The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Preliminary Examination is the first crucial step in the rigorous selection process for one of the most prestigious and sought-after civil service positions in India. This examination is designed to assess the candidates’ knowledge, aptitude, and analytical abilities, and it serves as a gateway to the IAS mains examination. The IAS Prelims syllabus is a comprehensive framework that covers a wide range of subjects and topics, ensuring that candidates possess the necessary foundational knowledge to excel in the civil services. In this introductory exploration of the IAS Prelims syllabus, we will delve into its various components and shed light on the key subjects and areas that aspirants must master in their quest to become civil servants in India.
IAS Prelims Syllabus
The UPSC Prelims syllabus can be divided into two parts:
General Studies Paper I
CSAT or General Studies Paper-II
|UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2024||Maximum Marks||Duration Of Exam|
|General Studies Paper – I||200||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, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.||–||–|
|– General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation||–||–|
|– General Science||–||–|
|CSAT/ General Studies Paper-II||200||2 Hours|
|– 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)||–||–|
What is UPSC Prelims Syllabus for GS I?
The GS I paper in the IAS prelims covers History, Geography, Economy, Polity and Governance, General Science, and, most importantly, current affairs. Here are the subtopics:
Current Affairs Syllabus
In UPSC Prelims (and Mains), there’s a growing emphasis on dynamic questions, even in traditionally static sections like Polity. More questions now connect to recent issues or topics in the news. Additionally, the Indian Economy and Environment sections in the UPSC Prelims Syllabus mainly revolve around current affairs.
Key sources for current affairs preparation include:
- Yojana Magazine and Kurukshetra Magazine
- Economic and Political Weekly
- Press Information Bureau Releases (PIB)
- The Hindu and The Indian Express
UPSC Prelims Syllabus – History of India and Indian National Movement
The UPSC 2024 notification is set to be released on February 14, 2024. This notification contains crucial information about the exam, application process, UPSC syllabus, eligibility criteria, and more. Candidates can stay informed about the UPSC Online Application through the details provided in the linked article.
The UPSC Prelims GS 1 syllabus includes questions on “History of India and Indian National Movement.” To prepare for History as per the UPSC Prelims syllabus, candidates should adopt a “divide and conquer” approach.
Ancient History of India
Ancient Indian Cultures
Indus Valley Civilization:
- Origins, different phases, society, economy, and culture.
- Contacts with other cultures.
- Factors leading to the decline.
Pastoral and Farming Society:
- Geographical distribution and characteristics.
- Vedic texts and the shift from Rigvedic to later Vedic phases.
- Vedic society religion, Upanishad thought, political and social organization.
- Evolution of the Varna system and monarchy.
State Formation and Urbanization:
- From Mahajanapadas to the Nandas.
Buddhism and Jainism:
- Factors contributing to the spread of Buddhism.
- Chandragupta and Megasthenes.
- Ashoka and his inscriptions, dhamma, culture, administration, and art.
Post-Mauryan India (BC 200-AD 300):
- Evolution of Jatis.
Satavahanas and Peninsula State Formation.
Sangam Texts and Society.
Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Parthians, Kushans, Kanishka:
- Contacts with the outer world.
Different Religions and Culture:
- Bhagavatism, Shaivism, Mahayana Buddhism, Hinayana, Jainism.
- Gupta dynasty and their descendants.
Literature, Science, Arts, Economy, and Society:
- Modifications in the political organization of the empire in the Gupta era.
Medieval Indian History
Medieval Indian Dynamics
1. Early Medieval India:
– Major dynasties, political and agrarian organization.
– Status of women, social mobility.
– Arabs in Sind and the Ghaznavids.
2. Cultural Trends (750-1200):
– Religious circumstances: temples, monastic institutions, Sankaracharya, Islam, Sufism.
– Art, architecture, literature, and science.
3. 13th and 14th Centuries:
– Ghorian invasions, reasons, and consequences.
– Delhi Sultanate under Slave Rulers.
– Aladdin Khalji: invasion, administrative, agrarian, and economic measures.
– Muhammad Tughlug’s innovations.
– Firuz Tughluq and the decline of the Delhi Sultanate.
– Urbanization, commerce, spiritual movements in Hinduism and Islam, literature, architecture, technological changes.
4. 15th and Early 16th Century:
– Key Provincial dynasties, Vijayanagara Empire.
– Lodhis, First stage of the Mughal Empire, the Sur Empire, and administration.
– Monotheistic movements: Kabir, Guru Nanak and Sikhism, Bhakti.
– Spread of regional literature, art, and culture.
5. The Mughal Empire:
– Akbar’s invasion, administrative measures, Sulh-I-Kul policy.
– Jagir and Mansab systems; Jahangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb.
– Extension of the Mughal empire in the Deccan, religious policies.
– Shivaji, Persian and regional literature, religious ideas, architecture, painting, economy, social stratification, and the position of women.
6. Decline of the Mughal Empire:
– Reasons behind the decline.
– Maratha power under the Peshwas.
– The Afghans, regional states.
