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UPSC CSE Mains 2020 Detailed Syllabus: GS Paper-II (Governance, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)

Here, we are providing UPSC CSE Mains detailed syllabus of GS Paper-II. Topics covered in the GS Paper-II are Governance, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations.

Various subjects are included in UPSC GS mains syllabus and it is important to analyse and well versed with the syllabus before beginning the preparation of UPSC CSE Mains.

The UPSC CSE Mains Examination 2020 will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission from 8 January, 2021. The Mains Syllabus of UPSC consists of four GS Papers, Essay and two Optional papers. All the Mains papers are descriptive.

UPSC CSE Mains 2020 Detailed Syllabus: GS Paper-II (Governance, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)_40.1

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UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-II Syllabus

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.

Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.

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 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 fora- their structure, mandate.

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UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-II Detailed Syllabus (Indian Constitution)

Historical Underpinning & Evolution

Regulating Act (1773) to Independence Act (1947)

Constituent Assembly

Objective Resolution

Enactment & Enforcement of Constitution



Flexible & Rigid

Federal & Unitary

Parliamentary Form of Government (Presidential vs. Parliamentary Type of Government)


List of Significant Amendments & Their Provisions

Procedure for Amending Constitution

Significant Provisions

Fundamental Rights

Directive Principles of State Policy

Judicial Review

Universal Adult Franchise

Single Citizenship

Separation of Powers

Basic Structure

The Doctrine

Judgments & Cases

Functions & Responsibilities of the Union and the States

7th Schedule

Legislative Functions

Financial Functions

Administrative & Quasi-Judicial Functions

Issues & Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure

Federal Structure in India – Is India truly Federal?

Cooperative & Competitive Federalism

Centre-State Relations

Legislative Relations

Administrative Relations

Financial Relations

Trends in Centre-State Relations

Inter-State Relations

Inter-state Water Disputes

Inter-State Councils

Public Acts, Records and Judicial Proceedings

Inter-State Trade and Commerce

Zonal Councils

Emergency Provisions

Role of Governor

Reports of Various Commissions

2nd ARC, Punchhi, Sarkaria, etc.

Devolution of Powers & Finances to Local Levels & Challenges Therein

Role of State Government

Role of State Finance Commission

11th & 12th Schedule

Reasons for Ineffective Performance

Panchayat Devolution Index ( NITI Aayog)

Steps That Can Be Taken to Improve Their Performance

Separation of Powers between Various Organs

Doctrine of Separation of Power

Separation of Power in the Indian Constitution

Doctrine of Checks & Balances

Provisions for Checks & Balances in Indian Constitution

Related Judgments – Golaknath case, Kesavananda Bharati, Indira Gandhi Vs Raj Narain, Ram Jawaya vs Punjab

Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions



Tribunals, etc.

Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with That of Other Countries Parliament & State Legislatures

Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges

Written Constitution

Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility

Federal System with Unitary Bias

Parliamentary Form of Government

Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy

Integrated and Independent Judiciary

Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, Fundamental Duties

Secular State

Universal Adult Franchise

Single Citizenship

Emergency Provisions

Three-tier Government

Due Process of Law vs. Procedure Established by Law

Impeachment of President, etc.

Structure, Organization & Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary




Prime Minister

Council of Ministers

Cabinet Secretariat



Chief Minister

Council of Ministers



Three-Tier Structure

Chief Justice of India

SC & HC Judges


Ministries and Departments of the Government

Cabinet Ministries

Other Ministries

Parliamentary Secretaries

Pressure Groups & Formal/informal Associations & Their Role in Polity

Characteristics of Pressure Groups

Pressure Groups & Political Parties

Pressure Groups & Interest Groups

Types of Pressure Groups

Functions, Role & Importance of Pressure Groups

Techniques/Methods of Pressure Groups

Pressure Groups in India

Shortcomings of Pressure Groups

Salient Features of Representation of People’s Act

Appointment to Various Constitutional Posts

Appointment, Powers, Functions & Responsibilities of:

