UPSC Book List: Best Books for UPSC (IAS) Preparation - Recommended by Toppers for CSE Mains & Prelims Preparation

Best Books for UPSC (IAS) Prelims & Mains: Learn important book-list for the preparation of UPSC (IAS) Prelims & Mains (All Papers). This article is helpful for candidates who are going to appear for the UPSC (IAS) Mains paper this year or UPSC (IAS) Prelims & Mains, next year. 

UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Exam: Calendar
UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Exam: Calendar

Best Books for UPSC CSE (IAS) Prelims & Mains: In this article, we are going to provide some useful information that is helpful for both types of candidates. Here, we are going to provide important books for UPSC (IAS) Prelims and Mains preparation. These books are recommended by IAS toppers (based on the interviews).


Also Read: UPSC Answer Key (IAS) Prelims 2020

Important Books for UPSC (IAS) Preparation: Prelims - UPSC Book List 2021

History & Indian Culture


Modern History

1. A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir

2. World History by Norman Lowe

3. ‘Concise History of Modern India’ by Sujata Menon

Ancient History

‘Ancient India’ by RS Sharma (Old NCERT)

Medieval History

History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra (Old NCERT)

Indian Culture

1.‘Facets of Indian Culture’ by Spectrum

2. Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

3. CCRT website


Physical Geography

1. Certificate Physical and Human Geography

2. Maps Oxford School Atlas

Indian Geography

India: Physical Environment (NCERT)

World Geography

1. Fundamentals of Human Geography (NCERT)

2.Certificate Physical And Human Geography



1.India People and Economy (NCERT)

2.Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

3. Recent Economic Survey



1. Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

2.An Introduction to the Constitution of India by D. D. Basu

3.The Constitution of India by P. M. Bakshi

4.Old NCERT books for Indian Polity

Current Affairs

Daily, Monthly & Weekly Current Affairs

1. The Hindu

2. PIB

3. Jagran Josh

4. Manorma Year Book (available in both Hindi and English languages)

Science & Tech

Science & Tech

1. Notes by Shankar IAS

2. Daily Newspapers

3. ISRO website

Environment & Ecology

Environment & Ecology

1. Recent Events on Climate change through Newspapers

2. NIOS Study Materials

Important Books for UPSC (IAS) Preparation: Mains

General Studies: IAS Mains Paper 1

- Ancient History by R.S Sharma (Old NCERT)

- Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

- The modern history of Bipin Chandra (Old NCERT)

- The spectrum of modern India by Rajiv Ahir

- Politics in India since Independence (NCERT)

- India since Independence by Bipin Chandra (Old NCERT)

- World History NCERT by Arjun Dev (Old NCERT)

- Fundamentals of Physical Geography (NCERT)

- Fundamentals of Human Geography (NCERT)

- India: Physical Environment (NCERT)

- India People and Economy (NCERT) 

- Indian Society (NCERT)

- Social Change and Development in India (NCERT)

General Studies: IAS Mains Paper 2

- Indian Constitution at Work (NCERT)

- Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

- Introduction to the Constitution of India by D.D. Basu

- Governance in India by Laxmikanth

- India Year Book

- Contemporary World Politics (NCERT)

General Studies: IAS Mains Paper 3

- Indian Economy NCERTs of class 11th and 12th

- Indian Economy for Civil Services Exam by Ramesh Singh:

- Indian Economy by Uma Kapila

- Economic Survey and Fiscal Budget

- India People and Economy (NCERT)

- ARC Report on Disaster Management

- India Year Book

- For Science and Technology

General Studies: IAS Mains Paper 4

- IGNOU Study Material for Ethics Course

- Justice: What’s the right thing to do? - By Michael Sandel

- Psychology NCERT class 12th book

- Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Examination by G. Subba Rao

- Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for IAS General Studies by Niraj Kumar:

- Administrative Reforms Commission Report on Ethics:

Books for UPSC (IAS) Mains Preparation: Optional Subjects

Political Science:

Books for Political Science Paper I

  • India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra
  • An introduction to constitution – DD Basu
  • An introduction to political theory – O P Gauba
  • An Oxford companion to politics in India – Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta
  • A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx – Mukherjee and Sushila Ramaswamy
  • Foundations of Indian political thought- V R Mehta
  • A New Look at Modern Indian History – B L Grover & Alka Mehta
  • Indian Government & Politics – B L Fadia

Books for Political Science Paper II

  • International organisations – Spectrum Books Publication
  • International Relations – Khanna
  • India’s foreign policy – V P Dutt
  • Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy - Rajiv Sikri
  • Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy- David M. Malone
  • Global politics- Andrew Heywood

Books for other optional subjects will be available here shortly.

Career Counseling
Jagran Play
खेलें हर किस्म के रोमांच से भरपूर गेम्स सिर्फ़ जागरण प्ले पर
Jagran PlayJagran PlayJagran PlayJagran Play

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