Recommended Books for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam

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recommended books

Here’s a list of books recommended for UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Mains Exam preparation.

Books for UPSC Mains

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has announced the timetable for civil services mains exam and will start on December 3rd 2016. Unlike prelims, UPSC  mains exam is of descriptive type and candidates should start preparing for the mains exam along with the prelims as the syllabus is vast and cracking the Civil Services Mains Exam is not easy.


The official notification to fill the DAF (CSM) will be available on the UPSC official website from 7th October, 2016 to 20th October, 2016 till 6.00 P.M.


For candidates who are preparing for the Civil services Mains Exam 2016 or 2017-18 below given is the list of books to refer for the exam.

Recommended Books for General Studies – Civil Services Mains Exam

General Studies Paper-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society (250 Marks)

Indian Heritage and Culture, History

NCERT book Class 11 Fine Arts – Introduction to Indian Culture (Part I)

National Institute of Open Schooling material on Culture

Culture related books of National Books Trust

Culture related books of Publications Division

Old NCERT book on Ancient History


Wonder That Was India by A. L. Basham

Ancient India in Historical Outline by D. N. Jha

National Book Trust issues on Ancient History Culture

Publications Division on Ancient History Culture

Old NCERT book on Medieval Indian History


Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India, Vol III: Medieval Indian Society and Culture by J. L. Mehta

A Social, Cultural and Economic History of India by P. N. Chopra, B. N. Puri, M. N. Das

The Wonder That Was India Vol II by S. A. A. Rizvi

History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra

NCERT Themes in Indian History Part III

India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra

A New Look at Modern History by B.L. Grover and S. Grover

NCERT XII: Politics in India after Independence

India after Independence by Bipan Chandra

Mastering Modern World History by Normal Lowe

NCERT XII: Indian Society

NCERT XII: Social Change and Development in India

Geography of the World and Society

Certificate Physical and Human Geography – G C Leong

Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11

India: Physical Environment NCERT Class 11

India: People and Economy NCERT Class 12

Geography of India by Majid Husain

World Geography by Majid Husain

Orient BlackSwan School Atlas

Status of Forest Report


General Studies-II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations (250 Marks)

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice

NCERT Class XI – Indian Constitution at Work

Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth

Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu

Constitution of India Bare Act

Punchhi Commission Report

2nd ARC Report

14th Finance Commission Report

12th Five Year Plan Document

International Relations

NCERT XII: Political Science: World Politics

India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri

Ministry of External Affairs In Focus


IAS preparation books for GS III and GS IV

General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management (250 Marks)

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment

NCERT XI – India’s Economic Development

NCERT XII – Geography India People and Economy

Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh


Economic Survey (2016-17)

Security and Disaster Management

Internal Security & Disaster Management: Ashook Kumar, TMH

Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report

Science and Technology by Spectrum Publication


General Studies-IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude (250 Marks)

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

2nd ARC Report (4th Report)

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination V by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary


These are the general and vital books recommended to refer for UPSC Civil Services (Mains) Examination, if candidates have some other books to add to the list can leave their suggestions in the below comment box, which will be included in the list for future reference of the IAS aspirants.

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