Recommended Books for IAS Exam

This page lists all the recommended Books for IAS exam including IAS Prelims Books, GS Mains Books for IAS, Pub Ad Books, Sociology Books, History Books, Geography Books, Political Science Books and other IAS exam books.

Best Books for IAS Exam

Reference Books for IAS Prelims

The important reference books for IAS Prelims are listed below.

1. IAS Solved Papers

Section-wsie solved papers help you to analyse number and type of questions from different topics each year. You can understand the current trend of UPSC questions from this book.

Get Section-wise Solved Papers

2. GS Manual for Paper 1

Mc-Graw Hill’s General Studies Manual is a highly recommended reference manual for all topics of Paper 1. You can find all information at one place and the information is very reliable.

Get GS Manual for Paper 1

3. CSAT Manual for Paper 2

Mc-Graw Hill’s CSAT Manual covers all the topics of Paper 2 in complete detail with many test questions and examples. No need to refer any other book for Paper 2.

Get CSAT Manual for Paper 2

4. Manorama Year Book (MYB)

A good Year Book is must for IAS Prelims preparation. MYB is a recommended source for general knowledge information. It’s international events section is also very useful.

Get Manorama Year Book

5. India Year Book (IYB)

IYB is the official govt. publication and very important source of all the schemes and facts and figures related to census and other topics like defence, economy, agriculture, education etc.

Get India Year Book

6. Oxford Student Atlas

A reliable atlas is a must for Prelims and Mains to tackle map-based questions. Oxford Atlas has high quality and accurate maps of India and the World. Practice for 30 minutes daily.

Get Oxford Student Atlas

 

 

Topic-wise IAS Books for Prelims

Apart from reference books, you also need to read topic-wise IAS Books for Prelims which are given below:

1. Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

Mc Graw Hill’s Indian Polity book covers the entire Constitution – Artciles, Schedules and Amendments- in detail. The language is easy to grasp for lay readers. The latest developments in polity are also covered.

Get Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

2. Environment by Shankar

Environment and Ecology is a very important topic for Prelims and Mains and many questions are asked from it. Shankar’s Environment book covers this topic in detail including recent developments on climate change, global warming, various international agreements etc.

Get Environment by Shankar

3. Struggle for Independence by Chandra

Most questions on Indian History are asked from the Modern History part and the best book to tackle it is Bipin Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence. This book starts from the 1857 Revolt and continues right till the independence period.

Get Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra

4. Brief History of Modern India

What Bipin Chandra’s book leaves out, Spectrum’s Brief History covers well including Social Reform movements of 19th Century, important details of all the pro-independence movements of 20th Century etc. It is a handy reference book for Modern Indian History.

Get Brief History of Modern India

Note: Also refer NCERT text books on Ancient, Medieval and Modern India.

5. Indian Art and Culture

As you know Art and Culture is an important topic for both Prelims and Mains. Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania covers all the aspects of this topic in detail so you don’t have to refer different sources for information on Indian art and culture.

Get Indian Art and Culture

6. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

Mc Graw Hill’s Indian Economy covers the entire Economy syllabus quite well. It covers all the relevant sub-sectors of Indian economy like Planning, Industrialization and Policy, Agriculture, Economic Reforms, Inflation, Banking, External Trade and so on

Get Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

7. Physical Geography by Goh Cheng Leong

Another very important book to read is Certificate Course in Physical Geography by Goh Cheng Leong to tackle questions related to physical geography. Whether it’s Climate, Earthquakes, Winds, or Oceans everything is covered in this book on Physical Geography.

Click Here for Goh Cheng Leong Reviews

Also refer class XI and XII Geography NCERTs

GS MAINS BOOKS FOR IAS

This section lists all the important books for all 4 General Studies papers of IAS Mains exam.

