UPSC CSE 2024 Complete Syllabus

Civil Services Exam (IAS Exam), the most prestigious exam of all, is conducted by UPSC every year to recruit candidates to various services and posts in the Government of India. UPSC CSE 2024 Syllabus is vast you need proper timing to finish the syllabus. It is a two-stage exam that includes:

1. Civil Services Preliminary Examination (Objective Type) for selection of candidates for Main Examination.

2. Civil Services Main Examination (Written & Interview) for selection of candidates for various services and posts mentioned in the official notification.


UPSC IAS Preliminary Exam Pattern & Syllabus

The first stage of the examination i.e. Civil Services Preliminary Examination is only a screening test and is conducted to shortlist the candidates for the main examination. The marks obtained in the preliminary examination are not taken into account while preparing the final merit. The Preliminary Examination consists of two objective type papers carrying a maximum of 400 marks. Here is the lsit of UPSC Syllabus for Prelims.
No. of Papers 2 compulsory papers
Type of Questions Objective (MCQ) type
Total Maximum Marks 400 (200 each paper)
Duration of Exam 2 hrs. each (20 minutes per hour extra time for blind candidates & candidate with Locomotor Disability & Cerebral Palsy [minimum 40% impairment])
Negative Marking 1/3rd of the marks assigned to a question
Medium of Exam Bilingual (Hindi & English)
General Studies Paper-I Syllabus UPSC syllabus for Paper-I consists of 100 questions covering the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.
    • 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, Demography, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
    • General issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity and climate change – which do not require subject expertise.
    • General Science.
General Studies Paper-II Syllabus UPSC syllabus for Paper-II consists of 80 questions from the following subjects carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.
  • Understanding.
  • Interpersonal skills, including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic Numeracy (numbers and their relationships, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X Level), Data Interpretation (Charts, Graphs, Tables, Data Sufficiency, etc. – Class X Level)
General Studies Paper-II of IAS Exam is a qualifying paper with a minimum qualifying mark of 33%. It is mandatory for a candidate to appear in both the papers of IAS Preliminary Examination for the purpose of evaluation.

UPSC IAS Main Exam Pattern & Syllabus

The Civil Services Main exam consists of written test and interview (personality test). The Civil Services Main Examination consists of the following papers which are divided into 2 categories – qualifying and the papers counted for merit. UPSC Syllabus for Mains Exam is given below.
Qualifying Papers Marks
Paper-A One of the Indian languages to be chosen by the candidate from among the languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution 300
Paper-B English 300
Papers to be Counted for Merit
Paper-I Essay 250
Paper-II General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) 250
Paper-III General Studies-II (Governance, Polity, Constitution, Social Justice, and International relations) 250
Paper-IV Genera Studies-III (Economic Development, Technology,  Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Bio-diversity) 250
Paper-V General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 250
Paper-VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
Paper-VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test 275
Grand Total 2025
Important Points: 1. Papers in Indian Languages and English (Paper A and Paper B) will be of qualifying nature and marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking. 2. Papers in Indian Languages and English (Paper A and Paper B) will be of Matriculation or equivalent level. 3. Papers of Essay, General Studies, and Optional Subjects will be taken into consideration only of such candidates who obtain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language’ and 25% in ‘English’ as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers. 4. Marks obtained by candidates for Paper I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. 5. The question papers of the main examination will be of conventional (essay) type and each paper will be of 3 hours duration. 6. The candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the qualifying language papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one language included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English. 7. The question papers (other than literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only. 8. Compensatory time of twenty minutes per hour will be allowed for blind candidates and candidates with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy, where both the effective (writing) is affected to the extent of slowing down the performance of the task (minimum 40% impairment) in Civil Services (Preliminary) as well as Civil Services (Main) Examination.

Syllabus of UPSC Main Examination Papers

I. Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:

English Language:

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.

Indian Languages:

(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.

II. Paper-I: Essay

Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics.

They will be expected to approach the topic of the essay in order to organize their thoughts systematically and to write concisely.

Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

III. Paper-II: General Studies-I

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

(i) Indian culture will cover major aspects of art forms, literature and architecture from ancient to modern times.

(ii) Modern Indian History from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present – important events, personalities, issues.

