UPSC Syllabus PDF Download 2023: IAS Prelims & Mains Syllabus

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To successfully crack the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), which recruits candidates for the esteemed Civil Services/Bureaucracy of India, it is important for aspirants to have a clear understanding of the UPSC syllabus. With nearly 10 lakh aspirants vying for a spot in the UPSC CSE every year, familiarity with the syllabus is crucial.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the UPSC syllabus for Prelims, Mains, and Interviews, along with the option to download the UPSC Syllabus PDF for the year 2023. Aspiring civil servants can use this resource to prepare effectively for the challenging UPSC exam.

UPSC Syllabus PDF 2023 Overview

File NameUPSC Syllabus PDF Download 2023
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UPSC Syllabus PDF 2023 Preview

UPSC Syllabus PDF 2023 Download Here👇

UPSC Prelims 2023 Exam Pattern

The UPSC conducts the Civil Service and Forest Service exams in three stages, namely the Prelims Exam, the Main exam consisting of nine descriptive papers, and the Personality test for qualified candidates. In order to clear these exams, candidates must be well-versed in the UPSC syllabus. To assist with this, we have provided a comprehensive table below with an overview of the latest UPSC syllabus. Aspirants can use this resource to thoroughly prepare for the exams and increase their chances of success.

Two Compulsory PapersGeneral Studies Paper-I & General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
Number of Questions Asked in CSAT100
Number of Questions asked in CSAT80
Total Number of Marks400 marksGS Paper-I – 200 MarksCSAT – 200 Marks
Negative Marking1/3rd of the total marks allotted to the question will be deducted for every incorrect answer
Time AllottedTwo hours each;GS Paper-I – 2 Hours (9:30 AM -11:30 AM)CSAT – 2 Hours (2:30 PM – 4:30 PM)

UPSC Syllabus 2023 Prelims 

Prior to commencing preparation for the UPSC 2023 exam, it is essential to review the complete syllabus for the 2023 Preliminary Exam. The UPSC 2023 Prelims will comprise of two papers, with each paper being worth 200 marks.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023 Paper-1 (GS-1)

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, and Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Indian and World Geography (Physical, Economic Geography of India & the World)
  • Indian History and Indian National Movement
  • Economic & Social Development (Poverty, Demographics, Sustainable Development, Social Sector Initiatives)
  • Biodiversity, General Issues on Environmental Ecology, Climate Change
  • General Science

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023 Paper-2 (CSAT)

  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Comprehension
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (orders of magnitude, numbers and their relations & others)
  • Class 10th level, Data Interpretation (Charts, Tables, Graphs Data Sufficiency, etc – Class 10th

UPSC Mains 2023 Exam Pattern

Paper-IIGeneral Studies – I(Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)250
Paper-IIIGeneral Studies – II(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)250
Paper-IVGeneral Studies – III(Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)250
Paper-VGeneral Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)250
Paper-VIOptional Subject – Paper I250
Paper-VIIOptional Subject – Paper II250

UPSC Syllabus 2023 Mains

  • The Mains examination is the 2nd phase of the UPSC examination
  • The Mains examination consists of 9 papers, out of 9, two papers are qualifying papers of 300 marks each
  • These two qualifying papers are English Language Papers and Any Indian Language
  • The papers on General Studies, Essay, and Optional Subjects of only those candidates who get 25% marks in both language exam papers

Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English


Essay: Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics(Generally 2)

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-I (Paper II)

  • Indian Heritage and Culture, Geography and History of the World & Society
  • Modern Indian History from about the middle of the 18th century until the present, personalities, issues, significant events
  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of literature, architecture, art forms
  • The freedom struggles of various stages and contributions from different parts of the country
  • History of the world will include the events from the 18th century as an industrial revolution, colonization, political philosophies, communism, capitalism, etc. their forms and effects
  • Salient Features of Indian Society and Diversity of India
  • Role of Women and Women’s organizations
  • Poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, and their problems and remedies
  • Communalism, social-empowerment, secularism, and regionalism
  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, 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

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-II (Paper III)

  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 about 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 the 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 neighborhood- 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
  20. Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-III (Paper IV)

  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 liberalisation on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth
  9. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways and others
  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 development of 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 the 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

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains GS-IV (Paper V)

