TNPSC Syllabus 2020 and Exam Pattern, Download Group 1 Syllabus PDF

By Saroj Singh|Updated : January 31st, 2020

Understanding the pattern of the exam is of utmost relevance as it helps to formulate a winning strategy to tackle the exam.  Hence, it is crucial to know about the exam pattern of the examination before appearing for it. The Combined Civil Services Examination – I (CCS-I), conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC), is the common entrance for the Group 1 Services in the State. 

TNPSC Exam Pattern 2020

The understanding regarding the pattern enables you to prepare for different stages of the examination and appear accordingly. Before dwelling into the Exam Pattern in detail, let us know what opportunity this examination gives to the candidate?

The Combined Civil Services Examination (CCE) is a state-wide competitive examination in Tamil Nadu conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) for recruitment to various Group I services under the Tamil Nadu State Government. This examination gives diverse scope for career advancement and the prominent posts released hereby are as such:
 Deputy Collector, Tamil Nadu Civil Services
 Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)-Tamil Nadu Police Service.
 Assistant Director, Rural Development
 Assistant Commissioner – Tamil Nadu Commercial Taxes Service
 District Registrar – Tamil Nadu Registration Service
 Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Department
 District Employment Officer- Tamil Nadu General Service
 District Officer (Fire and Rescue Service)- Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service
So, if anyone who aspires to serve under the top management of State Government in concern can apply for the recruitment on or before 19 th February 2020.

The TNPSC exam is direct recruitment to the vacancies in the posts included in Combined Civil Services - I. The exam is conducted in three stages: Preliminary, Main followed by an oral test.

 Preliminary Examination (Single Paper, Objective Type)



Maximum Marks

Minimum Qualifying Marks for selection

SCs, SC(A)s, STs, MBCs/ DCs, BC(OBCM)s and BCMs


General Studies (Code No.003) General Studies (Degree Standard) 175 Questions Aptitude & Mental Ability Test (SSLC Standard) 25 Questions Total – 200 Questions


3 hours







Main Written Examination and Oral Test



Maximum Marks

Minimum Qualifying Marks for selection




SCs, SC(A)s, STs, MBCs/ DCs, BC(OBCM)s and BCMs


General Studies - Descriptive type (Degree Standard)




Interview & Records

3 Hours

3 Hours

3 Hours











Note: The questions on General Studies will be set in both English and Tamil languages.

Syllabus of the TNPSC Examination

The Syllabus is a kind of instructive tool that helps prepare and instruct the course strategy. It conveys to the students a clear idea of course content and the knowledge they gain throughout. It also helps to decide what to prepare, how to prepare and most fundamentally, what not to study!  

In short, the objectives and goals are decided for completion of the course is determined by the syllabus given for the exam. The syllabus is as follows:


Preliminary Examination, General Studies (Degree Standard)

Mode of Examination is OBJECTIVE!

S. No.





Areas to cover


Indian Economy

Nature of the Indian economy

  •  Five-year plan models - an assessment
  • Planning Commission and Niti Ayog



Sources of revenue

  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy
  • Finance Commission
  • Resource sharing between Union and State Governments
  • Goods and Services Tax



Structure of Indian Economy and Employment Generation

  • Industrial growth
  • Rural welfare- oriented programmes
  • Application of Science and Technology in agriculture
  • Land reforms and Agriculture
  • Social problems – Population, education, health, employment, poverty


History of India

Ancient India

  • Indus valley civilization
  • Guptas



Medieval India

  • Delhi Sultans
  • Mughals and Marathas



South Indian History

  • Age of Vijayanagaram and Bahmani Kingdoms - South Indian history



Culture of Indian Sub-continent

  • Change and Continuity in the Socio-Cultural History of India.
  • Characteristics of Indian culture, Unity in diversity – Race, language, custom.
  • India as a Secular State, Social Harmony


Indian National Movement

National renaissance

  • Early uprising against British rule
  • Indian National Congress
  • Emergence of leaders – B.R.Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh, Bharathiar, V.O.Chidambaranar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Kamarajar, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Thanthai Periyar, Rajaji, Subash Chandra Bose and others.



