IAS Mains Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Recommended Books

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IAS Mains is the second stage of Civil Services Exam. The students who qualify the preliminary examination appear for the Mains exam.

IAS Mains 

To crack one of the toughest exams , you need to start preparing right away. The first step leading towards your preparation is to know and understand the syllabus completely for IAS Mains exam.

IAS Mains Pattern

Civil Services Exam , more popularly known as the IAS exam is conducted in 3 stages.

Stage 1 – Prelims (Objective in nature)

Stage 2 – Mains (Subjective in nature)

Stage 3 – Interview

Mains examination = Written + Interview

Candidates who qualify the preliminary exam (prelims) are allowed to appear for Mains.

Candidates who qualify Mains are called for Personal Interview.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW IAS PRELIMS PATTERN, SYLLABUS AND RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Union Public Service Commission has introduced a new and a more challenging pattern for Mains.

Mains will consist of the following 9 papers –

No.  Paper Subject Marks
1 Paper A Indian Language (Qualifying) 300
2 Paper B English (Qualifying) 300
3 Paper I Essay 250
4 Paper II General Studies – I 250
5 Paper III General Studies – II 250
6 Paper IV General Studies – III 250
7 Paper V General Studies – IV 250
8 Paper VI Optional Subject Paper 1 250
9 Paper VII Optional Subject Paper 2 250
  Total   1750
Interview (Personality Test) 275
Grand Total   2025

Qualifying Papers

Paper : A – (One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution). 300 Marks

Paper : B English 300 Marks

Papers To Be Counted For Merit

Paper Subject Name Marks
Paper-1 Essay 250
Paper-2 General Studies–I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) 250
Paper-3 General Studies –II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) 250
Paper-4 General Studies –III  (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) 250
Paper-5 General Studies –IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 250
Paper-6 Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
Paper-7 Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
Sub Total (Written test) 1750
Personality Test 275
Grand Total

 

UPSC has enlisted a range of optional subjects for Paper 6 & 7.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LIST OF OPTIONAL SUBJECTS ENLISTED BY UPSC

IAS Mains Syllabus (GS)

IAS MAINS PAPER 2

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
  • 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 vents 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.

IAS MAINS PAPER 3

General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and 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.

IAS MAINS PAPER-4

General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, 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 nonstate 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 linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

IAS MAINS PAPER- 5

General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity, and 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.

IAS Mains Recommended Books (GS)

BOOK LIST FOR GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 1

Ø  Old NCERT for Ancient India or New 11,12

Ø  Nitin SInghania notes for Art n Culture

Ø  Medival India- Class 11/12 NCERT

Ø  Modern India- Specturm/ India Struggle for Independence/ Freedom Struggle by Sumit Sarkar

Ø  World History- Norman Lowe

Ø  Post-Independence- NCERT 12 (Politics In India after Independence); 9,10 (India and Contemporary World); India Since Independence and if time then India after Gandhi

Ø  Society- NCERT 12(Indian Society, Social Change & Development of India); Social Problem in India (Ram Ahuja)

Ø   World Geography- NCERT 6-8, 11; GC Leong;  Indian Geography by Majjid Hussain/Satwinder Singh

BOOK LIST FOR GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2

Ø  Polity- Class 11 (Constitution at work);12 (Politics in India after Independence); Indian Polity by Laxmikanth; Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu; Governance in India by Laxmikanth

Ø  Magzines- Civil service Times; Yojana; World Focus

Ø  Reports – Sarkaria, Punchi, 2nd ARC (RTI, E-Governance, Citizen centric adm, Social Capital)

Ø  12th Five Year Plan Document

Ø  IR- NCERT 12 (Political Science: Contemporary World Politics);Daily Newspaper

BOOK LIST FOR GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 3

Ø  Economy- NCERT 11; 12th (India People and Economy); Economic Survey; SRIRAM’s IAS Notes; Sanjiv Verma book

Ø  12th Five year Plan (Selected chapter); 2nd ARC( Strengthening Financial Mgmt Systems)

Ø  Ecology- NCERT 7; 12th Biology (Unit X); India Year book Chapter; Shankar IAS Notes

Ø  S&T- NCERT 6-10; 12th Biology; Thursday THE HINDU section; Science reporter

Ø  Disaster Management- CBSE class 8-10; IGNOU MP018- Disaster Management

Ø  Security- NCERT 12 (Contemporary World: chapter Security)

BOOK LIST FOR GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 4

Ø  Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Ø  Case studies from test series

Ø  2nd ARC report (relevant chapters)

Useful Links 

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