UPSC Mains General Studies Syllabus

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PAPER

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English. The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Précis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays.

The papers will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in this paper will not be counted for ranking. The candidates will have to answer the Indian Language paper in the respective language only (except where translation is involved).

INDIAN LANGUAGE PAPER

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates’ ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in the Indian language concerned. The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Précis Writing.
  • Usage and Vocabulary.
  • Short Essays.
  • Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

The papers will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in this paper will not be counted for ranking. The candidates will have to answer the English Language paper in English only.

ESSAY

Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. 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.

GENERAL STUDIES I - INDIAN HERITAGE & CULTURE, HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY OF THE WORLD & SOCIETY

  • Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence Consolidation and Reorganization within the country.
  • 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.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of Women and Women’s Organization, Population and Associated Issues, Poverty and Developmental issues, Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of Globalization on Indian society.
  • Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism & Secularism.
  • Salient features of World’s Physical Geography.
  • Distribution of Key Natural Resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
  • Important Geophysical Phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., 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.

GENERAL STUDIES II - GOVERNANCE, CONSTITUTION, POLITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

  • Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.
  • 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.
  • Separation of Powers between various organs Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with that of Other Countries.
  • Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.
  • 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.
  • Salient Features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • 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 and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.
    Development Processes and the Development Industry — the Role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • 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.
  • Issues Relating to 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 Neighborhood- Relations.
  • Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
  • Important International Institutions, agencies and fora – their Structure, Mandate.

GENERAL STUDIES III - TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, BIODIVERSITY, ENVIRONMENT, SECURITY & 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, Bio-technology 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, Role of Media and Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges, Basics of Cyber Security; 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.

GENERAL STUDIES IV - ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE

  • 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 weaker-sections.
  • Emotional Intelligence-Concepts, and their Utilities and Application in Administration and Governance.
  • 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.
  • Case Studies on above issues.

Optional Syllabus

SOCIOLOGY PAPER I - FUNDAMENTALS OF SOCIOLOGY

Sociology: The Discipline

  • Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of Sociology.
  • Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences. Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • Sociology and common sense.

Sociology as a Science

  • Science, scientific method and critique.
  • Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
  • Positivism and its critique.
  • Fact value and objectivity.
  •  Non-positivist methodologies

Research Methods and Analysis

  • Qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Techniques of data collection.
  • Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

Sociological Thinkers

  • Karl Marx – Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
  • Emile Durkhteim – Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
  • Max Weber – Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
  • Talcolt Parsons – Social system, pattern variables.
  • Robert K. Merton – Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
  • Mead – Self and identity.

Stratification and Mobility

  • Concepts – equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
  • Theories of social stratification – Structural func tionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
  • Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.
  • Social mobility – open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

Works and Economic Life

  • Social organization of work in different types of society – slave society, feudal society, industrial capitalist society.
  • Formal and informal organization of work.
  • Labour and society.

Politics and Society

  • Sociological theories of power.
  • Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups and political parties.
  • Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology. Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.

Religion and Society

  • Sociological theories of religion.
  • Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
  • Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamen talism.

Systems of Kinship

  • Family, household, marriage.
  • Types and forms of family.
  • Lineage and descent.
  • Patriarchy and sexual division of labour.
  • Contemporary trends.

Social Change in Modern Society

  • Sociological theories of social change.
  • Development and dependency.
  • Agents of social change.
  • Education and social change.
  • Science, technology and social change.

SOCIOLOGY PAPER II - FUNDAMENTALS OF SOCIOLOGY

Introducing Indian Society

  • Perspectives on the Study of Indian Society: Indology (G.S. Ghure); Structural functionalism (M. N. Srinivas); Marxist sociology (A. R. Desai).
  • Impact of colonial rule on Indian society: Social background of Indian nationalism; Modernization of Indian tradition; Protests and movements during the colonial period; Social reforms.

