GS Mains Paper 2

GS Mains Paper 2


General Studies -II              250 Marks

(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)


General Studies- II:

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

GS Paper 2 Syllabus:

• 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.

• Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

• Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

• Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

•  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.

•  Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

•  Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

•  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

•  Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

•  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.

•  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

•  Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

•  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

•  Role of civil services in a democracy.

•  India and its neighborhood- relations.

•  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

•  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

•  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

How to prepare GS Paper 2

  1. How to prepare GS Paper 2?

GS paper 2 or IAS examination paper – III consists of following three parts:

  1. Indian Constitution,
  2. Governance & Social justice issues
  3.  International Relations.

It is one of the most interesting and scoring parts because of it is evolving and dynamic in nature. Most of the candidates make a major mistake by focusing only on the static portion of the syllabus and avoid current issues related to it. First a candidate needs to understand and clear the basics of a topic. And after that he/she should connect that particular topic of the subject with the current affairs.  This will help in solving the questions easily which are asked by the UPSC.

If we look at the continuous trend of last year’s papers then UPSC doesn’t ask the direct questions from the static portion of the subject. Instead of this most of the questions tests the basic understanding of the topic and require a dynamic approach to solve them. To answer, such questions a thorough knowledge and understanding of the contemporary issues related to that topic is required. If a candidate is well versed in these current affairs of the questions, he/she can easily attempt and answer it.

Thus by adopting the right approach and understanding the whole syllabus in entirety can help to master the General studies paper II.


The most crucial  thing to do before an aspirant  starts off with preparation is to examine  the syllabus objectively and go through  previous  years UPSC (Mains) question papers.

 GS Paper 2 include  three parts - Indian Constitution, Governance & Social justice issues and International Relations. This paper is dynamic in nature.

Many students  spend too much energy and time on static aspects. Yes ,  It is crucial  to read the basics first, but after that, one must connect the dots i.e. relate  it with current events. Then only  this will only help in answering the  questions asked by UPSC. Since 2013 , there is change in  pattern of questions ,  UPSC has nearly stopped asking direct static questions. If you   analyse the  previous year papers carefully , most of the questions are dynamic and related to contemporary developments

NCERT Class X –  Democratic Politics

NCERT Class XI – India Constitution At Work

NCERT Class XII –  Political Science II

Report of the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission, named – Organizational Structure Of Government of India (13th Report)

 – Laxmikant’s Indian Polity.

7th report of 2nd ARC named “Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution”

Subhash Kashyp’s - Our Parliament.

Economic survey

PIB site

Government of India website

2nd ARC report on “Promoting e-Governance: The SMART Way Forward” 

2nd ARC report (10th report) – Refurbishing of Personnel Administration

 – MEA Website – international relations

United nation and organizations

enlightenedClick below to free download Mains Paper III or GS Paper 2 for IAS, UPSC, Civil Services Mains Exams.