UPSC IAS Syllabus 2020 – Prelims, Mains & Interview

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2020 – Union Public Service Commission prescribes UPSC IAS 2020 Syllabus for all aspiring candidates. UPSC IAS syllabus contains all the topics and chapters from where the questions will be asked in the exam. Candidates must go through UPSC IAS syllabus 2020 before they start preparing for the exam. By going through UPSC IAS syllabus, candidate will be able to find all important topics to study for both prelims and mains examination. Candidates need not go here and there to look for the topics to study for UPSC IAS as they will get all topics in the syllabus itself.
UPSC IAS 2020 prelims exam is scheduled to be held on May 31, 2020 The UPSC IAS 2020 exam will be held in three phases – prelims, mains, and interview. The prelims exam will be held for two compulsory papers – paper I and II of 200 marks each while the mains exam will be held for paper A, B, I, II, II, IV, V, VI, and VII.

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2020 – Prelims

The first stage of UPSC IAS exam is the prelims exam of UPSC is the first stage in the selection process. Candidates who pass the prelims phase will become eligible to appear for the mains exam. The prelims exam of UPSC IAS is conducted for two papers – paper I and II, both of which contain objective type multiple choice questions.

TopicsRecommended Books for IAS
Current events of national and international importance.Manorama YearbookYojana MagazineNewspapers: Hindu or Indian Express
General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specializationNCERT Biology Class 12th
Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etcIndian Economy- Ramesh SinghEconomic Survey of India, by the Ministry of FinanceThe Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Niraj KumarNCERT Class 9th to 12th
General ScienceNCERT Class 12th
Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc
Indian Polity, by Laxmi kanth Introduction to the Constitution of India, by Durga Das Basu
Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
Certificate Physical & Human Geography, by Goh Cheng LeongGeography of India, by Majid HussainOxford School AtlasNCERT Class 6th to 12th

UPSC IAS Prelims Syllabus 2020 – General Studies (Paper-II)

TopicsRecommended Books for IAS
ComprehensionYojana, Kurukshetra, Frontline and the newspapers like Indian Express, The Hindu
Interpersonal skills including communication skills
Logical reasoning and analytical abilityAnalytical Reasoning – MK PandeyVerbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning– RS.Aggarwal

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

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2020 – Mains

UPSC IAS 2020 Syllabus – Mains paper I

In paper I of the mains exam of UPSC IAS exam 2020, candidates will be given multiple topics out of which candidates will have to write an essay.

UPSC IAS Syllabus – Mains Paper II

General Studies – I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society

  • Indian culture will cover the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the 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.
  • 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.

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2020 – Mains Paper III

General Studies – II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations

  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Salient features of the Representation of the People’s Act.
  • 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 the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 IAS 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.

UPSC IAS 2020 Syllabus – Mains Paper IV

General Studies – III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment,

Security and 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.

UPSC IAS Syllabus 2020 – Mains Paper V

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • 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.

UPSC IAS 2020 Syllabus – Mains paper VI and VII

Paper VI and VII will contain topics from the optional subject selected by the candidates. There are various subjects that the candidates can select for paper VI and VII, the list of which is mentioned below:

Syllabus of UPSC IAS for paper VI and VII

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceAnthropologyGeography
BotanyCivil EngineeringElectrical EngineeringMedical Science
Commerce and AccountancyChemistryEconomicsGeology
Political Science and International Relations
Public Administration
ZoologyLiterature of any one of the following languages:Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili,Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urduand English

UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2020

According to the exam pattern of UPSC IAS exam, the prelims exam comprises two papers – General Studies paper I and General Studies paper 2. Both the papers will contain only objective type questions. Prelims exam is conducted to select candidates for mains. The exam pattern of UPSC IAS prelims exam has been provided below.

UPSC IAS 2020 Exam Pattern for Prelims

Name of paperNumber of QuestionsTotal marksDuration
General Studies 12002002 hours
General Studies 22002002 hours

All those candidates who will pass in the prelims exam of UPSC IAS will further have to appear for the mains exam, the exam pattern of which has been mentioned in the table below.

UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2020 – Mains and Interview

PapersName of paperNumber of QuestionsTotal marksDuration
Paper AIndian Language3003003 hours
Paper BEnglish3003003 hours
Paper 1Essay2502503 hours
Paper 2General Studies 12502503 hours
Paper 3General Studies 22502503 hours
Paper 4General Studies 32502503 hours
Paper 5General Studies 42502503 hours
Paper 6Optional subject2502503 hours
Paper 72502503 hours
Personality Test2752753 hours
Grand Total

How to prepare for UPSC IAS 2020

In order to prepare for UPSC IAS exam, candidate must strategise their preparation techniques so that they can prepare well for the exam. There are a few tips and tricks mentioned below to help the aspirant prepare well for the exam.

  • Know all the topics from where the questions can be asked in the exam.
  • Pick the best books for preparation
  • Make a study schedule and follow it
  • Solve previous year’s question papers
  • Take as many mock tests as possible
Which of the subjects can I choose for UPSC IAS exam?

Medical Science
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
Commerce and Accountancy

Who is topper of IAS exam

Anudeep Durishetty – 2017, He scored 1126 (55.60%) out of 2025 marks. He scored 950 out of 1750 marks in Mains and 176 out of 275 in the PI.

BEST books for IAS exam

Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth (Polity) …
Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
Economic Survey by the Ministry of Finance
Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers
Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong


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