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UPSC Syllabus 2024 – Exam Pattern

UPSC Syllabus 2024

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has just unveiled the syllabus for the year 2024 on its official website. This syllabus is split into two parts: the preliminary and main examinations. UPSC administers a three-stage examination process for the recruitment of civil services, including Prelims, Mains, and Interviews.

The Preliminary test is designed as an objective type exam to sift through candidates for the Mains stage. The Mains examination, on the other hand, comprises nine comprehensive descriptive tests.

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UPSC Syllabus 2024 Key Segments 

  • Preliminary Stage – GS Paper and CSAT
  • Mains Stage – 9 Theory Papers (GS Papers I-IV, Language Papers, Essay & Optional Paper)
  • Personality Test – Interview

UPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

The candidates who are appearing for the UPSC exam should check the overview of the UPSC exam pattern from here:

Two Compulsory PapersGeneral Studies Paper-I & General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
Number of Questions asked in GS Paper-I100
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 Prelims Syllabus 2024

The UPSC Prelims exam is the first stage of the civil services examination, and clearing this stage will make you eligible for the mains exam stage. So, first you must understand the UPSC Civil Services Syllabus for the Prelims exam so that you can crack and become eligible for the mains stage. The prelims stage includes two papers, namely, GS 1 and GS 2 (also known as CSAT). Both these papers are objective in nature and are conducted on the same day. Both papers are qualifying in nature, ie. The marks obtained in these prelims papers are not counted in the final merit.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 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 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 level

UPSC Mains Exam Pattern

Here, we have mentioned the UPSC Mains 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 Mains 2024

Once candidates ace the UPSC Prelims, they pave their way to the UPSC Mains exam. This big test involves tackling 9 papers, with a cool feature – you get to pick 2 subjects from a list of 48 options that tickle your fancy. But before diving into the nitty-gritty of the UPSC Detailed Syllabus for the mains exam, it’s crucial to grasp the exam pattern, neatly laid out in the table below.

1. Essay

Candidates will be tasked with writing essays on a variety of subjects. It’s crucial for them to express their thoughts clearly and stay on topic. Additionally, they should aim to structure their essays effectively. Essays provide an opportunity for candidates to significantly improve their rankings by scoring well. The essay section consists of two parts, each comprising four topics. Each essay written by a candidate is scored out of 125, totaling 250 marks.

Structure of The Language Papers: The language papers are divided into different sections to check candidates’ ideas clearly and correctly in every possible manner.

  • Essay – 100 marks
  • Reading comprehension – 60 marks
  • Precis Writing – 60 marks
  • Translation:
    • English to compulsory language (e.g., Hindi) – 20 marks
    • Compulsory language to English – 20 marks
  • Grammar and basic language usage – 40 marks

Patterns of The Language Papers are:

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays.
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.
2. General Studies – I

The main topics of the first General Studies paper are the History, Heritage, Geography, and Culture of the World and Society. The commission has outlined the essential themes of the General Studies I syllabus, which is mentioned below for candidates.

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

  • Indian Culture: It covers the salient features of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient times to modern times.
  • Modern Indian History: It includes the significant events, personalities, and issues from the middle of the 18th century until now.
  • In The Freedom Struggle, Various stages, important contributors, and contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Consolidation and Reorganisation of the country after independence.
  • Events from the 18th century will be included in the history of the world, such as the Industrial Revolution, world wars, redrawing of national borders, colonisation, and decolonization, as well as political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, and others—their manifestations and social effects.
  • Important characteristics of Indian society and India’s diversity.
  • The role of women and the organisation of women, population and related issues, poverty and developmental challenges, urbanisation, associated problems, and solutions.
  • The social effects of globalization in India.
  • Communalism, Regionalism, Secularism, and Social Empowerment.
  • Important physical geography characteristics of the world.
  • Distribution of major natural resources worldwide (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); determinants of where primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries are located globally (including India).
  • Critical geographic features and their location-changes in flora and fauna, as well as in water bodies and ice caps and the impact of such changes. Important geophysical phenomena include earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.
3. General Studies – II

The Polity, Governance, Constitution, Social Justice, and Interrelations topics are covered in the UPSC Mains Syllabus General Studies II paper. The detailed syllabus is provided to candidates below.

Governance, Polity, Constitution, Social Justice and International Relations:

  • The basic structures, features, modifications, major provisions, and historical context of the Indian Constitution.
  • Functions and duties of the Union and the States, problems and difficulties with the federal system, and obstacles with the devolution of authority and resources to local levels.
  • Power separation between multiple organs, conflict resolution procedures, and institutions.
  • Comparing the Indian constitutional design to other countries’ systems
  • Structure, administration, business practices, powers, and privileges of the Parliament and State Legislatures, and challenges resulting from these.
  • Governmental Ministries and Departments; Pressure Group organizations and formal/informal associations; and their purpose in the Polity.
  • Structure, organisation, and operation of the Executive and the Judiciary.
  • The Representation of People’s Act’s key characteristics.
  • Appointment to several constitutional Bodies and their respective duties and responsibilities.
  • Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial agencies; Government interventions for development in many sectors; Problems resulting from the planning and execution of these interventions.
  • The role of NGOs, SHGs, diverse groups and associations, funders, charities, institutional, and other stakeholders in development processes and the development industry.
  • Welfare programs put in place by the federal government and individual states for the population’s most vulnerable groups, as well as the effectiveness of these programs, institutions, laws, and other organizations created to safeguard and improve the lives of these vulnerable groups.
  • Issues about the growth and administration of the social sector and services in health, education, and human resources.
  • Hunger and poverty-related issues.
  • Transparency and accountability are crucial components of governance, as are e-governance applications, models, accomplishments, limitations, and possibilities; citizens’ charters, transparency & accountability. And institutional and other measurements.
  • The function of the civil service in a democracy
  • India’s relationship with its neighbors.
  • Groupings and agreements at the bilateral, regional, and international levels involving or impacting India and its interests.
  • Effect of developed and developing countries’ policies and politics on India’s interests and the diaspora.
  • Important international organizations, agencies, and forums: their makeup and objectives.
4. General Studies – III

