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UPSC Syllabus 2024 PDF – IAS Prelims & Mains Syllabus – Best Format

Candidates who are preparing for the Civil Services Examination can find the complete UPSC Syllabus for all the stages of the exam at We have all the information you need to ace the exam, from the syllabus for the preliminary exam to the syllabus for the main exam.

  • Preliminary Stage – General Studies & CSAT
  • Mains Stage – 9 Theory Papers (GS I-IV, Language Papers, Essay & Optional)
  • Personality Test – Interview

UPSC Syllabus in English (IAS Prelims):-Download PDF Here

UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus: A Must-Know for 2024 Aspirants

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the most competitive exams in India. The first stage of the CSE is the Preliminary Examination (Prelims), which is a screening test that qualifies candidates for the next stage, the Main Examination.

The syllabus for the CSE Prelims is vast and covers a wide range of topics.

It is important for 2024 aspirants to familiarize themselves with the syllabus and start preparing early. One year of preparation is a must if aspirants want to score well in the 2024 CSE Prelims exam.

Here are some key points to remember about the CSE Prelims syllabus:

  • The syllabus covers a wide range of topics, including history, geography, polity, economics, and general science.
  • The exam is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam with 200 questions.
  • The cut-off for the CSE Prelims exam is usually around 120-130 marks.

Aspirants who are serious about clearing the CSE Prelims exam should start preparing early. There are many resources available online and in libraries that can help with preparation.

Exam Pattern & Syllabus for UPSC Prelims 
Two Compulsory PapersGeneral Studies Paper-I
General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I100
Number of Questions asked in CSAT80
Total Number of Marks400;GS Paper-I – 200 MarksCSAT – 200 Marks
Negative Marking ⅓ of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer
Time AllottedTwo hours each;GS Paper-I – 2 Hours (9:30 AM -11:30 AM)CSAT – 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)
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IAS Prelims Syllabus: General Studies and CSAT

General Studies

  • Indian Polity: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of the Indian Constitution, political system, and government.
  • Geography: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of the physical, social, and economic geography of India and the world.
  • History: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of Indian history, including the ancient, medieval, and modern periods.
  • Indian Economy: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of the Indian economy, including its history, structure, and policies.
  • Science and Technology: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of basic science and technology, including physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics.
  • Environment and Ecology: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of environmental issues and their impact on society.
  • International Relations: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of international relations, including the history of international relations, the United Nations, and other international organizations.
  • Current Affairs: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of current events in India and the world.

Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

  • Reasoning and Analytical Ability: This section tests the candidate’s ability to solve logical reasoning and analytical problems.
  • Reading Comprehension: This section tests the candidate’s ability to read and understand complex texts.
  • Decision Making: This section tests the candidate’s ability to make decisions in a variety of situations.

To be noted:

  • The preliminary examination is only meant for screening a candidate for the subsequent stages of the exam.
  • The marks obtained in the Prelims will not be added up while arriving at the final rank list.
  • The subjects included in the prelims are common for all. However, there is an option to opt for a few subjects in the mains phase of the examination.

UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus for General Studies Paper I

  • Current Affairs
    • National and international events
    • Political, economic, social, and cultural developments
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
    • Ancient, medieval, and modern history of India
    • The Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography
    • Physical, social, and economic geography of India and the world
  • Indian Polity and Governance
    • The Constitution of India
    • The political system of India
    • Panchayati Raj
    • Public policy
    • Rights issues
  • Economic and Social Development
    • Sustainable development
    • Poverty
    • Inclusion
    • Demographics
    • Social sector initiatives
  • General Issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change
    • Environmental issues
    • Biodiversity
    • Climate change
  • General Science
    • Basic science concepts
    • Scientific discoveries and inventions

Related: IAS Motivational Quotes in Hindi

UPSC CSE Prelims CSAT Syllabus: A Comprehensive Guide

UPSC Syllabus for Mains

IAS Mains Exam Pattern

Paper-IEssay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)250
Paper-IIGeneral Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)250
Paper-IVGeneral Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)250
Paper-VGeneral Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)250
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper I250
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper II250
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Must-Know Facts about UPSC Mains

The UPSC Mains Examination is the second stage of the Civil Services Examination (CSE). It is a 9-paper exam that tests the candidate’s academic talent in depth and their ability to present their understanding according to the requirements of the question in a time-bound manner.

