All aspirants, who are a graduate or working already in any field. Such as government organizations or other similar organisations or private organisations must register themselves. To appear for the exam. They directly have to register for the UPSC Civil Service Examination on the official website.

UPSC Mains 2023 syllabus is a greatly crucial document that includes incredibly valuable data for Civil Service candidates. Depending on this syllabus, aspirants schedule their technique to understand it and commence their preparation.

The Union Public Service Commission Mains syllabus is the crucial aspect that an aspirant must keenly analyze. Otherwise, the Civil Service examination strategy goes directionless and aspirants end up not achieving their desired goal.

Read on to learn more about UPSC Mains 2023 syllabus.

Also Read: Is UPSC Exam Tough? How Tough is Decoding UPSC?

UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023

The Union Public Service Commission CSE 2023 will include a Written Exam and a Personality/Interview Test. The Written Exam will contain nine papers of formal essay kind in the subjects given in sub-section (B) of Section-2 from which 2 papers will be of qualifying type.

Scores attained for all the Written papers (Paper-1 to Paper-7) and scores attained in the Personality/Interview Test will be tallied for deciding the rank.

Syllabus of UPSC CSE Examination Mains

UPSC CSE examination syllabus for Mains 2023 is given below. The aspirants should go through it thoroughly so that they can form an effective strategy for the preparation.

UPSC Mains Syllabus 2023




Aspirants might need to write essays on many topics. They will be required to maintain close attention to the topic of the essay to organize their understanding in a systematic manner, and to write briefly. Marks will be given based on an exact and effective expression.

PAPER‐II 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.

The history of the world will include events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, world wars, redraw 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 the 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, cyclones etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice caps) and flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

PAPER‐III 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 disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries. Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, the 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 neighbourhood- 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.

PAPER‐IV General Studies‐III

Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, 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 non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

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. Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

PAPER‐V General Studies‐ IV

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem-solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered: 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; the 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 the 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 the above issues.

PAPER‐VI & PAPER VII Optional Subject Papers I & II

Aspirants can opt for any optional subject from the given below list. Optional subjects for Main Exam 2023 are:

(i) Agriculture (ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science (iii) Anthropology (iv) Botany (v) Chemistry (vi) Civil Engineering (vii) Commerce and Accountancy (viii) Economics (ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography (xi) Geology (xii) History (xiii) Law (xiv) Management (xv) Mathematics (xvi) Mechanical Engineering (xvii) Medical Science (xviii) Philosophy (xix) Physics (xx) Political Science and International Relations (xxi) Psychology (xxii) Public Administration (xxiii) Sociology (xxiv) Statistics (xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) 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.

Also Read: A Detailed Guide to Choose the Best Optional Subject for UPSC Exam: Find out WHich Optional is Best!

UPSC Preparation Tips

Candidates who are planning to appear for the Civil Service Examination should start with their UPSC Preparation because they have limited time on their hands that need to be utilised appropriately.

Aspirants can also join UPSC Pathshala, its online coaching for UPSC aspirants. They will be guided and advised by the trained professionals throughout the preparation and will be provided with all the required study materials.

So all you need to do is sit back and focus fully on your studies. So hurry up and join now through the link.

Also Read: UPSC Study Time Table 2022: The Ultimate UPSC Preparation Schedule to Crack the Exam


All the Union Public Service Commission CSE related information has been given in the above article in a detailed form. It will help you with the UPSC preparation. The key to effective preparation for the exam is to understand the syllabus, management of time, dedication and hard work. You can take advice from professionals in UPSC Pathshala. Join now. All the best!

Also Read: When is the UPSC Prelims 2022? UPSC The Most Prominent Exam of India

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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