Important topics in International Relations GS 2

International Relations is one of the subjects of the UPSC Syllabus for Civil Services IAS Exam. This article, in turn, will give details on what can be expected from this segment and certain facts that will be helpful in studying this segment efficiently.

International Relations UPSC Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus Mains GS Paper 2: International Relations
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • India and its neighbourhood- relations
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

Below given are some of the important topics in International Relations of UPSC Syllabus for Civil Services IAS Exam of General Studies Paper-II.

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy Architecture

Strategic Autonomy

Soft Power

Dynamics of Foreign Policy

India’s Role in Future

Nuclear Doctrine

Big Brother

Historical Events in International Relations

Systemic Challenges


India-Afghanistan: Challenges; Geo-Political Developments

India-Australia: AUSIDEX

India-Bangladesh: Boundary Settlement; Relations; Legacy of Pakistan; Illegal Immigration

India-Bhutan: Growth of Democracy

India-China: Comparison; China’s Foreign Policy; Boundary Issues; Relations; Arunachal Pradesh; Tibet; One Belt One Road; China – Superpower?; China-Pak-India; Counter-Terrorism Drills; Dam on Brahmaputra; China’s West Asia Policy

India-Pakistan: Confidence Building Measures; Kashmir Dispute; Terrorism; Peace Proposal; Gilgit-Baltistan; Nuclear India-Pak-US

India-Sri Lanka: Overview; Elections in Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka PM visit; Sri Lanka War Crimes; Tamil Issue; OHCHR Resolution on Sri Lanka; Recent

India-USA: Overview; BIT President’s Visit; Chinese Angle; Nuclear Deal Defence Ties – DTTI; Strategic and Commercial Dialogue; S & T; US or China; People to People; US-China vis-a-vis Pakistan; Climate; FATCA-Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act; LEMA-Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement

India-Germany: Overview; Cultural Ties; Merkel’s India Visit-3rd Inter-Governmental Consultation held

India-Japan Relations; Railways; Nuclear Pact

India-Iran: Relations; Chabahar Port

India-Nepal: Nepal Constitutional Crisis; Relations

India-UK: Relations; Economic; Kohinoor Controversy

India-Saudi Arabia: Overview; India-Saudi-Iran

India-Canada: Uranium Deal

India-Israel: Overview; Palestine

India-Italy: Italian Marine Case

India-Mauritius: DTAC

India-Myanmar: Buddhist Chauvinism

India-North Korea: Relations; North Korea Events

India-Pacific Islands: Papua New Guinea

India-South Korea: Overview; Strategic Partnership

India-Russia: Relations

India-Mongolia: Relations

India-Sudan: Overview; Arrest of President

India-Sweden: Relations; Sustainable Urban Development

India-Turkey: Kurdish Movement

India-UAE: Strategic Partnership

India-Netherlands: Relations

India-Cambodia: Overview

India-Chile: Overview

India-France: Overview

India-Ireland: Overview

India-Jordan: Overview

India-Maldives: Overview


India-Mozambique: Overview

India-Singapore: Overview


ASEAN The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Central Asia

SAARC The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

BBIN The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

Indo-Pacific Issues

West Asia


SCO – The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa

EEU The Eurasian Economic Union

BCIM – Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar

IBSA India, Brazil and South Africa

APEC  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

IAFS – The India–Africa Forum Summit (Bilateral & Multilateral)

NSS – Nuclear Security Summit

RCEP Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

International Institutes and Treaties

APEC – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

BIT – Bilateral Investment Treaty

CTBT – The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

IBRD – The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

ICC – The International Chamber of Commerce

ICJ – The International Court of Justice

IDA – The International Development Association

IMF – The International Monetary Fund

ISA – International Solar Alliance

MTCR – The Missile Technology Control Regime

NATO – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NDB – New Development Bank

NPT – The Non-Proliferation Treaty and its failure

NSG – Nuclear Suppliers Group

PCA – Permanent Court of Arbitration

TPP – The Trans-Pacific Partnership

TFA – Trade Facilitation Agreement

TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

UN – United Nations

UNSC – The United Nations Security Council

WHO – The World Health Organization

WTO – The World Trade Organization

WIPO – The World Intellectual Property Organization

Diplomatic Immunity – Saudi Diplomat Rape case

Global Issues

East Asia

Syrian Crisis

South China Sea

UK Referendum – Brexit

Refugee problem

Israeli Settlement


Internet Governance

World Trade Pattern

Global Hunger

China Currency Devaluation and its impact

China – Economic Slowdown

Currency Wars

Quantitative Easing

Japan’s Pacifism

Europe Crisis

Venezuela-Columbia Border Issue

Catalonia – Spain

Greece Crisis

Check the details about the IAS Exam at the linked article.

These are the important topics one should read to understand the basic concepts and correlate the issues in the news with the syllabus.

Also see:

How to Prepare for International Relations of GS Paper II
Geography and International Relations through Maps
How to Prepare for Political Science and International Relations Optional

UPSC 2023


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.



  1. i like all the articles of byjus. Its been a great help for me to understand my queries from byjus portal