UPSC Civil Services 2017-2018 Exam Syllabus and Basic Guidelines | Marking Scheme For UPSC Main Examination


UPSC Civil Services 2017-2018 Exam Syllabus and Basic Guidelines

UPSC Syllabus and Basic Guidelines 2017-2018
UPSC Syllabus and Basic Guidelines 2017-2018 by | UPSC Marking Scheme for Main Examination by

The UPSC Civil Services exam is conducted in two stages, Prelims and Mains which are then followed by an interview. Candidates belonging to the General category have 6 attempts to appear in the examination. OBC and SC/ST have 9 attempts and no limits on the number of attempts respectively. The upper age limit for General category candidates is 30 and 35 for SC/ST candidates. The minimum qualification is a graduation degree from any recognized university. Structure and subjects for the Preliminary and Main examinations are as follows.

Preliminary Examination

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each in the Civil Services Prelims Exam.

Important Points:

(i) Both the question papers are of the objective type (multiple choice questions) of two hours each.

(ii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills would be provided only in English.

(iii) Blind candidates would be allowed an extra 20 minutes of time for each paper.

Main Examination

The written examination will consist of the following papers:

Qualifying papers:


One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution; 300 marks.


English; 300 Marks.

Papers to be counted for merit:


Essay; 250 Marks


General Studies – I; 250 Marks; Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.


General Studies – II; 250 Marks; Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and   International relations.


General Studies – III; 250 Marks; Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.


General Studies – IV; 250 Marks; Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.


Optional Subject – Paper 1; 250 Marks.


Optional Subject – Paper 2; 250 Marks.


Total marks from written test 1750 Marks.


Personality Test (Interview) 275 Marks.


Grand Total 2025 Marks.

MUST CHECK :-UPSC Punjabi Syllabus for Main Examination

UPSC Syllabus For Preliminary Examination

  1. Preliminary Examination

Paper – 1-I; 200 marks.

  • 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 – 2/II; 200 marks.

  • 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).

Note 1:  Questions  relating  to  English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper- II) will  be tested through passages  from English  language  only  without  providing Hindi  translation  thereof  in  the  question paper.

Note 2: The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

Note 3:  It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation.  Therefore a candidate  will  be  disqualified  in  case he/she  does  not  appear  in  both  the papers  of  Civil  Services  (Prelim) Examination.

UPSC Syllabus For Main Examination

The  main  Examination  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 nature and standard of questions in the  General  Studies  papers  (Paper  II  to Paper V) 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  of  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. The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honors degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree.  In  the  case  of Engineering,  Medical  Science  and  law, the  level  corresponds  to  the  bachelors’ degree. Syllabi  of  the  papers  included  in  the scheme  of  Civil  Services  (Main) Examination are given as follows:

Qualifying papers on Indian languages and English.

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

(i) Comprehension of given passages

(ii) Precise Writing

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary

(iv) Short Essays

Indian Languages:-

(i) Comprehension of given passages

(ii) Precise Writing

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary

(iv) Short Essays

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

Note 1:  The Papers on Indian 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).

Paper I/2

Essay; 250 marks.

Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. 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.

Paper II/2

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, redrawal  of  national  boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism,  socialism  –  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 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 III/3

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 dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
  • Parliament and State Legislatures- structure, functioning, 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
  • 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 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 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/4

General Studies – III; 250 Marks; 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 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; indignation 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 nonstate actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to  internal  security through communication networks, 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/5

General Studies – IV; 250 Marks; Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ approach and attitude to matters relating to integrity, probity in public life and his/her problem solving approach to numerous  issues  and  conflicts  faced  by him  in  dealing  with  society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects.

Paper VI/6 & Paper VII/7

Optional Papers.


UPSC Civil Services 2017-2018 Exam Syllabus and Basic Guidelines | Marking Scheme For UPSC Main Examination


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