Stage – 9 Theory Papers (GS I to IV, Language Papers, Essay & Optional)
  • Personality Test – Interview

After the completion of these three stages, the final merit list is prepared by calculating the marks secured by candidates in Mains and Interview. Candidates must go through this post to know the detailed UPSC syllabus for Prelims and Mains. UPSC aspirants can also download the latest UPSC syllabus PDF that is shared on this page here. 

⇒ Download UPSC IAS Mains Admit Card 2024

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus 2024

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 the papers in the UPSC IAS exam are objective in nature. Each paper is for a duration of 2 Hours. Check the major highlights of the UPSC IAS syllabus for Prelims in the table below.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus Overview

Papers in UPSC Prelims exam

General Studies Paper-I

General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)

Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I


Number of Questions asked in CSAT


Total Marks bin UPSC exam 

400 Marks

  • GS Paper-I – 200 Marks
  • CSAT – 200 Marks

Negative Marking 

1/3rd of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer

Time Allotted

Two hours for each paper:

  • GS Paper-I – 2 Hours (9:30 AM -11:30 AM)
  • CSAT – 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)

UPSC IAS Syllabus for Prelims: Paper 1, 2 Syllabus

The details of the UPSC IAS syllabus for Prelims has been shared here for Paper 1 and Paper 2. 

UPSC General Studies Paper- I Syllabus

The UPSC GS 1 has 100 questions for 200 marks. The time duration is 2 Hours. All the questions are objective in nature. Check the important topics in the UPSC GS Paper 1 syllabus.

  • Current events of National & International importance
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • History of India & Indian National Movement
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization
  • General Science

UPSC General Studies Paper- II Syllabus (CSAT)

The UPSC GS 2 comprises of 80 questions. The total marks for UPSC CSAT is 200 marks while the exam duration is 2 Hours. Candidates have to obtain at least 33% in the CSAT paper. The marks obtained in this paper will not be included in determining the merit list. The important topics that are covered in it are as follows:

  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability.
  • Decision making & problem solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class 10th level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class 10th level)

UPSC Exam Related Posts: 

UPSC Previous Year Question Paper UPSC Exam Pattern

UPSC Syllabus for Mains

The UPSC Mains examination is the second stage of the Civil Services Examination. Only those candidates who qualify the Prelims are eligible to appear for the UPSC Mains exam.

  • The UPSC IAS Mains exam has a total of 9 papers that are descriptive in nature. 
  • The Mains exam has two qualifying papers, Indian language paper and English Language paper. 
  • The Essay, General Studies and Optional subjects papers will be evaluated only for those candidates who get 25% marks in both the language papers. 
  • Here is the UPSC Mains exam pattern in the table below. 





Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)



General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)



General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)



General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)



General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)



Optional Subject – Paper I



Optional Subject – Paper II


UPSC Syllabus for Mains GS - I

General Studies I the Paper II of UPSC Mains syllabus. It covers – Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society. The detailed UPSC Mains Syllabus for this paper is given below:

  • 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 sub-continent); 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. 

UPSC Syllabus for Mains GS-II

General Studies II is Paper III of UPSC Mains. It covers Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations. The detailed UPSC syllabus for Mains for GS 2 is given below:

  • Constitution of India —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 neighbourhood- 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. 

UPSC Syllabus for Mains GS - III

General Studies III is the Paper- IV of the UPSC Mains. The topics covered in this paper constitute Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management. The detailed UPSC syllabus for UPSC Mains GS 3is given below:

  • 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. 

UPSC Syllabus for Mains GS - IV

General Studies Paper IV is the Paper V of UPSC Mains. The topics covered under it are Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. The following are the topics which are covered in this: 

  • 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 the 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 the above issues. 

List of Optional Subject and Syllabus in IAS Mains Exam 2024

(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, Manipuri, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.


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