The 2024 UPSC Mains Syllabus encompasses a diverse range of subjects and themes. Its primary objective is to equip candidates with the ability to demonstrate in-depth understanding and knowledge across multiple domains. The syllabus comprises language proficiency, essay writing, and General Studies (GS Papers I to IV), along with Optional Subjects I & II that candidates can select.
UPSC Mains Exam Pattern 2024
Certainly, here’s the UPSC Mains exam pattern in a tabular format:
|Paper-II||General Studies – I||250|
|(Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)|
|Paper-III||General Studies – II||250|
|(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)|
|Paper-IV||General Studies – III||250|
|(Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)|
|Paper-V||General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)||250|
|Paper-VI||Optional Subject – Paper I||250|
|Paper-VII||Optional Subject – Paper II||250|
UPSC Syllabus Mains
- The Mains exam is the second part of the UPSC test.
- There are 9 papers in Mains, and two of them are just to qualify with 300 marks each.
- These two papers focus on English and an Indian language.
- The General Studies, Essay, and Optional Subjects papers are only for candidates who score at least 25% marks in both language papers.
Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English
IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-I (Paper II)
Indian Heritage and Culture, Geography, and History of the World & Society:
- Examines various aspects of Indian heritage and culture.
- Covers global geography and history.
Modern Indian History (mid-18th century to present):
- Focuses on personalities, issues, and significant events.
- Highlights literature, architecture, and art forms.
- Explores different stages and contributions from various parts of the country.
World History (from the 18th century):
- Includes industrial revolution, colonization, political philosophies, communism, capitalism, etc.
Salient Features of Indian Society and Diversity of India:
- Discusses roles of women and women’s organizations.
- Addresses poverty, developmental issues, urbanization, and their problems and remedies.
- Explores communalism, social empowerment, secularism, and regionalism.
World’s Physical Geography:
- Describes key features globally.
Distribution of Natural Resources:
- Explores the global distribution of key natural resources.
- Examines earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.
Geographical Features and Changes:
- Studies changes in critical geographical features, including water-bodies and ice-caps, and their impact on flora and fauna.
IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-II (Paper III)
- Historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.
Union and States:
- Functions, responsibilities, federal structure issues, devolution of powers and finances to local levels, and associated challenges.
Separation of Powers:
- Among various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms, and institutions.
Comparative Constitutional Schemes:
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with other countries.
Parliament and State Legislatures:
- Structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges, and related issues.
Executive and Judiciary:
- Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and Judiciary.
- Ministries and Departments of the Government, pressure groups, formal/informal associations, and their role in the polity.
Representation of People’s Act:
- Salient features.
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities.
- Statutory, regulatory, and quasi-judicial bodies.
- Interventions for development in various sectors and associated issues in design and implementation.
Development Processes and Industry:
- Role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups, associations, donors, charities, and stakeholders in the development industry.
- For vulnerable sections by the Centre and States, and their performance.
- Mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies for protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
Social Sector Services:
- Health, Education, Human Resources.
Poverty and Hunger:
- Issues related to poverty and hunger.
Governance and Transparency:
- Important aspects of governance, transparency, accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.
- Citizens’ charters, transparency & accountability, and institutional measures.
Role of Civil Services:
- In a democracy.
India and its Neighbours:
- Relations with neighboring countries.
Bilateral, Regional, and Global Agreements:
- Involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
- Important international institutions, agencies, and fora.
- Their structure and mandate.
IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-III (Paper IV)
- In the realm of the Indian economy, there’s a multitude of factors that require careful consideration.
- This involves issues ranging from planning and resource mobilization to growth, development, and employment. Inclusive growth is a significant focus, presenting various associated challenges.
- The intricacies of government budgeting play a pivotal role in shaping economic policies.
- Agriculture, a cornerstone of the Indian economy, undergoes a thorough examination, covering major crops, cropping patterns, irrigation systems, storage, and marketing, with an increasing integration of e-technology for the benefit of farmers.
- The discussion extends to matters concerning farm subsidies, minimum support prices, the Public Distribution System, buffer stocks, and food security, along with the economic dimensions of animal-rearing.
