HomeCivil ServiceUPSC IAS Syllabus 2023 Civil Services Exam Syllabus Prelims + Mains

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2023 Civil Services Exam Syllabus Prelims + Mains

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2023 : Civil Services Examination 2023 Candidates are at the right place to find the accurate details of the UPSC Syllabus. Here, you can find the entire syllabus for all examination stages including General Studies and Optional papers. 

IAS Prelims and Mains Exam 2023 :

The Civil Services Exam (IAS) is the most coveted exam, conducted by Union Public Service Commission every year. UPSC is India’s Central Government organization that administers exams such as the CSE to recruit aspirants for key government positions such as IAS, IFS, and IPS.

  • UPSC conducts three-stage exams for civil services recruitment, which are preliminary examination, Mains examination, and Interviews.
  • Among the three stages, UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the Civil Service Examination. It is an objective type exam to shortlist the candidates for the mains exam. The UPSC Mains is the Second stage consisting of 9 detailed descriptive examinations and the Interview Round is the final and last stage of the selection process.

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2023 Civil Services Exam Syllabus Prelims + Mains

UPSC IAS Syllabus Key Segments:

  1. Preliminary Stage: CSAT and General Studies
  2. Mains Stage: 9 Theory Papers (GS I to IV, Language papers, Essay and Optional)
  3. Interview: Personality test

UPSC Prelims 2023 Exam Pattern

The exam pattern of CSE has been designed to test the academic expertise and ability to present her/him coherently and systematically. The aspirants should check the overview of the UPSC Exam Pattern before appearing for the exam to prioritize the chapters for their further study plan.

Exam Pattern for UPSC Prelims
Two compulsory Papers General Studies Paper- I
General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I 100
Number of Questions asked in CSAT 80
Total Number of Marks GS Paper-I- 200 Marks

CSAT-200 Marks


Total-400 Marks


Negative Marking of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer.
Time allotted GS Paper-I- 2 hours

CSAT- 2 hours


Two hours each

UPSC Syllabus for GS Paper (Prelims Paper-I)

  • 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 specialization.
  • General Science

UPSC Syllabus for CSAT Paper (Prelims Paper-II)

  • Comprehension
  • 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)

UPSC Mains 2022 Exam Pattern

The Mains examination constitutes the 2nd phase of the Civil Services Examination. Only after successfully qualifying in the prelims exam would the candidates are allowed to write the IAS Mains.

Paper Subject Marks
Paper-A One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution 300 Marks
Paper-B English 300 Marks
Papers to be counted for Merit (Ranking)


Paper-I Essay( can be written in the medium of the aspirant’s choice)


250 Marks


Paper-II General Studies-I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)


250 Marks


Paper-III General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Policy, Social Justice & International Relations)


250 Marks


Paper-IV General Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)


250 Marks


Paper-V General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude) 250 Marks


Paper-VI Optional Subject- Paper-I 250 Marks


Paper-VII Optional Subject- Paper-II 250 Marks

UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023 :-

Paper- A & B            

  1. Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English

The pattern of questions would be broad as follows:

English Language:

  1. Comprehension of given passages
  2. Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  1. Short Essays

Indian Languages:

  1. Comprehension of given passages.
  2. Precis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  1. Short Essays.
  2. Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

Paper-I: Essay

  1. Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics.
  2. They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely.
  • Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

Paper-II: General Studies-I

  1. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present – significant events, personalities, and issues.
  3. The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
  4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  5. History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.— their forms and effect on society.
  6. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  7. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems, and their remedies.
  8. Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  9. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  10. Salient features of the world’s physical geography.
  11. 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).
  12. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, and cyclones. etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

Paper-III: General Studies-II
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 related to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and 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 neighborhood- 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 fora – their structure, mandate.

Paper-IV: General Studies-III
Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, 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 crop-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation, 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 development of new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology, 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 cyber security; 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-V: General Studies-IV
 Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitudes and approaches to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life, and problem-solving approaches to various issues, and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society.

Questions may utilize 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 behavior; 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 – VI & VII

Optional Subject Papers I & II.

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

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Law
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  •  Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
  • 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.

UPSC Syllabus for IAS Interview :-

The Personality Test also known as UPSC Interview is the last and final stage of the examination. There is no defined UPSC syllabus for the interview. Questions are asked about wide-ranging issues.

  • Candidates who qualify for the UPSC Mains Exam will be called for the ‘Personality Test/Interview’. These candidates will be interviewed by a Board appointed by the UPSC.
    The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in civil services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
    The interview is more of a purposive conversation intended to explore the mental qualities and analytical ability of the candidate.
  • The Interview test will be 275 marks and the total marks for the written examination is 1750. This sums up to a Grand Total of 2025 Marks, based on which the final merit list will be prepared.

Read Other Exam Syllabus :-



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