The general studies Paper 2, which is 250 points, is mostly about governance at its heart. This paper tests the wisdom of the participant in areas related to the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. It also deals with various respected institutions and other development agendas that become essential for a budding civil servant to explore. Since, as they start on the ladder of their careers, most of their lives will be influenced by these governance practices. Let us jump into the UPSC GS Paper 2 syllabus which will give you an idea about the topics.

UPSC Mains Syllabus for GS Paper 2

IAS General Studies Paper 2  is essential for all applicants.  Throughout the years, despite being not a technical paper, this paper can be quite scoring. It can be divided into four parts, according to the subjects included. This table highlights the topics in brief which you need to focus on for your preparation.


  • Indian Constitution
  • Features of Indian Constitution
  • Amendments in the Indian Constitution
  • Provisions
  • Constitutional and non-constitutional bodies
  • Government policies and interventions
  • Governance
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • E-governance applications
Social Justice
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
International Relations
  • Bilateral Groupings
  • Regional and global groupings
  • Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

How to Study for GS Paper 2 Syllabus

By looking at the syllabus, the key components of UPSC general studies paper are politics, governance, social justice, and international relations, so let us know how to plan each of these components properly.

Polity Section

Start reading Class 11th and Class 12th NCERTs if you are a fresher reader, NCERTs or IGNOU / NIOS notes will introduce you to the vocabulary of the subject; then read the book  Indian Polity written by M. Ok, Laxmicanth extensively. It is a must-read book related to polity for the UPSC IAS.

Read Also: How to Study Indian Polity for UPSC IAS Exam


To prepare this subject, refer to governance in India by Mr Laxmikanth. However, read the chapters which are applicable to the syllabus you do not need to read the whole book. Other than that, you can take advantage of free online tools in the form of articles and PDFs available on online platforms.

Social Justice

This portion of the syllabus covers issues such as welfare schemes for vulnerable sections, safety and improvement bodies for vulnerable sections, the social services related to health, education, human capital, poverty, and hunger problems, etc.

International Relations

For this section of the UPSC GS Paper 2 syllabus, refer to the MEA website. Issues from recent events (public affairs) are often asked from this section, so keep an eye on current affairs by following newspapers, monthly journals, and other networking sites.

Preparation Strategy for GS 2

Many aspiring people spend too much time on static elements and make a mistake. It is also important to read the basics first, but after doing so, one must link the dots, for example, combine them with the current topics of the relevant subjects, as this will only help to solve the answers asked by UPSC. After the change of trend in 2013, the UPSC has almost stopped asking direct static questions.

If you go through the previous year’s question papers, most of the questions are dynamic, although they demand a clear understanding of the topics. But if you are well acquainted with current trends on this subject, you should be able to answer your questions quite well.


One must begin with the revision of the past year’s question papers. Similarly, you can also opt for mock tests. It is crucial to make your own notes with standard definitions for topics such as social audit, e-government, SHGs, etc., and including recent initiatives. Don’t make notes of about 250 words because the response limit for 10 marks questions is 150 words only.

Even before you pursue IAS, you have to spend a lot of time reading and writing sessions. This is a vital component of the performance factors of your IAS. Rest is just preparing for each section mentioned in the syllabus thoroughly from the sources mentioned above.

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UPSC GS Paper 2 Syllabus: How to Study for Each Topic?
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UPSC GS Paper 2 Syllabus: How to Study for Each Topic?
What GS 2 is all about? Which books to look out for when studying for the GS 2 paper? Topics mentioned for the syllabus. What things to look out for when preparing for the GS 2 paper?
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UPSC Pathshala
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