Important Books for UPSC Exam Preparation

To crack India’s toughest examination it is necessary to widen the knowledge. Candidates depend mainly on newspapers, book, internet and other resources to gather the information. There are ample of books available in the market with special attractive annotation. But sometimes candidates really fail to choose the exact resource. Mugging up several books should not be the strategy for cracking civil services examination. Many books which we refer to UPSC Preparation are overloaded with information, time-consuming, more of technical terms and contains irrelevant according to UPSC syllabus. Always follow one source of information and keep on revising the same along with updates. Read on for the essential book list for UPSC exam.

Polity: Indian Polity & Constitution

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: Indian polity and Governance- constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues etc
  • Main Examination: General Studies Paper II: Governance, Constitution, Polity

Must read Books

  • NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work (New)
  • NCERT Class XII – Political Science I: Contemporary World Politics(New)
  • NCERT Class XII – Political Science II: Politics in India since Independence(New)
  • Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth

History

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Main Examination: Modern Indian history, The freedom struggle, Post-independence history

Must read Books

Ancient & Medieval History

  • NCERT Class  VI Ancient India (Old)
  • NCERT Class  VII Medieval India (Old)
  • NCERT Class  XI Ancient India (Old)
  • NCERT Class  XI Medieval India (Old)
  • NCERT Class  IX Story of Civilization Part-I (Old)
  • NCERT Class  X Story of Civilization Part-II (Old)
  • Tamil Nadu Edition – Class 11th

Modern India

  • NCERT Class  VIII Modern India (Old)
  • NCERT Class  XII Modern India (Old)

Indian Heritage and Culture

Indian Culture will cover the salient aspects of Art forms, literature and architecture from Ancient to modern times.

Must read Books

  • NCERT Class XI – An Introduction to Indian Art
  • NCERT Class XI – Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)
  • Spectrum books

Geography

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: Indian and World geography- Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World
  • Main Examination: Geography of the World and Society, Distribution of key natural resources across the world, important geophysical phenomena etc.

Must read Books

Geography of India

  • NCERT XI Indian Physical Environment (New)
  • NCERT XII India-People and Economy (New)

Physical Geography

  • NCERT VIII Resource and Development (New)
  • NCERT XI Fundamentals of Physical Geography (New)

Geography of the World

  • NCERT VI Land and People Part-I (Old)
  • NCERT VII Land and People Part-II (Old)
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong-Chapter 15-25
  • Geography of India – Majid Husain.
  • Atlas: Orient BlackSwan School Atlas
  • Oxford School Atlas

Indian Economy

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: Economic and social development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives etc.
  • Main Examination: Economic Development, Government budgeting, Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment, Inclusive growth and issues, Issues related to indirect and direct subsidies, PDS, Food processing and related industries, Land reforms in India, effects of liberalization, Investment models etc

Must read Books

  • NCERT XI Indian Economic Development (New)
  • NCERT XII Macro Economics (New)

Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh

Economic Survey(Selected Chapters)


Science & Technology : Physics, Chemistry & Biology

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: General science
  • Main Examination: Science & Technology, Awareness in IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology

Must read Books

  • NCERT VI Science (New)
  • NCERT VII Science (New)
  • NCERT VIII Science (New)
  • NCERT IX Science (New)
  • NCERT X Science (New)
  • NCERT XI Computers and Communication Technology-I
  • The Hindu-Thursday Edition
  • Science reporter- Selectively

Environment

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and climate change
  • Main Examination: Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Must read books

  • Current affairs
  • ICSE Board X and XI- Environmental studies
  • NCERT VI-XII- Geography Books

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Syllabus

  • Main Examination: Ethics and Human interface, Attitude, Aptitude, Emotional intelligence, Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and World, Public/Civil service values and ethics in Public administration, Probity in governance and Case studies on above mentioned issues

Must read books

  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Nanda Kishore and Santhosh Ajmera (Mc Graw Hill Publications)
  • IAS Mains General Studies Paper 4 Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Arihant Experts.

Social issues and Disaster management

Syllabus

  • Main Examination: Social justice, Disaster and disaster management

Must read books

  • India yearbook
  • Newspaper
  • Yojana and Kurukshetra magazine
  • Internal Security & Disaster Management
  • India’s National Security: A Reader
  • VIII CBSE Text Book for Disaster Management
  • IX CBSE Text Book for Disaster Management
  • X CBSE Text Book for Disaster Management

International relations

Must read books

  • Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century
  • Editorials in The Hindu and Indian Express.
  • The official Ministry of External Affairs website.
  • IDSA website. 

Current Affairs

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.
  • Main Examination: Relevant in all spheres.

Must read books

  • Press Information Bureau
  • PRS
  • AIR news
  • IDSA
  • Yojana and Kurukshetra
  • Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Debates
  • The Hindu
  • Business Standard

CSAT

Syllabus

  • Preliminary Examination: Comprehension, Interpersonal skills including communication skills, Logical reasoning and analytical ability, Decision making and problem-solving, General mental ability, Basic numeracy (Numbers and their relation, order of magnitude etc. of Class X level) and Data interpretation (Charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc of Class X level).

Must read books

  • CSAT Paper – 2 Manual by TMHor CSAT-II – Arihant (CSAT – Paper 2)
  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R. S.Aggarwal (CSAT Paper 2: Reasoning)

These are some of the major books and resources recommended for IAS exam preparation. Hope, it would be helpful for aspirants in their preparation and if you have any suggestion to add to the list please leave your suggestions in the below comment box.