For a UPSC CSE aspirant, the optional subject is also an important subject. In the UPSC mains exam, optional marks have two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each paper is of 250 marks which makes a total of 500 marks. The UPSC optional subject list contains 48 subjects in total, one of which is Electrical Engineering.

  • This subject syllabus mainly focuses on the candidates’ understanding of the basic concepts and application of knowledge.
  • Students who have studied Electrical Engineering in their graduation can choose this as an optional subject.





Download UPSC Mains Electrical Engineering Optional Syllabus PDF - UPSC Hub
  • Circuit Theory:
    •  Components of a circuit, network graphs.
    • KCL, KVL.
    • Circuit analysis methods: mesh analysis, nodal analysis, basic network theorems along with its applications
    • Transient analysis: RL, RC, and RLC circuits, sinusoidal steady-state analysis, coupled circuits, resonant circuits, balanced 3-phase circuits.
    • Two-port networks.
  • Signals & Systems: 
    • Representation of continuous-time and discrete-time signals & systems,
    • LTI systems, time-domain analysis of LTI systems based on convolution and differential/difference equations.
    • Convolution, impulse response
    • Fourier transform, Laplace transform, Z-transform, Transfer function.
    • Sampling and recovery of signals DFT, FFT
    • Processing of analog signals through discrete-time systems.
  • E.M. Theory: 
    • Maxwell’s equations
    • Boundary conditions, reflection, and refraction of plane waves.
    • Wave propagation in bounded media.
    • Transmission line: Standing and traveling waves, impedance matching.
    • Smith chart
  • Analog Electronics: 
    • Characteristics and equivalent circuits (large and small-signal) of Diode, JFET, BJT, and MOSFET.
    • Diode circuits: Clamping, clipping, rectifier.
    • Biasing and bias stability.
    • Current mirror
    • FET amplifiers
    • OPAMP circuits
    • Amplifiers: Single, and multi-stage, differential, operational, feedback, and power, analysis, frequency, response.
    • Filters
    • Sinusoidal oscillators: criterion for oscillation; single-transistor and OPAMP configurations.
    • Function generators and wave-shaping circuits
    • Linear and switching power supplies.
  • Digital Electronics: 
    • Boolean algebra: Minimization of Boolean functions, logic gates, digital IC families (TTL, DTL ECL, CMOS, MOS).
    • Combinational circuits: arithmetic circuits, code converters, multiplexers, and decoders.
    • Sequential circuits: latches and flip-flops, counters, and shift-registers.
    • Comparators, timers, multivibrator
    • Sample and hold circuits, ADCs, and DACs
    • Semiconductor memories
    • Logic implementation using programmable devices (ROM, PLA, FPGA).
  • Energy Conversion: 
    • DC machines: characteristics and performance analysis, starting and speed control of motors
    • Principles of electromechanical energy conversion: Torque and emf in rotating machines.
    • Transformers: principles of operation and analysis, regulation, efficiency, 3-phase transformers.
    • 3-phase induction machines and synchronous machines: characteristics and performance analysis, speed control.
  • Power Electronics and Electric Drives: 
    • Semiconductor power devices: diode, transistor, thyristor, triac, GTO and MOSFET-static principles and characteristic of operation, triggering circuits, phase control rectifiers
    • Bridge converters: half controlled and fully controlled
    • Principles of thyristor choppers and inverters, DCDC converters, Switch mode inverter
    • Basic concepts of speed control of dc and ac Motor drive
    • Applications of variable speed drives.
  • Analog Communication: 
    • Random variables: discrete, continuous, probability, and probability functions.
    • Statistical averages, probability models.
    • Random signals and noise: noise equivalent bandwidth, signal transmission with noise, white noise, a signal to noise ratio.
    • Linear CW modulation: Amplitude modulation: DSB, DSB-SC, and SSB. Modulators and Demodulators.
    • Phase and Frequency modulation: PM & FM signals, narrowband FM, generation & detection of FM and PM, Preemphasis, Deemphasis.
    • CW modulation system: Superheterodyne receivers, communication receivers, FM receivers, AM receivers, phase-locked loop, SSB receiver Signal to noise ratio calculation for AM and FM receivers.


UPSC Electrical Engineering Syllabus 2020 - IAS Mains Optional Subjects
  • Control Systems: 
    • Elements of control systems
    • Block-diagram representation
    • Control system components
    • Open-loop & closed-loop systems; principles and applications of feed-back
    • LTI systems: time-domain and transform-domain analysis.
    • State variable representation and analysis of control systems.
    • Stability: Routh Hurwitz criterion, root-loci, Bode plots, and polar plots, Nyquist’s criterion, Design of lead-lad compensators. Proportional, PI, PID controllers.
  • Microprocessors and Microcomputers: 
    • PC organization, CPU, register set, instruction set, timing diagram, programming, memory interfacing, interrupts, I/O interfacing, programmable peripheral devices.
  • Measurement and Instrumentation: 
    • Error analysis, measurement of current, power, voltage, energy, power-factor, resistance, capacitance, inductance, and frequency
    • Bridge measurement
    • Signal conditioning circuit
    • Electronic measuring instruments: multimeter, CRO, digital voltmeter, Q-meter, frequency counter, spectrum-analyzer, distortion-meter.
    • Transducers: Thermistor, thermocouple, LVDT, strain-gauge, piezo-electric crystal.
  • Power Systems: 
    • Analysis and Control: Steady-state performance of overhead transmission lines and cables, principles of active and reactive power distribution, and transfer, per-unit quantities, bus admittance, and impedance matrices, voltage control, load flow, and power factor correction, economic operation, symmetrical components, analysis of symmetrical and unsymmetrical faults.
    • Static VAR system
    • Concept of system stability: swing curves and equal area criterion
    • Basic concepts of HVDC transmission
  • Power System Protection: 
    • Principles of overcurrent, differential, and distance protection
    • Circuit breakers
    • Concept of solid-state relays
    • Computer-aided protection: Introduction, line bus, generator, numeric relays, transformer protection, and application of DSP to protection.
  • Digital Communication:
    • Pulse code modulation (PCM), differential pulse code modulation (DPCM), delta modulation (DM)
    • Digital modulation and demodulation schemes: amplitude, phase, and frequency keying schemes (ASK, PSK, FSK)
    • Information measure and source coding
    • Error control coding: error detection and correction, linear block codes, convolution codes
    • 7-layer architecture
    • Data networks
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