Civil Services

UPSC Syllabus and scheme of the Preliminary and Main Examinations

 The Civil Services Examination comprises TWO successive stages:

1. CSAT/Preliminary Examination

2. Main Examination

i) Written and

ii) Personality Test/Interview 

 

CSAT/PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION

The Preliminary Examination will consist of TWO papers of Objective type (Multiple Choice Questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in subsection (A) of Section-II. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted in determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.

Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test vide sub-section ‘C’ of Section-II. Marks obtained in the papers will be counted for ranking. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled. Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and Posts.

NOTE:

  • Both the question papers will be of the objective type (Multiple Choice Questions).
  • The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level will be tested through passages from English Language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
  • Each paper will be of two hours duration. Blind candidates will, however; be allowed an extra time of twenty minutes at each paper. 

The Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

Paper I: UPSC Syllabus

Duration: 2 hours, Marks: 200

  • 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 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.

Paper II: UPSC Syllabus

Duration: 2 hours, Marks: 200

  • 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)
  • English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

 

MAIN EXAMINATION

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

 

PAPER GEN. STUDIES SUBJECTS MARKS
I Essay 250
II 1 Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society 250
III 2 Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations 250
IV 3 Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management 250
V 4 Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude 250
VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
Written Test – Sub Total 1750 Marks
Personality Test / Interview 275
Grand Total 2025 Marks

 

 

The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.

The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio- economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.

The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broad of the honors degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the master’s degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level correspond to the bachelors’ degree.

 

UPSC Syllabus of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services Main Examination are given as follows:

 

PAPER-I

General Essay

Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. 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.

 

PAPER-II (General Studies- I): UPSC Syllabus

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, redraw 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.
  • The 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 subcontinent); 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.

 

PAPER-III (General Studies- II) : UPSC Syllabus

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 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
  • 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.
  • The role of civil services in a democracy.
  • 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 foray- their structure, mandate.

 

PAPER-IV (General Studies-III): UPSC Syllabus

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.
  • 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

 

 

PAPER-V (General Studies-IV): UPSC Syllabus

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.

 

PAPER-VI & PAPER VII

Optional Subject

Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given in Para 2 (Group 1). However, if a candidate has graduated in any of the literatures of languages indicated in Group-2, with the literature as the main subject, then the candidate can also opt for that particular literature subject as an optional subject.

 

List of optional subjects for Main Examination:

 

Group-1 

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Medical Science
  18. Philosophy
  19. Physics
  20. Political Science and International Relations
  21. Psychology
  22. Public Administration
  23. Sociology
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology

Group-2

Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.

NOTE:

  1. Marks obtained by the candidates for all papers (Paper I-VII) will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination.
  2. For the Language medium/ literature of languages, the scripts to be used by the candidates

 

 General Instructions (Preliminary as well as Main Examination):

  1. Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances, will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them. However, blind candidates will be allowed to write the examination with the help of a scribe.
    It is also important to note that candidates are not permitted to use calculators for answering objective type papers (Test Booklets). They should not therefore, bring the same inside the Examination Hall.

PERSONALITY TEST / INTERVIEW 

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his/her career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.

 

Below is the list of services accessible through the civil service exams.

All India Services

  • Indian Administrative Service
  • India Foreign Service
  • Indian Police Service

Group – A Services

  • Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service
  • Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise)
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service
  • Indian Revenue Service (I.T.)
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (Assistant Works Manager, Administration)
  • Indian Postal Service
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service
  • Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force
  • Indian Defence Estates Service
  • Indian Information Service (Junior Grade)
  • Indian Trade Service, Group ‘A’ (Gr. III)
  • Indian Corporate Law Service

Group – B Services

  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service (Section Officer’s Grade)
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service
  • Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service
  • Pondicherry Civil Service
  • Pondicherry Police Service

How to prepare