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UPSC Syllabus 2022, Download UPSC CSE Syllabus 2022-23 For Prelims and Mains

UPSC Syllabus 2022: Introduction


Most important thing, for every UPSC aspirant, before starting UPSC Preparation is to go through the UPSC Syllabus as many times as possible and completely remember the syllabus by heart. The present syllabus for mains is pretty detailed unlike previous syllabus. The new Civil Services Examination Syllabus is lengthy but fortunately every topic is clearly mentioned so that an aspirant can focus on each topic carefully and make notes on each one of them referring from standard texts, websites and newspapers.

By remembering whole syllabus by heart an aspirant gets a clear focus while studying various sources for the exam. For example, while reading newspaper his focus will be on those topics of the syllabus which he knows subconsciously in his mind are relevant and important for exam. If he doesn’t know the syllabus well, they will waste precious time studying unwanted topics.

Knowing each topic of the UPSC CSE syllabus enables an aspirant to frame questions in his mind whenever he is reading something. While going through previous year questions, one will easily come to know which part of the syllabus is more important and which is not.

Every day we come across many discussions or conversations on TV or radio, if the syllabus is imprinted in mind, we become alert to such discussions and concentrate on them.

The UPSC Syllabus is a guide to focused preparation for the examination. If one overlooks it, he is certain to waste time on unwanted books.


UPSC Syllabus: Overview


  • UPSC Civil service Exam, which is the backbone of Indian governance constitutes all ministries and their departments. The Civil service and Forest service exams are conducted by the UPSC.
  • UPSC Civil Service Examination consists of 3 stages as mentioned below:
    • Stage 1 – Preliminary Exam (Objective Type)
    • Stage 2 – Mains Exam (Descriptive Type)
    • Stage 3 – Interview (Oral)
  • The first stage of the exam i.e., the Civil Services Preliminary Exam is only a screening test and is conducted to shortlist candidates for the Main Examination. Marks secured in Preliminary Exam are not taken into account while preparing the final merit.
  • Preliminary Exam consists of two papers of objective type carrying a maximum of 400 marks.
  • The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination.
  • Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.
  • Civil Services Main Examination consists of a written examination and interview (personality test).
  • The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type in the subjects out of which two papers will be of qualifying in nature.
  • Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (Paper-I to Paper-VlI) and Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking.
UPSC Syllabus 2022-23 Overview
Particulars Prelims Mains
Exam Date To be notified To be notified
No. of Papers Two Nine
Types of Questions Objective Type Descriptive Type
Duration of Exam 2 hours each 3 hours each
Total Marks 400 1750
Medium of Exam English & Hindi English & Hindi (except language paper)
Negative Marking  ⅓rd mark No negative marking
Marks Counted in Merit No Yes


UPSC Syllabus For Prelims: Exam Pattern


  • The Preliminary Examination which is common for both Civil services and Forest service is conducted during May or June every year.
  • It consists of two papers – one is held in the forenoon and the other in the afternoon of the same day and both papers consist of a set of multiple choice questions.
  • The forenoon session is General Studies Paper–I where questions are based on general awareness and other topics as mentioned in the syllabus.
  • In afternoon session is CSAT – Paper II where questions based on Quantitative aptitude, Reasoning and Verbal ability as mentioned in syllabus.
  • Candidates should note that there will be a penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers.Information in the table are based on UPSC Civil Services Examinations 2018.
Subject No. of Questions Marks
Total Correct Ans Incorrect Ans*
General Studies Paper–I 100 200 2 -0.66
CSAT – Paper II 80 200 2.5 -0.83

* For Wrong answers one – third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

UPSC Prelims Result

  • Paper I marks is used for the selection of candidates to the mains examination.
  • Paper II marks is qualifying paper with a minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33% (i.e 66 marks).
  • Two set of results are published – one list is for those who qualified for Civil Service Mains Examinations and other list is for those who qualified for Forest Service Mains Examination.
  • This is only a screening test, marks will not be added in calculating final results.


UPSC Syllabus for Mains: Exam Pattern


  • The candidates who qualify for Civil Service Mains Examination have to choose one optional subject which has two papers.
  • The mains 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 the Civil Services.
  • The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, 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 honours 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.
  • In all, the aspirants are to appear in nine papers, details of which are given below:
Subjects Papers Marks
Indian Language * Paper–A 300
English * Paper–B 300
Essay Paper–I 250
General Studies 1 Paper–I 250
General Studies 2 Paper–II 250
General Studies 2 Paper–III 250
General Studies 4 Paper–IV 250
Optional Subject Paper–VI 250
Optional Subject Paper–VII 250

* Qualifying Papers – For qualifying, candidates have to secure a minimum of 25% in these papers.




