If you are a UPSC civil services aspirant, you must be aware that the economics UPSC syllabus is an important part of the exam. Both the IAS prelims and the main exams include economics as a compulsory subject. Also, it is also offered as an optional subject in the mains papers. This blog aims to provide an overview of the economics UPSC syllabus for the UPSC prelims and main exams.
As a UPSC candidate, you will be expected to have a thorough understanding of topics such as economic growth and development, finance, banking, budget, the balance of payments, poverty, and related issues, population composition, social sector initiatives related to education, health and sanitation, and international financial institutions. Therefore to excel in this subject, it is essential to have a solid grasp of these topics. So, we have also included some useful tips to help you tackle the Economics UPSC syllabus section with confidence.
Which areas to focus on in the UPSC Economics syllabus?
The UPSC economics syllabus covers a wide range of topics, but there are some key areas that you should focus on. These include economic growth and development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, fiscal policy, social issues, and current affairs related to these topics. To give you a better idea of what to expect, let’s take a closer look at each of these areas.
Economics UPSC #1 Economic Growth and Development
This topic covers the basic concepts and definitions of economics, including the uses and transfer of resources, distributive effects, macro and microeconomic policies, and determinants of growth and development. You should also be familiar with key concepts such as HPI/MPI, HDI, PQLI, GEM, GDI/GII, TAI, Green Index, sustainable development, and India’s rankings in various indices.
Economics UPSC #2 Poverty
This section covers the definitions and causes of poverty, measurement of poverty, poverty eradication programs, poverty and resource policies, tribal rights, and livelihood missions. It is essential to understand the distribution of poverty and the relationship between income and calorie consumption.
Economicvs UPSC #3 Inclusion
This topic includes definitions, types, and recent initiatives related to financial inclusion.
Economics UPSC #4 Demographics
This section covers census data, population characteristics by gender, state, age group, socio-economic status, caste, religion, literacy levels, and trends in human development. You should also be familiar with interstate comparisons.
This section covers definitions, components, receipts, revenue and capital account, tax revenue, expenditure, and budget.
#6 Social Issues
This topic covers financing health policy, education policy, sanitation, drinking water, social security, infrastructure policy, international trade issues, and regional cooperation.
#7 Current Affairs
Keep up to date with issues in the news related to the above topics, such as MNERGS, MSMEs, Make in India, industrial corridors, NITI Ayog, black money, international treaties and organizations, and India’s policies with its neighbours.
Finally, it is crucial to practice and revise old papers to get a sense of the exam’s format and difficulty level. By focusing on these key areas and staying up-to-date with current affairs, you will be well-prepared to tackle the economics section of the UPSC exam with confidence.
Mains Economics Syllabus for UPSC
The General Studies Paper III of the UPSC exam includes a section on Economic Development, where the Economics UPSC syllabus for mains is covered. Various areas that candidates must focus on to excel in the exam are:
Indian Economy and issues related to planning, mobilization of resources, development, growth, and employment
Candidates must be well-versed in the Indian economy and the challenges it faces in terms of development, growth, and employment. This includes issues related to the planning and mobilisation of resources as well.
Inclusive growth is an important aspect of the Indian economy that candidates must focus on. This includes understanding the concept of inclusive growth, its relevance, and various initiatives taken by the government in this regard.
The budget is a crucial economic policy tool, and candidates must have a good understanding of it. This includes understanding the components of the budget, its significance, and the process of budget-making.
Candidates must have a good understanding of the major cropping patterns in different parts of the country, different types of irrigation, transport, and marketing of agricultural produce, and issues and associated constraints. Therefore they should also be familiar with e-technology for agriculture, direct and indirect farm subsidies, minimum support prices, and PDS objectives.
Food processing and related industries
Food processing and related industries are significant in the Indian economy. So, candidates must have a good understanding of the economics of these industries, including issues related to food security, buffer stocks, and technology missions.
- Land reforms: Land reforms have been a significant aspect of the Indian economy. Therefore, candidates must have a good understanding of the various land reforms, their significance, and the challenges associated with their implementation.
- Effects of liberalization: Liberalization has had a significant impact on the Indian economy. So, candidates must have a good understanding of its effects, including its impact on the growth and development of various sectors.
- Infrastructure: Infrastructure is critical to the development of any economy. So, candidates must have a good understanding of the infrastructure of India, including energy, roads, ports, airports, and railways.
- Investment models: Candidates must have a good understanding of the various investment models and their significance in the Indian economy.
In addition to these areas, candidates must also focus on the current issues related to the above topics, such as MNERGS, MSMEs, Make in India, industrial corridors, NITI Ayog, black money, international treaties, and organizations, and India’s policies with neighbors. Regular practice and revision of old papers are also essential to excel in this section.
Booklist for the economics topics
- NCERT textbooks for classes X, XI, XII
- “Indian Economy” by Ramesh Singh
- “Indian Economy” by Sanjeev Verma
- Ministry websites such as those of water and power departments
- Economic Survey
- Reports from Administrative Reforms Commissions (ARC)
- Press Information Bureau (PIB)
Tips for answer writing in the economics UPSC optional paper
To excel in the Economics optional paper of UPSC mains, it is important to follow some tips for answer writing:
- Utilize graphs to support and improve your answers. Graphical representation of data can enhance your answer and provide a better understanding to the examiner.
- Economics UPSC paper requires precise technical vocabulary. Hence, use the correct terminology while writing your answers. For instance, revenue should not be used in place of income.
- Avoid using complex equations in the Economics UPSC paper. Instead, incorporate graphs as much as possible.
- Back up your answers with relevant data and figures to demonstrate your knowledge of the concepts and present-day scenarios. Also, this can help you score well.
- Provide real-life examples to justify your answers. Also, this can help you rationalize your points and increase your chances of scoring high in the Economics UPSC paper.