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UPSC CSE Selection Process
UPSC CSE Prelim Exam Pattern
UPSC CSE Prelim Exam Pattern
Paper‐I (General Studies )
Paper‐II (General Aptitude)
Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim)
Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in
case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.
UPSC CSE Prelim Syllabus for PAPER-I
Current events of national and international importance.
History of India and Indian National Movement.
Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the
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.
UPSC CSE Prelim Syllabus for PAPER-II
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)
One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution
Papers to be Counted for Merit
General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Genera Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Optional Subject – Paper 1
Optional Subject – Paper 2
Sub Total (Written Test)
UPSC CSE Syllabus for Indian Language Paper
(i) comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.
(v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.
UPSC CSE Syllabus for English Language
(i) Comprehension of given passages.
(ii) Precis Writing.
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.
(iv) Short Essays.
UPSC CSE Syllabus for Mains Essay Paper
Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to
keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write
concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.
UPSC CSE Syllabus for General Studies‐I
Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society
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 CSE Syllabus for General Studies‐II
Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
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
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-governanceapplications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency &
accountability and institutional and other measures.
Role of civil services in a democracy.
India and its neighborhood- relations.
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests,
Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
UPSC CSE Syllabus for General Studies‐III
Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth,
development and employment.
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
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
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
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
Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
UPSC CSE Syllabus for General Studies‐IV
Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues
relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues
and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study
approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered :
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
Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and 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.
Prelims Marks are not included to Prepare Final Merit Preparation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On UPSC CSE Syllabus
Question-What is the UPSC’s Annual Programme (Calendar) of Examinations/RTs (Recruitment Tests)? Answer – The UPSC publishes an Annual Programme (Calendar) of all the Structured Examinations/RTs conducted by it at least 6 months in advance (i.e. in June) for the Examinations/RTs to be conducted during the next calendar year. The Programme is uploaded on the UPSC’s website as also published in the leading news papers of the country. The date of issue of Examination Notice for each Examination is also mentioned in this Annual Programme.
Question–What happens if a candidate submits multiple online applications? Answer – While a candidate should avoid submitting more than one online application, in case of doing so, the data provided in the last application (highest RID Number), that is successfully submitted online, is accepted by the Commission. All previous applications are ignored as these are amalgamated with the last completed & finally submitted application. If an applicant (who has already submitted an application successfully) wants to make amendments in the application, then he has to submit a fresh application on or before the last date of submission of application of the Examination. Therefore, it must be ensured that fee is submitted against the last online application only, which should also be complete in all respects including its final submission. Fee paid against one RID shall not be adjusted against any other RID number
Question-What action is taken by the Commission in case of submission of false information by the candidates? Answer – A candidate found to be furnishing false information to the Commission or suppressing information, adopting various unfair means in the Examination like impersonation, cheating, etc., is liable to be disqualified and/or debarred from writing UPSC Examinations as decided by the Commission. A detailed stipulation in this regard is incorporated in the Rules of Examination/ Examination Notices.