UPSC GS 1 Syllabus: Download UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus of the Mains exam is among the four GS Papers. Along with GS Paper 1, there are eight other papers in the Mains stage of the examination. The UPSC GS 1 Syllabus consists of History, Geography, Art and Culture, and Indian Society. Unlike other papers in General Studies, the questions from the GS1 syllabus for UPSC are usually direct in nature.

The candidate needs to connect the static UPSC GS Paper 1 syllabus with the current affairs to write a multi-dimensional answer. The article thoroughly covers the GS 1 syllabus, including detailed subject-wise topics that must be covered for the IAS exam.

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus

History, Art & Culture, and Geography are the three primary subjects that are covered in the GS 1 Syllabus. The GS Paper 1 of the UPSC Exam includes subjects like Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society, and consists of 250 marks.

The score obtained in this paper is added to the UPSC Marksheet during the estimation of results. You can ace the exam with the assistance of the UPSC Mains GS Paper 1 syllabus, which will help you establish a strategy for your exam preparation.

UPSC GS 2 Syllabus UPSC GS Syllabus
UPSC GS 3 Syllabus UPSC GS 4 Syllabus

GS Paper 1 Syllabus Overview

Get an understanding of the pattern, frequency, and other relevant details before undergoing the GS 1 syllabus for UPSC. The overview of the UPSC GS Paper 1 syllabus includes:

Subjects Sub Topics of GS 1 Syllabus for UPSC
History Modern History, World History, Art & Culture
Geography Human Geography, Physical Geography of India and the World
Indian Society Demography, Social Issues, and Developments in Indian Society

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus PDF

The UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus PDF comes in handy during the preparation of UPSC Prelims and Mains. It helps us to segregate topics according to the relevance of the Prelims and Mains Syllabus and cover them accordingly.

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus PDF

Above is the compiled PDF for the UPSC GS 1 Syllabus. Download the GS 1 syllabus and keep it accessible at all times while preparing for the IAS exam.

Official UPSC GS 1 Syllabus

It is clear from the UPSC Mains GS 1 syllabus that the paper broadly covers History, Art & Culture, and Geography. To ace the UPSC GS 1 Syllabus of the Mains exam, one needs to know in detail all the topics covered in the subject so that, while writing solutions, one can interlink and present full-fledged answers.

UPSC GS 1 Syllabus

GS 1 Modern History Syllabus

The Modern Indian History section of UPSC Mains GS Paper 1 syllabus includes events from the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, and issues. It also includes the freedom struggle, its various stages, and vital contributions/contributors from distinct parts of the country.

The UPSC GS 1 syllabus also includes the post-independence consolidation and reorganization within India.

UPSC GS 1 Syllabus for Modern History
Topics Sub Topics
Modern Indian History Socio-Economic Condition of People

British Conquest of India

European Penetration of India

Uprisings Against British Pre 1857

Socio-cultural Reform Movements

Growth of Nationalism in India

Revolt of 1857

Rediscovery of India’s Past

Political, Economic & Administrative Unification of the Country

Role of Press

Formation of INC

Early Political Movements

Role of Western Education

Era of Moderates, etc.

Freedom Struggle Swadeshi & Boycott Movement

Wavell Plan

Morley-Minto Reforms

Peasant Movements

Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

Round Table Conferences

Non-Cooperation & Khilafat Movement

Growth of Communalism

Simon Commission and Nehru Report

Civil Disobedience Movement

Surat Split

Cripps Mission

August Offer

Cabinet Mission, etc.

Post-Independence Consolidation and Reorganization Nation Building

Partition and Its Aftermath

Integration of Princely States

Reorganisation of States

Issue of Official Language

Tribal Consolidation

Regional Aspirations

Foreign Policy

Non-Aligned Movement


Wars with Pakistan & China

Nuclear Policy, etc.

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus for World History

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus includes events from the 18th century such as the industrial revolution, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc. their forms and effect on society, redrawing of federal boundaries, world wars, colonization, and decolonization. The detailed coverage of topics of the UPSC GS 1 syllabus is as follows:

UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus for World History
Russian Revolution The US as a Strong Power Treaties
The Great Depression End of the War & Peace Fascism & Nazism
Theatres of the War Democracies League of Nations
Vietnam War Consequences of the War The Holocaust
US Entry into the War World War II Asia & Africa
Korean War Renaissance Capitalism
Socialism Cuban Crisis Discovery of Sea Routes

UPSC GS 1 Syllabus for Art & Culture

Most of the questions ranging from Ancient and Medieval History are asked from the UPSC GS Paper 1 syllabus of the Art & Culture section. The UPSC Mains GS Paper 1 syllabus of the Art & Culture section covers the salient aspects of art forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times. The following topics are covered comprehensively in the UPSC GS 1 Syllabus:

GS1 Syllabus for Art & Culture
Indian Art Forms Martial Arts Folk Dance Forms
Contribution of Buddhism & Jainism to the Development of Indian Architecture Temple Architecture Drama/Theatre
Classical Music Medieval Literature Early Dravidian Literature
Puppetry Pottery Modern Architecture
Ancient Indian Literature Trends in Medieval Literature Modern Indian Literature
Women Poets of Bhakti Harappan Architecture Classical Sanskrit Literature
Indo-Islamic Architecture Modern Period Medieval Architecture

GS Paper 1 Syllabus Geography

The Geography section of the UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus includes the salient features of the world’s physical geography, factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world, and distribution of key natural resources across the world.