(iii) Freedom Struggle – Its various phases and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

(iv) Consolidation and reorganization within the country after independence.

(v) The history of the world will include events from the 18th century such as Colonialism, Industrial Revolution, Redrawing of national boundaries, World Wars,   Political Philosophies such as Capitalism, Communism,  Socialism, etc – their forms and impact on society.

(vi) Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

(vii) Role of women and women’s organisation,  poverty and developmental issues, urbanisation, population and related issues, their problems, and their remedies.

(viii) Effects of globalization on Indian society.

(ix) Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

(x) Salient features of the world’s physical geography.

(xi) Distribution of major natural resources around the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary and tertiary sector industries in different parts of the world (including India).

(xii) Important geophysical phenomena, such as tsunamis, earthquakes,  cyclones, volcanic activity, etc., geographical features and their location – changes in important geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

IV. Paper-III: General Studies-II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

(i) Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, basic structure, features, amendments, and significant provisions.

(ii) Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges relating to the federal structure, Devolution of powers and finances up to the local level, and challenges therein.

(iii) The separation of powers between the various organs occurs between dispute resolution mechanisms and institutions.

(iv) Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Plan with other countries.

(v) Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, powers & privileges, the conduct of business,  and issues arising out of these.

(vi) The structure, organization, and functioning of the executive and judiciary – Ministries and Departments of the Government; Pressure groups and their role in formal/informal association and Polity.

(vii) Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

(viii) Appointment of various constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various constitutional bodies.

(ix) Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies.

(x) Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

(xi) Development Processes and Development Industry – Role of NGOs, Self Help Groups, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

(xii) Welfare schemes and performance of these schemes by the Center and the States for the weaker sections of the population; Mechanisms, laws, institutions, and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

(xiii) Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Health, Human Resources.

(xiv) Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

(xv) Important aspects of governance, citizens charters, e-governance- applications, models, transparency & accountability, successes, limitations, and potential,  institutional and other measures.

(xvi) Role of civil services in a democracy.

(xvii) India and its neighborhood- relations.

(xviii) Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

(xix) Impact of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

(xx) Important international institutions, agencies, and forums – their structure, mandate.

V. Paper-IV: General Studies-III

 Biodiversity, Economic Development, Environment, Technology, Security and Disaster Management

(i) Indian economy and issues related to planning, resource mobilization, growth, development and employment.

(ii) Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

(iii) Government Budgeting.

(iv) Major crop-cropping patterns in different parts of the country,  Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transportation and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; E-technology to help farmers.

(v) Issues relating to direct and indirect agricultural subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System-Objectives, Functionality, Limitations, Reforms; issues of buffer stock and food security; technology mission; Economics of animal husbandry.

(vi) Food Processing and Related Industries in India- Scope’ and Importance, Location, Upstream and Downstream Requirements, Supply Chain Management.

(vii) Land reforms in India.

(viii) Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy, and their effects on industrial development.

(ix) Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

(x) Investment models.

(xi) Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

(xii) Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

(xiii) Awareness in the fields of Space, IT, Robotics, Computers,  Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

(xiv) Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

(xv) Disaster and disaster management.

(xvi) Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

(xvii) Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

(xviii) Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

(xix) Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

(xx) Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

VI. Paper-V: General Studies-IV

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

This paper will consist of questions to test the attitude and approach of the candidates to the issues related to integrity, honesty in public life, and various issues faced by them in dealing with society and their problem-solving approach to the conflicts.

Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered:

(i) Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, Dimensions of Ethics; Determinants and Consequences of Ethics in Human Actions;  Ethics – in private and public relations.
Human Values – Lessons from the life and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

(ii) Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; social influence and persuasion: moral and political attitudes.

(iii) Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, objectivity,  impartiality and non-partisanship, empathy, dedication to public service, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

(iv) Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

(v) Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

(vi) 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 moral guidance; accountability and ethical governance; Strengthening of moral and ethical values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

(vii) Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Utilization of public funds, Codes of Conduct, Codes of Ethics,  Work culture, Citizen’s Charters,  Quality of service delivery,  challenges of corruption.

(viii) Case Studies on the above issues.

VII. Paper – VI & VII

Optional Subject Papers I & II.

A candidate may opt for any one Optional Subject from the following:

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

Each Optional Subject has 2 compulsory papers.