CSE General Studies Paper I Syllabus

For UPSC Mains 2021 Exam, the syllabus of IAS General studies paper I has been discussed here for better understanding.

Indian Culture

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

Modern Indian History –

  • Significant events, issues, personalities during the middle of the eighteenth century (the 1750s) until the present.
  • Different stages and important contributors and contributions from various parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

World History

  • Events, forms and effects on society since the 18th century such as world wars, the industrial revolution, colonisation, redraw of national boundaries, decolonisation, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism, etc.


  • Indian society and diversity – Salient aspects.
  • Role of women and women’s organizations, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems, and remedies.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Effects of globalisation on Indian society.


  • The geography syllabus basically consists of the world including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India.
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc are also important.
  • Geographical features and their location, changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and polar ice caps) and, in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography are also crucial for this exam.

CSE General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

For IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains exam, the syllabus of General Studies Paper II is basically covered by the Polity, Governance and Indian Governance.

Subject Topics
Polity Indian Constitution Features of Indian Constitution Amendments in Indian Constitution Provisions Constitutional and non-constitutional bodies
Governance 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
International Relations Bilateral Groupings Regional and global groupings Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests


CSE General Studies Paper III Syllabus

It is focused on Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management.

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


CSE General Studies Paper IV Syllabus

The UPSC mainly included Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude in the syllabus of CSE General Studies Paper IV to test the candidate’s approach to the issues of integrity and probity.

Subjects Topics
Ethics and Human Interface Essence, Determinants and Consequences of Ethics in – Human Actions; Dimensions of Ethics; Ethics – in Private and Public Relationships. Human Values – Lessons from the Lives and Teachings of Great Leaders, Reformers and Administrators; Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values.
Attitude Content, Structure, Function; its Influence and Relation with Thought and Behaviour; Moral and Political Attitudes; Social Influence and Persuasion. 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. Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers from India and World.
Public Administration Status and Problems; Ethical Concerns and Dilemmas in Government and Private Institutions; Laws, Rules, Regulations and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance; Accountability and Ethical Governance; Strengthening of Ethical and Moral Values in Governance; Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding; Corporate Governance.
Probity in Governance Concept of Public Service; Philosophical Basis of Governance and Probity; Information Sharing and Transparency in Government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work Culture, Quality of Service Delivery, Utilization of Public Funds, Challenges of Corruption.
Case Studies On the above issues.

CSE Mains : Essay Paper

The essay paper has a marks weightage of 250 out of the total 1250 marks of the entire Mains test. It contains 12.5 % of the total. The word limit for the essay is 1000-1200 words.