UPSC Syllabus 2020

UPSC (IAS) Syllabus 2020: Prelims & Mains

UPSC (IAS) Prelims and Mains Exam 2020. The given syllabus will be much help for the IAS aspirants preparing for UPSC Civil Service Exam 2020.

UPSC Syllabus 2020
UPSC Syllabus 2020

UPSC 2020 syllabus has been released along with the official notification for the Civil Service Exam on 12th February 2020.

The IAS syllabus can be found at the UPSC official website or scroll down to download the UPSC syllabus pdf for both Prelims and Mains.

There is a common UPSC syllabus pattern for services such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) to name a few. However, different stages of the IAS exam have different syllabi. The UPSC Prelims syllabus focuses on general and societal awareness which is tested by objective-type (MCQ) questions. The UPSC Mains syllabus is much more comprehensive as this stage comprises nine theory papers.

This exam comprises of there stages namely Prelims, Mains and Interview. It is must noted that Prelims have two objective type (MCQ) exam, while the Mains is comprehensive which comprises nine subjective papers exam and in Interview tests the candidate intelligence, attentiveness, balance of judgement and human qualities like honesty, integrity and leadership are checked.

UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Pattern
PaperSubjectsMarksNo. of Question
IGeneral Studies (GS)200100
UPSC Prelims

UPSC Prelims—General Studies (Paper I)

  • 1. Current Affairs (Events) of national and international importance.
  • 2. History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • 3. Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • 4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • 5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • 6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change: that do not require subject specialization.
  • 7. General Science


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

UPSC Mains Syllabus——-

UPSC IAS Mains Exam Pattern
PaperSubjectDurationMaximum MarksNature
Paper AAny Indian language3 Hours300 (25% For Qualifying)Qualifying Only
Paper BEnglish Paper3 Hours300 (25% for Qualifying)Qualifying Only
Paper IEssay3 Hours250Scoring
Paper IIGeneral Studies I3 Hours250Scoring
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II3 Hours250Scoring
Paper IVGeneral Studies III3 Hours250Scoring
Paper VGeneral Studies IV3 Hours250Scoring
Paper VIOptional I3 Hours250Scoring
Paper VIIOptional II3 Hours250Scoring


  • 1. There are two qualifying paper in the mains exam, Namely “Paper A” and “Paper B” of 300 marks each.
  • 2. Two Qualifying Papers are “Any Indian Language from Eight Schedule “ and “English Language Paper”.
  • 3. Candidates need to score 25% in both qualifying papers i.e, 75 marks each.


Languages And Script
SindhiDevanagari or ArabicTeluguTelugu
SanthaliDevanagari or OlchikiDogriDevanagari
Language papers
  • 1. Essay – 100 marks
  • 2. Reading comprehension – 60 marks
  • 3. Precis Writing – 60 marks
  • 4. Translation:
    • (a)English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) – 20 marks
    • (b)Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
  • 5. Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks

UPSC Optional papers list

UPSC IAS Mains Optional Subjects List
AgricultureAnimal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceAnthropologyBotanyChemistry
Civil EngineeringCommerce and AccountancyEconomicsElectrical EngineeringGeography
StatisticsSociologyPhysicsPhilosophyMedical Science
Political Science and International RelationsPublic AdministrationPsychologyMechanical EngineeringMathematics
UPSC optional papers list

UPSC Mains:– General Studies I

This is the first General Studies papers. This paper is all about the History, Heritage, Geography and Culture of the World and Society. Candidates can check the main points of the General Studies I syllabus below as described by the commission.

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

  • 1. Indian culture covers the salient features of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • 2. Modern Indian history include the significant events, personalities, issues during the middle of the eighteenth century until the present
  • 3. Various stages and important contributors and contributions from different parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’
  • 4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
  • 5. History of the world includes events, forms and effect on the society from 18th century like world wars, industrial revolution, colonization, redrawal of national boundaries, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc
  • 6. Salient aspects of Diversity of India and Indian Society
  • 7. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and remedies
  • 8. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
  • 9. 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
  • 10. Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • 11. 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
  • 12. Salient features of world’s physical geography.

UPSC Mains:– General Studies II

The Mains General Studies II papers have questions related to the Polity, Governance, Constitution, Social Justice and Interrelations. Candidates can check the syllabus below.

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

  • 1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • 4. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  • 5. Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
  • 6. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  • 7. 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
  • 8. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
  • 9. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  • 10. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • 11. 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
  • 12. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • 13. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
  • 14. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • 15. Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  • 16. Role of civil services in a democracy
  • 17. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • 18. India and its neighborhood- relations
  • 19. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
  • 20. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

UPSC Mains:– General Studies III

UPSC Mains General Studies III is all about the Science, Technology, Economics, Defense, Disaster Management and Nature. This paper can ask questions from every aspects of life, new development in any sphere of life.

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

  • 1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • 2.Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
  • 3.Government Budgeting.
  • 4. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • 5. 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
  • 6. Economics of animal-rearing.
  • 7. Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • 8. 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
  • 9. Land reforms in India.
  • 10. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • 11. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • 12. Investment models.
  • 13. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science and technology;
  • 14. Indigenisation of technology and developing new technology.
  • 15. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • 16. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • 17. Disaster and disaster management.
  • 18. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • 19. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • 20. 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
  • 21. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
  • 22. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

UPSC Mains:– General Studies IV

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude: This paper includes questions to check the candidate attitude and approach towards the issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and their problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by them while dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects and covers area

  • 1. Ethics and Human Interface- Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships
  • 2. Human Values- lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values
  • 3. Attitude- content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion
  • 4. 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
  • 5. Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance
  • 6. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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
  • 9. Case Studies on above issues.
Content Protection by