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UPSC Syllabus Mains Exam for IAS 2020

Written by  Rachit Agrawal, MBA

Published on Fri, February 14, 2020 12:55 PM   Updated on Thu, February 20, 2020 7:42 AM   10 mins read

The Civil Services Mains assessment intends to test the scholarly ability and the capacity of the contender to introduce the appropriate responses in an unmistakable and lucid way. The Examination is planned to evaluate the general scholarly attributes and comprehension of the ideas as opposed to just to check their data and memory.

Wannabes become qualified for Mains simply in the wake of qualifying Prelims Exam held by UPSC. In the event that you are searching for prelims test schedule. 

UPSC Exam Pattern (Mains) and IAS Syllabus 

Paper – A 

Language – 300 Marks 

Up-and-comer can take any Modern Indian language yet this paper is of qualifying nature 

Paper – B 

English – 300 Marks 

This paper is of qualifying nature 

Paper – I 

Paper – 250 Marks 

Can be written in the medium or language of the applicant’s decision 


General Studies-I 250 Marks 

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


General Studies – II: 250 Marks 

(Administration, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 


General Studies – III 250 Marks 

( the important topics are Innovation, Economic Development Environment, Security, Disaster Management and Bio-assorted variety ) 


General Studies – IV 250 Marks 

(Morals, Integrity and Aptitude) 

Imprints conveyed by General Studies papers are 4X 250=1000 


Discretionary Subject – Paper 1 – 250 Marks 


Discretionary Subject – Paper II – 250 Marks 

The applicant is permitted to take up writing as a discretionary subject “without the state of having it at the graduation level.” 

Sub Total (Written test) 1750 Marks 

Characteristics of English and Language won’t be included in the complete count of imprints for the composed test. So the aggregate of the Mains test will be 1750 Marks Only. 

Meeting/Personality Test – 275 imprints 

This piece of the test comes simply after the consequences of the mains tests are announced. Applicants can give an inclination of the language in which they may jump at the chance to be met. UPSC will make the course of action for the interpreters. The imprints got right now the test is joined with the imprints acquired in the UPSC mains. 

Grand Total 2025 Marks 

A competitor is permitted to utilize any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the mechanism of composing the assessment. 

IAS Exam Pattern and IAS Exam Syllabus in Detail 

The composed Mains test according to UPSC CSE prospectus comprises of the accompanying papers: 

Paper A – Modern Indian language 300 Marks – Qualifying nature – Marks not tallied – Passing obligatory 

(I) Comprehension of given sections. 

(ii) Precis Writing 

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary. 

(iv) Short Essay 

(v) Translation from English to the Indian language and the other way around. 

Note 1: The Papers on Indian Languages and English are going to be of high school level and can be of qualifying nature because it was. The imprints got in these papers won’t be meant the last positioning. 

Note 2: The up-and-comers should answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the particular Indian language (aside from where interpretation is included). 

Paper B – English – 300 imprints – Qualifying nature – Marks not checked Passing required 

The point of the paper is to test the applicants’ capacity to peruse and comprehend genuine verbose writing, and to communicate his thoughts plainly and accurately, in English and Indian Language concerned. 

The example of inquiries would be extensive as follows:- 

(I) Comprehension of given entries 

(ii) Precis Writing 

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary 

(iv) Short Essay. 


  • Article – 250 Marks – To be written in the medium or language of the applicant’s decision. The competitor is required to compose an article on a particular point. The selection of subjects will be given. They are relied upon to keep their contemplations near the subject and organize their thoughts in systematic form and be succinct. Credit will be given to viable and cognizant articulation. 


  • General Studies-I 250 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the different  planet and Society behaviours) 
  • Indian culture will cover the striking parts of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from old to present-day times. 
  • Current Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present-critical occasions, characters, issues 
  • The Freedom Struggle – its different stages and significant patrons/commitments from various pieces of the nation. 
  • Post-autonomy combination and redesign inside the nation. 
  • History of the world will incorporate occasions from the eighteenth century, for instance, mechanical upset, universal wars, redrawing of national limits, colonization, decolonization, political methods of reasoning like socialism, private enterprise, communism and so forth.- their structures and impact on the general public. 
  • Remarkable highlights of Indian Society, Diversity of India. 
  • The job of ladies and ladies’ association, populace and related issues, neediness and formative issues, urbanization, their issues and their cures. 
  • Impacts of globalization on Indian culture 
  • Social strengthening, communalism, regionalism and secularism. 
  • Striking highlights of the world’s physical topography. 
  • Dispersion of key common assets over the world (counting South Asia and the Indian sub-mainland); factors liable for the area of essential, auxiliary, and tertiary segment ventures in different pieces of the world (counting India) 
  • The topics will be based on the Significant Geophysical marvels, for example, tremors, Tsunami, Volcanic action, twister then on., land highlights and their area changes in basic topographical highlights (counting water-bodies and ice-tops) and in widely varied vegetation and the impacts of such changes. 


