Best Study Materials For IAS, UPSC – Prelims & Mains Preparation

To begin with your preparation for UPSC Examinations, the very first step is to understand the pattern of the examinations phase-wise. As you already know that UPSC examination is conducted basically to recruit officers for IAS and allied services for the Indian Government. The examination has three vital phases; Preliminary, Mains and Interview rounds, on clearing of which the candidate is chosen for further official training for the services mentioned above. If
you are a UPSC aspirant, your first step is to remember the syllabus.

Syllabus for UPSC Prelims:

General Studies-I

● The General Studies test is the first paper of the preliminary examination.
● This test is intended to test the general awareness of a candidate in a wide range of subjects that include: Indian Polity, Geography, History, Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, International Relations and associated current affairs.

General Studies -II

● Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)
● This UPSC Prelims syllabus for CSAT intends to assess the aptitude of the candidate in solving ‘Reasoning and Analytical’ questions, apart from ‘Reading Comprehension and the occasionally asked ‘Decision Making’ questions.
● The ‘Decision Making’ based questions are generally exempt from negative marks.

Syllabus for UPSC Mains:

Paper-I Essay (can be written in the medium of the candidate’s choice)
Paper-II General Studies-I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)
Paper-III General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)
Paper-IV General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)
Paper V General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)
Paper VI Optional Subject-Paper I
Paper VII Optional Subject-Paper II

So after clearing these two phases, the candidate will be called for the final interview. This interview is a personality check where you will be judged by your overall interpersonal skills, body language, verbal communication and how well you are aware of your subjects. After having a strong hold on your syllabus, the second-most crucial step is to choose the best study materials for the IAS examination, or study materials for the UPSC examination. Now, this
is a tricky thing to do, as you can be overpowered by the numerous sources offering various study materials for UPSC preparation but you have to smartly select the best study materials for UPSC examinations. Below here is given a completed list of suggested study materials, which are recommended by most experts as the best study materials for civil service examinations, or UPSC preparation to be precise. Follow the list given here and please continue reading this blog till the end for more suggestions on the best books and study materials for the IAS examination.


  1. India’s Struggle for Independence- Bipan Chandra
  2. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
  3. NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)
  4. NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)


  1. Certificate of Physical Geography- GC Leong
  2. NCERT VI-X (Old Syllabus)
  3. NCERT XI and XII (new syllabus)
  4. World Atlas (Orient Black Swan)

Indian Polity

  1. Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth


  1. Indian Economy by Nitin Singhania
  2. Economic Development & Policies in India- Jain and Ohri
  3. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

International Relations

  1. NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)
  2. Current Affairs


  1. Tata McGraw Hill CSAT Manual
  2. Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Agarwal
  3. Quicker Maths by M. Tyra

Solved Papers

IAS General Studies Prelims Solved Papers by Vishal Publications

Overall General Studies

  1. Refer to Current Affairs – The Hindu, Yojna Magazine, Kurukshetra Magazine
  2. International Relations NCERT XI and XII
  3. Indian Culture- Spectrum
  4. NIOS Course Materials

Recommended Books for Optional Subjects



  1. Physical Geography – Majid Hussain/ Savindra Singh
  2. Modern Physical Geography – Strahler and Strahler (Optional)
  3. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  4. Physical Geography Made Simple – Rupa Publication
  5. Dictionary of Physical Geography – Penguin
  6. Evolution of Geographical Thought – Majid Hussain
  7. Economic and Social Geography Made Simple – Rupa Publication
  8. Models in Geography – Majid Hussain
  9. Dictionary of Human Geography
  10. Oxford Student Atlas


  1. India – A Comprehensive Geography – Khullar
  2. Regional Planning in India – Mahesh Chand
  3. India Year Book – Publication Division
  4. Yojana and Kurukshetra Magazines

Public Administration

  1. Indian Public Administration – Arora and Goyal
  2. Public Administration In India 1st Edition – Maheshwari
  3. Public Administration In India – B L Fadia (optional)
  4. Public Administration – Laxmikant
  5. Administrative Thinkers – Prasad and Prasad
  6. New Horizons of Public Administration – Mohit Bhattacharya
  7. Public Administration – Fadia and Fadia
  8. Public Administration and Public Affairs 12th Edition – Nicholas Henry
  9. Essentials Of Organizational Behaviour10th Edition – Robbins, Sanghi and Judge


  1. History of Modern India – Shekhar Bandopadhyaya/Bipan Chandra
  2. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra and Others
  3. India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma
  4. The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Basham
  5. Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas – Romila Thapar
  6. Medieval India: From Sultanat to Mughals – 1- Satish Chandra
  7. Medieval India: From Sultanat to Mughals -2 – Satish Chandra
  8. Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe
  9. History of the World – Arjun Dev



  1. Sociology – Anthony Giddens
  2. Sociology – Harlombos and Holborn
  3. Sociological Thought – Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan
  4. Political Theory – O P Gauba


  1. Social Change in India – M N Srinivas
  2. Modernization of Indian Tradition – Yogendra Singh
  3. Handbook of Indian Sociology – Veena Das
  4. Indian Society and Culture – Nadeem Hasnain
  5. Rural Sociology – Doshi and Jain
  6. Social Background of Indian Nationalism – A R Desai

Political Science

  1. A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx – Mukherjee and Susheela Ramaswamy
  2. Introduction to Political Theory – O P Gauba
  3. Political Theory – Rajeev Bhargava
  4. Politics – Heywood
  5. Global Politics – Heywood
  6. International Relations -Khanna
  7. Foundations of Indian Political Thought – V R Mehta
  8. Introduction to the Constitution of India – D D Basu
  9. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra
  10. Indian Government and Politics – B L Fadia
  11. Does The Elephant Dance? Contemporary India Foreign Policy – Malone

Being one of the trusted IAS academies of eastern India, Borthakur’s IAS academy has scored a decent name in providing quality study materials for UPSC and APSC examinations in the region. This institute offers a set of 7 books comprising GS Paper 1, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3, GS Paper 4, GS Paper 5, CSAT, and English & Essay. This set of study materials is prepared under the careful supervision of India’s highly famed UPSC Mentor Shri Avadh Ojha Sir and his
team. This complete set of study materials comprising seven books costs only INR 6,000. If you are thinking about preparing for UPSC and wondering where to find the best study materials for UPSC preparation, this is the best source for you. Collect your copy today from the institute anytime. Contact for study materials at 8720927515.
For more information on the institute, follow its social media pages or log on to its website at now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *