UPSC Exam – Political Science and International Relations Syllabus

In the elective UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, there are two papers on this subject. Each paper is worth 250 marks, and together they are of 500 marks. 

Aspirants who want to clear UPSC exams, have to work smart. Along with attending coaching, it crucial to solve previous year’s question paper.

The first paper comprises: 

  • Political theory: its meanings and methods.
  • The hypothesis of the state: This refers to the fact whether a state is Liberal, Neoliberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial, and feminist.
  • Law: Theories of fairness, with a focus on Rawls’s principles of justice and its universalist criticism.
  • Positive discrimination: This means sociological, legal, and economic fairness; the link between liberty and fairness.
  • Liberties: This includes Definitions and Concepts; Various Kinds of Privileges, the Human Rights Principle.
  • Democracies: This includes Ancient and current conceptions; diverse kinds of democracy – representative, participative, and parliamentary.
  • Authority, dominance, philosophy, and legality are all concepts.
  • Liberals, Communism, Marxist, Fascist, Gandhism, and Feminist are examples of social philosophies.
  • Indian political decisions which encompass the Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, and Buddhist traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M.N. Roy.
  • A western political era is the age of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.

Indian Affairs and Authorities:

  • Patriotism in India includes political ways our country adopted to get independence, that is Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and revolutionary operations along with Peasant and workers’ movements.
  • While writing the Indian constitution, they kept in mind the British heritage which includes sociological and governmental opinions.
  • The Preface, Essential Powers and Responsibilities, Legal Order; Legislative Systems and Revision Mechanisms; Judiciary Assessment, and Fundamental Architecture theory are all important features of the Constitutional Provisions.
  • The Presidency, the Legislative, and the Judicial Branch are the three main organisations of the Union government, with their respective roles and functions.
  • The Executive, the Legislature, and the Appeals Courts are the three main state government organisations with their respective roles and functions.
  •  Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission are the important aspects that need to be studied.
  • Constitution requirements; the shifting character of center-state interactions; interventionist inclinations and ethnic ambitions; inter-state problems.
  • Nehruvian and Gandhian viewpoints on planned and community growth; the importance of both the civil service in management; the Green Movement, land acquisition, and agricultural relationships; liberalisation and market policies.
  • In Political life, class, culture, and race all play an important role.
  • Personal freedoms and humanitarian activities, feminist rights, and environmentalism motions are examples of social motions.

The Second paper comprises:

  • Origin and fundamental methods to comparative politics; views on ideological economies and government psychology; comparison methodology limits.
  • Qualities and evolving nature of the country in capitalism and socialist systems, as well as industrialized and emerging nations, in a broader context.
  • Reactions to industrialization from industrialized and poor countries.
  • Individualist, Pragmatist, Marxism, Behaviourist, and Systems theories are all methods to studying foreign relations.
  • The following are some of the most important concepts in foreign politics: Strategic interests, safety, and strength; distribution of power and deterrent; multinational players and national sovereignty; and globalization and the world socialist society.
  • International Diplomatic Regime in Transition: This includes peaceful operations or the rise of threats that are nuclear or cold war.
  • The United Nations: Its intended purpose and actual performance; the goals and operations of specialized International organizations; hence the need for UN changes.
  • EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, and NAFTA are examples of globalization.
  • Liberty, human dignity, ecology, gender equity, extremism, and nuclear proliferation are all current global issues.
  • Drivers of international relations; a set of policies organizations; consistency and variation in International politics.
  • India’s Non-Alignment Campaign Dedication talks about the different Stages and their current role.
  • Connections with Africa and Latin America; the position of authority in the desire for NIEO and WTO discussions.
  • India and the World Power Centers: the United States, the European Union, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian.
  • India’s involvement in peace operations and its quest for a strong mandate on the International Community.
  • The Atomic Problem in India talks about the shifting opinions and policies.
  • India’s perspective on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, and West Asia, strengthening ties with the US and Israel, and a concept of a future international system are all contemporary trends in international politics.


Union public service commission examination is an essential step in the life of an IAS or Defence aspirant. This exam has to be given if one wants to join the academy and serve the nation. Cracking this exam is the toughest part, and one has to study for literally six months to one year spent at least 12 hours every day. The exam consists of English, maths and general knowledge. The G.K section is very vast as it includes almost everything from current affairs to science, sports etc., one needs to read newspapers daily to crack this section of the paper.

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