UPSC Syllabus 2023: PDF Download, UPSC CSE Syllabus for Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus is available here for the upcoming CSE 2023. Download the Latest IAS syllabus PDF in English and Hindi for Prelims, Mains, GS subjects, and optional papers.

Going through the UPSC syllabus will aid candidates in preparing effectively for the Prelims and Mains stages of the Civil Services Examination (CSE). It is released by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on its official website and provides a subject-wise list of topics to be studied to score well in each stage of the exam. The Prelims exam is scheduled to take place on 28 May 2023, for which candidates can download the subject-wise IAS syllabus PDF in English and Hindi from the links provided below. The candidates preparing for the forthcoming exam must be well-versed in the syllabus before they begin their preparation. The UPSC CSE Syllabus is considered vast and difficult to cover; therefore, the aspirants must note down the syllabus to plan their preparation strategically. If you have decided on your optional, download the UPSC syllabus for Prelims, Mains, GS subjects, and optional papers from the link below.

Download UPSC Syllabus PDF 2023

Download UPSC Syllabus in Hindi PDF 2023

This article has categorized the complete UPSC Syllabus 2023 for your convenience for Prelims, Mains, and Optional subjects. Geography, Sociology, Political Science, Public Administration, History, Law, and Philosophy are some of the popular subjects you can opt for. The syllabus for 2023 will have no changes and will be similar to the last year. Candidates can download the UPSC syllabus PDF in English and Hindi directly from the below links.

UPSC Syllabus PDF

The UPSC Exam syllabus PDF is available in both English and Hindi language. The direct link to download the UPSC syllabus 2023 is mentioned below. It is highly recommended that you download the IAS Syllabus PDF and ensure you are well-versed in it.

The syllabus for the UPSC CSE is vast, and it takes time to complete the entire syllabus. Therefore, you must remember the list of all the important topics to be covered.

UPSC Syllabus PDF in Hindi

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। UPSC Syllabus PDF in Hindi को समय से डाउनलोड करके, अपनी यूपीएससी की तैयारी को नई दिशा प्रदान करें।

UPSC Syllabus 2023

IAS syllabus is divided as per the selection process and stages – Prelims and Mains. The UPSC Prelims exam is the first stage and is qualifying in nature. Candidates who clear the prelims exam appear for the UPSC Mains, which is descriptive. The applicants can download the UPSC syllabus for GS and optional subjects separately. 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 2023 and begin your preparation. It is important to note that UPSC releases the IAS syllabus for Mains separately for all the papers.

UPSC Syllabus 2023 for Prelims

UPSC syllabus for prelims consists of the GS syllabus (Paper 1) and CSAT Syllabus (Paper 2). The prelims stage is a qualifying stage. Therefore, candidates must comprehensively go through the UPSC prelims syllabus and prepare a strategic plan to ace the exam.

IAS Syllabus for UPSC CSE Prelims
Two Papers General Studies Paper 1 (General Studies)
General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)
Total Questions GS Paper 1 – 100 and CSAT – 80
Total Marks GS Paper 1: 200 Marks and CSAT: 200 Marks
Negative Marking 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) and CSAT: 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)

UPSC CSE Syllabus for GS Paper 1

UPSC lists the following topics in the official IAS syllabus 2023. Check the topics covered in UPSC CSE 2023 General Studies Paper 1 syllabus:

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

UPSC Syllabus GS 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 2023, the following are the topics to be covered for the exam.

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills, including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • General mental ability
  • 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.

Year/Subject Current Affairs History Geography Polity Economics Science and Technology Environment
2021 14 20 10 14 15 12 15
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 26 17 16 13 13 8 11
2014 8 22 14 14 10 16 18
2013 0 16 18 16 19 14 17
2012 1 19 17 20 17 9 17

UPSC Syllabus 2023 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 UPSC Mains syllabus is vast and difficult to remember. The best way to understand the IAS exam syllabus is by dividing it into 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 The candidate must choose one of the Indian languages 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, Vocabulary, and 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 the 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 The topics included in the optional subject syllabus are mentioned in the notification.
Paper 7 Optional Subject – Paper 2

Detailed topics under UPSC syllabus for GS papers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are mentioned below:

UPSC Syllabus for Mains GS Paper 1

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

GS 1 Subjects UPSC CSE 2023 General Studies 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, the role of women and women’s organizations, 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), flora and fauna, and the effects of such changes.

UPSC Syllabus 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 for 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 about 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 from 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 are constituted for protecting and improving these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, and 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, and mandate.

UPSC Syllabus GS Paper 3

UPSC CSE syllabus for GS 3 covers Economics, Science & Tech, and Internal Security. The focus areas of the IAS Syllabus for GS 3 are mentioned below.

IAS Syllabus for GS Paper 3
Economics Macroeconomics and Economic Development in India and 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 for GS Paper 4 (Ethics)

The ethics section is as per GS paper 4 in the UPSC Syllabus. This was the latest addition to the IAS syllabus in 2013, which 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 problem-solving approach to various challenges and conflicts they 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 from the 48 mentioned in the official notification to appear for UPSC mains papers 6 & 7. Check the UPSC CSE syllabus for all the optional subjects below. The List of Optional Subject Syllabus for UPSC Mains Exam:

UPSC Optional Literature Syllabus

IAS Syllabus also includes an optional syllabus for various literature subjects. Candidates who opt for one of the literature subjects as their optional must download the UPSC Syllabus for literate subjects to get started.

