We recommend Civil Service aspirants start their preparation with NCERT Textbooks (Class 6-12).
Once aspirants get a basic idea from NCERT Textbooks, they should focus more on the Standard Textbooks.
Recommended NCERT Textbooks for UPSC Preparation (Class 6-12)
It is ideal for all IAS aspirants to start with NCERT books from Class 6 to Class 12.
You can buy 40 NCERT Textbooks as a bundle from Amazon.
Recommended Standard Textbooks for UPSC Preparation
UPSC aspirants are recommended to buy at least 1 Standard Book for each subject (topic) and later expand their reading to additional reference books.
Aspirants can click on each link to buy books online from Amazon.
1. UPSC Books for Indian Polity and Constitution
- Indian Polity – by M. Laxmikanth
- Important Acts that Transformed India – by Alex Andrews George
- Important Judgments that Transformed India – by Alex Andrews George
2. UPSC Books for Indian History and Culture
- Indian Art and Culture – by Nitin Singhania
- Ancient and Medieval India – by Poonam Dalal Dahiya
- Modern Indian History – by Sonali Bansal and Snehil Tripathi
3. UPSC Books for Indian Geography and World Geography
- Certificate Physical And Human Geography – by Goh Cheng Leong
- Geography of India – by Majid Husain
- Oxford Student Atlas for India
4. UPSC Books for the Indian Economy
- Indian Economy – by Nitin Singhania
- Indian Economy – by Ramesh Singh
- Indian Economy Key Concepts – by Sankarganesh Karuppiah
5. UPSC Books for Science and Technology
6. UPSC Books for Environment – Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change
7. UPSC Books for Current Affairs
- India 2022 Yearbook – by Rajiv Mehrishi
- The Malayala Manorama English Yearbook 2022 – by Mammen Mathew
- India 2022 – Publications Division Paperback – by Publications Division
8. UPSC Previous Year Question Papers
9. Prelims Manual for GS (All-in-One Guide)
10. Prelims Manual for CSAT (All-in-One Guide)
11. IAS Books for Essay (UPSC Mains Essay Paper)
- Fundamentals of Essay and Answer Writing – by Anudeep Durishetty
- Mastering Essay and Answer Writing – by Awdesh Singh
12. 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
- India Since Independence – by Bipan Chandra
13. IAS Books for World History (Part of UPSC Mains GS1 Paper)
14. IAS Books for Indian Society (Part of UPSC Mains GS1 Paper)
15. IAS Books for Governance (Part of UPSC Mains GS2 Paper)
16. IAS Books for Foreign Relations of India (Part of UPSC Mains GS2 Paper)
- International Relations – by Pavneet Singh
- India and the World – by Amb. Surendra Kumar
- India’s Foreign Policy in the Post-Covid World – by Amb. Surendra Kumar
17. IAS Books for Internal Security (Part of UPSC Mains GS3 Paper)
- Challenges to Internal Security of India – by Ashok Kumar and Vipul Anekant
- Internal Security – by Rajkumar SP
18. IAS Books for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude (UPSC Mains GS4 Paper)
- Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude – by Niraj Kumar
- Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude – by M. Karthikeyan
- Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude – by G Subba Rao & P N Roy Chowdhury
- Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude – by Awdesh Singh
19. Paper-wise All-in-One manuals for UPSC CSE (Mains)
- IAS Mains General Studies Manual General Studies Paper 1 – by Arihant
- IAS Mains General Studies Manual General Studies Paper 2 – by Arihant
- IAS Mains General Studies Manual General Studies Paper 3 – by Arihant
- IAS Mains General Studies Manual General Studies Paper 4 – by Arihant
20. UPSC CSE Mains Previous Year Solved Question Paper Books
- 9 Years UPSC IAS/ IPS Mains General Studies Papers 1 – 4 Year-wise Solved (2013 – 2021) – by Disha Experts
- 9 Years UPSC IAS/ IPS Mains Essay Year-wise Solved Papers (2013 – 2021) – by Disha Experts
21. Books for UPSC Interview
- How to Ace Civil Service Interviews Paperback – by Remya Roshni
- Civil Services Interview – by Madhukar Bhagat
Highly Informative Additional Reference Books for UPSC Preparation
- Ancient India: India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma
- Ancient India: History of Ancient and Early Medieval India by Upinder Singh
- Ancient India: Ancient History of India by Snehil Tripathi and Sonali Bansal
- Indian Art and Culture: Indian Art, Heritage, and Culture by Pushpesh Pant
- Medieval India: History Of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
- Modern India: History Of Modern India by Bipan Chandra
- Modern India: India’s Struggle For Independence by Bipan Chandra
- Ancient India and Culture: The Wonder that was India by A.L. Bhasham
- Medieval India and Culture: The Wonder that was India by S A A Rizvi
- Modern India: A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
- World Geography: World Geography by Majid Husain
- Physical Geography: Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
- Human Geography: Human Geography by Majid Husain (Click to buy)
- Constitution: Introduction to the Constitution of India by D. D. Basu
- Science and Technology: Science and Technology by Sheelwant Singh
- Environment: Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure by Rajagopalan
- Environment: Environment by Ravi P Agrahari
- Quantitative Aptitude: Quantitative Aptitude by R. S. Aggarwal
- Reasoning: Analytical Reasoning by M. K. Pandey
- Reasoning: Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R. S.Aggarwal
- Essay: Essays for Civil Services by Pulkit Khare
- Post-Independence: India After Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha
- World History: Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe
- World History: Modern World History by Uddipan
- Indian Society: Social Problems In India by Ram Ahuja
- International Relations: Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor
- International Relations: The India way by S. Jaishankar
- Internal Security: Internal Security by M.Karthikeyan
- Internal Security: Internal Security of India and Disaster Management by Syed Waquar Raza
- Ethics: Ethical Dilemmas of a Civil Servant by Anil Swarup
IAS Books for UPSC CSE Mains Optional Subjects
- Books for Optional subjects in UPSC Mains (Open the link and scroll down).
