Reference Books For UPSC Civil Services Mains 2013 (New Pattern Syllabus)

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Strategy For Mains Exam

A Guide For Mains – Excellent Book

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For UPSC mains one need to supplement their every day Newspaper (The Hindu) reading with certain books to have a deep insight over varied topics that are now part of the new syllabus.

To gain knowledge on diverse topics it is prudent to read standard texts rather than depending on materials provided by various coaching institutions. First hand reading of basic books enables aspirant to tackle questions of different dimensions.

Reading newspaper everyday is sine qua non of UPSC  preparation. A fortnightly magazine like Frontline is a must to enhance understanding about current events related to India and abroad. If possible, also go through The Economist magazine to understand international events.

Following is the list of books that are necessary for UPSC Civil Services Mains exam (links are given to Flipkart which provides nearly 40% – 50% discount on each book and it has home delivery facility to every corner in India- Of course you can buy from nearest shop if  that is comfortable and affordable!):

1) Shorter Constitution Of India (Set of 2 Volumes) 14th Editon – D.D.Basu (THIS IS PURELY FOR REFERENCE – VERY GOOD BOOK TO HAVE)

OR This Small Book :

Introduction to the Constitution of India

2) India 2014 – Publication Division, Govt.of India 

 

3) Economic Survey 2013-2014

 

4) India Since Independence – new edition (Bipan Chandra)

 

5) India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra

6)Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition (2013) – Ramesh Singh

 

For Beginners:

The Indian Economy – Sanjiv Verma

Available on Amazon India

8) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition – Laxmikanth

 

9) Geography of India- Majid Hussain

 

10) Ethics In Governance

 

11) India After Gandhi: The History Of The World’s Largest Democracy

 

12) Mastering Modern World History – New Edition – Norman Lowe

Or Buy this Imported Vesrion updated with in-depth chapters on Arab Spring and 2008 Financial Crisis: Mastering Modern World History -5th Edition, Norman Lowe

 

13) Trends in Indian Culture and Heritage: For Civil Services

 

Or this book from Government of India: The Gazetteer of India: History and Culture Vol II

 

14) Select Constitutions: 16th Edition – S Chand

(BUY FROM AMAZON)

15) India’s Foreign Policy – Muchkund Dubey

 

16) Challenge And Strategy : Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy – Rajiv Sikri

(Buy from AMAZON India)

17) History of the World from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty First Century – Arjun Dev (As Norman Lowe is not available anywhere, This is the best book available that covers all the topics)

 

18) Social Problems in India 2 Edition – Ram Ahuja

 

19) Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution - Review

 

20) Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design – PRATAPA BHANU MEHTA

21) Certified Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong

22) India’s National Security – A Reader (Oxford University Press – Important for Paper-IV GS)

Available On Amazon India

23) Indian Social System – Ram Ahuja

 

 

Other Books Civil Services Aspirants Must Read (DURING LEISURE):

1) The Wonder That Was India- A.L.Basham

2) India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age – Gurcharan Das

3) Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century – Shashi Tharoor (Pre-order 30% off )

4) An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

5) The Argumentative Indian : Writings on Indian History – Amartya Sen

Of course you need to read NCERT texts as well. The above list is for reference and reading as well. As you have plenty of time for Mains, you can savour these books leisurely.

Don’t forget: The Hindu is the mother of Mains preparation now. Cut and Paste every article related to syllabus from October 2012 to November 2013!

402 Responses

  1. Amir says:

    Hi,
    Does the content of INDIA year book changes significantly each year. As I am planning to take UPSC exam in 2015, so Should I wait for the new edition or go with the existing one?
    And when does the new one come in Market?
    Thanks in Advance.

    • sachin mayekar says:

      1. Almost 98% of the data of ‘IYB’ remains the same.
      2. The things that change in a yearbook edition-wise,
      A. Diary of events
      B. Names of ministers/ President (if new appointed)
      C. New ministry & department list (if created)
      D. New schemes of Government (if launched)
      E. New missiles etc. (if launched)
      3. U r appearing in 2015, so u can buy ‘IYB’ 2014 for preparing well
      4. ‘IYB’ is released in december or jan.
      5. Welcome (in advance)

  2. ashish001 says:

    sir i choose political science as my optional in mains and want to appear in 2014 exam.
    sir will you please guide how to prepare effectively from basic .is ignou
    books can help me .i have MA political science books.

