Best UPSC booklist and IAS booklist by toppers for Prelims and Mains

As you already know that UPSC exam has the status of the most prestigious and popular exam in India because through this exam UPSC appoints officers of bureaucracy like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, IFS, etc. And Achieving success in  UPSC exam is equivalent to conquering Everest. About 600 to 800 people climbs Mount-Everest every year but a few number of people can conquered it. Similarly in UPSC, every year about millions of candidates applies for this exam but a few number of candidates can conquered it. And with proper strategies and materials you can also be one of them. Materials such as book is one of the most important things and primary source of UPSC preparation and candidates who are preparing for UPSC exam, are still finding that what is the best book list for UPSC or best UPSC book list or best NCERT booklist for UPSC?. So, like local Sherpa who helps climbers in climbing Mount Everest. In the same way we, the teachers are present here for your guide and help, so today we are going to share best books for UPSC IAS prelims & mains or UPSC book list for you.

Best Books for UPSC IAS Prelims & Mains

First we want to inform you that we'll share book list for both prelims and mains exam and we'll try to share book list which is available in both Hindi and English language but some books are only available in English language and you need to manage them accordingly. We'll share best as well as important books list for UPSC preparation which is also recommended by toppers. We'll share books list by subject wise. And we hope by reading these books, you will get enough information about the topics which has been given in the UPSC syllabus. You should read and understand the depth of the topics properly so that it becomes easier for you to remember them. 

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Latest UPSC book list by Study Patron

There are so many online education platform available nowadays, they share different types of study material, educational tips as well as guides. But we are different from them or at least try to be different from them. They charge you for this, but we try to provide it for free. Here we have listed some important and best books for UPSC preparation. We hope you'll like it. 

History Book for UPSC  

For History, you can start with NCERT books of class 6 to class 8 for "Themes of world History" and Class 11 and 12 NCERT book for ancient History. Try to read new NCERT books because those are more informative. NCERT books can help you to prepare basic history. Tamil Nadu Board's History books of class 6 to 12 are one of the best books for basic as well as advance History preparation. You can go with them, they are available in both Tamil and English language. After that you can start reading advance history books such as "Brief History of Modern India" of spectrum and Bipin Chandra's "Post-Independence India". Keep in mind that in the new syllabus, the history of post-independence is also asked, so if possible, you can also read Ramchandra Guha's "India after Gandhi". And for World History, you can go with Norman Lowe's "World History" Book. 

  • NCERTs Class 6-8 (Themes of world History).***
  • Old NCERT Class 11 for ancient History.
  • NCERTs Class 11 and 12 (New).
  • TN Board’s books Class 6 to 12.***
  • Spectrum - A brief history of modern India.***
  • India’s Struggle for Independence - Bipin Chandra.***
  • World History - Norman Lowe. 

Geography Book for UPSC  

For geography, you can also start with NCERT books from class 6th to 12th and if you required more information or advance information even after reading NCERT books, then you can read Majid Hussain' Geography of India. And for physical and world geography, you can go with GC Leong's book. And for Maps you can use Google Earth app or you can buy Oxford Atlas and Maps (Updated edition).

  • NCERT Class 6 to 12 - All world geography topics.***
  • Physical and Human Geography - GC Leong.***
  • Geography of India - Majid Hussain.
  • Oxford Atlas and Maps.***
  • Geography Videos - MS Rajtanil ( Available on Mrunal ).
  • PMFIAS ( Website ). 

UPSC Book of Art and Culture and Society 

Class 11th and 12th NCERT books are best for Art and Culture. And for advance book, you can go with "Art & Culture" by Nitin Singhania. And for society, there is no such good books available for it and for that you can read 12th class NCERT book. 

For Art and Culture : 

  • Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania.***
  • NCERTs - An Introduction to Indian Art.
  • Old NCERT Class-XI ( Ancient India by RS Sharma ).
  • Old NCERT Class-XI ( Medieval India by Satish Chandra ). 

For Society, you can read following topics from various online platforms :  

  • Indian Society and Diversity of India.
  • Women empowerment, Population, Urbanization, Poverty & Development Issues.
  • Effects of Globalization on Indian Society.
  • Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism & Secularism. 

UPSC Book for Polity & Constitution, Governance 

To prepare for the polity and governance, you can read NCERT books (Political Science) from class 6 to 12 for basic information of Indian polity, governance and constitution and after that you can read M. Lakshmikant's Indian Polity and Governance books or r you can read DD Basu's Indian Polity book. 

