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UPSC Prelims Syllabus

UPSC Prelims Syllabus Paper-I

  • 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.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus Paper-II

  • 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);

Note 1: Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

Note 2: The questions will be of multiple-choice, objective type.


Sub-topics list for UPSC Prelims Syllabus

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Polity and Governance

Primary Source:

    • M LAXMIKANTH – INDIAN POLITY THE LATEST EDITION
    • NCERT XI – Working of Indian Constitution

Secondary Source:

    • Our Constitution – Shubash Kashyap or Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu,
    • Governance in India by M Laxmikanth

Current updates from Polity and Governance & ForumIAS EPIC! Magazine
Candidates should also regularly read The Hindu or The Indian Express.

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • The Constitution- Historical underpinnings and Making, Salient Features
    • The Preamble, The Union and its Territory, Citizenship
    • Fundamental Rights
    • Directive Principles & Fundamental Duties
    • Amendment of Constitution, Basic Structure of the Constitution,
    • Emergency Provisions, Inter-State and Centre-State Relations
    • Central Government (President, Vice President, Prime minister, Central Council of Ministers
      Parliament)
    • State Government(Governor, Chief Minister, Council of Ministers)
    • Parliament (Parliamentary Committees, Parliamentary Forums, Parliamentary Group) and State Legislature
    • Judiciary: Supreme Court, High Courts, Subordinate Courts and Tribunals
    • Local Government: Panchayati Raj, Local Urban Government, Scheduled and Tribal Areas, Co-operative societies
    • Constitutional Bodies and Non-Constitutional Bodies
    • Elections, Anti-Defection Laws and Political Parties
    • Various provisions of Recent Acts, Constitutional amendment bills and Acts etc.
    • Governance and e-governance initiatives
    • Important provisions about RTI, Citizen’s Charter & Anti-corruption initiatives
    • Role of Civil Society and social audit
    • Miscellaneous (Official Language, Rights and Liabilities of the Government, Authoritative Text of the Constitution in Hindi Language, Special Provision relating to Certain States, Cases etc)
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Ancient and Medieval History

Primary Source: Tamil Nadu State Board Books or NCERT Books or NIOS books
Secondary Source: Indian Culture’s Spectrum Book and CCRT Website

Current updates from History & ForumIAS EPIC! Magazine
Candidates should also regularly read The Hindu or The Indian Express.

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • Prehistoric India and Indus Valley Civilization
    • Early and Later Vedic civilization
    • Buddhism and Jainism and their contributions to Indian culture
    • Early Janpath’s and early European Invasions
    • The Mauryan Empire
    • Post Mauryan kingdoms and the Early Kingdoms in Southern India
    • The Gupta Empire and their Successors (Maukhari, Maitraka, Pushyabhuti (Harsha))
    • Kingdoms of Deccan and Pallava dynasty
    • Imperial Cholas and their contributions for spreading Indian culture to the Far East
    • Early Medieval developments in India
    • Delhi Sultanate (Political and Administrative policies and their contribution to the field of Economy, Art, Science and Technology etc.)
    • Kingdoms of Vijaya Nagar and Bhamini Sultanate
    • The Mughal Empire (Political and Administrative policies and their contribution to the field of Economy, Art, Science and Technology etc..)
    • Other Regional Kingdoms of Medieval Kingdom (Kingdoms in Kashmir, Bengal etc.,)
    • The Bhakti and The Sufi Movement and its contribution to Indian culture
    • The Marathas and other regional kingdoms after the fall of Mughal Empire and the arrival of Europeans
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Modern History

Primary Source:

    • Modern India by Bipin Chandra – Old NCERT
    • A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
    • Politics in India since independence (Class XII NCERT)

Secondary Source:

    • Plassey to Partition by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay or Bipin Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence
    • India after Independence by Bipin Chandra

Current updates from History & ForumIAS EPIC! Magazine
Candidates should also regularly read The Hindu or The Indian Express.

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • India in the Late Eighteenth Century
    • The advent of Europeans and the British Conquests
    • India under the Company’s rule(Administrative structure, Developments, reforms in various fields, etc.)
    • The revolt of 1858 and its aftermath(Administrative Changes)
    • Socio-Religious movement in the first half of 19th Century
    • Freedom Struggle under Moderate Phase and political organizations prior to 1885
    • Freedom Struggle under Extremist Phase(1905-1917) including Home Rule Movements
    • India and Neighbourhood policy
    • Socio-Religious movement in the latter half of 19th Century and early 20th century
    • The Gandhian Era of Indian freedom struggle
    • Growth of revolutionary organisations in India and abroad
    • Peasants and Tribal Movements and the growth of women movements in colonial India and after independence
    • Committees in Education, Police, etc prior and after Independence

After Independence:

    • Consolidation of India after Independence(Territorial consolidation, State reorganization and Tribal policies, etc)
    • Foreign Policy and developments in Nehruvian Era
    • Political developments till Indira Gandhi
    • India under Indira Gandhi (JP movement, emergencies etc)
    • India during Rajiv Gandhi (Srilankan war, Political developments, etc)
    • India since Rajiv Gandhi till today(Foreign Policies, political developments etc.)
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Art and Culture

Primary Source: NCERT Fine Arts
Secondary Source: ForumIAS Handouts on Art and Culture | CCRT | Nitin Singhania – Indian Art and Culture

Current updates from Art and Culture & ForumIAS EPIC! Magazine
Candidates should also regularly read The Hindu or The Indian Express.

