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UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Important Topics, Questions & Things To Remember

Updated on 04 March 2021
UPSC & State PSC
6 min read 15 views
Updated on 04 March 2021

The IAS prelims will be conducted on 27th June 2021 and so now is the time to gear up for the exam with detailed preparation. Aspirants who wish to clear their UPSC exam should remember that there is a lot of competition for this exam and clearing the same on the first attempt is not a cakewalk. However, with the help of various UPSC courses and self-study, aspirants try to put their best efforts to ace this exam. 

One should know that to prepare for the UPSC exam, you must make a note of certain aspects like important topics, questions and various other things that play a key role in your entire preparation. Dedicating all your time to studies will not repay you until you have planned things in a smart way. So, in this article, we will list some of the most important topics, questions and exam-related things to remember to ace your prelims exam easily. 

Before starting, aspirants must know that the preliminary exam is conducted in two shifts (GS-1 & GS-II) on the same day. The paper will be of objective type and the duration of both the papers will be of 2 hours each. The mode of examination will be offline i.e. pen and paper based and there will be ⅓ negative marking for both the papers. 

Coming to the important topics for prelims. Aspirants must refer to the below-mentioned topics. 


Current Events 

The current events section is the most important yet scoring section in prelims. However, to score the best grades aspirants must study the previous year’s question papers and note down the important as well as frequently asked questions. This section can be tricky if not studied properly as current events questions can be uncertain sometimes. If aspirants have joined any coaching then make sure to enroll in the best online coaching for UPSC 2021 as they play a crucial role in preparing you for your prelims exam. 

  1. Coronavirus Pandemic 
  2. China-Wuhan 
  3. Outbreak-Epidemic-Pandemic
  4. Corona Test techniques- Viral vs antibodies test
  5. Stages of vaccine development 
  6. Virus & Bacteria borne diseases
  7. Recovery of Indian Economy 
  8. 5G Technology 
  9. Postal Ballet in India 
  10. Working of ICMR 
  11. Drug testing Regulation in India 
  12. New National Education policy 
  13. New Agricultural Laws
  14. Cyclone Nisarg affected areas 
  15. Net Zero Carbon Emission 
  16. Indo-China Border dispute 
  17. Digital Education Report
  18. Citizenship Amendment Act
  19. Jammu & Kashmir, Leh and Ladakh Formation 


Aspirants should gain a thorough knowledge of the Indian Economy structure and its overall aspects. Also, you must be well-aware of the current economic events happening in the world. 

  1. Recovery of Indian Economy post-covid-19 pandemic 
  2. Role of RBI in post-covid-19 recovery 
  3. IMF Projection and Indian Economy 
  4. Negative growth 
  5. Deflation and Recession 
  6. Indian Economic Structure 
  7. SEBI, IRDA 
  8. RBI Mandate and it’s functioning 
  9. Indian Agriculture 
  10. Banking Structure of India 
  11. Crypto-Currency and its related issues 
  12. The primary, secondary and tertiary producers 
  13. Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan 
  14. National Infrastructure pipeline 
  15. Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund 
  16. Google 75000 Investment in India 


Aspirants must prepare for this section carefully as many of them find it tough to score in this paper. Pay special attention to the physical geography of India and the world as the maximum number of questions are asked on this topic. Candidates can also take help from UPSC online coaching or offline classes to prepare for this section if they find it difficult to study on their own. 

  1. Geo-Magnetic field and its significance 
  2. Cyclone Nisarga and Cyclone Amphan 
  3. The naming conventions of cyclone 
  4. The increasing frequency of Cyclone 
  5. Monsoon pattern in India 
  6. Climatology 
  7. Floods & the Indian preparations across the states 
  8. Physical Geography of India 
  9. The drainage system in India 
  10. Recent Census Figure 
  11. Hydrology 
  12. Formation of Rocks 
  13. Rock System In India 
  14. Formation & structure of the Himalayas 

Indian Polity 

Indian Polity is one of the most important topics that is asked by UPSC each year. Aspirants must read the questions carefully and only then attempt the answers as some of the questions can be tricky. 

