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Best books for UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains Exam Preparation

Books for UPSC: When it comes to preparing a UPSC Civil Services booklist, you may find yourself purchasing every book in the bookstore. But wait, you need to narrow down your choices and get your hands on the best ones. So, when you eventually sit down with those books to read, ideas like “too many books, too little time” can make you feel stressed!

As a result, to make you worry a little less and study a bit more, we’ve developed an exhaustive UPSC booklist that toppers recommend. To guarantee that you don’t stray too far from the core material, you should stick to a specific UPSC book list. It is important to note that you are not required to read all of the books in their full. Make sure to get our micro topics syllabus PDF and read the books on the UPSC booklist that correspond to it. You’ll be able to stay focused on the UPSC curriculum in this manner.

UPSC Books for General Studies Booklist for UPSC Prelims & Mains

Booklist for UPSC Prelims & Mains
HistoryNIOS course books for classes XI and XII on – Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, National Movement & Contemporary World and Culture of India.A History of Ancient & Early Medieval India by Upinder SinghIndia’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma published by Oxford University PressHistory of Medieval India (800–1700 AD) by Satish Chandra published by Orient LongmanHistory of Modern India by Bipin Chandra (2009 Edition)India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra & OthersFrom Plassey to Partition and After by Sekhar Bandopadhyaya
  
World HistoryThe Story of Civilization, Part 2 by Arjun Dev, NCERTContemporary World History for class XII (Old NCERT Book)Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe
  
GeographyCertificate Physical & Human Geography (Oxford) by Goh Cheng LeongXI Standard: (1) India – Physical Environment (2) Fundamentals of Physical GeographyXII Standard: (1) India – People & Economy (2) Fundamentals of Human GeographySchool Atlas – Orient Black Swan
  
Social IssuesXI Standard NCERT on Indian Society (Chapters on Unity & Diversity and Population Issues)XII Standard NCERT (Chapters on Communalism, Secularism and Urban Issues such as Poverty, Housing, etc.)
  
Indian PolityConstitution of India at Work (Class XI) NCERT PublicationIndian Polity by LaxmikantFrom Government to Governance by Kuldeep MathurPanchayati Raj in India by Kuldeep Mathur
  
Indian EconomyIndian Economic Development XI Standard NCERTIndian Economy by Sanjiv VermaIntroductory Macro Economics XII Standard NCERTEconomics Dictionary published by Collins & Penguin
  
Ecology & EnvironmentXII Standard NCERT Book on Biology (Chapters pertaining to Ecology)India Year Book (Chapters on Environment)Environment – By Shankar IAS
  
Science & Technology  VIII, IX, X Standard NCERT books on BiologyThe Hindu or Indian Express NewspaperMonthly Magazine ‘Science Reporter for Science & Technology’
  
Ethics, Integrity & AptitudeEthics in Governance, ARC ReportLexicon by Chronicle PublicationsThe Book on Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude published by Access Publication

Books for Public Administration Optional

Paper 1

  1. Chapter-I: Introduction Mohit Bhattacharya: New Horizons of Public Administration Nicholas Henry : Public Administration and Public Affairs Special Issues of Indian Journal of Public Administration
  2. Chapter-II: Theories of Administration D. Ravindra Prasad, V.S. Prasad and P. Satyanarayana: Administrative Thinkers D. Gvishiani Organisation and Management: A Critique of Western Theories.
  3. Chapter-III: Structure of Public Organisations: R.K. Jain : Public Sector Undertakings; and Mohit Bhattacharya : New Horizons of Public Administration
  4. Chapter-IV: Administrative Behaviour Paul Hersey : Organisational Behaviour OR Stephen P. Robbin : Organisational Behaviour
  5. Chapter-V: Accountability and Control: Mohit Bhattacharya : New Horizons of Public Administration Special Issues of Indian Journal of Public Administration on Accountability
  6. Chapter-VI: Administrative Law: Massey :Administrative Law OR M.P. Jain :Administrative Law
  7. Chapter-VII: Administrative Reforms: P.R. Dubbashi : Administrative Reforms G.E. Gaiden :Administrative Reforms
  8. Chapter-VIII: Comparative Public Administration: Ferrel Heady : Public Administration-A Comparative Perspective OR R.K. Arora : Comparative Public Administration
  9. Chapter-IX: Development Administration: Ferrel Heady : Public Administration – A Comparative Perspective OR R.K. Arora : Comparative Public Administration
  10. Chapter-X: Public Policy : IGNOU Lessons on Public Policy R. K. Sapra : Public Policy
  11. Chapter-XI: Personnel Administration: O Glenn :Stahl : Public Personnel Administration S. L. Goel : Personnel Administration in India.
  12. Chapter-XII: Financial Administration M. J. K. Thavaraj :Public Financial Administration OR G.S. Lal :Financial Administration in India IGNOU Lessons on Financial Administration

