Syllabus for IAS

Syllabus of stage -1 (prelims)


A.This first stage has 2 papers of objective types with 1/3rd negative marks.

Syllabus of GS: 100 questions,2 marks each,200.

Syllabus of CSAT: 80 questions,2.5 marks each,200.

Only the top 12000 students of GS will qualify for Mains. CAST is only qualified.

B.General Studies Paper - I (Total Marks- 200 & Duration- Two hours):

1. Current 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, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization. General Science.

C.General Studies Paper-II (Total Marks- 200 & Duration- Two hours):

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);

The candidate must appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for evaluation. Therefore, a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of the Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.


Syllabus of stage -2 (Mains)


This 2nd stage has 9 subjective papers.

1. Syllabus of GS – I: 250

General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)

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

2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.

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

4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

5. History of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.— their forms and effect on society.

6. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

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

8. Effects of globalization on Indian society.

9. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

10. Salient features of the world’s physical geography.

11. 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).

12. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones 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.

2. Syllabus of GS – II: 250

General Studies-II (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. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions

4. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

5. Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges, and issues arising out of these.

6. 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.

7. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

8. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

9. Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies.

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

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

12. 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.

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

14. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

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

16. Role of civil services in a democracy.

17. India and its Neighbourhood- relations.

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

19. 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.

3. Syllabus of GS – III: 250

General Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

2. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

3. Government Budgeting.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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

7. Land reforms in India.

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

I9. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

10. Investment models.

11. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

12. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

13. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

14. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

15. Disaster and disaster management.

16. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

17. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

18. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

19. Security challenges and their management in border areas - linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

20. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

4. Syllabus of GS – IV: 250

General Studies- IV: (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

  1. 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 :
  2. 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
  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 the 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 the above issues.

5. Syllabus of Essay: 250

There is no prescribed syllabus for this paper. Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

6. Syllabus of Optional paper – I: 250

7. Syllabus of Optional paper II: 250

8. Syllabus of English: 300(only qualifying 25%)

9. Comprehension of given passages.

  • Précis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays

10. Syllabus of Indian language: 300(only qualifying 25%)

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays.
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.


Syllabus of stage -3 (interview)


Syllabus of interview – 275 marks

1.The candidate will be interviewed by a Board that will have before them a record of the candidate’s career. The candidate will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the Interview/Personality Test is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The Interview/Personality Test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only intellectual qualities but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

2. The technique of the Interview/Personality Test is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.3. The Interview/Personality Test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.