UPSC » UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023

UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023: Prepare for UPSC Prelims 2023 with confidence using the comprehensive UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2023. Get a clear roadmap to success in the preliminary examination.

Each year, the Civil Services Exam (also known as the IAS Exam) is held by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to choose candidates for various government positions. The UPSC CSE exam is divided into two sections: the preliminary and the mains.  The Civil Services Preliminary Exam, which serves as the initial step of the examination and is just a screening test, is used to narrow the field of candidates for the Main Examination. When determining the final merit, the preliminary exam scores are not taken into consideration.  See more: UPSC Prelims 2023 The UPSC CSE Mains exam consists of nine subjective papers plus a personality test, whereas the UPSC CSE Preliminary Exam is of an objective type (Interview).
Paper Subjects Marks No. of Question Duration
I General Studies (GS) 200 100 2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
II CSAT 200 80 2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)
Also see: UPSC Syllabus PDF

UPSC Prelims Syllabus Paper-I

General Studies

  • Current events of national and international importance (Government schemes, Acts, Bills and Regulations, Important Judgements, International Organisations and their initiatives, Index, Reports and Summits, Protected areas and Species)
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation.
  • General Science.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus Paper-II


  • Comprehension;
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
  • Decision-making and problem-solving;
  • General mental ability;
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level);
The subtopics under each category are precisely listed below. Candidates must keep a note of the syllabus efficiently, so that they don’t miss out on anything.

Polity and Governance

  • The Constitution: Historical Foundations, Creation, and Key Features 
  • The Union and its Territory, the Preamble, Citizenship 
  • Directive Principles & Fundamental Duties: Fundamental Rights 
  • Constitutional Amendment, Constitutional Foundation, Emergency Provisions, Relations between states and the center-state 
  • President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Central Council of Ministers, and Parliament comprise the central government. 
  • Federal Government (Governor, Chief Minister, Council of Ministers) 
  • State legislature and Parliament (Parliamentary Committees, Parliamentary Forums, and Parliamentary Groups) 
  • Judiciary: High Courts, Subordinate Courts, and Tribunals, including the Supreme Court 
  • Cooperative Societies, Scheduled and Tribal Areas, Local Urban Government, and Panchayati Raj 
  • Organizations that are constitutional and those that are not 
  • Political parties, elections, and anti-defection laws 
  • various provisions of recent Acts, bills and Acts proposing constitutional amendments, etc. 
  • Initiatives in governance and e-government 
  • Important clauses relating to RTI, the Citizen’s Charter, and anti-corruption programmes 
  • Social auditing and the Civil Society 
  • Miscellaneous (Official Language, Rights and Liabilities of the Government, Authoritative Text of the Constitution in Hindi Language, Special Provision relating to Certain States, Cases etc) 
  • Fundamental Obligations & Directive Principles 
  • Constitutional Amendment, Constitutional Foundation, Emergency Provisions, Relations between states and the center-state 
  • President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Central Council of Ministers, and Parliament comprise the central government. 
  • Federal Government (Governor, Chief Minister, Council of Ministers) 
  • State legislature and Parliament (Parliamentary Committees, Parliamentary Forums, and Parliamentary Groups)


Ancient History
  • Prehistoric Times
  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Rig Vedic Period
  • Later Vedic Period
  • Jainism
  • Buddhism
  • Mahajanapadas
  • Mauryan Period
  • Post-Mauryan Period
  • Gupta Period
  • Harshavardhana Period
  • Sangam Period (South-Indian Dynasties)
Mediaeval History
  • Major Dynasties of Early Medieval India (Pratiharas, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas)
  • Cholas and South-Indian Kingdoms
  • Early Muslim Invasions
  • The Delhi Sultanate
  • Afghans, Rajputs & Mughals
  • Establishment of North-Indian Empire
  • The Mughal Empire
  • Marathas and the Other Indian States
  • The decline of the Mughal Empire
  • Vijaynagar Empire
Modern History
  • The late eighteenth century in India 
  • India conquered by the British and placed under their control with the arrival of Europeans (Administrative structure, Developments, reforms in various fields, etc.) 
  • 1858 Uprising and Its Repercussions (Administrative Changes) 
  • Political organisations before 1885 and the socio-religious movement during the Moderate Phase of the 19th century’s freedom struggle 
  • Home Rule Movements and Other Extremist Freedom Movements from 1905 to 1917 
  • Neighboring countries and Indian policies 
  • In the later half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, there was a socio-religious movement. 
  • Indian freedom struggle during the Gandhian Era 
  • Rise of revolutionary groups in India and abroad 
  • Peasants, Tribal Movements, the Advancement of Women’s Movement in Colonial India, and After Independence 
  • before and after independence, committees in the fields of education, police, etc.

Post Independence

  • India’s post-independence consolidation (Territorial consolidation, State reorganisation and Tribal policies, etc) 
  • Foreign policy changes and trends during the Nehruvian era 
  • Indira Gandhi’s rule in India (JP movement, emergencies etc) and political developments 
  • India’s Rajiv Gandhi era (Srilankan war, Political developments, etc) 
  • India since Rajiv Gandhi and now (Foreign Policies, political developments etc.)