Books for GS Paper 1

(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

History Books

Book Name

​India's Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra

Facets of Indian Culture by Spectrum

A New Look at Modern Indian History by BL Grover

India Since Independence by Bipin Chandra

A History of Modern World by Ranjan Chakravarti

India’s Struggle for Independence and New Look at Modern Indian History cover the period from 19th century to India’s independence. Both books are required since the former presents the entire period in the proper perspective and narrative while BL Grover’s book lists the various acts and reforms during the British period in point-wise format which is easier to grasp and reproduce in the Mains paper. I recommend you get both the books.

Facets of Indian Culture is a short but precise book on Indian culture and heritage topics.Answers to 2, 3 and 5 mark questions on this topic can be easily located in this book.

India Since Independence covers the period from 1947 to present times and is authored by Bipin Chandra, renowned author on Modern Indian History.

A History of the Modern World deals with World History topics including French and Industrial revolutions, World Wars and accompanying political changes in the world.


Geography Books

Book Name

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong

Indian and World Geography by Majid Hussain

NCERTs of class XI and XII

Goh Cheng Leong’s book is a must-read book for Physical Geography for Mains as well as Prelims. You can expect questions testing your knowledge of Geography basics from this book.

Indian and World Geography by Majid Hussain is another recommended book for economic geography and World geography topics.


Book on Development, Participation, Secularism, Women Issues

Book Name

India: Development and Participation by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

This is the best book I can recommend for authoritative understanding of the above issues. Since questions relating to development and its costs will be more analytical than factual Amartya Sen’s book will help you develop the critical understanding to tackle this tricky topic.


Books for GS Paper 2

(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)

Book Name

Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap

Our Parliament by Subhash Kashyap

Governance in India by M Laxmikanth

International Relations in 21st Century by Pushpesh Pant

Our Constitution is the recommended book on Indian Polity for Mains as well as Prelims. Its explanatory as well as analytical writing style is well suited for Mains.

Our Parliament is also authored by Subhash Kashyap and explains all the parliamentary processes, committees and procedures in detail.

Governance in India by Laxmikanth is a good book to get an overview of the administrative setup in India. It has detailed chapters on civil services as well apart from state and union governments, legislative bodies etc.

International Relations by Pushpesh Pant is a recommended book to understand India’s relations with the international community, its foreign policy, various regional organizations and changing dynamics in South Asia.


Books for GS Paper 3

(Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Book Name

Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

Indian Economy: Performance and Policies by Uma Kapila

Economic Survey

Environment & Ecology: Biodiversity, Climate Change & Disaster Management by Majid Hussain

Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh is a must-read book for Mains as well as Prelims to understand the basic economic concepts. Before you delve into analytical concepts, you should know the fundamentals of Indian economy and related economic terms; this book does this job really well.

Uma Kapila’s book focusses on the current economic issues and is updated almost every year. Very good book for analysis of current economic issues and tackling related questions in the GS paper.

Economic Survey of India released by the Finance Ministry every year before the budget presentation is a must-read book for Mains as well as Prelims. Questions directly related to the economic survey have been asked in the Mains GS papers in the past and you just cannot ignore this vital book without losing precious marks.

Environment and Ecology by Majid Hussain is a one-stop book for all issues related to environment and ecology including disaster management in India; for both Mains as well as Prelims. Highly recommended book.


Books for GS Paper 4

(Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude)

Book Name

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination by Subba Rao

GS Paper 4 focusses on ethics and integrity in civil services and your aptitude for it. Questions in this topic are far from straight forward and will test your resolve to serve the country without fear or favour or consideration for personal profit. Subba Rao’s book not only helps in understanding of ethics and integrity concepts but contains several case studies to prepare you for questions based on this topic.


Further Reading

Apart from these recommended books for GS Mains for IAS, you should also read news articles and editorials from newspapers like Indian Express and The Hindu. Also you should stay updated with the latest development in the field of Science and technology, Ecological issues, International Relations, Polity, Economic developments through online and offline news sources.


BOOKS FOR IAS OPTIONALS

Above, I've listed and described books for IAS Prelims and GS Mains books in detail. You can also find recommended books for popular IAS optional subjects for Mains exam by following the links below:


Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
IAS Books
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star
ABIRAMYA

Hello sir am i choice to the optional paper history which book is best and help with me please suggested to me.

