Tue 27-Mar-2018 32
The UPSC Civil Services Exam or the CSE is an exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the recruitment of Class 1 and Class 2 officers in various government departments. The exams are held every year starting with the Prelims in June, the Mains in September-October and then the Interviews in February-March. These are tentative dates and might change according to UPSC’s decisions.
The generalized syllabus for the exams can be classified into 4 categories:
1. General Studies: This includes vast subjects like History, Geography, Polity, Environment, International Relations, Current Affairs, Disaster management, Security, etc.
2. Aptitude and Reasoning: This includes Math and Reasoning problems like Ration and proportion, Time-work calculations, Time-distance calculations, Questions based on spatial awareness, Blood relations, seating arrangements, etc.
3. English Comprehension: This section is meant to test your grasp on the English language. Questions like fill in the blanks, re-order paragraphs, arrange sentence, active-passive voice conversions, spot an error, etc. might be asked in this section.
4. Optional Subjects: There are 25 optional subjects along with 21 literatures that you can choose. The questions will be of graduate level and would require in depth knowledge about the subject selected.
Questions in Hindi/English answer in any language
Let’s explore these subjects as they relate to the structure of the exams.
The prelims consist of 2 papers; both papers will be of MCQ type:
1. General Studies Paper 1:
a. Current events: Events of National and International importance
b. History of India and the Indian National Movement
c. Indian and World Geography: Physical, Social and Economic geography of India and the world
d. Indian Polity and Governance: Constitution, Political System, Public Policy, Panchayati Raj, Rights Issues, etc.
e. Economic and Social Development: Sustainable Development, Poverty, Demographics, Inclusion, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
f. General Environmental Issues: Ecology, Bio-Diversity, Climate Change (Does not require subject specialization).
g. General Science
2. General Studies Paper 2 (Civil Services Aptitude Test):
b. Communication skills including other interpersonal skills
c. Logical reasoning and analysis
d. Decision making and problem solving
e. Numerical ability (Class 10 level Math)
The mains exams will have 9 papers all of them will be essay/descriptive type, which means you have to write the answers in details:
1. Paper 1 – Chosen Indian Language Paper:
a. Comprehension of given passages
b. Precis Writing (Short Note)
c. Usage and Vocabulary
d. Short Essay writing.
e. Translation of language to English and from English to language
2. Paper 2 – English:
a. Comprehension of given passages
b. Precis Writing (Short Note)
c. Usage and Vocabulary
d. Short Essay writing.
3. Paper 3 – Essay:
a. You have to write essays on multiple topics from the given list. Marks will be given according to how the candidate follows the subject, arranges their ideas in order and how concise he can make it. Candidates should not try to fill pages with irrelevant information in order to make it lengthy.
4. Paper 4 – General Studies 1:
i. Indian culture and Art: This covers all salient aspects of Indian Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
ii. Modern Indian history: This spans from about the middle of the 18th century (1700s) till the present. The focus will be on personalities, issues, and significant events.
iii. The Freedom Struggle: The history of the Indian struggle for freedom against the British Empire. It’s various stages, important people and contributions from all over the country.
iv. Post independence India: The reorganization and consolidation of various parts of the country.
v. History of the World: Events form 18th century(1700) such as the Industrial Revolution, World War I and II, Rearranging of National Boundaries, Colonization, Decolonization, political philosophies like capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.
vi. Indian Society: Diversity in culture across India and their salient features.
vii. Social issues: Women’s issues, women’s organization, population and related issues, poverty and development related issues, urbanization. The possible solutions to these issues
viii. Effects of Globalization on India
ix. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism and secularism
i. Important phenomena: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanic events, cyclones, etc.
ii. Geographical features and their location, changes in their locations (Water bodies and ice-caps). Changes in flora (plants) and fauna (animals) and the effects of such changes.
5. Paper 5 – General Studies 2:
a. Indian Constitution: The history, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure of the Indian Constitution
b. Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States. Federal structure and the issues relating to it. Devolution of powers and finances down to local levels and the challenges faced because of it.
c. Separation of powers between various government organizations and dispute resolution mechanisms and institutions.
d. Comparison of the Indian Constitution with those of other countries.
e. Parliament and State legislatures: Structure, Functioning, conduct of business, powers and privileges and issues surrounding these.
f. The Executive and the Judicial branches of the government: Structure, organization and functioning of these branches. Ministries and Departments of the Government. Pressure groups, formal and informal associations and their role in the Polity.
g. Features of the Representation of People’s Act.
h. Appointment to various Constitutional posts. Powers, functions and responsibilities of Constitutional bodies.
i. Statutory, regulatory and carious quasi-judicial bodies.
j. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors. Issues related to design and implementations of these policies.
k. Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various other groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
l. Welfare schemes for the vulnerable sections of the population by Centre and the States and the effects of these schemes. Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
m. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
n. Issues relating to development and management of Social Services relating to Health, Education and Human Resources.
o. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
p. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance-applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency and accountability and institutional and other measures.
q. Role of the civil services in a democracy.
r. India’s international relations with its neighbors.
s. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving or affecting India’s interests.
t. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interest, Indian diaspora (Population).
u. Important International institutions, agencies and their structure.
6. Paper 6 – General Studies 3:
a. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
b. Inclusive growth and issues relating to it.
c. Government Budgeting.
d. Major crops: Cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different irrigation techniques, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues related to it. E-technology to aid farmers.
e. Issues related to direct and in-direct farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public distribution system – functioning, objectives, limitations, revamping. Issues of buffer stocks and food security. Economics of animal rearing. Technological goals.
f. Food processing and related industries – scope and significance. Location, upstream, downstream requirements. Supply chain management.
g. Land reforms in India
h. Effects of liberalization of the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
i. Infrastructure: Energy, Transport (Land, Sea and Air) – railways, roads, ports, etc.
j. Investment models
k. Science and Technology – developments and their applications in day to day life, achievements of Indians in science and tech. indigenization of technology and development of new technology.
l. Awareness in the fields of IT (Information Tech.), Space, Computers, robotics, nano-tech., bio-tech. and issues relating to IP (Intellectual Property) rights.
m. Conservation of the environment, pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
n. Disasters (Manmade and Natural) and Disaster Management.
o. Links between development and the spread of extremism.
p. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
q. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social media in internal security, basics of cyber security, money laundering and its prevention.
r. Border Security and its challenges. Links of organized crime and terrorism.
s. India’s various security forces and agencies and their mandate.
7. Paper 6 – General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude:
This paper is designed to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to moral integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced during his dealings with the society. Questions may use the case study approach to this extent.
a. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequence of Ethics in human actions.
b. Dimensions of ethics: ethics in private and public relationships
c. Human Values: lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators.
d. Role of family, society and educational institutes in inculcating values.
e. Attitude: Content, structure and function. Its effects and relation with thought and behavior. Moral and political attitude. Social influence and persuasion.
f. Emotional intelligence: Concepts and their utility and application in administration and governance.
g. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the World.
h. 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 corporate governance.
i. Probity in Governance: Concept of public service. Philosophical basis of governance and probity. Transparency and information sharing in government, right to information, codes of ethics, codes of conduct, citizens’ charters, work culture, quality of service, utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption
Paper 8 & 9 will be from Optional Subjects
Candidates may choose from among a list of subjects (25 Subjects and 22 Literatures). Both Papers will be from the same subject. Individual syllabus for each subject can be found in detail in the official notification.