– Components of composite culture, Sawai Jai Singh (astronomer).
– Rise of the Urdu language.
Modern India -Indian National Movement
British Expansion and Its Impact:
1. British Extension:
– Carnatic Wars, invasion of Bengal.
– Mysore’s confrontation with British expansion: Anglo-Maratha Wars, Regulating, and Pitt’s India Acts.
– Early composition of the British Raj.
2. Economic Impact of the British Raj:
– Land revenue settlements (Zamindari, Ryotwari, Mahalwari).
– Deindustrialization, Railways, commercialization of agriculture, and the increase of landless labor.
3. Cultural Encounter and Social Changes:
– Inception of Western education and modern thoughts.
– Indian Renaissance, religious and social reform movements.
– Social reform events before 1857, development of the Indian middle class, vernacular press, and its effects.
– Rise of modern literature in Indian languages.
4. Confrontation to British Rule:
– Early uprisings, The 1857 Revolt (reasons, character, course, and result).
5. Indian Freedom Struggle – The First Stage:
– Growth of national consciousness, creation of Associations.
– Establishment of the Indian National Congress and its Moderate stage.
– Swadeshi Movement, Economic Nationalism.
– Development of Extremism, split in Congress, Congress-League Pact of 1916.
6. Gandhian Thoughts and Techniques of Mass Mobilization:
– Civil Disobedience, Khilafat movement, Non-Cooperation Movement, Quit India Movement.
– Another strand in the National Movement – Revolutionaries, Subhash Chandra Bose, and the Indian National Army.
7. Separatist Movements in Indian Politics:
– Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League.
– Partition and Independence, post-1945 developments.
8. India Independent to 1964:
– Parliamentary, democratic, secular.
– Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision, Foreign policy of Non-alignment, Planning, and state-controlled industrialization.
– Agrarian modification.
9. Art, Culture, and Architecture:
– Although not explicitly mentioned in the syllabus for UPSC Prelims, understanding ancient and medieval art, culture, and architecture is crucial from the IAS exam perspective.
UPSC Prelims Syllabus – Indian and World Geography
According to the UPSC Prelims Syllabus, the Geography section includes the Physical, Social, and Economic Geography of India and the World. Like History, Geography is a broad subject that is covered in both the UPSC Prelims and Mains syllabi. Additionally, Geography is an optional subject that candidates can choose for the IAS Mains exam.
Overview of India:
1. Location and Neighbors:
– Location, latitude, longitude, time zone
– Neighboring countries
2. States and Boundaries:
– States and their positions
– States on international boundaries
3. Geographical Features:
– Important straits
– Physical features of India
– The Himalayas
– Geological Formation
– Physiographic divisions
4. Climate, Vegetation, Soil, and Biodiversity:
– Major passes and their significance
– Recent issues
5. North Indian Plains:
– Geological Formation
– Physiographic divisions
– Climate, Vegetation, Soil, and Biodiversity
6. Peninsular Plateau:
– Geological formation
– Deccan Plateau
– Central Highlands
– Western and Eastern Ghats
– Socio-economic issues related
7. Indian Desert, Coastal Plains, and Islands:
– River systems – Characteristics, comparison, and significance
– Himalayan rivers
– Peninsular rivers
– River basins
– Hydro-Power projects, Power plants, and Major Dams
– Regional development and planning
8. Rivers and Climate:
– West flowing and east-flowing rivers
– Interlinking of rivers
– Climate in India
– Driving mechanism
– Effects of La-Nino and El-Nino
– Recent theories
– Seasons in India
9. Mineral and Industries:
– Distribution of minerals
– Industrial policies
– Location factors
– Issues and challenges of the industries
– Industrial clusters
10. Agriculture and Allied Sectors:
– Characteristics and Problems
– Land utilization
– Types of agriculture practices
– Soils and Crops
– Trends in agriculture (Green revolution)
– Major irrigation projects
– Land reforms
– Government policies and schemes
– Animal husbandry (livestock resources)
11. Natural Vegetation and Fauna:
– Characteristics, importance, comparison, and significance
– Classification of natural vegetation
– Rainfall distribution
– Wildlife sanctuaries
– National Forest Policy
– Biosphere reserve
– National parks
– Environmental issues
– Red-listed species (in recent news)
12 Economic Infrastructure:
– Road (National Highways)
– Water (Major inland waterways) and its Significance
– Power and energy sector
– Sources of conventional and non-conventional energy
– Energy conservation and crisis
– Recent developments
13. Human Geography:
– Recent census- 2011
World Geography & Physical Geography
Understanding Our World:
– Theories about Solar System
– Theories about the formation of the universe
– Recent updates
2. Earth Basics:
– Earth’s motion – Rotation and Revolution
– Latitudes and Longitudes
– Inclination of Earth’s Axis – effect on seasons
– Solar Eclipse, Lunar Eclipse, and Tides and their significance
– Earth’s movement (exo-genetic and endo-genetic)
– Earthquakes, volcanic activity
– Continental Drift Theory, Plate Tectonics Theory, Sea Floor Spreading
– Interior of the earth
– Interaction of lithosphere with other spheres
– Boundaries and composition
– Mass Movements of landforms, erosion, and deposits
– Geographical landforms and their significance
– Rock system and Classification of Rocks
– Structure and composition of the atmosphere
– Factors controlling the temperature distribution
– Insolation and terrestrial radiation
– Heat budget
– Global warming and ozone layer
– Humidity and condensation
– Classification of clouds
– Precipitation mechanism
– Different types and forms of precipitation
– Pressure belts
– Atmospheric circulation
– Planetary Winds
– Seasonal and Local Winds
– Cyclones Tropical and Temperate cyclone
– Formation of cyclone, characteristics, and impact
– Jet streams
– Various atmospheric phenomena
– Bottom relief of the ocean
– Salinity and temperature variation
– Ocean Currents
– Ocean deposit
– Ocean resources
– Recent issues and development in oceanography (e.g., UNCLOS)
– Major Biomes
– Flora and fauna
– International organization for biodiversity
– Conservation of Biodiversity
– Recent issues
7. Economic Geography:
– Map work
– Places in News
Note – Part of Geography portion and Environmental Ecology overlap in the syllabus of UPSC Prelims.
