Main Exam Pattern

Part B - Main Examination - Optional Subjects
One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the 18 languages included in the VIIIth Schedule to the Constitution (Qualifying Paper) - 300 Marks 
English (Qualifying Paper) - 300 Marks 
Essay - 200 Marks 
Papers IV & V
General Studies (300 Marks for each paper) - 600 Marks 
Papers VI, VII, VIII& IX
Any two subjects (each having 2 papers) to be selected from the prescribed optional subjects (300 marks for each paper) -1200 Marks 
Total Marks for Written Examination - 2000 Marks
Interview Test - 300 Marks
Grand Total - 2300 Marks
English qualifying paper
The aim of the paper is to test the candidate's ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly in English/Indian language concerned. 
The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :- 
(i) Comprehension of given passages. 
(ii) Precise Writing 
(iii) Usage and Vocabulary 
(iv) Short Essay 
Note 1 : The Papers on 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 papers in English language (except where translation is involved). 
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. 
General studies
Updated General Studies Mains syllabus for 2008
General Guidelines:The nature and standard of questions in the General Studies papers 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’s 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. 
(1) History of Modern India and Indian Culture
The History of Modern India will cover history of the Country from about the middle of nineteenth century and would also include questions on important personalities who shaped the freedom movement and social reforms. The part relating to Indian culture will cover all aspects of Indian culture from the ancient to modern times as well as principal features of literature, arts and architecture. 
(2) Geography of India
In this part, questions will be on the physical, economic and social geography of India. 
(3) Constitution of India and Indian Polity
This part will include questions on the Constitution of India as well as all constitutional, legal, administrative and other issues emerging from the politico-administrative system prevalent in the country. 
(4) Current National issues and topics of social relevance
This part is intended to test the candidate's awareness of current national issues and topics of social relevance in present-day India, such as the following: 
(i) The Indian economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. 
(ii) Issues arising from the social and economic exclusion of large sections from the benefits of development. 
(iii) Other issues relating to the development and management of human resource. 
(iv) Health issues including the management of Public Health, Health education and ethical concerns regarding health-care, medical research and pharmaceuticals. 
(v) Law enforcement, internal security and related issues such as the preservation of communal harmony. 
(vi) Issues relating to good governance and accountability to the citizens including the maintenance of human rights, and of probity in public life. 
(vii) Environmental issues, ecological preservation, conservation of natural resources and national heritage. 
(1) India and the World
This part will include questions to test candidate's awareness of India's relationship with the world in various spheres such as the following:- 
* Foreign Affairs with special emphasis on India’s relations with neighbouring countries and in the region. 
* Security and defense related matters. 
* Nuclear policy, issues, and conflicts. 
* The Indian Diaspora and its contribution to India and the world. 
(2) India’s Economic Interaction with the World
In this part, questions will be on economic and trade issues such as foreign trade, foreign investment; economic and diplomacy issues relating to oil, gas and energy flows; the role and functions of I.M.F., World Bank, W.T.O., WIPO etc. which influence India’s economic interaction with other countries and international institutions. 
(3) Developments in the Field of Science & Technology, IT and space
In this part, questions will test the candidate's awareness of the developments in the field of science and technology, information technology, space and basic ideas about computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and related issues regarding intellectual property rights. 
(4) International Affairs and Institutions
This part will include questions on important events in world affairs and on international institutions. 
(5) Statistical analysis, graphs and diagrams
This part will test the candidate's ability to draw conclusions from information presented in statistical, graphical or diagrammatically form and to interpret them.