GS 3 Syllabus – UPSC GS Paper 3 Syllabus PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

GS 3 Syllabus includes a diverse range of subjects, including economics, agriculture, environment and ecology, science and technology, internal security, and disaster management. GS 3 is one of the 9 papers in the Mains Exam. GS 3 Syllabus is released along with the official notification on the UPSC website. Candidates preparing for the upcoming Civil Services Exam must prioritize the topics covered in the GS 3 Syllabus, as it will play a huge role in selecting candidates and providing an edge over others.

Given the significance of the GS paper 3 syllabus, it is crucial for aspirants to understand the syllabus’s scope, topics, and approach required to prepare effectively for the examination. That’s why this article will provide you with all the topics covered in GS 3 syllabus in detail, along with the preparation strategy, and the best books to cover these topics.

What is GS 3 Syllabus?

General Studies Paper 3 (GS 3) is an integral part of the Civil Services Examination, one of the four general studies papers. It evaluates the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of various economic, technological, and environmental issues in the country.

GS 3 Syllabus PDF

In addition, it aims to analyze a candidate’s ability to comprehend complex issues and to develop viable strategies to tackle them. The main focus areas of the GS Paper 3 syllabus are Science & Technology, Security, Disaster Management, Economic Development, Biodiversity, and Environment.

UPSC GS 3 Syllabus Subject-Wise

UPSC GS 3 Syllabus is of utmost importance for the Civil Services Examination because it gives a comprehensive understanding of topics such as science and technology, environment and ecology, and disaster management, which are all critical areas of governance. Civil servants need to have a comprehensive idea of these topics to be effective in their roles. Aspirants need to ensure that they cover all the topics mentioned in the syllabus to fetch good marks in GS 3.

GS 3 Syllabus – UPSC GS Paper 3 Syllabus PDF

GS 3 Syllabus – UPSC GS Paper 3 Syllabus PDF

GS 3 Syllabus – UPSC GS Paper 3 Syllabus PDF

Topics Under GS Paper 3 Syllabus

All the topics covered in GS Paper 3 syllabus should be given equal attention. However, we have provided a list of topics that must be focused more by the aspirants based on the previous year’s question trends.

GS 3 Syllabus UPSC and its Focus Areas
Science & Technology Dark Matter, GM Crops, Gene Editing, Higgs Boson, Artificial Intelligence, Space Technology, Defence Technology, Rare Earth Elements
Economics Economic Development in India, Macroeconomics
Disaster Management Disaster Management in India, National Disaster Management Plan 2016, PM Cares Fund
Biodiversity Types of Biodiversity, Biodiversity, and Environment
Security Internal Security Challenges in India, Money-Laundering, Extremism, Terrorism

How to Prepare UPSC GS3 Syllabus?

Covering the GS 3 Syllabus can be tough and stressful as it comprises a wide range of topics. However, an effective strategy and robust study plan beat all the hurdles. Below we have mentioned the best strategic approach to cover the GS Paper 3 Syllabus most efficiently.

  • First, the candidates must be familiar with the GS 3 Syllabus and the UPSC Exam Pattern.
  • Many topics from the GS Paper 3 Syllabus overlap with Current Affairs, so candidates must stay updated with recent news and current events.
  • Choose the best books and study materials for your preparation. Start with NCERT books, then go for advanced-level UPSC Economics Books, and UPSC Science & Technology Books, for a better understanding of concepts.
  • While covering the Books for GS 3 Syllabus, make your own hand-written notes.
  • Go through the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to understand question trends. Try to analyze the question papers properly to figure out the important sections from the GS 3 Syllabus.
  • Draw diagrams, flowcharts, etc., which would help you during revision.

Study Materials to Cover GS 3 Syllabus

Candidates must have the best resources and study materials when it comes to UPSC Exam preparation. Below we have mentioned some of the highly recommended sources which can be beneficial for the preparation of the UPSC GS 3 Syllabus.

GS 3 Syllabus Study Materials for GS Paper 3Syllabus
Biodiversity, Environment Current Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Official Website, Yojana (January 2020) – Click the link to get the gist of Yojana, and Textbook of Environmental Studies For Undergraduate Courses’ by Erach Bharucha
Economic Development Current Affairs, Select articles from The Hindu’, Economic Survey of India and India Year Book, and Class 12 NCERT – Introductory Macroeconomics.
Technology Current Affairs
Security & Disaster Management Current Affairs, Yojana (January 2017) edition- this covers Disaster Management perspectives.

Best Books for UPSC GS 3 Syllabus

There are a lot of books available in the market to prepare for the GS 3 Syllabus. To narrow down the search and make it easier for the aspirants, we have mentioned some of the highly rated reference books below.

  1. NCERT Class X – Understanding Economic Development
  2. NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development
  3. NCERT Class XII – Macroeconomics (chapters 2,5 and 6 are very important)
  4. IGNOU Notes on Disaster Management.
  5. IGNOU Notes on Cyber Security.
  6. Challenges to Internal Security of India by Ashok Kumar and Vipul
  7. Indian Economy for Civil Services Examinations – Ramesh Singh
  8. India Year Book

Structure of GS 3 Syllabus

A common preparation strategy that all the IAS toppers abide by is understanding the GS paper 3 structure. Understanding the paper structure of the GS 3 Syllabus will help the aspirants prepare a strategy to attempt the paper and fetch good marks. Below we have given the paper structure for the GS 3.

  • The GS 3 Syllabus is divided into two sections.
  • Both sections have an equal number of questions.
  • The total number of questions asked from the GS 3 Syllabus is 20, and each section includes 10 questions.
  • This paper carries a total of 250 marks. The first section will have 10 marks for each question, and for the second section, each question will have 15 marks.
  • The first section has a word limit of 150 words per answer, and for the section, the word limit would be 250.

GS Paper 3 Syllabus Trend Analysis

From the trend analysis data, aspirants would find out the number of questions asked from each subject of the GS 3 Syllabus in the previous year’s UPSC exam. In the table below, we have provided a detailed trend analysis for GS Paper 3.

Topic from UPSC GS 3 Syllabus 2020 2019 2018
Agriculture/Food industry 50 55 60
Economy 50 50 50
Science/Tech/Environment/Disaster 100 100 100
Security 50 45 40
Total 250 250 250
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