Topic Wise UPSC IAS Syllabus 2017

 Civil Services Exam 2017

Detailed Syllabus Of  the UPSC- IAS Exam . Covering Every Topic With  Chapter Wise Analysis . You Will be Tested in General Studies And CSAT in Prelims . If you Clear Prelims You Then Advance To Mains Examination . Preparation Should be Mains Oriented .

Here is a Detailed Analysis of Chapter-wise syllabus of IAS  General Studies (Prelims + Mains ).

A) Indian economy Syllabus for UPSC -IAS – Civil Services

Analysis of  Indian Economy


  • Land Reforms
  • Green Revolution and Second Green Revolution
  • Minimum Support Prices (MSP), Procurement prices, Issue price (important. who decides the MSP, the current MSP for principal crops etc)
  • Buffer Stock (norms, current data)
  • Economic Cost of Foodgrains
  • Decentralised Procurement Scheme
  • Rising Food Subsidy
  • National Flood Security Bill
  • Agricultural Marketing
  • e-choupal
  • Trifed
  • Nafed
  • Storing facilities for Agriculture Products (role of FCI, CWC and other central and state agencies)
  • Agricultural Credit (linked to farmer suicides in many states)
  • Commodity Futures Market
  • Farm Waste Debate
  • Irrigation
  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and other Missions like National Bamboo Mission, National Horticulture Mission etc.
  • Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA)
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)
  • National Agricultural Policy, 2000 (should know the important points at all times)
  • Agricultural Insurance
  • Extension Services
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
  • WTO and the Indian Agriculture: Prospects and Challenges (also relevant for Mains)
  • WTO and Agricultural Subsidies (also relevant for Mains)

Money and Banking

  • Indian Money Market
  • Indian Capital Market
  • Monetary Policy Tools
  • Financial Institutions
  • Mutual Fund (MF)
  • Bank & Non-Bank Institutions
  • Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCS)
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Marginal Standing Facility (MSF)
  • Base Rate
  • Nationalisation and Development of Banking
  • Financial Sector Reforms
  • Banking Sector Reform
  • New Rules for Opening Banks
  • The Menace of NPAS
  • Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Why to Maintain CAR?
  • Non-Resident Indian Deposits
  • Primary and Secondary Markets
  • Stock Exchange
  • SEBI
  • Important Terms of Stock Market
  • Short Selling
  • Insurance Industry
  • Insurance Reforms
  • National Export Insurance Account

Industry and Infrastructure

  • Industrial Policy Resolution, 1948, 1956, 1969, 1980, 1985-86
  • Disinvestment
  • Investment Challenge
  • New Manufacturing Policy
  • National Policy on Electronics
  • India Infrastructure and Finance Company

External Trade

  • Foreign Currency Assets
  • Foreign Exchange Reserve
  • Fixed Currency Regime
  • Floating Currency Regime
  • Managed Exchange Rates
  • Foreign Exchange Market
  • Exchange Rate in India
  • Trade Balance
  • Trade Policy
  • Depreciation
  • Devaluation
  • Revaluation
  • Appreciation
  • Current Account
  • Capital Account
  • Balance of Payment (BoP)
  • Convertibility
  • NEER
  • REER
  • EFF
  • IMF Conditions on India
  • Hard Currency
  • Soft Currency
  • Hot Currency
  • Heated Currency
  • Cheap Currency
  • Dear Currency
  • Special Economic Zone
  • Autonomous Bodies
  • Other Organizations
  • Advisory Bodies

External Assistance and International Economic Organizations

This topic is also of high relevance for Mains GS paper.

  • International Monetary System
  • Bretton Woods Development
  • International Monetary Fund
  • World Bank
  • Asian Development Bank
  • OECD
  • World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • WTO Negotiations and India

Public Finance

  • Budget
  • Fiscal Policy
  • Limiting Government Expenditure (fiscal deficit and other deficits)
  • Fiscal Consolidation in India
  • Zero-Base Budgeting
  • Charged Expenditure
  • Types of Budgets
  • Cut Motion
  • Interest Payments
  • Subsidies (direct cash transfer currently in the news)
  • Government Debt
  • State-Level Finances (the mess state governments are in)

Poverty, Social Security and Sustainable Development

  • Human and Gender Development
  • Inclusive Development
  • Poverty and Inclusive Growth (BPL definition, methods to estimate poverty and  recommendations of committees)
  • Inequality
  • Employment
  • Poverty Alleviation and Employment Generation Programmes
  • Social Protection
  • Rural Infrastructure
  • Urban Infrastructure
  • Skill Development
  • Education
  • Health
  • Women and Child Development

