UPSC IAS Syllabus 2023: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts UPSC Civil Services Exam to shortlist eligible candidates for various Grade-A posts in the government sector. As a UPSC Aspirant has to plan a proper strategy for his/her preparation in the beginning as after prelims only 3-4 months are not sufficient to prepare for Mains Exam. To grab the most prestigious job in Government Sector, you must score enough marks to crack the cut-off list and for this proper understanding of the UPSC Syllabus is a must. In this article, we have covered a detailed UPSC Syllabus 2023 for Prelims, Mains, and Interview along with the UPSC syllabus pdf

UPSC Syllabus 2023

The UPSC syllabus is the most important tool to guide for taking your preparation on the right path. If you are revising for your UPSC exam, then you should revise topic-wise as notified in the UPSC Syllabus. Even if you are planning to begin your preparation for UPSC 2023 Exam, bookmark this page and keep tracking your preparation with the official UPSC Syllabus 2023 from here. UPSC syllabus pattern for services such as the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service and other civil services is the same. Go through the article, and know the selection process, exam pattern, and syllabus for each stage in detail.

UPSC Syllabus 2023- Overview 

UPSC conducts 3 stages for the recruitment of the UPSC Civil Services exam- Prelims, Mains, & interviews. UPSC Preliminary Exam is an objective type for shortlisting candidates for the Main exam consisting of 9 descriptive exams. Only candidates qualifying all papers in Mains will be called for the Interview round for assessing their intelligence, attentiveness, balance of judgment and human qualities like honesty, integrity and leadership qualities which is the final selection process. 

UPSC Syllabus 2023- Overview
ParticularsPrelimsMains
Exam Date28th May 202315th to 19th September 2023
No. of PapersTwo Nine 
Types of QuestionsObjective TypeDescriptive Type
Duration of Exam2 hours each3 hours each 
Total Marks4001750
Medium of ExamEnglish & HindiEnglish & Hindi (except language paper)
Negative Marking ⅓rd markNo negative marking
Marks Counted in MeritNoYes

UPSC CSE Syllabus 2023

The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Prelims exam is the first stage of the examination and is qualifying in nature. The candidates have to score a minimum of 33% marks along with the marks above the cut-off as decided by UPSC. UPSC Prelims exam is conducted to shortlist limited candidates for the Mains exam. The UPSC syllabus for the Prelims exam comprises of two papers namely General Studies and CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test).

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern 2023

Before going to the check UPSC Syllabus 2023, candidates should well-understand the exam pattern of the UPSC CSE (Civil Service Examination) exam.

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern 2023
PaperSubjectsMarksNo. of QuestionDuration
IGeneral Studies (GS)2001002 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
IICSAT200802 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)

Important Points:

  1. For every incorrect answer, 1/3rd mark of the total mark will be deducted.
  2. For the blank answers, no marks will be deducted.
  3. In General Studies (Paper I), each question is of 2 marks and there is a negative marking of 0.66 marks
  4. In CSAT (Paper-II), each question is of 2.5 marks and a negative marking of 0.833 marks for each wrong answer marked.
  5. The prelims marks will not be included in the final result (merit list).
  6. Paper II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

UPSC Syllabus 2023 for Prelims  Exam

In this section, we have provided the detailed UPSC syllabus 2023 for the Prelims Exam. The candidates can check the General Studies (Paper I) syllabus of the Prelims examination and begin with their preparation for UPSC CSE 2023.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for 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, and 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

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus for CSAT (Paper-II)

Candidates can check the IAS Prelims CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Syllabus given below. This section do need constant practice and reading articles, and newspapers, and solving as many mock tests would be of great help.

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).

Candidates can check the detailed UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023 by clicking on the link given below.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023- Click to Check

UPSC Syllabus 2023 for Mains Exam

The candidates qualifying prelims exam will be eligible to appear for the Mains exam. It is the scoring and rank-deciding stage of the exam process and candidates have to qualify for each paper. The Mains exam tests the candidate’s academic knowledge and ability to present the understanding according to the requirements of the question in a time-bound manner. UPSC Syllabus 2023 with Exam pattern for Mains exam is given below. 

UPSC IAS Mains Exam Pattern 2023

The Mains exam comprises nine papers and candidates have to score minimum qualifying marks in each subject. Language papers are of qualifying marks and the rest of the papers will be scored.

