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Exhaustive Booklist For UPSC CSE (IAS-Prelims) Exam Preparation

In case if you are wondering about an extensive BOOKLIST for IAS PRELIMS, which has become a ‘hard nut to crack’ in order to scucced in India’s toughest and most sought-after exam, we present you with a DETAILED booklist, along with the benefits of reading each one of them, and their contextual relevance.

Detailed Booklist For Prelims Exam: 


  1. Indian Polity by M Laxmikant(Amazon Link):Indian Polity by M Laxmikant is revered as the ‘Bible’ of the Indian Constitution for UPSC CSE exam preparation. Along with core chapters on all sections of the Indian Constitution, it also contains additional information like chapters on GST Council, National Commission for backward classes, National Investigation Agency, National disaster management authority, etc.
  2. DD BASU: Introduction to the Constitution of India:The book is an alternative and all charm for those who ‘love’ reading authoritative books. DD Basu pours in his vast constitutional wisdom and authority while writing this Magnum Opus. If you want a written commentary on the Indian Constitution, you can go ahead and own this book.
  3. Bare Acts (THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA), available free on the official website of the Government of India:
  4. MP Jain: Constitutional Law(Only for those who have a knack for Indian Constitution): This is a humongous book, extremely detailed, and written for aspiring and current lawyers/judicial officers. However, if you want to test the limits of your curiosity, you can go ahead and buy this book, further recommended for those writing CSE with the Law Optional.

Ancient and Medieval History:

  1. Ancient India by R. S. Sharma (Old NCERT): This book was in the curriculum for few decades from the 1980s till the early 2000s, revered as one of the fundamental books to be read, the book has ample content to build as considerable content for Ancient Indian History. After the book was removed from the NCERT curriculum, it was re-published as an updated version by the Oxford University Press. Contains maps, timelines, key terminologies, and references along with a general history of ancient India.
  2. Medieval Indiaby Satish Chandra: This book covers the 1000 years of Indian medieval history. Starting from the early medieval polity, the book talks about Rajputs, Mughals, and Turkish invaders and the condition prevailing in those times. This is a useful read, as some of the questions are asked directly about systems, like ‘Iqta’, ‘Mansabdari’, etc. also, UPSC may ask the meaning of terms like ‘hulia’, ‘zat’, ‘sawar’, etc. to name a few.

Art and Culture: 

  1. Indian Culture and Heritage (223) by NIOS: This can act as your basic reference. It covers a great deal of information related to Architecture, Chronology, Temple building, evolution, etc. However, a usual lack of diagrams, pictures, etc. may force you to switch to other sources.
  2. NCERT: An introduction to Indian Art Part -I For Class XI: This is a more nuanced version, and discusses cultural and architectural aspects in a quite detailed manner. The good thing about NIOS and NCERT materials is, they can be accessed online openly.
  3. The Wonder That Was India (Both Volume 1 and 2):Quite voluminous, and referred by the students of History Optional. However, they are original works and give an author’s perspective to the cultural history. Volume 1 is famously written by Professor and noted Indologist  A.L.Bhasam, while Volume 2 is authored by S. A. A. Rizvi.

Modern Indian History:


Indian Economy:

Environment and Ecology:

General Science:

Detailed Booklist For Mains Exam: (click here) 

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