Paper 2 Indian Administration

  1. Chapter-I: Evolution of Indian Administration B.N. Puri Administrative History of India (Vol. I, II and III)
  2. Chapter-II: Constitutional Framework D. D. Basu An Introduction to the Constitution of India
  3. Chapter-III: Union Government and Administration A. Avasthi Central Administration
  4. Chapter-IV: State Government and Administration J.D. Shukla State Administration
  5. Chapter-V: District Administration T.N. Chaturvedi District Administration; and Special Issue of Indian Journal of Public Administration on District Administration
  6. Chapter-VI: Local Government S.R. Maheswari Local Government in India
  7. Chapter-VII: Public Sector in India R. K. Jain Public Sector Undertakings Annual Survey on Public Sector of Department of Public Enterprises
  8. Chapter-VIII: Public Services S.L. Goel Personnel Administration in India
  9. Chapter-IX: Control of Public Expenditure M. J. K. Thavaraj Financial Administration IGNOU Lessons on Financial Administration
  10. Chapter-X: Administrative Reforms P.R. Dubbashi Administrative Reforms S. R. Maheswari Administrative Reforms Special Issue of Indian Journal of Public Administration on Administrative Reforms
  11. Chapter-XI: Machinery for Planning A. Avasthi Central Administration
  12. Chapter-XII: Administration of Law-and-Order K. K. Sharma Law and Order Administration in India K. J. Guha Roy, District Policing
  13. Chapter-XIII: Welfare Administration Annual Reports of Department of Social Welfare
  14. Chapter-XIV: Major Issues in Indian Administration Special Issue of Indian Journal Public Administration on Indian Administration, Retrospect and Prospect and on Good Governance.

Books for Sociology Optional:

Paper 1

  1. Herton and Hunt, Sociology
  2. Mcgraw- Hill International, Singapore 1984
  3. Abrahamson Mark, Urban Sociology
  4. Prentice-Hall Inc, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1980
  5. Haris C. C., The Sociology Enterprises: A Discussion of Fundamental Concept
  6. St. Martin Press Inc., New York, 1980
  7. Wilson John, Introduction to Social Movements
  8. Basic Books, NY , 1998
  9. Hamilton , Malcom, B. The Sociology of Religion
  10. Routledge, London , 1995
  11. Williams, Malcom, Science and Social Science: An Introduction
  12. Routledge, London , 2000
  13. D.K.S. Roy, Social Development and the Empowerment of Mariginalised Groups: Perspectives and Strategies
  14. Sage, New Delhi – 2001
  15. Harris C.C., The Family
  16. Allen and Unwin, London – 1977
  17. Andreas Hess, Concept of Social Stratification, European and American Models
  18. Palgrave, Houndmills, NY , 2001
  19. Giddens, Anthony, Capitalisation and Modern Social Theory
  20. University Press Cambridge, 1971
  21. Smelser, N.J.The Sociology of Economic Life
  22. Prentice Hall, New Delhi – 1988
  23. Haralombos, M, and Heald, R,M. Sociology : Themes and Perspectives
  24. Randall Collins, Theoretical Sociology
  25. Harcourt Brace and Company, Florida, 1996
  26. Bottomore. T.B. Sociology : A GFuide of problem and Literature
  27. Allen and Unwin, London – 1972
  28. Etzioni, Amitali, Modern Organization
  29. Prentice Hall, NY, 1995
  30. Cuff, Sharrock, and Francis, Perrspective in Sociology
  31. Routledge, NY 1995