Planning, Growth and Development

  • Economic Growth and Development Definitions
  • Planned and Mixed Economy
  • Emphasis on the Public Sector
  • Origin and Expansion of Planning
  • Types of Planning
  • Major Objectives of Planning
  • Planning Commission
  • National Development Council
  • Central Planning
  • Multi-Level Planning
  • Way to Decentralised Planning and Importance
  • The Planning Commission & The Finance Commission
  • The Changing Nature and Role of Planning
  • Economic Reforms
  • Economic Reforms In India
  • Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation


  • Why Inflation Occurs
  • Types of Inflation
  • Other Variants of Inflation
  • Other Important Terms
  • Effects of Inflation

Indian Tax Structure

  • Methods of Taxation
  • Methods of Expenditure
  • Value Added Tax (and need of VAT)
  • Goods and Services Tax
  • Additional Excise Duty
  • CST Reforms
  • Service Tax
  • Tax Expenditure
  • Non-Tax Revenue

The above rundown may appear to be long to a few, yet it is thorough in degree. A portion of the points above are required to be shrouded inside and out while some require sensible associate. Likewise questions on a portion of the subjects recorded above like external trade and assistance, planning, taxation, poverty and sustainable development are frequently asked in the GS Mains paper too.

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B)  Indian Polity and Governance for UPSC -IAS – Civil Services

  • 1 Constitution – Historical Background, Making of the Constitution, Philosophy of the Constitution
  • 2 Union and its Territory
  • 3 Citizenship
  • 4 Fundamental Rights (FR) [ Part III ]and Fundamental Duties[ Part IV-A ]
  • 5 Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) [ Part IV ]
  • 6 Amendment of the Constitution
  • 7 Union Government, Executive and Parliament
  • 8 State Government- State Executive and State Legislature
  • 9 Administration of Union Territories (UT)
  • 10 Administration of Special Areas
  • 11 Federal System
  • 12 Inter-State Relations
  • 13 Emergency Provisions
  • 14 Judiciary
  • 15 Constitution Bodies
  • 16 Non-Constitutional Bodies
  • 17 Tribunals
  • 18 Special Provisions for SC’s, ST’s, Backward Classes, Minorities and Anglo-Indians

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C) Geography for UPSC -IAS – Civil Services

The geography section in the IAS prelims syllabus gives the real depth of Indian Geography and World Geography and most of the questions are linked directly or indirectly with geography. The questions asked in prelims are from physical, social and economic geography of India and the world.

Physical Geography

  1. i) Geomorphology

Origin of the earth; Geological Time Scale; Interior of the earth; Types and characteristics of rocks; Folding and Faulting; Volcanoes; Earthquakes; Weathering; Landforms caused by fluvial, aeolian and glacial actions.

  1. ii) Climatology

Structure and composition of atmosphere; Temperature; Pressure belts and Wind systems; Clouds and rainfall types; Cyclones and anticyclones; Major climatic types.

iii) Oceanography

Ocean relief; Temperature; Salinity; Ocean deposits; Ocean currents, El Nino and La Nino; Waves and tides.

  1. iv) Biogeography

Origin and types of soils; Major biomes of the world; Ecosystem and food chain; Environmental degradation and conservation.

Human Geography

  1. i) Man and Environment Relationship

Growth and development of Human Geography; Concepts of Determinism and Possibilism.

  1. ii) Population

Races of mankind and tribes; growth and distribution of world population; migration; population problems of developed and developing countries.

iii) Economic Activities

Food gathering and hunting; pastoral herding; fishing and forestry; Types of agriculture-shifting, subsistence, commercial and plantation; Mining, Power; Manufacturing -locational factors of textile, iron and steel, sugar and fertilizer industries; Tertiary activities-trade, transport, communication and services.

  1. iv) Settlements

Origin, types and patterns of rural settlements; Processes of urbanisation; morphology and functional classification of towns; million-cities and megacities.

Geography of the World

  1. i) Major Natural Regions : Characteristics, economic base and human adaptation.
  2. ii) Regional Geography of Developed Countries : Canada, U.S.A., Western Europe, Russia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

iii) Regional Geography of Developing Countries : S.E. Asia, S.W. Asia, China, Southern Africa and Brazil.

  1. iv) Regional Geography of South Asia.

Geography of India

  1. i) Physical Setting

Landforms, drainage, climate, soils and natural vegetation.

  1. ii) Economic Base

Minerals & energy resources, aquatic resources, forest resources; irrigation, agriculture and industries; trade and commerce.

iii) Population

Growth, distribution and density; demographic characteristics.

  1. iv) Environmental problems, developmental issues and regional planning.

Geographical Thought

  1. i) Ancient Period : Contributions of Indians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs.
  2. ii) Pre-Modern Period : Contribution of Verenius, Kant, Humboldt and Ritter.

iii) Modern Period : Dichotomy of determinism and possibilism; contributions of Ratzel, Semple, Huntington and La Blache.

  1. iv) Recent Period : Quantitative Revolution; Radicalism, Behaviorism and Humanism.

