About IAS Exam pattern upsc_logo 
Preliminary Examinations consist of two papers and both of them are compulsory and each comprises of 200 marks.
These two papers are termed as General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II.
Both the question papers will be of multiple choice questions (objective type).This paper will be in two sets English and Hindi. Duration of each paper will be of two hours. In exceptional cases of the blind, disability, and cerebral palsy, you will get 20 minutes extra per hour in each paper.
In Preliminary Examinations of General Studies Paper-II, you have to qualify the exam with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

GS- 1 - (200 marks) Duration : Two hours
1. Current events of national and international importance.
o India Year Book Summary
o THE HINDU, Yojana, CST
o Vajiram Current Booklet

2.History of India and Indian National Movement.

o Old NCERT for Ancient class 11
o NCERT 11,12 (New)
o Class 6-8 (Themes of World History)
o Specturm /India Struggle for Independence

3. Indian and World Geography -Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

o NCERT 6-8 (World Geog.- Lands and People)
o NCERT 9,11,12
o G C Leong

4. Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy,

Rights Issues, etc.
o NCERT 11,12
o Laxmikanth- Indian Polity

5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion,

Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
o NCERT 11,12
o SRIRAM’s IAS notes
o Sanjiv Verma Book
o Economic Survey Summary

6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not 

require subject specialization
o Biology NCERT 12 (Chpt 13-16); Chemistry NCERT 12 Part2 (Chapter 12,13,14)
o Shankar IAS Notes

7. General Science

o NCERT 6-10
o Science Reporter



1. 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
  • 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 subcontinent);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.


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

2. 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
  • 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.


1. 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
2. Magzines- Civil service Times; Yojana; World Focus
3. Reports –Sarkaria, Punchi, 2nd ARC (RTI, E-Governance, Citizen centric adm, Social Capital)
4. 12th Five Year Plan Document
5. IR- NCERT 12 (Political Science: Contemporary World Politics);Daily Newspaper

3. 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 
  • 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 linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  •  Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate


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

4. 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
     behavior ;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 bcon science 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.


1.  Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
2. Case studies from test series
3. 2nd ARC report (relevant chapters)

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

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