Books/ Sources for References

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Section-wise books:

These are listed out  books by general sections of the Mains syllabus. We have tried to be exhaustive. Aspirant do not need to read everything listed. Pick the one you like. If in doubt go with the books that are recommended.

Indian Culture / Ancient-Medieval Indian History 

  1. NCERT textbooks of History
  2. NCERT textbooks in Heritage Crafts
  3. NIOS Indian Culture and Painting textbooks
  4. A. L. Basham – A Cultural history of India
  5. Spectrum – Facets Of Indian Culture (too much information)
  6. Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) website
  7. Nitin Singhania’s Book on art and culture
  8. Tamil Nadu board History textbooks (Better focus on South Indian History, eg. Sangam Literature)
  9. IGNOU modules on Culture
  10. India Year Book relevant chapters

Modern-Post-Independence Indian History –

  1. NCERT textbooks of Modern History
  2. NIOS textbooks of Modern History
  3. Spectrum – ‘A Brief History of Modern India’
  4. Sekhar Bandyopadhyay – ‘From Plassey to Partition’
  5. Bipan Chandra – ‘India’s Struggle For Independence’ and ‘India Since Independence’
  6. Dutt & Sundaram – ‘Indian Economy’ – (1st few chapters for the economic history of India)
  7. IGNOU B.A. History modules

World History and Political Ideologies (History of ideas) –

  1. Wizard / Ankur Sharma – ‘World History for IAS Exam’
  2. Norman Lowe – ‘Mastering Modern World History’
  3. O P Gauba – ‘Introduction to Political Theory’ (superficial / focused read for GS)

Physical, Indian and World Geography –

  1. NCERT textbooks of Geography
  2. NIOS textbooks of Geography (especially Agriculture part)
  3. Prachi Atlas / Oxford School Atlas
  4. Goh Cheng Leong – ‘Certificate Physical and Human Geography’ (Good base, but not updated in a long time. Some issues with language used)
  5. Majid Hussain – World Geography, Indian Geography
  6. K Siddhartha – Economic Geography
  7. Dr. Alka Gautam – World Geography
  8. Spectrum – Indian Geography
  9. Shankar IAS notes – Agriculture

Sociology –

  1. NCERT textbooks of Sociology
  2. NIOS textbooks of Sociology
  3. Current affairs form Newspaper
  4. Ram Ahuja – ‘Social Problems in India’ and ‘Indian Social System’ (books are out of date; needs supplementation)
  5. UNDP – ‘Human Development Report’ (read the summary and the part about India / developing countries / LDCs)

Women and Women’s Issues – 

  1. Covered above under sociology
  2. Current affairs form Newspaper
  3. Websites of NCW and MoWCD
  4. Newspaper and internet research
  5. India Year Book relevant chapters

Development and Welfare Schemes –

  1. Civil Service Govt.Scheme Booklet
  2. India Year Book relevant chapters

Governance – 

  1. No concrete source exists. You have to Google each topic and study online
  2. You may refer to the textbook of Public Administration by M Laxmikanth, but only read selectively and avoid going into optional-level details for GS
  3. Newspaper and internet research
  4. India Year Book relevant chapters

International Relations –

  1. This topic is too fast-changing to be satisfactorily covered by textbooks, so your Newspaper notes and internet research would be your base
  2. Use Wikipedia carefully. Do not accept anything written on any page. Anyone can edit them and IR is a magnet for troll edits that might cost you dearly

Polity –

  1. The Constitution of India – actual current text (available a booklets widely / read online)
  2. NCERT and NIOS textbooks (Pol. Sc.)
  3. M Laxmikanth – ‘Indian Polity’
  4. DD Basu – ‘Introduction to the Constitution of India’
  5. Representation of the People Act – Focus on current affairs part /give the acts a read
  6. Election Commission of India – Electoral Laws – Handbook for candidates(refer)
  7. PRS India website

Disaster Management –

  1. Ashok Kumar / Vipul – TMH – ‘Internal Security & Disaster Management’
  2. IGNOU Disaster Management modules
  3. Newspaper and internet research

National Security –

  1. Ashok Kumar / Vipul – TMH – ‘Internal Security & Disaster Management’
  2. Relevant chapters from India Year Book
  3. SIPRI Yearbook
  4. Newspaper and internet research

Economics and Food –

  1. NCERT and NIOS textbooks
  2. Khan Academy course on Macroeconomics to build concepts
  3. Dutt & Sundaram – ‘Indian Economy’ (read superficially)
  4. The Economic Survey
  5. Summary of the latest Budget
  6. Newspaper and internet research
  7. Shankar IAS notes – Agriculture
  8. Newspaper and internet research for current events such as WTO
  9. India Year Book relevant chapters

Environment –

  1. NCERT Biology of class XII – last few chapters
  2. Shankar IAS notes – Environment
  3. Newspaper and internet research
  4. India Year Book relevant chapters

Land Reforms –

  1. Dutt & Sundaram – ‘Indian Economy’
  2. IGNOU modules
  3. Newspaper and internet research
  4. India Year Book relevant chapters

Science and Technology –

  1. NCERT XI-XII science books (superficial data but deep concepts)
  2. TMH We Series – ‘Science & Technology for Civil Services’
  3. Newspaper and internet research

GS – IV / Ethics Paper –

  1. Subba Rao / Roy Chowdhury – ‘Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude’
  2. Chronicle – ‘Lexicon For Ethics ,Integrity and Aptitude
  3. Newspaper and internet research

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