Welcome to Educrat IAS Academy! We are here to provide you with the complete UPSC syllabus for the Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is widely considered one of the toughest and the most prestigious examinations conducted in India among all other competitive examinations. And, we will help you complete the entire IAS Syllabus 2021 without any difficulty.
To understand the UPSC exam, one needs to understand the IAS syllabus. This in turn will help students observe, analyse and strategize and will help eliminate wasteful efforts like reading unnecessary topics leading to a loss of time. This will help students not to sway from the topics of the IAS Exam conducted by UPSC.
UPSC 2021 syllabus [UPSC Civil Services Prelims and Mains] has been released along with the official notification for the Civil Service Exam on 27th June 2021.
The UPSC IAS syllabus 2021 can be found at the UPSC official website – https://upsc.gov.in/ or scroll down to download the UPSC syllabus for both Prelims and Mains.
There is a common UPSC syllabus pattern for services such as the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) to name a few. However, different stages of the IAS exam have different syllabi, which is broadly categorized under Prelims, Mains and Interview. The UPSC Prelims syllabus focuses on general and societal awareness which is tested by objective-type (MCQ) questions. The UPSC Mains syllabus is much more comprehensive as this stage comprises nine theory papers in the IAS Syllabus 2021.
The Civil Services Exam is conducted in three stages:
1st Stage: Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type)
2nd Stage: Civil Services (Mains) Examination (Descriptive Type)
3rd Stage: Personal Interview (Personality Test)
|I||General Studies (GS)||200||2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)|
|II||CSAT||200||2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)|
Broadly, the UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination consists of two papers of objective type, each of 200 marks (hence totalling 400 marks) and of two hours duration. To qualify for the Civil Services Mains, a candidate must attempt both the papers.
I. Further, the UPSC General Studies (GS) paper consists of 100 questions, while the CSAT paper consists of 80 questions. Both papers have negative marks for wrong answers marked to the tune of 1/3rd of the total marks assigned to that question.
a) To further illustrate this, each correctly answered GS question will be awarded 2 marks. So, 0.66 marks would be deducted from the total for every question that is wrongly marked.
b) Similarly, in the CSAT paper, since we have 80 questions for 200 marks, correctly answered CSAT question would attract 2.5 marks each, while every wrongly marked question would attract a penalty of 0.833 for each such wrong answer, which will be deducted from the total.
II. Questions that are not attempted will not attract any negative marks.
1. General Studies (Generally conducted between 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
The General Studies test is the first paper of the preliminary examination. This test is intended to test the general awareness of a candidate in a wide range of subjects that include:
a) Current events of National & International importance.
b) History of India & Indian National Movement.
c) Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
d) Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
e) Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
f) General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.
g) General Science.
a) The cut-off changes every year according to the difficulty of the paper.
b) This is not qualifying in nature, marks scored here will be taken into consideration to clear your UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.
2. Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) (Generally conducted between 2:30 PM to 04:30 PM)
The CSAT test is the second paper of the preliminary examination. This test is intended to test the analytical and reasoning ability of a candidate in a wide range of subjects that include:
b) Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
c) Logical reasoning & analytical ability.
d) Decision making & problem solving.
e) General mental ability.
f) Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)
a) The ‘Decision Making’ based questions are generally exempt from negative marks.
b) The preliminary examination is only meant for screening a candidate for the subsequent stages of the exam.
c) This paper is qualifying in nature where the candidate has to score 33% to qualify and this marks will not be added up while arriving at the final rank list.
|NO.||SUBJECT||MARKS||DURATION||PAPER PATTERN||ATTENTION ASPIRATION|
|01.||PAPER I – INDIAN LANGUAGE (QUALIFYING)||300||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
|02.||PAPER II – ENGLISH (QUALIFYING)||300||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
|03.||PAPER I – ESSAY||250||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||DECIDING PAPER|
|04.||PAPER II – GENERAL STUDIES I||250||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
|05.||PAPER III – GENERAL STUDIES II||250||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
|06.||PAPER IV – GENERAL STUDIES III||250||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
|07.||PAPER V – GENERAL STUDIES IV||250||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
|08.||PAPER VI – OPTIONAL PAPER I||250||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
|09.||PAPER VII – OPTIONAL PAPER II||250||3 HOURS||DESCRIPTIVE||MINIMUM 25%|
NOTE: There are two qualifying papers and they carry 300 marks each, they are as follows:
a) Any Indian Language
b) English Language Paper
The papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates who attain 25% marks in both the language papers as a minimum qualifying standard in these qualifying papers, will be taken cognizance of, for evaluation.
In case a candidate does not qualify in these language papers, then the marks obtained by such candidates will not be considered or counted and hence will be disqualified and cannot appear for the 3rd Stage.
Structure of the language papers:
The types of questions asked are –
1. Essay – 100 marks
2. Reading comprehension – 60 marks
3. Precis Writing – 60 marks
a. English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks
b. Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
5. Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks
The rest of the seven papers can be written in any of the languages mentioned under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India or in English.