Two Qualifying Papers

The UPSC Mains Examination consists of 9 papers, out of which two are qualifying papers. These papers are:

  • Any Indian Language Paper (300 marks)
  • English Language Paper (300 marks)

Minimum Qualifying Marks

A candidate must score at least 25% marks in each of the qualifying papers in order to be considered for the next stage of the CSE, the Interview.

Marks of Non-Qualifying Papers

The marks of the qualifying papers are not counted for the final ranking of the candidates. However, if a candidate does not qualify in one or both of the qualifying papers, they will not be considered for the Interview.

Other Important Facts

  • The UPSC Mains Examination is a pen-and-paper based exam.
  • The exam is held in two sittings, each of 3 hours duration.
  • The answer sheets are evaluated by external examiners.
  • The results of the UPSC Mains Examination are usually announced in April-May of the following year.

Related: Detailed Important Articles in Indian Constitutions [UPSC Indian Policy Notes]

UPSC Mains GS-I Syllabus

General Studies-I is the second paper of the UPSC Mains Examination. It covers a wide range of topics related to Indian heritage and culture, history, and geography of the world, and society.

Indian Heritage and Culture

  • Salient aspects of art forms, literature, and architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Important events, personalities, and issues in modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present.
  • The Freedom Struggle, including 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

  • Events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, and political philosophies like communism, capitalism, and socialism.
  • The forms and effects of these philosophies on society.


  • Salient features of Indian society and its diversity.
  • Role of women and women’s organizations, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems, and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism, and secularism.

World’s Physical Geography

  • 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, tsunamis, 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.

IAS Syllabus for Mains GS-II

Constitution of India

  • Historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, challenges of the federal structure, devolution of powers, and local level challenges
  • Separation of powers, dispute redressal mechanisms, and institutions
  • Comparative analysis of the Indian constitutional scheme with other countries

Parliament and State legislatures

  • Structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges, and emerging issues
  • Ministries, Departments of the Government, pressure groups, associations, and their role in the Polity

Executive and Judiciary

  • Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
  • Ministries and Departments of the Government, pressure groups, formal/informal associations, and their role in the Polity

Representation of People’s Act and Constitutional Bodies

  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
  • Appointment, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

Government policies, interventions, and development processes

  • Government policies and interventions in various sectors
  • Development processes and the development industry
  • Role of NGOs, SHGs, groups, associations, donors, charities, and stakeholders

Social Justice and Welfare Schemes

  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population
  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions, and bodies for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections
  • Development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Governance, Transparency, and Accountability

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability
  • E-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential
  • Citizens charters, transparency & accountability, institutional measures

Civil Services and Democracy

  • Role of civil services in a democracy

India’s International Relations

  • India and its neighborhood relations
  • Bilateral, regional, and global groupings, agreements involving India, and their impact
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

International Institutions and Fora

  • Important international institutions, agencies, and fora
  • Structure, mandate, and significance of international institutions

IAS Syllabus for Mains GS-III

Indian Economy

  • Issues related to planning, resource mobilization, growth, development, and employment
  • Inclusive growth and its challenges
  • Government budgeting and its significance

Agriculture and Food Processing

  • Major crops, cropping patterns, irrigation systems, storage, and marketing of agricultural produce
  • Direct and indirect farm subsidies, minimum support prices, and the Public Distribution System
  • Food processing industries, supply chain management, and the economics of animal-rearing

Land Reforms and Industrial Policy

  • Land reforms in India and their impact
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy and industrial growth
  • Infrastructure development in energy, ports, roads, airports, and railways
  • Investment models in different sectors

Related: UPSC IAS Prelims 2021 Paper II (CSAT): Question Paper (PDF), Answer Key, Analysis & Expected Cut-off!

