Punjab Civil Services Syllabus And Pattern

PPSC Exam Pattern 

The PPSC State Service Exam comprises three stages. Candidates qualifying in the first stage are considered eligible for the second one. Candidates qualifying for the second stage are considered eligible for the third stage of the PPSC. Candidates are urged to make note of the exam pattern for better preparation for the exam. The three stages of the PPSC exams have been given below:

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Main Examination
  • Interview Round

PPSC Prelims Exam Pattern

Preliminary Examination is only a screening test for selecting candidates who would be eligible to take the Main Examination and the marks obtained in this Examination shall not be counted towards the merit of the candidates arrived at after the Main Examination. Candidates equal to 13 times the vacancies advertised in each category would qualify from amongst those appearing in the Preliminary Examination for the Main Examination. The standard of questions would be to test the knowledge as is expected of a person who has attained education at least up to graduation level. In the PPSC Prelims Examination, both the papers are as follows in the below-mentioned table.

PapersName of the SubjectsQuestionsMarks for each QuestionTotal MarksDuration
Paper –IGeneral Studies10022002 hours
Paper-IICivil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)802.52002 hours

Paper I

  • Paper I is Objective type questions (MCQs) based on General Studies.
  • There are 100 questions asked for 200 marks.
  • Each question holds a weight-age of 2 marks each.
  • There is no negative marking; however, there may be negative marking for any objections to the Answer Key found false/frivolous/not supported by authentic evidence.
  • The question paper shall be bilingual and shall be printed in English and Punjabi except for questions where candidates’ proficiency in the language is to be tested.


  • Paper-II is an Objective type question (MCQ) based on the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).
  • There are 80 questions and 200 marks.
  • Each question holds a weight of 2.5 marks.
  • There is no negative marking; however, there may be negative marking for any objections to the Answer Key found false/frivolous/not supported by authentic evidence.
  • The question paper shall be bilingual and shall be printed in English and Punjabi except for questions where candidates’ proficiency in the language is to be tested.

PPSC Mains Exam Pattern 

Candidates who clear the Prelims will be called for the second stage which is the Mains examination. From amongst the candidates who have appeared for the Main written examination, candidates not more than three times the number of vacancies advertised in each category shall be called for the interview. The PPSC exam pattern for mains has been given below:

PapersSubject NameMaximum MarksDuration
Paper IGeneral English100 marks3 hours
Paper-IIGeneral Punjabi (to be answered only in Gurumukhi Script)100 marks3 hours
Paper IIIGeneral Essay (to be answered either in English/ Gurumukhi Script)150 marks3 hours
Paper IVGeneral Studies Paper 1 (History, Geography, and Society)250 marks3 hours
Paper VGeneral Studies Paper 2 (Indian Constitution & Polity, Governance and International Relations)250 marks3 hours
Paper VIGeneral Studies Paper 3 (Economy, Statistics, and Security Issues)250 marks3 hours
Paper VIIGeneral Studies Paper 4 (Science & Technology, Environment, Problem-solving & Decision Making)250 marks3 hours
  • All papers shall be descriptive in nature.
  • The main competitive examination shall include seven compulsory papers.
  • Candidates will have the option to attempt all the papers, except the language papers in Punjabi or English medium.
  • Candidates exercising the option to answer Papers in the Punjabi language may, if they so desire, give the English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the Punjabi language.
  • The question papers other than language papers will be set in English. However, when any candidate opts for attempting any paper(s) in Punjabi medium, the question papers shall be printed in Punjabi accordingly.

PPSC Exam Pattern For Interview

Only candidates who have qualified for the written examination and fulfill the eligibility criteria will be called for an interview. The interview will contain 150 maximum marks. The marks obtained in the interview together with the marks obtained in the written exam will be considered for the final merit list.

Note: No candidate shall be eligible to appear in the interview unless he/she obtains 45% marks in the aggregate of all the papers (read 40 % for the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) including at least 25% marks in each paper.

  1. For each category, candidates up to three times the number of openings must be certified qualified to sit the viva voce test.
  2. An Interview Board consisting of the Chairman and Members of the Commission, as well as an independent expert, will conduct the viva voce test. To interview the candidates, multiple Interview Boards may be put up. When an Interview Board is not led by the Chairman of the Commission, the most senior member serves as Chairman of the Board.

Punjab Civil Service Exam Syllabus

The preparation for any examination starts by knowing the syllabus of the examination. Knowing the detailed syllabus helps in managing time efficiently and helps to remove the wastage of time and effort. Read this article further to know more about the syllabus. Candidates are urged to make a note of the details mentioned in this article for future reference.

The detailed syllabus of the PPSC exam has been given below for Prelims and for Mains separately.