In the UPSC Mains General Studies III, you’ll dive into a broad spectrum of topics that touch on the essence of our existence. From delving into the intricacies of Science and Technology to exploring the dynamics of Economics, Defense strategies, Disaster Management, and the wonders of Nature, this paper encapsulates various facets of human life. It challenges you to engage with recent developments across these domains, fostering a deeper understanding of our world and its complexities.

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

  • Indian Economy, including planning, resource mobilization, growth, development, and employment difficulties.
  • Inclusive growth and the problems it raises.
  • Budgeting of Government.
  • Major crops, patterns of cropping in various regions of the nation, various types of irrigation and irrigation systems, challenges with storage, transport, and marketing of agricultural products, and related limitations; the use of e-technology by farmers.
  • Concerns about buffer stocks and food security, direct and indirect farm subsidies, and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System goals, operations, and shortcomings; Technology missions; and the economics of animal husbandry.
  • Food processing and related sectors in India: their size and importance, where they are, what is needed upstream and downstream, and supply chain management.
  • Indian land reforms.
  • The economic implications of liberalization, changes to industrial policy, and how these affect the expansion of the industrial sector.
  • Infrastructure includes things like ports, roads, airports, and railroads.
  • Models for investments.
  • Science and technology breakthroughs and how they are used and impact daily life.
  • Scientific and technological advances made by Indians, indigenization of technology, and the creation of new technology.
  • Awareness of issues relating to intellectual property rights as well as IT, space, computers, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.
  • Environmental impact assessment, pollution and degradation of the environment, and conservation.
  • Disasters and disaster management; Relationships between extremism’s growth and dissemination.
  • The contribution of non-state and state actors from outside to the problems with domestic security.
  • Threats to internal security posed by communication networks, the media’s and social media’s role in such threats, the fundamentals of cyber security, and money laundering and its prevention.
  • Security issues and how to manage them in border regions – connections between organized crime and terrorism.
  • The function of various security agencies and organizations.
5. General Studies IV

This document includes questions designed to understand the candidate’s views and actions regarding integrity, honesty in public service, and their strategies for addressing different societal issues and conflicts. These questions might use real-life scenarios to assess these qualities and encompass a wide range of topics.

Ethics and Human Interaction:

  • The purpose, factors, and outcomes of ethical behavior in people; the dimensions of ethics; and the application of ethics in both personal and professional settings.
  • The importance of family community and educational institutions in instilling values may be seen in the study of human values, which draws lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators.

Moral and political attitudes:-

  • Social influence
  • Persuasion are all aspects of attitude that include its content
  • Structure
  • Function
  • Relationship to cognition and behavior.

Civil service aptitude and core principles include honesty:-

  • Objectivity
  • Non-partisanship
  • Dedication to public service
  • Empathy
  • Tolerance
  • Compassion for the weaker groups

Emotional intelligence concepts and their benefits and use in governance and administration:-

  • Contributions from moral philosophers and thinkers in India and around the world.
  • Public Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration
  • Status and Issues
  • Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding

Corporate Governance; Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance. Accountability and Ethical Governance:-

  • Probity in governance includes the idea of public service
  • The philosophical underpinnings of governance and integrity
  • Information sharing and transparency in government
  • The right to information
  • Codes of ethics and conduct
  • Citizen’s charters
  • Workplace culture
  • Effectiveness of service delivery
  • Use of public resources
  • Challenges posed by corruption.

Case Studies on the concerns above

UPSC Optional Syllabus 2024 

Choosing the right optional subjects for Papers 6 and 7 of the UPSC exam in 2024 is a significant decision for candidates. These papers offer an opportunity to excel since they cover topics either from the candidate’s graduation field or ones they’re deeply interested in.

Before making a choice, candidates should carefully review the syllabus for each optional subject. They should consider factors like the availability of study materials and the time needed for preparation. This decision is crucial and can greatly impact their performance in the mains exam.

Candidates can check How to Choose UPSC Optional Subject-related queries and suggestions here. Click here

UPSC Interview Syllabus 2024

In 2024, the UPSC Interview marks the ultimate hurdle in the UPSC Examination journey, and interestingly, there’s no fixed syllabus for this year. The interview isn’t about rote learning; it’s a chance to delve into the candidate’s suitability for a career in civil service. Unlike the written exam, this interview is all about meaningful conversation, aiming to uncover the candidate’s mental agility and analytical prowess. While the written test holds a maximum score of 1750 marks, the interview holds sway over 275 points. Together, these components tally up to 2025 marks, shaping the final merit list. Interview Guidance Program with IAS Next.

Read more: Guidelines for UPSC Mains Essay Paper

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