Science and Technology

  • Developments, applications, and effects of science and technology in everyday life
  • Achievements of Indians in science and technology, technology indigenization, and new technology development
  • IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, and intellectual property rights

Environment and Disaster Management

  • Conservation efforts, environmental pollution, and degradation
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster management and preparedness

Internal Security

  • Linkages between development and extremism
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating internal security challenges
  • Communication networks, media, social networking sites, and their impact on internal security
  • Basics of cyber security and money-laundering prevention

Border Security and Organized Crime

  • Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • Linkages between organized crime and terrorism
  • Mandate of various security forces and agencies

IAS Syllabus for Mains GS-IV

Ethics and Human Interface

  • Essence, determinants, and consequences of ethics in human actions
  • Dimensions of ethics in private and public relationships
  • Lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators
  • Role of family, society, and educational institutions in inculcating values


  • Content, structure, and function of attitude
  • Influence of attitude on thought and behavior
  • Moral and political attitudes
  • Social influence and persuasion

Aptitude and Foundational Values for Civil Service

  • Integrity, impartiality, and non-partisanship
  • Objectivity and dedication to public service
  • Empathy, tolerance, and compassion towards weaker sections
  • Application of emotional intelligence in administration and governance

Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers

  • Insights from moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world

Ethics in Public Administration

  • Public/civil service values and ethics
  • Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions
  • Laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as sources of ethical guidance
  • Accountability and ethical governance
  • Strengthening ethical and moral values in governance
  • Ethical issues in international relations and funding
  • Corporate governance and ethical considerations

Probity in Governance

  • Concept of public service and its philosophical basis
  • Information sharing, transparency, and Right to Information
  • Codes of ethics and conduct
  • Citizen’s Charters and quality of service delivery
  • Utilization of public funds and challenges of corruption

Case Studies

  • Analysis of case studies related to ethics, integrity, and probity in public life

IAS Syllabus for Language and Essay Papers

Essay Paper (Paper-I)

Candidates will be required to write essays on multiple topics. The focus will be on staying relevant to the subject, organizing ideas coherently, and writing concisely. Credit will be given for effective and precise expression.

Structure of Language Papers

The language papers consist of the following types of questions:

  1. Essay – 100 marks
  2. Reading comprehension – 60 marks
  3. Precis Writing – 60 marks
  4. Translation:
    • English to compulsory language (e.g., Hindi) – 20 marks
    • Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
  5. Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks

Language Papers (English and Indian Languages)

The language papers aim to test the candidates’ ability to comprehend and analyze serious discursive prose, as well as their proficiency in expressing ideas clearly and accurately in both English and the chosen Indian language. The pattern of questions includes:

  1. Comprehension of given passages.
  2. Precis Writing.
  3. Usage and Vocabulary.
  4. Short Essays.
  5. Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice versa.

For Indian languages, the syllabus is similar, covering comprehension, precis writing, usage and vocabulary, short essays, and translation from English to the Indian language and vice versa.

Note: The rest of the seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India or in English.

The following essays might help candidates who find it challenging to prepare for UPSC syllabus w.r.t language papers:

Multinational Corporations: Savior or Saboteur – Model Essay In English For UPSCMy Book My Inspiration Essay for Students in English
500+ Words Indian Constitution Essay for Students and Children in EnglishEssay on Women Empowerment for Language Paper in UPSC
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UPSC Syllabus for IAS Interview

The UPSC Interview, also known as the Personality Test, is the final stage of the examination process. Unlike the preliminary and mains exams, there is no defined syllabus for the interview. The interview aims to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in civil services. Here are some key points about the UPSC interview:

