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Common queries relating to UPSC Mains Examination:

  1. What is required for Mains?
  • If UPSC Prelims is 100 meter race, then consider UPSC Mains as Cross country Marathon.
  • If Prelims checks individual’s quick decision making abilities, abilities to perform effectively under stress and critical thinking capabilities in least amount of time; Then Mains checks individual’s clarity of thought, impartial analysis of events and ideas, stamina to withstand prolonged strain over adequate time but over prolonging number of days. The best example of enduring in such strainful situations in UPSC Mains is Saumya Sharma Rank 9, 2017.
  • Mains extensively tests individuals understanding of ideas and concepts categorized under various General studies subjects like GS 1, GS 2, GS 3. Although these papers when written well gets you about an average score or above average score when normalized, but if aspirants take these subjects lightly can cause one to lose an year of attempt narrowly.
  • Mains also tests critical moral and ethical thinking of aspirants through GS 4. Although this subject is seldom highlighted as an important subject, it has the potential to make or break one’s attempt. UPSC carefully analyses individual’s moral prejudices and ethical stereotypes and filters out students who are morally and ethically crude. Moreover, Ethics paper (GS 4) is highly subjective in nature, hence clarity of topics and extensive yet dynamic note making along with regular tests is quintessential to score well.
  • Then there is an Essay paper that is misunderstood as a test of students’ knowledge. UPSC does not test a student’s knowledge in essay paper but their clarity of thought in interconnecting ideas, providing holistic representation of the topic and ability to express thoughts lucidly; lack of understanding of this core idea, makes students run after content and advertise their knowledge randomly in essay paper which does not impress the examiner to give marks. There is another major reason why students score low in essay, as they think that Essay does not require any preparation and they just have to write whatever comes to their about the topic. Essay although is the test of student’s expression yet our experience shows clearly that if essay is approached in systematic manner anyone can score really well in essay, regardless of their talent skills to write essay can be developed, as is the case with GS 4 paper.
  • There are compulsory language papers to test reading and writing proficiency of students in any language mentioned in 8th Schedule of Constitution of India along with proficiency in English. An aspirant to qualify in compulsory language papers only require 25% of marks, despite so low cut off, every year there are certain percentage of students who do not qualify mains because they fail in Compulsory language – Major reason – they take the subject lightly and do not give adequate attention to it.
  • Finally, the core pillar of Mains preparation lies in Optional subject. When GS papers are 250 marks each, total marks allotted for Optional papers is 500.This proves how important scoring in Optional becomes. With our experience, we have seen many students cracking really good ranks just on the basis of Optional scores, when their GS scores were average few of them namely – Girish Kalagond  (Rank 307, year – 2018), Pruthvinath (Rank 541,year – 2020).
  1. What are the reasons for aspirants to clear Prelims only to get stuck at Mains?

                UPSC Mains although does not have negative markings and it allows aspirants to write their thoughts                      freely yet only 30% of aspirants who qualify prelims are able to attend interview.

Requirements of Mains which students miss out on:

  • Effective content development on each and every topic and subtopic mentioned in syllabus.
  • While studying basic books like Laxmikanth, spectrum basic NCERTs etc. Students miss out on major topics like Governance, International Relations, Disaster management, Internal security etc.
  • Students who focus more on studying lose out on mains because their answer writing skills are not effective.
  • Students who focus heavily on one subject miss out on scoring well in mains – for instance, students who emphasize more in GS 1,2,3 lose out on ethics and essay marks.
  • Lack of systematic approach to Essay and Ethics, leaves students with vast amounts of subjective information to be studied and understood which is the major reason for students to have nightmares about essay and ethics.
  • Students who do not lay emphasis on Optional papers are the ones who get badly hit, as optional comprises of nearly major chunk of attainable marks.
  • Students who have this notion that completing the paper with average and below average content will get them through mains, which rarely happens, but if it happens, they do not appear in the final rank list or are at the bottom of rank list.
  • There are some students who emphasise more on content and miss out on completing the paper – such students also lose out because they miss out on average marks every question provides to other students who complete the paper.
  • Some students emphasise more on content and do not focus on presentation of their answer because of which examiners find it difficult to read through their answers and give them below average marks even if students have written the best of answers.
  • Lack of commitment and discipline to join mains test series and complete the test series – makes the preparation for mains incomplete and prone to failure.
  • Finally, the subjectivity involved in answer correction of Mains and lack of transparency in revealing the process of answer correction, leaves very less scope for students to take UPSC Mains lightly.

