What are the books needed for UPSC Civil Service Main Examination?
The below-mentioned books are based on the feedback from many aspirants/toppers who found them useful for the exam.
We keep updating this page when new books worth the time and money of candidates appear in the market.
Books for UPSC Civil Service Main Exam Preparation (Click on the links to buy online)
Books for UPSC Civil Service Main Exam overlap with many books recommended for Prelims. But Mains stage demands certain additional books as there are new topics like Foreign Relations, Internal Security, Ethics etc.
We suggest a mix of NCERT Books, Government websites, newspapers along with new textbooks in the market for mains preparation. Don’t forget to read our online study materials for mains too.
UPSC Books for Indian Polity and Constitution
- Indian Polity – by M. Laxmikanth (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Important Acts that Transformed India – by Alex Andrews George (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Important Judgments that Transformed India – by Alex Andrews George (Click to buy from Amazon)
UPSC Books for Indian History and Culture
- Indian Art and Culture – by Nitin Singhania (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Ancient and Medieval India – by Poonam Dalal Dahiya (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Modern Indian History – by Sonali Bansal and Snehil Tripathi (Click to buy from Amazon)
UPSC Books for Indian Geography and World Geography
- Certificate Physical And Human Geography – by Goh Cheng Leong (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Geography of India – by Majid Husain (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Oxford Student Atlas for India (Click to buy from Amazon)
UPSC Books for Indian Economy
- Indian Economy – by Ramesh Singh (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Indian Economy – by Nitin Singhania (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Indian Economy Key Concepts – by Sankarganesh Karuppiah (Click to buy from Amazon)
UPSC Books for Science and Technology
- Science and Technology – by Ravi P. Agrahari (Click to buy from Amazon)
UPSC Books for Environment – Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change
- Environment – By Shankar IAS (Click to buy from Amazon)
UPSC Books for Current Affairs
- India 2021 Yearbook – by Rajiv Mehrishi (Click to buy from Amazon)
- The Malayala Manorama English Yearbook 2021 – by Mammen Mathew (Click to buy from Amazon)
- India 2021 – Publications Division Paperback – by Publications Division (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for Essay (UPSC Mains Essay Paper)
- Selected Contemporary Essays Paperback – by Saumitra Mohan (Click to buy from Amazon)
- 151 Essays – by Disha Experts (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for India Since Independence (Part of UPSC Mains GS1 Paper)
- Post-Independence India: For Civil Services Examinations – by Sonali Bansal and Snehil Tripathi (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for World History (Part of UPSC Mains GS1 Paper)
- World History – by Krishna Reddy (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for Indian Society (Part of UPSC Mains GS1 Paper)
- Indian Society: Themes and Social Issues – by Nadeem Hasnain (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for Governance (Part of UPSC Mains GS2 Paper)
- Governance in India Paperback – by M. Laxmikanth (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for Foreign Relations of India (Part of UPSC Mains GS2 Paper)
- International Relations – by Pavneet Singh (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for Internal Security (Part of UPSC Mains GS3 Paper)
- Challenges to Internal Security of India – by Ashok Kumar and Vipul Anekant (Click to buy from Amazon)
IAS Books for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude (UPSC Mains GS4 Paper)
- Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for IAS General Studies – by Niraj Kumar (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude – by M. Karthikeyan (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude – by G Subba Rao & P N Roy Chowdhury (Click to buy from Amazon)
Civil Services Optional Subject Books (Paper 6 and Paper 7)
Books to Prepare Some of the Popular Optional Papers for IAS Mains:
- Sociology Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- Public Administration Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- History Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- Geography Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- Economics Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- Philosophy Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- Psychology Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- Agriculture Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
- Political Science Optional: Books for Mains Exam.
Useful IAS Books and Magazines For Free Download and Reference
- NCERT Books Download.
- Buy NCERT Books Online.
- Yojana Magazine Download.
- Kurukshetra Magazine Download.
- Buy Pratiyogita Darpan Magazine.
- IGNOU Books Download.
- IAS Books Mains General Studies – For more reference in GS1, GS2, G3 and G4.
- Free IAS Study Materials for UPSC Prelims and Mains.
Sir, if i am appearing for ias – 2014 when shall i start making notes out of daily newspaper. shall i start it by now or after mains 2013. although i am reading newspaper regularly but what is right tme to take notes.
Sorry for not keeping tracking of all comments…But to answer your query, note taking is advised from Day1. But it should be done on priority basis after Mains 2013.
Chandan kumar singh says
Sir, u will provide online coachine .plz…..inform me
Satya prakash says
vill:- Khaje atwar sarai
loved everything u posted here.!!! thank you just sooo much.!!!!! 🙂 😀 huge help…
Welcome. Appreciate the feedback 🙂
avanish mishra says
this site is very useful for ias’s dreamer
Happy to hear the positive comments:-)
Vishal Ambigar says
Sir pls suggest me some management books for optional
Sir I have tmh general studies.i recently bought Access Publishing general studies paper 1 and 2 which is very good too with all good authors.sir have you gone through these two later books.
sir, I have taken admission in ignou January 2014 session in b.a. Will I be eligible for ias 2016
Dharmesh Kemparaju (@DharmeshMysore) says
Sir, Cannot open Socialogy books link… Plz Fix it… 4 Sociology – Civil Services Books – Mains Exam.
