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UPSC Books List for Prelims & Mains Exam, UPSC Best Books List

UPSC Books List

Civil Service Examination is conducted annually by UPSC for various Group “A” and Group “B” services of the Government of India. Every year, lakhs of aspirants appear for this exam, but only a thousand get selected. Those who succeed no doubt work harder, but they also have another thing in common. They read the right resources which cater to the demand of this examination. Experts suggest that there is no end to the UPSC Syllabus, one can only get hold of the syllabus by reading the right resources. Here is a comprehensive list of reading resources that an aspirant beginning his/her preparation must go through to build a strong foundation for their preparation. 

UPSC Books StudyIQ Publication

We have been working in this field for years. We bring out our experience in a number of books under our StudyIQ Publication. Every year thousands of aspirants read them and get successful. These books have been crafted by experienced persons, designed and published in a manner that kindles aspirants’ interest in the subject. Here is the UPSC Book List of our publication. 

Subject Active Links 
History Modern Indian History
Economy  Indian Economy
Art and Culture  Indian Art and Culture
Polity  Indian Polity
Geography  Fundamentals of Geography

Principles of Indian Geography

Bhoogol Moolbhoot Siddhant (in Hindi)

Bharat Ka Bhugol (in Hindi)

Previous Year Question Papers 26 years UPSC CSE Prelims PYQs Book

List of Books For UPSC Exam

In addition to the above book list, here is an exhaustive subject-wise booklist for UPSC CSE from the point of view of general studies. UPSC syllabus can broadly be classified into the following head:

UPSC Syllabus Classification
History – India and the world Indian Society  Governance and Social Issues  Indian Economy Internal Security 
Geography – Physical and Human  Indian Constitution  International Relations  Environment and Biodiversity  Ethics and Integrity

UPSC Books List Subject-wise

We are providing you consolidated comprehensive UPSC Books List as under:

UPSC Books for History

UPSC Books for History
Indian History
  • Ancient history NCERT by RS Sharma (old edition)
  • Medieval History NCERT by Arjun Dev (old edition)
  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
  • Modern Indian History by Spectrum Publication 
  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania 
Post Independence History
  • Basic book – Politics in India Since Independence – NCERT class 12th
  • Advanced reading – India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha
World History
  • Basics – NCERT by Arjun Dev (old edition)
  • Advanced reading – Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe

UPSC Books for Geography

UPSC Books for Geography
Indian Geography
  • India : Physical Environment  – NCERT class 11th
  • NCERT geography book class 12th – Part II
World Geography
  • Physical Geography NCERT book of class 11th
  • Fundamental of Human Geography – NCERT class 12th
  • Geography book by G C Leong

UPSC Books for Indian Society

UPSC Books for Indian Society
Fundamental books
  • Introducing Sociology – NCERT class 11th (reading for the perspective of understanding and getting used to sociological vocabulary)
  • Indian Society – NCERT Class 12th
  • Sociology book part-II of NCERT for Class 12th
Advanced Readings
  • Indian Society by Ram Ahuja 

UPSC Books for Indian Constitution and Polity

UPSC Books for Indian Polity
Indian Polity
  • Democratic Politics – I and II – NCERT class 9th and 10th respectively (only cursory reading needed)
  • Indian Constitution at Work – NCERT class 11th
  • Indian Constitution by M Laxmikanth 
Governance and Social Issues
  • Social Change and Development in India – NCERT Class 11th
  • Governance of India by M. Laxmikanth
International Relations
  • Contemporary World Politics – NCERT Class 12th
  • Advanced Reading – Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor

UPSC Books for Economics

UPSC Books for Economics
Fundamental books
  • Indian Economic Development – NCERT Class 11th
  • Introductory Macroeconomics – NCERT Class 12th
  • Introductory Microeconomics – NCERT Class 12th
Advanced Readings
  • The Indian Economy by Sanjeev Verma
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

UPSC Books for Environment and Ecology

UPSC Books for Environment and Ecology
Environment and Ecology Books
  • Selective reading of Class XII NCERT Biology 
  • Environment by Shankar IAS

UPSC Books for Internal Security

UPSC Books for Internal Security
Internal Security Books
  • Internal Security book by TMH publication 
  • Internal Security by M. Karthikeyan

Ethics UPSC Books

Ethics UPSC Books
Ethics Books
  • Political Theory – NCERT class 11th
  • The Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Chronicle Publication 
  • Ethics book by D.K Balaji

UPSC Books for CSAT

UPSC Books for CSAT
CSAT Books
  • Previous Years Topic-wise CSAT papers by Disha Publication 
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S Agrawal 
  • Reasoning and Comprehension book by Arun Sharma

UPSC Books List in Hindi

Most of the above books, particularly NCERTs are available in Hindi also. Please ask the seller for the same.

Read More: UPSC Syllabus in Hindi

Best Books for IAS Prelims and Mains

Systematic preparation for the UPSC exam should be done comprehensively. Both the Prelims Syllabus and the Mains Syllabus complement each other. Thus, the book list remains the same. However, based on previous years’ question papers, one must try to understand which topics of the same subject are important for prelims and which are important for mains. Nevertheless, a sound understanding of the subject with good conceptual clarity is the sine qua non for both stages of the exam. 

The above booklist is in no way set in stone. One can always alter this with the resources one gets from trusted sources. However, over the years, many successful candidates have used them to prepare for this exam. 

It must be noted that aspirants must keep their resources limited. It is always advisable to read the same resource multiple times rather than reading multiple resources hastily. Of course, selective reading of multiple resources is always welcome to gain conceptual clarity on certain challenging topics. 

Simultaneously, the aspirant must always regularly read the newspaper and try to relate the current happenings with the fundamentals he/she is reading in standard books.

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What books should I buy for UPSC?

We have provided a comprehensive book list above. Please refer to it and also do your own research.

Is Laxmikant enough for mains?

Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth is a fundamental book for Indian Constitution and Polity. However, to do well in mains, one needs to supplement its understanding with current affairs knowledge.

Is only NCERT enough for UPSC?

NCERT are basic book to build a strong foundation. They may be sufficient for some topics on the syllabus and may need to be supplemented by other resources for others. It also varies based on an individual’s understanding.

Can I skip NCERT for UPSC?

It is not generally advised that NCERTs be skipped for the reason that they help build a strong foundation. However, if one is confident enough, one can skip them and directly go for advanced readings.

Is 6 hours daily enough for UPSC?

Yes. UPSC preparation needs a fertile mind that is proactive throughout the day. One should be a learner even when not reading books. However, 6 hours of reading should be sufficient if one is doing it consistently.

Can I skip reading newspaper for UPSC?

It is not advised that one skip the newspaper reading, as a good understanding of current happenings is important for this exam. However, one can read it selectively as per the demands of the exam to reduce the time taken to read the newspaper.

About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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