UPSC Civil Services Main Examination – IAS Main Exam Scheme 2017

UPSC Civil Services Main Examination – IAS Main Exam Scheme 2017

IAS Main Exam Scheme 2017

UPSC Civil Services Main Exam Scheme 2017

Civil Services Mains Written Examination 2017

The Civil Services Mains written examination will consist of the following papers :

Qualifying Papers :

Paper A ( One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the constitution ). : 300 marks.

Paper – B English : 300 marks.

Papers to be counted for merit :

Grand Total2025 Marks
Paper IEssay250 Marks
Paper IIGeneral Studies - I

( Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society )
250 Marks
Papers IIIGeneral Studies - II

( Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations )
250 Marks
Papers IVGeneral Studies - III

( Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management )
250 Marks
Paper VGeneral Studies - IV

( Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude )
250 Marks
Paper VIOptional Subject - Paper 1250 Marks
Paper VIIOptional Subject - Paper 2250 Marks
Sub Total ( Written test )1750 Marks
Personality Test275 Marks

Candidates may choose any one of the optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given in para 2 below :
Note :

  1. The papers on Indian Languages and English ( Paper A and Paper B ) will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.
  2. Evaluation of the papers, namely, Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of all the candidates would be done simultaneously along with evaluation of their qualifying papers on ‘Indian Languages’ and ‘English’ but the papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subject of only such candidates will be taken cognizance of who attain 25% marks in Indian Language and 25% marks in English as minimum qualifying standards in these qualifying papers.
  3. The Paper A on Indian Language will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
  4. Marks obtained by the candidates for the Paper I-VII only will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Union Public Service Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all of these papers.
  5. For the Language medium / literature of languages, the scripts to be used by the candidates will be as under :
    CSAT Exam Question Bank CD

    SanskritDevanagariSanthaliDevanagari or Olchiki
    SindhiDevanagari or ArabicTamilTamil

    Note : For Santhali language, question paper will be printed in Devanagari script; but candidates will be free to answer either in Devanagari script or in Olchiki.

2. List of optional Subjects for Civil Services Main Examination 2017 :

AgricultureAnimal Husbandry & Veterinary ScienceAnthropology
BotanyChemistryCivil Engineering
Commerce and AccountancyEconomicsElectrical Engineering
Mechanical EngineeringMedical SciencePhilosophy
PhysicsPolitical Science and International RelationsPsychology
Public AdministrationSociologyStatistics
ZoologyLiterature of any one of the following languages :

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.

Note :

  1. The question papers for the Civil Services Main Examination 2017 will be of conventional ( essay ) type.
  2. Each paper will be of three hours duration.
  3. Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers, except the Qualifying Language papers Paper-A and Paper-B, in any of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English.
  4. Candidates exercising the option to answer Papers in any one of the languages mentioned above may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them. Candidates should, however, note that if they misuse the above rule, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to them and in extreme cases; their script(s) will not be valued for being in an unauthorized medium.
  5. The question papers ( other than the literature of language papers ) will be set in Hindi and English only.
  6. The details of the syllabi are set out in Part B of Section III.

General Instructions ( Preliminary as well as Main Examination ) :

  1. Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances, will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them. However, blind candidates and candidates with Locomotor Disability and Cerebral Palsy where dominant ( writing ) extremity is affected to the extent of slowing the performance of function ( minimum of 40% impairment ) will be allowed to write the examination with the help of a scribe in both the Civil Services ( Preliminary ) as well as in the Civil Services ( Main ) Examination.
  2. Compensatory time of twenty minutes per hour shall be permitted for the Blind candidates and the candidates with locomotor disability and cerebral palsy where dominant ( writing ) extremity is affected to the extent of slowing the performance of function ( minimum of 40% impairment ) in both the Civil Services ( Preliminary ) as well as in the Civil Services ( Main ) Examination.

Note 1 : The eligibility conditions of a scribe, his / her conduct inside the UPSC examination hall and the manner in which and extent to which he / she can help the blind candidate in writing the Civil Services Examination shall be governed by the instructions issued by the UPSC in this regard. Violation of all or any of the said instructions shall entail the cancellation of the candidature of the blind candidate in addition to any other action that the UPSC may take against the scribe.

