The optional subject in UPSC widely differs from general studies with regard to strategy and preparation. UPSC has clearly spelt out that the syllabus and questions of the optional subject are of honours level (in between graduate and post graduate level). This indicates that the optional requires greater subject expertise as compared to GS.
The starting point of optional preparation is to be well aware of the syllabus and the corresponding standard books required to deftly handling the subject. Most aspirants feel confused looking at the myriad books available in the market for each subject. Due to lack of authoritative information in this regard, they end up buying the wrong books which adds not only to their expenditure but also to the burden on their shoulders. Reading from such ineffective sources will lead to wastage of time and more importantly imparting wrong/half-baked knowledge.
Hence in this article, our aim is to provide an accurate list of standard reference books and sources to guide aspirants with respect to few of the most popular optional subjects.