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IAS Books for Civil Services Prelims and Mains Exam Preparation

If you have the question “What are the books needed to clear IAS?” in your mind, we hope this post to clear all your doubts. Taking inputs from toppers, a detailed list of the best IAS books available in the market as per the latest UPSC syllabus for each subject in Prelims and Mains is given below. Aspirants may click on each link to buy books online at discounted prices. Links to free IAS online study materials are also provided in this post (see last section). Take maximum benefit of the same. All the best!

Essential IAS Books For UPSC Prelims (Click on the links to buy online)

  1. History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  2. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  3. India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma. (History)
  4. History Of Medieval India – Satish Chandra. (History)
  5. The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham. (Culture)
  6. Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania. (Culture)
  7. Geography of India – Majid Husain. (Geography)
  8. Oxford School Atlas – Oxford. (Geography)
  9. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong. (Geography)
  10. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth. (Polity)
  11. Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh. (Economy)
  12. Economic Survey. (Economy)
  13. Science and Technology in India – TMH. (Science and Technology)
  14. Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – Rajagopalan. (Environment)
  15. Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains – Khuller. (Environment)
  16. India Year Book (Current Affairs)
  17. Manorama Yearbook. (Current Affairs)
  18. CSAT Paper – 2 Manual by TMH or CSAT-II – Arihant (CSAT – Paper 2)
  19. Analytical Reasoning – M. K. Pandey (CSAT – Paper 2: Analytical Reasoning)
  20. Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R. S.Aggarwal (CSAT Paper 2: Reasoning)

Additional IAS Books for UPSC Mains (Click on the links to buy online)

  1. Contemporay Essays by Ramesh Singh OR 151 ESSAYS For UPSC Mains (Essay Paper)
  2. India After Gandhi – Ramchandra Guha (History – GS1)
  3. Norman Lowe OR History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur (World History – GS1)
  4. Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja. (Indian Society – GS1)
  5. IAS Mains General Studies Paper 2 (Arihant Manual – GS2)
  6. Governance in India for CSE. (Governance – GS2)
  7. Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor. (Foreign Policy – GS2)
  8. India and the World by Surendra Kumar. (Foreign Policy – GS2)
  9. IAS Mains General Studies – GS3. (Arihant Manual – GS3)
  10. India’s National Security: A Reader. (Internal Security – GS3)
  11. Challenges to Internal Security of India. (Internal Security – GS3)
  12. Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. ( Ethics – GS4)
  13. IAS Mains General Studies – Ethics. ( Arihant Manual – GS4)

PS: Many books for UPSC Civil Service Main Exam overlap with books recommended for Prelims, except the mentioned additional books for topics like Foreign Relations, Internal Security, Ethics etc.

IAS Books for Optional Subjects and Additional Reference (Click on the links to buy online)

  • Books for Optional subjects in UPSC Mains.
  • Additional books for reference – Prelims and Mains.
  • IAS Books in Hindi: List of Useful Books For Hindi Medium Aspirants.
  • Latest IAS Books: Click To Buy New Releases For UPSC Preparation.

IAS Manuals and Previous Year Question Papers (Click on the links to buy online)

  1. General Studies For Civil Services Preliminary Examination – TMH. (GS Problem Solving)
  2. UPSC Civil Services Prelims in 60 days – Rakesh Dwivedi. (Revision)
  3. IAS Prelims 21 Years General Studies Topic-Wise Solved Papers – Disha.
  4. IAS (Pre.) Solved Papers General Studies wih CSAT Papers – Arihant.
  5. IAS Mains Civil Services Main Examination: General Studies Chapter-wise Solved Papers.


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    Ethics by G Subbarao>>Buy Now (flipkart)




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