Punjab Civil Service Prelims Exam – Paper 1 (General Studies)

The PPSC Prelims exams consist of 2 papers of 200 marks each- Paper I(General Studies) and Paper-II (Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). The PPSC Preliminary syllabus 2022 has been given below:

Punjab Civil Service Everyday Science Syllabus

  • States of matter, the structure of atoms, versatile nature of carbon. Acids, bases, salts, corrosion in metals, the action of soaps. Life on Earth – evolution, marine & terrestrial life. The human body and life processes, nutrition, disease – its causes & prevention, infectious diseases, lifestyle diseases. Public health initiatives, mother and child health, immunization & vaccination, HIV AIDS, TB, polio, etc. Force-laws of motion & gravitation, Archimedes principle. Energy – kinetic & potential. Light – reflection & refraction – concepts and applications. Sound – propagation & reflection- concepts and applications. Electric current – concepts and applications. Computers and telecommunication – concepts and applications.

Punjab Civil Service Syllabus For Environmental Studies

  • Composition and structure of the atmosphere. Solar system – heat balance & temperature. Atmospheric circulation & weather system, water cycle. Climate change – fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, renewable energy, clean development mechanism, carbon credits. Water – oceans, rivers, glaciers, lakes, groundwater, etc. Biodiversity & conservation. Soil – types, crops, food chain, etc. Pollution and toxicity etc.

Punjab Civil Service Political Theory & International Order Syllabus

  • The basic concept of freedom, equality, social justice, rights & duties, citizenship, nationalism, secularism, etc. United Nations and its organs/agencies, other international organizations like the World Bank, IMF, WTO, EU, G20, BRICS, etc., and their role in World peace, trade & development.

Indian Polity Syllabus

  • Basic features, provisions, schedules of the Indian Constitution, key amendments. Panchayati Raj. Elections – People’s Representation Act, electoral reforms. Rise of regionalism and coalition politics. Armed challenges to the Indian state since independence

History Of India Syllabus

  • The Indus valley civilization. The Aryan and the Vedic age. Jainism and Buddhism. The Maurya Gupta periods. The advent of Islam and the Sultanate period (political, social & cultural). The Bhakti Movement. The Mughals (political, social & cultural till Aurangzeb). The coming of the European Powers and the advent of British rule. The Mutiny of 1857. The British rule and the Indian National Movement (1857-1947) World History: The Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution in Europe. The American Revolution 1776. The French Revolution 1789. The Russian Revolution 1917. World Wars I & II.

Punjab Civil Service Syllabus For Indian Economy

  • Indian economic development (1950-1991) – key economic policies, public sector dominance, bank nationalization, etc. Five-year plans – key goals and main achievements. Liberalization, privatization, and globalization era since 1991 – key policies, decisions, and results. Performance of Indian economy since 1991 – Growth, fiscal & revenue deficits, trade, commerce & balance of payments, inflation, growth of service sector. Key challenges and responses – agriculture and food security, industrialization, poverty alleviation & employment, rural & urban infrastructure, social sector – health, education, etc.

Punjab Civil Service Geography Syllabus

  • Population – distribution, density, growth, and comparison. Migration – types, causes, and consequences. Human development. Human settlements. Land resources and agriculture. Water resources. Mineral and energy resources. Manufacturing industries. Planning and sustainable development in India. Transport and communication. International trade. A geographical perspective on selected issues and problems.

Current Events Of National & International Importance

Related to the State of Punjab, and the country.

  1. Geography: Geographical and agro-climatic regions, rivers, water resources, sharing of waters, demographics, human development indices
  2. People, Society, and Culture: Major personalities in the history of Punjab, religious movements, major religions & spiritual personalities, Punjabi literature, folklore, performing arts, fine arts and crafts
  3. History: Sufis, saints and gurus, Lodhis and Mughals, Sikh rulers, the British period, nationalist movement in Punjab, Punjab in independent India.
  4. Economy: Agriculture, animal husbandry, industrial & service sectors, major occupations, development & economic growth, public finance (including central-state fiscal issues), public sector institutions, cooperatives, etc.

Punjab Civil Service Exam Syllabus 2022 – Prelims Paper 2 (Civil Services Aptitude Test)

  1. Reading comprehension; Punjabi and English language comprehension, antonyms and synonyms, grammar, and sentence formation.
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  3. Logical reasoning, analytical and mental ability
  4. Basic numerical skills; numbers, magnitudes, percentages, numerical relation appreciation
  5. Data analysis; Graphic presentations, charts, tables, spreadsheets.

Note: The topics listed in the syllabus are only indicative of the general guidance of the candidates and cannot be deemed as a final list.

