UPSC (IAS) Books for Prelims and Mains Exam Preparation [2023-24]

UPSC Books store for Prelims
UPSC Books store for Prelims

UPSC (IAS) Books for Prelims.

Today you are going to see one of the topics in which most of the candidates get confusion, UPSC book selection.

But you will be not because I am going to clear this up in this guide.

After that, you will be out of your confusion related to NCERTs book selection.

Therefore, I am going to share with you a few popular books which are more than enough for the Prelims and Mains Exam.

Because it might be till the time you are referring UPSC books which not much worthy.

Let’s Drive in it…

As we all know that IAS Exam is one of the toughest exams in India.

So, it’s become very important that candidates do the right preparation to achieve their goal and if we talk that what is the first thing in which you need more focus, is the correct book collection.

You will get the 100+ books in the market which claims that it is the best UPSC book for UPSC Exam.

Moreover, it’s not true, and as candidates need to cover lots of topics. I would suggest going with the right collection.

Maybe you are thinking about, what books you can go with.

Books for Prelims or Books for Mains.

I have researched deep inside the UPSC books list for you guys and read lots of toper words in their interview (when they are in preparation mode) plus after seeing the pattern of the exam paper.

We have shortlisted some best available UPSC books in the market.

In addition, you can buy these books easily through or if you are getting them from anywhere else also please go for it.

But if might be you will not get these books to list anywhere, then you can buy through

NCERT Textbooks (Most Important)

  • Start with – NCERT Test Books from 6 – 12 Plus Important NCERT notes for UPSC preparation.
  • Contain Reliable & Authentic information.
  • IAS Segment Comprising from Art and Culture & History.
  • Ancient Indian History (By Burjor Avari)
  • Modern Indian History (By Sonali Bansal)
  • Medieval Indian History (By Captivating)
  • Geography

After that, buy NCERT books for UPSC as a bundle.

UPSC Previous Year Question Papers (Most Important)

  • Kiran Prakashan book for GS Paper 1 and GS Paper 2 (CSAT) is a great selection for UPSC Prelims.
  • IAS General Studies Preliminary Topic-wise Solved Papers (Paper 1 & 2) – By New Vishal’s.
  • 24 Years UPSC IAS/IPS Prelims Topic-wise Solved Paper 1 & 2 (1995-2018) By Disha Experts.

GS Manuals for Prelims (All-in-One Guides)

  • General Studies Paper 1 Manual – It will help you to understand UPSC requirements, so that preparation will be a bit easy for you. By McGraw Hill, & Pearson.
  • General Studies Paper 2 Manual – By Pearson or Arihant (any one of them).

Standard Textbook for UPSC Prelims

Also, as per UPSC syllabus each subject textbooks I have mentioned here. So, you can click and check the book’s details down below.

I have also written about the salary of IAS Officer which you can read here in deep.

Indian Geography and World Geography

  1. Geography of India- Majid Husain (Indian Geography)
  2. Oxford School Atlas- Oxford (Geography)
  3. World Geography- Majid Husain (World Geography)
  4. Human Geography – Majid Husain (Human Geography – Social & Economic)
  5. Physical geography- Savindra Singh (Physical Geography)
  6. Certificate Phy and Human Geography – By G Cheng Leong. (Physical and Human Geography)

Indian History and Culture

  1. History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra. Medieval Indian – Text Book
  2. India’s Ancient Past – R.S.Sharma. (Ancient Indian – Text Book)
  3. The Wonder That Was India – A.L.Bhasham. (Ancient India & Culture)
  4. History of Modern India – Bipan Chandra.
  5. Ancient and Medieval India – Poonam Dalal (For quick reference- Culture)
  6. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipin Chandra. (Modern India – Read like a story)
  7. Modern Indian History – By Sonali Bansal.
  8. Indian Art & Culture – -Nitin Singhania (For quick reference – Modern India)
  9. A Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum (For quick reference – Modern India)

Indian Economy

  1. Indian Economy Key Concepts (By Shankarganesh)
  2. Economic Dev & policies in India (By Jain & Ohri)
  3. Economic Survey – Indian Economy Trend and Statistics)
  4. Indian Economy (By Ramesh Singh)
  5. The Indian Economy (By Sanjiv Verma) – Advanced Economy Topics)

Indian Polity and Constitution

  1. Introduction to the Constitution of India (By D.D.Basu)
  2. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examination – M. Laxmikanth

Science and Technology

  1. Science and Technology in India (By Ravi P Agahari)
  2. Science & Technology (Sheelwant Singh)

Current Affairs (Most Important)

  1. India Year Book – Current Affairs
  2. Manorama Year Book –Current Affairs

Environment (Biodiversity and Climate Change, Ecology)

  1. Environment (By Shankar)
  2. Environmental Studies from Crisis to Cure (By Rajagopalan)


  1. Verbal & Non- Verbal Reasoning – R.S.Aggarwal (Paper 2)
  2. CSAT Manual (By Tata McGraw Hill)
  3. Cracking the CSAT (By Arihant) – CSAT Part 2
  4. Analytical reasoning (By M.K.Pandey) – CSAT Paper 2

Through these books, you can set your six-month preparation goal.

