UPSC GS Syllabus and books list

Dear readers,
Our facebook group (Papertyari) member Kaushal Kishore Sharma has contributed the UPSC GS Syllabus and books list. Have a look at it.

Paper I – (200 marks) Duration : Two hours

  • Current events of national and international importance.
    • India Year Book Summary
    • THE HINDU, Yojana, CST
    • Vajiram Current Booklet
    • History of India and Indian National Movement.
      • Old NCERT for Ancient class 11
      • NCERT 11,12 (New)
      • Class 6-8 (Themes of World History)
      • Specturm /India Struggle for Independence
    • Indian and World Geography -Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
      • NCERT 6-8 (World Geog.- Lands and People)
      • NCERT 9,11,12
      • G C Leong
    • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
    • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
      • NCERT 11,12
      • SRIRAM’s IAS notes
      • Sanjiv Verma Book
      • Economic Survey Summary
    • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization
      • NCERT 7
      • Biology NCERT 12 (Chpt 13-16); Chemistry NCERT 12 Part2 (Chapter 12,13,14)
      • Shankar IAS Notes
    • General Science
      • NCERT 6-10
      • Science Reporter


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.


  • Old NCERT for Ancient India or New 11,12
  • Nitin SInghania notes for Art n Culture
  • Medival India- Class 11/12 NCERT
  • Modern India- Specturm/ India Struggle for Independence/ Freedom Struggle by Sumit Sarkar
  • World History- Norman Lowe
  • 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
  • Society- NCERT 12(Indian Society, Social Change & Development of India); Social Problem in India (Ram Ahuja)
  •  World Geography- NCERT 6-8, 11; GC Leong;  Indian Geography by Majjid Hussain/Satwinder Singh


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.


  • 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
  • Magzines- Civil service Times; Yojana; World Focus
  • Reports – Sarkaria, Punchi, 2nd ARC (RTI, E-Governance, Citizen centric adm, Social Capital)
  • 12th Five Year Plan Document
  • IR- NCERT 12 (Political Science: Contemporary World Politics);Daily Newspaper


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


  • Economy- NCERT 11; 12th (India People and Economy); Economic Survey; SRIRAM’s IAS Notes; Sanjiv Verma book
  • 12th Five year Plan (Selected chapter); 2nd ARC( Strengthening Financial Mgmt Systems)
  • Ecology- NCERT 7; 12th Biology (Unit X); India Year book Chapter; Shankar IAS Notes
  • S&T- NCERT 6-10; 12th Biology; Thursday THE HINDU section; Science reporter
  • Disaster Management- CBSE class 8-10; IGNOU MP018- Disaster Management
  • Security- NCERT 12 (Contemporary World: chapter Security) 


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.


  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
  • Case studies from test series
  • 2nd ARC report (relevant chapters)

If possible, VISION IAS  Value addition notes are also good for all Papers.


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