Books and notes are the most important armament when one is to face the UPSC CSE. Carrying the right type and amount of weaponry and ammunition are the pillars of success to any war or examination.

The market is flooded with all sorts of notes, content, books, magazines, which leaves any aspirant in nothing but a perplexed state. Choosing the right foundation for the ultimate triumph is necessitated by selecting the right books.

The following are the list of Books For UPSC CSE Preparation-


  • These books are the first step to overpower this exam. The simple, understandable, direct language and unbiased viewpoint make it the base for preparation. 
  • The relevance of NCERTs stand on the fact that every year almost 35-40Qs are directly asked from these books be it the text or diagrams or tables

Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth (Polity)

  • Polity as a subject holds a great significance in this exam and it can be stated from the fact that on an average 15-20 Qs are asked from this part since 2013 and most of the questions are from a single source that is Indian Polity for Civil Services Examination by M. Laxmikanth
  • One book with unmatched repo and has been a constant bestseller since the day of its launch. This book is certainly which cannot be given a miss.

Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania. (Culture)

  • The weight of this subject has consistently been on a surge since its introduction in 2013 and thus requires thorough preparation. 
  • This part covers topics like Religion & Philosophy, Architecture & Sculptures, Indian Paintings, Dances, Music etc. One book that satisfies almost every aspect of this part of this exam certainly has to be this one. The book aids an aspirant with diagrams and pictures for a better and holistic understanding. 

Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (Economy)

  • One subject that is known to give aspirants nightmares ought to be ECONOMY. This discipline holds a significant position in every aspect of this exam, and is also the one that goes over the head of the max. 
  • This subject is very dynamic and to counter these dynamicity basics needs to be crystal clear.  A detailed comprehensive text with complete coverage of the basics makes this book stand out from the contemporaries. 

Economic Survey (Economy)

  • Economic Survey is an annual document that reviews the developments in the Indian Economy over the previous 12 months and is released by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. All the dynamic and theoretical questions can be accounted to this document. 
  • More about 20-30 % of mains questions are directly or indirectly related to the Economic Survey. In-depth knowledge can also supplement in writing a good essay and thus can fetch great marks. 

India Year Book (Current Affairs)

  • This book is a handy source of current affairs preparation, published by the publication division (the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting)
  • The programs, schemes, Policies launched by the Government are included in the text and are helpful for Civil Services Examination throughout the 3 stages.


  • The common misconception associated with it that it is to be used only in reference to geography but literally a holistic preparation of current affairs, International Relations, World History etc. is incomplete without the Atlas. 
  • Both the Orient Black Swan and Oxford atlases are par excellence and can be consulted without any doubt.

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong. (Geography)

  • A very important book that gives fundamentals of every topic covered in a simple yet lucid language. 
  • Many photographs, illustrations, maps, offering a detailed explanation to supplement learning. 
  • The book is divided into 2 main sections, one is the Physical Geography covering in-depth information about existing landmasses. 
  • While the second part deals with the existing Global Climatic zones and aspects of Human Geography spread over various climatic zones.

A Brief History of Modern India [SPECTRUM] (Modern India)

  • Modern Indian History commences with the dwindling of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the East India Company and thus surfacing of the British Empire. 
  • Modern India can also be divided into pre-independence India and Post Independence India. To cater to all these aspects this book comes to the rescue. 
  • The book is crisp, comprehensive and well structured. The book is apt for a wholesome preparation and thus shouldn’t be given a miss.

Science and Technology for Civil Services Preliminary and Mains Examination by Ravi P Agrahari.

  • The book covers all aspects of Science and Technology from the very basic to an advanced level making it very easy for UPSC aspirants to comprehend and retain. 
  • Also, there is an emphasis on all international issues with respect to various sectors like energy, space, defense, IPR, particle Physics, material technology, Biotechnology and so on.
  • This book thus delves into this important aspect of the examination In detail, providing aspirants with a ready-made amalgamation of basic concepts intertwined with current developments in the various fields to equip them for the examination.

Important Magazines:

Yojana, Kurukshetra

Yojana and Kurukshetra are one of the most genuine and authentic magazines available for UPSC CSE preparation. The magazines are published by the Government of India and incorporate articles varying from social to political to economic arenas. 

  • These magazines give a detailed analysis of various Government schemes and programs. 
  • It also highlights how certain policies are affecting the vulnerable sections of society. 
  • These magazines along with the Editorials play a significant role in creating a perspective over various initiatives taken by the government.

Jatin Verma’s Current Affairs Magazine is another magazine pertinent in an all-round current affairs preparation. 

  • The magazine covers current affairs from all the important sources like the Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, RSTV, LSTV, PIB. 
  • Special sections have been dedicated to the Yojana and the Kurukshetra articles. 
  • RSTV and PIB corners too are an integral part of the same. 
  • The contents of the magazines are subdivided as per the syllabi of the UPSC CSE makes it stand out from the contemporaries.




GS Paper 1

  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
  • India after Independence by Bipan Chandra
  • World Atlas
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography – G C Leong
  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11 & 12

GS Paper 2

  • Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
  • India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri

GS Paper 3

  • Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh
  • Indian Economy-Sanjiv Verma

GS Paper 4

  • Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary

There is a huge market of content and books for UPSC CSE preparation but making the right choice is what makes a difference. Don’t let the popular notion of ‘more books the better’ way you from your preparation path and ultimately waste your time. One has to be ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ for clearing this exam so DO NOT dwell into unnecessary extra books to just satisfy yourself