What Are The Best Books To Prepare For UPSC Exam

By Malavikka

The Union Public Service Commission conducts civil services exams every year to induct candidates from diverse backgrounds into government departments such as IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS and so on. The entrance exam comprises two levels - preliminary and mains.

Rigorous practise and dedication is required to clear these exams as it is one of the toughest tests in the country, given that lakhs of applicants write it and the best of them need to be filtered for selection.


Here are some of the best books to help you prepare for the UPSC exam that is just few months away.

General Studies

General Studies

General studies comprises two papers, I and II. MHE is one of the authors who has covered the topic the best.

General Studies Paper I

  • General Studies Manual Paper I by Manohar Pandey
  • General Studies Manual Paper I by MHE

General Studies Paper II

  • General Studies Paper II by MHE

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Indian History

Indian History

Indian History is vast and rich. Here are some of the books that you could count on to cover the maximum of the history.

  • History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra
  • India's Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
  • History of Medieval India by Chandra Satish
  • Mastering Modern World History (Palgrave Master Series) by Norman Lowe
Indian Culture

Indian Culture

The culture of India has evolved over time and what is now is the modern and accommodates cultures that is far beyond what was earlier. Take a look at these books to study the chronicles of Indian culture.

  • The Wonder that was India by AL Basham
  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
Indian Geography

Indian Geography

Although Geography is something that we believe is unchanged for quite some time, the transformation that India underwent before and after independence is something that should be focused on and here are the books you must refer to for this subject.

  • Geography of India by Majid Husain
  • Oxford School Atlas: India's Most Trusted Atlas by Oxford University Press
  • Indian and World Geography: Objective Questions with Explanatory Notes for Civil Services Preliminary Examination by D.R. Khullar

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Indian Polity

Indian Polity

Polity refers to politics and governance. Here are the books to study all the political events that took place in India in depth.

  • Indian Polity 5th Edition by M. Laxmikanth
  • Indian Polity, Governance and National Movement for Civil Services Preliminary Examination - Paper 1 by N D Arora, Access Publishing
  • Magbook Indian Polity & Governance by Arihant Publication
Indian Economy

Indian Economy

Indian economy is an important subject as it tells you about the financial status of our country and it is a vital subject for you to become eligible as a civil servant and contribute to the nation's growth.

  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Economic Survey 2016-17 - Import, March 5th, 2017 by Ministry of Finance, Government of India


As an officer in the civil services, taking care of the environmental concerns in the country is one of the important aspects especially ethically. Check out the best books to study for this subject:

  • Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure by R. Rajagopalan
  • Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains and Other Competitive Examinations - October 2015 by D R Khullar

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Science And Technology

Science And Technology

After all the knowledge incurred, science and technology plays a key role in delivering the knowledge and making the optimum use of information through Information Technology (IT). Here are the books that will give you a good idea of the technological requirements:

  • Technology Economic Development Bio Diversity Environment, Security & Disaster Management - Paper 3 by Arihant Experts
  • Challenges to Internal Security of India by Ashok Kumar and Vipul
  • Ethics Integrity & Aptitude - Paper 4 - 2017 by Arihant Experts

Click here for the complete list of reference books for UPSC.

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