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 I I to Paper V) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The question 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:-
Essay: Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. 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. English Comprehension & English Precis will be to test the English language Comprehension and English précis writing skills (at 10th standard level).
General Studies- I: 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, 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 subcontinent); 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: 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...