  1. Citizenship Act 
  2. National Security Act 
  3. Fundamental duties 
  4. Fundamental Act 
  5. Essential Commodities Act 
  6. Articles related to citizenship of India 
  7. Articles related to Supreme Court of India 
  8. Lokpal institution 
  9. NITI Aayog Functioning 
  10. Fundamental Rights 
  11. Fundamental Duties 
  12. Preamble 
  13. All India orientation of CBI investigation 
  14. New Agricultural Laws 
  15. Difference between Cabinet Minister and Minister with Independent Charges 
  16. Prime Minister as the Residuary Legatee


The syllabus of History is quite vast in UPSC however the number of questions asked each year is comparatively less. So, aspirants must study the previous year’s papers and note down the trends that are important from the exam point of view. In addition to this, aspirants can also take help from various mock tests or UPSC courses that are available online.  

  1. Government of India Act 1935
  2. History of Galvan Valley 
  3. Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy 
  4. Poona Pact 
  5. Quit India Movement 
  6. The Social Movements in Modern India 
  7. Liberal Viceroys of India 
  8. The Round Table Conference (I, II, III)
  9. Events related to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru 
  10. Civil Disobedience Movement 
  11. The formation of the Indian Congress and Local Parties 


We are mentioning some of the important questions that can be asked by UPSC. However, along with this, aspirants must also refer to the previous year’s papers and jot down the important and high weightage questions. 

  1. What is the size of coronavirus?
  2. What is navigating the new normal?
  3. What does LAC mean?
  4. When does the LAC was marked and agreed?
  5. What was the origin point of cyclone Nisarga?
  6. What is the rainfall pattern in north-east India?
  7. How are the cyclones named? 
  8. What was the origin point of cyclone Amphan? 
  9. What is the ‘verified’ initiative?
  10. What is the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ Initiative?
  11. What is the minimum number of solar and lunar eclipses in a year?
  12.  Where is Dholavira Located?
  13.  What is mentioned in Article 370 H
  14.  In which state does Lipu lake belong?
  15.  The right to vote is a fundamental right. True or False?
  16.  What is crypto-currency?
  17.  What is Blockchain technology? 
  18. Where did the Indian Science Congress was organized?
  19.  “Health” is a Union Subject. True or false?
  20. What is a Rights Issue? 

Important Book List For UPSC Pre Exam


Along with the above-mentioned topics and questions, aspirants must consider certain important things before getting ready for this exam. Refer to some of the crucial aspects for UPSC prelims 2021 below. 

  1. Planning is very important when it comes to preparing for such high-level national exams. Aspirants must first make a study schedule and plan the amount of time to be given to each subject and only then proceed with their preparation. 

  1. Choose the right kind of coaching. Many times, aspirants select the wrong coaching only to realize that they have made a huge mistake and in turn, they waste their precious time. Aspirants must select online coaching as it gives them an edge over offline coaching in terms of both time and money. So to avoid this mistake, aspirants must check the UPSC online coaching that they wish to join. Compare their benefits, features and pricing and only then enroll in that particular coaching. 

  1. Read newspapers and watch the news daily. Aspirants must prepare for the current events section from Day 1 onwards of their preparation. Refer to Yojana Magazine, Newspapers like- The Hindu and The Indian Express, Economic and Weekly Political and Press Information Bureau. Current affairs are not something that you can build in a day so start preparing for this section early. 

  1. Solve previous year’s papers as they help to understand the exam pattern and types of questions asked by UPSC each year. In addition to this, examine the trends and note down the important topics from each year’s paper. 

  1. Solve Mock tests as they are very effective in understanding the time management and the difficulties involved in the overall paper solving. 

  1. Make your own handwritten notes. Handwritten notes are very useful as they help in understanding the concepts in a better way. These notes will help you in preparing for your exam at the last minute. 

  1. Revision is the key. Revise on a daily basis to get a hold of the subjects that you have learned daily. Also, the UPSC syllabus is quite vast so there's a chance that you may forget the concepts easily. So aspirants must dedicate a generous amount of time to revision. Keep the last month before the exam solely for revision purposes so that it will be easier for you to memorize the concepts at your pace. 

Read More Tips & Tricks To Crack UPSC Exam


UPSC is the most reputed and stable career for aspirants who wish to pursue it. Clearing this exam may be difficult but with the proper approach, you can surely ace this exam. Remember to follow the important topics, questions and things that we mentioned in this article along with hard work and determination. Stick to NCERT books and study from reliable and standard reference books only if needed. Lastly, choose the best online coaching for IAS and get ready to clear this exam with flying colors. Good luck! 

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