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Reference Books For UPSC Civil Services Mains 2014 (New Pattern Syllabus)


Strategy For Mains Exam

A Guide For Mains – Excellent Book


For UPSC mains one need to supplement their every day Newspaper (The Hindu) reading with certain books to have a deep insight over varied topics that are now part of the new syllabus.

To gain knowledge on diverse topics it is prudent to read standard texts rather than depending on materials provided by various coaching institutions. First hand reading of basic books enables aspirant to tackle questions of different dimensions.

Reading newspaper everyday is sine qua non of UPSC  preparation. A fortnightly magazine like Frontline is a must to enhance understanding about current events related to India and abroad. If possible, also go through The Economist magazine to understand international events.

Following is the list of books that are necessary for UPSC Civil Services Mains exam.

1) Introduction to the Constitution of India

2) India 2014 – Publication Division, Govt.of India 


3) Economic Survey 2013-2014


4) India Since Independence – new edition (Bipan Chandra)


5) India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra

6)Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition (2013) – Ramesh Singh


For Beginners:

The Indian Economy – Sanjiv Verma

Available on Amazon India

8) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition – Laxmikanth


9) Geography of India- Majid Hussain


10) Practical Approach to Ethics and Integrity – D K Balaji


11) India After Gandhi: The History Of The World’s Largest Democracy


12) Mastering Modern World History – New Edition – Norman Lowe

Or Buy this Imported Vesrion updated with in-depth chapters on Arab Spring and 2008 Financial Crisis: Mastering Modern World History -5th Edition, Norman Lowe


13) Trends in Indian Culture and Heritage: For Civil Services


Or this book from Government of India: The Gazetteer of India: History and Culture Vol II


14) Select Constitutions: 16th Edition – S Chand


15) India’s Foreign Policy – Muchkund Dubey


16) Challenge And Strategy : Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy – Rajiv Sikri

(Buy from AMAZON India)

17) History of the World from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty First Century – Arjun Dev (As Norman Lowe is not available anywhere, This is the best book available that covers all the topics)


18) Social Problems in India 2 Edition – Ram Ahuja


19) Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution Review


20) Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design – PRATAPA BHANU MEHTA

21) Certified Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong

22) India’s National Security – A Reader (Oxford University Press – Important for Paper-IV GS)

Available On Amazon India

23) Indian Social System – Ram Ahuja



Other Books Civil Services Aspirants Must Read (DURING LEISURE):

1) The Wonder That Was India- A.L.Basham

2) India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age – Gurcharan Das

3) Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century – Shashi Tharoor (Pre-order 30% off )

4) An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

5) The Argumentative Indian : Writings on Indian History – Amartya Sen

Of course you need to read NCERT texts as well. The above list is for reference and reading as well. As you have plenty of time for Mains, you can savour these books leisurely.

Don’t forget: The Hindu is the mother of Mains preparation now. Cut and Paste every article related to syllabus from October 2012 to November 2013!