List of Best NCERT Books for IAS Exam

ncert text books for upsc

NCERT books are a very good source and introduction to topics in IAS prelims. Little wonder then, many coaching classes and aspirants recommend NCERT books to fresh aspirants who are just starting their preparation. But the question I receive quite often is should you refer All NCERT books and for All subjects? The answer to both is No. You have to read some NCERT books for some subjects. For other subjects, NCERT books are not required. So you should read which NCERT books for which topics or subjects, let’s find out.

Note: This post focuses only on NCERT books. For the complete list of recommended books for prelims, refer this post.

Polity NCERT Books for IAS

The following NCERT books for Indian polity are recommended:

ClassNCERT TitleNCERT Download 
9thDemocratic Politics-IAvailable
10thDemocratic Politics-IIAvailable

History NCERT Books for IAS

For Indian History, please obtain the following old syllabus NCERT history textbooks, published in 1990, if you can get them somehow. They are currently out of print but are highly recommended.

Ancient India (class 11th) authored by RS Sharma. This covers the ancient Indian history syllabus completely.

Medieval India (class 12th)  for covering medieval India syllabus authored by Satish Chandra.

Modern India (class 10th) text book of old syllabus authored by Bipin Chandra.

Also combine Bipin Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence to cover the modern Indian history syllabus completely.

NOTE: If you cannot find old syllabus History NCERTs, read the alternatives to old NCERT History books by the same authors.

Recommended Reading:

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However, if you would like to read the current NCERT books on Indian History, then the following NCERT’s are recommended:

ClassNCERT TitleNCERT Download 
6thHistory-Our Past IAvailable
7thHistory-Our Past IIAvailable
8thHistory-Our Pasts-III Part 1Available
9thHistory-Our Pasts-III Part 2Available
10thIndia and the Contemporary World – IAvailable
10thIndia and the Contemporary World – IIAvailable

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Geography NCERT Books for IAS

The following NCERT books for Geography and Environment are recommended:

ClassNCERT TitleNCERT Download 
11thFundamentals of Physical GeographyAvailable
12thIndian Physical EnvironmentAvailable
12thFundamentals of Human GeographyAvailable
12thIndia – People and EconomyAvailable

Economy NCERT Books for IAS

The following NCERT books for Economy are recommended:

ClassNCERT TitleNCERT Download 
10thUnderstanding Economic DevelopmentAvailable
11thIndian Economic DevelopmentAvailable
12thIntroductory MicroeconomicsAvailable
12thIntroductory MacroeconomicsAvailable

 Science & Technology NCERT Books for IAS

The following NCERT books for Science & Technology are recommended:

ClassNCERT TitleNCERT Download 

If you any questions regarding the NCERT books, use the comment form below.

Recommended Books for IAS

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  1. as sir i have per suing bba so which subject is best for me to choose for mains its public ad or sociology or would u recommend a other subject ??

  2. Sir,
    Do we need to prepare a notes while reading NCERT Books or is it sufficent to prepare notes when reading standard book after completion of NCERT like India’s Strugle For Independence incase of History.
    Thanks in advance

  3. hello sir,i have jus garaduated and started preparations with NCERT books reading….but confused as in market there are old and new NCERT books available….then what to do???? which books should i purchase for his geo eco bio ???thnx in advance

  4. Sir i am B.A graduate in hindi medium..and i want to know that which books are best for me prepration for IAS entrance exams…plz tell me

  5. Hi,

    I have been browsing your website for the past few days and its really very useful.
    You have provided with the link to download nCERT text books , is it the link to the books published in 1990’s , i mean are they old syllabus books ?

  6. sir ,

    i have decided to prepare ias exam at home without the help of coaching . suggest me some strategies to crack ias exam in my first attempt .

    from -Department of Economics , Barpali college , Barpali

  7. Sir, Few queries.

    1. In the IAS e-book, you have given NCERT VIII to X for history. However, in this write up you have said NCERT of IX,X and XI. Kindly clarify.



      1. Sir, Few queries

        1.I have NCERT Modern India (XII) by Bipan Chandra,2002, 9th reprint edition (original first edition 1990).
        Would it suffice in place of ‘Modern India (class X) text book of old syllabus authored by Bipin Chandra’, as suggested by you in this write up. Both these books are not in print now.

        2. For Polity NCERT, XI- Political Theory & Indian Constitution at Work (2 books); XII- Contemporary World Politics & Political Science-II (2 books). Your views on them?