UPSC CSE aspirants can find Detailed Exam Pattern and Syllabus PDF For UPSC CSE Exam 2023 by clicking the link given below:

UPSC CSE Syllabus


Detailed Syllabus Of UPSC Prelims 


  • The first stage of the exam i.e., the Civil Services Preliminary Exam is only a screening test and is conducted to shortlist candidates for the Main Examination. Marks secured in Preliminary Exam are not taken into account while preparing the final merit.
  • The preliminary Exam consists of two papers of objective type carrying a maximum of 400 marks.

1. General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

It has 100 questions broadly covering the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

  • Current events of National & International importance.
  • History of India & Indian National Movement.
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

2. General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

It comprises of 80 questions from the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability.
  • Decision making & problem solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

Important Points For UPSC Prelims Syllabus

  • General Studies Paper-II of IAS Exam is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • It is mandatory for a candidate to appear in both the Papers of IAS Prelim Exam for the purpose of evaluation.


Detailed Syllabus of UPSC Mains 2022


I. Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:

English Language:

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.

Indian Languages:

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.

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

II. Paper-I: Essay

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.

III. Paper-II: General Studies-I

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

(i) Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

(ii) Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

(iii) The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

(iv) Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

(v) 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 etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

(vi) Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

(vii) Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

(viii) Effects of globalization on Indian society.

(ix) Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

(x) Salient features of world’s physical geography.

(xi) 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).

(xii) 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.

IV. Paper-III: General Studies-II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

(i) Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

(ii) 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.

(iii) Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

(iv) Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

(v) Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

(vi) 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.

(vii) Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

(viii) Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

(ix) Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

(x) Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

(xi) Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

(xii) 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.

(xiii) Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

(xiv) Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

(xv) Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

(xvi) Role of civil services in a democracy.

(xvii) India and its neighborhood- relations.

(xviii) Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

(xix) Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

(xx) Important International institutions, agencies and fora – their structure, mandate.

V. Paper-IV: General Studies-III

Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

(i) Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

(ii) Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

(iii) Government Budgeting.

(iv) 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.

(v) 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.

(vi) Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

(vii) Land reforms in India.

(viii) Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

(ix) Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

(x) Investment models.

(xi) Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

(xii) Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

(xiii) Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

(xiv) Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

(xv) Disaster and disaster management.

(xvi) Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

(xvii) Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

(xviii) 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.

(xix) Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

(xx) Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

VI. Paper-V: General Studies-IV

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society.

Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered:

(i) Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

(ii) Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

(iii) Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

(iv) Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

(v) Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

(vi) Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

(vii) Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

(viii) Case Studies on above issues.

VII. Paper – VI & VII

Optional Subject Papers I & II.

A candidate may opt for any one Optional Subject from the following:

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

UPSC IAS Mains Optional Subjects List
Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology Botany Chemistry
Civil Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Economics Electrical Engineering Geography
Statistics Sociology Physics Philosophy Medical Science
Political Science and International Relations Public Administration Psychology Mechanical Engineering Mathematics
Zoology Geology History Management Law
Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi,Nepali,Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu,Urdu and English.

Important Points For UPSC Mains Syllabus

  • 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.
  • The papers on Indian languages and English (Paper A and paper B) will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard.
  • 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.
  • Each Optional Subject has 2 compulsory papers
  • Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking.
  • The question papers for the main examination will be of conventional (essay) type and each paper will be of 3 hour duration.
  • 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.
  • The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.
  • Compensatory time of twenty minutes per hour shall be permitted for the Blind candidates and the candidates with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy where dominant (writing) extremity is affected to the extent of slowing the performance of function (minimum of 40% impairment) in both the Civil Services (Preliminary) as well as in the Civil Services (Main) Examination.


About UPSC Civil Services Interview

Interview for Personality test will be conducted in Delhi for candidates who clear the Mains examination. (Maximum mark : 275)


About UPSC Civil Services Final Result

The final result of Civil Services exam will be based on Mains examination and Interview marks.

FAQ about UPSC Syllabus 2022

Q. How are the marks obtained in qualifying papers of UPSC Mains impact ranking?

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.

Q. What is the number of questions in UPSC Pre Paper 1?

GS 1 has 100 questions broadly covering the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

Q. What is the number of total questions asked in both papers of the UPSC IAS Pre Exam?

The preliminary exam consists of two papers of objective type carrying a total of 180 questions and a maximum of 400 marks.

Q. What is the total number of questions in UPSC Pre Paper 2?

GS 2 comprises 80 questions that carry a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours.

Q. Number of compulsory papers for each optional subject in UPSC Mains?

Each Optional Subject has 2 compulsory papers.



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