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10 Books referred by toppers to clear IAS preliminary exam

Oct 4, 2020 - 4 min read

What did UPSC CSE toppers study to clear IAS preliminary exam? What are the best-selling books to crack UPSC Civil Services Prelims? See the list of 10 books referred by toppers to clear IAS preliminary exam. Links are provided to buy the books online at discounted prices.

If clearing UPSC Prelims is your immediate goal, we are sure this post would help you a lot. Most of the books are useful for UPSC Civil Services Main exam as well.

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

Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular and comprehensive books on the subject and has been a consistent bestseller for many years. It has become a must-read book for aspirants appearing in various competitive examinations, and the civil services examination in particular.

Link to buy Online: Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth (English).
Link to buy Online: Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth (Hindi).

2. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania. (Culture)

Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania covers the syllabus of Indian Heritage and Culture. The author has provided a wide-ranged knowledge base on Indian art, paintings, music and architecture with the help of several pictures and diagrams. The content is also supported with a plethora of questions that will help students to prepare for the examination.

Link to buy Online: Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania (English).

3. Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers. (Geography)

The oxford school atlas includes 200 clear and easy-to-understand maps with 94 thematic maps of India supported by charts and diagrams. The atlas contains detailed physical and political maps related to India, new and informative preliminary pages, and extensive coverage of core thematic issues such as climate, natural vegetation, wildlife, agriculture, minerals, industry, demography, human development, environmental concerns, and natural hazards.

Link to buy online: The Oxford School Atlas.

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

Elementary details of most topics that comprise of physical and human geography have been covered in an easy to understand language, with many photographs, illustrations, and maps offering a detailed explanation, wherever required. Be it climate change, types of natural vegetation, mountain chains, deserts, climatic patterns, glaciers, minerals or other natural phenomena, Certificate Physical and Human Geography is a natural companion book to know and learn from.

Link to buy online: Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong.

5. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh. (Economy)

Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh is a comprehensive text, with detailed coverage of all topics in the UPSC Preliminary and Main syllabus. The book is a stellar product, with many years of bestselling performance.

Link to buy online: Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh.
Link to buy online: Bharatiya Arthavyavastha (Hindi).

6. Economic Survey by Ministry of Finance. (Economy)

Economic Survey by Ministry of Finance is the most authoritative and updated source of data on India’s economy. Economic Survey identifies wide-ranging challenges and summarizes policy and performance of the government. Get the latest copy corresponding to each exam year.

Link to buy online: Economic Survey.

7. India Year Book (Current Affairs)

India Year Book is prepared by the Publication Division of the Indian Government. This reference book is an authoritative compilation of the complete information about the current affairs of the country, which includes important dignitaries, state policy, public schemes and important data related to demographics, trade, economy and others. Being a government publication, the information presented is authentic that is also used as a reference source by researchers, media and reputed publications.

Link to buy online: India Year Book (English).
Link to buy online: India Year Book (Hindi).

8. A brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Modern India)

A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir deals with the events that shaped the happening after the decline of the Mughal empire and the rise of East India Company and the advent of British rule in the country. The important events – which include India’s first war of independence in 1857 to attaining freedom in 1947 – have been structured in a timeline that is easy to understand. If you are running short of time, and cannot finish Modern India by Bipan Chandra or India’s struggle for Independence, then, you should not miss this book.

Link to buy online: A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir.

9. General Studies Paper 2 Manual by MHE (CSAT)

McGraw-Hill Education’s General Studies: Paper II is based on the prescribed syllabus and pattern of the examination. The content is synchronised with the syllabus. Only the relevant theory and practice material as required for serious preparation is provided. The content has been divided as per the prescribed syllabus into seven broad section. An eighth section is given for practice questions.

Link to buy online: General Studies Paper 2 Manual by MHE (CSAT).

10. NCERT Books

Last but not least, NCERT books are among the most recommended books by almost all toppers. Collect NCERT books for all Humanities subjects from standard 6-12. List of NCERT books/chapters to be referred is given in another post.

Link to buy online: NCERT Books.

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