Recommended List of Books for IAS

Dear Aspirants, First of all Big Congratulations for considering to appear for Most Reputed Exam of India i.e IAS Exams, Now you might have came across question “What are the books needed to clear IAS Exam?” in your mind, we hope this post will clear all your doubts.

After taking important inputs from toppers and well known Tutors, a detailed list of the best IAS books available in the market as per the latest UPSC syllabus for each subject in Prelims and Mains is given below. You can click on each link to buy books online at discounted prices.

Links to free online study materials are also provided in this post (see the last section). Take maximum benefit of the same. All the best & Happy Learning 

Important IAS Books For UPSC Prelims (Click on the links to buy online)

  1. NCERT Books Set for UPSC Exam (Set of 27 books or 40 books)


  • General Studies Paper I
  1. General Studies Manual - Paper 1 2018 by Manohar Pandey
  2. General Studies Paper I for Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2018 by Majid Husain, D R Khullar, N K Bajaj, N D Arora, Ashok Kumar Singh 
  3. General Studies - Paper I For Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2018 by Edgar Thorpe, Showick Thorpe
  4. General Studies Paper I 2018 by MHE


  • Indian History
  1. History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra.
  2. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra.
  3. India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma.
  4. History Of Medieval India – Satish Chandra.
  5. A Brief History of Modern India – Rajiv Ahir


  • Art & Culture
  1. The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham.
  2. Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania.


  • Indian Geopgraphy
  1. Geography of India – Majid Husain.
  2. Oxford School Atlas – Oxford.
  3. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong.
  4. Indian and World Geography: Objective Questions with Explanatory Notes for Civil Services Preliminary Examination by D.R. Khullar


  • Indian Polity
  1. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth.
  2. Magbook Indian Polity & Governance by Arihant Publication


  • Economy
  1. Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh.
  2. Economic Survey.
  3. Indian Economy: Performance and Policies: by Uma Kapila
  4. The Indian Economy Book by Sanjiv Verma


  • Science & Tech
  1. Science and Technology in India – TMH.


  • Environment
  1. Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – Rajagopalan.
  2. Environment by Shankar
  3. Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains – Khuller.


  • Reference book for Current Affairs
  1. India Year Book (Current Affairs)
  2. Manorama Yearbook. (Current Affairs)


  • General studies paper II
  1. CSAT Paper – 2 Manual by MHE or CSAT-II by Arihant (CSAT – Paper 2)
  2. Cracking the CSAT Paper-2 by Arihant Experts
  3. CSAT - Solved Papers for Civil Services Preliminary Examination (General Studies Paper II)by Access
  4. General Studies Paper II For Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2018 by Edgar Thorpe, Showick Thorpe


  • Reasoning for CSAT
  1. Analytical Reasoning – M. K. Pandey (CSAT – Paper 2: Analytical Reasoning)
  2. Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R. S.Aggarwal (CSAT Paper 2: Reasoning)

Additional IAS Books for UPSC Mains (Click on the links to buy online)


PS: Many books for UPSC Civil Service Main Exam overlap with books recommended for Prelims, except the mentioned additional books for topics like Foreign Relations, Internal Security, Ethics etc.

  • Books for Interview


  • Free Online Resources For IAS Prelims and Mains

Tips regarding IAS book selection

  • It’s not necessary to read heavy-weight-books to clear IAS Exam ! But at the same time, there is no single book which covers all topics of IAS exam Prelims and Mains. Considering the competition and vast syllabus, there is no doubt that UPSC exam preparation cannot be done without some essential books.
  • Quality books act as add on to your preparation and help a lot in self-study. Concentrate on the recommended books mentioned on this website along with NCERT books for daily study. Use additional books as reference.
  • Please note that we always try to update the list with most authentic books available in the market. But if you are running short of time to finish the syllabus before the exam, you may better focus on concise books instead of bulky ones. You can use Modern India by Spectrum (Rajiv Ahir IPS) then, which is a small book which covers all major points given in Modern India by Bipin Chandra. Similarly, you may just focus on Indian art and culture by Nithin Singhania IAS, for culture topics.


We will try to keep updating this page when new books worth time and money of candidate appear in the market. So visit this page again.



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