Note 2 : For purpose of these rules the candidate shall be deemed to be a blind candidate if the percentage of visual impairment is Fourty percentage ( 40% ) or more. The criteria for determining the percentage of visual impairment shall be as follows :

All with corrections
Better eyeWorse eye
Category O6 / 9 - 6 / 186 / 24 to 6 / 3620%
Category I6 / 18 - 6 / 366 / 60 to nil40%
Category II6 / 60 - 4 / 60 or field of vision 10 - 20°3 / 60 to nil75%
Category III3 / 60 - 1 / 60 or field of vision 10°F.C. at 1 ft to nil100%
Category IVF.C. at 1 ft to nil field of vision 100°F.C. at 1 ft to nil field of vision 100°100%
One eyed person6 / 6F.C. at 1 ft to nil30%

Note 3 : For availing of the concession admissible to a blind candidate, the candidate concerned shall produce a certificate in the prescribed proforma from a Medical Board constituted by the Central / State Governments alongwith his application for the Civil Services Main Examination.

Note 4 :

  1. The concession admissible to blind candidates shall not be admissible to those suffering from Myopia.
  2. The Union Public Service Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the subjects of the Civil Service examination.
  3. If a candidate’s handwriting is not easily legible, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him.
  4. Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.
  5. Credit will be given for orderly, effective and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the Civil Services Main examination.
  6. In the question papers, wherever required, SI units will be used.
  7. Candidates should use only international form of Indian numerals ( i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 etc. ) while answering question papers.
  8. Candidates will be allowed the use of Scientific ( Non-Programmable type ) Calculators at the conventional ( Essay ) type examination of UPSC. Programmable type calculators will however not be allowed and the use of such calculators shall tantamount to resorting to unfair means by the candidates. Loaning or interchanging of calculators in the UPSC Examination Hall is not permitted. It is also important to note that candidates are not permitted to use calculators for answering objective type papers ( Test Booklets ). They should not therefore, bring the same inside the Union Public Service Commission Examination Hall.

Civil Services Interview test

  1. The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his / her career. He / she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the Civil Service 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 calibre of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his / her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his / her 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 Civil Service 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 Civil Services 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.


IAS Main Exam Papers 2017

Part B ‐ Main Examination

The Main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory. The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers ( Paper II to Paper V ) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers. The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers ( Paper VI and Paper VII ) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree. Syllabi of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services ( Main ) Examination are given as follows :

Qualifying papers on Indian Languages and English

The aim of the paper is to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned. The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

  1. Comprehension of given passages
  2. Precis writing
  3. Usage and Vocabulary
  4. Short Essays.

Indian Languages :

  1. Comprehension of given passages.
  2. Precis Writing
  3. Usage and Vocabulary.
  4. Short Essays
  5. Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa.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 ).

Paper – I

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

Paper – II

General Studies – I : Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

  1. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present-significant events, personalities, issues.
  3. The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors/ contributions from different parts of the country.
  4. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  5. 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.
  6. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  7. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  8. Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  9. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  10. Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  11. 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 )
  12. 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

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

  1. Indian Constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  2. 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.
  3. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  4. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  5. Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  6. 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.
  7. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  8. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  9. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  10. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  11. Development processes and the development industry – the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  12. 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.
  13. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector / Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  14. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  15. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  16. Role of civil services in a democracy.
  17. India and its neighborhood – relations.
  18. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and / or affecting India’s interests.
  19. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  20. Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Paper – IV

General Studies – III : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

  1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  2. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  3. Government Budgeting.
  4. 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.
  5. 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; economics of animal-rearing.
  6. Food processing and related industries in India – scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  7. Land reforms in India.
  8. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  9. Infrastructure : Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  10. Investment models.
  11. Science and Technology – Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
  12. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  13. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  14. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  15. Disaster and disaster management.
  16. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  17. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  18. 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.
  19. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
  20. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Paper – V

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Attitude : content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  3. 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.
  4. Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  5. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Case Studies on above issues.

Paper – VI & Paper VII

Optional Subject Papers I & II Candidate may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of Optional Subjects.


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UPSC Civil Services Main Examination – IAS Main Exam Scheme 2017


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5 Responses to “UPSC Civil Services Main Examination – IAS Main Exam Scheme 2017”

  1. arun goswami January 17, 2012 at 2:44 am # Reply

    i want to know that which institute is best for the coaching for IAS exam
    and i also want to know that exam of indian language comes essay type or not and that paper will be in english or not please tell me i m confuse about that.

  2. sastha April 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm # Reply

    what is the syllabus for IAS prelim exam?

  3. reena May 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm # Reply

    candidate cleared the pre exam is the only who is eligible for main exam?

  4. monika June 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm # Reply

    i m pursuing my in instrumentation and control and want to know is there any subject related to my field in prelims and main exam

  5. shubham singh June 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm # Reply

    last date to fill form of cs mains

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