Detailed Structure and Syllabus of Mains General Studies Paper-III for Civil Services Exam

The UPSC Mains exam is the second stage of the Civil Services Examination. IAS aspirants who clear the Prelims are eligible to appear for the UPSC Mains. Candidates who want to be IAS, IPS, IFS, or IRS officers must first pass the UPSC Mains exam before proceeding to the IAS interview/UPSC Personality Test stage. Therefore, they must know the structure and syllabus of the Mains exam as well as must have a well-thought-out UPSC Mains Strategy to clear it.

The UPSC General Studies III is one of nine subjective papers on the UPSC Mains exam. The topics covered in UPSC Mains Syllabus of GS Paper 3 include technology, economic development, environment, biodiversity, security and disaster management.

On that note, let’s break down the syllabus and structure of the Mains General Studies Paper-III that will help you create a well-thought-out study plan to ace it.

Detailed Structure of Civil Services Mains General Studies Paper-III 

The main features of the UPSC Mains Exam’s General Studies Paper-III  are:

  • Twenty questions are printed in both English and Hindi. Questions can only be answered in the language specified by the application.
  • The paper is worth a total of 250 marks.
  • The word limit for the 10 marks question is 150 and for the 15 marks question is 250.
  • The paper specifically focuses on economic development, so it should have theoretical questions and answers that would relate to General Studies II subjects like social justice and international relations. In addition, environmental questions may overlap with the geographic knowledge required for General Studies-I and the economic development and biodiversity of General Studies-II itself. For this reason, it is important to analyze each question and write the correct answer within the word limit. Careful analysis of the UPSC GS 3 Textbook will help in this regard.
  • The questions associated with Security and catastrophe control are more often than not asked within the second half of the paper, so it’s miles crucial to sweep up on subjects associated with Internal Security and Disaster Management in addition to new age subjects like cybercrime.

Detailed Syllabus of Civil Services Mains GS Paper 3

The following is the precise Syllabus for General Studies III Paper within the UPSC Mains Examination:

Indian Economy

  • Planning-related Issues. 
  • Resource mobilisation.
  • Growth.
  • Employment and Development.

Inclusive Growth

  • Inclusive growth
  • Issues associated with inclusive growth.


  • Government Budgets

Major Crops and Cropping Patterns

  • Crop trends and main crops in different regions of the country.
  • Different styles of irrigation and irrigation structures storage.
  • Transportation and marketing of agricultural products.
  • Issues associated with shipping and advertising and marketing of agricultural produce.
  • Electronic technology for farmers.

Poverty Alleviation, Subsidies, and Agricultural Technology

  • Concerns about direct and indirect agricultural subsidies.
  • Issues associated with Minimum Support Prices.
  • Public Distribution System
  • Objectives, Functioning and Limitations.
  • Buffer stocks and food security issues.
  • Technology missions.
  • Economics of Animal rearing.

Food Processing and Related Industries

  • Food processing and related industries in India.
  • Scope and importance.
  • Upstream and downstream requirements.
  • Supply chain management

Land Reforms

  • Land reforms in India


  • Liberalization Effect on the economy
  • Changes in business policy
  • Effects of adjustments in commercial coverage on commercial growth


  • Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports and Railways etc.


  • Investment models such as public-private partnership, Build-operate-transfer, etc.

Science and Technology

  • The development of science and technology.
  • Daily life Applications of scientific developments.
  • The influence of scientific developments in daily life.

General Awareness

Awareness in the following areas:

  • Information Technology.
  • Computers and Robotics.
  • Nano and Biotechnology.
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Rights in these areas


  • Conservation.
  • Environmental pollution and degradation
  • Environmental Impact Assessment

Disaster Management

  • Natural and Man-made Disasters.
  • Disaster Management.


  • The relationship between the emergence and spread of extremism.
  • The role of state and non-state entities in posing internal security threats.
  • Internal Security Threats via Communication Networks:
  • The role of social networking sites and the media in worries about internal security.
  • The Fundamentals of Cyber Security.
  • Prevention of money laundering.
  • Border security challenges and their management:
  • Ties between organised crime and terrorism.
  • The mandates of various security forces and agencies.


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