UPSC SYLLABUS PRE & MAINS

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CSAT General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus

CSAT Paper I: 200 Marks; Duration: Two Hours; Number of Questions: 100

  1. Current Affairs: 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 (no subject specialization required)
  7. General Science

CSAT General Ability Test Paper 2 Syllabus

CSAT Paper II: 200 Marks; Duration: Two Hours; Number of Questions: 80

  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)
  7. Data Interpretation – charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. (Class X level)
  • Marking Scheme: Total 80 questions have 200 marks, thus each question is of 2.5 marks. There is a negative marking of 33% or 0.83 marks. Decision making section doesn’t have any negative marking.
  • Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • The questions are of multiple choice, objective type.

CSE Mains General Studies Syllabus

CSE Mains General Studies – I

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors or contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc. – their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location – changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

CSE Mains General Studies – II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure. 
  • 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.
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions. 
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these. 
  • 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. 
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. 
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. 
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 
  • Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • 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. 
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. 
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger. 
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy. 
  • India and its neighborhood- relations. 
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. 
  • 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.

CSE Mains General Studies – III

Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. 
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it. 
  • Government Budgeting. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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 and their effects on industrial growth. 
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc. 
  • Investment models. 
  • Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology. 
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and 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. 
  • 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 in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention. 
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

CSE Mains General Studies – IV

Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

This paper includes questions to test your attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas are covered.

  • 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. 
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • 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. 
  • Emotional intelligence –  concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance. 
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Case Studies on above issues.
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UPSC CSE Mains Philosophy Syllabus

Paper – I

History and Problems of Philosophy:

1. Plato and Aristotle: Ideas; Substance; Form and Matter; Causation; Actuality and Potentiality.

2. Rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz): Cartesian Method and Certain Knowledge; Substance; God; Mind-Body Dualism; Determinism and Freedom.

3. Empiricism (Locke, Berkeley, Hume): Theory of Knowledge; Substance and Qualities; Self and God; Scepticism.

4. Kant: Possibility of Synthetic a priori Judgments; Space and Time; Categories; Ideas of Reason; Antinomies; Critique of Proofs for the Existence of God

5. Hegel: Dialectical Method; Absolute Idealism

6. Moore, Russell and Early Wittgenstein: Defence of Commonsense; Refutation of Idealism; Logical Atomism; Logical Constructions; Incomplete Symbols; Picture Theory of Meaning; Saying and Showing.

7. Logical Positivism: Verification Theory of Meaning; Rejection of Metaphysics; Linguistic Theory of Necessary Propositions.

8. Later Wittgenstein: Meaning and Use; Language- games; Critique of Private Language.

9. Phenomenology (Husserl): Method; Theory of Essences; Avoidance of Psychologism.

10. Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Sartre, Heidegger): Existence and Essence; Choice, Responsibility and Authentic Existence; Being-in-the –world and Temporality.

11. Quine and Strawson: Critique of Empiricism; Theory of Basic Particulars and Persons.

12. Carvaka : Theory of Knowledge; Rejection of Transcendent Entities.

13. Jainism: Theory of Reality; Saptabhaòginaya; Bondage and Liberation.

14. Schools of Buddhism: Pratîtyasamutpada; Ksanikavada, Nairatmyavada

15. Nyaya- Vaiúesika: Theory of Categories; Theory of Appearance; Theory of Pramana; Self, Liberation; God; Proofs for the Existence of God; Theory of Causation; Atomistic Theory of Creation.

16. Samkhya: Prakrti; Purusa; Causation; Liberation

17. Yoga: Citta; Cittavrtti; Klesas; Samadhi; Kaivalya.

18. Mimamsa: Theory of Knowledge

19. Schools of Vedanta: Brahman; Îúvara; Atman; Jiva; Jagat; Maya; Avidya; Adhyasa; Moksa; Aprthaksiddhi; Pancavidhabheda

20. Aurobindo: Evolution, Involution; Integral Yoga.

Paper – II

Socio-Political Philosophy:

  1. Social and Political Ideals: Equality, Justice, Liberty.
  2. Sovereignty: Austin, Bodin, Laski, Kautilya.
  3. Individual and State: Rights; Duties and Accountability
  4. Forms of Government: Monarchy; Theocracy and Democracy.
  5. Political Ideologies: Anarchism; Marxism and Socialism
  6. Humanism; Secularism; Multiculturalism.
  7. Crime and Punishment: Corruption, Mass Violence, Genocide, Capital Punishment.
  8. Development and Social Progress.
  9. Gender Discrimination: Female Foeticide, Land and Property Rights; Empowernment.
  10. Caste Discrimination: Gandhi and Ambedkar

