Book List and UPSC Syllabus For Prelims | IAS TARGET

Detail Information of UPSC Syllabus 2021

IAS Target

Syllabus for Prelims and Mains of Indian Civil Services

IAS Prelims Syllabus 2020

UPSC civil services preliminary exam is the first stage of IAS selection process, candidates must clear prelims to qualify for the mains exam. It is meant to serve as a screening test only; marks scored in IAS Prelims will not be counted for the final merit list. Preliminary Stage of IAS has two papers viz. General Ability Test (GAT) (Paper-1) and the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) (Paper-2).

Exam Pattern for Paper I
  • Paper I of IAS Prelims includes different topics which hold a weightage of 200 marks.
  • All questions will be objective in nature.
  • Candidates must solve the paper in 2 hours.
  • Marks obtained in Paper 1 will be counted for the merit rank
IAS Syllabus for Paper 1
  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian Polity and Governance.
  • Economic and Social Development.
  • Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, and Rights Issues.
  • Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives and General issues on Environmental ecology.
  • General Science
  • Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Biodiversity and Climate Change ‐ that do not require subject specialization and General Science.
  • Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives and General issues on Environmental ecology.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
Exam Pattern for Paper II
  • The total weightage of questions in Paper II is 200 marks.
  • All questions will be objective in nature.
  • The total duration of the Paper II is 2 hours.
  • Marks obtained in Paper 2 will not be counted for the merit rank in Prelims but will be considered as a qualifying Paper.
  • Candidates need 33% marks to clear IAS Mains.
IAS Syllabus for Paper 2
  • Comprehension
  • Decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level).
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
  • 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).
Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam Pattern
No. of Papers Two (2) compulsory papers
Type of Questions Objective (MCQs)
Total Marks 200 marks each (400 marks)
Duration of Exam 2 hrs.each
Negative Marking one-third (0.33) as a penalty
Medium of Exam Hindi and English
IAS Prelims : Topic-wise weightage of Paper-1 (2019)
Subject No.Of Questions
Polity 7
Geography & Agriculture 7
Science & Technology 8
Ecology & Environment 18
Economics 18
History/Art & Culture 15
GK/Current Affairs 27
Books for UPSC Prelims

The IAS Exam or the Civil Services Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). IAS Prelims 2020 is going to take place on May 31, 2020. Plethora of Books and study material available both online and offline, so it is important that the candidates select the best books for UPSC IAS preparation.

IAS toppers recommend that aspirant start their UPSC preparation with NCERT books and then move on to the standard reference books.

Choosing the right IAS exam books online for different stages of the UPSC exam is quite important. The UPSC Prelims comprises only objective type questions.

Students can download the list of best UPSC IAS books for Prelims from the link below for quick reference. Students can also buy books and study material online for IAS Prelims.

Subject UPSC Books
History
  • India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra
  • Facets of Indian Culture – Spectrum
  • NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)
  • NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)
Geography
  • Certificate Physical Geography – G C Leong
  • NCERT VI – X (Old Syllabus)
  • NCERT XI, XII (New Syllabus)
  • World Atlas
Indian Polity
  • Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth
  • NCERT IX-XII
Economics
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain & Ohri
  • NCERT XI
International Relations
  • NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)
  • Current Affairs
CSAT
  • Tata McGraw Hill CSAT Manual
  • CSAT II – Arihant
  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R S Aggarwal
  • For more information on CSAT , check the linked article

IAS Mains Examination – The written exam will consist of the following papers:
Qualifying Papers Paper A (Indian Language) – Check Languages Paper B (English)
Paper to be counted for Merit Paper I to Paper VII
Interview Personality Test
Optional Subject For Civil Services Mains Exam

This is the complete list of optional subject for Civil Services Mains Examination,You have to opt for any one subject optional Paper consist of two papers (Paper-1 & Paper-2) of 250 Marks each.

Click here to get complete Syllabus of all Optional Subjects

Agriculture

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

Anthropology

Botany

Chemistry

Civil Engineering

Commerce and Accountancy

Economics

Electrical Engineering

Geography

Geology

History

Law

Management

Mathematics

Mechanical Engineering

Philosophy

Physics

Political Science and International Relations

Psychology

Public Administration

Sociology

Statistics

Zoology

Literature of any one following language:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.

Paper I

It consists of questions to test the writing skills of the candidate. Thus, it is purely subjective with no objective type questions. The language for the paper is English thus candidates have no option of answering in any other language.

Total marks awarded to this paper are 250.
Titles Description
Essay Candidates have to write an essay on a specific topic. It must be kept close to the subject of the essay to arrange the ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit is given for effective and exact expression.
Paper II

The candidates have to answer the questions based on Indian Heritage along with the History and Geography of the World in Paper II. The total weightage of the Paper II is 250 marks.

General Studies I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
  • Indian culture, aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times, Modern Indian history and major personalities.
  • The Freedom Struggle, important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country, Post‐independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world, industrial revolution, world wars, re-drawl of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies, capitalism, socialism, Salient features of Indian Society and Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, Effects of globalization on Indian society, Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism, world’s physical geography.
  • Natural resources, factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries, Important Geophysical phenomena, earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone, 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.
  • Paper III

    Paper III comprises questions on Constitution, Social Justice and International relations of India. The questions hold a total weightage of 250 marks.

