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UPSC Books – Best Books For IAS Exam

Note :

  • This is a sample booklist for UPSC CSE. We provide you the list of Best books for the IAS Preparation. 
  • The best IAS Books can vary from candidate to candidate. However below are the books widely recommended by toppers.

Current Affairs

  • The Hindu , The Indian Express (Preferably The Hindu)
  • The Indian Express (Best for Editorial)
  • TIA Monthly Magazine
  • Press Information Bureau (keep checking the Features section for imp articles and our weekly PIB Gist)
    PRS (only for recent Bills and articles related to them)
  • IDSA: Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis (keep checking every 2-3 days for in-depth IR articles)
  • Yojana and Kurukshetra (no need to read all articles – read selectively)
    LokSabha and RajyaSabha Debates

Art & Culture:

  • New TN History textbook
  • 6th-12th new NCERT history textbooks (this will not include 12th Fine arts textbook on painting)
  • Introduction to Indian art (NCERT class 11th)
  • Living Craft Traditions of India (NCERT class 12th)
  • Indian Culture by Nitin Singhania
Post Independence India:
  • Politics in India since Independence, NCERT Class 12th
  • India since independence Bipin Chandra
Ancient History:
NCERT 11th Ancient India’ (OLD)- R.S. Sharma
NCERT 12th Themes in Indian History- Part I (NEW) – Chapters 1 to 6
  • Ancient India – R S Sharma
Medieval History:  
NCERT Class 7th  Our pasts – I  , Our pasts – II (New)
NCERT Class 11th New TamilNadu History Textbook – Class XI
  • Medieval India – Satish Chandra
Modern India History:
  • NCERT – Class 8th New Our past III (Both part 1 & part 2)
Themes in Indian History – III (NCERT Class XII)
  • A brief History of Modern India – Spectrum Modern India – Rajiv Ahir
  • India’s struggle for independence – Bipin Chandra
World History:
  • Themes in World History: NCERT Class XI
  • History of the World by Arjun Dev
  • Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe

World Geography:

  • Our Environment – Class VII
  • The Earth Our Habitat – Class VI
  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography (NCERT Class XI)
  • Fundamentals of Human Geography (NCERT Class XII)
  • Goh Cheng Leong
Indian Geography:
  • Resource and Development – Class VIII
  • Contemporary India – II – Class X
  • India Physical Environment (NCERT Class XI)
  • India – People and Economy (NCERT Class XII)

Indian Society:

  • NCERT Class XI – Sociology:
  • Understanding Society
  • NCERT Class XII – Indian Society
  • NCERT Class XII – Social Change and Development in India


  • Transform ias academy Study Materials
  • 2nd ARC reports (selective) Three Year Action Agenda, 2017 18 to 201920 – NITI Aayog
  • Strategy for New India @ 75 – NITI Aayog


  • Democratic Politics – IX
  • Democratic Politics, II. Class X
  • Indian Constitution at Work (NCERT Class XI)
  • LAXMIKANTH – Indian Polity

Social justice:

  • Transform ias academy Study Materials
  • Yojana
  • Kurukshetra
  • Three Year Action Agenda, 201718 to 201920 – NITI Aayog
  • Strategy for New India @ 75 – NITI Aayog

International Relations:

  • Class 12th Political Science Contemporary World Politics
  • Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
  • Ministry of External Affairs website (Selective Reading)
  • Observer Research Foundation (ORF) (Selective Reading)
Science and technology Class VI to Class X
  • Class XI – Chemistry: Unit 14
  • Class XI – Biology: Units 4 & 5
  • Class XII – Chemistry: Unit 16
  • Class XII – Biology: Units 8, 9 & 10 ce & Technology
  • Economics NCERT Class IX
  • Understanding Economic Development (NCERT Class 10th)
  • Indian Economic Development (NCERT Class XI)
  • Introductory Macroeconomics (NCERT Class XII)
  • RAMESH SINGH –Indian Economy
Ecology & Environment:
  • 12th Biology NCERT Chapter No 13,14,15,16
  • 11th Chemistry NCERT Chapter No 14
  • Geography NCERTs Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Chapters from Std 811
  • ICSE Environment Education Std 10(Especially for Mains)
Current affairs: The Hindu S&T Section

Internal security:

  • Transform ias academy Materials 
  • Challenges to Internal Security of India by Ashok Kumar IPS
  • Ministry of Home Affairs Website (Selective Reading)

Disaster and disaster management:

  • Transform ias academy Materials
  • NDMA guidelines (Selective Reading)
  • Any standard book like (A Practical Approach to Ethics Integrity and Aptitude By D.K Balaji Or Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
  • 2 nd ARC Reports (Selective Reading)
  • Newspaper for contemporary examples