UPSC Syllabus: IAS Syllabus PDF for UPSC CSE [Prelims & Mains]

UPSC Syllabus is released by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) along with its official notification on the official website. The IAS Syllabus is divided into two parts for prelims and mains. Candidates preparing for the UPSC exam must be well versed with the UPSC syllabus 2022 before they begin their preparation. The UPSC syllabus is considered to be vast and difficult to cover, therefore the aspirants must note down the syllabus to plan their preparation in a strategic manner.

UPSC 2022 syllabus saw no changes and is similar to the previous year’s syllabus. Candidates can also download the UPSC syllabus PDF directly from the official website or use the direct link mentioned below. UPSC releases the syllabus both in English and Hindi.

UPSC Syllabus 2022

The IAS syllabus is divided as per the selection process and stages – UPSC syllabus for prelims and mains. The prelims exam is the first stage of the exam and is qualifying in nature. Candidates who clear the prelims exam appear for the mains exam which is descriptive in nature. After the mains exam, selected candidates appear for the interview stage. To ensure that you are fully prepared, you must go through the complete UPSC syllabus and then begin your preparation.

UPSC Syllabus Overview

Stage-Wise UPSC Exam Syllabus Details
UPSC Syllabus for Prelims Paper 1: UPSC Prelims GS Syllabus

Paper 2: UPSC Prelims CSAT Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus for Mains IAS mains exam consists of 9 papers.

Qualifying Papers – Any Indian Language Paper & English Language Paper, Essay Paper, General Studies (Paper 1 to Paper 4) and Optional Paper – 2 Papers

It is important to note that UPSC releases the IAS syllabus for mains separately for all the papers. In the official UPSC exam syllabus, an optional syllabus for all the subjects is mentioned in detail.

Latest UPSC Syllabus in Hindi [PDF Download]

संघ लोक सेवा आयोग द्वारा प्रति वर्ष, भारतीय प्रशासनिक सेवाओं के लिए भर्ती परीक्षा आयोजित की जाती है। संघ लोक सेवा आयोग द्वारा सिविल सेवा परीक्षा के माध्यम से केंद्रीय भारतीय सेवाओं के लिए आवेदन प्रपत्र प्राप्त किया जाता है।
सिविल सेवा (प्रारंभिक एवं प्रधान) परीक्षा हेतु पाठ्यक्रम संलग्न है। PDF को समय से डाउनलोड करके, अपनी यूपीएससी की तैयारी को नई दिशा प्रदान करें।

UPSC Syllabus Important Topics

As the UPSC Exam 2022 is scheduled for 05 June 2022, less than 30 days are left for the UPSC Prelims. Aspirants should ensure that their total focus is on revising the UPSC Syllabus in a comprehensive manner. Below mentioned are some important topics from the UPSC Syllabus that should be revised before the exam.

  • 25th May 2022: Today’s UPSC Syllabus Topics for revision are Khilafat Movement, NCM, Indian National Movement, and solving previous year’s questions on Modern History.
  • 24th May 2022: The revision topics today from the UPSC Syllabus are Central Government: President, Vice President, Prime minister, Central Council of Ministers, Parliament, State Government: Governor, Chief Minister, State Council of Ministers, State Legislature, and Center-state Relations. Aspirants must solve section Polity UPSC Mock test after revision and one full-length UPSC Prelims Mock test to analyze their preparation of the polity section from the UPSC Syllabus.
  • 23rd May 2022: Revision Topics from UPSC Syllabus for today are from ancient history- IVC, Vedic Age, Mahajanapadas, Religious Reforms and Mauryan Age, Post Mauryan Age.

UPSC Syllabus PDF Download

The UPSC exam syllabus PDF is available in both English and Hindi language. The direct link to download the UPSC exam syllabus is mentioned below. It is highly recommended that you download the IAS Syllabus PDF and ensure that you are well versed with it.

>> UPSC Syllabus PDF Download in English

>> UPSC Syllabus 2022 PDF Download In Hindi

The syllabus for UPSC CSE exam is vast and takes time to complete the entire syllabus, therefore it is highly crucial that you remember the topics to be covered.

