Recommended Books for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam

Recommended Books for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam

The importance of studying from the right sources cannot be emphasised enough. The UPSC exam has its own peculiar demands and only those candidates who understand this and study accordingly will stand a chance of succeeding in the IAS exam. Students often wonder at the sources of reading material for IAS exam available in the market and online. It is easy to get carried away and acquire more than the required, or worse, wrong kind of books to study for IAS. To avoid this, you need to know what are the most recommended books to read for the civil services exam. In this article, you can get a list of the best books for UPSC mains exam.

UPSC Mains Books

General Studies I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History
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
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
  • Newspapers
General Studies III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment
  • NCERT XI – India’s Economic Development
  • NCERT XII – Geography India People and Economy
  • Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh
  • Budget
  • Economic Survey
Security and Disaster Management
  • Internal Security & Disaster Management: Ashok Kumar, TMH
  • Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report
  • Science and Technology by Spectrum
General Studies IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
  • 2nd ARC Report
  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination V by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary

Why it is important to study from the correct sources:

  1. To avoid studying plain wrong facts.
  2. To study focused towards the IAS examination. There may be books which are recommended for having a deep conceptual understanding of the subject or topic. But, when you study for the UPSC exam, you must know where to stop digging deeper.
  3. To help in making good notes for revision.
  4. To avoid wasting time reading unnecessary material.

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