UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023: The UPSC Mains Syllabus holds immense significance as it covers a vast array of topics, playing a pivotal role in the Civil Services examination. This examination process comprises a written test and an interview/personality assessment, collectively known as the Civil Services (Main) Examination. The UPSC Mains for this year is scheduled to take place on the 15th of September. The UPSC Mains Syllabus was officially released on the 1st of February 2023, coinciding with the UPSC Notification. If you are preparing for the UPSC Mains, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023. This article provides detailed information about the UPSC Mains Syllabus for the year 2023, including access to the UPSC Mains Syllabus PDF.
UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023 Overview
In order to succeed in the UPSC examination, candidates must acquaint themselves with the syllabus for both the preliminary and mains exams. This article offers a comprehensive analysis of the mains examination syllabus, providing a detailed breakdown for candidates to peruse. For a quick overview of the mains examination, refer to the table below.
|UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023|
|Exam Date||15th to 19th September 2023|
|Number of Papers||Nine|
|Types of Paper||Conventional Papers (Descriptive Type)|
|Duration of Exam||3 hours Each Paper|
|Language of Exam||English & Hindi (Except Language Paper)|
|Negative Marking||No negative marking but Penalty Marking for various mistakes done by candidates|
UPSC Mains Syllabus
In addition to the Indian Language and English Papers, the remaining papers in the main examination are considered for determining merit. To gain a thorough understanding of the UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus, including the General Studies and Essay papers, we recommend reading the complete article, which provides comprehensive coverage.
General Studies I
The first General Studies paper primarily focuses on the History, Heritage, Geography, and Culture of the World and Society. The commission has provided an outline of the key themes encompassed in the General Studies I syllabus, which are listed below for the reference of candidate.
Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society:
- Indian Culture: It covers the salient features of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient times to modern times.
- Modern Indian History: It includes the significant events, personalities, and issues from the middle of the 18th century until the present.
- In The Freedom Struggle, Various stages and important contributors and contributions from different parts of the country.
- Consolidation and Reorganisation of the country after independence.
- Events from the 18th century will be included in the history of the world, such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national borders, colonization, and decolonization, as well as political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, and others—their manifestations and social effects.
- Important characteristics of Indian society and India’s diversity.
- The role of women and the organization of women, population and related issues, poverty and developmental challenges, urbanization, related issues, and solutions.
- The social effects of globalization in India.
- Communalism, Regionalism, Secularism, and Social Empowerment.
- Important physical geography characteristics of the world.
- Distribution of major natural resources worldwide (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); determinants of where primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries are located globally (including India).
- Critical geographic features and their location-changes in flora and fauna, as well as in water bodies and ice caps and the impact of such changes. Important geophysical phenomena include earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.
General Studies II
The Polity, Governance, Constitution, Social Justice, and Interrelations topics are covered in the UPSC Mains Syllabus General Studies II paper. The detailed syllabus is provided to candidates below.
Governance, Polity, Constitution, Social Justice, and International Relations:
- The basic structures, features, modifications, major provisions, and historical context of the Indian Constitution.
- Functions and duties of the Union and the States, problems and difficulties with the federal system, and obstacles with the devolution of authority and resources to local levels.
- Power separation between multiple organs, conflict resolution procedures, and institutions.
- Comparing the Indian constitutional design to other countries’ systems.
- Structure, administration, business practices, powers, and privileges of the Parliament and State Legislatures, as well as challenges resulting from these.
- Governmental Ministries and Departments; Pressure Group organizations and formal/informal associations; and their purpose in the Polity.
- Structure, organization, and operation of the Executive and the Judiciary.
- The Representation of People’s Act’s key characteristics.
- Appointment to several constitutional Bodies, as well as their respective duties and responsibilities.
- Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial agencies; Government interventions for development in many sectors; Problems resulting from the planning and execution of these interventions.
- The role of NGOs, SHGs, diverse groups and associations, funders, charities, institutional, and other stakeholders in development processes and the development industry.
- Welfare programs put in place by the federal government and individual states for the population’s most vulnerable groups, as well as the effectiveness of these programs; institutions, laws, and other organizations created to safeguard and improve the lives of these vulnerable groups.
- Issues pertaining to the growth and administration of the social sector and services in the fields of health, education, and human resources.
- Hunger and poverty-related issues.
- Transparency and accountability are crucial components of governance, as are e-governance applications, models, accomplishments, limitations, and possibilities; citizens’ charters, transparency & accountability, and institutional and other measurements.
- The function of the civil service in a democracy
- India’s relationship with its neighbors.
- Groupings and agreements at the bilateral, regional, and international levels involving or impacting India and/or its interests.
- Effect of developed and developing countries’ policies and politics on India’s interests and the Indian diaspora.
- Important international organizations, agencies, and forums: their makeup and objectives.
General Studies III
The subjects of Science, Technology, Economics, Defense, Disaster Management, and Nature are thoroughly covered in UPSC Mains General Studies III. This paper would raise ask relating to many facets of life as well as recent developments in all areas of life.
Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Bio-diversity, Security and Disaster Management:
- Indian Economy, including planning, resource mobilization, growth, development, and employment difficulties.
- Inclusive growth and the problems it raises.
- Budgeting of Government.
- Major crops, patterns of cropping in various regions of the nation, various types of irrigation and irrigation systems, challenges with storage, transport, and marketing of agricultural products, and related limitations; the use of e-technology by farmers.
