How to prepare Science & Technology for UPSC | Preparation Strategy & Science and Technology Syllabus for UPSC

Science & Technology is one of the fairly important subjects with respect to both UPSC CS Prelims and UPSC CS (Main) examination. It is included in the GS III paper for UPSC CS(Main) and General Studies paper in Prelims. 

Questions related to current developments in science and technology are asked in Prelims. However, it is important to have a theoretical understanding of the static syllabus of the subject in order to write effective answers in the UPSC CS(Main) examination. Let us look at the Science and Technology syllabus for UPSC along with the preparation strategy as well as the booklist.

Science and Technology Syllabus for UPSC

Developments & their Applications & Effects in Everyday Life

Chemicals in Food: Artificial Sweetening Agents, Food Preservatives;

Drugs: Antacid, Antihistamines, Neurologically Active Drugs -Tranquilizers,

Analgesics;  Antimicrobials - Antibiotics, Antiseptic and Disinfectant, Anti-Fertility Drugs, etc.

Cleansing Agents: Soaps, Synthetic detergents

Glass, Water Softener, Water Purification/Disinfection, Microwave Oven, etc.

Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose

Meghnad Saha

Homi Jehangir Bhabha

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Vikram Sarabhai

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya

Har Gobind Khorana

Tessy Thomas

C.N.R. Rao

Indigenization of Technology & Developing New Technology

IT & Computers







Awareness in Different Fields

IT & Computers







Issues Relating to Intellectual Property Rights

Need for Intellectual Property Rights

Types of IPR

IPR Regime in India

International Agreements Related to IPRs

Geographical Indicators

Recent Issues - Evergreening, Compulsory Licensing, Prominent Cases, etc.

Weightage of Science and Technology Syllabus In UPSC Exam

In the Science & Technology section, mostly dynamic questions from current affairs are asked. The number of questions mentioned below is excluding the ecology and environment section which is yet another important area to cover especially for the Prelims examination. Let us look at the weightage of Science & Tech for the last ten years in UPSC preliminary examination:

Year Number of Questions in Prelims (Science & Technology)



















Preparation Strategy of Science and Technology for UPSC

Science and Technology is considered to be one of the abstract subjects that follow no fixed pattern or syllabus for both UPSC CS Prelims and Mains. However, the past year trend analysis clearly shows that questions from this subject are analytical in nature. Hence, the following strategy will be useful to kickstart your science and technology preparation for UPSC:

  1. Strengthen your foundation : It is very important to have a crystal clear understanding of the basic concepts of the topics mentioned in the syllabus. Reading NCERTs from Class VI to X will introduce you to the basics of the subject. 

  2. Previous Year Questions : Since this particular subject is boundless, you need to stick to the syllabus while preparing for the Science & Technology portion. Hence, always keep a copy of the syllabus in front of you and check if the topic is mentioned in the syllabus. 

  3. Current Affairs : It has been observed that questions pertaining to current developments are often asked in UPSC CS Prelims as well as Mains. Hence, leverage editorials from the Hindu and the Indian Express to its fullest potential. Make small notes of the pointers for any recent development in the field of science. It includes space exploration missions, advancement in Artificial Intelligence, medications, reports surrounding spread of diseases and its containment using scientific methods, etc. Further, you should expect a lot of questions from Science & technology this year owing to the ever-changing advancements surrounding COVID crisis management. Hence, you should regularly read about the reports on vaccine testing as well as the virus spread across the globe.

  4. Mock Tests : Solve a lot of mock tests and sectional tests. You can purchase Science & Technology Question Bank for Civil Services Examination by TMH publication for practicing the questions for Prelims. 

  5. Practice answer-writing : For mains, practice answer-writing as much as possible and get your answers evaluated by your mentors. For science & tech, it is important to follow a diagram-based approach as well as add factual information for making your answers more substantive. 

Booklist of Science and Technology for UPSC

  1. NCERTs (Class VI to X)

  2. Developments in Science and Technology by Kalpana Rajaram

  3. Science and Technology for Civil Services Examination by Ravi Agrahari

Glimpse of Previous Year Questions Asked From Science & Tech Syllabus For UPSC

Let us look at some of the past year questions asked from the science & technology syllabus for UPSC:

Q.1 Recombinant DNA technology (Genetic Engineering) allows genes to be transferred

  1. across different species of plants
  2. from animals to plants
  3. from microorganisms to higher organisms

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Solution: A

Q. 2 India-based Neutrino Observatory is included by the Planning Commission as a mega-science project under the 11th five-Year Plan. In this context, consider the following statements:

  1. Neutrinos are chargeless elementary particles that travel close to the speed of light.
  2. Neutrinos are created in nuclear reactions of beta decay.
  3. Neutrinos have a negligible, but nonzero mass.
  4. Trillions of neutrinos pass through the human body every second.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 1, 2 and 3 only
  3. 2, 3 and 4
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Solution: D

Q.3 'Neutrino' has been quite frequent in news due to important scientific research. What are the possible sources of neutrinos?

  1. Big Bang
  2. Cosmic Rays
  3. Supernova
  4. Nuclear Bomb
  5. Geological Reactions
  6. Nuclear Reactors
  7. Sun

Correct codes are-

  1. 1,2,4,6 and 7
  2. 1,2,3,5,and 7
  3. 2,3,4,5,6,and 7
  4. 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7

Answer: D

This is a brief introduction to science and technology for UPSC CS preparation. Check out the weightage of science and technology along with other subjects here. Career Launcher brings to you comprehensive online courses to kickstart your UPSC 2021 preparation just in time! Get the details of all our online courses here. Get in touch with our course counselors to get more information on the course deliverables!

Current Affairs analysis