Philosophy of Religion:

  1. Notions of God: Attributes; Relation to Man and the World. (Indian and Western).
  2. Proofs for the Existence of God and their Critique (Indian and Western).
  3. Problem of Evil.
  4. Soul: Immortality; Rebirth and Liberation.
  5. Reason, Revelation and Faith.
  6. Religious Experience: Nature and Object (Indian and Western).
  7. Religion without God.
  8. Religion and Morality.
  9. Religious Pluralism and the Problem of Absolute Truth.
  10. Nature of Religious Language: Analogical and Symbolic; Cognitivist and Noncognitive.

UPSC CSE Mains Geography Syllabus

Paper – I

Principles of Geography Physical Geography:

1. Geomorphology: Factors controlling landform development; endogenetic and exogenetic forces; Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust; Fundamentals of geomagnetism; Physical conditions of the earth’s interior; Geosynclines; Continental drift; Isostasy; Plate tectonics; Recent views on mountain building; Vulcanicity; Earthquakes and Tsunamis; Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development ; Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope development ; Applied Geomorphology : Geohydrology, economic geology and environment.

2. Climatology: Temperature and pressure belts of the world; Heat budget of the earth; Atmospheric circulation; atmospheric stability and instability. Planetary and local winds; Monsoons and jet streams; Air masses and fronto genesis, Temperate and tropical cyclones; Types and distribution of precipitation; Weather and Climate; Koppen’s, Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climates; Hydrological cycle; Global climatic change and role and response of man in climatic changes, Applied climatology and Urban climate.

3. Oceanography: Bottom topography of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans; Temperature and salinity of the oceans; Heat and salt budgets, Ocean deposits; Waves, currents and tides; Marine resources: biotic, mineral and energy resources; Coral reefs, coral bleaching; sealevel changes; law of the sea and marine pollution.

4. Biogeography: Genesis of soils; Classification and distribution of soils; Soil profile; Soil erosion, Degradation and conservation; Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals; Problems of deforestation and conservation measures; Social forestry; agro-forestry; Wild life; Major gene pool centres.

5. Environmental Geography: Principle of ecology; Human ecological adaptations; Influence of man on ecology and environment; Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances; Ecosystem their management and conservation; Environmental degradation, management and conservation; Biodiversity and sustainable development; Environmental policy; Environmental hazards and remedial measures; Environmental education and legislation.

Human Geography:

1. Perspectives in Human Geography: Areal differentiation; regional synthesis; Dichotomy and dualism; Environmentalism; Quantitative revolution and locational analysis; radical, behavioural, human and welfare approaches; Languages, religions and secularisation; Cultural regions of the world; Human development index.

2. Economic Geography: World economic development: measurement and problems; World resources and their distribution; Energy crisis; the limits to growth; World agriculture: typology of agricultural regions; agricultural inputs and productivity; Food and nutrition problems; Food security; famine: causes, effects and remedies; World industries: locational patterns and problems; patterns of world trade.

3. Population and Settlement Geography: Growth and distribution of world population; demographic attributes; Causes and consequences of migration; concepts of over-under-and optimum population; Population theories, world population problems and policies, Social well-being and quality of life; Population as social capital. Types and patterns of rural settlements; Environmental issues in rural settlements; Hierarchy of urban settlements; Urban morphology: Concepts of primate city and rank-size rule; Functional classification of towns; Sphere of urban influence; Rural – urban fringe; Satellite towns; Problems and remedies of urbanization; Sustainable development of cities.

4. Regional Planning: Concept of a region; Types of regions and methods of regionalisation; Growth centres and growth poles; Regional imbalances; regional development strategies; environmental issues in regional planning; Planning for sustainable development.

5. Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography: Systems analysis in Human geography; Malthusian, Marxian and demographic transition models; Central Place theories of Christaller and Losch;Perroux and Boudeville; Von Thunen’s model of agricultural location; Weber’s model of industrial location; Ostov’s model of stages of growth. Heartland and Rimland theories; Laws of international boundaries and frontiers.

Paper – II

Geography of India

1. Physical Setting: Space relationship of India with neighboring countries; Structure and relief; Drainage system and watersheds; Physiographic regions; Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns, Tropical cyclones and western disturbances; Floods and droughts; Climatic regions; Natural vegetation; Soil types and their distributions.

2. Resources: Land, surface and ground water, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources; Forest and wild life resources and their conservation; Energy crisis.

