UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus

Welcome to UPSC CSE Website. If you are a beginner in the upsc civil services exam then this is the best post to read to know about the full pattern of upsc civil services exam with key facts and the full syllabus of upsc civil services exam including prelim exam [2 papers], main exam [9 papers includes Political Science and International Relations optional syllabus] and interview syllabus.

So, Let’s get started

First, you will fill the form for upsc civil services preliminary exam and then you will appear for that and if you pass prelim exam then only you will be eligible for mains exam.

So, in the civil services prelim exam you will have two compulsory papers worth of 400 marks and each paper will be for 200 marks with 2hrs each. Both papers are compulsory but paper 2 is compulsory and qualifying in nature. Means paper 2 marks are not to be counted for prelim cut offs but you have to get minimum of 33% marks in paper 2, Otherwise, you will fail in prelim. only paper 1 marks to be counted for upsc prelim cut offs.

UPSC CSE (Civil Services Exam) Prelim Syllabus :(400 Marks Exam)

Paper I – (200 marks) (100 Questions) Duration :Two hours

• 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, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.

• General Science.  

Paper II-(200 marks) (80 Questions) Duration :Two hours

• Comprehension;

• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

• Logical reasoning and analytical ability;

• Decision making and problem solving;

• General mental ability;

• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level);

Note 1 : Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

Note 3 : It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.  

So, After prelim exam you will wait for prelim result and if you pass the prelim then you will  be eligible to appear for civil services mains exam.

So, in mains examination you will have a total of 9 papers [ 2 languages papers, 1 essay paper, 4 General Studies Papers and 2 Optional Papers of one subject] in which language papers are only qualifying in nature with 25% marks required for each paper A and Paper B of language Papers. And you have to get minimum 10% marks in other 7 competitive papers ( 10% marks in each of the seven competitive papers i.e. Essay, GS‐I, GS‐II, GS‐III, GS‐IV, Optional‐I and Optional‐II. )

UPSC CSE(Civil Services Exam) Mains Syllabus :(1750 Marks To Be Counted for Merits)

Following Paper A and Paper B Marks are Not to be counted  For Merits. These two papers are qualifying papers.

Note : The aim of the language and english paper is to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian language concerned.

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

Paper A : Indian Languages : (3hrs)(300marks)(25% Required Qualifying Marks)

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.

(v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

Paper B : English language (3hrs)(300marks)(25% Required Qualifying Marks)

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.

Note 1 : The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

Note 2 : The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).

From following Paper 1 to Paper VII Marks Are to be counted for Merits

PAPER-I (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

Essay Paper : Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.  

PAPER-II (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies-I : Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of theWorld and Society.

• Indian culture will cover the salient aspects ofArt Forms, literature andArchitecture from ancient to modern times.

• Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

• The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

• Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

• History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

• Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

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

• Effects of globalization on Indian society.

• Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

• Salient features of world’s physical geography.

• Distribution of key natural resources across 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., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

PAPER-III (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

• Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings,   evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

• Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

• Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

• Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

• Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

• Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

• Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

• Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

• Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

• Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

• Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

• Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

• Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

• Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

• Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

• Role of civil services in a democracy.

• India and its neighborhood- relations.

• Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

• Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.  

• Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

PAPER-IV (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies-III:Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

• Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

• Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

• Government Budgeting.

• Major crops-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.

• Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution Systemobjectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

• Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

• Land reforms in India.

• Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

• Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads,Airports, Railways etc.

• Investment models.

• Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

• Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

• Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

• Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

• Disaster and disaster management.

• Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

• Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

• Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

• Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

• Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

PAPER-V (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered :

• 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/Civil service values and Ethics in 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 above issues.  

UPSC Political Science and International Relations Optional Syllabus :

UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus
UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus

PAPER-VI (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

PAPER- I

Political Theory and Indian Politics :

1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.

