IB ACIO Interview 2021


Prelims, Mains, Interview




The Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.

Paper I - (200 marks) Duration : Two hours

Current events of national and international importance. History of India and Indian National Movement.
Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights
Issues, etc.
Economic  and  Social  Development  Sustainable  Development,  Poverty,  Inclusion,  Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require
subject specialization. General Science.

Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours

Interpersonal skills including communication skills; Logical reasoning and analytical ability
Decision-making and problem-solving
General mental ability
Basic  numeracy  (numbers  and  their  relations,  orders  of  magnitude,  etc.)  (Class  X  level),  Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level)
English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

Note 1 : Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of PaperII) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.


The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.

The nature and standard  of questions in the General Studies papers ( P a p e r I I t o P a p e r V ) will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study. The questions will be such as to test a candidate’s general awareness of a variety of subjects, which will have relevance for a career in Civil Services. The questions are likely to test the candidate’s  basic  understanding  of all  relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio- economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.

The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree.

Syllabi of the papers included in the scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination are given as follows:-


Essay:   Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

English Comprehension & English Precis will be to test the English language Comprehension and English précis writing skills (at 10th standard level).


General Studies- I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

     Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

     Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

     The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

     Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
     History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

     Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

     Role  of  women  and  women’s  organization,  population  and  associated  issues,  poverty  and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

     Effects of globalization on Indian society

     Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

     Salient features of world’s physical geography.

     Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub- continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

     Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water- bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

     Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

     Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

     Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

     Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

     Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

     Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

     Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

     Appointment  to  various  Constitutional  posts,  powers,  functions  and  responsibilities  of  various
Constitutional Bodies.

     Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial  bodies
     Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

     Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders

     Welfare  schemes  for  vulnerable  sections  of  the  population  by  the  Centre  and  States  and  the performance  of  these  schemes;  mechanisms,  laws,  institutions  and  Bodies  constituted  for  the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

     Issues  relating  to  development  and  management  of  Social  Sector/Services  relating  to  Health, Education, Human Resources.

     Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

     Important  aspects  of  governance,  transparency  and  accountability,  e-governance-  applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

     Role of civil services in a democracy.

     India and its neighborhood- relations.

     Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

     Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
     Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.


General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and
Disaster Management.

     Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

     Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

     Government Budgeting.

     Major crops   cropping patterns in various parts of the country,     different types of irrigation and irrigation systems   storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

     Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping;   issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

    Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

     Land reforms in India.

     Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

     Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

     Investment models.

     Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

     Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

     Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

     Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation,  environmental impact assessment

     Disaster and disaster management.

     Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

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

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

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

     Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate


General Studies- IV:    Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society.  Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.  The following broad areas will be covered.

     Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in    human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics   in private and public relationships.  Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating  values.

     Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
     Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service ,   integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker- sections.

     Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

     Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

     Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

     Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

     Case Studies on above issues.

Interview test

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his/her career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers.  The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

2. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

3. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.

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