    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, challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels
    • Separation of powers, redressed mechanisms and institutions, Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries, Parliament and State Legislatures, structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers and privileges.
    • 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, Representation of People’s Act.
    • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection of vulnerable sections. Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/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 neighbourhood relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India, Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries, Indian diaspora. Important International institutions, agencies and fora their structure, mandate.
    • 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, Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors and charities.
    Paper IV

    Paper IV is named General Studies III and carries 250 marks. The questions are based on Technology, Bio-Diversity and Disaster Management.

    General Studies III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, 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, 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.
    • 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, biotechnology 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, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; 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.
    Paper V

    Candidates are asked questions based on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude The questions hold a weightage of 250 marks.

    General Studies IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
    • Issues relating to integrity, probity in public life. 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. 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 the 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 Study
    • Candidates will be asked some general interest questions.
    • Candidates can also choose one language in which they wish to be interviewed.
    • This interview will test a candidate’s mental calibre, mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity and his personal suitability.
    • Candidates must secure at least 55% in this round.
    • A candidate securing 60% and above will most likely get a service of his choice.
    • Marks obtained by a candidate in IAS Interview will be added in the Main stage. This will form the basis of the final merit list.
    Paper VI & VII

    Paper VI and Paper VII are optional subjects for Paper I and Paper II of UPSC Mains. Candidates have to attempt both the Papers separately Each Paper holds a weightage of 250 marks.

    Optional Subject- Paper 1 and 2
    • Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics and Zoology
    Literature of any one of the following languages
    • Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.
Books for UPSC Mains

The IAS Exam or the Civil Services Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). A plethora of books and study material available both online and offline, so it is important that the candidates select the best books for UPSC IAS preparation. IAS toppers recommend that aspirant start their UPSC preparation with NCERT books and then move on to the standard reference books. Choosing the right IAS exam books online for different stages of the UPSC exam is quite important. The UPSC IAS Mains contains descriptive essay type question papers. Students can download the list of best UPSC IAS books for Mains from the link below for quick reference. Students can also buy books and study material online for IAS Mains

Subject UPSC Books
History,
Indian Heritage
& Culture [GS Paper 1]
  • An Introduction to Indian Art Part 1: Textbook in Fine Arts for Class XI
  • India's struggle For Independence By Bipan Chandra
  • NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)
  • NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)
Geography [GS Paper 1]
  • Geography of India by Majid Husain
  • World Geography by Majid Husain
  • World Atlas Certificate
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography – G C Leong
  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11
Polity & International Relations [GS Paper 2]
  • Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth
  • Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu
  • India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
Economy [GS Paper 3]
  • Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh
Ethics [GS Paper 4]
  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Mains Examination
IAS Interview/ Personality Test
  • All candidates who successfully clear IAS Prelims and Mains will be called for the interview round. Check UPSC / IAS Cutoff
  • This stage is of total 275 marks.
  • Candidates will be asked some general interest questions.
  • Candidates can also choose one language in which they wish to be interviewed.
  • This interview will test a candidate’s mental calibre, mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity and his personal suitability.
  • Candidates must secure at least 55% in this round.
  • A candidate securing 60% and above will most likely get a service of his choice.
  • Marks obtained by a candidate in IAS Interview will be added in the Main stage. This will form the basis of the final merit list.
Civil Services (Mains) Exam Facts
No. of Papers Two (2) – written test (9 papers) and an Interview test
Type of Questions Subjective
Total Marks Written Test: 1750 marks | Interview Test: 275 marks (with no qualifying marks)
Duration of Exam 3 hrs.each
Medium of Exam Hindi and English (other than the literature of language papers)
Important points
  • The written exam will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type out of which two papers will be of qualifying nature.
  • Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking.
  • Candidates will be allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and posts.
IAS Mains Exam Pattern
  • IAS Mains has 9 papers out of which 7 Papers are compulsory and 2 are optional papers that candidates have to choose.
  • Out of the 7 papers, 2 are language papers (A and B).
  • For paper A, candidate has to choose one of the Indian Language that is included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. Paper B will have questions from English.
  • Questions will be subjective in nature.
  • Each paper is of 250 marks while language papers are of 300 marks each.
  • The marks obtained in the language papers are not counted in the formation of IAS Merit List as they are qualifying in nature.
  • The total time duration of IAS Mains exam is 3 hours.
  • Blind candidates will be given 20 minutes extra for each paper.
Here is the brief about all the papers in IAS Mains:
Papers Subjects Marks
Paper 1 Essay writing 250
Paper 2 General Studies I Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society 250
Paper 3 General Studies II Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations 250
Paper 4 General Studies III Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management 250
Paper 5 General Studies IV Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude 250
Paper 6 Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
Paper 7 Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
- Personal Interview 275
- Grand Total 2025
Language Medium/ Literature of Languages
Language Script
Assamese Assamese
Bengali Bengali
Gujarati Gujarati
Hindi Devnagari
Kannada Kannada
Kashmiri Persian
Konkani Devanagari
Malayalam Malayalam
Manipuri Bengali
Marathi Devanagari
Nepali Devanagari
Odia Odia
Punjabi Gurumukhi
Sanskrit Devanagari
Sindhi Devanagari or Arabic
Tamil Tamil
Telugu Telugu
Urdu Persian
Bodo Devanagari
Devanagari -
Maithilli Devanagari
Santhali Devanagari or Olchiki