UPSC Syllabus Interview

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

  • The purpose of the UPSC interview/personality test is to assess the candidate’s fitness for a career in public service and assess the candidate’s mental abilities.
  • This tests 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.

Tips to Prepare UPSC Syllabus 2023

To begin your preparation for the upcoming Civil Services Exam exam 2023, 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 UPSC syllabus topics promptly.

  • 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 UPSC syllabus while completing a topic, so you know how to complete the topic and the sections to focus on.
  • After completing each section, practice UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to assess your comprehension.
  • The most important part of the preparation is revision. It is important to revise the completed syllabus to improve retention consistently.

Best Books to Cover IAS Syllabus

Below are the best foundation UPSC Books to cover the general studies section of the UPSC CSE syllabus. Each aspirant must complete 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
  • UPSC Current Affairs

Difference between UPSC Syllabus for Prelims and 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.

Subjects under UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

  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

Subjects under UPSC Mains Syllabus:

  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

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

UPSC Syllabus for IPS

UPSC Syllabus for IPS is the same as the IAS Syllabus. UPSC conducts the civil service exam yearly for various Group A and B services, including IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, and more. The detailed UPSC Syllabus released each year by the commission is similar to all the services included under the CSE exam. Candidates who apply for the IPS Exam must clear the Prelims exam, followed by Mains and Interview. As per rank and preference, applicants are allotted the IPS posts. Therefore, prepare the UPSC Syllabus 2023 for Prelims and Mains to get your desired services.

UPSC Syllabus for IFS

UPSC conducts IFS Exam under the civil service exam. The UPSC exam syllabus for Indian foreign service is the same as the IAS syllabus, which includes prelims, mains, and optional subject syllabus. Indian Foreign Service is allocated after the UPSC Result based on the rank, preference of the candidate, and vacancies. Candidates who wish to be IFS officers must download the UPSC syllabus for IFS subject-wise using the links mentioned above.

Role of an IFS Officer

  • IFS officers represent India in the embassy, consulate,s and high commissions worldwide.
  • IFS also represents the country in permanent missions to organizations like the UN.
  • Their prime responsibility is safeguarding national interests and promoting friendly relations with other countries.

Is there any change in UPSC Syllabus 2023?

Since 1979, UPSC has followed the three-phase selection method, viz., Prelims, Mains, and Personality Test or Interview, for recruiting candidates for group A and group B services under the central government. Therefore, the IAS syllabus is released for prelims and mains. Though from time to time, the UPSC prelims and mains exam pattern has changed gradually, it has still withheld the tag of being the toughest exam in India.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus and Pattern

  • Back before 2010, the UPSC syllabus and pattern were simple and predictable. The prelims pattern had MCQs, which could be easily cleared by mugging up the famous magazines, notes, and authentic UPSC books.
  • But in recent times, the syllabus for UPSC prelims mainly focuses on current affairs, correlating it with the static knowledge of subjects.

UPSC Mains Syllabus and Pattern

  • The questions asked from the IAS syllabus previously were more of a direct approach, but the questions asked in recent times test the candidate’s mental and critical thinking ability.
  • Moreover, the 2 marks questions are no longer a part of the main question paper.

The timeline here showcases the changes over years made in the UPSC Exam Pattern:

2011: The UPSC syllabus for CSAT was introduced. The CSAT paper replaced the optional subject in the prelims as GS Paper 2.

2012: The marks of the GS Paper and the CSAT paper were added to make the prelims merit list for qualifying candidates. The syllabus for UPSC mains was made more generic. The exam pattern 2012 incorporated two papers on general studies and one essay.

2013: The total marks for the essay paper increased from 200 to 250. The candidates had to write only one essay per the updated IAS Syllabus.

  • The number of optional subjects in the UPSC mains decreased from two to one, and the number of general studies papers increased from two to four.
  • The previous two general studies papers were divided into three, with the introduction of ‘Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude’ as GS paper 4.

2014: In the essay paper from 2014, candidates were asked to attempt two Essays from the given two sections. The total number of permissible attempts at the exam was increased from four to six for general-category candidates. The maximum permissible age limit to sit for the IAS exam was increased from 30 to 32 years for general candidates.

2015: Only GS marks obtained in the prelims exam were considered for merit, and the CSAT was made only for qualifying. Over the recent years, there have been no major changes in the UPSC syllabus except for the decrease in vacancies. Also, the major decision of the authorities to share the details and results of the appearing candidates with other public and private recruiting agencies.

List of Important Topics in UPSC Syllabus

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 the list of topics that have been always been asked in the prelims exam, and you must prioritize them while 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.
  • UPSC Syllabus for Polity has limited topics, most of which are crucial for the upcoming exam.
  • Geography: Indian geography and world geography, climatology, physical geography, soil, agriculture, resource distribution, etc
  • Economics: Features of the Indian Economy, Basic Economic Indicators, population, income, money market, banking, international organizations, and public finance.
  • Current Affairs for UPSC are a significant part of the Prelims and Mains exam.

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