I have also written about the best NCERT Books Apps with NCERT Solution Apps for more convenience.

Additional UPSC Books for Mains

  1. UPSC Mains General Studies 1 Paper – India since Independence
  2. India after Gandhi (By Ramchandra Guha)
  3. India since Independence (By Bipan Chandra)
  4. Post-Independence India (By Sonali Bansal)

UPSC Mains General Studies 1 paper – Indian Society

  1. Indian Society (By Senthil)
  2. Social Problems in India (By Ram Ahuja)
  3. Social Change in Modern India (By M.N. Srinivas)

UPSC Mains General Studies 1 Paper – World History

  1. World History (By Krishna Reddy)
  2. Modern World History (By Uddipan)
  3. History of Medieval India (By Satish Chandra)
  4. History of the World (By Arjun Dev)
  5. Mastering Modern World History (By Norman Lowe)

UPSC (IAS) Essay Paper for Mains

  1. Essays for Civil Services (By Pulkit Khare)
  2. Selected Contemporary Essays (By Saumitra Mohan)

UPSC Mains General Studies 2 Paper – Governance

  1. Current Issues (Today Hots News)
  2. Governance in India (By Laxmikanth)
  3. Esencia Current Affairs
  4. Governance in India (By M.Karthikeyan)

UPSC Mains General Studies 2 Paper – Foreign Relations of India

  1. India and the World (By Surendra Kumar)
  2. India’s Foreign Policy – Rajiv Sikri
  3. International Relations (By Pavneet Singh)
  4. India Polity – M.Laxmikanth
  5. Pax Indica (Shashi Tharoor)

UPSC Mains General Studies 3 Paper – Internal Security

  1. Indian’s internal Security (By Rajkumar)
  2. India’s National Security: A Reader (By Bajpai)
  3. Internal Security (By M.karthikeyan)

UPSC Mains General Studies 4 Paper – Integrity, Ethics, and Aptitude.

  1. Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude (By Subha Rao)
  2. Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude – Niraj Kumar
  3. Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude (By M.Karthikeyan)

ALL in One Manuals for UPSC Main Exam (Most Important).

  • General Studies (GS 1) – Arihant
  • General Studies (GS 2) – Arihant
  • General Studies (GS 3) – Arihant
  • General Studies (GS 4) – Arihant

UPSC Interview Related Books

  1. Esencia Current Affairs
  2. Civil Services Interview (By Madhukar)

UPSC Mains Previous Year Solved Question Paper Books

  1. IAS Mains General Studies Solved Papers (By Heed)
  2. IAS General Studies Main Solved Papers (New Vishal)
  3. IAS Mains Chapterwise Solved Papers General Studies (Arihant)

Free Online Resources for UPSC Prelims and Mains

  1. IGNOU Books Download.
  2. NCERT Books Download.
  3. Kurukshetra magazine Download.


As you know that in the market now New NCERT books are available too.

So, it’s normal that you have a question in your mind like:

Which is better Old NCERT or New NCERT Books for Preparation?

What is the major difference between Old NCERT Books or New NCERT Books?

Or maybe you are confused.

What are Old NCERT Books means?

No Worries.

Today, your confusion is going to be no more. Therefore today, I am sharing some facts related to NCERT Books.

Old NCERT book is good for deep knowledge and learning.

In other words, Candidates of 1990 and 2000 using Old NCERT books only.

In addition a few Famous writers, for example, Bipin Chandra and R.S.Sharma, etc…

Old NCERT is a little boring as compared to New NCERT books because it doesn’t have photos and graphics and also has black and white print.

But, Old NCERT books content is king it gives you a deep knowledge of every topic, and today also most of the toper candidates referees these books.

Similarly, the New NCERT book also has good content.

However, New NCERT books have good navigation and fast topic cover content.

So, if you are running short of time then you can differently start with New NCERT.

If You Are Looking For old NCERT Books.

