Today In this article I want to walk you through the complete Internal Security syllabus for UPSC.

As you know, Internal Security comes under GS Paper-3 in UPSC Mains Syllabus. Almost 4-5 questions are coming in the UPSC Mains exam every year, from this part only.

So without further ado let’s start our discussion from the Internal Security syllabus for UPSC Exam as per UPSC notification.

General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)250 marks

Internal Security syllabus for UPSC

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

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cybersecurity; money-laundering and its prevention

Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

Micro Topics: Internal Security syllabus

1. Internal Security Challenges

  • Social Diversity as Issues of Security Threat
  • Challenges from within India
  • Neighbors as Issue of Security Threat
    •  Pakistan
    • China
    • Myanmar
    • Bangladesh
    • Bhutan
    • Nepal
    • Sri Lanka
  •  Non-State Actors as Issue of Security Threat
  • Global Indices and Measurement of Vulnerability of a State towards such Non-State Actors
  • Law and Order vs. Internal Security

2. Terrorism Threat to India

  • Changing the Face of Terrorism
  • Terror Threats Faced by India
  • Broader Framework to Deal with Terrorism

3. Organized Crime

  • Types of Organized Crime
  • Problems in controlling organized crimes
  • Combating organized crimes
  • Linkage of Terrorism and Organized Crime in India

4. The linkage between Development and Spread of Extremism

  • What is Naxalism
  • What is the History of Naxal Movement
  • Why Naxalism is the biggest threat to internal security?

5. Insurgency in North-East

  • Introduction
  • Issues & Conflicts
  • Assam Insurgency

6. Security Challenges in Border Areas

  • Challenges to Border Management
  • Issues Faced in Border Management
  • Community Participation for Border Management

7. Basics of Cyber Security

  • Basic Definition
  • Types of Cyber Crimes
  • Impact and Steps needed
  • Recent Incident: Ransomware
  • National Cyber Security Policy of India 2013

8. Cyber Warfare

  • Factors Contributing/Aggravating Rise of Cyber Attack
  • Recent Initiatives for Tackling Cyber Warfare
  • Way Ahead
  • Chinas role in cyber-warfare
  • Different Spywares

9. Social Media and Internal Security Threat

  • Regulation of Social Media in India for Internal Security
  • Challenges in Monitoring Social Media

10. Money Laundering

  • Meaning of Money Laundering
  • Harmful Effects of Money Laundering
  • Steps were taken by the Government

11. Black Money in India

  • Parallel Economy in India
  • Measures are taken to curb Black Money?
  • Demonetization for curbing black money
  • Impact of demonetization on black money
  • Criticisms

12. Security Forces and Their Mandate

  • Police Reforms in India
  • Organizational Structure
  • Duties and Responsibilities of the Police
  • Centre’s Role in Policing
  • Traditional Security Challenges
  • Non-Traditional Security Challenges (NTS)
  • Recommendations for Police Reforms
  • Police we Want in the 21st Century
  • Prison Reforms

13. Various Security Forces and Their Mandate

  • Assam Rifles
  • Border Security Force (BSF)
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  • Central Reserve Police Force
  • National Security Guard
  • Issues with Paramilitary Forces

14. Role of the Army in Internal Security

  • Strategic Perspective: Has the role of Military become more relevant today?
  • National Context
  • The Indian Army’s Response
    • Structural Adaptation
    • Doctrinal Development
    • Leadership Adaptation
    • Long-term Perspective

15. Governance Issues Related to Internal Security

  • Threats, Challenges and Vulnerabilities in 21st Century
  • Introduction
  • China: The Long-term Challenge
  • Managing the China-Pakistan Collusion
  • Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threat
  • Aerospace Threats
  • Maritime Security
  • Natural Resources
  • Conflict over Water
  • Energy Security
  • Global Warming
  • Indian Diaspora
  • Economic Warfare
  • Role of foreign elements in disturbing internal security

16. Impact of Governance and Justice Delivery System on Internal Security

  • Importance of Good Governance in Internal Security
  • Reforms Needed
  • Improving E-governance platforms

17. National Security Mechanism

  • Improving Policing and Intelligence
  • Resolving Centre-State Issues in Managing Internal Security

18. Issues in Intelligence Services

  • Response Mechanism in India
  • What are the Major INTELLIGENCE Challenges?
  • Steps to tackle the flaws
  • What are the probable measures to improve Intelligence Services in India?
  • How to Create These Capabilities?
  • Recent terrorist attacks the role of intelligence in that context

19. Strategy for Coastal and Offshore Security

  • Different Facets of Maritime Security
  • Different Reporting Mechanism for Handling Security
  • Importance of Coastal Community Participation

20. Make in India in Defence

  • Present Scenario
  • Make in India in Defense
  • Government Policy
  • Strategy for Indigenization
    • Skill Development
  • Technology acquisition


1.Issues Related to Internal Security

  • Strategy for Managing Internal Security
  • Counter-terrorism Infrastructure in India
  • ISIS Challenge in India
  • Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism
  • Naxalism
  • Peace Accord
  • Organized Crime
  • Media and Internal Security Threat
  • Does Social Media Threaten Democracy?

2. Issues Related to Security Forces

  • Central Armed Police Forces
  • Indian Police Structure
  • Police Modernization Scheme
  • Police Reform with Respect to Cyber Security
  • Police Surveillance in the Age of Big Data
  • Andaman Sea Region: India Eyes for Military Expansion
  • Role of the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean
  • Draft Amendments to National Investigation Agency Act-2008 Released
  • One Rank One Pension
  • Non Lethal Weapons to Control Crowd and Laws Related to it
  • T.V.S.N. Prasad Report on alternatives to Pellet Guns

3. Defense Procurement

  • Working Analysis of Defence PS
  • DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization)
  • Make in India in Defense
  • CAG Report on Ammunitions Management System
  • Strategic Partnership Policy to Boost Defense Manufacturing
  • China increasing Defence Budget and India’s decreasing (implications)

4. Military Related Policies in India

  • Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces – 2017
  • The doctrine of Hot Pursuit
  • Military Cold Start Doctrine
  • India’s Military Readiness
  • Women into Military Police
  • Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016: An Analysis

Internal Security UPSC: Books & Resources

The internal security is a major topic in GS Paper-III. As we have seen above, this deals with the internal security issues faced by India, the Security forces and their mandates, etc.

  • Challenges to Internal Security of India
  • For beginners, here is a book released by Oxford University Press, exclusively on these topics. Titled ‘India’s National Security – A Reader‘ and written by eminent scholars in this field, covers external and internal security threats by state and non-state actors, as well as nuclear issues too.
  • Monthly Magazine of any coaching (like Vision IAS)
  • The Hindu / The Indian express

Also, read

Reference: UPSC website for Syllabus & GS SCORE

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Aaliya Ahadkhan

Good post.