UPSC Mains Syllabus & Topics 2024 – Civil Services Exam Pattern

Check out UPSC Mains Syllabus and Exam pattern for civil services 2024 exam. UPSC Mains Topics in the IAS exam and Civil Services Exam Pattern details are provided below. Earlier we have provided UPSC Prelims Exam pattern for 2022. The UPSC has announced the Civil services examination date for 2022. The IAS Prelims exam will be held on 5th June 2022 and the IAS (Civil Services) Mains exam will be held on 16th September 2022. There are no changes in the IAS syllabus 2022. Civil Services mains exam will continue as a written paper with nine papers with the existing syllabus which is revised from 2021. UPSC aspirants can check here the UPSC IAS Notification 2022.

Revised UPSC Mains Syllabus & Exam pattern 2024

The UPSC has revised the pattern of Civil Services Main examination from 2021.

UPSC Exam pattern - CIvil Services Mains Syllabus

Now there are 2+7 = 9 papers (2 Qualifying papers and 7 Compulsory papers) to be answered in the UPSC main examination. All of them are of descriptive type. The first two are qualifying papers (Paper A & Paper B).

Papers qualifying in nature

  • Paper A – Compulsory Indian Language of 300 marks.
  • Paper B – English of 300 marks

Note : The marks of these two papers(Paper A & B) will not be counted in the merit list of the main examination.

The candidate is allowed to pick English or any one language from the Eighth(8th) Schedule of the Constitution as the medium for writing the Civil Services mains examination.

Remaining 7 Papers marks will be counted for UPSC IAS Mains Ranking

Papers to be counted for merit (Final Marks)

  • Paper 1 – Essay (250 Marks)
  • Paper 2 – General Studies  I (250 Marks)
  • Paper 3 – General Studies II (250 Marks)
  • Paper 4 – General Studies III (250 Marks)
  • Paper 5 – General Studies IV (250 Marks)
  • Paper 6 – Optional Paper I (250 Marks)
  • Paper 7 – Optional Paper-II (250 Marks)

According to the UPSC Mains Exam pattern, there are “FOUR” General Studies paper each comprising of 250 Marks with a total of 1000 Marks are made compulsory in UPSC Mains New Syllabus. General Studies papers Syllabus comprises the topics of degree level.

There is only “ONE” optional subject to choose from the list of optional subjects which are given below. It comprises of two papers each of 250 marks. So the optional paper has a total 500 marks. The scope of the IAS Mains syllabus of optional paper is higher than the bachelor’s degree but lower than the master’s level.

Candidate can give preference for the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.

The total mark of the written examination is 1750 Marks.

The Interview/Personality Test will be of 275 marks.

The Grand Total 2025 Marks

Sl. No.PaperName of the PaperNature of the PaperDuration of the UPSC ExamMarks
1Paper – ACompulsory Indian LanguageQUALIFYING NATURE
(marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking)
3 Hours300 Marks
2Paper – BEnglish3 Hrs300 Marks
4Paper-IIGENERAL STUDIES I3 Hrs.250 Marks
6Paper – IVGENERAL STUDIES III3 Hrs.250 Marks
7Paper VGENERAL STUDIES IV3 Hours250 Marks
8Paper VIOPTIONAL PAPER I3 Hours250 Marks
9Paper VIIOPTIONAL PAPER II3 Hours250 Marks
SUBTOTAL (Written Test)1750 Marks
275 Marks
 GRAND TOTAL2025 Marks

Civil Services Mains Exam Syllabus

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Paper A – Modern Indian language 300 Marks – Qualifying nature – Marks not counted – Passing mandatory

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essay

(v) Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.

Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of High School level and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for final ranking.

Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where the translation is involved).

Paper B – English – 300 marks – Qualifying nature – Marks not counted- Passing mandatory

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.

The pattern of questions would be broad as follows:-

(i) Comprehension of given passages

(ii) Precis Writing

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary

(iv) Short Essay.

Paper I – Essay Syllabus

Essay – 250 Marks – To be written in the medium or language of the candidate’s choice. The candidate is required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They are expected to keep their thoughts closely to the subject and arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and be concise. Credit will be given to effective and coherent expression.

Paper 2 – General Studies 1 Syllabus

General Studies I 250 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
  • The Freedom Struggle – 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 will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of the 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, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone 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.

Paper 3 – General Studies 2 Syllabus

General Studies II: 250 Marks (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and for, their structure, mandate.

Paper 4 – General Studies 3 Syllabus

General Studies – III 250 Marks

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

  • Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Paper 5 – General Studies 4 Syllabus

General Studies – IV 250 Marks (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
  • Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; the role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
  • 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 ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s
  • Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on the above issues.

Paper 6 & 7 – Optional Subject – 1 & 2 Syllabus

Each optional paper of 250 marks.

UPSC Candidates may choose any ONE optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.

Part B – Main Examination – Optional Subjects

  • General Studies
  • Essay
  • English Qualifying
  • Indian Languages
  • Agriculture Main Syllabus
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Botany Main Syllabus
  • Boda Main Syllabus
  • Chemistry Main Syllabus
  • Civil Engineering Main Syllabus
  • Commerce Main Syllabus
  • Economics Main Syllabus
  • Electrical Engineering Main Syllabus
  • Geography Main Syllabus
  • Geology Main Syllabus
  • Indian History Main Syllabus
  • Law Main Syllabus
  • Mathematics Main Syllabus
  • Mechanical Engineering Main Syllabus
  • Medical Science Main Syllabus
  • Philosophy Main Syllabus
  • Physics Main Syllabus
  • Political Science Main Syllabus
  • Psychology Main Syllabus
  • Public Administration Main Syllabus
  • Sociology Main Syllabus
  • Statistics Main Syllabus
  • Zoology Main Syllabus
  • Anthropology Main Syllabus
  • Arabic Main Syllabus
  • Assamese Main Syllabus
  • Bengali Main Syllabus
  • Dogri Main Syllabus
  • English Main Syllabus
  • Gujarati Main Syllabus
  • Hindi Main Syllabus
  • Kannada Main Syllabus
  • Kashmiri Main Syllabus
  • Konkani Main Syllabus
  • Maithili Main Syllabus
  • Malayalam Main Syllabus
  • Manipuri Main Syllabus
  • Marathi Main Syllabus
  • Nepali Main Syllabus
  • Oriya Main Syllabus
  • Persian Main Syllabus
  • Punjabi Main Syllabus
  • Sanskrit Main Syllabus
  • Santali Main Syllabus
  • Sindhi Main Syllabus
  • Tamil Main Syllabus
  • Telugu Main Syllabus
  • Urdu Main Syllabus
  • Management Main Syllabus

Interview/Personality Test – 275 Marks

Candidate can give preference for the language in which they may like to be interviewed. UPSC will make arrangement for the translators.


Marks obtained by the candidates in UPSC IAS Mains for all papers EXCEPT PAPER A & B will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion(Cut-off marks) to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination.

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Please share this article UPSC Mains Syllabus for 2024 to all UPSC Aspirants who are preparing for UPSC Civil Services 2022 Exam. If you have any queries regarding UPSC mains Exam Structure, Syllabus, you can ask via comment box.

One comment

  1. Which is the best optional subject for UPSC? For B.TECH. Computer Science Engineering Students

  2. Can the CSE main examination be written in any one of the languages medium included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution

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