UPSC Mains Exam 2023 - syllabus, dates, exam pattern

UPSC Mains Exam 2023 - syllabus, dates, exam pattern

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UPSC Civil Services 2023- Overview

Exam Name UPSC Civil Service Exam 2023
Recruiting Organization Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam Level Pan India / National Level
Age Limit 21 years to 32 years (excluding age relaxation)
Application Fill up Mode Online
No. of Exam Stages 3 stages; Prelims, Mains and Personality Test
Educational Qualification Graduates or Relevant Degrees
Exam Frequency Once a year
Exam Frequency Once a year
Exam Frequency Once a year
Exam Mode Offline / Pen & Paper
Prelims Exam Date 28th May 2023 (Sunday), 1 day
Prelims Exam Date 28th May 2023 (Sunday), 1 day
Mains Exam Date 15th September 2023 (Friday), 5 days
Interview Date To be notified
Admit Card Release Date To be notified
Vacancy To be notified
Vacancy To be notified
Posts Group A and Group B Officers

UPSC CSE 2023 Important Dates

The UPSC calendar for session 2023 is released now. The exam dates have been released we have enlisted the important dates for the candidates, take a look at it -
UPSC 2023 Important Events Schedule
UPSC CSE 2023 Notification Release Date February 1, 2023
UPSC CSE 2023 Prelims Exam Registration February 1, 2023
UPSC Application Last Date 2023 February 21, 2023
UPSC CSE 2023 Prelims Admit Card Release Date April/May 2023
UPSC CSE 2023 Prelims Exam Date 28th May 2023
UPSC CSE 2023 Mains Admit Card Release Date August 2023
UPSC CSE 2023 Mains Exam Date 15th September 2023
UPSC CSE 2023 Interview/ IAS interview Date Yet to be notified

UPSC IAS Mains Exam Pattern 2023

The Mains exam comprises nine papers and candidates have to score minimum qualifying marks in each subject. Language papers are of qualifying marks and the rest of the papers will be scored.
Qualifying Papers Marks
One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution
Papers Counted for Merit
General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Genera Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)
Optional Subject - Paper 1
Optional Subject - Paper 1
Optional Subject - Paper 2
(Written Test)
Personality Test
Grand Total

Important Points:

1. There are two qualifying papers in the mains exam, Namely"Paper A" and "Paper B" of 300 marks each.
2. Two Qualifying Papers are "Any Indian Language from Eight Schedule and English Language Paper".
3. Candidates need to score 25% in both qualifying papers i.e, 75 marks each.
4. All other seven papers are scoring in nature their marks will be included in the final merit list.
5. Candidates can answer all the scoring subjects in English or any of the eight schedule languages.
6. Candidates have to select any one subject from the table as their Optional subject for Paper VI and Paper VII.

UPSC Optional Subjects List for Mains Exam

Agriculture Civil Engineering Statistics
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science Commerce & Accountancy Sociology
Anthropology Economics Physics
Botany Electrical Engineering Philosophy
Chemistry Geography Medical Science
Zoology Geology History
Law Political Science & International Relations Public Administration
Mechanical Engineering Mathematics Management
Literature 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, Urdu and English.

UPSC IAS Syllabus for Main Exam- Subject-wise

Structure of the Language Papers : The structure of language papers i.e., "Paper A" and "Paper B" has been discussed in the below table. The candidates have to select any one language from the Eighth Schedule of theIndian Constitution which are given in the table below. The second language paper is fixed i.e, English. Candidates have to use the corresponding script for the language as mentioned in the table below.
Language Script Language Script
Assamese Assamese Gujarati Gujarati
Kannada Kannada Bodo Devanagari
Malayalam Malayalam Marathi Devanagari
Odia Odia Sanskrit Devanagari
Sindhi Devanagari or Arabic Urdu Persian
Santhali Devanagari or Olchiki Bengali Bengali
Hindi Devanagari Kashmiri Persian
Konkani Devanagari Manipuri Bengali
Nepali Devanagari Punjabi Gurumukhi
Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu
Maithilli Devanagari Dogri Devanagari
Note: For the Santhali language, the question paper will be printed in the Devanagari script, but the candidates are free to answer either in the Devanagari script or in Olchiki

UPSC IAS Syllabus Questions asked in both language papers are:

1. Essay - 100 marks
2. Reading comprehension - 60 marks
3. Precis Writing - 60 marks
4. Translation:
(a) English to compulsory language (e.g. Hindi) - 20 marks
(b) Compulsory language to English - 20 marks
5. Grammar and basic language usage - 40 marks

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society:

1. Indian culture covers the salient features of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
2. Modern Indian history include the significant events, personalities, issues during the middle of the eighteenth century until the present
3. Various stages and important contributors and contributions from different parts of the country in 'The Freedom Struggle'
4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
5. History of the world includes events, forms and effects on the society from the 18th century like world wars, the industrial revolution, colonization, redraw of national boundaries, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.
6. Salient aspects of Diversity of India and Indian Society
7. Role of women and women's organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and remedies
8. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
9. 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
10. Effects of globalization on Indian society
11. 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
12. Salient features of world's physical geography.

UPSC Mains General Studies II Syllabus

The Mains General Studies II papers have questions related to the Polity, Governance, Constitution, Social Justice and Interrelations. Candidates can check the syllabus below. Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations:
1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
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
3. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
4. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
5. Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
6. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
7. 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
8. Salient features of the Representation of People's Act
9. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
10. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
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
12. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
13. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
14. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
15. Issues relating to poverty and hunger
16. Role of civil services in a democracy
17. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests
18. India and its neighborhood- relations
19. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
20. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora

UPSC Mains General Studies III Syllabus

UPSC Mains General Studies III is all about the Science, Technology, Economics, Defense, Disaster Management and Nature. This paper can ask questions from every aspects of life, new development in any sphere of life.

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management:
1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
2. Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
3. Government Budgeting.
4. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
5. 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
6. Economics of animal-rearing.
7. Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
8. 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
9. Land reforms in India.
10. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
11. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
12. Investment models.
13. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science and technology;
14. In digenisation of technology and developing new technology.
15. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
16. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
17. Disaster and disaster management.
18. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
19. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
20. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
21. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
22. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

UPSC Mains General Studies IV Syllabus

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude: This paper includes questions to check the candidate's attitude and approach towards the issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and their problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by them while dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects and cover area.
1. Ethics and Human Interface- Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships
2. Human Values- lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values
3. Attitude- content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion
4. 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
5. Emotional intelligence concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance
6. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world
7. 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
8. 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
9. Case Studies on the above issues.

UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects

Candidates can check the UPSC syllabus for Optional Subjects as discussed in the official PDF, the links of which is given below.
Optional Subject UPSC Syllabus
Public Administration UPSC Public Administration Syllabus
Anthropology UPSC Anthropology Syllabus
Political Science & International Relations UPSC Political Science & International Relations Syllabus
Sociology UPSC Sociology Syllabus
History UPSC History Syllabus
Geography UPSC Geography Syllabus