  3. ganesh says:

    Pls provide me economics optional papers sir..

  4. richa says:

    sir how is unique quintessence reference buk of history by j.k. chopra

  5. Ankita says:

    Sir,
    World history syllabus as mentioned in the mains syllabus, covers everything from 18th century onwards, but the books that you mentioned provide information only from 20th century(almost) onwards..
    So, is that book enough along with the NCERT’s and the material you have provided, or do we have to go through something else as well?

    • annie says:

      in mains 2013, many questions came from world history. do not neglect this portion, read thoroughly, starting from industrial revolution. i recommend starting from wikipedia, then you can move to some good ebook.

  6. reshma ashok ingale says:

    Sir.
    i want detailed syllabus for ias mains.i stay in solapur(maharashtra)
    here no coaching classes are there for upsc & i am working as accountant.i wanted to become an ias it has a dream of me since childhood.i had done M.com.can i complete preparation of upsc mains
    while doing job,sir i can devote 4 to 5 hours a day for studies is this sufficient for preparation of ias.sir

    • admin says:

      4 hours daily is enough for targeting mains 2014 if your basics are good. otherwise target 2015. coaching is irrelevant in current era. search internet for preparation strategies, i recommend mrunal

  7. reshma ashok ingale says:

    sir please guide me

  8. reshma ashok ingale says:

    from where to start preparation for mains

  9. Rahul Dubey says:

    Sir,
    I have just started preparing for Civil services. I am B.tech student , Although I am form English Background I find it very difficult to understand different Political, Economic, Geographical, and constitutional terms which I encounter while reading. I just want to clarify whether it happens to all who start preparing or I am lagging Behind and how should I cope up with this.

    • admin says:

      i am not discouraging you but you need to be aware of the fact that your English is not good.
      If you accept this fact, improvement is not difficult. Start reading newspapers, preferably online, so that you can search any difficult word’s meaning instantly.
      start maintaining notes. while doing so, try this method – when you encounter a difficult word, use it in summary/notes but with meaning in brackets

  10. saif says:

    dear sir u did nt mention any book for world geo…..so kindly plz mention…
    urs obidiently…

  11. prashanth tillu says:

    good evening sir,
    im pursuing my btech 2nd year , and my goal is to be an I.P.S officer. i have started my preparations for prelims exam….i came to know that ncert books and magazines such as yojana and kurukshetra helps a lot for civil aspirants..
    im requesting you sir to give me some guidance about reffernce books and about my preparation….
    thank you sir…

  12. prashanth tillu says:

    sir,
    at present im referring arihant book for general studies paper 1

  13. nikita k says:

    can anybody tell me which sections to read from datt and sundharam for gs3?? im in a fix, help would be much appreciated

    • pk says:

      answer depends on whether your optional is economics or not. if not, i don’t recommend dutt and sundhram. it is very detailed and bulky, if you go by topics, almost all are important in some way. look at the 2013 mains paper, you wont be able to answer one question using the book. for economy part use internet and newspapers. if basics bad use some ebook.

  14. Pearls says:

    Sir,

    Can you pls list out the names of NCERT books for civil services.As iam really confused about what to read and what not to read from these NCERT books pls help me sir.

    Thank You

    • pk says:

      for history refer std 8th to 12th, old syllabus, according to syllabus you need to read selectively, for geo refer std 11, 12 books. almost entire content is very relevant. also, note that even each std book may be in 2-3 parts depending on source. i prefer ebooks. you can visit mrunal for links.

  15. sandeep says:

    2014 attempt will be last attempt for me
    I left my job in june 2013
    started preparing but still struggling with Ncert….I have started feeling guilty
    now only 8 months in hand as pre is on 24th august
    is i t possible to crack the exam?
    plz suggest me
    hw to approach…I am really started feeling low
    as i left my job had a 5 years of exp…family responsibilty is alos der
    but i am managing wid parents supports
    don’t know wat to do…hw to do…in mumbai there is no onw to talk on upsc…
    plz guide me…i will be thank ful to u

  16. Cedric says:

    Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed!
    Very useful info particularly the remaining section :) I deal
    with such info a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  17. sanjay says:

    sir plz reccommend books for ancient history and medieval history because in your reference list u’ve stressed mostly on modern history…

  18. Ambika says:

    do i need to buy NCERT books of class-6 to class-12.I have the e-book versions of it.but it is really very very difficult to read from a laptop and take down notes.it also give a pain to my eye.I am asking u please give me a suggession what to do?

