UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus 2020- For Prelims,Mains


UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus 2020-Pre and Mains

Welcome to Mynotesadda.com,Here you will get detailed syllabus and useful information about Civil services which conducted by UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (UPSC).The Civil Services Examination is widely seen as one of India ‘s toughest and most prestigious tests.

To order to understand the UPSC test, one must understand the syllabus of IAS.It helps reduce inefficient activities such as reading unnecessary topics leading to time-loss and keeps you strictly aligned with UPSC standards from day one.


Basically, INDIAN ADMINSTRATIVE SERVICE (IAS) Formerly known as Imperial Civil Service (ICS), the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the Civil Services Test and one of India ‘s toughest competitive tests.It is run by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment of All India Administrative Civil Service Officers.

The Indian Administrative Service is the Government of India’s main domestic civil service.In terms of hierarchy, IAS is the highest administrative post among 24 services such as IPS, IFS etc.Popularly known as the IAS exam, it is formally recognised as the Civil Services Examination (CSE), and is conducted yearly by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the central recruitment agency.

IAS is India’s main bureaucracy, which is part of the executive branch.It is one of the three All India Services that can be used by both the government of the Union, the government of the state and public-sector enterprises.The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has been appointed one of the 24 prestigious government departments such as IPS, IFS (Foreign), IFS (Forest),IRS,IP & TAFS, IAAS, IRPS, ITS, CAPF-AF, IDAS, CMSE, IRTS, IRAS

UPSC performs all of these tests in the form of a Civil Services Examination (CSE) to pick the correct candidates for the jobs.For this review each year lakhs of candidates appear, trying their luck and hard work to get through one of those prestigious positions.

UPSE Civil service exam syllabus (UPSC Civil Services Prelims and Mains) :- The final notification for the Civil Service Exam was issued on 12 February 2020.

The IAS syllabus can be found on the official UPSC website –https:/upsc.gov.in/ or scroll down to download the Prelims and Mains UPSC syllabus pdf for both.Alternatively, aspirants can access the IAS Syllabus in Hindi Syllabus.

For services such as Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) to name a few, there is a common UPSC syllabus pattern.Similar stages of the IAS test however have similar syllables.The syllabus of UPSC Prelims focuses on general and social knowledge that is evaluated by questions of an objective-type (MCQ).

The Civil services IAS exam is conducted in three phases:

Phase (A): Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type)

Phase (B): Civil Services (Mains) Examination (Descriptive Type)

Phase (C): Personal Interview (Personality Test).

Information about Phase (A):

Two elements of the UPSC Civil Services Prelims Review are:

1) General Studies

Total Marks
General Studies (GS)
2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)

2) Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

  • Broadly speaking, the UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is composed of two papers of objective nature, each of 200 marks (thus totaling 400 marks) and two hours.A candidate must seek both the papers to apply for the Civil Services Mains.
  • The UPSC General Studies (GS) paper is also composed of 100 questions, while the CSAT paper is composed of 80 questions.All papers have negative marks marked of 1/3rd of the overall marks given to the question for incorrect answers.
  • To further demonstrate this, 2 marks will be awarded for any correctly answered GS question.And for any question that’s wrongly labelled, 0.66 marks will be deducted from the total.
  • Similarly, in the CSAT article, as we have 80 questions for 200 marks, the CSAT question correctly answered would attract 2.5 marks each, while each question wrongly marked would incur a penalty of 0.833 for each such question ,which will be deducted from the total.
  • Questions which are not attempted do not draw negative marks.

The two IAS prelims papers are discussed in detailing hereafter:

  1. General Research (generally carried out between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM)

The first paper of the preliminary analysis is the General Studies study.The aim of this test is to test a candidate’s general knowledge on a wide range of subjects including: Indian Polity, Geography , History, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations, and related UPSC current affairs.

2.Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) (usually carried out between 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM)

  • This UPSC Prelims syllabus for CSAT seeks to test the candidate’s ability to answer ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions apart from ‘Reading Comprehension’ and the ‘Decision Making’ questions that are rarely asked.
  • The preliminary test is only intended for the selection of a applicant for the subsequent examination phases.
  • The marks earned in the Prelims will not be included until they hit the final list of grades.

UPSC Pre Syllabus

Syllabus for GS Paper (Pre 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, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation.
  • General Science

Syllabus for CSAT Paper (Pre 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 10 level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class 10 level)

UPSC Syllabus in English (IAS Pre):-Download PDF Here

UPSC Syllabus in Hindi (IAS Pre) :-Download PDF Here

Phase 2: UPSC Mains Exam (1750 Marks)

  • The examination of the Mains forms the second step of the examination of the civil services.The candidates will only be permitted to write the IAS Mains after successfully qualifying in the prelims test.
  • The Mains exam tests in detail the academic skill of the applicant and his / her ability to present his / her understanding in a time-bound manner according to the demands of the question.
  • The UPSC Mains review consists of nine papers, out of which two qualifying papers each are 300 marks.