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • Indian Architecture, Sculpture and Pottery
    • Indian Paintings
    • Indian Handicrafts
    • UNESCO’s World Heritage sites of India
    • UNESCO’S Intangible Culture Heritage
    • Languages in India
    • Indian Literature
    • Schools of Philosophy
    • Martial Arts in India
    • Cultural Institutions in India
    • Languages
    • Science and Technology throughout ages
    • Calenders
    • Fairs and Festivals
    • Coins
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Economy

Primary Source:

Secondary Source:

    • 11 and 12th Macro-economics NCERTs

Current updates from Economy  & ForumIAS EPIC! Magazine
Candidates should also regularly read The Hindu or The Indian Express.

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • National Income Accounting and Human Development in India 
    • Central Bank in India and its powers, contribution etc.
    • Money and Banking including Banking reforms since Independence
    • Capital Markets, Money Markets and its concepts
    • Inflation and Unemployment
    • Public Finance in India
    • Balance of Payments: Definition, Current and Capital Accounts, Convertibility including FDI, FII etc.
    • India and IMF, WTO, WIPO and other International Institutions (NDB, AIIB, etc.)
    • Agriculture (Recent trends, Farm distress and government initiatives, Animal husbandry etc. )
    • Five-year Plans and Rolling plans
    • Economic Reforms since 1991
    • Industry and Industrial policies, Labour reforms, Companies Act etc.
    • Services sector and policies.
    • Infrastructure, Communication and Investment Models
    • IPRs(Intellectual Property Rights) and Indian IPR battles
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Environment and Ecology

Primary Source:

    • Shankar IAS Environment book

Secondary Source:

    • Our Environment – NCERT (VII)
    • Ecology: Unit X – Class 12th Biology
    • Class 11th NCERT Chemistry: Ch 14: Environmental Chemistry

Current updates from Environment  & ForumIAS EPIC! Magazine
Candidates should also regularly read The Hindu or The Indian Express.

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • Basics about Environment, Ecosystem and Ecology
    • Various types of Pollution and its impacts, mitigation etc.
    • Protected areas including National parks, Wildlife sanctuaries, etc.
    • Bio-Diversity and conservation
    • Environment Legislations, National Institutions and Environmental organizations in India
    • International Environmental conventions, Environmental Organizations and their initiatives
    • Climate Change organizations and mitigation strategies, India and Climate change
    • Environment Impact Assessment
    • Renewable Energy and its development in India
    • Environmental issues including sand mining, challenges in the Himalayan ecosystem, GM crops etc.
    • Ocean acidification and Ocean depletion
    • India’s National Missions on environment(8 missions, Bamboo mission, Clean Ganga etc.,)
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Geography

Primary Source:

    • NCERT Class XI: Fundamentals of Physical Geography
    • NCERT Class XI: INDIA – Physical Environment
    • NCERT Class XII: Fundamental of Human Geography 
    • NCERT Class XII: INDIA – People and Economy

Secondary Source:

    • GC Leong – Physical and Human Geography

Current updates on Geography and Agriculture & ForumIAS EPIC! Magazine
Candidates should also regularly read The Hindu or The Indian Express.

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • Solar System & the Earth and basics of latitude and longitude
    • Continents, Oceans and Ocean Currents
    • Geomorphology (Interior of earth, Internal forces & their impact – Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Folding, Faulting, External forces & their impact – Weathering, Erosion etc.
    • Climatology (Weather and Climate, Planetary winds, Jet streams, Precipitation, Distribution of rainfall, cyclone and Anti-cyclones, etc)
    • Biogeography (Soil formation, types and biomes based on soil distribution)
    • Landforms (due to running water, glaciation, desert landforms, Lime stone, chalk and coastal areas, etc)
    • Natural resources and mineral resources and distribution of key natural resources across the world
    • Industries- types and their locational factors
    • World Population, Distribution & Density
    • Races & Tribes, Settlement & Migration
    • Agriculture and major cropping pattern and Agro-Climatic Regions in India
    • Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Aquaculture
    • Land Reforms and Land use pattern
    • Industries- types and their locational factors population, Migration, Settlements

Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • Location, Area and Boundaries of India
    • Structure and Relief: Physiographic Divisions of India
    • Drainage System of India
    • Weather, Climate and Seasons of India
    • Soils and its distribution in India
    • Indian Flora and Fauna,
    • Natural resources, mineral resources and distribution of key natural resources across India
    • Agriculture and major cropping pattern and Agro-Climatic Regions in India
    • Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Aquaculture
    • Land Reforms and Land use pattern in India
    • Mineral and Energy Resources of India
UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Miscellaneous

Other Sub-topics based on UPSC Prelims Syllabus:

    • Science and Technology
      • Basics of Physics, Chemistry, Bio-logy
      • Biotechnology
      • Space technology
      • IT, Computer and Robotics related updates
      • Government policies and Initiatives to improve science
    • Important Current Affairs for UPSC Prelims (Government schemes, Acts, Bills and Regulations, Important Judgements, International Organisations and their initiatives, Index, Reports and Summits, Protected areas and Species) 

 

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