  19. Sanjay says:

    Sir I m just starts Upsc preparation can u tell me plz from we’re started

  20. Sandeep S R says:

    Your suggestions are really helpful for upcoming candidates ….thanks sir..

  21. krishna says:

    Sir,
    Please suggest me books for Ancient History. I am confused with lot of books, For example, Romilla Thapar has alone 4 or 5 books and other authors.
    Sir, Please throw a light on Ancient History preparation books.

  22. leena priya says:

    sir,
    i have completed my BCA from smu. It is a correspondent course. Am i elligibile for UPSC exam?
    sir please guide me. i would be thank full to you.

  23. Ashish says:

    Please provide the list of reference books of Agriculture.

  24. Harsh vardhan Pandey says:

    Sir presently I am in class 12 . I am from Bhilai Chattisgarh . And I want to be an IPS officer.Sir I kindly request you to guide me for my initial preparation and suggest the path from now and after 12 th. Please suggest me some books ; or any examination ; any coaching for the same in Delhi or elsewhere . How to prepare from now and everything

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  26. SURESH says:

    RESPECTED SIR,
    I need your clarification on determining OBC CREAMY LAYER AND NON CREAMY LAYER status.

    My father is a railway employee earning Rs.30000 per month. My father is going to get retired this october and my mother is house wife and she is getting RS.25000 per month through term deposit in SBI. The above mentioned are the only source of income to my family.We are having a self owned house apart from this there is nothing in the name of property.

    MY QUESTION IS WHILE DETERMINING MY CREAMY LAYER NON CREAMY LAYER STATUS MY MOTHERS INCOME THROUGH TERM DEPOSIT WILL BE CLUBBED WITH MY FATHERS INCOME OR NOT?

    WITH THE ABOVE GIVEN FACTS I AM COMING UNDER CREAMY LAYER OR NON CREAMY LAYER?

    WHETHER I AM ELIGIBLE FOR OBC RESERVATION?

  27. hello sir,
    i have completed my B.E computer science engg.i would like to appear for UPSC on 2015.i dont have clear view on selecting my optional and preparation.can you kindly help me through your guidance.

  28. niks says:

    For 2015 attempt is there need to practise secure mains 2014 …..also tell me from which month current affairs notes require for 2015 attempt…..plz reply ……

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  30. sonal says:

    sir i am sonal sagar i want to know which type of books should be preferred to prepare gs papers 1,2,3,4

  31. abhimanyu says:

    and plz start geography answer writing also..

  32. shikham .m says:

    Dear sir,
    I am a law student, completing B.A.LL.B in 2015. And also targeting CSAT 2015, can you plz tell me is that sufficient time for me now? I choose LAW as optional as my degree in law, is there any negatuve things, in choose such subject in mains ?
    Waiting for rly
    Thank you

  33. I do trust all the concepts you have offered to your post.
    They are really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for newbies.
    May just you please prolong them a bit from next time?
    Thanks for the post.

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  35. sandeep singh says:

    sir i m a b.tech student and for ias exams i want to choose physics as my main subject so regaurding the level of knowledge required for ias sir plj suggest me best books whom i can refer to.
    thanks

  36. Shardul Kadam says:

    Respected Sir,
    I have NCERT of 11& 12(new and old) also other NCERT of 6-10(new) for history subject. Sir tell me which topics to be covered from these books for Mains preparation. Along with these I hv Bipin Chandra India struggle for freedom. Do I need to go for spectrum for modern to prepare for Mains and which topic to be read. Please reply..

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  38. pragyan mohanty says:

    sir m prgyan fromOdisha ,ctc, now i have completed of my M.A & today i have plan for appear of i.a.s exam, so plz sir, give me your guidance plz sir …….i don’t knw what i do or n’t ……….. i would be thankful to you ……………

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