- Furthermore, the scope encompasses food processing and related industries, land reforms, the impact of liberalization, changes in industrial policy, and their effects on industrial growth.
- Infrastructure, including energy, ports, roads, airports, railways, etc., holds a critical role, while various investment models shape the economic landscape.
- The role of science and technology, their applications in everyday life, and indigenous achievements in these fields are significant considerations.
- Awareness in IT, space, computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, and issues related to intellectual property rights are integral to the economic narrative.
- Environmental concerns, such as conservation, pollution, degradation, and environmental impact assessment, constitute an essential component.
- Disaster management, the linkages between development and extremism, and the role of external actors posing challenges to internal security are areas of paramount importance.
- Issues related to communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity, and measures against money laundering further contribute to the multifaceted landscape of internal security challenges.
- The discussion also extends to the management of security challenges in border areas, exploring linkages between organized crime and terrorism, and providing an overview of various security forces and their mandates.
IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-IV (Paper V)
- The study of Ethics and Human Interface delves into the essence, determinants, and consequences of ethical considerations in human actions.
- It explores the various dimensions of ethics, both in private and public relationships.
- Human values, drawn from the lives and teachings of influential leaders, reformers, and administrators, are emphasized, with a focus on the role of family, society, and educational institutions in instilling these values.
- The examination of attitudes encompasses content, structure, function, and their influence and relationship with thoughts and behaviors. Moral and political attitudes, as well as the dynamics of social influence and persuasion, are explored.
- For Civil Service, foundational values such as integrity, impartiality, non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, and empathy are crucial.
- Emotional intelligence concepts and their practical applications in administration and governance are studied.
- Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and around the world are analyzed.
- The module on Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration addresses the status and problems in this realm.
- Ethical concerns and dilemmas in both government and private institutions are examined, considering laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as sources of ethical guidance.
- The focus extends to accountability, ethical governance, and the reinforcement of moral values in the realm of governance.
- Ethical issues in international relations and funding, as well as corporate governance, are explored.
- Probity in Governance is approached through the conceptualization of public service, the philosophical basis of governance and probity, and practices such as information sharing, transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, work culture, quality of service delivery, and the utilization of public funds.
- The challenges posed by corruption are scrutinized through case studies that shed light on the practical aspects of the discussed issues.
UPSC Syllabus for IAS Interview/Personality Test
- Candidates who successfully clear the UPSC main exam will proceed to the personal interview test conducted by a Board appointed by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
- The primary objective of the IAS interview is to assess the candidate’s personal suitability for the civil service examination, as determined by competent authorities.
- In addition to academic knowledge, candidates are expected to be well-versed in current affairs, both nationally and internationally.
- The interview will scrutinize the candidate’s career, professional, and personal records submitted in the Detailed Application Form (DAF).
- The key aim is to evaluate the candidate’s mental qualities and analytical ability.
- The interview holds a weightage of 275 marks, while the written test carries 1750 marks, resulting in a cumulative total of 2025 marks.
- The final merit list, determining success, will be prepared based on this overall assessment.
Difference between UPSC Prelims and Mains Syllabus
|Exam Pattern||Objective type pattern||Descriptive pattern|
|GS Papers||2 papers (GS Paper 1 and GS Paper 2 – CSAT)||9 papers|
|Evaluation||200 marks each (total 400 marks)||Total marks: 1750 (7 papers for ranking, 2 qualifying papers)|
|Optional Subjects||None||48 optional subjects, candidates choose 1|
|GS Paper 1 Topics||Economy, Social Development, Indian Polity & Governance, Current Affairs, Indian History & National Movement, Science and Technology, Ecology, Biodiversity, World Geography, Environment, and Climate Change||GS Paper I: Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society|
|CSAT Paper Topics||Analytical Ability, Quantitative Ability, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Decision-making skills, Communication Skills, etc.||–|
|Qualifying Papers||–||Indian Language (Paper A) and English (Paper B)|
|Mains Papers||–||Paper I (Essay), Paper II (GS Paper I), Paper III (GS Paper II), Paper IV (GS Paper III), Paper V (GS Paper IV), Paper VI (Optional Paper I), Paper VII (Optional Paper II)|
|Qualifying Criteria||–||English and Indian Language papers are of qualifying nature|
|Maximum Marks||200 marks each (total 400 marks)||Total marks for each paper: 250 (except for Indian and English language papers – 300 marks each)|
|Pass Criteria||–||Qualifying (33%) for Indian and English language papers in Mains|
Is there any change in UPSC Syllabus 2024?