ABIRAMYA

hello sir,now i begining stage of preparing these exam…….gives effect ideas to me

Brajesh kumar

I will refer the same books…please guide for the civil engg streams as optional….
Thanku….

krishna r

sir can i use cbse textbook for preparing IAS

Ankur Gupta

Sir, my target is 2017

What about these books…will they become redundant after going through the books you referred .I think u missed the book for Security GS 2

For Sociology ::Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja. for GS2
From Plassey to Partition

For:: Security
India’s National Security: A Reader. (Internal Security – GS3)
Challenges to Internal Security of India. (Internal Security – GS3)

Ankur Gupta

Sir, my target is 2017

What about these books.Will they become redundant after going through the books you referred .I think u missed the book for Security GS 2

For Sociology :Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja. for GS2
From Plassey to Partition

For:: Security
India’s National Security: A Reader. (Internal Security – GS3)
Challenges to Internal Security of India. (Internal Security – GS3)

Gayathri

I have completed my graduation in Communicative English, and now planning to go for my PG in Mass Communication and Journalism ; at the same time i am preparing for the civil service exam. i would prefer to opt English as my optional, it would be of great support if you suggest me the names of some reference books related to English Literature.

Devyansh Sehgal

I m trying to appear…bt hav no ideas abt it…also tell me what is the best age and study to be completed before I can apply ?
Regards,
Devyansh
Top in 10th CBSE
Have opted for Non-Med.in +1

Syed Md Faisal

Please help in understanding the oxford atlas. I really unable to understand that how to pick up the things from it. I am preparing for the next year which would be my 2nd time appearance.

Akash

Hello Admin

I want to crack UPSC exam 2017

Yes, i have gone through your smart IAS preparation tips, can you please refer the best book to cover whole syllabus for IAS?
Do i need to buy all books listed above in each subjects?

BYJU Classes are offering a IAS preparation tab which is worth 50k which i cannot afford. I am more keen to buy the best books which can cover whole syllabus for prelims and mains.

I am working as well please guide me how to manage time as i cant quit my job as well.

Would be very grateful if i get a response/advise via email.

Thanks
Akash
akasharajan1991@gmail.com

unnati

Hi,I’m waiting for my tenth results and i really want to crack this exam in one go.Please tell me from which books should i start preparations.

ankit sharma

sir as you recommended phy
geography by goh cheng leong
Is there available in hindi bcoz m from hindi medium
if there is not so please suggest another one .thank you.

Vasu

Best book for polity

Nilesh

Hello sir ,

i am working person and i wanted to write 2017 IAS exam .even i started studying after reading your blogs.
please provide some inputs how to do preparation or how to approach various topics as time is limiting factor in my case .

Thanks,
Nilesh

Ranjaniramesh

Sir I want preliminary tamil and English books.So what are the books for the exam?

amit

can I get these books in Hindi language…?

SHIVAM SINGH

sir please tell me if defence science is available as a ias optional subject

Nishant

The iaskracker.com is an excellent place for UPSC aspirants. I feel that the Compulsory Qualifying Segment of “INDIAN LANGUAGE” and “ENGLISH” have not been touched here. IASKRACKER should provide the strategy as to how to Crack these papers – their course structure, how much to dedicate for these subjects, preferred books for atleast HINDI as the language if not all and also English.
Thankyou.
Nishant.

Soumya Bhattacharyya

Sir Please tell me a standard book of Practice set for Prelims 2016..

sunidhi

Sir
What kind of questions are basically asked from maps??

Anu Choudhary

Hello sir
sir can u please provide some online sites through which we can be remain updated to current affairs apart from newspaper or sites which are useful for the preparation.
Thank you

Naresh kumar

hi sir i am studying b. com 3rd year and l want to prepare upsc. plz tell me book perkasion

VaraPrasad

Hi Sir..I am working proffessional..Can you please suggest me how to prepare?

