UPSC Mains Syllabus 2022: Download Latest PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : July 5th, 2022

UPSC Mains Syllabus 2022 is released by the Union Public Service Commission along with the official notification on the official website. The UPSC mains exam consists of 2 qualifying papers and 7 other papers which include 4 GS Papers and two optional subject papers. The IAS Mains syllabus includes syllabus for essays, General studies papers, and optional subjects. 

A clear understanding of the UPSC Mains Syllabus is a crucial milestone on the road to cracking the IAS Mains exam with a good score. IAS aspirants must be aware that they will only be eligible for the IAS Mains if they qualify for the IAS prelims. So, kickstart the preparation by downloading the UPSC Mains syllabus 2022 PDF.

Table of Content

UPSC Mains Syllabus 2022

The IAS Mains syllabus is vast, therefore it is important to understand the basic structure and the papers in the Mains Exam. The first two papers - Indian Language and English are qualifying papers and will not be included while preparing the merit list. 

It is also important to note that UPSC Prelims Syllabus has an overlap with the mains syllabus hence. note the similarities to prepare in a strategic manner. The following syllabus is included in UPSC Mains Syllabus 

  • UPSC Mains Language Paper Syllabus
  • UPSC Mains Paper 1 Syllabus
  • UPSC Mains Paper 2 Syllabus
  • UPSC Mains Syllabus Paper 3
  • UPSC Mains Syllabus Paper 4
  • UPSC Mains Paper 5 Syllabus
  • UPSC Mains Optional Syllabus

UPSC Mains Syllabus

When preparing for the IAS exam, candidates must prepare for both prelims and mains syllabus simultaneously. Also, prepare the UPSC CSAT Syllabus as the paper is qualifying in nature and if failed, the aspirant is out of the competition.

UPSC Mains Syllabus 2022 PDF 

UPSC Mains Syllabus PDF is available on the official website of UPSC. However, the candidates can also download the syllabus in PDF format directly from the link given below. Candidates preparing for the upcoming UPSC Exam must analyze the syllabus to create an efficient study plan and preparation strategy. 

>>UPSC Mains Syllabus PDF Download In English

>>UPSC Mains Syllabus PDF In Hindi

The main goal of the syllabus of the UPSC Mains exam is to understand the ability of the candidates whether they have the intellectual ability to present the answer in the best possible way in a limited time. In this post, we are going to cover the paper-wise UPSC Mains Syllabus 2022.

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Qualifying Papers

The language papers of the UPSC Mains Syllabus 2022 include Indian Language (Paper A) and English (Paper B). These two papers are qualifying in nature and the candidates must score 25% or above to qualify in these papers. If the candidate scores less than 25% marks either in these papers their other answer sheet won’t get evaluated.

  • UPSC Mains Indian Language Syllabus: Comprehension, Precis Writing, Usage and Vocabulary and Short Essays. 
  • UPSC Mains Compulsory English Syllabus: Comprehension of a given passage, Precis Writing, Short Essays, Usage and Vocabulary, Translation from English to the Indian Language, and vice-versa

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Essay Paper

UPSC Mains Paper 1 Essay Syllabus is not explicitly defined. The Essay Paper in the UPSC Mains can be from any niche, and candidates need to focus only on the main topic while writing the essay, and clearly note down their ideas, Candidates will get a list of topics and they need to choose two of them to write two essays with a total of 250 marks.

UPSC Mains Syllabus for GS 1 (Paper 2)

UPSC Mains GS Paper 2 syllabus includes topics such as history, geography, Indian heritage culture, and society. Download UPSC Mains GS Paper 2 Syllabus PDF to have a better understanding. 

UPSC Mains Syllabus GS 1

IAS Mains Syllabus for Indian Culture




Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times



UPSC Mains GS 1 History syllabus - Modern Indian

Significant personalities, events, and issues during the middle eighteenth century(the 1750s) until the present.

Different stages and the important contributions and contributors from various locations of the country in “The Freedom Struggle”

Post-Independence reorganization and consolidation within the country.

UPSC Mains World History Syllabus

Forms, events, and effects of society since the 18th-century decolonization

World wars, Industrial revolution, Colonization, redraw of national boundaries, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.

Indian Society UPSC Mains Syllabus 

Indian society and diversity- Salient aspects

Social empowerment, regionalism & secularism, communalism

Role of women and women’s organizations, poverty and developmental issues, population and associated issues, urbanization, their problems, and remedies.

Effects of globalization on Indian society

UPSC Mains Syllabus Geography

Important Geophysical phenomena such as Tsunami, Volcanic activity, earthquakes, cyclones, etc.

Distribution of key natural resources across the world including the Indian sub-continent, and South Asia: factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary industries in various regions of the world including India.

Salient features of the world’s physical geography

Geographical features and their location, changes in critical geographical features, and in flora and fauna, and bad impact of these changes.

