Books for UPSC Civil Services 2019

Books for UPSC Civil Services 2019 - Competitive exams like UPSC Civil Services assess the overall intellectual traits of candidates. Questions in the exam are asked from various subjects to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, ability to analyse the conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. Aspirants can develop their understanding on different topics by reading good books. However, it is icing on cake if one gets to prepare from the best books. Thus, for the convienence of aspiring candidates, Careers 360 has prepared a list of books for UPSC Civil Services 2019 separately for preliminary, mains and Interview. The easiest and simplest way to choose the books for UPSC Civil Services is to follow the suggestions given by experts and toppers.


Books for UPSC Civil Services

The books for UPSC Civil Services have been provided separately for preliminary, mains and interview. Civil Services aspirants can check the best books for UPSC Civil Services.


Books for UPSC Civil Services 2019 Prelims Exam

The Preliminary Examination of UPSC Civil Services consists of two papers of objective type. Each paper as per UPSC Civil Services exam pattern carries 200 marks. Marks obtained by candidates in preliminary exam are not considered for final merit list. Candidates can check below the books for Civil Services Prelims exam for General Studies Paper I and II.


Best Books for UPSC Civil Services Prelims – General Studies Paper I


The General Studies paper I of IAS prelims carries questions from Current events of national and international importance, history of India and Indian National Movement, Indian Polity and Governance, General Science etc.


Books for UPSC Civil Services 2019

History of India and Indian National Movement


Spectrum’s A Brief History of Modern India, by Rajiv Ahir

India’s Ancient Past, by R.S. Sharma

A history of Medieval India, by Chandra Satish

Indian Art and Culture, by Nitin Singhania

NCERT Class 6th to 12th


Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc


Indian Polity, by Laxmikanth

Introduction to Constitution of India, by Durga Das Basu


Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World

Certificate Physical & Human Geography, by Goh Cheng Leong

Geography of India, by Majid Hussain

Oxford School Atlas

NCERT Class 6th to 12th


Economic and Social Development - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc


Indian Economy- Ramesh Singh

Economic Survey of India, by Ministry of Finance

The Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Niraj Kumar

NCERT Class 9th to 12th


Current events of national and international importance


Manorama Yearbook

Yojana Magazine

Newspapers: Hindu or Indian Express


General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change-that do not require subject specialization General Science


NCERT Biology Class 12th



Best Books to Prepare for UPSC Civil Services Prelims – General Studies Paper II


Question in General Studies Paper II are asked from Comprehension, Interpersonal skills including communication skills, Logical reasoning and analytical ability, Decision making and problem solving, General mental ability, Basic numeracy etc. This paper is qualifying in nature. To qualify the exam, candidates will have to score 33%. Listed below are topic-wise books for UPSC Civil Services General Studies Paper II.


Books for UPSC Civil Services Prelims General Studies

English Comprehension

Yojana, Kurukshetra, Frontline and the newspapers like Indian Express, The Hindu

Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability

Analytical Reasoning – MK Pandey

Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning– RS.Aggarwal



Books for UPSC Civil Services 2019 Mains Exam

The mains exam of UPSC Civil Services consists of 9 papers of conventional essay type. Two papers (Paper-A: Indian Language and Paper B English) are qualifying in nature. Marks obtained in Paper I to VII will be for determining the merit of candidates. Total marks allotted for UPSC Civil Services mains exam are 1750. The paper-wise list of books for UPSC Civil Services mains exam is given below.