The two papers which qualify are:

  • Any Indian Language
  • English Language Paper

Only those candidates who reach 25 percent marks in both language papers as a minimum qualifying level in these qualifying papers will be taken cognizance of the papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject for evaluation.

In the case that a candidate does not appear in such language articles, then the marks that these candidates receive will not be considered or counted.

Structure of the language papers:

The types of questions asked are –

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

The rest of the seven papers may be written in any of the languages listed in the Indian Constitution’s Eighth Schedule, or in English.

UPSC Mains Syllabus

Paper – I
Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)
Paper – II
General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)
Paper – III
General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)
Paper – IV
General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)
Paper – V
General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
Paper – VI
Optional Subject – Paper I
Paper – VII
Optional Subject – Paper II

Phase 3: IAS Interview/UPSC Personality Test (275 Marks)

  • Candidates who qualify the UPSC Mains Exam will be called for the ‘Personality Test/Interview’. These candidates will be interviewed by a Board appointed by the UPSC.
  • The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in the civil services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
  • The interview is more of purposive conversation intended to explore the mental qualities and analytical ability of the candidate.
  • The Interview test will be of 275 marks and the total marks for written examination is 1750. This sums up to a Grand Total of 2025 Marks based on which the final merit list will be prepared.


Updated – UPSC 2020 Syllabus/IAS Syllabus/Civil Services Exam Syllabus in English (IAS Pre):-Download PDF Here

UPSC IAS Syllabus in Hindi (IAS Pre) :-Download PDF Here

UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Date 2020 Due to lockdown caused by Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic, UPSC has postponed the IAS Prelims 2020 examination.The preliminary test was postponed due on May 31.Upon reviewing the situation the Commission will announce the new review date on May 20.In June the Commission revealed the new Prelims exam date.The IAS Prelims 2020 will be held on October 4, 2020.

IAS Prelims Exam Centre Change Option

An significant notification has been issued by the UPSC concerning the IAS Preliminary Exam Centre.The Commission, if so, requires IAS aspirants to change the preliminary test centre.The UPSC however made it clear that the adjustment in the centers would be considered on the basis of the “first-apply-first-allot” concept.

The notice reads, “The window for the candidates to send the revised option of Centers will be operational in two phases , i.e. July 7-13, 2020 (6:00 PM) and July 20-24, 2020 (6:00 PM) on the Commission’s Website   https:/upsconline.nic.in website.”

he UPSC also allows aspirants to withdraw the application during the period from August 1 to 8, 2020.

UPSC IAS Notification 2020

On 12 February 2020, the UPSC issued the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2020 notice.Candidates seeking All India Services along with other services will apply online from 12 February to 3 March 2020.The CSE notification was issued for a total of 796 vacancies including 24 vacancies for individuals with a category of benchmark disability.

Click here to download UPSC IAS notification 2020

UPSC IAS Exam 2020 Important Dates 

The notice of the Civil Services Examination (CSE) will be issued on 12 February 2020.Candidates are required to apply online until 3 March 2020.The preliminary review will take place in the month of September.

Civil Services Examination (CSE) notification

February 12, 2020

IAS online application form
February 12 to March 3, 2020
IAS Preliminary admit card
2nd week of May
IAS exam date
October 4, 2020
IAS Preliminary result
November 2020
IAS Main exam date
January 8, 2021 (5 days)
IAS Main exam result
February 2021
IAS personality test/ interview
March/April 2021
IAS final result
May 2021

IAS 2020 Number Of Vacancies 

The total number of vacancies announced in the official notification is around 896, of which 39 are reserved for individuals with Benchmark Disability Classification.Aspirants will remember that the list was drawn up based on the preceding year.Upon official notification the vacancies will be revised.

Total number of vacancies
796 (including 24 reserved vacancies)
Total reserved vacancies
Blindness and low vision
Deaf and hard of hearing
Locomotor disability
Multiple disabilities

Candidates need to remember that the final number of vacancies that change after the Cadre Controlling Authorities get the firm number of vacancies.

IAS Application Form 2020 

On 12 February, the UPSC allowed the IAS application form 2020 window.Interested candidates who meet all of the Commission’s eligibility requirements will register for the IAS exam by 3 March 2020.

