Books For UPSC IAS Prelims 2014

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Book List For Mains

Book List For Optional Subjects

A Must Have Book For Mains Guidance 

Apart from NCERT books mentioned in the comments section of this post, and The Hindu, a monthly magazine (any standard one – not all) and a business newspaper, following are the books one should compulsorily read to get a strong base for clearing the Preliminary exam.

(This is just a list – as more number of aspirants are requesting, I am putting it here. Later a detailed strategy for prelims will follow)

Books for Prelims:


  1. From Plassey to Partition – A History Of Modern India  (A must buy in my opinion)orA Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum Publications (For Mains, you should read the book by Bipan Chandra, but it is better if one can finish it before Prelims if you have more time)
  2. The Indian Economy – Sanjiv Verma (this is for people who find economy difficult/distasteful -a must read before you hop for other books)
  3. Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition (2013) – Ramesh Singh (This book is now universally recommended by every one – should be read only after reading the above book by Sanjiv Verma)
  4. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition – Laxmikanth (For prelims you don’t have read any other book on Polity except this one. However, for Mains, you should read D D Basu as it helps you to form opinions to attempt some difficult questions in the exam)
  5. Certified Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  6. Environment & Ecology: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Disaster Management : General Studies for Civil Services (Main) Examination – Paper II and IV   (This is both for Prelims and Mains  )
  7. 1000 Plus Questions on Indian Polity: General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination (Paper – 1)
    (Purely for Practice purpose – don’t expect questions from these books to appear in the exam)
  8. The Pearson CSAT Manual 2013:  ( This book is for not reading the material inside. Buy it for Questions inside – for practice purpose. Strictly for beginners) or you can buy this: General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2013  (Again for Questions – buy any one)  – Remember to buy the latest Editions!!
  9.  India 2013 – Publication Division, Govt. of India  (Buy the latest edition next year, or even this one will do)
  10. Indian Polity Question Bank – TMH
  11. General Science Question Bank – TMH
  12. Geography (India+World) Question Bank – TMH
  13. Social & Economic Development Question Bank – TMH
  14. 14000+ MCQs For Paper-I Prelims


Actually, you don’t need any special books for Paper- II if you have some basic knowledge in Maths and relatively good in basic English. But, for most beginners, especially from Arts/Commerce background, some basic idea is needed on Paper – II, if not unnecessarily they start to think that Paper-II is full of Maths, reasoning and its is very difficult etc.

  1. Cracking the CSAT Civil Services Aptitude Test with Solved Papers 
  2. Tata Mcgraw Hill Manual of GS Paper-II – 2014

Above books must be read only after completely reading  NCERT textbooks:

Class VI to Class XII – Social Science – (Geography, Polity, History, Economics and Sociology – Class XI and XII)

Class VI to X Science – for non-Science students + Class XII Biology last 5 chapters.

  • amit

    sir these books are available in hindi also?

  • Visha Sitra

    Please post the strategy for prelims asap… Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Hopefully it will be there soon. 🙂

      • shubham tripathi

        plz post the strategy for prelims sir

  • pranav e

    i would like to know about books for ancient indian history and science

  • Ambika Prasad Mishra

    please make a list of books that are useful for public adminstration paper-2.

  • sachin mayekar

    Sir please tell me a one stop source among bipin chandra,from plassey to partition and comprehensive history of modern india?

    • For Mains, Bipan Chandra


        sir and what about only prelims? is arihant general knowledge books andNCERT BOOKS FROM CLASS 6 TO 12 WILL BE ENOUGH?

  • Raju

    sir, Pl provide the list of books required for the preparation of compulsory Hindi paper in main and guidance for the same.

  • jyotsana

    introductio to constitiution of india by sharma and brij kishore .. is it good for studying prelims?? pl lemme knw

  • klsanil

    which ncert books i need to buy the hard copies sir ???

  • monica dixit

    is it necessary to prepare notes of all NCERT book, i mean from class 6th to 12th(all subjects) ????

