UPSC CSE Mains 2020 Detailed Syllabus: GS Paper-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

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In this article, we are providing the detailed syllabus for UPSC CSE GS Paper-III which incorporates Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management. it’ll help to analyse and understand the topics covered within the examination and help within the preparation. Before beginning the preparation it’s necessary to analyse the character and vastness of the topic .

The UPSC CSE Mains Examination 2020 will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission from 8 January, 2021. The Mains Syllabus of UPSC consists of four GS Papers, Essay and two Optional papers. All the Mains papers are descriptive.

Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

– Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

– Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.

– 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.

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UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-III Detailed Syllabus (Economic Development)

Indian Economy & Issues Relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development & Employment

Meaning of Planning

Need for Planning in Economic Development

Imperative Vs. Indicative Vs. Structural Planning

Objectives of Planning

Indian Planning History

Techniques of Indian Planning

Achievements & Failures of Indian Planning

Shortcomings of Planning in India

NITI Aayog Vs. Planning Commission

Types of Resources – Financial, Human, Natural etc.

Need for Resource Mobilisation

Role of Savings & Investment

Government Resources – Tax & Non-Tax ( or Fiscal & Monetary Policy)

Banking Sector & NBFCs

Capital Market

External Sources – FDI, ODA etc.

Public Borrowing & Management of Public Debt

Challenges in Mobilising Resources for Development

Steps That Can Be Taken

Meaning of Development & Growth

Difference between Development & Growth

Determinants of Growth & Development

Importance & Limitations of Economic Growth

Jobless Growth

Pro-Poor Growth

Balanced & Unbalanced Growth

Dimensions of Development

Measurement & Indicators of Development

Approaches to Development:

Market-Based Approach

Role of State and Planned Approach

Mixed Economy Approach

Challenges to Development & Growth

Nature – Rural vs. Urban, Formal Vs. Informal

Terms Related to Employment – Labour Force Participation Rate, Employment Rate, Working Age Population etc.

Sectoral Distribution of Employment

Quality of Employment

Causes of Lack of Employment

Restructuring of Workforce

Government Initiatives for Generating Employment

Inclusive Growth And Issues Arising From It

What is Inclusive Growth?

Elements of Inclusive Growth

Need for Inclusive Growth

Indicators of Inclusive Growth

Challenges in Achieving Inclusive Growth in India

12th FYP & Inclusive Growth

Government Budgeting

Need for Government Budgeting

Components of the Government Budget

Revenue Account – Revenue Receipts & Revenue Expenditure

Capital Account – Capital Receipts & Capital Expenditure

Changes in the Budgetary Process in 2017

Measures of Government Deficit

Revenue Deficit

Fiscal Deficit

Primary Deficit

Fiscal Policy

Deficit Reduction


Other types of Budgets – Outcome, Zero-Based, etc.

Land Reforms in India

The rationale for Land Reforms

Components of Land Reforms

Impact of Land Reforms

Problems in Implementation of Land Reforms

The success of Land Reforms

Recent Initiatives – Land Leasing, Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, etc.

Effects of Liberalization on the Economy

Phase of Liberalisation

Impact on Different Sectors of the Economy

Industrial Policy Before 1991

Industrial Policy After 1991

Phases of Industrial Growth

The linkage between Economic Reforms and Economic Outcomes

Weaknesses and Failures of Industrial Policies

National Manufacturing Policy


Make in India







Investment Models

Need for Investment

Sources of Investment

Types of Investment Models

Domestic Investment Models

Public Investment Model

Private Investment Model

Public-Private Participation Investment Model

Foreign Investment Models:


FII, etc.

Sector Specific Investment Models

Cluster-Based Investment Models

UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-III Detailed Syllabus (Agriculture)

Major Crops and Cropping Patterns

Types of Irrigation & Irrigation Systems Storage

Modes and Sources of Irrigation

Irrigation System

Progress of Irrigation Under Five Year Plans

Environmental Effects of Irrigation

Need for Systemic Irrigation Reforms

National Water Policy

Transport & Marketing of Agricultural Produce

Process of Agricultural Marketing – Marketing Channels, Functionaries, Costs, etc.

Role of FCI

Regulated Markets


Cooperative Marketing


National Agricultural Market (NAM)

Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO)

Contract Farming

E-Technology and Technology Missions Related to Agriculture

Direct & Indirect Farm Subsidies & Minimum Support Prices

Public Distribution System


Fair Price Shops, FCI, Ration Cards, Aadhar Linking, etc.

Shortcomings or Problems Associated with PDS

Measures to Improve the Loopholes & Lacunaes Associated with PDS

Issues of Buffer Stocks & Food Security

Food Processing & Related Industries in India

UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-III Detailed Syllabus (Science & Technology)

Developments & their Applications & Effects in Everyday Life

Chemicals in Food

Artificial Sweetening Agents

Food Preservatives




Neurologically Active Drugs





Antiseptic and Disinfectant

Anti-Fertility Drugs, etc.

Cleansing Agents


Synthetic detergents


Water Softener

Water Purification/Disinfection

Microwave Oven, etc.

Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose

Meghnad Saha

Homi Jehangir Bhabha

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Vikram Sarabhai

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya

Har Gobind Khorana

Tessy Thomas

C.N.R. Rao

Indigenization of Technology & Developing New Technology

IT & Computers







Awareness in Different Fields

IT & Computers







Issues Relating to Intellectual Property Rights

Need for Intellectual Property Rights

Types of IPR

IPR Regime in India

International Agreements Related to IPRs

Geographical Indicators

Recent Issues – Evergreening, Compulsory Licensing, Prominent Cases etc.

UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-III Detailed Syllabus (Biodiversity & Environment)


What is Biodiversity?

Types of Biodiversity – Genetic, Species, Ecosystem, etc.

Importance of Biodivesirty – Ecosystem Services, Bio Resources of Economic Importance, Social Benefits etc.

Reasons for Loss of Biodiversity


In-situ & Ex-Situ

Eco-Sensitive Areas

Ecological Hotspots

National Guidelines, Legislations & Other Programmes.

International Agreements & Groupings

Environmental Pollution & Degradation

Types of Pollution & Pollutants

Impact of Pollution & Degradation

Ozone Layer Depletion and Ozone Hole

Greenhouse Gas Effect & Global Warming



Acid Rain

Hazardous Waste, etc.

Causes/Sources of Pollution & Degradation

Prevention & Control of Pollution & Degradation

National Environment Agencies, Legislations and Policies

International Environment Agencies & Agreements

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

What is EIA?

Indian Guidelines & Legislations

EIA Process

Need & Benefits of EIA

Shortcomings of EIA in India

Measures to Make EIA Effective

Disaster Management

Types of Disasters

Management of Disasters

Community Level Disaster Management

Government Initiatives on Disaster Management

UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-III Detailed Syllabus (Security)

Threats from Non-State Actors

Reasons for Spread of Terrorism and State-Sponsored Terrorism

Institutional Framework to Tackle Internal Security Issues








Role of Media & Social Networking Sites

Cyber Security

Security Challenges & their Management in Border Areas

Various Security Forces & Agencies

Central Armed Police Forces

Central Paramilitary Forces

Security & Intelligence Agencies – IB. RAW, etc.

UPSC CSE Mains GS Paper-III: Structure

– UPSC CSE GS Mains Paper-III consists of 20 questions and needs to be attempted in a time frame of 3 hours.

– Total paper is of 250 marks with 10 and 15 marks weightage questions.

– For 10 marks questions, the word limit is 150 and for 15 marks questions word limit is 250.

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