Remember what I wrote about the Himalayan valley reminding me about the syllabus of UPSC, it was actually the Mains syllabus that came to my mind then.

The vastness of the IPS/IAS syllabus for the Mains is quite capable of stirring up anxiety-ridden shivers in even the most seasoned aspirants.

This is due to the fact that only those applicants who pass Phase 1, or the Prelims, are eligible to take the Phase 2 or Mains exam. In other words, only those applicants who pass the UPSC Prelims exam with a score higher than the UPSC cut-offs are eligible to take the Mains exam.

Fundamentally, the UPSC 2022 Mains exam is designed to evaluate your grasp of the many subjects covered by the UPSC Mains syllabus, and it is designed to do so in a timed manner.

It’s worth noting that, with the exception of the two language papers in the UPSC Mains curriculum, all of the papers can be written in any of the languages listed in Schedule 8 of the Indian Constitution.

Okay, now that we’ve covered the two language papers, it’s time to look at the UPSC Mains exams’ seven main papers. To help you understand, I’ve created a table that lists all of the subjects in each of the seven papers that make up the Mains curriculum, as well as their weightage:

UPSC Mains Syllabus for General Studies 1 (GS 1)

The IPS/IAS syllabus for GS 1 includes the Culture, History, Heritage & Geography of India and the World. I have listed below the points in detail:

  • Culture of India: Major aspects of the various Indian art forms, Architecture & literature of India, from ancient to modern India.
  • Modern Indian History
    • Personalities from the mid 18th century to the present, issues, Important events, etc.
    • Stages of the freedom struggle and the people who played a part in it.
  • World History
    • World events from the 18th century onwards and their effects on society & the world at large. (Industrial Revolution, World Wars, delineation of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, effects of political philosophies like communism, capitalism, etc.)

UPSC Syllabus for Mains paper: General studies 2 (GS 2)

The IPS/IAS syllabus for GS 2 includes the subjects of Polity, Constitution, Governance, International Relations, and Social Justice. I have listed below the points in detail:

  • The Indian Constitution
  • Organization, structure, and functions of the Judiciary, legislature, & Executive.
  • State and Parliamentary legislatures:
  • Departments & Ministries of the government; pressure groups and their informal/formal roles and associations in the polity.
  • Key features of the Representation of people’s Act
  • How the various constitutional posts are appointed, their functions, & powers. Also, those of the various constitutional bodies.
  • Various quasi-judicial, statutory, and regulatory bodies.
  • The various governmental interventions and policies are aimed at developing various sectors.

UPSC Syllabus for Mains paper: General studies 3 (GS 3)

The UPSC Mains syllabus for GS 3 includes the subjects of Economic Development, Environment, Disaster Management & Security, Technology, and Biodiversity. I have listed below the points in detail:

  • Economy
    • The economy of Indian and planning-related issues.
    • Government budgeting.
    • Inclusive growth and issues/challenges associated with it.
    • Liberalization and its effects on the economy (post-1991).
  • Science & Technology
    • Recent technological developments and their effects.
    • Indians and their achievements in science & technology.
    • Indigenous technological innovation and the development of new tech.
  • Environment
    • Conservation
    • Pollution of the environment and its degradation
    • EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)
  • Disaster Management (Act, laws, etc.)


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