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.

  • 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…..

  • komall09

    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

  • debanjanr

    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

  • somya

    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…

  • http://INSIGHTS Divya S

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

  • http://INSIGHTS Divya S

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

  • http://INSIGHTS Divya S

    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

  • kumar

    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???

  • 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.. :)

  • Reshmi G

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