UPSC Mains GS Paper 1 syllabus includes the Geophysical phenomena such as Cyclones, Earthquakes, Volcanic activity, Tsunamis, etc., geographical features and their changes in location. The detailed topics covered under the Geography section of the UPSC GS 1 syllabus are as follows:

UPSC GS 1 Syllabus for Geography
Soil Erosion & Conservation Oceanography Land Resources
Hydrological Cycle Cropping Patterns Water Resources
Forest Resources Mineral & Energy Resources Types of Farming
Weather Systems Soil Geography Soil & Soil Contents
Soil Forming Factors Employment & Output Earth’s Atmosphere – Composition & Structure
Contribution to Economy Process of Soil Formation Climatology
Land Utilisation Food Security Agricultural Resources

UPSC GS 1 Syllabus for Indian Society

The UPSC GS 1 syllabus for Indian Society includes the Salient features of Indian Society, the Diversity of India, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, the role of women and women’s organizations, urbanization: their problems, and their remedies.

GS 1 syllabus for UPSC also covers the effects of globalization on Indian society and the concepts of social empowerment, communalism, secularism, and regionalism. The topics included in UPSC GS Paper 1 syllabus for Indian Society are as follows:

GS 1 Syllabus for Indian Society
Population Trends in India and Their Implications Causes and Effects of Overpopulation Poverty Line
Poverty Alleviation Initiatives Challenges Faced by Women’s Organisations Concept of Development and Poverty
Population Aging in India Consequences of Poverty Secularism in India
India’s Population Policy & Initiatives Problems of Urban Areas Problems of Slums
Globalisation & India Communalism in Contemporary India Causes of Communalism
Federalism & Regionalism Inequality Causes of Poverty
Women’s Organisations and SHGs Basic Demography of India Indian Population

Important Topics in GS Paper 1 Syllabus

To prepare for the upcoming Mains exam, some of the important topics that should be covered and prepared thoroughly from the UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus are:

Important Topics of UPSC Mains GS 1 Syllabus
Important Movements After 1947 American and French Revolutions Social/Religious Reform Movements Communism
Diversity in India Climate Change Water Bodies Russian and Industrial Revolution
Women Empowerment Themes of Ancient Indian History Temple Architecture World War I and II

Strategy to Prepare UPSC GS 1 Syllabus

GS 1 Syllabus for UPSC is detailed yet very scoring if you clear all your concepts and basics. A full-fledged preparation technique for UPSC of the General Studies Paper 1 syllabus can assist candidates in obtaining above-average marks and getting the desired IAS, IRS, IPS, or IFS. The strategies to prepare UPSC GS 1 Syllabus are as follows:

  • Know GS1 Syllabus and Pattern of the Exam: Students should go through the UPSC Exam Pattern for a better understanding of the exam and to develop an ability to analyze topics asked in every stage of the exam, be it Prelims, Mains, or interview round.
  • Comprehend the GS 1 Syllabus: Aspirants should read and apprehend UPSC Syllabus thoroughly. Keeping the entire syllabus at your fingertips will help you create a distinct approach to crack the Prelims and Mains examination.
  • Rely on Relevant and Limited Study Sources: You must focus on reading limited books or study materials and revise them frequently. Start with reading NCERT Books to build a strong foundation of your basics, then switch to other advised UPSC Books. Concentrate more on Art & Culture, Geography, and History Books for UPSC. Try covering Indian Society topics through Current Affairs and by studying Ram Ahuja’s book – Social Problems in India.
  • Best Study Sources for Important Subjects: Refer to books like Spectrum & Bipin Chandra for studying Modern India and History of Modern India, glance through Class XI NCERT of Art & Culture, or pick Indian Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania. Students can cover Geography topics from the NCERTs of Class XI and XII and then proceed with books by GC Leong and Majid Hussain.
  • Solve Last Year’s Questions: A great way to be proficient in the IAS exam is to solve the UPSC Previous Years Question Papers. Analyzing PYQs is of great help as it will aid you in understanding the question trend and the types of questions asked in the exam.
  • Don’t Miss Current Affairs: You should read the best UPSC newspapers and magazines regularly and witness the current events related to any particular topic. Make concise notes on the sub-topics and keep updating them. Current Affairs is helpful in developing your analytical skills. Students should keep one source and revise it multiple times. For proper interpretation, you can also check Current Affairs Videos and make notes simultaneously.

Books to Prepare UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus

To cover the UPSC GS 1 Syllabus completely, you must have the best study materials. You must be able to quickly complete the UPSC GS 1 syllabus with the aid of the books and comprehend each subject that will be asked in the exam. For preparing UPSC Mains GS Paper 1 syllabus, we have created a list of the best books suggested by experts. You can choose any of these books to start your exam preparation.

Best Books to Prepare UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus
Book Name Author/ Publisher
History of Medieval India Satish Chandra
India After Independence Bipan Chandra
Social Problems in India Ram Ahuja
World Geography Majid Hussain
India’s Struggle for Independence Bipan Chandra
Ancient India RS Sharma
Central Physical and Human Geography GC Leong
UPSC Articles
Geography Optional Syllabus Indian Society Syllabus
IPS Syllabus Civil Engineering Syllabus
UPSC CSAT Syllabus History Syllabus
Polity Syllabus UPSC Optional Syllabus
Zoology Optional Syllabus Philosophy Optional Syllabus
UPSC Prelims Syllabus in Hindi UPSC Mains Syllabus in Hindi
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