Recommended books for Compulsory Subjects


Books for UPSC Civil Services mains exam

General Studies Paper I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the world and Science)


  • Geography – NCERT 11th Class, Geophysical Phenomenon by Dr Khullar, PMF IAS Notes for Geography or GC Leong

  • History – Spectrum, Independence – Spectrum (Integration of Princely States), Bipin Chandra, NCERT 12th Class Political Science

  • World History – NCERT of 9th and 10th Class, Vision Notes

  • Sociology – NCERT of Sociology and Newspaper

  • Culture – Ancient Medieval History

General Studies Paper II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations)


  • Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations – Laxmikant, Representation of People Act, Welfare Schemes along with Current Affairs compilation

  • Current Affairs – Newspaper, current affairs compilation and other important sources mentioned above in the article

General Studies Paper III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)


  • Economics, Inclusive Growth, Budget – Economic Survey, Budget Highlight

  • For Science and Tech refer to Current Affairs

  • Environment – NCERT books class 9, 10, 11 and 12

  • Disaster Management – Dr Khullar

  • Yojana, Kurukshetra, Science Reporter Magazine

General Studies IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)

  • Emotional Intelligence, Probity of Governance, attitude, ethics – Lexicon

  • Learn Real Life Examples by Subba Rao


UPSC Civil Services books for Optional Subjects

Optional Subjects



Sociology Themes and Perspectives – Michael Haralambos, Martin Holborn

Sociology Themes and Perspectives – Michael Haralambos, Martin Holborn

Society In India: Concepts, Theories And Recent Trends – Ram Ahuja

Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja

Sociology – Anthony Giddens

Sociological Theory – George Ritzer

Oxford Dictionary Of Sociology

Modernization Of Indian Tradition – Yogendra Singh

Sociological Thought – Francis Abraham, John Henry Morgan

Social Change In Modern India – M. N. SRINIVAS

Caste Its Twentieth Century Avatar – M. N. SRINIVAS

Persistence and Change in Tribal India – M.V. Rao

Social Background of Indian Nationalism – A. R. Desai


Public Administration

Public Administration – Laxmikanth

New Horizons Of Public Administration – Mohit Bhattacharya

Administrative Thinkers – D. Ravindra Prasad

Contemporary Debates in Public Administration – Dhameja Alka

Indian Administration – Maheswari

Introduction to the constitution of India – D.D.Basu

Public Administration: Concepts And Theories – Rumki Basu

A Dictionary of Public Administration – Maheswari

Indian Administration – Pankaj Singh

Public Administration : Theory And Practice

Governance in India for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination – Laxmikanth

Administrative Theories And Management Thought – Sapru



A New Look at Modern Indian History From 1707 to the Modern Times

Modern India, 1885-1947

History of Medieval India

The Penguin History Of Early India: From The Origins To AD 1300

History Of Modern India

India’s Ancient Past

Modern Indian History

Mastering Modern World History

Age of Revolution 1789-1848

Age of Capital 1848-1875

Age of Empire 1875-1914


Physical Geography By Savinder Singh

Physical Geography By Stahler

Physical Geography Made Simple Books

Geography Through Maps by K. Siddhartha

Geomorphology by Savindra Singh

Climatology by D. S. Lal

Atmosphere, Weather and Climate – K.Siddhartha

India – A comprehensive Geography

Regional Planning in India – Chand and Puri

Oxford School Atlas

Environmental Geography

Indian Economy

Human Geography By Majid Hussain

Urbanization and Urban Systems in India



Ahuja – Advanced microeconomics theory– macro theories of distribution, welfare etc.

Dwivedi (for money multiplier).

Economics of Environment – Subhashini Muthukrishnan

Indian Economy – Datt and Sundaram

Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh

Statistical Methods – S P Gupta


Political Science

An introduction to the constitution by DD Basu

India’s foreign policy – V P Dutt

International organisations by spectrumGlobal politics by Andrew Heywood




Books to prepare for UPSC Civil Services 2019 Interview

The Interview of UPSC Civil Services is conducted for qualified candidates of mains exam to assess candidates capability for a career in public service. The test carries 275 marks. To prepare for Interview, candidates should read The Hindu and Indian Expressand go through the details they have entered in Detailed Application Form (DAF).

Recommended books for Interview

Civil Services Interview: How to Excel by Madhukar Bhagat

Interviews The Last Basic Tips On facing Civil Services Personality Test by Smarak Swain


To ace UPSC Civil Services exam, it is essential to stay updated on current events. It is important to read as many reference books available for different subjects. Check the books to prepare for UPSC Civil Services 2019 suggested by experts and toppers.

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