Art & Culture

  • Indian pottery, sculpture, and architecture 
  • Indian artwork 
  • Indian handmade goods 
  • India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites 
  • The Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO 
  • India’s lingua franca 
  • Indian literary works 
  • India’s schools of philosophy and martial arts 
  • Indian cultural institutions 
  • Languages 
  • Science and technology have evolved over time. 
  • Fairs and Festivals Calendar 
  • Coins\sEconomy 


  • Human Development and National Income Accounting in India 
  • Indian Central Bank’s functions, contributions, etc. 
  • money and banking, including changes to the banking industry after independence 
  • Money markets, capital markets, and related themes 
  • Unemployment and Inflation 
  • India’s Public Finance 
  • Definition, current and capital accounts, convertibility, including FDI and FII, etc. for the balance of payments. 
  • IMF, WTO, WIPO, and other international organisations and India (NDB, AIIB, etc.) 
  • Agriculture (Recent trends, Farm distress and government initiatives, Animal husbandry etc)
  • Rolling plans and five-year plans 
  • Reforms to the economy since 1991 
  • Labor reforms, the Companies Act, and industry and industrial policy are a few examples. 
  • sector of services and policy. 
  • Communication, infrastructure, and investment models 
  • Intellectual property rights and Indian intellectual property disputes 


  • Evolution of Earth 
  • Geomorphology 
  • Interior Geology and Rock System of the Earth 
  • Process of Geomorphology 
  • tremors and volcanism 
  • Ocean and Continent Distribution 
  • How landforms have changed over time 
  • The world’s landforms 
  • Oceanography 
  • Hydrosphere 
  • Relief Features of Submarines 
  • Thermodynamics and Salinity 
  • Oceans, waves, currents, and tides 
  • Sea Resources 
  • Corals, deposits, and the ocean 
  • Climatology 
  • Atmosphere 
  • Change in Temperature 
  • Air mass, fronts, cyclones, and jet streams in the insolation and heat budget 
  • Belts of Wind and Pressure 
  • Precipitation 
  • Global Climate Zones

Bio Geography

  • Features of the Soil 
  • Resources for vegetation 
  • Economic and human geography 
  • Census data and demography 
  • Economic Activities Related To Human Development 
  • Communication and Transportation 
  • An agreement on trade internationally 
  • Geographical India 
  • The physiology of India 
  • India’s drainage system, climate, and soils 
  • Natural Plant Life 
  • Settlement patterns and urbanisation 
  • Agriculture, Basic Terminology, and Resources of Land, Minerals, and Energy 
  • Agriculture’s most recent innovation: Crop Productivity woww
  • Industry\sTransport 
  • recent advancements in world regional geography, industry, and transportation 
  • Cities, Continents, and Countries 
  • Geographical location Ecology & Environment 
  • basics of ecology, ecosystems, and the environment
  • Pollution in its various forms, its effects, mitigation, etc. 
  • protected areas, such as national parks and wildlife refuges. 
  • conservation and biodiversity 
  • Indian environmental laws, national institutions, and environmental groups 
  • Environmental organisations, international environmental agreements, and their initiatives 
  • India’s organisations and mitigation tactics for climate change
  • Environmental Impact Evaluation 
  • India’s use of renewable energy and its growth 
  • issues with the environment, such as sand mining, difficulties with the Himalayan ecosystem, GM crops, etc. 
  • Depletion and acidification of the oceans 
  • India’s National Environment Missions (8 missions, Bamboo mission, Clean Ganga etc.,)

General Science

  • India’s science and technology 
  • Space 
  • Materials for IT and communication, nanotechnology, and robotics, and defence 
  • Nuclear Science 
  • Intellectual property rights as well as other unrelated concerns 
  • Biotechnology

Exam Pattern for UPSC Prelims

No. of Papers 2 compulsory papers
Type of Questions Objective (MCQ) type
Total Maximum Marks 400 (200 each paper)
Duration of Exam 2 hrs. each (20 minutes per hour extra time for blind candidates & candidate with Locomotor Disability & Cerebral Palsy [minimum 40% impairment])
Negative Marking 1/3rd of the marks assigned to a question
Medium of Exam Bilingual (Hindi & English)

Things to Remember 

  1. The papers on English and Indian languages (Paper A and Paper B) will be qualified in character, and the marks earned in these papers will not be used to determine rank.
  2. The English and Indian language (Paper A and Paper B) exams will be of matriculation level or above difficulty.
  3. Only those candidates will have their essays, general studies exams, and optional subjects were taken into consideration if they meet the minimum qualifying criteria of 25% in “Indian Language” and 25% in “English” on these qualifying exams.
  4. Only the candidates’ marks from Papers I through VI will be used to determine their merit ranking.
  5. Conventional (essay) type question papers will be used for the primary test, and each paper will consist of a minimum of 3 hours.
  6. Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or English.
  7. The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.
  8. Compensatory time of twenty minutes per hour shall be permitted for Blind candidates and candidates with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy where the dominant (writing) extremity is affected to the extent of slowing the performance of function (minimum of 40% impairment) in both the Civil Services (Preliminary) as well as in the Civil Services (Main) Examination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

How many exams will be conducted in the UPSC Prelims?

Answer: The IAS preliminary examination consists of two papers: GS Paper 1 and GS Paper 2. (CSAT). These papers have...Read full

What is the mode of the IAS preliminary exam?

Answer: The UPSC prelims test is given in offline mode, or the traditional pen and paper format.

What is the UPSC Prelims Syllabus?

Answer: The UPSC Prelims Syllabus consists of two papers: General Studies (GS) Paper-I and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) Paper-II. The GS Pap...Read full

How should I prepare for the UPSC Prelims Syllabus?

Answer: To prepare for the UPSC Prelims Syllabus, start by thoroughly understanding the syllabus and exam pattern. Study relevant textbooks, refere...Read full