We at Believers strongly understand that – “Every good cuisine has a formulated recipe moreover the recipe has to be prepared by seasoned chefs” likewise every mains subject has a formula to score optimally maximum under the guidance of Seasoned Mains Experts we have at Believers.





GENERAL STUDIES FOUNDATION COURSE (GSFC) at Believers IAS Academy covers extensive and specialized support for UPSC Preliminary and Mains examination. When an aspirant opts for GSFC at Believers which is among the top IAS coaching Centers in Bangalore, he/she will be provided classroom training coupled with study materials for UPSC preliminary and mains examination [EXCLUDING OPTIONAL ]. Interview guidance will also be provided.

Why should you choose GSFC at Believers? 

  • The major difference between CCP and GSFC  is the exclusion of OPTIONAL GUIDANCE. This course is suitable for any Students who have completed their optional preparation/ Decent amount of knowledge required for optionals & are looking for exhaustive prelims and mains Program.
  • Free prelims and mains test series if enrolled for GSFC 
  • GSFC  will be handled by qualified subject experts who are best in Bangalore with top IAS coaching & Guidance experience.
  • This course outline will also suit you if you are preparing for CAPF Assistant Commandant Exam, CDS, other state PSCs etc.
  • Every session will end with a 30-minute Current Affairs discussion.
  • Aspirant gets to access our library for free which is one of the best IAS coaching library in entire Bangalore.
  • Regular topic discussions and current affairs discussions among students and faculties at the end of class hours.
  • Our regular current affairs classes and surprise tests has given us results from past 5 years and guided aspirants to realise their dream.
  • Affordable fee structure to suit requirements of students without compromising on quality.
  • Clarity in theories & Concepts to answer any given question more accurately.
  • Ensures conceptual clarity through multiple modes of delivery.
  • We adopt the most advanced technology in learning. Pictorial representations are entertained so as to build realistic understanding of the subject-matter.
  • Incredible insights to develop best answers.
  • Detailed analysis of previous year questions to familiarize students with the UPSC pattern.
  • Right orientation and tactics.
  • Prioritizes the topics in a result oriented manner.
  • Helps you to choose what to read and more importantly what not to read in order to approach the mains exam with right strategy.
  • Experienced faculty – Retired and In-service IAS/IPS officers as guest lecturers to provide you best IAS coaching in Bangalore.
  • India’s best quality and highly relevant digital and printed materials with digital boards and classrooms with high speed internet to encourage quest of learning among students.
  • The more personal, small-group teaching is the most distinctive feature of the classroom system.
  • High Success rate comparable to best IAS coaching Centers in Bangalore.

Course format: 

  1. Duration: 10 months.
  2. Related lectures and visuals will be presented for each topic.
  3. Mock Tests will be conducted, as a part of the course consecutively.
  4. Printed material for all the topics will be delivered.
  5. Monthly Current Affairs magazine will be issued which is of the best IAS coaching standard in Bangalore.

Course Syllabus: 

UPSC Preliminary Examination Syllabus 2022

Syllabus of Paper I (200 marks) Duration: Two hours 

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayat Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

Syllabus for Paper II (200 marks) Duration: Two hours 

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
  • English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
  • Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
  • The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type.

Civil Services Mains Examination 

Paper – III 

Essay – 250 Marks


General Studies-I 250 Marks

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society: 

  • Indian culture covers the salient features of Literature, Art Forms, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history include the significant events, personalities, issues during the middle of the eighteenth century until the present
  • Various stages and important contributors and contributions from different parts of the country in ‘The Freedom Struggle’
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
  • History of the world includes events, forms and effect on the society from 18th century like world wars, industrial revolution, colonization, redrawal of national boundaries, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc
  • Salient aspects of Diversity of India and Indian Society
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and remedies
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes
  • Salient features of world’s physical geography


General Studies -II: 250 Marks

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
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  • 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
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • 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
  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  • Role of civil services in a democracy
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • India and its neighborhood- relations
  • Important International institutions, agencies and for a, their structure, mandate
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora


General Studies -III 250 Marks

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management: 

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • 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
  • Economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • 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
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism


General Studies -IV 250 Marks.

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude: This paper includes questions to check the candidate’s attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his/her problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him/her while dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects and covers area:

  • 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’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption
  • Case Studies on above issues


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