Today’s date you will get these books most probably in the old book library or in old candidates’ hands.

In conclusion, Old or New both are good for your preparation.

Plus it depends also on student understanding capability and at the end of the day its only matter that you gain good knowledge no matter what.

So, if you have known issues with long content information along with no image then you can go with Old NCERT books.

However, if you are looking for quick information with good navigation then better start with New Books.

Note: If you are looking for a copy of Old NCERT books in a market then be careful because many of the bookstores say that they have a copies of Old NCERT books.

In other words, these copy-printed books are how real we don’t know.

So, there is not any huge difference between Old and New just content & navigation are a bit different.

Moreover, no matter which books (old or new) you start with, matters only that you give your 100% in your preparation.

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UPSC (IAS) Books in Hindi: (Useful Books for Hindi Medium).

We do have lost of students, who prepared the UPCS in Hindi medium. Apart from English, many students opt for Hindi as well.

However, the selection of the book is important for the Hindi medium too. In the market, you will find the Hindi IAS preparation book.

But, still, you have to be sure which book is worthy of you. Hence, I have prepared the list of Hindi medium books below. Which is going to make your IAS preparation much easier.

Hindi Medium (NCERT Books Set) For UPSC Exam.

This is a whole set of NCERT Books. Author by Contributor, well written about IAS, civil service, IFS, and many other exam books.

  • NCERT Books Set For Hindi Medium

I will suggest checking the product details too before buying books. This book of the set provides you with more than 25 books.

Indian History Books.

  1. Written by Ram Sharan Shar – Prarambhik Bharat Ka Parichay.
  2. Written by Chandra Satish – Madhyakaleen Bharat Rajniti, Samaj or Sanskr.
  3. Written by Bipan Chandra – Bharat Ka Rashtria Aandolan.
  4. Written by Meenakshi Kant – Bharatiya Kala, Sanskriti Evam Virasat.
  5. Written by Bipan Chandra – Adhunik Bharat ka Itihas.
  6. Written by Indira Arjun dev and Arjun dev – Samkalin VIshva Ka Itihas.
  7. Written by Ramchandra Guha – Bharat Gandhi Ke Baad.

Indian Polity Books.

  1. Written by V.N.Khanna – Bharat Ki Videsh Niti.
  2. Written by M.Laxmikanth – Bharat Ki Rajvyavastha (Old Edition).
  3. Written by D.D.Basu – Bharat Ka Samvidhan (Ek Parichaya).
  4. Written by Subhash Kashyap – Hamari Sansad.

Geography Books.

  1. Written by Majid Husain – Bhautik Bhugol – Hindi.
  2. Written by Inhouse – Orient blackswan Viswa Atlas.
  3. Written by Husain – Bharat Evam VLshwa Ka Bhugol (Old Edition).

Environment Books.

  1. Written by Majid Husain – Paryavaran Evam Parisithiki (Civil Sewa Pariksha Hetu).
  2. Written by R.Rajagopalan – Paryavaran Evam Parishthitiki (Environmental Studies).
  3. Economy Books.
  4. Written by Ramesh Singh – Bharatiya Arthavyavastha (Old Edition).

Indian Society.

  1. Written by Ram Ahuja – Samajik Samasyayein.
  2. Science Books.
  3. Written by Spectrum Editorial board – Vigyan Evum Prodhyogiki.

General Knowledge Books.

  1. Written by Manohar Pandey – Vastunisth Samanya Gyan Adhyaywar 6250.
  2. Written by Manohar Pandey – Samanya Gyan 2018.


Finding UPSC books in PDF files is quite hard. As UPSC exam is one of the highly competitive syllabus merits.

We all know that NCERT books are more helpful in UPSC exams. So the right collection of UPSC PDF books is very important for you.

Here I am also going to tell you where you can able to find the free NCERT books too.

These NCERT Books not only free but you can download these books from my recommended website too.

All toper of IAS exams always prefers to complete the NCERT books and NIOS material first. I have already provided the NCERT book list above which will reduce your stress and time.

Now the question comes where do you able to find the Free NCERT books. So I will recommend a visit to for Free NCERT books.

I have provided few links below which will help you to find the free NCERT books on the website.

For free UPSC books in PDF please visit and download the UPSC books list pdf.

There you will get the E-books for the important NCERT exams too. Which is also available in PDF mode.

Related Post:

What is the Salary Of an IAS Officer?

Books For UPSC Beginners.

UPSC Previous Years Question Papers.

How to Prepare For the Prelims Exam in a Short time.