UPSC Syllabus PDF Helps You Realize Civil Service Dreams

Crack the Code to Your Dream Government Job! Get ready to become a civil servant with the prestigious UPSC exam, where only the best of the best can make it through. The official notification for 1255 vacancies has already been released on 1st February 2023, so it’s time to buckle up and start your preparation!

UPSC Syllabus PDF

To ace the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), a gateway to the esteemed Civil Services/Bureaucracy of India, having a thorough understanding of the UPSC syllabus is essential. With intense competition, with nearly 10 lakh aspirants vying for a spot in the UPSC CSE every year, familiarity with the syllabus is vital.
This article presents a comprehensive overview of the UPSC syllabus for Prelims, Mains, and Interviews, along with the option to download the UPSC Syllabus PDF for the year 2023. Aspiring civil servants can use this resource to prepare effectively for the challenging UPSC exam.

UPSC Prelims 2023 Exam Pattern

The Civil Service and Forest Service exams are conducted by the UPSC in three stages, namely the Prelims Exam, the Main exam consisting of nine descriptive papers, and the Personality test for qualified candidates. To succeed in these exams, it is essential for candidates to have a thorough understanding of the UPSC syllabus. To aid in their preparation, we have compiled a comprehensive table below that provides an overview of the latest UPSC syllabus. Aspirants can leverage this resource to prepare effectively for the exams and improve their chances of success.

Two Compulsory PapersGeneral Studies Paper-I & General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
Number of Questions Asked in CSAT100
Number of Questions asked in CSAT80
Total Number of Marks400 marksGS Paper-I – 200 MarksCSAT – 200 Marks
Negative Marking1/3rd of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every incorrect 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)

UPSC Syllabus 2023 Prelims

Before starting your UPSC 2023 exam preparation, it is crucial to review the entire syllabus for the 2023 Preliminary Exam, which will consist of two papers, each worth 200 marks.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023 Paper-1 (GS-1)

  • National and international current events
  • Geography of India and the world (physical, social, and economic)
  • Indian history and the Indian national movement
  • Economic and social development (poverty, demographics, sustainable development, social sector initiatives)
  • Biodiversity, environmental ecology, and climate change
  • General science

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023 Paper-2 (CSAT)

  • Interpersonal skills, including effective communication
  • Reading comprehension
  • Decision-making and problem-solving abilities
  • Logical reasoning and analytical skills
  • General mental ability, including cognitive skills and memory
  • Basic numeracy, including orders of magnitude and number relations
  • Data interpretation at the level of Class 10, involving charts, tables, graphs, and data sufficiency
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UPSC Mains 2023 Exam Pattern

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

UPSC Syllabus 2023 Mains

The UPSC Mains exam is the second stage of the UPSC exam that consists of nine papers. Two of these papers are qualifying papers that carry a weightage of 300 marks each. The qualifying papers include the English Language Paper and an Any Indian Language Paper. Candidates who secure a minimum of 25% marks in both language exam papers are eligible to appear for the General Studies, Essay, and Optional Subjects papers.

Upsc syllabus1


Candidates will be expected to write essays on several topics, typically two.

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-I (Paper II)

  • Understanding Indian Heritage, Culture, Geography, History, and Society: Evolution of Indian culture, heritage, and its relevance in modern society; geography and ecology of India; significant events and personalities of Indian history; and the unique nature of Indian society.
  • Global History and Political Philosophy: Key events in world history since the 18th century, including industrialization, colonization, political philosophies such as communism and capitalism, and their impacts on the world.
  • Indian Freedom Struggle: Different stages of the Indian freedom struggle, contributions from various regions, and the importance of the movement in shaping modern India.
  • Indian Society: Diversity of Indian society, the role of women, and women’s organizations, and the challenges faced by India in terms of poverty, communalism, social empowerment, secularism, and regionalism.
  • Discovering the Earth’s Physical Landscape: An exploration of the Earth’s geological and ecological features, including the distribution of natural resources, the impact of natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity, and the influence of cyclones on the environment. This study also examines the changing conditions of significant geographical features like water-bodies and ice-caps, and how climate change and human intervention affect the flora and fauna.
  • The Dynamic Geographical World: A comprehensive examination of the Earth’s physical geography, focusing on the crucial natural features, including the global distribution of resources and the effects of significant geophysical phenomena like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, and cyclones on the environment. The course will also delve into the impact of human activity and climate change on the Earth’s vital water-bodies, ice-caps, and the resulting effects on flora and fauna.

