10 Essential Books for UPSC Preparation: Subject-wise Guide

Preparing for the UPSC exam is not an easy task. One must have a well-thought-out plan and the right study material to crack this test. There are several books available in the market that claim to be the best for preparation of UPSC but one has to choose books that suit the exam demand and syllabus. This blog post presents a subject-wise guide on 10 essential books that can highly boost your UPSC preparation in a significant way.
1. History:

"India's Struggle for Independence" by Bipan Chandra

"History of Modern India" by Rajiv Ahir

For an in-depth understanding of India's history, these books provide comprehensive coverage from the colonial era to the post-independence period.

2. Geography:

"Certificate Physical and Human Geography" by Goh Cheng Leong

"Indian and World Geography" by Majid Husain

These books are invaluable resources for mastering both physical and human geography, offering a detailed insight into geographical concepts and their applications.

3. Polity:

"Indian Polity" by M. Laxmikanth

"Introduction to the Constitution of India" by D.D. Basu

Laxmikanth's book is considered the bible of Indian Polity, while Basu's work provides a lucid understanding of the Constitution.

4. Economics:

"Indian Economy" by Ramesh Singh

"Economic Development in India" by Uma Kapila

Both these books cover economic concepts, policies, and development in India, helping aspirants grasp the intricacies of the subject.

5. Environment and Ecology:

"Environment: Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change" by Majid Husain

"Shankar IAS Environment" by Shankar IAS Academy

These books are essential for comprehending environmental issues, conservation, and sustainable development.

6. Science and Technology:

"Science and Technology in India" by Kalpana Rajaram

"Science and Technology for Civil Services Examinations" by Ravi P. Agrahari

These books cover advancements in science and technology, making them crucial for the dynamic aspects of the UPSC syllabus.

7. Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude:

"Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude" by Chronicle Publications

"Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude" by G. Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chowdhury

Understanding ethical concepts and their practical applications is made easier with these comprehensive guides.

8. Current Affairs:

"The Hindu" or "Indian Express" newspaper

"India Year Book" by Publication Division

Staying updated with current affairs is a must, and these resources provide a daily dose of news and a consolidated overview of India's progress.

9. CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test):

"CSAT Paper - 2 Manual" by MHE (McGraw Hill Education)

For the CSAT paper, this manual provides comprehensive coverage of the aptitude test syllabus.

10. Indian Art and Culture:

"Indian Art and Culture" by Nitin Singhania

The book is about India’s cultural heritage which includes topics such as art, architecture, literature and many more. It is one of those books which are very useful for the Civil Services Examinations especially the Art and Culture section of the Prelims and Mains.


The selection of the right UPSC Books is a roadmap for success. These subjects-wise essentials if embedded into your daily studying schedules will aid build a strong foundation for an individual’s UPSC preparation. Therefore, make sure you choose all relevant subjects too so that you have a holistic approach towards it and keep working hard till you reach there! Good luck!