  • Wide-ranging questions: Questions asked in the interview cover a wide range of topics and can be based on current affairs, general knowledge, and the candidate’s background and interests.
  • Board-appointed interviewers: Candidates who qualify the UPSC mains exam are called for the interview. They are interviewed by a board of competent and unbiased observers appointed by the UPSC.
  • Exploring mental qualities and analytical ability: The interview is designed as a purposive conversation to assess the candidate’s mental qualities, analytical ability, and overall personality traits.
  • Weightage: The interview carries 275 marks, while the total marks for the written examination (prelims and mains) amount to 1750. The combined marks from both the written examination and the interview are used to prepare the final merit list.
  • Consistency in syllabus: Candidates should note that there have been no changes in the UPSC syllabus for the interview in comparison to previous years. The syllabus remains consistent.

It is important for candidates to be well-prepared and knowledgeable about current affairs, national and international issues, and their own background and interests. Confidence, clarity of thought, and effective communication skills are also crucial for performing well in the UPSC interview.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the subjects in UPSC?

Answer: The UPSC syllabus includes subjects such as History, Geography, Indian Society, Indian Polity, Governance, Constitution, International Relations, Indian Economy, Science & Technology, Agriculture, Environment, and Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude.

Q2: What is the fee for the UPSC application form?

Answer: The fee for the UPSC application form is Rs. 100. However, candidates belonging to the SC/ST/PH categories and female candidates are exempted from paying the fee.

Q3: Is the IAS syllabus tough?

Answer: The IAS syllabus is considered challenging due to its comprehensive nature. It covers a wide range of topics and tests candidates’ knowledge in multiple areas. However, with proper strategy and dedicated preparation, the syllabus can be effectively covered.

Q4: Does the UPSC syllabus PDF contain both prelims and mains syllabus?

Answer: Yes, the UPSC syllabus PDF includes the complete syllabus for both the prelims and mains examinations. It provides detailed information about the subjects and topics to be covered for each stage of the exam.

Q5: Can an aspirant download the UPSC syllabus in Marathi?

Answer: The official UPSC syllabus is available in English and Hindi languages only. Aspirants can download the syllabus PDF in either of these languages from the official UPSC website. It is not available in Marathi or other regional languages.

Q6: Will UPSC pattern change in 2024?

Answer: As of now, there is no official announcement regarding changes in the UPSC pattern for 2024. It is expected that the exam pattern, syllabus, and selection process will remain the same as in previous years. Candidates can refer to the existing UPSC syllabus and exam pattern for their preparation.

Q7: How to prepare for IAS 2024?

Answer: To prepare for IAS 2024, candidates can follow these steps:

  • Prioritize study areas based on the syllabus and allocate dedicated time for each subject.
  • Create a study schedule and set daily and weekly targets.
  • Regularly revise topics and practice answer writing.
  • Stay updated with current affairs and focus on integrating them with static subjects.
  • Make concise and effective notes during the preparation process.
  • Practice solving previous year question papers to understand the exam pattern and time management.
  • Seek guidance from experienced mentors or join reputable coaching institutes, if needed.

Q8: How to crack UPSC 2024?

Answer: To crack UPSC 2024, candidates can follow these strategies:

  • Limit your resources and focus on quality study material.
  • Go through previous year papers to understand the exam pattern and important topics.
  • Have a clear understanding of the UPSC syllabus and plan your preparation accordingly.
  • Stay calm and focused while studying current affairs, avoiding unnecessary emotions.
  • Make effective notes of what you study to aid in revision.
  • Pay special attention to important events and their relevance to the exam.
  • Regularly revise the topics and practice answer writing, especially based on current affairs.

Q9: Will optional subjects be removed from UPSC 2024?

Answer: No, as of now, optional subjects are still a part of the UPSC Mains exam. Candidates are required to choose one optional subject from the given list. However, it is always recommended to stay updated with official notifications and announcements for any potential changes in the future.

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