Thanks a lot for pointing out that. The link issue is fixed. Let us know if you find any further difficulties.
jeeni gupta says
sir,i want to know that is english litt and langvage both are useful in ias if i do ba hons with english then up to whch extend it is useful for the preparation
Atul Ranjan Singh says
Not so important but it improves your language and if u r able to improve your language from side then choose those subjects as hons. Which is your optional in mains it manage your time other wise u have to concentrate on graduation also
I find no books on Anthropology for CIvil Services Main exam. would you kindly suggest me.
i’m looking for on line or postal coaching for civil service(main) exam…. please inform me….
Souvik Bhattacharya says
your suggested booklist immensly helped me to select my required books on respective subjects…
Great to know about that. All the best!
Souvik Bhattacharya says
what books shall i refer for essay paper??i have few..they are argumentative indian and imagining india….i need you to suggest a few more…
jagat pal says
no material for animal husbandary & veterinary science
pranav Dwivedi says
Sir Kya ram chandra guha aur dusre writer ki book hindi me aati hai
Thanx for information
Sir kya spectrum ki Indian culture Hindi me milegi
Sir my optional is agriculture will u conduct online or postal classes for agriculture optional
thanks you for providing valuable information
can you suggest
for world history and culture baliyan notes better or vaji
2. vaji printed or vaji handwritten which one is better
Debtanu dey says
Sir my self Debtanu I am so in ubi how can I manage my to get into civil service which book should I start to get in to the prelims in 2015 although I have bought 2 books of one is history of modern India and Indian polity
Dis site iz very usful ias achivars
Tnx alot of u
best site for upsc aspirants
Thank you for the feedback. All the best!
viswajeet kumar says
sir, i am a clerk in para military forces . I want to know that can i preparation and get success in jpsc or not because i have spent my 8-9 hrs in office so it is possible or not
Rohidas Kove says
This site is very useful for IAS aspirants.
dear sir maire pas coching or dheli join karne ki koe samvawna nahi hai phir v mai esme saphal hona chahta hu apse kuchh feetback chahta hu sir
G Abirami says
Can u pls post the books needed to prepare for Electrical Engineering optional.
Dhanjit Deka says
Hello Sir..Good evening…sir please tell the Name of the books that are very much helpful for CSE Mains examination of Political Science optional subject with their publication and author’s..Thank you
So far so good..very much helpful
Sri Harish says
I’m planning to take political science as an optional subject..can you suggest me the books for it..nothing is mentioned regarding political science in this post
You may expect a post on Political Science optional, strategies and books to read soon.
mori parixit says
SIR, My birth date in 1995 year…what am i eligible for civil service exam-2016?
Thanks for giving a online free books and coaching, I decided to take management as my optional so i need a reference book and main book for my preparation thank you.Roghini Ravi Kumar
Malav yb says
Can we use second hand/old edition books for the preperation?
Could you please suggest books for the optional subject Mathematics in mains?
How important are NCERT books from preparation point of view? (Both for prelims and mains)
I mean do i need to go through std 6-12 books or should I start with the books above mentioned?
Kumar pankaj says
plz suggest me maths books for optional.
Kumar Pankaj says
plz suggest me maths books for optional.also give me some important strategy for this subject.
A good and amuch useful site.very useful and good for ias aspirants.i have download it today and find it good.
Haribrat Deuri says
An assamese medium is allowed for main written exam of all (except English) GS i-iv and optional subject. Please provide details.
Shah Asif says
Clear IAS is Best app for For me
i am IAS aspirant
Great to know that aspirants like you are taking the best out of ClearIAS app. All the best!
Sir, i m really good at zoology. I will choose it as an optional subject. Its syllabus that u had posted is not typical, but still can you point out some books for zoology. Thank u 🙂
Athili Moses says
Sir, i shall be thankful to you if you kindly suggest a books for UPSC main 2016 with the latest edition.
Which are the optional subjects.. in which stage shoul i choose it in prelims or mains. ??
Saiyam Ohri says
Hello sir my name is Saiyam and my dream is to become an IAS OFFICE but I am little bit confused related to the books that I should refer and also I want that some guide line so that I can be on the right track for becoming an IAS OFFICE and transforming my dream in to the reality …… So sir can u plzz help me by giving your guidance ……….
