UPSC Syllabus 2020 PDF Download – Exam Pattern, Selection Process @

Harika | May 21, 2020

UPSC Civil Services Syllabus 2020 – Overview

Name of the Board
Union Public Service Commission
Name of the Post
Civil Services
Mode of Application
Selection Process
Preliminary Test, Mains Examination and Interview
Job Category
Central Govt Jobs
Official Site
Name of the category

UPSC Prelims & Mains Syllabus 2020

Hello, everyone, are you looking for the UPSC Syllabus? We have provided the UPSC Civil Services Syllabus 2020 here in this article to help you in preparation. This Syllabus shows you How to prepare for the exams? And tell you, How much time you should spend on each topic? Candidates going to start preparing for the UPSC Examinations should know about the syllabus which helps you to score good marks in the Test.

IAS Exam Pattern 2020

The Exam Pattern of Preliminary and Main Examinations are

Preliminary Examination

  • It consists of two papers which are of objective type with a total of 400 marks. This is only a qualifying round. Preliminary Exam marks are not considered for the final selections

Mains Examination

  • The Main Examination consists of 9 papers with two optional in them. There will be two languages one of the languages is to be selected by the candidate, and the other is English. The marks of seven papers will be taken into consideration on the final selection. Remaining two papers are of qualifying in nature

Personality Test

  • The Personality Test includes Psychometric Test, Assessment Test, as well as the Personal Interview. Marks obtained in this test and Main Examination would be considered for the final selection of the candidate

UPSC IAS Selection Process

The UPSC IAS Examination 2020 is conducted to shortlist the candidates for the respective roles. The examination consists of three stages

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Mains Examination
  • Interview

UPSC Civil Services Syllabus 2020

IAS Preliminary Test

The Preliminary Test consists of two papers of General Studies (Paper I and Paper II) and the syllabus for the preliminary test of Paper I are

General Studies: Paper-I
  • Current events of national and international
  • History of India
  • Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography
  • Indian Polity and Governance
  • Constitution and Political System
  • Panchayati Raj and Public Policy
  • Rights Issues
  • Economic and Social Development
  • Sustainable Development
  • Poverty and Inclusion
  • Demographics and Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology
  • Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • General Science
  • Comprehension
  • Decision-making
  • Problem-solving
  • Basic numeracy
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • General mental ability
  • Data interpretation

IAS Mains Examination

Prelims qualified candidates should attend the Main Exam on the given dates at the respective centres. The Main Examination is used to test the knowledge of the candidates. The UPSC Main Exam Papers are

Paper I (Description)

The description test is conducted on a specific topic to test the knowledge skills of the candidates on the specific issue. The marks will be given to the candidate based on the expressions.


In General Studies (Paper-II) candidates have to answer the question based on Indian Heritage, Indian Culture, History and Geography of the world

Indian Heritage
  • Indian culture
  • Literature and Architecture
  • Modern Indian history
  • Dominant personalities
  • Freedom Struggle
  • Significant Contributors /Contributions from different parts of the country
  • Post‐independence consolidation
  • Reorganization within the country
Indian Culture
  • Role of women and women’s organization
  • Population and Associated Issues
  • Poverty and Developmental Issues
  • Urbanization
  • Effects of Globalization on Indian society
  • Social Empowerment
  • Communalism
  • Regionalism & Secularism
  • World’s Physical Geography
  • History of the world
  • Industrial Revolution
  • World Wars
  • Re-drawl of National boundaries
  • Colonization and Decolonization
  • Political philosophies
  • Capitalism
  • Socialism
  • Salient features of Indian Society
  • Diversity of India
Geography of the World and Society
  • Natural resources
  • Earthquakes and Tsunami
  • Volcanic Activity
  • Important Geophysical phenomena
  • Cyclones
  • Geographical features and their changes in the location during critical geographic features
  • Effects of Flora and Fauna
  • Factors for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries
Paper III

General Studies II in Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations

  • Indian Constitution historical underpinnings
  • Agreements involving India
  • Evolution and Features
  • Responsibilities of the Union and the States
  • Challenges pertaining to the federal structure
  • Amendments
  • Significant provisions
  • Basic structure and functions
  • Its neighbourhood relations
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings
  • Effect of policies
  • Effects of politics of developed and developing countries
  • Important International institutions
  • Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels
  • Agencies and fora their structure
  • Separation of powers
  • Redressed mechanisms and institutions
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional
  • Scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures
  • Structure and functioning
  • Conduct of business
  • Powers and privileges
  • Important aspects of governance
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • E‐ Governance  Applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential
  • Citizens charters, transparency & accountability
  • Institutional and other measures
  • Structure and Organization
  • The functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries
  • Departments of the Government
  • Pressure groups and formal/informal associations
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts
  • Powers functions and responsibilities of different Constitutional Bodies
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Government policies and interventions for development in multiple sectors
  • Development processes and the development industry
  • The role of NGOs, SHGs, different groups and associations, donors and charities
Social Justice
  • Mechanisms and laws
  • Institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection of vulnerable sections
  • Problems relating to the development and management of the Social Sector
  • Problems relating to Services like Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
Paper IV

The General Studies III (Paper IV) Questions are based on Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology
  • Indigenization of technology and developing new technology
  • Awareness in the fields of
  • IT and Space
  • Computers and robotics
  • Nano-technology and biotechnology
  • Issues relating to intellectual property rights
  • Conservation
  • Environmental pollution and degradation
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Disaster and disaster management
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Technology missions
  • Economics of animal- rearing
  • Food processing and related industries in India
  • Scope and significance
  • location, upstream and downstream requirements
  • Supply chain management
  • Land reforms in India
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy
  • Changes in industrial policy
  • Their impact on industrial growth
  • Infrastructure
  • Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc
  • Investment models
  • Science and Technology
  • Developments and their applications
  • Effects in everyday life
Economic Development
  • Role of external state and non‐ state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks
  • Role of media and social networking sites
  • Basics of cybersecurity
  • Money laundering and its prevention, Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces
  • Agencies and their mandate
Bio-Diversity Environment
  • Public Distribution System objectives
  • Functioning
  • limitations
  • Revamping
  • Issues of buffer stocks
  • Food security
Paper V

In General Studies IV (Paper-V) candidates should answer the questions on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude


  • Issues relating to integrity
  • Probity in public life
  • Ethics
  • Human Interface
  • Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics
  • Dimensions of ethics
  • Ethics in private and public relationships
  • Human Values
  • lessons from the life and teachings of great leaders
  • Reformers and administrators
  • Role of family, society and educational institutions. Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the full form of UPSC?

A. Union Public Service Commission.

Q. What is the official website of UPSC?


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