Punjab Civil Service Mains Syllabus:

The PPSC Main Exam consists of 7 papers- English, Essay, Punjabi, General Studies I, General Studies II, General Studies III, and General Studies IV. All the paper marks make up to a total of 1350 marks. The PPSC Syllabus for Mains has been given below:

Paper 1: General English language

  • Vocabulary and grammar. 
  • Verbs, Idioms & Tenses.
  • Phrase corrections
  • Sentence completion
  • Paragraph writing
  • Precis writing
  • Translation
  • Comprehension

Paper 2: General Punjabi language

  • Essay writing
  • Letter writing
  • Grammatical concepts
  • Language quotes and explanations
  • Descriptive writing
  • Paragraph and precis writing

Paper 3: General Essay

The General Essay Section will be for a total of 150 marks. Candidates will be required to write three short essays in English or Punjabi on specified topics. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for content value and effective and exact expression.

General Studies 1

Section- 1: History

  • History of the world: Events from the 18th century; industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, etc. -their forms and effect on society.
  • Indian culture- Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, and issues.
  • Socio-religious reform movements with special reference to Punjab.
  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country with special reference to Punjab.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country. 1.7 History of Punjab:
  • Ranjit Singh’s rise to power, civil and military administration and relations with the British. The annexation of Punjab with special reference to the causes and consequences of the Anglo-Sikh wars.

Section-2: Geography

  • Physical Geography: Salient features of the world’s physical geography. Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, Volcanic activity, cyclones, etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and icecaps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
  • Geography of Punjab:
  • Physiographic details of Punjab; Geomorphic features of Punjab, Punjab’s strategic location with reference to International Border;
  • Crops of Punjab; Modern concepts of Farming; Problems faced by agriculturists/ Issues in Agriculture: Depletion of groundwater, etc:

Section-3: Society

  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems, and their remedies
  • Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
  • Ethics and Society: Essence, determinants, and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
  • Human Values – Role of family, society, and educational institutions in inculcating values; lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders and reformers- Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Kabir, Guru Nanak; Swami Vivekananda, Jyotibha Phule, Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar, and Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Vulnerable sections of the population – Welfare schemes by the Centre and State of Punjab and their performance; Mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for their protection and betterment.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector- Health, Education, Human Resources; Issues relating to Poverty and Malnutrition.

General Studies-II

Indian Constitution & Polity, Governance, and International Relations

Section-1: Indian Constitution & Polity

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of 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, the 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
  • District Administration – Evolution of District Administration; Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.

Section-2: Governance

  • 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 organizations- the role of NGOs, SHGs, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • 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; Changing trends in Governance 2.4 Values and Ethics in Governance- Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of Governance; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; corporate governance; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

Section-3: International Relations

  • 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 forums – their structure and mandate.
  • Note: The candidates are expected to be aware of the current developments related to the topics mentioned above.

General Studies-III

Section-1: Indian Economy

  • Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development, and employment; sustainable development; Inclusive growth and issues arising from it; 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- issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers; Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Technology missions; economics of animal rearing.
  • Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security;
  • 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
  • Human Resource Development: Importance of Human capital in economic development. Nature, types and problems of unemployment in India, Trends of Employment in India, Skill development and demographic dividend
  • Punjab Economy: Planning- various aspects of developmental planning; Industry; Infrastructure.

Section-2: Statistical Analysis, Graphs & Diagrams

This part will test the candidate’s ability to draw conclusions from information presented in statistical, graphical, or diagrammatic form and to interpret the same.

Section-3: Issues Related To Security

  • 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; the 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
  • Note: The candidates are expected to be aware of the current developments related to the topics mentioned above.

General Studies-IV:

Section-1: Science and Technology

1.1 Science and Technology

  • Developments and applications of science and technology and their effects in everyday life
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Recent developments in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, etc.
  • Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

1.2 Modern Trends in Life Sciences

  • Progress of Agricultural Science and its impact– Introduction to Biotechnology and its applications; Veterinary and Animal Sciences- latest developments.
  • Introduction to and applications of Genetic Engineering & Stem Cell Research
  • Human Diseases and Microbial infections; Common infections and preventive measures; preventive measures during outbreaks; Immunity and vaccination

Section-2: Environment

  • Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, Issues related to Environment, Climate change impact assessment
  • Water Management – Issues in India; Present scenario, Methods, and importance of water conservation
  • Definition, nature, types, and classification of disasters
  • Natural Hazards: Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, etc., Risk reduction and mitigation measures

Section-3: Situations In Civil Service – Problem Solving & Decision Making

  • Tackling Situations of Natural Disasters/ Major Accidents/ Law and order, Controlling riots, Handling public protests and dharnas, Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation, Designing Projects, Implementation of National Flagship Schemes/ Program, Public-Private Partnership ineffective service delivery, Managing and financing Municipal services e.g. Solid Waste Management, Conservation of natural resources – water, forests, etc, Pollution control, Reviving a loss-making PSU, Planning and target achievement, Gender sensitization, and women empowerment, Empowerment of vulnerable sections of the society, Improving Education and Enhancing Skill development, Urban settlement-Slums and Housing issues, Managing Issues related to Urban/ Rural drinking water supply and sanitation, etc.

Note: A duly structured situation will be presented to the candidates and they will be asked to analyze and suggest their own solution to the problem arising out of the situation

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