Paper 2

  1. Mandelbaum, David, Society in India
  2. Srinivas M N Caste in Modern India and Other Essays
  3. Asia Publishing House, Bombay -1962
  4. Srinivas M N Social Change in Modern India
  5. Berkeley,University of California Press 1966
  6. Srinivas and Shah, The Myth of the self sufficiency of the Indian Village
  7. Beteille Andre Sociology
  8. Beteille Andre, The idea of Natural, Inequality and other Essays
  9. Beteille Andre, Essay in Contemporary Sociology
  10. Beteille Andre, Social Inequality of Indian Penguine
  11. Singh Yogender Cultural Change in India
  12. Singh Yogender, Modernization of Indian Tradition
  13. Thompson Press, New Delhi – 1973
  14. Unnithan T K , Indra Dev and Singh, Y, (eds) Towards a Sociology of Culture in India
  15. Gupta, Dipasnkar, Interrograting Caste
  16. Shah A M Family in Contempory India
  17. Orient Longman, New Delhi – 2001
  18. Chandrani and Chandrani, Essay in Rural Sociology
  19. Desai, Neera, and Krishnaraj, Women and Society in India
  20. Singer Milton and Cohen B.S. Structure and chasnge in Indian Society
  21. Weener Grin Foundation for Anthropological Research 1968
  22. Sharma K L (ed) Sociology Inequalities in Indian, Profiles of Caste Class, Power and Social Mobility
  23. Rawat, Jaipur 19945
  24. Gallenter Masrc, Competing, Inequalities
  25. Oxford, NY 1998
  26. Joshi, P C Sociol Science and Development: Quest for Relevance
  27. Hasr-Anand Publication, Delhi 1995

Books for History Optional:

Booklist for UPSC History Optional

  1. NCERT (Class IX to XII)
  2. NIOS/IGNOU Notes
  3. India’s Ancient Past by R. S. Sharma.
  4. History of Medieval India: From 647 A.D. to the Mughal Conquest by Satish Chandra.
  5. History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra.
  6. India’s Struggle For Independence by Bipan Chandra.
  7. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania.
  8. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century by Upinder Singh
  9. From Plassey to Partition and After A History of Modern India by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
  10. A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century by Farooqui Salma Ahmed
  11. Contemporary India: Economy, Society, Politics by Neera Chandhoke
  12. A History of Modern World by Jain and Mathur
  13. Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe

Books for Philosophy Optional:

Paper 1

  1. W. T. Stace: A Critical History of Greek Philosophy (Plato and Aristotle).
  2. Copleston: A History of Philosophy (Relevant Chapters from volume I, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX & XI).
  3. Anthony Kenny: A New History of Western Philosophy. OUP Oxford.
  4. Datta & Chatterjee: An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Rupa Publishing.
  5. C. D. Sharma: A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy. MLBD.
  6. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.

Paper 2

  1. John Hick: Philosophy of Religion.
  2. Michael B. Wilkinson: Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction.
  3. O. P. Gauba: Social & Political Philosophy.
  4. Political Theory, An Introduction. Edited By Rajeev Bhargava & Ashok Acharya.
  5. Oxford Dictionary of Politics.

Books for Philosophy Optional

Paper 1

  1. W. T. Stace: A Critical History of Greek Philosophy (Plato and Aristotle).
  2. Copleston: A History of Philosophy (Relevant Chapters from volume I, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX & XI).
  3. Anthony Kenny: A New History of Western Philosophy. OUP Oxford.
  4. Datta & Chatterjee: An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Rupa Publishing.
  5. C. D. Sharma: A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy. MLBD.
  6. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.

