Modern history is an important part of the history syllabus for your UPSC exam. If you are wondering where to start, then the first step would be knowing the syllabus and then looking for books.

This article will recommend the best books for modern history. Use the modern history book for UPSC in order to get a better score in your exam.

Best Books for Modern History

The modern history of India is basically describing the freedom struggle and post independence struggle of India. It emphasizes on the various ideologies used in the war of independence and also the various movements that came about then.

The syllabus is a little lengthy and students may even find it very tough but it can be easily done.

The best books for modern history are:

  • History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra
  • NCERT textbooks from grade X
  • A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum
  • Modern Indian History by Sonali Bansal

Modern History by Bipin Chandra

The book of modern history by Bipin Chandra is one of the most recommended books. It is highly recommended as it helps students cover all major topics in detail for modern history and is very well suited for UPSC preparation.

Many UPSC toppers also prefer using this book as it has proven to give desired results but remember buying the book is not enough, putting in the effort and time behind the subject is equally important.

This is the number one recommendation for modern history books and can be considered as one of the best books for modern history.

Also Read : Best Book for World History for UPSC: Have the Best Material for UPSC Exams

Syllabus for Modern History

As already stated, the syllabus of modern history focuses on Independence struggle and post Independence development. Some important topics for this area are:

  • Battle of Plassey
  • Battle of Panipat
  • Anglo Maratha wars
  • Bengal Famine
  • Subsidiary alliance
  • Doctrine of Lapse
  • Vellore mutiny
  • Sepoy Mutiny
  • Revolt of 1857
  • Robert Clive
  • The Rowlatt act
  • Jallianwala Bagh
  • Lucknow Pact
  • Non cooperation movement
  • Salt satyagraha
  • Peasant movement
  • Swaraj Party
  • Simon Commission
  • Round Table conference
  • Quit India movement
  • Cabinet mission
  • Constituent Assembly
  • Indian Independence Act 1947
  • Migration issues
  • Economic development
  • Five-year plans
  • Industrialisation

NOTE: The list is in no particular order and does not indicate that any other topic is not as necessary for the exam.


NCERT books should be your best friends in the exam. What that means is that they are going to be the most helpful tool in the exam.

NCERT books are used as the base for preparing questions, and these books cover all the syllabus.

The books of grade VI-XII are very important and luckily they are available for free in the e-book format on the NCERT website itself.

If students are not comfortable with e-books, they can always use regular books as NCERT books are not very costly and are found in almost every place.

Also Read: World History Syllabus for UPSC


Modern history is an integral part of the history portion for UPSC exams. The syllabus focuses on the British rule and how the Indians achieved freedom and then changes focus to after independence.

There is a list of best modern history books for UPSC that should help students get higher scores in the exam. All the best for exams!

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Best Modern History Books for UPSC: Up Your Modern History Scores with Ease
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Best Modern History Books for UPSC: Up Your Modern History Scores with Ease
Looking to prepare for modern history for UPSC? Go through the list of modern history books for UPSC and increase your scores. Click on the link to know more.
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