UPSC Mains Exam
Qualifying PapersMarks
Paper-AOne of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from 
the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution
300
Paper-BEnglish300
Papers Counted for Merit
Paper-IEssay250
Paper-IIGeneral Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)250
Paper-IVGenera Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)250
Paper-VGeneral Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)250
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper 1250
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper 2250
Sub Total (Written Test)1750
Personality Test275
Grand Total 2025

Important Points:

1. There are two qualifying papers 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.

4. All other seven papers are scoring in nature their marks will be included in the final merit list.

5. Candidates can answer all the scoring subjects in English or any of the eight schedule languages.

6. Candidates have to select any one subject from the table as their Optional subject for Paper VI and Paper VII.

UPSC Books List for Prelims & Mains- Check Here

UPSC Optional Subjects List for Mains Exam
AgricultureAnimal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceAnthropologyBotanyChemistry
Civil EngineeringCommerce and AccountancyEconomicsElectrical EngineeringGeography
StatisticsSociologyPhysicsPhilosophyMedical Science
Political Science and International RelationsPublic AdministrationPsychologyMechanical EngineeringMathematics
ZoologyGeologyHistoryManagementLaw
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 Syllabus for Main Exam- Subject-wise 

Structure of the Language Papers

The structure of language papers i.e., "Paper A" and "Paper B" has been discussed in the below table. The candidates have to select any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution which are given in the table below. The second language paper is fixed i.e, English. Candidates have to use the corresponding script for the language as mentioned in the table below.

Languages And Script
LanguageScriptLanguageScript
AssameseAssameseBengaliBengali
GujaratiGujaratiHindiDevanagari
KannadaKannadaKashmiriPersian
BodoDevanagariKonkaniDevanagari
MalayalamMalayalamManipuriBengali
MarathiDevanagariNepaliDevanagari
OdiaOdiaPunjabiGurumukhi
SanskritDevanagariTamilTamil
SindhiDevanagari or ArabicTeluguTelugu
UrduPersianMaithilliDevanagari
SanthaliDevanagari or OlchikiDogriDevanagari

Note: For the Santhali language, the question paper will be printed in the Devanagari script, but the candidates are free to answer either in the Devanagari script or in Olchiki.

UPSC IAS Syllabus Questions asked in both language papers are:

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

Candidates can go through the UPSC IAS General Studies Papers Syllabus for each paper in the below section. The syllabus will help you to understand what to study and what not to study for the UPSC exam. The syllabus of all four General Studies papers is given below. Each paper holds 250 marks out of 1750. The total marks of General Studies papers are 1000 marks. Candidates must prepare well for these papers as they are holding good marks in the final merit list.

UPSC Mains General Studies I Syllabus

This is the first General Studies paper. 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 effects on the society from the 18th century like world wars, the industrial revolution, colonization, redraw 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 Syllabus

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 Syllabus

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, Biodiversity, 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, the 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 Syllabus

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude: This paper includes questions to check the candidate's 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 cover 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 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.

UPSC Mains Syllabus PDF- Click to Download

UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects

Candidates can check the UPSC syllabus for Optional Subjects as discussed in the official PDF, the links of which is given below.

Optional SubjectUPSC Syllabus 
SociologyUPSC Sociology Syllabus
GeographyUPSC Geography Syllabus
EconomicsUPSC Economics Syllabus
AnthropologyUPSC Anthropology Syllabus
AgricultureUPSC Agriculture Syllabus
Animal HusbandryUPSC Animal Husbandary Syllabus

UPSC IAS Interview Test

Candidates who qualify the UPSC Exam Mains Exam are called for the ‘Interview’ Test. Candidates are interviewed by a Board appointed by the UPSC.

1. The candidate will be interviewed by a board who will have before them a record of his/her career and interests filled by him/her in the Detailed Application Form (DAF).

2. The objective of the interview is to check the personal suitability of the candidate for the career in civil services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.

3. In the personality test, apart from their academic study, candidates must be aware of the affairs happening both within and outside their state or country.

4. The interview is more of a purposive conversation intended to explore the mental qualities and analytical ability of the candidate.

5. The Interview test will be 275 marks and the total marks for the written examination is 1750. This sums up to a Grand Total of 2025 Marks based on which the final merit list will be prepared.

UPSC IAS Salary, Emoluments, Perks

UPSC CSE offers the most lucrative job salary, perks and emoluments in the country. No other jobs in India offer such kind of salary in the country. Candidates can check the salary perks and emoluments by clicking on the link given below.

Check UPSC IAS Officer Salary

Click for UPSC Cut Off - Previous Year

UPSC Syllabus 2023: FAQs

Yes, Candidates must note that every stage have different syllabus. Check the UPSC IAS Syllabus here.

An attempt at any paper in the Prelims Examination is counted as an attempt in the UPSC Civil Service Examination

The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

Yes, Candidates can select any langugage from the given list. Candidates can check the list in the article.

The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) are set in bilingual i.e. Hindi and English only.

Important Links