The IAS mains exam comprises nine theory papers and marks in seven of those papers are taken into consideration for preparing the final merit list. The other two papers, English and Indian Language, are qualifying in nature (candidates have to score 25% or above to be eligible for selection).
The Main examination of UPSC is designed to test a candidate's academic expertise and the ability to present his/her knowledge in a consistent manner.The UPSC Mains exam intends to assess the overall intellectual traits and understanding of the concept by the candidates. The Civil Services Main examination is designed to test the academic talent of the aspirant, also his/her ability to present his/ her knowledge in a clear and coherent manner.
So,theUPSC Mainssyllabus can also be called thePhase 2syllabus.
This is becauseonly the candidatesthatare able tosuccessfully clear the Phase 1or the UPSC Prelims,areallowed to appear for the Phase 2or UPSC Mains exam. In other words, only the candidates that are able to score above theUPSC cut offsfor the Prelims are then allowed to take the UPSC Mains papers.
Moreover, the UPSC Mains examconsists of 9 subjective type papersout of which 2 are qualifying language papers, oneEnglish, and anyother Indian languageof300 marks each.
Therestof the7papershave amaximum mark of 250.Also, it should be noted thatnot qualifyinginthe 2 language paperswillcausetherest ofyour7 papers tobe disbarredfromfurther evaluation.The minimumqualifying markin thelanguage papers is 25%.
The UPSC Mains exam, fundamentally,is designed to test your understanding onthevarious subjectsfallingunder the purview of theUPSC Mains syllabus, and it is designed to make you do so in a time-bound fashion.
Animportant thing to note is thatall the papers except for the 2 language papersincluded in theUPSC Mains syllabuscan be written in any of the languagesmentioned in Schedule 8ofthe Indian Constitution.
Okay, now that we have already talked about the 2 language papers its time to look at the 7 main papers of the UPSC Mains exams. To help you better understandI have given below a table listing the 7 main papers included in the Mains syllabus of UPSC:
|Paper A||Any Indian Language (compulsory) - qualifying paper||300|
|Paper B||English - qualifying paper||300|
|Paper 1||Essay (you can choose to write it in a medium of your choice)||250|
|Paper 2||General Studies 1 (Indian and World history, Culture, heritage, Geography)||250|
|Paper 3||General Studies 2 (Polity, Constitution,Governance, International Relations Social Justice)||250|
|Paper 4||General Studies 3 (Economic developement, Technology, Disaster Management Security, Biodiversity)||250|
|Paper 5||General Studies 4 (Aptitude, Ethics, Intergrity)||250|
|Paper 6||Optional Subject : Paper 1||250|
|Paper 7||Optional Subject : Paper 2||250|
In the table given above, you can see the various papers that are included in the UPSC syllabus for the Mains exam. Now let us go through each in detail.
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