UPSC Syllabus For Prelims

The IAS syllabus for prelims consists of the GS syllabus (Paper 1) and CSAT Syllabus (Paper 2). The prelims exam is an elimination round. The prelims stage is a qualifying stage therefore candidates must go through the UPSC prelims syllabus in a comprehensive manner and prepare a strategic plan to ace the exam.

IAS Syllabus for UPSC CSE Prelims – Paper Pattern
Two Papers General Studies Paper 1 (General Studies)
General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)
Total Questions GS Paper 1 – 100

CSAT – 80

Total Marks GS Paper-I – 200 Marks

CSAT – 200 Marks

Negative Marking ⅓ For each incorrect answer, 1/3 of the total marks assigned to the question will be deducted.
Time Allotted Two hours each

GS Paper 1 – 2 Hours (9:30 AM -11:30 AM)

CSAT – 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)

UPSC Syllabus for Prelims General Studies Paper 1

The following topics are listed by UPSC in the official IAS Syllabus 2022.

  1. Current events of national and international importance
  2. History of India and Indian National Movement
  3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc
  5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc
  6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization
  7. General Science

UPSC Syllabus for Prelims General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)

IAS Prelims CSAT paper is a qualifying exam. Marks of CSAT are not counted for the final selection for Mains. As per the official UPSC syllabus 2022, the following are the topics to be covered for the exam.

  1. Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  4. Decision-making and problem solving
  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)

UPSC Syllabus Weightage for Prelims

UPSC Syllabus for Prelims consists of various subjects and the topic-wise weightage of each varies each year. Applicants must go through the weightage of all the subjects asked in the prelims exam paper 1.

Current Affairs History Geography Polity Economy Science & Technology Environment
2021 27 20 10 14 10 08 11
2020 18 20 10 17 15 10 10
2019 22 17 14 15 14 7 11
2018 14 22 10 13 18 10 13
2017 15 14 9 22 16 9 15
2016 27 15 7 7 18 8 18
2015 22 17 16 13 13 8 11
2014 8 20 14 14 10 16 18
2013 0 16 18 16 19 14 17
2012 1 19 17 20 17 9 17
2011 13 11 11 12 19 19 15

UPSC Syllabus 2022 – Important Topics for Prelims

Candidates must note that it is recommended that you do not omit any topic from the IAS Syllabus for the prelims exam. The important topics mentioned below are because they have always been asked in the prelims exam and you must prioritize them when preparing for the prelims exam.

  • Art & Culture – Paintings, Folk Dance, Cave Paintings, Festivals, Ahom Kingdom, World Heritage, Malabar or Moplah Rebellion, Jainism & Buddhism
  • History – Harappan Civilization, Indus Valley, Mauryan, Gupta Empire, South Indian History, Delhi Sultanate, Mughal Empire Indian Independence Movement, Chronology, Constitution during the British era, etc
  • Geography: Indian geography and world geography, climatology, physical geography, soil, agriculture, resource distribution, etc
  • Economics: Features of Indian Economy, Basic Economic Indicators, population, rates, income, money market, banking, international organizations, public finance.
  • Polity has a small syllabus and all topics must be covered.
  • Current Affairs is a significant part of the UPSC prelims exam.

UPSC Syllabus for Mains

The UPSC CSE syllabus for the Mains exam consists of the syllabus for all the papers including essays, general studies, and all optional subjects. It is a well-known fact that the syllabus of UPSC is vast and difficult to remember. The best way to understand the IAS exam syllabus is by dividing it in a structured manner.

Exam experts have divided the syllabus below for all the papers in a tabular format.

Paper Subject IAS Syllabus Overview – Mains
Qualifying Paper: Paper A One of the Indian languages must be chosen by the candidate from the languages listed in the Constitution’s Eighth Schedule. The syllabus consists of Comprehension, Precis Writing, Usage, and Vocabulary with Short Essays.
Qualifying Paper: Paper B English The UPSC CSE syllabus for English includes the following sections – Comprehension of a given passage, Precis Writing, Usage, and Vocabulary, Short Essays

Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa

Paper 1 Essay Can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice
Paper 2 General Studies 1 UPSC exam syllabus for GS 1 includes the following subjects – Art & Culture, History, Geography, and Society
Paper 3 General Studies 2 Paper 2 of the UPSC Syllabus for Mains exam contains topics from Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations
Paper 4 General Studies 3 IAS Syllabus for GS 3 covers the following – Technology, Economics, Environment Biodiversity, Internal Security and Disaster Management
Paper 5 General Studies 4 UPSC syllabus GS 4 covers Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude
Paper 6 Optional Subject – Paper 1 Detailed IAS exam syllabus for all optional subjects is mentioned in the notification.
Paper 7 Optional Subject – Paper 2

Detailed topics under UPSC GS paper 1 2 3 4 syllabus are mentioned below in detail.

UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper 1

The GS Paper 1 Mains Syllabus includes the IAS syllabus for history, geography, society, and Indian culture. Check the detailed UPSC syllabus for GS 1 below.

GS 1 Subjects Syllabus
Art & Culture Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
UPSC History Mains Syllabus
  • 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.
  • The history of the world will include events from the 18th century such as
  • the Industrial Revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization,
  • Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.- their forms and effect on society.
Indian Society UPSC Syllabus Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India, Population and associated issues, Role of women and women’s organization, Effects of globalization on Indian society, Poverty and developmental issues, Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism, Urbanization, their problems, and their remedies.
UPSC Geography Mains Syllabus
  • Salient features of the 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, cyclones, 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 GS Paper 2

The General Studies paper 2 of the IAS syllabus includes topics from Polity, Governance, and IR. Check the detailed syllabus below.

UPSC Syllabus Polity

  • 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 disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the 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

Governance UPSC Syllabus

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

UPSC Syllabus for International Relations

  • 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.

UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper 3

UPSC CSE syllabus for GS 3 covers Economics, Science & Tech, and Internal Security. The Focus area of the IAS Syllabus for GS 3 is mentioned below

UPSC IAS Syllabus for GS Paper 3
Economics Macroeconomics and Economic Development in India along with Banking, International Organisations, Money Market and Capital Market.
Science & Technology Nuclear Energy, Space Technology with recent missions, Defence Technology, Dark Matter

Higgs Boson, GM Crops, Current Affairs and Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology

Biodiversity Types of Biodiversity, Environment, Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Security Internal Security Challenges in India, Extremism

Terrorism, Money-Laundering

Disaster Management PM Cares Fund, recent Government steps, National Disaster Management Plan


upsc syllabus
UPSC Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper 4 (Ethics)

The ethics section is a per of GS paper 4 in the UPSC Syllabus. This was the latest addition to the IAS syllabus in 2013 which also includes various case studies to judge the practical aspects of the administrative job. The ethics UPSC syllabus is divided into three sections- ethics, integrity, and aptitude.

This section of the UPSC exam syllabus will feature questions designed to assess the candidates’ attitudes and approaches to topics such as honesty, public probity, and his problem-solving approach to a variety of challenges and conflicts he may confront in interacting with society. To identify these features, questions may use a case study technique.

  • 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, Empathy, Impartiality and Non-partisanship, Objectivity, Tolerance, Dedication to Public Service, and Compassion towards the weaker-sections.
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers from India and the World
  • Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration
  • Probity in Governance

UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects

Aspirants choose one of the optional subjects out of the 48 mentioned in the official notification to apple for UPSC mains papers 6 & 7. Check the UPSC civil services syllabus for all the optional subjects below.

