International Relations in UPPCS Mains exam is a major topic in GS Paper 2. Every year, 3-4 questions are asked from International Relations in UPPCS. In 2022, there were 4 questions. Now, from 2023 expect that 1-2 more questions will be asked in this section as UP questions(5-6) are shifted to seperate papers.

Understanding the Syllabus

Before diving into preparation methods, you must understand the International Relations syllabus for the UPPCS Mains. Breakdown each section, outline what each area entails, and discuss the importance of each topic.

Major Topics in International Relations

As per the syllabus following topics are there in the syllabus of IR for UPPCS Mains.

  1. India and its relationship with neighbouring Countries;
  2. Bilateral, Regional and Global groupings and agreements involving India and / or affecting India’s interest
  3. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests- Indian diaspora
  4. Important International Institutions, Agencies their structure, mandate and functioning
  5. Current affairs and events of International importance

Keeping in mind the above, whole syllabus can be divided into following sections : –

Resources for Study

It is important to choose the right resource for your IR studies. There are many books in the market. However, we recommend that you look for the following attributes in the book before you buy the same :-

  1. It should not be overly lengthy. In UPSC as well as  UPPCS and other PCS Mains have 5-6 questions of International Relations in paper 2. The basic reading material for these should not exceed 250-300 pages for proper revision. However, there are books in market which are more than 500 pages and contain useless information too.
  2.  Proper coverage and linkage with other parts of syllabus is important. So, while faltu information should not be there, basics of IR which include paradigms in diplomacy, a brief history of 20th century world order etc should be included.
  3. It should tell you how to write answers in International Relations section. At the least, it should contain solved papers of UPSC pre and Mains for past few years so that you have a fair idea of what to expect in the exam.

Such a book will help you understand the current affairs and incorporate the same in your preparation in a better manner.

Our expert mentor at Oracle IAS, Hemant Bhatt sir, has written a book for International Relations that you would find useful for your preparation. The sample of the same can be seen below. To purchase, contact 9997453844.


Study Techniques and Tips

Discuss various study techniques that could be beneficial when studying for the International Relations section of the UPPCS Mains.

  1. Understanding the Concepts : The first steps should be to clear concepts. For example, if you don’t know what exactly “track 2 diplomacy”, “multi polar world order”, “hawkish stance”, “soft power” etc are, you are unprepared for the exam. Grab your book and read these things.
  2. Making Notes : Note making should be done specially for current affairs related topics in international relations section. For making notes, have either a copy or more preferably an account on onenote, evernote etc. Keep notes as crisp as possible, so that these can be revised easily. do remember that these will help you throughout your preparation. Analyse past papers and their model answers to understand which information is important and should be included in notes.
  3. Regular Reading of International News: This will be covered in your newspaper, or even in sarkari news on DD or All India Radio. Do not do more than that. You are not aspiring to become an IR specialist.
  4. Understanding India’s Position in World Politics: Of course, you need to understand the doctrines that drive foreign policy of India, and its relationships with other countries and on multilateral platforms. The basics will be covered in the book and then supplemented by the newspapers/current affairs.
  5. Answer Writing Practice: This is the most important portion of your preparation. You can join our excellent answer writing programme or anywhere else, but do this. Also, discuss your answers with mentors. Try to make templates for answers so you don’t have to think in the exam. Contact 9997453844 if you need any help.
  6. Regular Revision: Revision is important to keep things fresh in mind. So, before the exam, a revision is must. Great thing about IR is that as the situations develop over weeks and months, you usually have some revision just by reading the newspaper regularly


International Relations is a relatively easy subject to cover in UPSC and PCS preparation. It involves more than a bit of current affairs coverage. However, with a good study material in hand, and good mentors to guide you, this is not at all difficult.

For any doubts, feel free to call 9997453844.

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