Prashi

Hi,
Is the books mentioned in this article is enough to start my prepartion for CSE?

ayaz Alam

I want to optional subject please tell me .about optional subject …I want prepare for ias examination…thanks..

ram apotikar

I really thank to you for providing such a precious knowledge about IAS exam.. And I request to you please give me advice for improve my English bCOs my English is so poor ..please help me..

mohd fazil

Sir I have applied for enforcement officer exam.I request you to please suggest me the books for (developmental issues),(Indian polity and economy),(accounting principles),(industrial relations and labour laws) and (social security in india).please sir reply as soon as possible and also tell the expected date for epfo exam. Thankyou

abhay Poonia

Sir/madam
Mujhe IAS ki complete book with old paper chahiye plz btao kya kru or kon c books lu and kase
Plz tell me

Vandana shukla

Hellow sir can u plz recommend me some gud books for philosophy optional in hindi

smita kumbhar

m pehili bar exam d rahi hu plz mujhe koi batayega ki m kese study kru

SUDHAKAR

I LIKE TO TAKE PUB ADD SUBJECT. I AM KANNADA MEDIUM STUDENT . I CAN WRIGHT IN KAANADA FOR PUB ADD. PLEASE GIVE ME THE INFORMATION KINDLY ASKING YOU

rishi shrivastava

sir please help me upsc 2019 exam k liye tyaari kar rha hoon b.e in computer science se hoon kya me geology optional le sakta hoon sir please give answer fast please

nishanth

will upsc syllabus change for year to year

Kaaviya purushothaman yadhav

Which is the best book for mains solved papers.

RAHUL

HELLO SIR,
MAIN BACHHA HU ISS IAS WORLD ME
PAR MAIN BHI IAS BANNN CHAHTA HU AUR SIRF IAS
PLZ MUJHE SUGGEST KAREN KI TYARI KAISE SHURU KAREN JO KI AGLE SAAL ME SIRF AAPKI WAJAH SE MERI
JEET HO
HAAN AUR BATAIYE KI KONSI BOOKS SELECT KARUN, SAMAY NA KHARAB HO
I AM M.A. POL.SC.
INTEREST IN POLITICAL SC.
PLZ DO THE SAME SIR
THANKYOU.

Anil Kumar N

Sir IAS EXAM MAINS IS TOTALLY 8 PAPERS RIGHT.BUT YOUR SUGGESTED ONIY 4PAPERS. I WANT IAS BOOKS FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS IN 2019. PLEASE TELL ME SIR.

akshay devulkar

sir i am looking 2017 upsc prelims can you advice me which book will help me in exam.

gunjan

Is that all for history …no ancient … No medieval..

vishvendra singh

Sir,Botany optional ke liye Hindi me book mil jayegi kya

Sanket Srinivasan

I wish to take Management as my optional subject. Plz recommend me books for the same.

Thanks.

Attepting prelims in June 2018.

Anil

thanks for nice list

Nisha Roshan

Suggest books for hindi literature as optional pls

Mahendra

Thank you for your guidance.I want to start my preparation by studying NCERTs.May I know whether I’m going in right way??

Abhinav Dwivedi

Hello sir i need your guidance to choose optional subject for UPSC.
I completed my B.tech (Mechanical Engineering) this year and my maths and physics is very strong give me suggestion please.
Thanks & Regards
Abhinav Dwivedi

Manjit Sharma

Sir,
I want to become an IAS so will you suggest me list of book so,I can crack UPSC exam.

Gary

Thanks for your valuable mail on booklists
Sir as I am from science background with bsc in zoology pls do suggest about the optional subject and tell about every optional subject in upsc syllabus

Thanks.

Zahir

Sir i want to know the list of books or material which help me in cracking the ypsc exam(IAS) ☺

Puja thakur

Please advice if I need all the books mentioned in the list above, if not please let me know which books should be preferable for all the sections.

Aijaz Handed salafi

Please assure me books dealing with general science for all competitive examinations

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