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Best General Studies Booklist for UPSC IAS

UPSC General Studies Books

Recommended Books for UPSC General Studies

The Foundation and the First Line of reading while preparing for the Preliminary Test and Main Examination is the 18 Volumes of ‘Yellow Books’ on General Studies and the Monthly Current Affairs Digest published by Vajirao and Reddy Institute. Apart from these Volumes, the aspirants should study the following books:


Basic Books:

  1. NIOS course books for classes XI and XII on - Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, National Movement & Contemporary World and Culture of India. (All these are available in PDF format on internet)

Advance Level Books:

  1. India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma published by Oxford University Press )

  2. A History of Ancient & Early Medieval India by Upinder Singh

  3. History of Medieval India (800–1700 AD) by Satish Chandra published by Orient Longman

  4. History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra (2009 Edition)

  5. India's Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra & Others

  6. India After Independence (1947 - 2000) by Bipin Chandra & Others

  7. From Plassey To Partition And After by Sekhar Bandopadhyaya

World History:

  1. The Story of Civilization, Part 2 by Arjun Dev, NCERT

  2. Contemporary World History for class XII (Old NCERT Book)

  3. Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe


  1. Certificate Physical & Human Geography (Oxford) by Goh Cheng Leong

  2. NCERTs (New Editions)

  • XI Standard: (1) India - Physical Environment (2) Fundamentals of Physical Geography

  • XII Standard: (1) India - People & Economy (2) Fundamentals of Human Geography

3. School Atlas - Orient Black Swan

4. Indian Geography by D. R. Khullar

Social Issues

  1. XI Standard NCERT on Indian Society (Chapters on Unity & Diversity and Population Issues)

  2. XII Standard NCERT (Chapters on Communalism, Secularism and Urban Issues such as Poverty, Housing, etc.)

  3. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

Indian Polity

  1. Constitution of India at Work (Class XI) NCERT Publication

  2. Indian Polity by Laxmikant

  3. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

  4. Yojana Magazine

Governance Issues

  1. From Government to Governance by Kuldeep Mathur

  2. Ethics in Governance, ARC Report

  3. Citizen Centric Administration (Chapters 2, 5, 6, 7 & 8 only and box items in the report)

Developmental Issues

  1. Human Development Report & World Development Report

  2. Panchayati Raj in India by Kuldeep Mathur

  3. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

  4. Kurukshetra & Yojana Magazines

International Relations

  1. India’s Foreign Policy Since Independence by V.P. Dutt

  2. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

Indian Economy

  1. Indian Economic Development XI Standard NCERT

  2. Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma

  3. Introductory Macro Economics XII Standard NCERT (Ignore all diagrams & mathematical formulas)

  4. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

  5. Economics Dictionary published by Collins & Penguin

  6. Economic Survey 2017 - 18 & 2018 - 19 (to be out in Feb 2019, only recommended chapters)

Ecology & Environment

  1. Certificate Physical & Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong (Second Half of the Book)

  2. XII Standard NCERT Book on Biology (Chapters pertaining to Ecology)

  3. India Year Book (Chapters on Environment)

  4. Chapter on Climate Change from Economic Survey

  5. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

Security Issues

  1. India’s Security in a Turbulent World by Jasjit Singh, published by National Book Trust of India

  2. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

Science & Technology

  1. VIII, IX, X Standard NCERT books on Biology

  2. The Hindu or Indian Express Newspaper

  3. Monthly Magazine ‘Science Reporter for Science & Technology’

Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

  1. Ethics in Governance, ARC Report

  2. Lexicon by Chronicle Publications

  3. The Book on Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude published by Access Publication