Techniques of Geographical Analysis

  1. i) Maps : Scale and types, uses.
  2. ii) Diagrams : Types and uses

iii) Projections : Types, characteristics and uses.

  1. iv) Remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS) : Aerial photographs and imagery, GIS.

Questions about the location of important places, landforms, and geographical features in India and the world appeared in the previous UPSC prelims exam papers.
Candidates are advised to refer previous years IAS prelims question prepare to understand the nature of questions asked and to prepare accordingly and questions are of easy to moderate level.

D) Historyfor UPSC -IAS – Civil Services

History for Prelims and Mains is  a very important topic. Almost 15-20 questions are asked in Prelims paper 1 on History every year. Add to that questions totaling about 60-90 marks in GS Mains paper and you get a good idea about the importance of History in IAS exam. But many IAS aspirants don’t know how to start, what to cover and how to cover the History syllabus.

To solve these queries we have prepared a useful flowchart detailing the entire History syllabus at a glance.We have divided the History syllabus into three parts – Ancient, Medieval and Modern period. Below each is the chronological sequence of topics that should be covered.


History of India can be divided into 3 sections – Ancient, Medieval and Modern. A significant weightage has been given to History over the years.
As per the recent trend, atleast 15-20% weightage is given to History.

But then History is a very ‘vast’ subject. So what to do now? A plethora of questions keep bombarding your head – How do I read History? What to focus on? Will I be able to cover the entire syllabus?

The answer to all your confusion is here – You have to think smart! From the previous year papers analysis, we have observed that more weightage is given to ‘Modern History’. So to make the maximum benefit for the time invested, ‘prioritize’ in this order- Modern, Ancient and Medieval History.

In this article, to ease your preparation we have divided History into 4 Sections – Modern, Ancient, Medieval and Culture. Under each section we have analysed the weightage given, what aspects to focus on and the books to refer.

Since, Culture too has been gaining a lot of mileage in the recent times, we have come up with a separate section for Culture (In 2014 alone, 7 questions had come from this section)

So now let’s start with Modern History.




Emergence of regional powers in the early decades of 18th Century is taken as a change from the Medieval to Modern India.

The early modern India witnessed the fall of the great Mughal Empire, the Marathas and Consolidation of British rule in India. The mid-phase marks the struggle of Indians- revolt of 1857 (or the First War of Independence), organisation of Indian National Congress, role of Moderates and the Extremists. And finally the last stage stands testimony to various National Movements –Civil Disobedience Movements, Quit India Movement, Formation of Constitution Assembly and Sampoorna Swaraj (or Complete Independence) to India.

Modern India is the most important section from the prelims perspective. The weightage given to this section over the years stands testimony to the significance of this section.

Weightage given since 2011

2013 6
2014 5
2015 12 Q History 
2016 6-7 Q mordern india


How to read Modern History?

  • In this section, we come across various revolts/movements/agitations(like 1857 revolt, Tebhaga Peasant Movement, Home Rule Movement, Quit India Movement).

What one needs to Focus here is:

  • The Purpose of the movement[s]
  • The Reasons which led to the movement[s]
  • The Consequences of the movement[s]
  • The people who participated in this movement[s]
  • Famous Personalities involved in the movement[s] and their contribution
  • The role of Press and Literature



E) Preparation of General Sciencefor UPSC -IAS – Civil Services

It can be divided into four parts—Science and Technology, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. On an average, 25 to 30 questions can be expected from this section. For students with Humanities background, this section is always a nightmare. But the basic understanding of science, especially a thorough understanding of NCERT books, can solve most of the questions. Ignoring this area can be suicidal for any candidate.

Science and technology have become an important section of GS for the last six years. The number of questions varies from 6 to 8. In this part, questions are mainly from the current developments in India. For example, the testing of various missiles and space missions like Prithvi, Agni, Chadrayaan 1, etc. More often questions are also from defence institutions/ establishments like DRDO. Newspapers can be useful for this section.

Among the General Science subject, Biology is the most important. Recent analysis shows that questions on General Science cover general appreciation and understanding of day-to-day science.

In Biology, the thrust is on Zoology. Only a few questions are being asked from Botany, particularly the biological diversity and plant system. In Zoology, most of the questions are related to the human system and diseases. Communicable diseases and nutrition have always been significant.

In Chemistry, questions are comparatively little. Normally 5 to 6 questions can be expected. The application part of Chemistry is more important in the exam. Technical details and equations are not that important. NCERT books from class VIIIth to Xth will be highly useful. A special page of THE HINDU which comes on every Thursday can also help in knowing interesting things about everyday science and will also help in developing interest.


Subject 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
History 11 19 16 20 17
Geography 11 17 18 14 16
Indian Polity 12 20 16 14 13
Science 19 9 14 16 8
Indian Economy 19 17 19 10 13
Environment 15 17 17 18 11
Current Affairs And Misc 13 1 NO 8 22
Total 100 100 100 100 100

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