Syllabus and booklist

Civil Services UPSC Preliminary Examination syllabus

Changes in syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination from
2011 in the scheme of Civil Services Examination

• As per the decision of Government of India, there shall be change in the syllabus and
pattern of the Preliminary Examination from 2011 in the scheme of the Civil Services

• The Preliminary Examination shall now comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200
marks each and of two hours duration each. Detailed below is the new syllabus and
pattern of the Preliminary Examination, which is brought to the notice of the
prospective candidates intending to appear at the Civil Services Examination (CSE) in
2011 onwards:

Paper I - (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
• Current events of national and international importance
• History of India and Indian National Movement
• Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic geography
of India and the World.
• Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System,
Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
• Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development,
Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
• General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate
Change - that do not require subject specialization
• General Science.

Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
• Comprehension
• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
• Logical reasoning and analytical ability
• Decision making and problem solving
• General mental ability
• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude
etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data
sufficiency etc. -Class X level)
• English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

• Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level
(last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

• The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
• A set of sample questions for both Papers would be put on the UPSC website in due course for reference of the prospective candidates.

• The prospective candidates are advised to note that no changes are being introduced at this stage in the Civil Services (Main) Examination and Personality Test in the scheme of Civil Services Examination (CSE).

General Studies Mains Examination Syllabus


1. History of Modern India and Indian Culture

The History of Modern India will cover history of the Country from about the middle of nineteenth century and would also include questions on important personalities who shaped the freedom movement and social reforms. The part relating to Indian culture will cover all aspects of Indian culture from the ancient to modern times as well as principal features of literature, arts and architecture.

2. Geography of India

In this part, questions will be on the physical, economic and social geography of India.

3. Constitution of India and Indian Polity

This part will include questions on the Constitution of India as well as all constitutional, legal, administrative and other issues emerging from the politico-administrative system prevalent in the country.

4. Current National Issues and Topics of Social Relevance

This part is intended to test the candidate's awareness of current national issues and topics of social relevance in present-day India, such as the following:

(i) The Indian economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

(ii) Issues arising from the social and economic exclusion of large sections from the benefits of development.

(iii) Other issues relating to the development and management of human resource.

(iv) Health issues including the management of Public Health, Health education and ethical concerns regarding health-care, medical research and pharmaceuticals.

(v) Law enforcement, internal security and related issues such as the preservation of communal harmony.

(vi) Issues relating to good governance and accountability to the citizens including the maintenance of human rights, and of probity in public life.

(vii) Environmental issues, ecological preservation, conservation of natural resources and national heritage.


1. India and the World

This part will include questions to test candidate's awareness of India's relationship with the world in various spheres such as the following:-

Foreign Affairs with special emphasis on India's relations with neighbouring countries and in the region.

Security and defence related matters.

Nuclear policy, issues, and conflicts.

The Indian Diaspora and its contribution to India and the world.

2. India's Economic Interaction with the World

In this part, questions will be on economic and trade issues such as foreign trade, foreign investment; economic and diplomacy issues relating to oil, gas and energy flows; the role and functions of I.M.F., World Bank, W.T.O., WIPO etc. which influence India's economic interaction with other countries and international institutions.

3. Developments in the Field of Science & Technology, IT and space

In this part, questions will test the candidate's awareness of the developments in the field of science and technology, information technology, space and basic ideas about computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and related issues regarding intellectual property rights.

4. International Affairs and Institutions

This part will include questions on important events in world affairs and on international institutions.

5. Statistical analysis, graphs and diagrams

This part will test the candidate's ability to draw conclusions from information presented in statistical, graphical or diagrammatical form and to interpret them.


Get IAS Study Kit for prelims at your home. Call 09811299811

Introduction to the Constitution of India - D.D.Basu, Notes by Career Quest

Indian Economy- Dutt and Sundaram or Misra Puri + NCERT Text Books

Geography of India - D.R.Khullar + NCERT Text Books, Notes by Career Quest

India's struggle for independence- Bipan Chandra

Our Constitution and Our Parliament - both books by Subhash Kashyap

India Year Book

Manorama Year Book

Economic Survey of India

Oxford or TTK or Orient Longman or any other good Atlas

Newspapers - The Hindu / The Times Of India / Economic Times

Periodicals - Frontline / India Today / Yojana / Kurukshetra

Tata McGraw Hill / Spectrum / Unique General Studies Manual

Certificate Physical and Human Geography - Goh Cheng Leong

Biology for VIII-X Std NCERT
Physics for VIII-X Std NCERT
Chemistry for VIII-X Std NCERT
Anatomy & Physiology for Nurses Courses Evelyn Pearce
An Evolution of Indian Economy I.C.Dhingra
Physical Geography of India for VII - XII Std NCERT
Ancient India for VII-XII Std NCERT
Medieval India for VII-XII Std NCERT
Modern India Bipin Chandra
Notes prepared by Career Quest