  • General Studies – II: 250 Marks (Include the topics like Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 
  • Indian Constitution-verifiable underpinnings, advancement, highlights, changes, noteworthy arrangements and essential structure. 
  • Capacities and duties of the Union and therefore the States, issues and difficulties concerning the govt structure, devolution of forces and funds up to nearby levels and difficulties therein. 
  • Division of forces between different organs contests redressal instruments and establishments. 
  • Correlation of the Indian sacred plan with that of different nations 
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, working, lead of business, powers and benefits and issues emerging out of these. 
  • Structure, association and dealing of the chief and therefore the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure gatherings and formal/casual affiliations and their job within the Polity. 
  • Notable highlights of the Representation of People’s Act. 
  • Arrangement to different Constitutional posts, forces, capacities and obligations of different Constitutional Bodies. 
  • Statutory, administrative and different semi-legal bodies 
  • Government strategies and intercessions for advancement in different areas and issues emerging out of their plan and usage. 
  • Advancement forms and the improvement business the job of NGOs, SHGs, different gatherings and affiliations, benefactors, good cause, institutional and different partners 
  • Welfare plans for helpless segments of the populace by the Center and States and the presentation of these plans; instruments, laws, establishments and bodies comprised for the insurance and advancement of these powerless segments 
  • Issues identifying with improvement and therefore the executives of Social Sector/Services identifying with Health, Education, Human Resources. 
  • Issues identifying with improvement and the executives of Social Sector/Services identifying with Health, Education, Human Resources, issues identifying with neediness and yearning. 
  • This covers the Significant parts of administration, straightforwardness and responsibility, different e-administration applications, models, triumphs, restrictions, and potential; residents sanctions, straightforwardness and responsibility and institutional and different measures. 
  • The job of common administrations in a majority rule government. 
  • India and its neighbourhood-relations. 
  • Two-sided, provincial and worldwide groupings and understandings including India or potentially influencing India’s inclinations 
  • Impact of arrangements and legislative issues of created and creating nations on India’s inclinations, Indian diaspora. 
  • Significant International foundations, organizations and fora, their structure, command. 


General Studies – III 250 Marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-assorted variety, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 

Advancement, Bio decent variety, Environment, Security and Disaster Management. 

Indian Economy and issues identifying with arranging, assembly of assets, development, advancement and business. 

Comprehensive development and issues emerging from it. 

Government Budgeting. 

Significant harvests editing designs in different pieces of the nation, various sorts of the water system and water system frameworks stockpiling, transport and advertising of horticultural produce and issues and related imperatives; e-innovation in the guide of ranchers 

Issues identified with immediate and roundabout homestead endowments and least help costs; Public Distribution System destinations, working, constraints, redoing; problems with cradle stocks and nourishment security; Technology missions; financial aspects of creature raising. 

Nourishment handling and related businesses in India-extension and criticalness, area, upstream and downstream prerequisites, inventory network the board. 

Land changes in India. 

the latest Impacts of progression on the country economy, changes in modern approach and their consequences for mechanical development. 

Framework: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways then forth. 

Venture models. 

advancements in the field of Science and Technology- and their applications and impacts in regular daily life, Achievements honoured to Indians in science and innovation; indigenization of innovation and growing new innovation ideas and experiment study. 

indigenization of innovation and growing new innovation. 

Mindfulness in its fields, Space, Computers, mechanical technology, nano-innovation, bio-innovation and issues identifying with protected innovation rights. 

Protection, ecological contamination and debasement, natural effect evaluation 

Debacle and fiasco the board. 

Linkages among improvement and spread of fanaticism. 

The job of outer state and non-state entertainers in making difficulties in inward security. 

Difficulties to inward security through correspondence systems, the job of media and person to person communication destinations in interior security challenges, nuts and bolts of digital security; illegal tax avoidance and its anticipation 

Security challenges and their administration in outskirt zones; linkages of sorted out wrongdoing with psychological warfare 

Different Security powers and offices and their order 


General Studies – IV 250 Marks (Include topics regarding Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 

This paper will incorporate inquiries to test the applicants’ disposition and way to deal with issues identifying with uprightness, fidelity in open life and his critical thinking way to deal with different issues and clashes looked by him in managing society. Questions may use the contextual analysis way to deal with deciding these perspectives. The accompanying wide territories will be secured. 

Morals and Human Interface: it includes Essence, determinants and outcomes of Ethics in human activities; measurements of morals; morals privately and open connections. 

Human Values – exercises from the lives and lessons of extraordinary pioneers, reformers and directors; the job of family, society and instructive organizations in instilling esteems. 

Disposition: content, structure, work; its impact and connection with thought and conduct; good and political mentalities; social impact and influence. 

Fitness and fundamental qualities for Civil Service, respectability, unbiasedness and non-partisanship, objectivity, devotion to open assistance, sympathy, resistance and empathy towards the more fragile areas. 

Passionate insight ideas, and their utilities and application in organization and administration. 

Commitments of good masterminds and logicians from India and the world. 

Open/Civil assistance esteems and Ethics in Public organization: Status and issues; moral concerns and problems in government and private establishments; laws, rules, guidelines and still, small voice as wellsprings of moral direction; responsibility and moral administration; reinforcing of moral and virtues in administration; moral issues in worldwide relations and financing; corporate administration. 

Fidelity in the matter of Governance: Concept of open help community; Philosophical premise of administration and awarded honour; Information sharing and simplicity in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s 

Sanctions, Work culture, Quality of administration conveyance, Utilization of open assets, difficulties of defilement. 

Contextual analyses on the above issues. 


Discretionary Subject – Paper I – 250 Marks 


Discretionary Subject – Paper II – 250 Marks 

What after the Mains test? 

Meeting/Personality Test – 275 Marks 

Imprints acquired by the contender for all papers EXCEPT PAPER An and B will be meant merit positioning by the UPSC. Be that as it may, the Commission will have the watchfulness to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the assessment. Hopefuls can sign on to UPSC’s legitimate site ( to see the point by point warning for the 2020 UPSC mains prospectus.

About the Author & Expert


Rachit Agrawal

Author • MBA • 20 Years

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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