    • You don’t have to prepare notes from all the NCERT books. Give more importance to 11th and 12th books.

  • tanya

    I am a fresher and was thinking of buying the pearson general studies manual .However, the post above suggests that its mainly for mcq practice and not the material in it per say.
    what does that mean .?
    if that’s the case ,will the ncerts , subject specific books (aforementioned), standard newspaper and magazines suffice our prep for the prelims?
    ps. m not interested in taking coaching( i hope its the right step)


  • gaurav sikarwar

    Thank u sir..

  • gaurav sikarwar

    Sir it is easy to find notes, to update for the student who belong to english medium.
    Is there any best site for hindi medium studunt ?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Respected sir
    Sir please suggest me the list of books which will helpful for preparing general studies for administrative exams..
    I will most gratitude towards you..

  • Pooja

    can anyone upload old NCERT of Ancient and medieval History????
    I am from remote village of U.P. I dont have access to such book.
    Kindly help!!!

    • kaushlendra kumar

      i kaushlendra from delhi may u contact old ncert 08800355043

      Hope is it useful for you.


      • Thank you and wish you a very happy new year too.


      • shekhar shaiwaj

        i tried to reach you at both the numbers provided by you here, but could not do so may be because of some technical hitches, anyways, i am interested in taking guidance from you. could you help me in this regard.could you call me on my cell no.08757370413. a simple message that you are ready to talk will also do. i will call you.


  • Midhun

    sir, can you please post the strategy for Prelims for beginners, if possible… it would be really helpful…

    • Yes I will. Shortly.

      • sirhan

        sir please post the strategy soon specially topics under governance and environment .pls detail us what we should follow

  • Thankeu for the above information
    and for all those who are Finding it hard to prepapre for IAS in English ..
    Prepare for IAS in a very easy and smooth manner in your favourite medium i.e HINDI under the guidance of highly qualified professionals. Learn more at :

  • Very Interesting and thanks for sharing useful information

  • jagadish

    sir, plz suggest me important books for mains optional subject Agriculture

  • Dakshayani

    i have visited your site and got information regardin prelims and mains exam books…
    Sir, im gng to complete ma graduation in 2015 n aimed to challenge prelims in the year of 2016, So from when i should start ma prep and how to start?? How to face those competative xams??
    Requestin you to help me out from this confusion..

  • vaishali

    thanx 4 vry useful information, hope urs guidance wil be useful in future also…

  • Rohind

    Dear Sir,
    Thanks a lot for all your articles..It is of big help to newbies like me..Could you also advise on the effective strategy to prepare for prelims

  • Navneet

    which book should we read for science and technology for prelims as well as mains??

  • prakash

    thank u

  • komal

    Plzzz tell me the best strategy for csat…. nd how vl i prepare mcqs from The Hindu????

  • Navneet

    Sir, i am waiting for your reply

  • alokkalagi

    `sir im reading DD BASU(polity) AND BIPIN CHANDRA for prelims. will it be useful? or should i go for laxmikanth and spectrum???

  • anil

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for valuable support. Could you please share subject vise NCERT book list for UPSC CIVIL SERVICES. and i want to know which newspapere is best to read in mumbai. The Hindu is hard to available in Mumbai the copy get after 1-2 days.
    i am very thankful to you sir.

    Thank you
    anil bobde

    • u can subscribe online version of Hindu. And it costs less than the printed version 🙂

    • sachin mayekar

      Hey Anil,
      The Hindu is the best newzpaper not only in mumbai but in all india for upsc aspirants. So 1 or 2 days late delivery is not a problem. If still there is a problem then go with ‘Indian Express’, it is also good. Online subsrciption is good option but i think ‘Insights daily current events’ can save your both time & money.

