UPSC exams, also known as Civil Services Exams, are the exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment in various Civil Services that also include Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service. The exam is conducted in three stages:

#1 A preliminary examination- General Studies Paper 1 and 2

#2 Main examination containing Essay type questions

#3 Interview

There is an abundance of material available on the internet regarding UPSC exams. But apart from the study material, doing self-study for your preparation will do wonders for your confidence and attitude. So it is quite important that you choose your study material wisely. It is recommended that you start referring to NCERT textbooks and move on to the basic reference books. Although the books may vary according to the subject knowledge, experience and expertise of the candidate. Here is a list of some of the books.

Topics for General Studies Paper

The General Studies paper includes a wide array of topics for the candidate like :
# History of India and famous National Movements.

# Current affairs that have occurred nationally as well as internationally

# Geography of India and the world that includes physical, economic and social geography.

# Indian Governance and Polity, i.e., constitution, policies, rights, panchayats, etc.

# Social and economic development of our country that includes subjects on poverty, demographics, sustainable development, initiatives regarding social sectors.

# Environment, ecology, climate change and biodiversity-related issues.

# General Science.

There are various books for the matter. As you prepare for the prelims, let us take a look at the best-recommended books for UPSC prelims.

Also Read: What Qualification is Required for IAS? What Rank is Required for IAS?

Books for Studying History 

Regarding History of our country:
# India’s Ancient Past by R.S Sharma

# History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra.

# India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra and Others.

# India After Independence (1947-2000) by Bipin Chandra and Others.

# From Plassey to Partition and After by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay.

# History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra

# The History of Modern India by Sujata Menon.

Books for Studying Current Affairs

Here is a list of some famous books for Current Affairs to keep you updated with the latest happenings around you and the World: # Manorama Yearbook 2021.

# Matrubhumi Yearbook 2021.

# Arihant’s General Knowledge 2021.

# Yojana Magazine 2021.

# Economic Survey-2021.

Books for Studying Geography

Let us look at which books are the best for UPSC prelims in the area of Geography of India and the World.

# XI STD NCERT Book- Fundamentals of Physical Geography.

# XII STD NCERT Book- Fundamentals of Human Geography.

# School Atlas.

# India: A Comprehensive Geography by D.R Khullar.

# XII STD NCERT Book- Indian Society.

While we have a plethora of books and study material for UPSC exams, you need a platform where you are provided daily updates, practice tests and important information. A constant mentorship is a key to success in the achievement of your UPSC goal. UPSC Pathshala provides one-on-one video sessions and questions after each session and covers topics according to different types of content.

They also provide a virtual guide, UPSC Guru, a mobile application by UPSC Pathshala that provides you all this information along with motivational tips and advice at your fingertips; a simple yet effective digital way to prepare for your exams.

Also Read: How is Public Administration as Optional in the UPSC Mains? Is Opting for it Beneficial?

Books for Studying Polity and Governance

Here are some books on Indian Polity and Governance:

# XI STD NCERT Book- Indian Constitution at Work

# Yojana Magazine 2021.

Books for Studying Governance Issues

Here are some books on Governance Issues:

# From Government to Governance by Kuldeep Mathur.

# Ethics in Governance ARC Reports.

Books for Studying Development Issues

Here are some books for studying problems that arise in Development:

# Panchayati Raj by Kuldeep Mathur.

# The Indian Express Newspaper.

# Human Development Report and World Development Report.

Books for Studying Indian Economy

Here are some books on the economy of India:

# The Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma.

# The Indian Economy Principles, Policies and Processes.

# XI STD NCERT Book- India Economic Development.

Books for Studying Ecology

Following are the books on ecology and environment-related issues:

# XII STD NCERT Textbook – Biology.

# Ecology and Environment by R.Rajagopalan.

# Ecology and Environment by P.D Sharma.

Books to Study Security Issues

# India’s Security in a Turbulent World by Jasjit Singh.

# Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Ashok Kumar.

Books on General Science

# VII, IX, X NCERT Textbooks on Biology.

# Monthly achievements in Science and Technology.

The NCERT textbooks are a must-read for all kinds of subjects and include each topic’s basic foundation. They are easily available and have content that is simple and easy to remember.


When preparing for an exam like UPSC, referring to all types of resources is pertinent.

Books apart, having a personal mentor to guide you through the process provides you immense benefits and boosts your confidence. UPSC Pathshala is such a platform that can give you access to successful and industry experienced mentors. They offer you advice and even inspiration when it is much needed. They also keep track of your performance with regular practise tests and provide you with a series of mock tests offering you a real-time experience.

UPSC Pathshala provides students with this personal touch. They have dedicated mentors who provide the correct advice, great quality video lectures, and many tests that will help you with your practice study. An experienced team that has trained a lot of students helping them achieve their dreams. They provide study material and even general information about UPSC exams. Try the free demo class today and get kick-started on your UPSC preparation.

UPSC is a tough nut to crack, but the preparation done in the right direction will lead you to a successful examination.

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Which Books are Best for UPSC Prelims 2021? Carve your Path to Success with the Right Study Material
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Which Books are Best for UPSC Prelims 2021? Carve your Path to Success with the Right Study Material
Which are the best-recommended books for UPSC prelims? Read this blog to find the list of the best books for UPSC Prelims and kick start your preparation.
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