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Books For UPSC IAS Prelims 2014

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.