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The applicants after qualifying the first round (IAS prelims)are deemed eligible to attempt the second round of IAS examination(IAS Mains).

  • This year UPSC IAS Mains exam will be conducted on October 28, 2017. Results for IAS Mains will be declared in December,2017.
  • The cut-off score of IAS ascertains which candidates will be appearing in the personal interview round, the final round of the IAS examination screening process.

Highlights of UPSC IAS Mains Exam 2017

Exam Date October 28, 2017
Mode of Exam Offline
Type of Questions Asked Descriptive in nature
Total no. of papers 9
Results Declaration December 2017


Application Process for UPSC IAS Mains

After UPSC has announced the merit list of qualified prelims candidates. These candidates will be provided with a detailed application form for IAS mains Exam. This form will be filled online.

Exam Pattern of IAS Mains 2017

The main objective behind IAS Mains exam is to access the overall intellectual traits and how much in-depth understanding of topics is there in any candidate. It consists of nine papers out of which two are qualifying papers and the other seven papers are counted for ranking.

Qualifying Papers are:

Paper A Modern Indian Language

*Qualifying paper means passing this paper would be mandatory for all but the marks obtained in this paper won’t be counted to the final score.

Total Marks-300

It covers aspects like:

  • Comprehension of the given passages
  • Precise writing
  • Usage and rich vocabulary
  • Short Essay writing
  • Translation on one language to another

Paper B English

*Qualifying paper means passing this paper would be mandatory for all but the marks obtained in this paper won’t be counted to the final score.

Total Marks-300

It covers aspects like:

  • Comprehension of the given passages
  • Precise writing for descriptive pros
  • Usage of rich vocabulary
  • Short Essay writing

Papers which will be used to calculate merit or final rank:

Paper-I Essay 

Total Marks-250

Tips for writing the essay

  • Candidates in this paper will be required to write essays on the given topics
  • You are advised to stay to the topic or subject
  • Be as concise as possible
  • Candidates with effective and exact expression of the topic will be awarded more

Paper-II General Studies-I

Total Marks-250

Topics for consideration: (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

  • Indian culture will include the salient aspects of Art forms, Literature and Architecture from historical to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history will be from 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 India
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within India
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing 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 &women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on our society
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world and factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

Paper-III General Studies II

Total Marks: 250

Topics for consideration: (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/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • 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’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.

Paper-IV General Studies III

Total Marks:250

Topics for consideration: (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

  • 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

Total Marks: 250

Topics for consideration: (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 utilize 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 behavior; 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’s
  • Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.

Paper-VI Optional Subject Paper I

Total Marks-250 Marks

Paper-VII Optional Subject Paper II

Total Marks-250 Marks

Optional Subjects for UPSC IAS Mains Exam 2017

Candidates can choose their optional subjects from the below mentioned:


Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science


Political Science and International Relations Literature of any one of the Non-English languages


Public Administration














Civil Engineering


Electrical Engineering Economics Commerce and Accountancy


Mechanical Engineering






Geology Geography Electrical Engineering


History Law Philosophy
Physics Commerce & Accountancy Economics

IAS Mains Previous Years’ Cutoff Score& Selection Criteria

Competitors who will secure qualifying marks in prelims will be showing up for Paper A and Paper B of UPSC Civil Services Mains 2017. The hopefuls who will qualify in Paper A and B, with no less than 25% will be qualified to show up in next nine papers of UPSC Mains exam 2017. UPSC Civil Services 2017 cutoff marks for mains examination will be computed out of aggregate 1750 marks consolidated for seven papers. The last cutoff of UPSC Civil Services mains exam is computed on the basis of minimum 10% marks in Essay paper, GS I, II, II, IV and Optional paper I and II. Candidates as many as twice the openings will be shortlisted based on UPSC IAS Mains cutoff 2017

Category Cutoff-2015 Cutoff-2016
General 676 787
OBC 630 745
SC 622 739
ST 617 730
PH-1 (Physically Handicapped) 580 713
PH-2 (Physically Handicapped) 627 740
PH-3 (Physically Handicapped) 504 545


Examination Centers for IAS MAINS 2017

Across India the IAS Mains exams will take place on the following locations:


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