UPSC Prelims Syllabus – Indian Polity and Governance
The UPSC Prelims Syllabus covers Economic and Social Development, which includes topics like Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc. The Indian Economy is part of both UPSC Prelims and Mains, and Economics is an optional subject in UPSC Mains. In Prelims, it’s essential to focus on current affairs related to the Indian Economy and grasp basic concepts.
Economic and Social Development
- Understanding Fiscal Policy: Defining fiscal policy, exploring its components, receipts, revenue and capital accounts, tax revenue, expenditure, and budget.Understanding Economic Growth and Development: Exploring the basic concepts of economy and economics, how resources are used and transferred, the impact on distribution, and the balance between macro and microeconomic policies. Delving into determinants of growth and development, including indices like HPI/MPI, HDI, PQLI, GEM, GDI/GII, TAI, Green index, and sustainable development. Examining India’s rankings in various indices.
- Addressing Poverty: Defining poverty, its causes, distribution, measurement, eradication programs, and the intersection of poverty with resource policies. Special focus on tribal rights, livelihood missions, and the status of poverty.
- Examining Inclusion: Defining inclusion, its relevance, types, and recent initiatives, with a particular emphasis on financial inclusion.
- Analyzing Demographics: Utilizing census data to study populations based on gender, state, age group, socio-economic status, caste, religion, literacy levels, and exploring trends in human development through interstate comparisons.
UPSC Prelims Syllabus – General Science
For the UPSC civil services prelims, it’s recommended not to spend excessive time studying General Science from theory books. The majority of questions are based on current topics and issues in the news. However, here are some key areas to focus on for a comprehensive reference.
Explore the universe with topics like the Big Bang, star formation, and the life cycle of stars. Learn about the formation of our solar system and its planets, the inner and outer ones. Dive into the sun’s internal structure and atmosphere. Understand nuclear fission, reactor types, and India’s nuclear power program.
Switch gears to biology, exploring cell organelles, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Examine animal tissues, the human digestive system, respiratory system, endocrine glands, and the neural system. Discover the muscular and skeletal system, nucleic acids, mitosis, meiosis, and inheritance.
Delve into sex determination, genetic disorders, diseases caused by microorganisms, and the role of microbes in human welfare. Explore immunity, AIDS, cancer causes, drugs, alcohol abuse, and different types of diseases. Learn about blood groups, the circulatory system, and the excretory system.
Uncover the origin and evolution of life on Earth, biological classification, plant and animal kingdoms, plant parts and functions, and plant nutrition. Study sexual and asexual reproduction in plants, the animal kingdom classification, vertebrates, the human reproductive system, and biotechnology.
Finally, grasp the basics of atomic theory and the structure of an atom. Recognize that certain prelims topics are also part of the UPSC mains syllabus. With this detailed syllabus, navigate the challenging journey of the UPSC exam and civil services.
FAQ about UPSC Prelims Syllabus
1. What are the age limits for IAS?
– For General and Economically Weaker Section Category, the age limit is 21 to 32.
– For SC/ST Category, it is 21 to 37.
– For OBC category, the age limit is 21 to 35.
2. Which is more challenging, UPSC prelims or mains?
– Comparing the difficulty of UPSC Prelims and Mains is subjective. However, generally, UPSC Mains are considered more challenging due to the requirement of critical thinking and writing skills, whereas Prelims consist of MCQ-type questions.
3. Are NCERT books sufficient for UPSC prelims?
– NCERT books are essential resources for clearing UPSC Prelims, but other sources are also important to supplement the preparation.
4. Is a 2-month preparation period enough for UPSC Prelims?
– While it is recommended to start preparation once UPSC dates are announced, with dedication and a strategic approach, one can pass UPSC Prelims in two months.
5. Does UPSC Prelims include mathematics?
– Yes, UPSC Prelims includes basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) at Class X level.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here