[NEW] Flagship TS Batch 2 for IAS Prelims 2018 starts on 15th Sept

To join click here | Want a demo test? Click here | Have Q? Call us at 8823831311

UPSC IAS Mains Syllabus

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has revised the pattern of UPSC Main examination from 2015 onwards.

The written examination consists of 9 papers,in which, 2 are qualifying papers and 7 papers are counted for ranking. As per new UPSC Mains Syllabus, general studies papers consists of 1000 marks.

The detailed syllabus for GS1 – 4 papers along with the reading material references/ blogs/ video content is given below.

Click on the blue text (hyperlinks) as you read the syllabus and make notes to cover up your basics for IAS Mains preparation.

Before you start making notes, read this holy grail from UPSC’s mandate:

The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyse, and take a view on conflicting socio‐ economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.

Note4students:

  1. You don’t have to master the topics, all you need is a general understanding and the ability to analyse
  2. Once you read up these basic building content blocks (or your coaching notes, reference books) – ensure that you attempt the Target Mains & Prelims Daily initiative which goes on at CD. Our mentors take due care to give you meaningful inputs on your sincere attempts

General Studies 1 [250 Marks]

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, redrawing 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.


General Studies 2 [250 Marks]

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 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 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.


General Studies 3 [250 Marks]

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth and development, 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.

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


General Studies 4 [250 Marks]

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 governance.

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.

Case Studies on above issues.



Questions, Tips?


  1. White Walker

    hello CD, i had a query.. mailed to hello@civilsdaily . kindly address it..

  2. Parvathy

    This hyperlink is revolutionary CD… Good idea 🙂 As someone who depends only on CD for majority things this is very helpful.. Please cover the entire syllabus topic by topic as you do here..

    1. Root

      Thanks Parvathy,

      We will be digging our old static blogs and making new ones to help you structure a basic level understanding of UPSC Mains. The idea is to ensure that everyone has access to quality material for reference studies beyond the regular textbook.

      1. Bhupesh Kumar

        TWO suggestions from a true CD FAN….
        1.PLEASE INCLUDE PYQP OF UPSC MAINS ALONG WITH SAME HYPERLINK….

        2.THERE ARE SOME OVERLAPPING TOPICS BETWEEN PRELIMS AND MAINS
        THERE SHOULD BE SOME WAY TO FILTER OUT ONLY PRELIMS CONTENT AS WELL…
        YOUR HYPERLINK SYLLABUS CONTENT IS JUST BRILLIANT….
        YOUR PREVIOUS COLLECTION OF CONSTITUTION
        DR V ENVIRONMENT COVERAGE ,YOUR ECONOMICS CONCEPT COLLECTION AND INDIAN ECONOMIC SURVEY COLLECTION CAN BE USED IN THE HYPERLINK…

        1. Root

          Bhupesh,

          Thanks for the suggestion. Both points are valid and we plan to take the value addition in layers.

          Layer 1: Completing all basic material (which is within CD or building new one)
          Layer 2: Adding previous year’s mains questions/ prelims questions to complete the feedback loop for you guys
          Layer 3: Adding enhanced images, mnemonics, B2B, tables etc which help you retain imp stuff for prelims/ mains

          Right now, the process is of completing the L1 material

  3. Rashid. a s

    please give more importance to ethics . Please make the explanations simple and with relatable examples

  4. Bhupesh Kumar

    Will you cover the whole syllabus in hyperlinks format ?
    if not then how much ?

    1. Root

      Yes, the idea is to cover this comprehensively. We will keep making it comprehensive layer by layer. You will get ~30% coverage by Sept 15 and it follows as we speak.

Highest Rated App. Over 3 lakh users. Click to Download!!!