Please check the detailed IAS syllabus for UPSC Mains Paper I, II, III, IV in the link below.
The UPSC Mains syllabus gives a list of 48 Optional Subjects which include Literature of different languages. Candidates need to choose any one of the ‘Optional Subjects’ from the list of subjects given below:
|Agriculture – UPSC Syllabus||Zoology – UPSC Syllabus|
|Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Assamese (Literature)|
|Anthropology – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Bengali (Literature)|
|Botany – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Bodo (Literature)|
|Chemistry – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Dogri (Literature)|
|Civil Engineering – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Gujarati (Literature)|
|Commerce & Accountancy – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Hindi (Literature)|
|Economics – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Kannada (Literature)|
|Electrical Engineering – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Kashmiri (Literature)|
|Geography – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Konkani (Literature)|
|Geology – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Maithili (Literature)|
|History – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Malayalam (Literature)|
|Law – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Manipuri (Literature)|
|Management – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Marathi (Literature)|
|Mathematics – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Nepali (Literature)|
|Mechanical Engineering – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Odia (Literature)|
|Medical Science – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Punjabi (Literature)|
|Philosophy – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Sanskrit (Literature)|
|Physics – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Santhali (Literature)|
|Political Science & International Relations – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Sindhi (Literature)|
|Psychology – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Tamil (Literature)|
|Public Administration – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Telugu (Literature)|
|Sociology – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – English (Literature)|
|Statistics – UPSC Syllabus||IAS Syllabus – Urdu (Literature)|
1. The papers on Indian languages and English (Paper A and paper B) will be of qualifying nature and the marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
2. The papers on Indian languages and English (Paper A and paper B) will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard.
3. The papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance who attain 25% marks in ‘Indian Language’ and 25% in ‘English’ as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers.
4. Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking.
5. The question papers for the main examination will be of conventional (essay) type and each paper will be of 3-hour duration.
6. Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English.
7. The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.
Dress Code for UPSC Interview – Details to Remember
– Wear clean clothes. Clothes you wear must be well-washed, ironed and without any stains.
– Look smart by wearing the correct size. Clothes should not be very large or small.
– Avoid revealing clothes at any cost.
– Very little or no make-up is fine.
– Tie your hair neatly.
– Men should wear light coloured formal shirts and dark trousers.
– A neck-tie is recommended.
– Tucked in shirt, avoid printed or floral ones.
– Well-polished formal shoes with dark socks. Don’t wear chappals, sneakers or flip-flops.
– Short hair is recommended for men. It’s a matter of personal choice.
– Avoid flashy and expensive jewellery.
– Party wear or casual wear like jeans and T-shirts is strictly prohibited.
– Take care of your body odour with light or mild fragrances.
– You can wear a formal watch, again not too flashy.
– Carry a handkerchief to wipe out sweat.
Books For your IAS Exam preparation:
IAS Prelims 2021 is going to take place on 27th June, 2021. There are plethora of study material available for students both online and offline. Very few students end up choosing the correct study material for their UPSC 2021 Syllabus. As our IAS Toppers would suggest that you mandatorily have to build your foundation through NCERT books and henceforth you can move onto standard reference books.
The best study material on UPSC IAS Syllabus 2021 can vary from candidate to candidate depending on their previous expertise and knowledge of the subject matter. However, our experts suggest that the best IAS Books recommended for UPSC are shared in the list below. Choosing the right IAS exam books for different stages of the UPSC exam is quite important. The UPSC Prelims comprises only objective type questions while the IAS Mains contains descriptive essay type question papers.
|History||1. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra
2. Facets of Indian Culture – Spectrum
3. NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)
4. NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)
5. A Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum
|Geography||1. Certificate Physical Geography – G C Leong
2. NCERT VI – X (Old Syllabus)
3. NCERT XI, XII (New Syllabus)
4. World Atlas
|Indian Polity||1. Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth
2. NCERT IX-XII
|Economics||1. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
2. Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain & Ohri
3. NCERT XI
|International Relations||1. NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)
2. Current Affairs
|CSAT||1. Tata McGraw Hill CSAT Manual
2. CSAT II – Arihant
3. Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R S Aggarwal
Given below are the best General studies books for the UPSC Mains:
|History, Indian Heritage & Culture [GS Paper 1]||1. An Introduction to Indian Art Part 1: Textbook in Fine Arts for Class XI
2. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
3. India after Independence by Bipan Chandra
4. History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
5. Ancient India by R.S Sharma
6. A Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum
|Geography [GS Paper 1]||1. Geography of India by Majid Husain
2. World Geography by Majid Husain
3. World Atlas
4. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – G C Leong
5. Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11
|Polity & International Relations [GS Paper 2]||1. Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
2. Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu
3. India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
|Economy [GS Paper 3]||1. Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh|
|Ethics [GS Paper 4]||1. Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary|
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