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IAS Prelims Syllabus & Subjectwise Weightage

Every year, the Union Public Service Commission publishes the UPSC Prelims Syllabus along with the official notification. To pass the UPSC CSE Exam 2022, it is critical to comprehend the UPSC Prelims Syllabus in its entirety. The IAS Prelims Syllabus contains two papers: GS Paper 1 and GS Paper 2. The UPSC Pre Syllabus GS Paper 1 determines whether the candidates’ scores are qualifying, and GS Paper 2 is qualifying in nature, requiring the candidate to score more than 33%.

Candidates preparing for the upcoming prelims exam should download the UPSC Prelims Syllabus PDF and get started. The UPSC publishes the IAS Preliminary Syllabus in both English and Hindi. The UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2022 is detailed below, and it includes topics covered in both Paper 1 and Paper 2, as well as topic weightage, recent changes, etc.

Overview of UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus

The UPSC CSE Prelims syllabus is detailed in the table below, according to the UPSC CSE notification:

UPSC CSE Prelims Syllabus
Paper Name Syllabus Time
General Studies (Paper 1)
  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic
  • Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change
  • General Science. 
2 hours
CSAT (Paper 2)
  • Comprehension.
  • Interpersonal skills, including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
  • Decision making and problem-solving;
  • General mental ability;
  • Basic numeracy, 
  • Data interpretation 
2 hours

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Paper 1

The UPSC Prelims Paper 1 Syllabus includes topics such as geography, economics, general science, economics, politics and governance, and current affairs. We will go over each topic’s UPSC Prelims Paper 1 Syllabus in detail below:

Syllabus for History

According to this section of the UPSC Pre syllabus, the paper’s questions will be based on the “History of India and Indian National Movement.” Candidates must prepare thoroughly in order to perform well in this section. Ancient, Medieval, and Modern History are all covered in the UPSC Prelims History section. Check out the list of topics covered in the UPSC Prelims history syllabus.

Ancient History Syllabus

  • Sangam Period (South-Indian Dynasties)
  • Pre-Historic Times
  • Rig Vedic Period
  • Mauryan Period
  • Buddhism
  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Jainism
  • Gupta Period
  • Post-Mauryan Period
  • Later Vedic Period
  • Harshwardhana Period
  • Mahajanpadas

Medieval History Syllabus

  • Establishment of the North-Indian Empire
  • Afghans, Rajputs & Mughals
  • The Mughal Empire
  • Vijaynagar Empire
  • Early Muslim Invasions
  • Marathas and the Other Indian States
  • Cholas and South-Indian Kingdoms
  • Major Dynasties of Early Medieval India (Pratiharas, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas)
  • The decline of the Mughal Empire
  • The Delhi Sultanate

Modern History Syllabus

  • Indian National Movement-III (1930-1947)
  • Administration before 1857
  • British Expansion
  • Socio-Religious Reforms
  • Administrative Changes after 1857
  • Revolutionary Nationalism
  • Development of Education
  • Indian National Movement-II (1918-1929)
  • Development of Press
  • Advent of Europeans
  • Governors-General and Viceroys of India
  • Indian National Movement-I (1905-1918)
  • Development of Civil Services
  • Economic Policies of the British
  • Impact of British Administration
  • Constitutional Development of Indian
  • Revolt of 1857
  • Peasant Movements

Syllabus for Geography

According to the UPSC Prelims Geography syllabus, this section includes Social, Physical, and Economic Geography of India and the World. Geography, like History, is a vast subject that is also available as an optional subject choice in IAS Mains. Candidates must read the detailed Geography Syllabus for UPSC in order to plan their preparation more effectively.