Latest UPSC Books (New Releases)
- Latest UPSC CSE Books: Click To Buy New Releases For UPSC Preparation.
- Subject Specific Book-List for IAS exam (For extra reference of each subject).
The Hindu E-Paper (Subscribe and Get Up to 78% OFF)
ClearIAS users can get up to 78% OFF on ‘TheHindu ePaper’. To get the benefit of this offer, all you need to do is to apply the promo code CLEARIAS while purchasing TheHindu epaper subscription from this link.
Are NCERT books enough for UPSC Preparation?
NCERT textbooks give only a basic idea to start with. They are not enough to cover the entire syllabus of UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains.
Along with NCERTs, aspirants should learn from Standard Textbooks.
Standard Textbooks are written by subject experts in an exam-oriented fashion – specifically targeting each subject/topic in the UPSC CSE syllabus.
Which IAS Books are available in the Hindi Language?
For many of the books listed above, corresponding books in the Hindi language are available in the market.
Hindi medium students may check the link UPSC Books in the Hindi Language to buy online at discounted prices.
Which are the best-selling UPSC books?
- Prelims: Best Selling Books for UPSC Civil Services Prelims (Click to buy from Amazon)
- Mains: Best Selling Books for UPSC Civil Services Mains (Click to buy from Amazon)
How can I get free UPSC study materials?
Aspirants can use ClearIAS Online Study Materials to supplement the recommended standard textbooks and NCERT books.
We provide notes for static topics as well as current affairs.
How can I get Online Coaching for UPSC?
ClearIAS provides online coaching for UPSC aspirants of our Online Classroom Program.
Online Classroom Program offers features like Live Classes, Recorded Classes, Personal Mentorship, Prelims Test Series, Mains Test Series, Mains Answer Writing Practice, and Interview Guidance.
How can I practice UPSC Prelims Mock Tests?
ClearIAS provides free and premium mock exams for UPSC Prelims.
As you may know, only when tested in an exam atmosphere with negative marking, you can improve your ability to deliver in the actual exam hall.
Try for free the UPSC Prelims online mock exams by ClearIAS – in the new innovative platform which integrates learning with test-taking.
You would be surprised to find out how fast you can learn!
Can I clear IAS without purchasing books?
UPSC Books are a crucial part of the ClearIAS TTT Approach which helps aspirants to clear the UPSC Civil Services Exam by self-study. If you are serious about IAS preparation, you should invest in quality books.
What should I prefer: Books written by scholars or Books written by exam experts?
We mainly recommend books written specifically from an exam perspective.
There are plenty of books written by scholars which can be used as a reference.
You can find the names of reference books too on this page.
Is there a single book that covers all topics of IAS Prelims and Mains?
No. There is no such book.
Considering the vast nature of the UPSC syllabus, it is not possible to include everything an aspirant needs to study in a single book.
ClearIAS recommends IAS aspirants to refer multiple books for each subject in the UPSC syllabus.
However, if you are short on resources and time, you may start with the Manuals (All-in-One Guides) for Prelims and Mains. Take mock exams, and refer to additional textbooks as and when time is available.
Should I buy books if I have coaching institutes’ notes?
Considering the competition and vast syllabus, UPSC exam preparation cannot be done without collecting some essential books.
Photostats or PDFs supplied by coaching institutes may not give you the right information and broad perspective. If you are an IAS/IPS/IFS aspirant, you should invest in good textbooks.
How can I get UPSC study materials in PDF format?
In addition to our online notes, ClearIAS also releases PDF notes (eBooks).
Some of our popular ebooks are:
- ClearIAS Current Affairs Capsules (Red Books)
- ClearIAS Most Probable Prelims Questions (Green Books)
- Budget/Economic Survey Summary (Orange Books)
- Toppers Notes (Blue Books)
Can you review the new UPSC books?
ClearIAS.com publishes reviews on new IAS books in the market under our Book Review section.
Publishers/authors can send us samples for review.
Readers too can post reviews about the UPSC books they bought in the comment section. That will be helpful for other aspirants for book selection.
What are the tips regarding IAS book selection?
If you are taking coaching for UPSC, most of the topics for UPSC CSE will be covered through the class lectures and coaching notes.
However, if you are doing your UPSC preparation entirely by self-study, you may not be having access to these resources. In this scenario, books are your major companions in the UPSC journey.
Be mentally prepared to invest in at least 15-20 standard textbooks for different subjects, apart from NCERT books. This is because UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains mention at least 15 subjects/topics. You will often need to read multiple books to cover each subject in detail.
Even though you should prioritise what you learn, you should never limit your reading. Your reading should be deep and wide.
Quality books act as add-ons to your online preparation and help a lot in self-study.
If you follow ClearIAS Test-based approach to clear UPSC Prelims, most of the books mentioned above will get automatically covered as per the mentioned timetable.
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.
There is no need to finish all books end-to-end. Focus on the important sections of each book.
We keep updating this page when new books worth the time and money of candidates appear in the market. So come back to check this page again! ©ClearIAS.com.
Disclaimer: ClearIAS is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.in. As an Amazon Associate, ClearIAS earns advertising revenue to meet our operational expenses, without any extra cost to the buyers.
Book a FREE UPSC Mentorship Session with a ClearIAS Expert
Is your ambition to become an IAS, IPS, or IFS officer?
Do you want to surprise all by cracking UPSC CSE in the shortest possible time?
Register now for a free UPSC Mentorship session with an expert mentor of ClearIAS!