2. Theories of state : Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluiralist, post-colonial and Feminist.

3. Justice : Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.

4. Equality : Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.

5. Rights : Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; Concept of Human Rights.

6. Democracy : Classical and contemporary theories; different models of

democracy—representative, participatory and deliberative.

7. Concept of power : hegemony, ideology and legitimacy.

8. Political Ideologies : Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.  

9. Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed

Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy.

10. Western Political Thought : Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx,

Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.

Indian Government and Politics

1.Indian Nationalism :(a) Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha,Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and
WorkersMovements.

(b) Perspectives on Indian National Movement; Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical

Humanist and Dalit.

2. Making of the Indian Constitution : Legacies of the British rule; different social and political

perspectives.

3. Salient Features of the Indian Constitution : The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties,

Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and

Basic Structure doctrine.

4. (a) Principal Organs of the Union Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the

Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.

(b) Principal Organs of the State Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the

Executive, Legislature and High Courts.

5. Grassroots Democracy : Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and

74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.

6. Statutory Institutions/Commissions : Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General,

Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled

Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women;

National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward

Classes Commission.

7. Federalism : Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations;

integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.

8. Planning and Economic Development : Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; Role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations;

liberalization and economic reforms.

9. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.

10. Party System : National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties;

Patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behaviour; changing

socio-economic profile of Legislators.

11. Social Movement : Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s

movements; environmentalist movements.  

PAPER-VII (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

PAPER-II

Comparative Politics and International Relations  

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics :

1. Comparative Politics : Nature and major approaches; Political economy and political sociology perspectives; Limitations of the comparative method.

2. State in Comparative Perspective : Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.

3. Politics of Representation and Participation : Political parties, pressure groups and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.

4. Globalisation : Responses from developed and developing societies.

5. Approaches to the Study of International Relations : Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.

6. Key Concepts in International Relations : National interest, security and power; Balance of

power and deterrence; Transational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.

7. Changing International Political Order :

(a) Rise of super powers; Strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and cold war; Nuclear threat;

(b) Non-aligned Movement : Aims and achievements.

(c) Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; Relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.

8. Evolution of the International Economic System : From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.

9. United Nations : Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.

10. Regionalisation of World Politics : EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA.

11. Contemporary Global Concerns : Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

India and the World

1. Indian Foreign Policy : Determinants of foreign policy; the institutions of policy-making; Continuity and change.

2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement Different phases; Current role.

3. India and South Asia :

(a) Regional Co-operation : SAARC-past performance and future prospects.

(b) South Asia as a Free Trade Area.

(c) India’s “Look East” policy.

(d) Impediments to regional co-operation : River water disputes; illegal cross border

migration; Ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; Border disputes.

4. India and the Global South : Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.

5. India and the Global Centres of Power : USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.

6. India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.

7. India and the Nuclear Question : Changing perceptions and policy.

8. Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy : India’s position on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Isreal; Vision of a new world order.  

So, This is the Syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Political Science and International Relations Optional Subject Paper 1 and paper 2 with General Studies, essay and UPSC Civil Services Preliminary examination syllabus.

After mains exam upsc will select 3 candidates per posts with respect to vacancies for personal interview of 275 marks.  For eg. if vacancies are 1000 then only 3000 candidates will be eligible from mains exam to take an interview for selection of 1000 candidates.

So, What is the syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Interview which is for 275 Marks and its highest.

UPSC CSE Interview Syllabus : (275 Marks)

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

2. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

3. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.

So, This is the full syllabus of upsc civil services exam with Political Science and International Relations optional syllabus.

Finally, after interview the final result will come after that there will be medical test and physical test(for technical Posts Only). After that you will be free for some months and then the foundations course will start at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie-248179 (Uttarakhand).  

After Foundation course you will be sent for your posts related training course at respected academies which are present in all over india.

For eg.

For IAS, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

For IFS, Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, Delhi

For IPS, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy. Hyderabad

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