Sir, I am Master in fisheries with double graduation, one in zoology and other in fisheries (B. F.Sc.). I want to prepare and qualify IAS exam and I know only a little about it. Can you please help me in advising that how to start and how much knowledge is required. Actually, the problem with me is that I know very much about fisheries and zoology but my general knowledge is very poor.
rashmi mishra says
sir tou will will provide online coching
please inform me
Jatin Joshi says
Sir pls suggest me some good material for physics optional in mains
Deepthi AD says
I am complete double degree graduation,one in history,and other in law.and. I have take admission in IGNOU in MA history,am very confused can you p/s help me in advising that how to start and I decided to take history as my optional subject.so I need a reference book I want ur suggestion.p/s help me.
which subject is the most important for the mains paper
Jatin Joshi says
Books for optional – physics
sir me ias ki teyari karna chata hu is ke liye kon si book lu.
D R Meghwal says
Hello sir, I’m not cleared about my doubt that there is scalling in optional subject paper 6 ,7 plz suggest I can take subject as veterinary science is useful bcoz I’m graduated in this subject or either geography in which I hv some interest
mahesh r s says
Sir my optional subject is political science and international relations…which book ‘ll refer to study…
Bapi Karmakar says
Sir, I am a commerce graduate, I am worried about my optional papers. My first query, is it mandatory to choose two(2) optional paper? and another you does not share any link for commerce stream. If you share some idea it will be help full to me. I am still unable to choose 2nd optional paper (1st, Commerce & Accountancy). So please help me and suggest some books on commerce stream.
rajesh sharmas says
Sir good morning i am rajesh .i am confused that how to start prepartion for ias .and suggest me some books for ias exam and geography main books.
Hi sir I’m the very beginner for the upsc prpeartion sit pls provide me the list of books for the entire history prpeartion in the exam point of view
Narsingh Lal says
I want a personal email describing,
1. The books to prepare for Pre and Mains, optional History
2. What to read for Current Affirs with their backdrop
3. Various surveys, programmes and schemes
4. Various websites of government
5. Last years papers of pre & mains, how to get (and if possible, with answers)
Please give me this information, as I can’t join any coaching due to money issue and time constraints. (Email id given below)
Zakir Hussain says
I am a BALLB 1st sem student.I am interested too in social service.To serve the society IAS is the only platform for me.But I am in confusion that from where I should start my preparation. And also I want to take law as an optional .sir, plz suggest me.
R sreenath says
sir ji plz provide the anthropology option book or material for the mains
Vandhana Mangaldas says
Sir.. Way are the books to be referred for zoology optional
Nabajit Ray says
Sir Im preparing with Geography as optional. But I really don’t have any idea for General studies Paper 1, 2,3,4 for Main.. Can you suggest me some best book .. please reply and also reply about the books about their speciality.
E.C. MANIDEEP says
Sir, Is it possible to post the latest YOJANA & KURUKSHETRA Magazines
bhoma ram says
Sir, now I passed 12th class & after graduation I want to give ias exam , which books I should read which mainly not changed & how I should prepare for that.
Suhai Ahmad wani says
Clear your graduation first,In addition current affairs
I need some books to suggested for anthropology optional ..I kindly request you to suggest me..
GOPI SRIDEVA says
In your website, only sociology optional book list is seen instead of respective optional when selected, so kindly make a change in your website, so, the aspirants would have a chance to view the books list for other optional too.
@Gopi: Thank you for bringing this to our notice. We have updated the links now.
GOPI SRIDEVA says
Thanks @ClearIAS for your kind cooperation…
Sir if I select marathi language in ias mains exam, then are the optional subject in marathi language.
GOPI SRIDEVA says
Thanks @ClearIAS for your kind cooperation of making changes…
hai sir….. iam preparing for ias but nt able to understand how to prepare for indian polity main plz suggest material for it plzzzzzz
Suhai Ahmad wani says
Sir,First off aĺ thank you so much for guiding us.
Please share your views regarding zoology as a optional,as my subject was zoology till my graduation.
After graduation i have stopped my academics,Sir please give your suggestion.
Firstly, thankyou so much for this wonderful opportunity.
Can you list out the books for management subject as optional?
Abdul Jaseem says
sir i need the english material in mains exam (optional) subject and telugu material also sir
Laishram bimsen says
Sir it’s time for me ask u a valuable question that sir can I take my optional subject as education
Abhinandan Kumar Singh says
sir,I want to take optional subject as physics.Please suggest me the books and notes.Want your Help.
RANJIT GUPTA says
ARE YOU SURE THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO CLEAR UPSC AFTER READING ALL THIS BOOKS..??
Sir can you please provide books for optional subject mathematics
priyanka dahale says
Sir will u plz provide books for optional subject law ?? 🙏
HARUNAL RASID says
After completion of law u may concentrate towards iAs …then both konowledge and power prosper in your life hopefully
Sushil kumar says
Sir I want a zoology book for upsc
Aswin Nair says
Sir, please can you provide books for botany ,please
I am MBA in Marketing. i need guidance in selection of subjects in mains exam. As i did masters in marketing.
Sir do I have to buy all the books or one book is enough for each paper(GS-1,GS-2,GS-3,GS-4)
This is very helpful information. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.electronics devices
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