Aspirants need to take great care to complete the IAS application form.A single error in the 2020 IAS application form will lead aspirants to wait another year.For detailed measures, therefore, we suggest candidates to refer to our UPSC online application form 2020 page.

IAS Online Application Form 2020 Steps

  • Visit the official site of UPSC – www.upsc.gov.in
  • Go to ”Apply Online” tab.  Click on ”Online Application for Various Examinations”
  • Find the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination
  • Start IAS registration with Part-I.
  • Fill-up the personal details, educational qualification and address.
  • Pay the prescribed application fee (Rs 100)
  • Choose the exam centre
  • Upload the photo, sign and photo identity card.
  • Accept the declaration.
  •   Check the complete details and submit.
  • Take a printout of IAS application form for future reference.

    Being an IAS Officer

As a District Collector, an IAS officer is given administrative command over an entire district.IAS officials also represent the Government of India in bilateral and multilateral negotiations at the international level.

Criteria for Qualifying
  • Candidate must be a citizen of India
  • Candidate must be a citizen of Nepal or a subject of Bhutan
  • Candidate must be a Tibetan Refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, to be settled permanently in India
  • Candidate must be person of Indian Origin who has migrated from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zaire, or Zambia with an intention of permanently settling in India

Educational Qualification:

Candidate applying for the Civil Services 2020 exam is required to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Candidate must hold a Bachelor’s Degree from any of the recognized universities
  • Candidates who have appeared for the qualifying examination and are awaiting results or those who are yet to appear for the qualifying examination are also eligible for the Preliminary Examination. Such candidates have to produce proof of passing the said examination along with the application for the Main Examination
  • Candidates with professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government or its equivalent are also eligible to apply
  • Candidates who have passed the final year of MBBS or any Medical Examination but are yet to complete the internship can also appear for the Main Examination. However, they must submit a certificate from the concerned University that they have passed the final professional medical examination

Age Limit :

A candidate should be a minimum of 21 years and maximum 32 years old as on August 01, 2020. But he/she must have been born not earlier than August 02, 1988 and not later than August 01, 1999. Necessary action will take to make corresponding changes in respective Rules/Regulations pertaining to various services.

The upper age limit prescribed above is relaxable for the following candidates:

  • 5 Years – Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)
  • 3 Years – Other Backward Classes (OBC)
  • 3 Years – Defence Services personnel
  • 5 Years – ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered at least 5 years Military Service as on August 01, 2020.
  • 5 Years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs 10 Years – Blind, deaf-mute, and orthopedically handicapped persons
  • 5 Years –  In the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August, 2019 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months’ notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment

Number of attempts:

  • Restriction on the maximum number of attempts is effective since 1984:
  • For General Candidates: 6 attempts (Up to 32 Years)
  • Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Candidates (SC/ST): No Limits (Up to 37 Years)
  • Other Backward Classes (OBC): 9 attempts (Up to 35 Years)
  • Physically handicapped- 9 attempts for general and OBC, while unlimited for SC/ST

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of IAS officers is very venerable, demands a great deal of responsibility and reverence. It is also important that an officer is physically and mentally fit and healthy to handle the work pressure without giving in. The following are the roles and responsibilities that an IAS officer is deputed:

  • Handling affairs of government that involve framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the concerned Minister
  • Implementing policies through supervision and also traveling to the places where the approved policies will be implemented Implementing policies comprises disbursement of funds through personal supervision
  • Answerable to the Parliament and State Legislatures for any violation of rules while on duty Functions and responsibilities differ at different levels of career.
  • Initially, IAS officers join the state administration at the sub-divisional level, resuming their services as sub-divisional magistrates, and look after law and order, general administration and development work in the area assigned to them
  • The post of the District Officer also known as District Magistrate, District Collector or Deputy Commissioner is the highly respected and responsible post the IAS officers enjoy At the district level, an IAS officer deals with district affairs, including implementation of developmental programs
  • The officers may also be appointed in the State Secretariat or they may serve as Heads of Departments or in Public Sector Undertakings They may serve in different positions from the State to the Centre and vice versa. This happens through deputation.
  • At the Centre, IAS officers serve at the highest position as the Cabinet Secretaries, Secretaries/Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Secretaries and Under Secretaries.
  • They are appointed to these posts based on seniority. At the Centre, the IAS officers play a key role in formulation and implementation of policies related to a particular area; for instance, finance, commerce, etc. During formulation of a policy and decision making, IAS officers serving at different levels i.e. joint secretary, deputy secretary give their valuable inputs
  • The policy takes its final shape through a final decision the minister concerned or the cabinet, depending on the seriousness of the situation


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