Indian Geography Syllabus

  • Climate
  • Natural Vegetation
  • Soils in India
  • Recent development in agriculture
  • Transport
  • Land Resource
  • Settlements and Urbanization
  • Energy Resource
  • Population
  • Agriculture and Basic Terminology
  • Productivity of Crops
  • Industry
  • Mineral Resource
  • Recent developments in Industry and Transport
  • Physiography of India
  • Drainage System

General Geography Syllabus

  • Universe
  • Earth Evolution


  • Ocean, Deposits, and Corals
  • Submarine Relief Features
  • Waves, Oceans, Currents, Tides
  • Hydrosphere
  • Temperature and Salinity
  • Marine Resources


  • Earthquakes and Volcanism
  • Geomorphic Process
  • Geology and Rock System
  • Earth’s Interior
  • Landforms and their evolution
  • Landforms across the world
  • Distribution of Continents and Oceans


  • Air Mass, Fronts, Cyclones, and Jet Streams
  • Precipitation
  • Insolation and Heat Budget
  • Atmosphere
  • Wind and Pressure Belts
  • Inversion of Temperature
  • Climate Zones of the World

Bio Geography

  • Soil Characteristics
  • Vegetation Resources

Human and Economic Geography

  • Human Development
  • International Trade
  • Settlement
  • Demography and Census
  • Transport and Communication
  • Economic Activities

World Regional Geography

  • Continents, Countries, and Cities
  • Location in News

Syllabus for Environment

Environment and ecology are also covered in the UPSC prelims paper 1 syllabus. Many questions have been raised in this section in recent years. The UPSC Pre Environment Syllabus is divided into two parts: Ecology & Environment and Biodiversity. Check out the list of topics covered in the UPSC Prelims Environment Syllabus.

Ecology & Environment

  • Origin of Life Forms
  • Population Ecology
  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Terrestrial Ecosystem
  • Adaptation of Species and Interactions
  • Ecosystem Functions
  • Basic Concepts of Ecology
  • Aquatic Ecosystem


  • Estuaries
  • Animal and Plant Diversity
  • Basics of Bio-Diversity
  • Mangroves
  • Coral Reliefs
  • Threats to Biodiversity
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Wetlands

Other Important Topics

  • Environmental Governance
  • Resource Degradation and Management
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Pollution

Syllabus for Polity

Political System, Constitution, Public Policy, Panchayati Raj, Right Issues, and other topics are covered in the UPSC Prelims syllabus for Indian polity and governance. This is one of them.

One of the most important sections of the UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2022, with approximately 12-14 questions from polity. Examine the polity important topics for UPSC prelims 2022 listed below. Examine the polity books for UPSC to better prepare.


  • Features of preamble
  • 42nd Amendment
  • Swaran Singh committee

Constitution of India

  • The basic idea about All articles
  • Drafting committee and the making of the Constitution
  • Influence of other constitutions
  • Historical Background
  • Its salient features


  • The basic idea about 12 schedules


  • Article 5-11
  • PIO, NRI, OCI and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
  • Citizenship Amendment Act of 2016
  • New policies, schemes, and recent changes in voting.
  • Privileges available for Indian citizens and foreigners

Union and its Territory

  • Article 1-4
  • Federal nature
  • Recent issues
  • State reorganization and different Commissions

Fundamental Rights (FR)

  • Rights and privileges are available to citizens of India only and both to citizens and foreigners
  • Article 12-35
  • A thorough understanding of Articles 14- 30 and Art. 32
  • RTE and recent issues related to FR
  • Enforcement and Exceptional cases about FR’s
  • Different types of Writs
  • 44th amendment act

Fundamental Duties (FD)

  • Article 51A
  • Enforcement of FDs
  • Recent issues with FD
  • Difference between FR and FD
  • Significance and Criticism

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

  • The basic idea about Article and Article 36-51 and Article 368
  • Sources and key features of DPSP
  • Classification of DPSP
  • Keshavananda Bharathi, Minerva Mills, Golaknath Case, Maneka Gandhi case.
  • Important Amendments- 42nd Amendment, 44th Amendment, and 97th amendment
  • Comparison/ conflicts between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles


  • Council of ministers
  • Qualification and Election
  • Prime minister and council of ministers- The basic idea about Article 74-75
  • Resignation and impeachment
  • Parliament
  • Function and Powers- (Executive, Legislative, Financial, Judicial, Diplomatic, Military and Emergency Powers)
  • Resignation and Removal
  • Attorney general
  • Powers and Functions
  • The basic idea of Article 52-73
  • Role and responsibilities and relationship with Prime minister, Council of Minister, Cabinet ministers.