  • New NCERTs Class 6 to 12.***
  • Indian Polity - Lakshmikant.***
  • Governance book by Lakshmikant.
  • Polity - DD Basu.
  • 2nd ARC Report- 1st, 4th, 6th & 9th to 12th ( Summary ).***
  • Current affairs - Editorials, News Paper, Online Videos, PRS & PIB.

UPSC Book for International Relation and Social Justice 

For international relation, you can start with 12th class NCERT book. Preparation for international relations and Social justice can be done from various ways and coaching's notes and at the same time, these can be done by daily newspaper reading and current affairs, etc. The website of the ministry of external affairs and government magazine are also important source for international relation preparation and social justice. 

For International Relation :

  • International relation - 12 Class NCERT.***
  • Current Affairs materials.
  • Editorials.
  • Ministry of External Affairs website.

For Social Justice :

  • Government Policies and Intervention.
  • Yojana Magazine.***
  • Welfare Schemes & bodies constituted for vulnerable sections.
  • Social Sector / Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Current Affairs
  • NITI Aayog’s three year action agenda.
  • Et Cetera 

Economy Book for UPSC 

For the preparation of economy part, you can go with Ramesh Singh's Indian Economy book or Sanjeev Verma's Indian Economy book. But before start reading of these books, you should read NCERT books from class 9 to class 12. Current affairs and Economic survey are also important for economy preparation. 

  • NCERTs Class 9 to 12.***
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh ( For Reference ).***
  • Indian Economy by Sanjeev Verma ( For Basic ).
  • Current Affairs and Editorials.
  • Budget and Economic Survey (Summaries) & Novel Prize on Economy.
  • Online Websites like - Investopedia and Arthapedia. 

Environment Book for UPSC 

For environment, again you can start with NCERT book of class 12. And then you can go with Shankar IAS's Environment book or  Dr. Ravi Agrahari’s Environment book. But only read these books will not help you to complete your environment paper, you have to read daily current affairs and editorials. 

  • NCERT Biology Class 12 - Only Environment Chapter or last 4th chapters ( 13th to 16th ).***
  • Environment - Dr. Khullar.
  • Shankar IAS Environment.***
  • Dr. Ravi Agrahari’s book.***
  • Data / ranking from various reports.***
  • Current Affairs.
  • PMF IAS. 

UPSC Book for Science and Tech 

To prepare science and technology, you can prepare questions related to such topics and can read NCERT books of 6th to 10th class and current affairs, related to science and technology such as what is happening in the field of science and technology. You can prepare this through newspapers or websites.

  • Science Report Magazine.***
  • News about new development in Science & Novel Prize.***
  • Current Affairs - Only Important topics. 

UPSC Book for Security & Disaster Management 

There are only few books available for security management and Ashok Kumar's Internal security is one of the best books of them. And for disaster management, you can read daily news paper, current affairs, notes, etc. there are no good books available for disaster management. 

  • Internal Security - Ashok Kumar.***
  • Disaster Management - IGNOU Notes.
  • 2nd ARC 3rd report - Crisis Management.**
  • NDMA Guidelines ( Available Online ).***
  • Current Affairs. 

UPSC Book for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude 

Read the NCERT books of psychology and philosophy for ethics paper. Books like Lexicon by Chronicle and Ethics Book by G.Subba Rao are best for ethics paper. Also you can read daily newspaper and current affairs for better preparation of this paper. 

  • 2nd ARC 4th report - Ethics in Governance.***
  • 2nd ARC 12th report - Citizen Centric Administration.
  • Book by G.Subba Rao.
  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by Chronicle.***
  • Current Affairs. 

For Essay Paper  

For essay paper, you can start practicing essay writing from various topics which is available on online and daily newspaper, etc. Or you can buy some books for essay writing idea and knowledge. Arihant and Vision IAS's essay practice book and notes can help you to improve your writing skill. 

We hope this article'll help you to manage your UPSC preparation resources. If you have any doubt about these UPSC book list, then you can comment down below. Please share this article with your friends, especially with those, who wants to become a civil servant officer. Thank you.


Hello everyone, I’m Mritunjoy Biswas and I did masters degree in English literature. Now I’m a private tutor and I have been teaching for last 5 years.

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