      • anil bobde

        Hi Sachin,
        Thank you so much for your reply. but what about the language. I heard the The Hindu language is harder than Indian Express. Am i right. Asper the Shilpa Mam suggest me online subscription but. I am full time working professional so wont get time to read the newspaper online. so i read newspaper while traveling. I am still waiting for my another question answer about the NCERT BOOKS for UPSC. And It is also useful For MPSC.
        Thank You
        anil bobde

  • siddharth

    HI . firstly i am glad that i have finally found a comprehensive site which has an all round approach . extensive upsc focused coverage of INSIGHTS is much appreciated from my side . my problem is csat . and i am priorly aware of it already . comprehensions and reasoning is not the cause of concern right now . i had attended classes as well but they really turned out disasterous coz i grasped everything in class and failed miserably while practising myself . i am worried of the mathematical part . kindly assist . regards . siddharth the godlike 😉 hail fuhrer .

  • manohar

    Hello,, sir which book good for CSAT paper -2 ?
    R S Agarval or TMH ?

  • manohar

    Ple ,,, reply quckly

    • TMH is better. Don’t buy Agarwal.

  • neha

    sir please guide me maths book 4 mains.

  • pravin rathi

    hi sir, could u plz post the mains syllabus for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th paper.

  • askhita

    i am a fresher and want to study for ias exam 2014…can u plzz tell me the right books from where i can study? thanks sir

  • nitish

    pls suggest books for sanskrit mains books
    for upsc ias exam

  • nitish

    pls suggest books for sanskrit literature as mains in upsc ias



  • Sree

    How to prepare geology as a optial?

  • sir i have tmh general studies.recently my friend gifted me Access Publishing general studies paper 1 and 2.i found them very good .have you seen the later two.please give me your opinion about these books as majid husain and khullar ar part of these books.

  • shyam

    i’m also excited for this exam its my chilhood dream

  • shyam

    sir can you tell me some necessary books for prelims exam

  • i recommend Access publishing general studies books to all casndidates as they are really well written.please give a review for these books also.

  • jaideep Singh Sambyal

    Sir plz give me detailed strategy for prem 2014 . But I can study after 26 march

  • jaideep Singh Sambyal

    Sir plz give me detailed strategy for prem 2014 . But I can study after 26 march becoz of my state mains


    sir, which book refer for IAS prelims (2014), please give me a suggestion.

  • Ankit Raj

    Sir, is indian economy by sanjeev verma sufficient for prelims or I should refer some another book.

    • Any one book is sufficient for economy + regular reading of current events.

      • sirhan

        sir when u l post the detailed strategy for prelims ….sir september me u said ki it will be shortly but sir bhut time ho gya pls post it i really am in need of that pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sir

  • Raj Chakravarty

    Dear Sir,

    I cannot find the link to a detailed strategy for prelims. Can you post it?

  • venkat

    sir..I am attempting prelims 2014 for the first time..pls post me best prelims and mains books..pls pls…

  • G.Rajitha

    Sir may i know which books to read for prelims

  • Arijit

    Sir, will NCERT books on Economics (Class 11 and 12) suffice to prepare for the prepare?

    • Arijit

      I mean to prepare for the prelims.

  • Hi frends ….

    • poornima mathpati

      Sir.. from which month to which month current affairs will cover

  • LongNose

    Where are the prelims question papers of 2013? and the complete syllabus too???

    • LongNose

      I dont know so me asks !

  • mamta

    Please share a detailed strategy for prelims preparation same as you have done for mains examinations.


    Sir when can we expect mock test for PAPER II….

  • Arti

    Sir, Is only ncert book from class (VI to XII)of all subjects is sufficient for preparation of of prelim apart from current happenings and GK.

    • ravi chandra kumar reddy

      Please inform to that of syllabus ravi chandra 9989615806

  • Deepthi M

    Sir,is it necessary to go through ncerts of 11th and 12th for physics,chemistry,biology?

    • Only 12th biology is important. Not all.

      • Deepthi M


  • Gaurav

    While Reading Economics NCERT OF 12th standard, I came across numerous graphs and equations.
    How to approach these textbook for Pre purpose. Can i skip 12 Eco ncert as they are providing lot of technical detail

  • arul

    hi sir..i am new aspirant for preparing IFS.i want details about upsc group 1 prelims exam..pls guide me sir..