  8. Hello sir ! I m a district topper in 12 class and persuing B.Sc.Phy Hons.. from D U ! I like to give tutions upto class 12 .Now i want to ask if i m teaching 9 and 10 math and science and 11 & 12 only math ! Which pair should i choose for u p s e preparation purpose .I can give only 2 hrs for teaching so plzz sujjest me that should i teach 9&10 ( math , science ,) or 11&12 ( math only )

  9. Sir. If Buy a new thick book of TMH GS Manual, no need to read it along with old NCERT? Does THM GS Manual contains old NCERT and a few books from history optional? The history and culture section GS manuals is written based on old NCERT?

    Think you in advance.

  10. Hello sir,
    I’m just graduated i have an aspiration of becoming an IAS.I need a good mentor to guide me with all the basic and advance level of books for the IAS prelims.How shall i start and with what kind of books shall i refer to?I would request plz help me sir so that i would give my best.ty

  11. Sir

    I would like to know about the requirements for preliminary of ias 2014 means what i hv to study for clear it.

  12. Hi Sir,
    I am having experience of near about 6 year in Software Industry.But now i am planning to prepare for Civil service.can you plz let me know from which basics books i can start my preperation.
    Also please let me know the ncert books which i have to study.


  13. Sir…plzz tell me…which one is best for geography either..ncert or goh Cheng Leong book…???
    Sir plzz tell me how should I start myself for preparation because I have done my btech this year in civil engineering and currently I m lecturer in engineering college???

  14. sir,i want to start UPSC preparation and i am from marathi mediam now in UG so the NCERT books in the post are sufficient for me ? or i should read other extra NCERT books also.

  15. When prelims only asks for modern India ! Why to read ancient and medieval history? Will class 10th ncert modern history will do ? After all it’s all about smart work .

  16. hi sir,
    i am doing in electronics and communication .plzz…suggest me how to begin the preparation for ias exam..and how to choose optional subject..
    plzz rply

  17. Sir,

    I am a final year ECE student. I am aspired to get through IAS preparation. But people are suggesting me to approach some coaching centres.
    I am from economically backward family and so I cannot approach any such centres as quite as easy… Is it good to start my preparation on my own or not?

  18. sir i m persuing mba……i want to go for ias exam ……..i m bit confused that i will get very less time for the preparation…..will u plze suggest me the books for prelims and mains with which i hav 2 begin and go 4 further preparation……also guide me with the strategy to prepare 4 the exam

  19. Sir mai btec 2nd year ka student hu app mujhe ye bataiki.mai 3rd year se taiyari kar sakta hu aur kaun sa acha coaching hai vaji ram$ravi ya phir chankaya ias acadmy.

  20. sir i m done mba with finance specialization……i want to go for ias exam ……..i m bit confused that i will get very less time for the preparation…..will u plze suggest me the books for prelims and mains with which i hav 2 begin and go 4 further preparation……also guide me with the strategy to prepare 4 the exam

  21. Thanks Sir! for valuable source of information. But the question is for science The Hindu also publish some booklet, isn’t it ? And from where can I get this TMH GS Manual .

  22. Dear sir this is keshav bhardwaj and i want to tell u that i have to read ncert books only for knowing basics or i have to make notes also from them.

  23. Dear Sir,
    There are more than One NCERT text books for same class ( eg. Class 11 has two Economics text book ). Please Sir Suggest me which NCERT text books I should follow. And aslo please make me aware of how many NCERT textbooks are available in Market from Class 9-12 ( Specially History, Geography, Science and Economics ) .

  24. Sir,
    Being a Bengali medium student I’m confused about how many NCERT books are available in market. In some cases there are more than one textbook for same class.. Please give me the details . Thanks in advance.

  25. I m a 19 year old mbbs student so plz cn u tell me dat should i read all the ncert books now from 6 to 12 or only some of them and which subject

    And should i choose medical science as an optional subject or anyother

  26. sir I m preparing for IAS from the NCERT but in a vry different manner.
    I m making notes topic wise as I used to take one topic and collect information on that particular topic from all NCERT’s.
    is it the right way??
    and plz guide me about the best optional subject for a begginner to take in UPSC??

  27. As far as IAS examinations are concerned, NCERT books are of great help.But, it should not be mandatory in CBSE schools.

    NCERT books mandatory in CBSE schools


    1. Hello Pooja,
      You should avoid ToI for civil services preparation as the articles are not of high quality and are often biased towards one political viewpoint. Speaking tree serves no purpose for civils.

  29. In your six main books u did not mention ncert books..but in all the topper reviews they suggest ncerts as a first choice?

    1. I also refer NCERTs for IAS preparation but only for fundamentals not for Mains preparation. IAS toppers also don’t refer NCERTs for Mains.

  30. Hii Sir
    I am a BAMS(Bachelor of Ayurved Medicine and Sciences ) student.

    I am looking forward for UPSC preparation .
    Please Guide me regarding my strategy for preparation during my UG .

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