  1. 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; the role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values
  2. Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion
  3. 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
  4. Emotional intelligence concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance
  5. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world
  6. 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
  7. 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, Utilisation of public funds, challenges of corruption
  8. Case Studies on the above issues

IAS Syllabus for UPSC Mains Optional Paper (VI & VII)

Agriculture – UPSC SyllabusAnimal Husbandry and Veterinary Science – UPSC SyllabusAnthropology – UPSC Syllabus
Botany – IAS SyllabusChemistry – IAS SyllabusCivil Engineering – IAS Syllabus
Commerce and Accountancy – UPSC CSE SyllabusEconomics – UPSC CSE SyllabusElectrical Engineering – UPSC CSE Syllabus
Geography – UPSC SyllabusGeology – UPSC SyllabusHistory – UPSC Syllabus
Law – UPSC SyllabusManagement – UPSC SyllabusMathematics – UPSC Syllabus
Mechanical Engineering – UPSC SyllabusMedical Science – UPSC SyllabusPhilosophy – UPSC Syllabus
Physics – IAS SyllabusPolitical Science and International Relations – IAS SyllabusPsychology – IAS Syllabus
Public Administration – UPSC CSE SyllabusSociology – UPSC CSE SyllabusStatistics – UPSC CSE Syllabus
Zoology – UPSC SyllabusLiterature of any one of the languages mentioned in the notification 

UPSC Syllabus 2023 Weightage for Prelims

The format for the UPSC Prelims 2023 exam papers includes multiple-choice objective questions with negative markings for incorrect answers. The details of the format are as follows –

PaperTotal Marks No. of QuestionsDuration         Type       Negative MarksNature            
General Studies Paper 12001002 hoursObjectiveYesMerit Ranking
General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)200802 hoursObjectiveYesQualifying

Subject-Wise Weightage & IAS Prelims Marks Distribution

The following is a list of the subject-wise weightage for the number of questions in GS 1 over the past 6 years.

Year  History  Geography  Current AffairsPolityScience and TechnologyEnvironment

UPSC Syllabus 2023 for IAS Interview/Personality Test

Candidates who clear the UPSC main exam will be summoned for a personal interview conducted by a Board appointed by the Union Public Service Commission. –

  1. The primary aim of the IAS interview is to evaluate the candidate’s personal suitability for the civil service examination by competent authorities.
  2. In addition to academic knowledge, candidates must demonstrate awareness of current national and international events.
  3. The candidate’s career, professional, and personal history as provided in the Detailed Application Form (DAF) will be reviewed during the examination.
  4. The primary objective of the interview is to assess the candidate’s mental abilities and analytical skills.
  5. The interview carries 275 marks, and when combined with the written test’s 1750 marks, the total comes to 2025 marks, which will be used to create the final merit list.

Difference Between UPSC Prelims and Mains Syllabus 

Prelims Mains
The prelims exam follows the objective type patternMains exam follows the descriptive pattern
IAS Prelims exam has 2 GS papers which are GS one and GS 2 (CSAT)IAS Mains exam has 9 papersOut of 9, 7 will be evaluated for ranking purposes and 2 papers will be of qualifying nature
No optional subject in the PrelimsThere are 48 optional subjects.The candidates need to choose 1 out of 48
GS Paper 1 covers the subject fromEconomy, Social Development, Indian Polity & Governance, Current Affairs, Indian History & National Movement, Science and Technology, Ecology, Biodiversity, World Geography, Environment, and Climate Change.Paper-2 CSAT covers –Analytical Ability, Quantitative Ability, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Decision-making skills, Communication Skills etc.Paper A –Candidates have to choose 1 compulsory Indian Language.Paper B – This is a compulsory English paper.‘Paper I – Essay PaperPaper II (GS Paper I)(Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society.)Paper III (GS Paper II) – Governance, Constitution, Welfare Initiatives, Social Justice & International RelationsPaper IV (GS Paper III) – Technology, Economic Development, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster ManagementPaper V (GS Paper IV) – This paper covers topics on Ethics, Integrity & AptitudePaper VI – Paper 1 optional subjectPaper VII – Paper 2 optional subject
Paper-II/CSAT paper is a qualifying exam with 33% pass criteria.In Mains, English and Indian Language papers are of qualifying nature.
The maximum marks for both papers of Prelims are 200 marks each.In the Mains,The total marks for each paper are 250 while the Indian and English language paper is of a total of 300 marks each.
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