As you know, Governance comes under GS Paper-2 in UPSC Syllabus. If you give some extra efforts in this part then you can score better in GS Paper-2 because 3-6 questions are coming every year from this portion only and a lot of aspirants do not focus on this part, so you can take advantage of the same.

So, Let’s start our discussion from the Governance syllabus for UPSC as per UPSC Notification.

Governance syllabus for UPSC

According to UPSC notification, these are the topics that are given.

  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance – applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  • Role of civil services in a democracy

Micro topic syllabus of Governance

Government Policies & Interventions for Development

Government Policies & Interventions in Various Sectors

  • Health, Gender, Education, Poverty, Economic etc

Issues Arising Out of Their Design & Implementation

  • Concerns/Issues
  • Suggestions for Improvement
  • Critical Assessment of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)
  • Rationalisation of CSS
  • Analysis of Main Schemes:
    • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
    • Smart City
    • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
    • Digital India
    • Make in India
    • Skill India
    • PM Jan Dhan Yojana
    • Start-up India etc.

Development Processes & the Development Industry

  • Role of Social Capital Organisations
  • Indian Context
  • Classification
  • Provisions for the Third Sector in the Indian Constitution
  • National Policy on the Voluntary Sector 2007

Non-Governmental Organisations

  • Role and Impact of Non-governmental Organizations
  • Issue Areas: Accreditation, Legitimacy & Accountability, Foreign Funding etc.

Self Help Groups (SHGs)

  • Need for SHGs
  • Benefits of SHGs
  • Weaknesses of SHGs
  • Challenges
  • Measures to Make SHGs Effective
  • Case Studies: Kudumbashree (Kerala), Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (Maharashtra)

Societies, Trusts and Cooperatives

  • Societies
  • Trust
  • Religious Endowments
  • Cooperatives –
    • Need for Cooperatives
    • Constitutional Provisions
    • National Policy on Co-operatives, 2002
    • Issues and Challenges in the Cooperatives Sector

Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency & Accountability


  • Dimensions of Governance
  • Good Governance (GG)
  • Aspects of GG
  • Barriers to GG
  • Necessary Pre-conditions for GG
  • How to Ensure GG


  • Applications
  • Models
  • Successes
  • Limitations
  • Potential
  • Recent e-governance Initiatives by Government

Citizens Charters (CC)

  • Components of CC
  • Features of CC
  • Six Principles of CC
  • Shortcomings of CC
  • Measures to Make CC Effective
  • Sevottam Model

Aspects of Transparency

Elements & Types of Accountability

Means to ensure Transparency & Accountability

  • RTI
  • Social Audit
  • Whistleblower Protection Bill
  • Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act

Role of Civil Services in a Democracy

Relationship Between Civil Service And Democracy

Role Played By Civil Services

  • Advisory Role in Policy Making
  • Institutionalise Socio-economic change
  • Discharge Delegated Functions
  • Administer Law of the Land
  • Watchdogs
  • Continuity in times of Political Instability
  • Record-Keeping
  • Channel of Communication

Ailments/Issues Afflicting Indian Civil Services

  • Lack of Professionalism & Poor Capacity Building
  • Inefficient Incentive Systems
  • Outdated Rules & Procedures
  • Systemic Inconsistencies in Promotion
  • Lack of Adequate Transparency & Accountability Procedures
  • Arbitrary & Whimsical Transfers
  • Political Interference & Administrative Acquiescence
  • Gradual Erosion in Values & Ethics
  • Redtapism
  • Elitist in Nature
  • Poor Pay
  • Tendency to Capture Power

Reforming Bureaucracy to Strengthen Democracy

  • Setting Right the Asymmetry of Power
  • Insulating Civil Servants from Undue Political Interference
  • Professionalisation with Stability of Tenure & Competition
  • Citizen-Centric Administration
  • Accountability
  • Outcome Orientation
  • Promoting Public Service Values & Ethics

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