Social Structure

  • Rural and Agrarian Social Structure: The idea of Indian village and village studies; Agrarian social structure— evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.
  • Caste System: Perspectives on the study of caste systems: G. S. Ghurye, M. N. Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille; Features of caste system; Untouchability-forms and perspectives
  • Tribal Communities in India: Definitional problems; Geographical spread; Colonial policies and tribes; Issues of integration and autonomy.
  • Social Classes in India: Agrarian class structure; Industrial class structure; Middle classes in India.
  • Systems of Kinship in India: Lineage and descent in India; Types of kinship systems; Family and marriage in India; Household dimensions of the family; Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.
  • Religion and Society : Religious communities in India; Problems of religious minorities.

Social Changes in India

  • Visions of Social Change in India: Idea of development planning and mixed economy; Constitution, law and social change; Education and social change.
  • Rural and Agrarian Transformation in India: Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes; Green revolution and social change; Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture; Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration.
  • Industrialization and Urbanisation in India: Evolution of modern industry in India; Growth of urban settlements in India; Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization; Informal sector, child labour; Slums and deprivation in urban areas.
  • Politics and Society: Nation, democracy and citizenship; Political parties, pressure groups, social and political elite; Regionalism and decentralization of power; Secularization.
  • Social Movements in Modern India: Peasants and farmers movements; Women’s movement; Backward classes & Dalit movements; Environmental movements; Ethnicity and Identity movements.
  • Population Dynamics: Population size, growth, composition and distribution; Components of population growth: birth, death, migration; Population Policy and family planning; Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.
  • Challenges of Social Transformation: Crisis of development : displacement, environmental problems and sustainability; Poverty, deprivation and inequalities; Violence against women; Caste conflicts; Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism; Illiteracy and disparities in education

POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS PAPER I

Political Theory and Indian Politics

  • Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
  • Theories of state: Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluiralist, post-colonial and Feminist.
  • Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.
  • Equality: Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.
  • Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; Concept of Human Rights.
  • Democracy: Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy—representative, participatory and deliberative.
  • Concept of power: hegemony, ideology and legitimacy.
  • Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.
  • Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy.
  • Western Political Thought : Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.

Indian Government and Politics

  • Indian Nationalism: Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers Movements; Perspectives on Indian National Movement; Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical Humanist and Dalit.
  • Making of the Indian Constitution : Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.
  • Salient Features of the Indian Constitution : The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.
  • Principal Organs of the Union Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court; Principal Organs of the State Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.
  • Grassroots Democracy : Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
  • Statutory Institutions/Commissions : Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
  • Federalism : Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
  • Planning and Economic development : Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; Role of Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.
  • Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
  • Party System : National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; Patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behaviour; changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.
  • Social Movement : Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.

POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS PAPER II

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics

  • Comparative Politics : Nature and major approaches; Political economy and political sociology perspectives; Limitations of the comparative method.
  • State in Comparative Perspective : Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.
  • Politics of Representation and Participation : Political parties, pressure groups and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
  • Globalisation : Responses from developed and developing societies.
  • Approaches to the Study of International Relations : Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
  • Key Concepts in International Relations : National interest, security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.
  • Changing International Political Order: Rise of super powers; Strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and cold war; Nuclear threat; Non-aligned Movement : Aims and achievements; Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; Relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.
  • Evolution of the International Economic System : From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.
  • United Nations : Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.
  • Regionalisation of World Politics : EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA.
  • Contemporary Global Concerns : Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

Indian and the World

  • Indian Foreign Policy : Determinants of foreign policy; the institutions of policy-making; Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. Continuity and change.
  • India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement Different phases; Current role.
  • India and South Asia: Regional Co-operation : SAARC-past performance and future prospects; South Asia as a Free Trade Area; India’s “Look East” policy; Impediments to regional co-operation : River water disputes; illegal cross border migration; Ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; Border disputes.
  • India and the Global South : Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
  • India and the Global Centres of Power : USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.
  • India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
  • India and the Nuclear Question : Changing perceptions and policy.
  • Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy : India’s position on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Isreal; Vision of a new world order.