3. Agriculture: Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power; Institutional factors: land holdings, land tenure and land reforms; Cropping pattern, agricultural productivity, agricultural intensity, crop combination, land capability; Agro and socialforestry; Green revolution and its socioeconomic and ecological implications; Significance of dry farming; Livestock resources and white revolution; aqua – culture; sericulture, apiculture and poultry; agricultural regionalisation; agro-climatic
zones; agro- ecological regions.

4. Industry: Evolution of industries; Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilizer, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage and agro-based industries; Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings; Industrial regionalisation; New industrial policies; Multinationals and liberalization; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including eco -tourism.

5. Transport, Communication and Trade: Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development; Growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade; Trade balance; Trade Policy; Export processing zones; Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on economy and society; Indian space programme.

6. Cultural Setting: Historical Perspective of Indian Society; Racial, linguistic and ethnic diversities; religious minorities; major tribes, tribal areas and their problems; cultural regions; Growth, distribution and density of population; Demographic attributes: sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, work-force, dependency ratio, longevity; migration (inter-regional, intra- regional and international) and associated problems; Population problems and policies; Health indicators.

7. Settlements: Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements; Urban developments; Morphology of Indian cities; Functional classification of Indian cities; Conurbations and metropolitan regions; urban sprawl; Slums and associated problems; town planning; Problems of urbanization and remedies.

8. Regional Development and Planning: Experience of regional planning in India; Five Year Plans; Integrated rural development programmes; Panchayati Raj and decentralised planning; Command area development; Watershed management; Planning for backward area, desert, drought prone, hill, tribal area development; multi-level planning; Regional planning and development of island territories.

9. Political Aspects: Geographical basis of Indian federalism; State reorganisation; Emergence of new states; Regional consciousness and inter state issues; international boundary of India and related issues; Cross border terrorism; India’s role in world affairs; Geopolitics of South Asia and Indian Ocean realm.

10. Contemporary Issues: Ecological issues: Environmental hazards: landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods and droughts, epidemics; Issues relating to environmental pollution; Changes in patterns of land use; Principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management; Population explosion and food security; Environmental degradation; Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion; Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest; Regional disparities in economic development; Concept of sustainable growth and development; Environmental awareness; Linkage of rivers; Globalisation and Indian economy.

NOTE: Candidates will be required to answer one compulsory map question pertinent to subjects covered by this paper.

CSE Political Science & International Relations Syllabus

Paper – I

Political Theory and Indian Politics:

1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.

2. Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial and feminist.

3. Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.

4. Equality: Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.

5. Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; concept of Human Rights.

6. Democracy: Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy – representative, participatory and deliberative.

7. Concept of power, hegemony, ideology and legitimacy.

8. Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.

9. Indian Political Thought : Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M.N. Roy .

10. Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.

Indian Government and Politics:

1. Indian Nationalism:

  • Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle: Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and revolutionary movements, Peasant and workers’ movements.
  • Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical humanist and Dalit.

2. Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.

3. Salient Features of the Indian Constitution: The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment  Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.

4. (a) Principal Organs of the Union Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.
(b) Principal Organs of the State Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.

5. Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.

6. Statutory Institutions/Commissions: Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.

7. Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.

8. Planning and Economic Development : Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalilzation and economic reforms.

9. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.

10. Party System: National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral
behaviour; changing socio- economic profile of Legislators.

11. Social Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.

Paper II

Comparative Politics and International Relations

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics:

1. Comparative Politics: Nature and major approaches; political economy and political sociology perspectives; limitations of the comparative method.

2. State in comparative perspective: Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and,  advanced industrial and developing societies.

3. Politics of Representation and Participation: Political parties, pressure groups and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.

4. Globalisation: Responses from developed and developing societies.

5. Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.

6. Key concepts in International Relations: National interest, Security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transnational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.

7. Changing International Political Order:

  • Rise of super powers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;
  • Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;
  • Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.

8. Evolution of the International Economic System: From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.

9. United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.

10. Regionalisation of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA.

11. Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

India and the World:

1. Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; institutions of policy-making; continuity and change.

2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement: Different phases; current role.

3. India and South Asia:

  • Regional Co-operation: SAARC – past performance and future prospects.
  • South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
  • India’s “Look East” policy.
  • Impediments to regional co-operation: river water disputes; illegal cross-border migration; ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; border disputes.

4. India and the Global South: Relations with Africa and Latin America; leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.

5. India and the Global Centres of Power: USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.

6. India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.

7. India and the Nuclear Question: Changing perceptions and policy. 8. Recent developments in Indian Foreign policy: India’s position on the recent crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; vision of a new world



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