Civil Services Mains Examination

Pattern

 

The Civil Services Mains examination aims to test the academic talent, as well as overall personality (through interview)of the aspirant, apart from this candidate’s writing skills, in-depth understanding, assimilation of ideas and presentation techniques are put to rigorous test.

 

The candidate is required to have knowledge on gamut of topics covered in the syllabus. However, it is not merely a game of information and memory, there has to be a balanced viewpoint and coherently lucid writing skills.

 

For beginners, let’s start with the revised pattern of Civil Services Main examination 2014

 

Mains examination is subjective in nature with 9 papers. Among these 9 papers, 2 are qualifying in nature. First is any modern Indian language, as mentioned in the Eighth schedule of Indian Constitution and another is English (300 marks X 2). Next paper is of essay writing (300 marks), followed by four papers of GS (250 marks X 4), details of which can be seen below. There are two papers (250 marks X 2) from "ONE" optional subject to choose from the list of subjects

 

The number of candidates called for interview is usually about twice the number of vacancies to be filled by the commission. Marks obtained by the candidates in the Mains Examination (written + interview) determines their final ranking. 

 

SN

Paper No.

Paper Name

Nature

Duration

Maximum Mark

1

Paper I

Essay

Subjective

3 hours

250

2

Paper II

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

Subjective

3 hours

250

3

Paper III

General Studies II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Subjective

3 hours

250

4

Paper IV

General Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Subjective

3 hours

250

5

Paper V

General Studies IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

Subjective

3 hours

250

6

Paper VI

Optional Subject * Paper I

Subjective

3 hours

250

7

Paper VII

Optional Subject * Paper II

Subjective

3 hours

250

8

Paper VIII

English (Qualifying)

Subjective

3 hours

300

9

Paper IX

 Modern Indian Language (Qualifying)

Subjective

3 hours

300

10

 

Sub-Total (Written Test)

   

1750

11

 

Personality Test (Interview)

   

275

12

 

Grand Total

   

2025

List of optional subjects for Civil Services (Mains) Examinations (CSM):

A candidate has to select any one optionals from the following list

 

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Law
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
  • Literature of one of the following languages:
    Arabic, Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Dogri, Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu.

 

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) 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 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.

3)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.

4) Marks obtained by the candidates for all papers (Paper I-VII) will be counted for merit ranking. However, the Commission will have the discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all papers of the examination.

5) Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.

6) Credit will be given for orderly, effective and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.

7) 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 such minimum standard as may be fixed by Commission at their discretion for the qualifying papers on Indian Language and English.

Interview test

 

  • 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 objective of the 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.
  • The technique of the 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.
  • The 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.

 

Syllabus Civil Services (Main) Examination

SN Paper No. Paper Name Nature Duration Maximum Mark
1 Paper A Modern Indian Language (Qualifying Papers) Subjective 3 hours 300
2 Paper B English (Qualifying Papers) Subjective 3 hours 300
3 Paper I Essay Subjective 3 hours 250
4 Paper II General Studies I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) Subjective 3 hours 250
5 Paper III General Studies II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations) Subjective 3 hours 250
6 Paper IV General Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management) Subjective 3 hours 250
7 Paper V General Studies IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) Subjective 3 hours 250
8 Paper VI Optional Subject * Paper I Subjective 3 hours 250
9 Paper VII Optional Subject * Paper II Subjective 3 hours 250
10 Sub-Total (Written Test) 1750
11 Personality Test (Interview) 275
12 Grand Total 2025
Qualifying Papers on Modern Indian Languages and English (compulsory)

The aim of the paper is to test the candidates ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian Language concerned.

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:

  • Comprehension of given passages
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay

 

Indian Languages:?

  • Comprehension of given passages.
  • Precis Writing
  • Usage and Vocabulary
  • Short Essay
  • 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 (compulsory)

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.

Paper II : 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 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 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.
Paper III : 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 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 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/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 interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
Paper IV : General Studies 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
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.

 

  • 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 Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.
Paper VI and Paper VII: Optional Subject Papers I and II

Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of subjects. Click on subject to see it syllabus

 

 

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commerce and Accountancy
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Law
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology
  • Literature of one of the following languages:
    Arabic, Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Dogri, Chinese, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu.

 

Back to Top