UPSC Mains Syllabus for GS 2 (Paper 3)

UPSC Mains general studies paper 3 syllabus is about Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations. Unlike GS 1, this paper requires analytical thinking and correlation between different topics. The IAS Mains syllabus for GS Paper 2 is mostly covered by Laxmikant. Download UPSC Mains GS Paper 2 Syllabus PDF to get started. 

The concise form of the UPSC mains GS 2 syllabus and important topics to be covered are mentioned below.

UPSC Mains Syllabus GS 2

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Polity

Indian Constitution, Features of Indian Constitution, Amendments in Indian Constitution, Provisions, Constitutional and non-constitutional bodies

UPSC Mains Governance Syllabus

Government policies and interventions, Governance, Transparency, Accountability, E-governance applications

Social Justice

Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services, Issues relating to poverty and hunger

IAS Mains Syllabus for International Relations

Bilateral Groupings, Regional and global groupings, Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

UPSC Mains Syllabus

IAS Mains Syllabus for GS 3 (Paper 4)

UPSC Mains General Studies Paper 3 syllabus includes the following subjects

  • Technology
  • Economic Development
  • Biodiversity, Environment
  • Security and Disaster Management

GS Paper 3 also requires consistent correlation with the current affairs as the questions asked usually demand analysis of the static topic with the current events. The detailed UPSC mains syllabus for GS Paper 3 including all topics is mentioned below. 

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Economics

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development, and employment.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Infrastructure – Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
  • Investment models (PPP etc)
  • Inclusive growth and associated issues/challenges
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy (post-1991 changes), changes in industrial policy, and their effects on industrial growth.

Syllabus for UPSC Mains Agriculture

  • Major cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Economics of animal rearing.
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions
  • Food processing and related industries in India – scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.

IAS Mains Syllabus for Science and Technology

  • Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Recent developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology.
  • General awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nanotechnology, biotechnology
  • Issues relating to intellectual property rights

UPSC Mains Environment Syllabus

  • Conservation,
  • Environmental Pollution, and degradation
  • Environmental impact assessment

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Internal Security and Disaster Management

  • Disaster Management (Laws, Acts, etc.)
  • Challenges to internal security (external state and non-state actors)
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges,
  • Security challenges, and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandates

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Ethics (GS 4)

The IAS Mains syllabus for Paper 4 is the ethics syllabus. The Ethics paper aims to evaluate the candidate’s sense of cultural and social ethics. Here the candidates will get questions that will check the candidates’ responses and attitudes towards the social issues along with their problem-solving ability. 

Below we have mentioned the complete UPSC ethics syllabus below.

UPSC Mains Syllabus for GS 4 - Ethics

UPSC Syllabus For Ethics

  • Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers, and administrators; the role of family, society, and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants, and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
  • Case Studies on the above issues.

Integrity

  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration
  • Laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as sources of ethical guidance
  • Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions
  • Strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance
  • Accountability and ethical governance
  • Corporate governance.
  • Ethical issues in international relations and funding

GS 4 Syllabus UPSC- Aptitude

  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance, and compassion towards the weaker sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

UPSC Mains Syllabus For Optional Subjects

The candidate needs to choose one optional subject out of 48 given subjects for the optional paper of the UPSC Mains examination. Candidates have to give two papers on that chosen subject and each paper includes 250 marks. The candidates need to choose the right subject based on their strengths. 

S. No.

UPSC Mains Syllabus For Optional Subjects

1

UPSC Syllabus for Agriculture

2

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

3

Anthropology UPSC Mains Syllabus

4

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Botany

5

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Chemistry

6

UPSC Syllabus for Civil Engineering

7

IAS Mains Commerce & Accountancy Syllabus

8

UPSC Mains Economics Optional Syllabus

9

Electrical Engineering IAS Mains Syllabus

10

UPSC Mains English Optional Syllabus

11

UPSC Mains Syllabus Geography Optional

12

Geology UPSC Mains Syllabus

13

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Hindi Literature

14

UPSC Mains Syllabus History Optional

15

IAS Mains Syllabus for Law

16

UPSC Mains Syllabus Management

17

UPSC Mains Maths Optional Syllabus

18

IAS Mains Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering

19

UPSC Mains Optionals Syllabus for Medical Science

20

UPSC Mains Philosophy Syllabus

21

Physics Optional IAS Mains Syllabus

22

UPSC Mains Syllabus Political Science Optional

23

Psychology Syllabus for UPSC Mains

24

UPSC Mains Syllabus for Public Administration

25

UPSC Mains Sociology Optional Syllabus

26

IAS Mains Syllabus for Statistics

27

Zoology Optional Mains Syllabus

UPSC Mains Syllabus - Preparation Tips 

The syllabus for the IAS Mains exam is vast and exhaustive therefore it is very important to have a strategic plan to complete the syllabus in a timely fashion. To begin with, candidates must analyze the syllabus along with the UPSC question papers to learn what kinds of questions are asked and the weightage of various topics. 