  • Anu

    Sir, when will you post the strategy for Prelims for beginners.. we all are waiting for it eagerly… :/ :/ ..

  • Deepthi

    Sir,is ncert of History class 11th necesarry..It contains lots of years and quite confusing…please reply..

  • Deepthi

    Sir,is ncert of History class 11th necesarry..It contains lots of years and quite confusing…please reply..thanks in advance

  • Sarthak Ranjan Dash

    Sir.please send the detailed book list to my email.I will be waiting for your response. I have also visited other websites.But this website is quite influencing.I will read the above books also. As I am 18 years old, I have a lot of time to prepare.But your guidance is cordially required to get my dream in my hand…..

  • Dear insights, you have mentioned about two books for CSAT.. I cannot afford to buy both.. Can you please suggest which is better to buy out of the two of them? Arihant or McGraw Hill? Thank you.

  • Oldton

    @ vinay sir & others
    sir today i practiced csat 2 for first time from tmh ( with 60-70 % seriousness) i got 135 background is btech on wards what will b better only practicing sample sets or going through each sub-sections of the syllabus…i am targeting around 180 on this paper…if possible suggest me…..( in another way…due to financial constraints i am also preparing for sbi po to be held on mid june..for that i will be devoting two hours for DI and reasoning… from 5th may onwards …what should i do apart from that for pre…atleast how many practice paper b4 prelims to get around 180)
    thank u

  • Sir, which book is better, the Manorama Year Book or India 2014?

    • ravi

      india 2014

  • Runald Jadhav

    Sir I am Runald Jadhav I wants to become IAS officer now only I have completed my puc exam sir plz give me the information about good books for both preliminary and mains because I want to start study from now only plz

  • brillant piece of information, I had come to know about your web-page from my friend hardkik, chennai,i have read atleast 9 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your webpage gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i’m already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanx a million once again, Regards, sbi po 2014

  • Lalit Katheria

    Please tell me that from which month to which month the current affairs part for prilims-2014 will cover.

  • shobha

    Hi Sir,
    Please suggest books to prepare for ias civil service preliminary exam, still i didnt start preparing, so please suggest some important books. send that books details to my personal mail id, i will wait for u r reply.
    Thanks and Regards,

  • vinay

    plz suggest which book should i buy for paper 2…

  • I have a list of books details which we need to refer for IAS prilims as well as mains.

  • I have a list of books details which we need to refer for IAS prilims as well as me on 8095030204

  • shobha cn u cal me

  • shubham

    please tell me whether one should buy tmh manual for paper I (pre).

  • Ajit rout

    The way u help us is great and your effort had helped many aspirants to get success. I want to know about my subject as an aspirants of CSE being a inter cwa students. Please inform through my e-mail id.

  • Sourabh Singh dangi

    Sir good afternoon i join BCA. Can i preperation for IAS exam
    Plz tell me soon

  • saswati

    Sir, Presently I am joined PhD. but i have always to do preparation for CSAT. As i am a beginner , plz suggest me from where i have to start. I have to face the next year (2015) civil exam.

  • Ash

    Divya, are u der on whtsapp? i reside outside india.. if u cud hlp me wid ias prelims buklist t’d b f gr8 help

  • Hello sir pls provide prepration strategy for prelim 2015 by topicwise


    Hello sir pls provide prepration strategy for prelim 2015 by topicwise

  • Gobind Kumar Hembram

    Which NCERT books to study for Prelims?Subject and Class?

  • hjain2496

    Instead of reading all these books , can we read the notes of crack IAS ?

  • snmacademy359

    Hello friends, “CURRENT
    AFFAIRS & ISSUES, A 360 DEGREE ANALYSIS”, UNIQUE PUBLISHERS” a book by SNM IAS Academy provided with all your requirements and needs according to the current syllabus.