  • The basic idea of the article is related to the judiciary.
  • Qualification and appointment
  • Removal procedure
  • Recent controversy, verdicts, and constitutional provisions.
  • Powers of the Supreme court and high court

State Government-State Executive

  • Governor- appointment, removal, and special powers.
  • Executive, Legislative, Financial, and Judicial powers and discretionary of the governor
  • Chief minister and council of ministers
  • Power of chief minister
  • State Legislature
  • 7th constitutional amendment
  • Administration of Union Territories (UT)
  • Special provision for Delhi
  • Administration and jurisdiction in UT’s

Administration of Special Areas

  • Basic idea about 5thSchedule 6th Schedule
  • Difference between constitutional provisions related to Jammu and Kashmir
  • Recent issues related to Administration of Special Areas
  • Special provision for Jammu and Kashmir-Article 370

Emergency Provisions

  • National emergency- Article 352
  • Effects and implications of emergency
  • Role of President in emergency time
  • The State of FR, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha
  • Revoking emergency
  • President’s rule or State emergency- Article 356
  • Financial emergency- Article 360
  • 44th amendment act

Panchayati Raj and Municipalities

  • 3 tier structure
  • Schemes introduced
  • Relation with FR and DPSP
  • 73rd Amendment Act and the 74th Amendment Act
  • Elections, auditing, powers and authority of panchayats
  • Metropolitan planning committee and urban development

State-Centre and Interstate Relations

  • Composition and functions of Interstate council and Zonal council
  • Recent disputes between states, controversies, etc
  • Inter-State trade and Commerce
  • The basic idea about Articles 262 and 263
  • New policies or schemes which impact interstate relation

Constitution Bodies

  • Election Commission
  • Finance Commission
  • National Commission for SCs and STs,
  • Composition, Powers and Functions, Removal of the Constitutional bodies
  • UPSC
  • SPSC
  • JPSC

Non-Constitutional Bodies

  • The basic idea of functions, Composition, and working of Non-Constitutional Bodies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation, National Human Rights Commission, Central Information Commission, Central Vigilance Commission, State Human Rights Commission, State Information Commission, etc.


  • The basic idea about Article 323A and tribunals under Article 323B
  • Different tribunals and the importance
  • Recent controversial issues related to tribunals

Current Affairs

  • Recent issues related to the above-mentioned categories
  • Important laws, schemes, programs, missions, and policies launched by the government.
  • Recent Government Bills and Governance- Actions

Syllabus for Economics

The Indian Economy Section is shared by the UPSC Prelims and Mains Syllabus 2022. It is also an optional subject in UPSC Mains. To do well in this section, candidates should concentrate on current events concerning the Indian economy. Examine the UPSC Prelims economy syllabus.

  • Public Finance in India – Budgeting, Tax Structure in India
  • Economic Measurements – National Income & Its Calculation, Economic Growth and Development and Inflation
  • Money & Banking – Money Function & Classification, Financial Markets & Its Instruments along with Banking Structure in India
  • Basic Concepts – Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Concepts
  • Planning- Meaning, Objective & History, NITI Aayog, Planning Institutions along with Five Year Plans in India
  • Government Schemes and Programmes
  • International Organizations, Trade Agreements
  • Open Economy – Foreign Trade Concepts, Recent Development
  • Economic Sectors – Poverty, Employment, and Unemployment
  • Fiscal Policy, Centre-state Distribution

Syllabus for Science

The majority of the questions in the IAS Prelims Syllabus are based on current events. As a result, candidates must spend time studying current events in addition to the UPSC books. The following topics are covered in the UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Science:

