Cracking UPSC Mains Examination
Now that you have gone past the Prelims, the real test comes closer. Understand that you cannot first prepare for the Prelims then work your way through Mains, rather because it is such a heavy curriculum-based examination that you have to start with preparing for Mains first then invest your time into Prelims. The timing of the exams are a bit weird for the studies, after having cleared the Prelims, you will have only 4 months to study for Optional subject, Essay and General Studies which is quite a difficult task.
The first step is understanding the whole syllabus like with any exam.
Essay - 250 Marks -
To be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice. A candidate is required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They are expected to keep their thoughts closely to the subject and arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and be concise. Credit will be given to effective and coherent expression.
General Studies-I 250 Marks (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture 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, redrawing 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 the 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.
General Studies -II: 250 Marks (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
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 disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, the 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 the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Issues relating to the 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 neighbourhood- 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.
General Studies -III 250 Marks (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
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.
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 System objectives, 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.
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.
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, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; 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
General Studies -IV 250 Marks (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.
Optional Subject - Paper I -250 Marks
Optional Subject - Paper II -250 Marks
Candidates may choose any ONE optional subject from amongst the list of subjects given below.
(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
(vi) Civil Engineering
(vii) Commerce and Accountancy
(ix) Electrical Engineering
(xvi) Mechanical Engineering
(xvii) Medical Science
(xx) Political Science and International Relations
(xxii) Public Administration
(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages:
Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili,
Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu
Tips To Study Efficiently For the Mains Exam
1. Select Your Study Material Properly-
Mains examination has an almost insurmountable amount of syllabus with extreme diversity. Thus rather than studying with bulky books with loads of extra information, you have to properly select study material which gives you important insights and succinctly provides the required study material. This will make life much easier but if you start preparing with lots of time on your hand, you should prepare your own notes and work your way through them when you are revising.
2. Timing is everything-
You HAVE to create a rigorous schedule because unless you practice the sets of paper with the proper time constraint basically recreating the examination environment, you would get overwhelmed on the d-day.
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