  • india

    Which NCERTs should follow??? new or old???

  • ram

    These are best books .

  • sankalp

    sir,above u have mentioned the list of ncert books to be read. all the books & all the chapters they content.please,give your valuable guidance as i”m a fresher.please…………


    I have decided to prepare for Civils now at the age of 31. May be I have only one chance as I belong to OBC (If age limit does not change!!!). Surprisingly complete preparation plan ready here. THANKS A LOT TO INSIGHSONINDIA. I’ll follow your plan blindly and confidently.

    • Pradeep

      I think age limit for OBC is 35 years. pls check


        Yeah You are right but I am so worried about the recent news in The Hindu.

  • Amruta Alandkar

    for geography and economy should we refer old ncert’s or new ones… plz reply.. n thank u.. 🙂

    • vishnu

      For economy new version is gud…
      while old ncert contains mor info from geog

  • Reshmi G

    Dear Sir
    Please recommend me some good books to prepare for mains(literature & sociology)

  • mahendra

    sir i want a stratergy for the prelims 2015

  • Ankit Khera

    Hello fellow UPSC Aspirants, I am about to start my preparation for this exam and after lots of research from seniors and various preparation websites , I have picked out these books as the most relevant for the preparation for UPSC Prelims and Mains.

    1. NCERT’s are a must to build up the basics, cover them fast and efficiently and move to the following books

    2. History

    India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra

    Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe

    From Plassey to Partition by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

    3. Geography

    India A Comprehensive Geography by D R Khullar

    Certifical Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng


    Geography of India by Majid Husain

    4. Political Science

    Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth

    Introduction to the Constitution of India by D D Basu

    5. Economics

    Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

    6. Public Administration(My Optional)

    New Horizons of Public Administration by Mohit


    Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad

    IGNOU Notes on Public Policy

    Indian Public Administration by Rajni Goyal

    7. Culture

    Facets of Indian Culture by Spectrum

    8. Science and Technology

    Developments in Science and Technology by Spectrum

    9. Environment

    Environmental Studies From Crisis to Cure by R


    10. Social Problems

    Social Problems in India by Ram Ahuja

    11. Foreign Policy

    India’s Foreign Policy Coping with the Changing World

    by Muchkund Dubey

    12. Internal Security and Disaster Management

    Challenges to Internal Security of India by Ashok Kumar

    and Vipul

    13. Ethics

    Synergy or any good Coaching Institute’s Notes

    14. Current Affairs

    Newspaper – The Hindu , The Indian Express

    Magazines – Yojana, Kurukshetra, Civil Services Chronicles, Pratiyogita Darpan

    Websites –,,

    Year Books – Manorama Year Book, India 2014 Publication


    Journals – IIPa , EPW

    15. Aptitude(CSAT)

    R S Aggarwal

    Hope this helps. All the best. Lets crack this thing.

  • Lavanya.S

    I’m still 18. Could you please guide me,how to start up??

    • Deejith H

      Need a Graduation 1st

  • For beginners free study material including THE HINDU epaper is available on

  • krishna

    Where do i get ncert books..

    • Sanket Phalke

      type ncert in google…dats all

  • Dev Verma

    Great Job Insights. UPSC books and study material can be dowloaded from and everyday THE HINDU epaper can be downloaded from

  • Anshuman Vikash Soni

    Hi anyone doing serious preparation from Kolkata.????

  • Rishabh Dubey

    It is not much important to know that what you have to read in place it is more important that how much you are consistent with your work.There are only some reference books and ncert’s which one have to follow and insightsonindia’s secure initiative on current affairs and strategically prepared timetable.It all will be stuff.

  • avinash

    i was 21 yrs old studying B.Sc(n).i want to know the process of appearing for civil services and also about the papers in mains.i was confused about reffering in,please can anyone give clarification to me.

  • ignited_spark

    Insights have not mentioned the sources for ancient or medieval history..anyone who can guide me sources??

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