  • Blood – Blood Groups – Formed Elements
  • Plant Nutrition – Photosynthesis, Nitrogen Cycle, Fixation
  • Carbohydrates – Monosaccharides, Polysaccharides
  • Sex Determination – Genetic Disorders
  • Human Reproductive System
  • Solar System Formation – Nebular Theory of Laplace
  • Plant Kingdom – Halophytes, Bryophytes
  • Plants with Seeds – Gymnosperms and Angiosperms
  • Plant Parts and Their Functions
  • Plant Tissue – Simple, Complex Permanent Tissue
  • Diseases – Acute, Chronic, Communicable Diseases
  • Classification of Vertebrata (Phylum Chordata)
  • Animal Tissues – Epithelium, Connective Tissues
  • Solar System – Planets, Inner Planets, Outer Planets
  • Respiratory System – NCERT General Science
  • Endocrine Glands and Hormones
  • Excretory System – Kidney, Urine Formation
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Deficiency Diseases
  • Human Digestive System – Digestive Glands
  • Atomic Theory – Structure of an Atom
  • Sexual and Asexual Reproduction in Plants
  • Proteins – Amino Acids, Enzymes
  • Five Kingdom Classifications of Plants and Animals
  • Inheritance – Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance, Chromosomal Theory, Human Genome Project
  • Muscular and Skeletal System
  • Universe – Big Bang, Redshift, Blueshift
  • Microbes in Human Welfare – Useful Microbes
  • AIDS, Cancer – causes
  • Nuclear Fission, Nuclear Reactor Types
  • Fats – Healthy Fats and Unhealthy Fats
  • Immunity – Human Immune System
  • India’s Three-Stage Nuclear Power Programme
  • Biotechnology – Genetic Engineering – Processes and Applications
  • Star Formation – Stellar Evolution, Life Cycle of A Star
  • Human Neural System – Human Brain
  • Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth
  • Mitosis – Cell Cycle, Cell Division, Meiosis – Mitosis – Meiosis Comparison
  • Cell Organelles – Plant Cell vs Animal Cell
  • Biological Classification
  • Classification of Animal Kingdom (Animalia)
  • Circulatory System, Double Circulation
  • Sun – Internal Structure, Atmosphere
  • Nucleic acids – DNA and RNA, Recombinant DNA
  • Diseases Caused by Microorganisms
  • Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Paper 2

The UPSC Prelims Paper 2 Syllabus is also known as the CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test) Syllabus. Since its inception, the CSAT Syllabus has been a part of the IAS Prelims syllabus. CSAT was declared a “Qualifying Exam” in 2014-15, with a passing percentage of 33%. This section is designed to assess IAS aspirants’ analytical abilities. Candidates can begin their preparation as soon as they download the UPSC Prelims Syllabus PDF.

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • General mental ability
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. — Class X level)

UPSC Prelims Syllabus Subject Wise Weightage

The IAS Prelims Syllabus for Paper 1 covers a wide range of topics. Each year, the number of questions from each subject varies. The total number of questions asked in the UPSC Pre Paper 1 is 100, whereas the UPSC CSAT paper contains 80 questions. According to UPSC Exam analysis, the distribution of the UPSC Pre syllabus over the last few years is as follows.

Current Affairs27182214152722
Science & Technology810710988

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques. Do questions in the UPSC Prelims repeat?

Ans. Rarely. It is unusual to see questions from the UPSC CSE Prelims exam repeated. However, themes repeat, so if questions about the President were asked previously, questions on the same theme can be asked again. This does not preclude you from answering the previous year’s questions. It will assist you in understanding the level of questions.

Ques. Are two months sufficient for UPSC Prelims?

Ans. Yes, two months is enough time to prepare for the UPSC Prelims. You can begin with NCERTs and current events. You can also practise by taking test series from various institutes. Furthermore, you will need to study for 12 hours per day for the next two months to complete the syllabus.

Ques. Are NCERT Books sufficient to cover the UPSC Pre Syllabus 2022?

Ans. Without a doubt, NCERT books are essential resources for preparing for the UPSC Prelims. When you start your UPSC preparation, read all of the NCERT books for UPSC to lay a solid foundation for all subjects. Once you have a solid foundation in all subjects, you can move on to the advanced books. As a result, for a few subjects, NCERTs are sufficient for UPSC; however, because competition is tough, refer to more books.

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