UPSC Economics Syllabus – Economics Syllabus for UPSC Prelims and Mains

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

UPSC Economics Syllabus is an unavoidable part of the Mains as well as the Prelims examination. In addition, it is also one of the optional subjects in the UPSC Syllabus. The syllabus can be found in the General Studies 3 paper of the UPSC Mains exam. Economics is included in all stages of the IAS exam, and it makes it one of the popular optional subjects among the aspirants. The questions asked from the economics syllabus for UPSC will be based on recent development, trade, agriculture, transportation, etc.

The UPSC Economics Optional Syllabus covers a wide range of topics that introduces the candidates to the Indian economy, development & growth. Gaining knowledge from these topics would be a great addition to future administrators Furthermore, questions from the UPSC Economics Syllabus are also asked during the interview process.

UPSC Economics Syllabus

As we have mentioned above, the economics syllabus for UPSC is a big part of the selection process. The reason is, questions from this subject will be asked in all stages i.e. prelims, mains, and interview rounds. Additionally, the UPSC economics optional syllabus has two papers namely Paper 1, and Paper 2 and each paper carries 250 marks and a total of 500.

Scoring well in this subject will make a huge difference in the overall Mains merit list. Topics from the UPSC Economics Syllabus can be easily comprehended by candidates from both arts and science backgrounds. So, combining its flexibility with success rate in recent years has attracted more students to opt for this subject. Let’s take a look at the topics that come from the UPSC Economics optional syllabus in the stages of the exam.

UPSC Economics Optional Syllabus PDF

Candidates can download the UPSC Economics Syllabus directly from the links provided in English and Hindi languages. The entire syllabus focuses on the candidates’ knowledge of the fundamental ideas and application of understanding to developmental challenges and infrastructure planning for sustainable growth.

A clear understanding of the topics covered under the syllabus would help the candidates to prepare a strategy to score optimum marks in both Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Economics Syllabus for UPSC Prelims

The economics optional syllabus for UPSC includes topics like Economics, Social Development, Poverty, Sustainable Development, Demographics, Poverty, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

The question that will be asked in Prelims will be of the difficulty level of moderate to tough. Let’s look at the important areas to cover from the UPSC Economics Syllabus for Prelims.

Economics Syllabus for UPSC Prelims (Important Areas to Cover)

UPSC Economics Optional Syllabus: Mains

The economics syllabus for UPSC mains is included in the General Studies Paper-III. This syllabus covers economic development, inclusive growth, budgeting, land reforms, effects of liberalization, the Indian economy, and issues related to growth and employment.

Covering these topics from the Economics optional syllabus for UPSC Mains would help the candidates to fetch good marks, and uplift their chances of qualifying for this exam. Below we have mentioned some highly recommended books that would help you to cover the Economics UPSC optional syllabus for Mains.

UPSC Economics Syllabus – Booklist

Weightage of UPSC Economics Syllabus

The UPSC economics optional syllabus overlaps with the General Studies for both Prelims and Mains and this makes it an ideal choice for an optional subject. Also, the candidates who have studied economics in their graduation and postgraduate would find the UPSC economics optional syllabus easier to comprehend. In addition, economics, trade compliance, trade professionals, and finance manager also take economics as their optional.

There will be two papers in the economics syllabus for UPSC optional, and each of them holds 250 marks. That is why the score of the optional subject plays a crucial role in the success of a candidate in the UPSC exam. Below we will be covering the detailed Economics syllabus for UPSC optional.

Economic Optional Syllabus Topics Marks
UPSC Economics Syllabus Optional Paper 1 Advanced Microeconomics;

Advanced Macroeconomics;

Money-Banking and Finance;

International Economics;

Growth and Development



UPSC Economics Optional Syllabus Paper 2 The Pre-liberalization Era;

The Post- liberalization Era


UPSC Economics Syllabus: Paper 1

Paper 1 of the Economics syllabus for UPSC optional is divided into 5 topics, and those topics are further divided into multiple subtopics.

Economics Syllabus For UPSC

Economics Syllabus For UPSC

Economics Syllabus For UPSC

UPSC Economics Optional Syllabus: Paper 2

The economics syllabus for UPSC optional paper 2 includes the Pre-liberalization Era and Post-liberalization Era as the main topics. Further sub-topics are included under these broad topics.

Economics Syllabus For UPSC

Economics Syllabus For UPSC

How to Prepare Economics Syllabus for UPSC?

Candidates need a solid preparation strategy to cover the economics syllabus for UPSC as the questions asked from the economics section are more in the Economics optional exam.

So, let’s uncover the preparation strategy to cover the syllabus of Economics optional for UPSC in every stage of the exam.

  • Candidates need to study according to the Economics UPSC Syllabus, as it will help them to avoid unnecessary topics;
  • Scanning through the updated information on the current happenings is a must;
  • Students need to follow the UPSC previous year’s question papers;
  • Candidates must attempt mock tests as much as possible to strengthen their grip on this subject;
  • Begin with NCERTs books, and have a strong understanding of the topics covered in the UPSC Economics Syllabus;
  • Read IGNOU notes, and NIOS notes to understand some key points of the Economy;
  • Cover all the fundamental and advanced books.

UPSC Economics Syllabus – Booklist

Apart from the below-mentioned books, candidates must study from additional resources like The Hindu and Economic Times Newspaper, Publications like Kurukshetra, Yojna, and India Year Book.

Following are some books that would help the aspirants to cover the Economics syllabus for the optional papers:

  • NCERTs (Class X, XI, and XII)
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Indian Economy: Performance and Policies By Uma Kapila
  • Indian Economy Key Concepts by Sankar Ganesh Karuppiah
  • NIOS Notes and IGNOU notes
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