UPSC Economics Syllabus

The UPSC Economic Syllabus covers a wide range of topics including economic development in India, poverty and inclusive growth, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, banking and financial institutions, fiscal policy, monetary policy, international trade and organizations, and economic reforms. Prepare for the UPSC examination by understanding key concepts, referring to standard textbooks and reports, staying updated with current affairs, and practicing answer writing. Gain a strong foundation in economics and enhance your knowledge of India’s economic landscape to excel in the UPSC Economy subject.

Economic growth and development – basic concept and definition of economy and economics, uses and transfer of resources, distributive effects, macro and micro economic policy, micro-macro balance, distributive impact of economic policies, development versus growth, determinant of growth and development, concepts such as HPI/MPI, HDI, PQLI, GEM, GDI/GII, TAI, Green index, sustainable development, India’s ranking in the various indices.


Definitions, causes, distribution-deprivation, income versus calories, measurement of poverty, status of poverty, eradication programmes, poverty and resource policy, tribal rights and issues, livelihood mission.

Inclusion – definition, relevance, types, financial inclusion, recent initiatives.

Sustainable Development

It is important to have a broad understanding of the concept and its application in various fields. Candidates should be familiar with environmental and ecological issues, conservation practices, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and other related topics, as these are often asked in the examination in the context of different subjects.

Social issues

Financing health policy, education policy, sanitation, drinking water, social security, infrastructure policy, international trade issues, regional cooperation.

Also, focus

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, development, growth and employment.
  • Inclusive growth
  • Budgeting
  • Major cropping patterns in different parts of the country, different types of irrigation, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and associated constraints; e-technology for
  • Direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; PDS- objectives, functioning, limitations; issues of buffer stocks, food security; economics of animal-rearing, Technology missions.
  • Food processing and related industries
  • Land reforms
  • Effects of liberalisation
  • Infrastructure: energy, roads, ports, airports and railways
  • Investment models
TopicProbability Number of Question
Indian Economy 40% – 45%
Micro and Macro Economics40% – 35%
Money , Banking & Public Finance 20% – 15%
International Economics 15% – 10%
Growth and Development15% – 10%
Statistics10% – 5%

Suggested study material 

Unsolved paper since 2012

Your Note / Class Note

News Paper

Like – The Hindu , Indian Express , Economic Times

  • Features of Indian Economy – division of economic activities, poverty, unemployment, HDR, measures to eradicate poverty
  • Basic Economic Indicators – national income, price index, production, population, foreign trade
  • Population – growth, census, consumption pattern (energy)
  • National income – concepts, methods of calculation
  • Agriculture – crops, seasons, agricultural credit agencies, Kisan Credit agencies, land reforms, insurance, green, white, blue, yellow revolutions, irrigation
  • Industry – industrial policies (1948, 1956, 1991), small scale industries, key industries, industrial sickness, the different committees, disinvestment, PSU policy, industrial finance
  • Foreign trade – composition, direction, EXIM policy, WTO, balance of payments, measures to improve foreign trade
  • Money and banking – Money market, credit control (different rates), commercial banks, cooperative banks, NBFCs, committees, SEBI, stock market developments, insurance industry, new banking sector reforms, money supply measures, inflation, deflation
  • International organisations
  • Planning commission – five year plans
  • Public finance – finance commission, taxation, deficit financing, public spending and debt

It is a part of GS – III syllabus, Check This –

FAQ :-

Q: What are the important topics to cover in the Economy subject for UPSC preparation?

A: The Economy subject in UPSC covers a wide range of topics. Some important ones include economic development in India, poverty and inclusive growth, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, banking and financial institutions, fiscal policy, monetary policy, international trade and organizations, and economic reforms.

Q: How should I approach studying Economy for UPSC?

A: To study Economy for UPSC, start by building a strong foundation of basic concepts. Understand key terms and theories related to microeconomics and macroeconomics. Read NCERT books on Economics from class 9 to 12 as they provide a good introduction. Then, refer to standard textbooks like “Indian Economy” by Ramesh Singh or “Economic Survey” by the Government of India. Make notes, revise regularly, and practice solving previous years’ question papers to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern.

Q: Are there any specific reports or publications I should refer to for Economy preparation?

A: Yes, certain reports and publications are essential for Economy preparation. These include the Economic Survey of India (published annually by the Ministry of Finance), the Union Budget, and the reports of institutions like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the World Bank. Reading these reports will help you gain insights into current economic trends, government policies, and global economic issues.

Q: How important is current affairs for Economy preparation?

A: Current affairs play a crucial role in Economy preparation. Stay updated with economic news and issues both at the national and international levels. Read newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express, and Business Standard. Follow reliable online sources, magazines, and government websites that provide analysis and insights on economic developments.

Q: Is it necessary to understand complex mathematical concepts for Economy preparation?

A: While a basic understanding of mathematical concepts is helpful, the Economy subject in UPSC does not require advanced mathematics. Focus more on understanding economic theories, concepts, and their practical applications rather than complex mathematical derivations.

Q: How can I practice answer writing for Economy-related questions?

A: Answer writing is crucial for UPSC preparation. Practice writing concise and structured answers to Economy-related questions. Analyze previous years’ question papers and model answers. Join test series or mock tests specifically designed for the Economy subject to assess your preparation and improve your answer writing skills.



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