Different modes of Agitation

  • Growth of Satyagraha and Militant movements



Communalism and partition



History, Culture, Heritage and Socio-Political Movements in Tamil Nadu

History of Tamil Society

  • Related Archaeological discoveries
  • Tamil Literature from Sangam age till contemporary times




  • Significance as a Secular literature
  • Relevance to Everyday Life
  • Impact of Thirukkural on Humanity
  • Thirukkural and Universal Values - Equality, Humanism, etc
  • Relevance to Socio - Politico-Economic affairs
  • Philosophical content in Thirukkural



Role of Tamil Nadu in the freedom struggle

  • Early agitations against British Rule
  • Role of women in the freedom struggle



Evolution of 19th and 20th Century Socio-Political movements in Tamil Nadu

  • Justice Party, Growth of Rationalism
  • Self-Respect Movement
  • Dravidian movement and Principles underlying both these movements
  • Contributions of Thanthai Periyar and Perarignar Anna


Indian Polity

Constitution of India

  • The preamble to the Constitution
  • Salient features of the Constitution
  • Union, State and Union Territory
  • Citizenship, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles of State Policy
  • Union Executive, Union legislature – State Executive, State Legislature – Local governments, Panchayat Raj
  • Spirit of Federalism: Centre-State Relationships
  • Election - Judiciary in India – Rule of law
  • Corruption in public life – Anti-corruption measures – Lokpal and Lokayukta - Right to Information - Empowerment of women - Consumer protection forums, Human rights charter



Administration Development in Tamil Nadu

  • Human Development Indicators in Tamil Nadu and a comparative assessment across the Country – Impact of Social Reform movements in the Socio-Economic Development of Tamil Nadu.
  • Political parties and Welfare schemes for various sections of people – Rationale behind Reservation Policy and access to Social Resources - Economic trends in Tamil Nadu – Role and impact of social welfare schemes in the Socio-economic development of Tamil Nadu.
  • Social Justice and Social Harmony as the Cornerstones of Socio-Economic development.
  • Education and Health systems in Tamil Nadu.
  • Geography of Tamil Nadu and its impact on Economic growth.
  • Achievements of Tamil Nadu in various fields.
  • e-governance in Tamil Nadu


Geography of India

Indian Geography

  • Location – Physical features - Monsoon, rainfall, weather and climate - Water resources - Rivers in India - Soil, minerals and natural resources - Forest and wildlife - Agricultural pattern.
  • Transport - Communication.
  • Social geography – Population density and distribution - Racial, linguistic groups and major tribes.
  • Natural calamity – Disaster Management – Environmental pollution: Reasons and preventive measures – Climate change – Green energy.


General Science


  • Elements and Compounds, Acids, Bases, Salts, Petroleum Products, Fertilizers, Pesticides.



Living Organisms

  • Main concepts of Life Science, Classification of Living Organisms, Evolution, Genetics, Physiology, Nutrition, Health and Hygiene, Human diseases.



Environment around us

  • Environment and Ecology



Scientific Applications

  • Nature of Universe
  • General Scientific Laws
  • Mechanics - Properties of Matter, Force, Motion and Energy
  • The everyday application of the basic principles of Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Light, Sound, Heat, Nuclear Physics, Laser, Electronics and Communications.



Science as a tool in day to day life

  • Scientific Knowledge and Scientific temper
  • Power of Reasoning
  • Rote Learning Vs Conceptual Learning
  • Science as a tool to understand the past, present and future.


Aptitude and Mental Ability


  • Simplification – Percentage - Highest Common Factor (HCF) - Lowest Common Multiple (LCM).
  • Ratio and Proportion.
  • Simple interest - Compound interest - Area - Volume - Time and Work.
  • Logical Reasoning - Puzzles-Dice - Visual Reasoning - Alpha numeric Reasoning – Number Series.



Group I Services Examination (Subjective Type)


UNIT- I: Modern history of India and Indian culture

UNIT- II: Social issues in India and Tamil Nadu

UNIT- III: General Aptitude & Mental Ability


UNIT- I: Indian Polity and emerging political trends across the world affecting India

UNIT- II: Role and impact of Science and Technology in the development of India

UNIT- III: Tamil Society ‐ Its Culture and Heritage


UNIT- I: Geography of India with special reference to Tamil Nadu

UNIT- II: Environment, Bio-Diversity and Disaster Management

UNIT- III: Indian Economy - Current economic trends and impact of the global economy on India



Syllabus in Detail


Paper I (General Studies)


UNIT- I: Modern History of India and Indian Freedom Struggle

Topics to be covered

  • European Advent and the invasion
  • Expansion and consolidation of British rule
  • The early uprising against British rule ‐ 1857 Revolt
  • Indian National Congress
  • Growth of militant movements
  • Different modes of agitations
  • The emergence of national leaders ‐ Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore, Netaji, Moulana Abulkalam Azad, Ambedkar and Patel ‐ Era of different Acts & Pacts
  • Second World War & final phase struggle ‐ Communalism led to the partition
  • Effect of British rule on socio‐economic factors ‐ National renaissance - Socio religious reform movements
  • India since independence
  • Characteristics of Indian culture ‐ Unity in diversity ‐ Race, Language, Religion Custom, India: a secular state ‐ Organizations for fine arts, dance, drama and music.
  • Role of Tamil Nadu in freedom struggle ‐ Bharathiar, VOC, Subramania Siva, Rajaji, Periyar and others - Political parties and Welfare schemes
  • Latest diary of events: National and International ‐ National symbols- Eminent personalities & places in the news ‐ Sports & Games ‐ Books & Authors ‐ Awards & Honours ‐ Cultural panorama ‐ Latest historical events - Latest terminology ‐ Appointments ‐ who is who?