List of Optional Subject Syllabus for IAS Mains
S.No Subject Name
1 Economics Syllabus for UPSC
2 Geography Syllabus for UPSC IAS Mains
3 PSIR UPSC Optional Syllabus
4 Sociology UPSC Optional Syllabus
5 UPSC Mains Agriculture Syllabus
6 UPSC Mains Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus
7 UPSC Anthropology Syllabus
8 UPSC Botany Syllabus
9 UPSC Chemistry Syllabus
10 UPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus
11 UPSC Commerce and Accountancy Syllabus
12 UPSC Electrical Engineering Syllabus
13 UPSC Mains Geology Syllabus
14 UPSC History Syllabus
15 UPSC Law Syllabus
15 UPSC Management Syllabus
16 UPSC Maths Optional Syllabus
17 UPSC Mains Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
18 UPSC Medical Science Syllabus
19 UPSC Philosophy Syllabus
20 UPSC Physics Syllabus
21 UPSC Psychology Syllabus
22 UPSC Mains Public Administration Syllabus
23 UPSC Science and Tech Syllabus
24 UPSC Mains Statistics Syllabus
25 Zoology Syllabus for UPSC
List of Literature Syllabus for UPSC Mains
S.No Language
1 Assamese Literature Syllabus for UPSC
2 Bengali Literature Syllabus for UPSC
3 Gujarati Literature Syllabus for UPSC
4 Manipuri Literature Syllabus for UPSC
5 Odia Literature Syllabus for UPSC
6 Sanskrit Literature Syllabus for UPSC
7 Telugu Literature Syllabus for UPSC
8 UPSC Bodo Literature Syllabus
9 UPSC English Literature Syllabus
10 UPSC Hindi Literature Syllabus
11 UPSC Kannada Literature Syllabus
12 UPSC Maithili Literature Syllabus
13 UPSC Sindhi Literature Syllabus
14 UPSC Tamil Literature Syllabus
15 UPSC Maithili Literature Syllabus
16 UPSC Malayalam Literature Optional Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus for Interview

There is no defined IAS syllabus for the Interview, also known as Personality Test. As the name suggests, UPSC does not aim to test specialized knowledge in Interviews that have already been tested in the mains exam.

  • The purpose of the interview/personality test is to assess the candidate’s personal fitness for a career in public service and assess a candidate’s mental abilities.
  • This is a test of not only academic abilities but also social attributes and current-event interests.
  • Mental alertness, critical capacities of absorption, clear and logical presentation, the balance of judgment, range and depth of interest, aptitude for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity are some of the attributes to be assessed.

UPSC Syllabus 2022 – Preparation Tips

To begin your preparation for the upcoming UPSC CSE exam 2022, you must download and decode the IAS syllabus for prelims, mains, and optional subjects. After carefully analyzing the syllabus, create a study plan to cover all the topics of the UPSC exam syllabus in a timely manner.

  • There are a lot of books available in the market for UPSC preparation hence, carefully select the booklist for all the subjects.
  • Always refer to the syllabus while completing a topic so that you are aware of how to complete the topic and the sections to focus on.
  • After completing each section, practice UPSC question papers to assess your comprehension.
  • The most important part of the UPSC preparation is revision. It is important to consistently revise the completed syllabus to improve retention.

Best Books to Cover IAS Syllabus

Below mentioned are the best foundation UPSC Books to cover the general studies section of the UPSC exam syllabus. It is important that each aspirant completes the NCERT books for UPSC before moving on to other books.

  • History – India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra, Indian Art, and Culture by Nitin Singhania, NCERT Class 11 and Class 12
  • Geography – NCERT, G C Leong, Atlas
  • Indian Polity- Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth
  • Economics- Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh, Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain & Ohri along with NCERTs, Bidget, and Economic Survey
  • Environment- NCERTs
  • Current Affairs

UPSC Syllabus – Prelims vs Mains

When going through the IAS syllabus for prelims and mains, you will notice that mains is just an elaborate version of the prelims syllabus. Let’s compare the UPSC syllabus for prelims and mains to analyze the topics & subjects covered in both stages.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus – Subjects UPSC Mains Syllabus – Subjects
  1. History – Ancient, Medieval & Modern
  2. Post-Independence India
  3. Art & Culture
  4. Indian and World Geography
  5. Polity & Governance
  6. Economics
  7. Environment & Biodiversity
  8. Science & Tech
  9. Current Affairs
  10. CSAT
  1. English
  2. Chosen Language
  3. Indian Art & Culture
  4. History- Ancient, Medieval & Modern
  5. World History
  6. Geography
  7. Indian Society
  8. Polity & Governance
  9. International Relations
  10. Science & Technology
  11. Economics & Economic Development
  12. Environment & Biodiversity
  13. Internal Security
  14. Disaster Management
  15. Ethics
  16. Optional Subject

Prelims exam is an MCQ-based test where questions asked can be chosen from the given options where questions in the mains exam are descriptive. The mains exam is designed to evaluate applicants’ general intellectual qualities and depth of knowledge rather than just their breadth of material and recall.

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