Typically, the UPSC maintains a consistent syllabus for the IAS Prelims and Mains examinations without annual changes. The syllabus has remained unchanged since 2013, and even before that, the UPSC exam pattern and syllabus remained untouched for an extended period. In the earliest format of the UPSC Syllabus, candidates selected two optional papers, and the CSAT paper was not part of the examination. Consequently, there is currently no indication of any changes to the syllabus.
How to analyse the UPSC Syllabus?
- Commence your preparation by outlining subheadings and their corresponding chapters.
- Review previous year’s papers to understand the exam’s question patterns.
- Utilize standard resources dedicated to UPSC exam preparation.
- Consider all potential dimensions of preparation.
- Double-check to ensure coverage of all topics.
- Enroll in a test series, tackle mock tests, and solve sample papers to assess your performance.
- Craft a timetable aligned with the UPSC syllabus for comprehensive coverage.
- Incorporate daily revision sessions into your study plan.
Tips to Prepare for UPSC Syllabus 2024
To commence your preparation for the upcoming UPSC exam, download the syllabus for prelims, mains, and optional papers. Analyze it meticulously and create a comprehensive study plan covering all chapters. Follow these tips for effective preparation:
- Choose study materials judiciously from the market, considering the abundance of available resources for the UPSC exam.
- Refer to UPSC books and syllabus attentively while studying each topic. This helps in gauging the time required for completion and identifying key focus areas.
- Practice UPSC’s previous year’s test papers after completing each section to assess your preparation level.
- Ensure thorough revision of the syllabus at least 3-4 times before the exam. Revision not only enhances preparation but also boosts confidence levels.
Best Books for UPSC Preparation
In the following list, we’ve highlighted some essential books that encompass the UPSC exam syllabus. Aspiring candidates are strongly encouraged to refer to these books to ensure comprehensive coverage of the syllabus. However, it’s crucial to begin with the completion of NCERT books before delving into these recommended resources. Explore the details provided below for the best books to aid in UPSC preparation:
|History||India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipin Chandra|
|Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania|
|NCERT books for Class 11-12|
|Polity||Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth|
|Economics||Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh|
|Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain and Ohri|
|Budget and economic surveys|
|UPSC Current Affairs||Magazines, Newspapers|
UPSC Mains 2024 FAQS
1. Is there any change in UPSC Syllabus for 2024?
Typically, the UPSC maintains a consistent syllabus for the IAS Prelims and Mains examinations without annual changes. The syllabus has remained unchanged since 2013.
2. How should I analyze the UPSC Syllabus?
Commence your preparation by outlining subheadings and their corresponding chapters. Review previous year’s papers, utilize standard resources, consider all potential dimensions, double-check coverage, enroll in a test series, and incorporate daily revision sessions.
3. What are the tips for preparing for UPSC Syllabus 2024?
Choose study materials judiciously, refer to UPSC books and syllabus attentively, practice previous year’s test papers, and ensure thorough revision at least 3-4 times before the exam.
4. Can you recommend some best books for UPSC Preparation?
Certainly, recommended books include “India’s Struggle for Independence” by Bipin Chandra, “Indian Art and Culture” by Nitin Singhania, “Indian Polity” by M Laxmikanth, “Indian Economy” by Ramesh Singh, and various NCERT books.
5. What is the difference between UPSC Prelims and Mains Syllabus?
The UPSC Prelims exam follows an objective type pattern, while the Mains exam follows a descriptive pattern. Prelims has 2 GS papers, while Mains has 9 papers. Mains includes qualifying papers on Indian Languages and English. Prelims GS Paper 1 covers various subjects, and GS Paper 2 (CSAT) focuses on analytical and quantitative abilities.
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