Decoding UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-IV Syllabus & Structure

The UPSC Mains exam is the Civil Services Examination’s second stage. Candidates who clear the UPSC Prelims are eligible to take the UPSC Mains. Candidates seeking positions like IAS, IPS, IFS, or IRS must first pass the UPSC Mains test before continuing to the IAS interview/UPSC Personality Test stage. As a result, they must understand the structure and syllabus of the Mains exam, as well as have a well-thought-out UPSC Mains Strategy in order to pass it.

The UPSC Mains syllabus for General Studies Paper IV (GS-IV) is concerned with Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. The UPSC GS-IV paper is one of nine papers for the IAS Mains Examination.

On that note, let’s discuss break down the structure and syllabus of UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-IV to help you devise a strategy to prepare for it.

Detailed Structure of Civil Services Mains General Studies-IV 

The UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-IV – Structure/General Studies IV paper has the following major features:

  • The paper is broken into two halves with twelve questions each. Prior to 2018, there were fourteen questions; however, the complexity has grown while the number of questions has decreased.
  • All of the questions are mandatory.
  • The questions are either 10 or 20 marks depending on the length of the answer. The 10-mark questions require replies in 150 words, whereas the 20-mark questions require answers in 250 words.
  • The total number of marks allocated to this paper is 250.
  • There are two types of questions:
  • Direct concept-related questions assess the candidate’s knowledge of ethical concerns and concepts connected to integrity and aptitude (125 marks).
  • Case studies put the candidate’s knowledge of those concepts to the test in circumstances involving the candidate and other stakeholders such as politicians, pressure groups, the general public, and others. (125 marks).
  • This is the most varied of the four General Studies Papers, with questions varying greatly from year to year. Candidates should become acquainted with the syllabus as well as the patterns of the previous years.

UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-IV Ethics Syllabus

The detailed syllabus for the UPSC Mains General Studies IV Paper is as follows:

Ethics and Human Interface

  • Ethics’ Essence, Determinants, and Consequences in Human Interaction.
  • Ethics Dimensions.
  • Ethics in personal and professional relationships.
  • Human values are lessons learned through great leaders, reformers, and administrators’ lives and teachings.
  • Family, society, and educational institutions’ roles instill moral and ethical principles.


  • Attitude content, structure, and function.
  • The impact of attitude on mind and behavior.
  • Relationship between attitude and cognition and behavior.
  • Moral and political viewpoints.
  • Persuasion and social influence.


  • Civil Service aptitude and fundamental values.
  • Integrity and objectivity.
  • Nonpartisanship and impartiality.
  • Public service dedication.
  • Empathy, tolerance, and compassion towards society’s poorer sections.

Emotional Intelligence

  • Emotional intelligence concepts.
  • The use and use of emotional intelligence in administration and governance.

Contributions of Thinkers and Philosophers

  • Contributions to moral conceptions by moral thinkers and philosophers from India and around the world.

Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration

  • Status and related issues.
  • Concerns and quandaries about ethics in government and private organizations.
  • Ethical guidelines, laws, conventions, rules, and conscience are used.
  • Accountability and ethical leadership.
  • Enhancement of ethical and moral principles in government.
  • International Relations and Funding Ethical Issues.
  • Corporate governance.

Probity in Governance

  • The concept of public service.
  • Governance and probity’s philosophical foundation.
  • Government information sharing and transparency.
  • Access to Information.
  • Codes of ethics and conduct.
  • Citizen’s Charters.
  • Workplace culture.
  • Service delivery quality.
  • The use of public funding.
  • Corruption challenges.
Share with Friends