GENERAL STUDIES FOR ALL UPSC/PSC EXAMS Headline Animator

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

UPSC Civils Preliminary Exam Syllabus

Paper I - (200 marks)


Duration: Two hours
  • 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, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization .
  • General Science.
Paper I - (200 marks)


Duration: Two hours
  • 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).
  • English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
Syllabus for GS MAINS :

The Mains Exam. is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
The scope of the syllabus for the optional subject papers for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors' degree and lower than the masters' degree. In the case of Engineering and law, the level corresponds to the bachelor's degree.
Compulsory subjects :

English Languages :

The aim of the paper is to test the candidate's ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly in English/Indian language concerned. The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:-

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essay.

Indian Languages :


  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essay.
  • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.

Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
Note 2: The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).

Essay :
Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

General Studies :
General Guidelines: The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate's general awareness on a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate's basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.

PAPER - I :

1. History of Modern India and Indian Culture: The History of Modern India will cover history of the Country from about the middle of nineteenth century and would also include questions on important personalities who shaped the freedom movement and social reforms. The part relating to Indian culture will cover all aspects of Indian culture from the ancient to modern times as well as principal features of literature, arts and architecture.
2. Geography of India: In this part, questions will be on the physical, economic and social geography of India.
3. Constitution of India and Indian Polity: This part will include questions on the Constitution of India as well as all constitutional, legal, administrative and other issues emerging from the politico-administrative system prevalent in the country.
4. Current National Issues and Topics of Social Relevance: This part is intended to test the candidate's awareness of current national issues and topics of social relevance in present-day India, such as the following:

  • The Indian economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Issues arising from the social and economic exclusion of large sections from the benefits of development.
  • Other issues relating to the development and management of human resource.
  • Health issues including the management of Public Health, Health education and ethical concerns regarding health-care, medical research and pharmaceuticals.
  • Law enforcement, internal security and related issues such as the preservation of communal harmony.
  • Issues relating to good governance and accountability to the citizens including the maintenance of human rights, and of probity in public life.
  • Environmental issues, ecological preservation, conservation of natural resources and national heritage.

PAPER - II :
1. India and the World: This part will include questions to test candidate's awareness of India's relationship with the world in various spheres such as the following:-
  • Foreign Affairs with special emphasis on India's relations with neighbouring countries and in the region.
  • Security and defence related matters.
  • Nuclear policy, issues, and conflicts.
  • The Indian Diaspora and its contribution to India and the world.
2. India's Economic Interaction with the World: In this part, questions will be on economic and trade issues such as foreign trade, foreign investment; economic and diplomacy issues relating to oil, gas and energy flows; the role and functions of I.M.F., World Bank, W.T.O., WIPO etc. which influence India's economic interaction with other countries and international institutions.
3. Developments in the Field of Science & Technology, IT and space: In this part, questions will test candidate's awareness of the developments in the field of science and technology, information technology, space and basic ideas about computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and related issues regarding intellectual property rights.
4. International Affairs and Institutions: This part will include questions on important events in world affairs and on international institutions.
5. Statistical analysis, graphs and diagrams: This part will test the candidate's ability to draw conclusions from information presented in statistical, graphical or in a diagrammatical form and to interpret them.

General Studies is the most important part of UPSC Civil Services Exam, the horizons of which are unidentifiable and undefined. Though UPSC has provided with the syllabus, yet it is not exhaustive because it is in the form of broad outlines. Thus the syllabus of GS has often perplexed the aspirants in terms of what to study, how to study and so on. Therefore we at Chronicle have made an earnest and honest attempt to provide, as far as possible, an exhaustive list of topics to be covered for GS both at the Preliminary and Mains level. Certainly this may not be enough still these topics can act as useful guidelines. Moreover, the preparation of GS requires from an aspirant to know something about everything under the sun and this booklet intends to do so only.

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