Paper 2

  1. John Hick: Philosophy of Religion.
  2. Michael B. Wilkinson: Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction.
  3. O. P. Gauba: Social & Political Philosophy.
  4. Political Theory, An Introduction. Edited By Rajeev Bhargava & Ashok Acharya.
  5. Oxford Dictionary of Politics.

Books for Commerce and Accountancy Optional:

Books for Commerce optional Paper I

  1. Accounting Corporate Accounting – Naseem Ahmed
  2. Accounting Standards- D. S. Rawat
  3. Auditing Students’ Guide to Auditing- Aruna Jha
  4. Income Tax book by- V.K. Singhania or Girish Ahuja
  5. Cost Accounting; Theory & Problems- Maheshwari & Mittal
  6. Financial Management
  7. Taxation- Income Tax, Service Tax & VAT
  8. Financial Management; Text and Problems- Khan and Jain
  9. Financial Markets & Institutions
  10. Indian Financial System- M.Y. Khan
  11. Financial Institutions & Markets- L.M. Bhole

Books for Commerce optional Paper II

  1. Human Resource Management- C.B. Gupta
  2. Industrial Relations- T.N. Chabra and R.K. Suri
  3. Dynamics of Industrial Relations- C.B. Mamoria and Satish Mamoria
  4. Human Resource Management- K. Aswathappa
  5. Organisation Theory and Behaviour- B.P. Singha and T.N. Chabra
  6. Organization Behaviour- L.M. Prasad

UPSC Books for Political Science:

Books For Political Science Paper I

  1. An Introduction To Constitution- D.D. Basu
  2. An Introduction To Political Theory- O.P Gauba
  3. Fifty Major Political Thinkers- Ian Adams And R W Dyson
  4. A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx – Subrata Mukherjee And Sushila Ramaswamy
  5. An Oxford Companion To Politics In India – Niraja Gopal Jayal And Pratap Bhanu Mehta
  6. Foundations Of Indian Political Thought- V.R Mehta
  7. A New Look At Modern Indian History- B.L Grover And Alka Mehta
  8. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra
  9. Indian Government And Politics – B L Fadia

Books For Political Science Paper-II

  1. India’s Foreign Policy – V P Dutt
  2. International Organisations- Spectrum Books Publication
  3. International Relations – V N Khanna
  4. Challenge And Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy- Rajiv Sikri
  5. Does The Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy- David M. Malone
  6. Global Politics- Andrew Heywood
  7. MPS-004 Comparative Politics: Issues And Trends By Expert Panel Of GPH

UPSC Books for International Relations:

Books for Paper I

  1. An Introduction To Constitution by D.D. Basu
  2. An Introduction To Political Theory by O.P Gauba
  3. Fifty Major Political Thinkers by Ian Adams And R W Dyson
  4. A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx by Subrata Mukherjee And Sushila Ramaswamy
  5. An Oxford Companion To Politics In India by Niraja Gopal Jayal And Pratap Bhanu Mehta
  6. Foundations Of Indian Political Thought by V.R Mehta
  7. A New Look At Modern Indian History by B.L Grover And Alka Mehta
  8. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
  9. Indian Government And Politics by B L Fadia

Books for Paper II

  1. India’s Foreign Policy by V P Dutt
  2. International Organisations by Spectrum Books Publication
  3. International Relations by V N Khanna
  4. Challenge And Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
  5. Does The Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy by David M. Malone
  6. Global Politics by Andrew Heywood

Books for Maths Optional

Books for Mathematics Paper I

  1. Linear Algebra – K.C. Prasad, K B Datta
  2. Calculus – Shanti Narayan Integral Calculus
  3. Differential Calculus
  4. Vector Calculus
  5. Analytic Geometry – Shanti Narayan, HC Sinha, DK Jha and Sharma
  6. Ordinary Differential EQs:- MD Raising Lumina, Golden series-NP Bali
  7. Dynamics, Statistics, and Hydrostatics – M.Ray
  8. Vector analysis – Shanti Narayan

