Civil Services Mains Syllabus

The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper II to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio- economic goals, objectives and demands.  

The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers. 

The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree.


Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression. English Comprehension & English Precis will be to test the English language Comprehension and English prĂ©cis writing skills (at 10th standard level). 

General Studies- I
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

Topic 1: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. 
Topic 2: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
Topic 3: The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors/ contributions from different parts of the country. 
Topic 4: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country. 
Topic 5: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society. 
Topic 6: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. 
Topic 7: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues,  poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. 
Topic 8: Effects of globalization on Indian society 
Topic 9: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism. 
Topic 10: Salient features of world’s physical geography. 
Topic 11: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
Topic 12: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

General Studies- II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Topic 1: Indian Constitution- historical under pinning, evolution, features, amendments,  significant provisions and basic structure
Topic 2: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and  challenges therein.
Topic 3: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and  institutions. 
Topic 4: Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
Topic 5: 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. 
Topic 6: Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
Topic 7: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act. 
Topic 8: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Topic 9: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Topic 10: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and  issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Topic 11: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. 
Topic 12: Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
Topic 13: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating  to Health, Education, Human Resources. 
Topic 14: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
Topic 15: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. 
Topic 16:  Role of civil services in a democracy.
Topic 17: India and its neighborhood- relations.  
Topic 18: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Topic 19: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s  interests, Indian diaspora. 
Topic 20: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

General Studies-III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Topic 1: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. 
Topic 2: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Topic 3: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, 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.
Topic 4: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Topic 5: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Topic 6: Land reforms in India.
Topic 7: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth. 
Topic 8: Government Budgeting.
Topic 9: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc. 
Topic 10: Investment models.
Topic 11: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Topic 12: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology. 
Topic 13: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio- technology.
Topic 14: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Topic 15: Disaster and disaster management.
Topic 16: Issues relating to intellectual property rights. 
Topic 17: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Topic 18: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Topic 19: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money- laundering and its prevention.
Topic 20: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism. 
Topic 21: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

General Studies- IV
(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects. The following broad areas will be covered.  
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; 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 weakersections.

Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

Topic:  Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and 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. 

Topic:  Case Studies on above issues. 

Optional Subject Papers I & II Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given in para 2 (Group 1). However, if a candidate has graduated in any of the literatures of languages indicated in Group- 2 , with the literature as the main subject, then the candidate can also opt for that particular literature subject as an optional subject.