The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of
candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.
The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers (Paper I to Paper IV) will be such that
a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such
as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in
Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and
ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The
candidates must give relevant, meaningful and sufficient answers.
The scope of the syllabus for optional subject paper (Paper VIII and paper IX) for the examination is
broadly of the honors degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors ‘degree and lower that the masters’
degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelor’s degree.
Syllabi of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination are given as follows :
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.
• History of the world will include events 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
• 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 India 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 effects of such changes.
PAPER - III
General Studies-II : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International
• Indian constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant
provisions and basic structure.
• Function 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
• 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 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
• Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
• Important International institutions, agencies and for a-their structure, mandate.
PAPER - IV
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
• 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
• 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
• 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, environment 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, role of media and social
networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and
• Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with
• Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
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; 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 nonpartisanship, 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.