Books for UPSC Maths Optional Syllabus Paper II

  1. Algebra – K C Prasad, KB Datta
  2. Real Analysis – Shanti Narayan, Royden
  3. Complex Analysis – GK Ranganath
  4. Linear Programming – SD Sharma
  5. Partial Diff.eqs. – Singhania
  6. Numerical analysis and Computer Prog. – V. Rajaraman, SS Shastri
  7. Mechanics & Fluid dynamics – AP Mathur, Azaroff Leonid

Books for Geography Optional Booklist

Paper 1

  1. A Geography by Population – R.C. Chandna
  2. Agricultural Geography – Majid Husain
  3. Climatology – D.S.Lal
  4. Economic and Social Geography – Made Simple – R.Knowles & J.Wareing
  5. Economic Geography- Hartshorn & Truman A
  6. Environmental Awareness – R.C.Chandna
  7. Environmental Geography – Savindra Singh
  8. Environmental Geography – H M Saxena
  9. General Climatology – Critchfield
  10. Geomorphology – Savindra Singh
  11. Human Geography -Majid Husain
  12. Oceanography- Sharma & Vatal, NCERT
  13. Evolution of Geographic Thought-Majid Husain
  14. Physical Geography – Made Simple – Richard H Bryant
  15. Physical Geography – Savindra Singh
  16. Introducing Physical Geography – Alan Strahler
  17. Physical Geography in Diagrams -Bunnett
  18. Political Geography -R.D.Dixit
  19. Principles of Geomorphology-W.D. Thornbury
  20. Regional Planning in India – Chand & Puri
  21. Urbanization & Urban Systems in India- R. Ramachandran

Paper 2

  1. A Geography of India -Gopal Singh
  2. Agriculture Geography – Majid Husain
  3. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  4. Economic and Commercial Geography of India – C.B. Mamoria
  5. Economic and Commercial Geography of India – Sharma & Coutinho
  6. Economical and Commercial Geography of India – C.B. Mamoria
  7. Environmental Awareness – R.C.Chandna
  8. Environmental Geography – Savinder Singh
  9. Environmental Geography – Saxena
  10. Geography of India – Majid Husain
  11. Geography of Population- R.C.Chandna
  12. Hindu’s Survey on Agriculture
  13. Human Geography – Majid Husain
  14. India Disasters Report
  15. Oxford School Atlas – Oxford
  16. Modern Political Geography of India – B.L. Sukhwal
  17. Regional Planning in India – Chand and Puri
  18. Urbanization and Urban Systems in India – R. Ramachandran
  19. Environmental Geography – Saxena

Books for Anthropology Optional

Anthropology books for UPSC optional:

  1. Physical Anthropology – P Nath
  2. Fossil Evidence – S Das
  3. Social Anthropology – DN Majumdar & T N Madan
  4. Indian Anthropology – Nadeem Hasnain
  5. Anthropology Theories – Makhan Jha

Significance of Selecting best books for UPSC Exams

Books for UPSC: The finest IAS books differ from one candidate to the next, depending on their past experience and knowledge of the subject. Expert-recommended UPSC books, on the other hand, are listed in this article by subject.

It is critical to select the appropriate IAS test books online for the various stages of the UPSC exam. Only objective type questions are asked in the UPSC Prelims, however descriptive essay type questions are asked in the IAS Mains.

Candidates should not only choose UPSC preparation books carefully, but also divide their reading list into Prelims and Mains preparation.

In order to succeed in the coveted UPSC Civil Services examination, it is critical that the candidate gets access to the most up-to-date curriculum and prepares for the exam using the best study material.

As a result, in order to succeed in the UPSC Civil Services test, one must read relevant books and materials.