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-II (Paper III)


  1. The Indian Constitution: Its foundation, development, evolution, and salient features, including significant provisions, amendments, and basic structure
  2. Governance at different levels: Roles and responsibilities of the Union, State, and local governments, federal structure issues and challenges, devolution of powers and finances, and challenges therein
  3. The separation of powers: The functions and relations between various organs of the government, mechanisms for dispute redressal, and institutions
  4. Comparative analysis: A comparison of the Indian constitutional system with that of other countries
  5. Legislative bodies: Parliament and State legislatures’ structure, functioning, powers, and privileges, and issues arising out of them
  6. The Executive and Judiciary: The organizational structure and functioning of Ministries and Departments of the Government, pressure groups, formal/informal associations, and their roles in the polity
  7. The Representation of People’s Act: Salient features of the Act that governs India’s electoral processes
  8. Constitutional Bodies: The appointment process, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  9. Statutory and regulatory bodies: Different quasi-judicial bodies and their functions
  10. Government interventions and policies: An examination of government policies and interventions in various sectors and issues arising from their design and implementation
  11. Development processes and industry: The role of NGOs, SHGs, and other stakeholders in the development industry
  12. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections: The performance and mechanisms, laws, institutions, and bodies created to protect and improve the welfare of vulnerable sections of society
  13. Social sector services: Issues related to the development and management of services in health, education, and human resources
  14. Poverty and hunger: An examination of issues surrounding poverty and hunger in India
  15. Governance, transparency, and accountability: The importance of transparency, accountability, e-governance applications, citizen charters, and measures taken to ensure transparency and accountability
  16. Civil services: The role of civil services in India’s democracy
  17. India’s neighborhood relations: Issues related to India’s foreign relations with its neighbors
  18. Bilateral, regional, and global agreements: An analysis of bilateral, regional, and global agreements that affect India’s interests
  19. International policies and their impact: The effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests and Indian diaspora
  20. International institutions and fora: An examination of important international institutions, agencies, and fora, their structures, mandates, and roles.
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IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-III (Paper IV)

  1. The Indian economy – planning, resource mobilization, growth, development, and employment-related issues
  2. Inclusive growth and its challenges
  3. Government budgeting – processes and issues
  4. Cropping patterns, major crops, irrigation systems, storage, transportation, marketing of agricultural produce, e-technology for farmers
  5. Farm subsidies, minimum support prices, public distribution system, buffer stocks, food security, animal-rearing economics
  6. Food processing industries, supply chain management, and their significance
  7. Land reforms in India
  8. Effects of liberalization, changes in industrial policy, and their impact on industrial growth
  9. Infrastructure development – energy, ports, roads, airports, railways, etc.
  10. Investment models
  11. Science and technology – developments, applications, and effects on everyday life
  12. Indian achievements in science and technology, indigenization, and new technology development
  13. IT, space, computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, and intellectual property rights
  14. Conservation, environmental pollution, degradation, and impact assessment
  15. Disaster management and response
  16. Linkages between extremism and development
  17. External state and non-state actors and their role in creating internal security challenges
  18. Communication networks, media, social networking sites, cyber security, and money laundering prevention
  19. Security challenges and their management in border areas, organized crime-terrorism linkages
  20. Security forces and agencies and their respective mandates

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-IV (Paper V)

  1. The study of Ethics and its Impact on Human Interactions: The essence, determinants and consequences of ethical behavior in human actions; various dimensions of ethics in private and public relationships. The lives and teachings of prominent leaders, reformers, and administrators offer valuable lessons that can help shape our character and moral compass. Moreover, the family, society, and educational institutions play a crucial role in instilling human values and shaping our worldview. By learning from the experiences of great individuals and understanding the role of various institutions, we can cultivate a strong sense of ethics and integrity in ourselves and contribute positively to society.
  2. Attitude: Content, structure, function; the influence of attitude on thought and behavior; the relationship between moral and political attitudes; the impact of social influence and persuasion on attitude formation.
  3. Aptitude and Foundational Values for Civil Service: The importance of integrity, impartiality, and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance, and compassion towards the weaker sections for civil servants; how aptitude and these values are foundational for a successful career in civil service.
  4. Emotional Intelligence in Administration and Governance: The concepts of emotional intelligence and their utilities and application in administration and governance; the importance of emotional intelligence in managing conflicts and creating a positive work environment.
  5. Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers: The contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world to the study of ethics and human behavior.
  6. Ethics in Public Administration: The subject of ethics in public administration is of critical importance to ensure the proper functioning of government and private institutions. The challenges faced in this area are numerous and complex, ranging from issues of accountability and ethical governance to concerns about corporate governance and international relations. The development and implementation of laws, rules, and regulations can serve as a useful framework for ethical guidance, but ultimately it is the conscience and moral values of individuals that must guide their actions. In order to strengthen ethical and moral values in governance, it is essential to identify and address the root causes of ethical concerns and dilemmas, while ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to hold individuals and institutions accountable for their actions. Ultimately, effective ethical governance is essential for the promotion of public trust and confidence, and for ensuring that government and private institutions operate in the best interests of society as a whole.
  7. Upholding Integrity in Governance: Understanding the principles of public service and the ethical basis of governance; the significance of open communication and transparency in government, the right to access information, ethical codes of conduct and behavior, service charters for citizens, nurturing a conducive work environment, ensuring high standards of service delivery, efficient use of public funds, and tackling the pervasive issue of corruption.
  8. Case Studies on Ethics and Human Behavior: Analysis of case studies related to the above issues to enhance understanding and application of ethical principles in real-world scenarios.
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