  • Prepare for the GS papers alongside the optional papers. Divide your day plan to give equal weightage to both. 
  • After covering an important topic, try writing an answer for a question asked in the UPSC mains exam. 
  • Always cover and correlate current affairs with the static portion of the syllabus while preparing. 
  • Revision is the most important part of the UPSC mains preparation.
  • Keep practicing with mains answer writing and mock test. 

Best Books to cover UPSC Mains Syllabus 

Below mentioned are some of the basic books required to complete the GS portion of the UPSC mains syllabus. 

Books for UPSC Mains syllabus for GS Paper 1 

  • Ancient India by RS Sharma
  • India After Independence by Bipan Chandra
  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
  • History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
  • History NCERts
  • Geography of India - Majid Hussain
  • World Geography- Majid Hussain
  • Oxford Atlas
  • Central Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong
  • Geography NCERTs (Class XI and XII)

Books for UPSC Mains syllabus for GS Paper 2

  • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth
  • Constitution of India by DD Basu
  • India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri

Books for UPSC Mains syllabus for GS Paper 3

  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Annual Budget
  • Indian Economic Survey

Books for UPSC Mains syllabus for GS Paper 4

  • Ethics Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon
  • Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by Subba Rao and PN Rao Chaudhry

UPSC Books

Important UPSC Topics
UPSC Admit CardUPSC Exam Date
UPSC NotificationUPSC Eligibility
UPSC Online ApplicationUPSC Exam Pattern
UPSC ResultsIPS Salary
UPSC Cut OffUPSC Preparation Strategy

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UPSC Mains Syllabus FAQs

  • The UPSC Mains syllabus includes a wide range of topics divided across several Papers. There are 9 papers in the syllabus for UPSC Mains namely, Indian Language, Essay, English, GS 1, GS 2, GS 3, GS4, and two papers of, optional subject. Collectively, the IAS Mains syllabus 2022 covers topics such as history, geography, economics, polity, environment, science & tech, internal security, international relations, and more. 

  • Yes, the UPSC Mains syllabus is different from the Prelims syllabus in terms of vastness and subjects covered. The prelims syllabus is divided into General Studies Paper 1, and General Studies Paper 2. whereas the mains syllabus includes a total of 9 Papers which include 4 GS papers and 2 optional papers. If you are preparing for the upcoming UPSC Exam 2022, you must analyze both to get started.

  • There are a total of 48 optional subjects in the IAS mains syllabus. Candidates get the freedom to choose any subject they like. The optional subject exam is divided into two papers namely Paper 1, and Paper2. Some of the most opted optional subjects are PSIR, philosophy, pub ad, sociology, anthropology, geography, etc. 

  • The GS Paper-1 of the UPSC Mains Syllabus PDF includes topics such as Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Indian Society. Some of the most important topics to be covered under the IAS mains GS 1 syllabus are art & culture, modern history, world history, physical geography of India & World, human geography, and aspects of Indian society. 

  • Geography is asked in both UPSC prelims and mains examination. The geography section of the UPSC mains syllabus includes Indian geography, physical geography, world geography, agriculture, climatology, etc. Geography is asked in Paper 2 or GS 1 part of the UPSC mains exam. 

  • Candidates can cover the UPSC Mains Syllabus in 3 months with a strategic and systematic approach. They need to build a solid foundation, follow the right resources, and have a robust study plan. It is very important to go through the Previous Year's UPSC Question Papers to analyze what kind of questions are asked and then prepare accordingly. 

  • The main goal of UPSC is to recruit IAS officers who are ready for every challenge and have a solid problem-solving ability. That is why UPSC has added many topics in the UPSC mains syllabus that would help future IAS officers be ready for every situation, hence it justifies the vastness of the syllabus. Note that the mains exam is designed to evaluate applicants' general intellectual qualities and depth of knowledge rather than just their breadth of material and recall.

  • The UPSC Syllabus is broadly divided into the UPSC prelims syllabus and the mains syllabus. The IAS mains syllabus consists of 9 papers which include Indian Language, Essay, English, GS 1, GS 2, GS Paper 3, Ethics, and Optional Subjects. The Indian language and essay papers are qualifying in nature.

  • Candidates can download the UPSC mains syllabus 2022 PDF from the official website of UPSC in the form of the official notification. The direct link to download the mains syllabus pdf in English and Hindi is also mentioned here. 

  • The polity section of the UPSC mains syllabus is part of GS Paper 2. The best book to cover polity for the UPSC exam is Indian Polity

    Book by M. Laxmikanth. Along with the Laxmikant book, you must stay updated with the latest government policies, schemes, and constitutional amendments.

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