Election Commission

Union Public Service Commission

State Public Service Commission

Finance Commission

National Commission for SCs

National Commission for STs

Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities

Comptroller and Auditor General of India

Attorney General of India

Advocate General of the State

Statutory, Regulatory & Quasi-Judicial Bodies

NITI Aayog


National Human Rights Commission

State Human Rights Commission

Central Information Commission

Central Vigilance Commission

Central Bureau of Investigation

Lokpal and Lokayuktas

National Commission for Women

National Commission for Backward Classes

National Commission for Minorities

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority

Securities and Exchange Board of India

Competition Commission of India

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Central Pollution Control Board

Medical Council of India

Inland Waterways Authority of India

Central Ground Water Authority

Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

Bar Council of India

University Grants Commission

Financial Stability and Development Council

All India Council for Technical Education

National Green Tribunal

Competition Appellate Tribunal

Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal

Cyber Appellate Tribunal

Intellectual Property Appellate Board

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UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-II Detailed Syllabus (Governance)

Government Policies

Government Policies & Interventions in Various Sectors

Critical Assessment of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)

Rationalisation of CSS

Analysis of Main Schemes

Non-Governmental Organisations

Self Help Groups (SHGs)

Societies, Trusts and Cooperatives

Good Governance


Citizens Charters

Accountability and Transparency

Role of Civil Services

Role Played By Civil Services

Bureaucratic Reforms

Citizen-Centric Administration

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UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-II Detailed Syllabus (Social Justice)

Various Schemes for the Vulnerable Sections

Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted for Protection of Vulnerable Sections

SCs & STs







Developmental Issues of Social Sectors

Status of Literacy in India

Education Structure in India

Challenges Faced by the Education Sector in India


India’s Performance on Various Health Indicators

Weaknesses of Indian Healthcare System

Health Infrastructure in India

Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health Coverage

Health Insurance

National Family Health Survey

National Health Policy

National Health Mission

Maternal & Adolescent Health

Antimicrobial Resistance

Disease Burden in India

Measures to Ensure Good Health Outcomes

UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-II Detailed Syllabus (International Relations)

India and its Neighbourhood – Relations

India’s Relations With






Sri Lanka




Bilateral, Regional & Global Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests

India’s Major Foreign Policy Doctrines Since 1947

Non-aligned Movement (NAM)

Nuclear Doctrine

Gujral Doctrine

Look East to Act East

Think West, etc.

Bilateral Relations With

Major Powers Like – USA, Russia, Japan

Central Asian Countries

West Asian Countries

African Countries

Australia & New Zealand

EU & European Countries

Latin American Countries

Pacific Countries

Regional & Global Groupings







India-Africa Forum


Ashgabat Agreement



Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC)

Raisina Dialogue

Heart of Asia Conference

East Asia Summit


Asian Development Bank

National Security Summit

Multilateral Nuclear Export Regulatory Regimes: Wassenar, MTCR, Australia Group

Asian Development Bank

APEC, etc

Effect of Policies & Politics of Developed & Developing Countries on India’s Interests

One Belt One Road

International North- South Transport Corridor

Global Trade War

Global Currency War

Syrian Crisis

UN Reforms

WTO Reforms

South China Sea Conflict


Deglobalisation & Protectionism – US Sanctions on Iran, US Pullout from Paris Agreement, H-1B Visa Issue etc.

OPEC Oil Prices Manipulation, etc.

Indian Diaspora

Spread of Indian Diaspora

India’s Diaspora Policy & Engagement Initiatives


Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Know India Programme, etc.

LM Singhvi High-Level Committee on the Diaspora

Role played by Indian Diaspora

Issues Concerning the Diaspora:

Dual Nationality

Remittances, etc.

Important International Institutions

UN & its Agencies


World Bank


World Economic Forum

Commonwealth of Nations, etc.

UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-II: Structure

– UPSC CSE GS Mains Paper-II consists of 20 questions and needs to be attempted in a time frame of 3 hours.

– The total paper is of 250 marks with 10 and 15 marks weightage questions.

– For 10 marks questions, the word limit is 150 and for 15 marks questions word limit is 250.

UPSC CSE Mains 2020: GS Paper-I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society) Detailed Syllabus

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