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Syllabus for CSE (Prelims & Main)


CSAT Syllabus General Studies Paper I                                                                                                                           

(200 marks Objective Type; Counted for the merit rank in the Prelims)

  • Indian polity & governance– constitution, political system, panchayati raj, public policy, rights issues etc.
  • History of India– & Indian National movement
  • Economic & social development– sustainable development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives etc.
  • Current Affairs– events of national & international importance.
  • General issues on environmental– Ecology, bio-diversity & climate change (no subject specialization needed).
  • Indian & world geography– Physical, social, economic geography of India & the World.
  • General science


CSAT Syllabus General Ability Test Paper II
(200 marks Objective Type; not counted for the merit rank in Prelims but a qualifying Paper; just needs 33% marks)

  • English language comprehension skills (10th standard level)
  • Data interpretation (10th standard level)
  • Basic numeracy (no. & their relations, orders of magnitude etc. of 10th standard level).
  • General mental ability
  • Decision making & problem solving
  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability
  • Interpersonal skills & including communication skills
  • Comprehension


Civil Service Main Examination                                           1750 marks


  • Indian Language (Qualifying)    300 marks
  • English (Qualifying)                  300 marks
  • Essay                                       250 marks
  • General Studies – I               250 marks           
  • General Studies – II              250 marks       
  • General Studies - III             250 marks
  • General Studies - IV             250 marks


Optional Subject Paper 1    250 marks

Optional Subject Paper 2    250 marks

Interview (Personality Test)       275 marks


​CSE Mains General Studies Syllabus

CSE Mains General Studies Paper - I

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

# Indian culture

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 or contributions from different parts of the country.

# Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

# History of the world

> 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.

# Indian Society, Diversity of India - Salient features

# 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 waterbodies and ice-caps) and in > > flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

CSE Mains General Studies Paper - 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 or 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.

CSE Mains General Studies Paper - III

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, 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 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.

@    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.

CSE Mains General Studies Paper - 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 weakersections.

*      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.