FAQs: Books for UPSC

Question 1. Which subject is best for IAS?

Answer: If you wish to begin preparing for the IAS, or UPSC civil services examination, you can do it through self-study or through classroom training. You can prepare for the civil services test at home with the assistance of online coaching and books.\

Questions 2. Which book is best for preparing for UPSC?

Answer: Apart from NCERT materials, at least 15 standard textbooks are now available that would help IAS candidates pass the exam. Some of them are : Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth (Polity),  Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania (Culture),Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong. (Geography), Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (Economy) and  A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Modern India).

Questions 3. How many books UPSC read?

Answer: Besides from NCERT books, there are currently at least 15 standard textbooks that will be incredibly helpful for IAS applicants to pass the exam. Someone can read 50 pages a day, while another can read 100 pages, but if you are preparing for the first time, you should aim to read more than 50 pages, if not 100. If you are interested in the subject, it is possible that it will be longer than 100 pages.

Question 4. How many Ncerts are there in UPSC?

Answer: Many questions in the IAS/IPS Exam will be derived directly or indirectly from NCERT Textbooks. If candidates have the time, it is always recommended that they begin with standard 6 NCERT texts and work their way up to standard 12 texts for all essential courses. The NCERT books for classes 11 and 12 are insufficient for achieving a higher rank in UPSC. You must thoroughly study every subject NCERT books from class 6 to 12. For the UPSC civil services test, these are regarded as sacred literature.

Question 5. What is the cost of UPSC books?

Answer: Whether an applicant selects the offline or online method, there are certain books that candidates must read for CSE preparation. NCERT textbooks and subject reference books are examples of such books.

These could cost between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 15,000 or more (as per requirement). However, soft versions of NCERT books and other reference books can be found online at low or no cost.

Question 6. Which medium is best for UPSC?

Answer: English is the most commonly used language among UPSC hopefuls for both written exams and personality tests. Aspirants may have taken the UPSC exam in English, but if you feel more comfortable speaking Hindi, Tamil, or another regional language that is your home tongue, you can do so. In truth, there are many intelligent people in India who are fluent in written English but struggle to converse in it.

Question 7. Which language is used in an IAS interview?

Answer: When confronting the UPSC panel, candidates can choose between English, Hindi, and any other regional language. Only candidates who have been exempted from taking the mandatory Indian language paper should attend the interview in either English or Hindi.

Question 8. Is NCERT enough for IAS prelims?

Answer: For the IAS exam, NCERT books are required. NCERTs will serve as the foundation for your preparation. NCERTs aren’t even enough to pass the preliminary exams. Since you are in class 9 and have at least 7 years before the UPSC exam, what you can do is keep track of the UPSC curriculum. Candidates should, however, read subject-specific publications (for example, Laxmikant’s Indian Polity) and stay up to date on current events. The NCERT books for classes 9th and 10th are also recommended but not required for IAS Prelims preparation (in case they have enough time).

Question 9. How many months’ current affairs should be covered for prelims UPSC 2022 Exams?

Answer: For prelims 2022, candidate can focus on the last 1 year current affairs. I.e. April 2021 to May 2022.

Questions 10. What educational qualification is the required for UPSC IAS exam?

Answer:  The candidate holding a degree from any of Universities in India can appear for UPSC IAS/IPS exams. Any degree (graduation) which may be regular or distant.

Question 11. If a candidate apply for the Civil Services Prelims Exam but do not appear in any paper will it be counted as an attempt?

Answer: If a candidate applies for the Civil Services Prelims Exam but do not appear in any paper an attempt will be counted only if you have appeared in at least one paper.

Question 12. Will there be minimum qualifying marks for UPSC Interview?

Answer: The interview will carry 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks).

Questions 13. Can a candidate who has completed his education from Foreign University for example Cambridge, Oxford etc.apply for Commissions Examination

Answer: No, there the degree must be approved with the UGC or the any other govt. organization that is mentioned in the notification.

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