Unit II: Social Issues in India and Tamil Nadu

Topics to be covered

  • Population Explosion ‐ Unemployment issues in India & Tamil Nadu ‐ Child Abuse & Child Labour - Poverty - Rural and Urban Sanitation – Illiteracy
  • Women Empowerment ‐ Role of the Government in Women Empowerment - Social injustice to Women ‐ Domestic violence, Dowry menace, Sexual assault - Role of women and women’s organisations' Social changes in India
  • Urbanization and its impact on the society – Problems and remedies ‐ Impact of violence on Society – Religious violence, Terrorism and Communal violence ‐ Regional Disparities ‐ Problems of Minorities ‐ Human Rights issues.
  • Education – Linkage between Education and Social Development
  • Community Development Programmes ‐ Employment Guarantee Schemes ‐ Self Employment and Entrepreneurship Development
  • Role of N.G.Os in Social Welfare – Government Policy on Health.
  • Welfare Schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Central and State governments and their performance


UNIT-III: General Aptitude and Mental Ability

Topics to be covered

  • Conversion of information to data
  • Collection, compilation and presentation of data ‐ Tables, Graphs, Diagrams
  • Parametric representation of data
  • Analytical interpretation of data
  • Percentage
  • Highest Common Factor (HCF)
  • Lowest Common Multiple (LCM)
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Simple interest
  • Compound interest
  • Area ‐ Volume‐ Time and Work
  • Probability
  • Information technology ‐ Basic terms
  • Communications ‐ Application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Decision making and problem-solving ‐ Basics in Computers / Computer terminology


Paper-II (General Studies)


UNIT – I: Indian Polity and Emerging Political Trends across the World affecting India


Topics to be covered

  • Constitution of India: Historical background - Making of the Indian Constitution - Preamble - Salient features of the Indian Constitution - Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties - Directive Principles of State Policy - Schedules to the Indian Constitution.
  • Union Executive: President, Vice - President, Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Attorney General of India. Union Legislature: Parliament: Lok - Sabha and Rajya - Sabha - Composition, Powers, Functions and Legislative procedures.
  • Union Judiciary: Structure, Powers and Functions of the Supreme Court - Judicial Review - Latest Verdicts.
  • State Executive: Governor, Chief Minister - Speaker and Council of Ministers, Advocate General of the State
  • State Legislature: State Legislative Assembly - Organization, Powers and Functions.
  • State Judiciary: Organisation, Powers and Functions of High Courts, District Courts and Subordinate Courts. Local Government
  • Historical Development - Features and working of 73 rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992.
  • Union Territories: Evolution of States and Union Territories - Administration of Union Territories.
  • Federalism in India: Centre-State Relations - Centre-State Administrative Relations - Centre-State Legislative Relations and Centre-State Financial Relations.
  • Civil Services in India: Historical background - Classification of Civil Services – Recruitment & Training of Civil Servants
  • State Services: Classification of State Services and Recruitment
  • Official Language: Constitutional provision - Official Language Act, VIII Schedule to the Constitution.
  • Amendments: Major Amendments to the Indian Constitution.
  • Special Status to Jammu & Kashmir: Art 370.
  • Political Parties: National & Regional parties, Pressure Groups, Interest Groups, Public Opinion, Mass Media, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and their role.
  • Issue Areas in Indian Administration: Corruption in India - Anti - Corruption Measures - CVC - Lok Adalats - Ombudsman - RTI Act - Minister - Secretary Relationship - Generalist Vs. Specialist controversy
  • Constitutional and Non-Constitutional Bodies - Composition, Powers and Functions.
  • Profile of States - Defence, National Security and Terrorism
  • World Organisations - Pacts and Summits.
  • India's Foreign Policy: Foreign Affairs with Special emphasis on India's relations with neighbouring countries and in the region
  • Security and defence related issues - Nuclear Policy - Issues and conflicts
  • The Indian Diaspora and its contribution to India and to the World


UNIT – II: Role and Impact of Science and Technology in the Development of India

Topics to be covered

  • Science and Technology – Role, Achievements and Developments - Their applications and effects in everyday life
  • Energy ‐ Conventional and Non-conventional - Self-sufficiency
  • Oil exploration ‐ Defence Research Organizations and other science and technology institutions - Ocean Research and Development, Role and Functions
  • Advancements in the fields of I.T., Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology ‐ Mobile Communication - Remote sensing and its benefits.
  • Health and hygiene ‐ Human diseases - Prevention and remedies ‐ Communicable diseases and non‐communicable diseases
  • Genetic Engineering - Organ transplantation - Stem cell Technology- Medical Tourism
  • Advancements in Horticulture & Agriculture.
  • Achievements of Indians in the fields of Science and Technology.
  • Latest inventions in science & technology.


