Are you confused about what books you should start your UPSC Preparation with? Are you getting a different booklist everywhere you look? Below is a comprehensive list of all the General Studies books you will need to study for the Prelims and Mains examinations of UPSC. We have categorized them by tests and topics.
UPSC General Studies Books for Prelims
Books on Indian History & Culture
Indian History – India’s Struggle for Independence – NCERT Books ( XI & XII )
Exam: Prelims & Mains | Author: Bipin Chandra | Publication: Orient Blackswan, 2009
This book traces the timeline of the British Rule in India between the eighteenth and the nineteenth century constituting a major part of Modern History of India. This book focuses more on the sociological factors that made the British Rule possible rather than on the historical and political narratives.
India’s Ancient Past – (Ancient India)
Exam: Mains | Author: R.S. Sharma | Publication: Oxford University Press, 2005
This is a comprehensive book that captures the history starting from neolithic and chalcolithic times to Harappan civilization, Vedic times, rise of Mauryas, Gupta’s. Satvahanas right up to the times of Harshavardhana. The ancient social milieu, the existing varna system, developments in science and technology, commerce and trade and the cultural legacy that shaped society are all treated in the context of the rise and fall of empires.
History Of Medieval India – (Medieval India)
Exam: Mains | Author: Satish Chandra | Publication: Orient BlackSwan, 2007
A history of India between the eighth and the eighteenth century spanning across 1000 years is captured in this book. Detailing the events and the empires that shaped India and what makes India what it is today, this book is a detailed and easy read of the medieval history of India.
Books on Geography
Geography – NCERT Books and Certificate Physical and Human Geography.
Exam: Prelims & Mains | Author: Goh Cheng Leong | Publication: Oxford University Press, 1995
Whether it is climate change, types of natural vegetation, mountain chains, desserts, climatic patterns, glaciers, minerals or other natural phenomenon, Certificate Physical and Human Geography is the best book to learn from. All elementary topics of physical and human geography have been covered in this book in an easy language with lots of maps and illustrations.
Oxford School Atlas: India’s Most Trusted Atlas
Exam: Mains | Publication: Oxford University Press, 2016
With accurate and detailed maps, charts and diagrams, it is easy for students to learn the locations of countries, mountains, reserves and mineral reserves with the help of the Oxford School Atlas: India’s Most Trusted Atlas.
Books on Indian Polity
Indian Polity – Indian Polity
Exam: Prelims & Mains | Author: M Laxmikanth | Publication: Resonance, 2019
This is the most popular and comprehensive book on Indian Polity especially for UPSC Exams. This is not available in an accessible epub version that lets students access it through their mobile anytime anywhere.
Introduction to the Constitution of India
Exam: Mains | Author: D. D. Basu (Constitution) | Publication: Lexis Nexis, 2018
This book is a pioneering work on the origin and development of the Constitution of India. It is extensively used for LL.B., LL.M., B.A. and M.A. (Political Science) courses as well as for preparing for competitive examinations held by the Union and State Public Service Commissions.
Books on Economics
Indian Economy – NCERT Books and Indian Economy
Exam: Prelims & Mains | Author: Ramesh Singh | Publication: McGraw Hill Education, 2018
This book covers all aspects of the syllabus for both prelims and mains for UPSC and has sold 1 million copies in the last 10 years. Ramesh Singh is a subject expert and renowned teacher who has done an extensive coverage of all aspects of the Indian Economy along with the modern concerns plaguing it.
Economic Development & Policies in India
Exam: Mains | Author: Jain & Ohri | Publication: VK Global Publications Private Limited, 2019
Concentrating on both the historical and social development of the Indian Economy through the years after independence, this book is a comprehensive guide to understanding the Indian Economy in depth.
Books on General Science
General Science – NCERT textbooks
Books on Quantitative Aptitude
Mental Ability – Quantitative Aptitude
Exam: Prelims | Author: Dr. R.S. Aggarwal | Publication: S. Chand
Magazines: 5 Best Magazines for UPSC IAS Preparation and
1. The Hindu: This is one of the most read and recommended newspapers to prepare for UPSC. Aspirants swear by its editorials and well as its articles and in depth coverage.
2. Indian Express: This is another highly read and recommended newspaper for UPSC preparation. Aspirants read it along with The Hindu especially for preparing for the Mains and Interview round.
4. PIB Website
Books on Art and Culture
The Wonder That Was India
Exam: Mains | Author: A.L. Bhasham | Publication: Picador; Indian edition, 2004
This book covers Indian history that includes culture, religion, governance, social evolution, tradition, languages, philosophy and science, and spans across the advent of the Harappa civilization and settlement to Aryan invasion theory. It traces the rich cultural history of India by tracing various time periods and eras of Indian history in a simple to understand language and using an engaging narrative.
Facets of Indian Culture
Exam: Mains | Author: Vidya, R. Rajaram, Kalpana | Publication: Spectrum, 2014
Along with solved and unsolved questions from UPSC and similar examinations, this book comprises of chapters on religion and philosophy, music, dance, theater and cinema, art and architecture and language and literature. It is one of the most comprehensive books on the subject.
Books on International Relations
Exam: Mains | Author: Pavneet Singh | Publication: McGraw Hill Education, 2017
This book covers the complete prelims and mains syllabus of UPSC Exam for International Relations and Political Science. It covers world politics, foreign policy and international relations entirely and is supplemented with a number of case studies and mnemonics to aid comprehension and recall.
Exam: Mains | Author: Shashi Tharoor | Publication: Penguin India, 2013
Shashi Tharoor narrates the importance of India’s role in the world stage in the backdrop of Indian Foreign Policy. This book gives a very good coverage of India’s foreign policy and its evolution since independence. This book also explains why foreign policy is important even for domestic transformation and at the absolute ground level of policy building.
Books on CSAT
Tata McGraw Hill CSAT Manual
Exam: Mains | Publication: Tata McGraw Hill
This is one of the most popular and extensive books to practice and solve questions for CSAT for UPSC
CSAT II – Arihant
Exam: Mains | Publication: Arihant, 2018
This is another very popular books to practice and solve questions for CSAT for UPSC