- Concerns about buffer stocks and food security, direct and indirect farm subsidies, and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System goals, operations, and shortcomings; Technology missions; and the economics of animal husbandry.
- Food processing and related sectors in India: their size and importance, where they are, what is needed in the upstream and downstream, and supply chain management.
- Indian land reforms.
- The economic implications of liberalization, changes to industrial policy, and how these affect the expansion of the industrial sector.
- Infrastructure includes things like ports, roads, airports, and railroads.
- Models for investments.
- Science and technology breakthroughs, as well as how they are used and impact daily life.
- Scientific and technological advances made by Indians; indigenization of technology; and the creation of new technology.
- Awareness of issues relating to intellectual property rights as well as IT, space, computers, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.
- Environmental impact assessment, pollution and degradation of the environment, and conservation.
- Disasters and disaster management; Relationships between extremism’s growth and dissemination.
- The contribution of non-state and state actors from outside to the problems with domestic security.
- Threats to internal security posed by communication networks, the media’s and social media’s role in such threats, the fundamentals of cyber security, and money laundering and its prevention.
- Security issues and how to manage them in border regions – connections between organized crime and terrorism.
- The function of various security agencies and organizations.
General Studies IV
Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude: This paper contains questions to assess the candidate’s attitude and approach toward matters relating to integrity, probity in public life, and their approach to problem-solving when dealing with a variety of challenges and disputes in society. In order to determine these elements and cover area, questions may use the case study approach.
- Emotional intelligence concepts, as well as their benefits and use in governance and administration.
- Contributions from moral philosophers and thinkers in India and around the world.
- Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and Issues; Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding; Corporate Governance; Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance. Accountability and Ethical Governance.
- Probity in governance includes the idea of public service, the philosophical underpinnings of governance and probity, information sharing and transparency in government, the right to information, codes of ethics and conduct, citizen’s charters, workplace culture, the effectiveness of service delivery, the use of public resources, and challenges posed by corruption.
- Case Studies on the aforementioned concerns.
- Ethics and Human Interaction: The purpose, factors, and outcomes of ethical behavior in people; the dimensions of ethics; and the application of ethics in both personal and professional settings. The importance of family community and educational institutions in instilling values may be seen in the study of human values, which draws lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators.
- Civil service aptitude and core principles, including honesty, objectivity, and non-partisanship; dedication to public service; empathy; tolerance; and compassion for the weaker groups.
- Moral and political attitudes, social influence, and persuasion are all aspects of attitude that include its content, structure, and function as well as its relationship to cognition and behavior.
UPSC Mains Exam Pattern 2023
Once candidates clear the preliminary exam, they become eligible to appear for the main exam. The main exam is a crucial stage where candidates’ scores and rankings are determined. It evaluates not only their academic knowledge but also their ability to express their understanding effectively and concisely within the given time frame, addressing the requirements of each question.
To pass the main exam, candidates must secure minimum qualifying marks in all nine papers. Among these, the language papers (English and Indian Language) are qualifying in nature, while the remaining papers (GS-I, GS-II, GS-III, GS-IV, Essay paper, Optional Paper 1, and Paper 2) are assessed and awarded grades.
|UPSC Mains Exam Pattern 2023|
|Paper-A||One of the Indian languages listed in the Constitution’s Eighth Schedule needs to be selected by the candidate.||300|
|Papers Counted for Merit|
|Paper 1||Essay Paper||250|
|Paper 2 – General Studies I||General Studies Paper I consists mainly of the History and Geography of the World and Society, Indian Heritage, and Culture. This paper mainly revolves around History, Geography, and Society.||250|
|Paper 3 – General Studies II||General Studies Paper II consists mainly of Polity, Constitution, Governance, Social Justice, and International relations.||250|
|Paper 4 – General Studies III||General Studies Paper III consists mainly of Economic Development, Technology, Environment, Biodiversity, Security, and Disaster Management.||250|
|Paper 5 – General Studies IV||General Studies Paper IV consists mainly of Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude.||250|
|Paper 6||Optional Subject – Paper 1||250|
|Paper 7||Optional Subject – Paper 2||250|
|Sub Total (Written Test)||1750|
Download PDF: UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023 PDF
UPSC Syllabus Mains Language Paper
In the UPSC Mains Exam, candidates are required to appear for two language papers: Paper A and Paper B. For Paper A, candidates need to select a language from the options listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, as provided in the table below. The selected language must be written in the corresponding script mentioned in the table. English serves as the second language paper. Candidates have the flexibility to choose any of the Indian Languages listed in the table for their language paper.
|UPSC Syllabus Main Languages Paper|
|Sindhi||Devanagari or Arabic|
|Santhali||Devanagari or Olchiki*|
Note: The question paper for the Santhali language will be printed in Devanagari script, however, candidates are free to answer in Olchiki or Devanagari.
Let’s explore the structure of the language papers, namely “Paper A” and “Paper B,” in detail. The following section provides a comprehensive breakdown of how these papers are organized.
- Essay – 100 marks
- Reading Comprehension – 60 marks
- Precis Writing – 60 marks
- Translation: (i) English to Compulsory Language (for e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks and (ii) Compulsory Language to English – 20 marks
Grammar and Usage of Basic Language – 40 marks.