UNIT – III: Tamil Society -its Culture and Heritage

Topics to be covered

  • Tamil Society: Origin and expansion.
  • Art and Culture: Literature, Music, Film, Drama, Architecture, Sculpture, Paintings and Folk Arts.
  • Socio-economic history of Tamil Nadu from Sangam age to till date.
  • Growth of Rationalist, Dravidian movements in Tamil Nadu - Their role in the socio-economic development of Tamil Nadu.
  • The social and cultural life of contemporary Tamils: Caste, Religion, Women, Politics, Education, Economy, Trade and relationship with other countries.
  • Tamil and other Disciplines: Mass Media, Computer etc.


PAPER – III ‐ General studies


UNIT-I: Geography of India with Special Reference to Tamil Nadu

Topics to be covered

  • Location - Physical features - Major Rivers - Weather & Climate - Monsoon, Rainfall
  • Natural resources: Soil, Water, Forest, Minerals and Wildlife - Agricultural pattern – Livestock – Fisheries
  • Industries; Major industries - Growth and Development
  • Social- Cultural geography
  • Population: Growth, Density and Distribution - Racial, a linguistic and major tribe
  • Oceanography - Bottom relief features of Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.
  • Basics of Geospatial Technology: Geographical Information System (GIS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
  • Map: Geographical landmarks- India and its neighbours


UNIT II: Environment, Biodiversity and Disaster Management

Topics to be covered

  • Climate Change: Global Environmental Issues and Management
  • Changes in monsoon pattern in Tamil Nadu and India
  • Environmental consequences of climate change and mitigation measures
  • Clean and Green Energy – Environmental Sustainability
  • Environmental Laws, Policies & Treaties in India and Global scenario
  • Natural calamities and Disaster Management
  • Environmental Health and Sanitation


UNIT III: Indian Economy-Current Economic Trends  and Impact of Global Economy on India

Topics to be covered

  • Features of Indian Economy
  • Demographical profile of India
  • National Income – Capital formation - NEP (New Economic Policy)
  • NITI AYOG – National Development Council
  • Agriculture – Role of Agriculture – Land reforms – New Agricultural Strategy – Green Revolution – Price Policy, Public Distribution System (PDS), Subsidy, Food Security– Agricultural Marketing, Crop Insurance
  • Labour – Rural credit & indebtedness – WTO & Agriculture
  • Industry - Growth ‐ Policy – Role of the public sector and disinvestment – Privatisation and Liberalization – Public-Private Partnership (PPP) – SEZs. – MSMEs. – Make in India
  • Infrastructure in India – Transport System - Energy – Power – Communication - Social Infrastructure - Science & Technology - R&D
  • Banking & Finance – Banking, Money & Finance – Central Bank – Commercial Bank – NBFIs. - Stock Market – Financial Reforms – Financial Stability – Monetary Policy – RBI & Autonomy.
  • Public Finance – Sources of Revenue – Tax & Non-Tax Revenue – Canons of taxation – GST – Public expenditure – Public debt – Finance Commission – Fiscal Policy
  • Issues in Indian Economy – Poverty & inequality – Poverty alleviation programmes – MGNREGA – New Welfare programmes for rural poverty – Unemployment – Inflation – Inflation targeting – Sustainable economic growth – Gender issues
  • India’s Foreign Trade – BOP, EX-IM Policy, FOREX Market, FDI; Globalization & its impact – Global economic crisis & impact on the Indian economy.
  • International Agencies – IMF (International Monetary Fund) World Bank - BRICS - SAARC – ASEAN
  • Tamil Nadu Economy & Issues – Gross State Domestic Product – Trends in State’s economic growth – Demographic profile of Tamil Nadu – Agriculture – Industry & entrepreneurship development in Tamil Nadu – Infrastructure – Power, Transportation systems
  • Social Infrastructure – SHGs & Rural Women empowerment – Rural poverty & unemployment – Environmental issues – Regional economic disparities – Local Government - Recent government welfare programmes


The Syllabus for both the Preliminary Examination and Main Written Examination can be downloaded here.

TNPSC 2020 Syllabus

 The notification of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) 2020 Combined Civil Services -I Examination (Group-I Services) can be seen here.

TNPSC Notification Released



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