Best books for UPSC Aspirants

Article on best books for UPSC Aspirants

All IAS Aspirants, looking for Books to be read for UPSC, are in the right place. You can find plenty of “Must-Read Books for IAS Preparation” lists filled with plenty of books if you search around for material to help you start your preparation for UPSC. But most of them are bloated lists, meant to scare you into thinking there is too much to study. This article consists of a short list of the books to prepare for the IAS exam which IAS Aspirants must grab first.

Read: List of Best English Books by Indian Authors

If you are thinking of making a serious attempt at UPSC preparation, these UPSC books should be your first companions. We have listed Must-read books for UPSC Mains & Prelims and briefly described why we think it is a must-read for the UPSC exam. These books are listed in the recommended order in which they should be read once you start your preparation. Reading these must-have books will impart IAS Aspirants with enough information regarding the topics given in the UPSC syllabus for IAS Exam.

The top must-have books for IAS aspirants preparing for the UPSC Exam are as follows:-

1.      Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth – “Book of the Year – The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out and Outlook Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award Ramachandra Guha’s India after Gandhi is a magisterial account of the pains, struggles, humiliations, and glories of the world’s largest and least likely democracy. A riveting chronicle of the often-brutal conflicts that have rocked a giant nation, and of the extraordinary individuals and institutions who held it together, it established itself as a classic when it was first published in 2007.
In the last decade, India has witnessed, among other things, two general elections; the fall of the Congress and the rise of Narendra Modi; a major anti-corruption movement; more violence against women, Dalits, and religious minorities; a wave of prosperity for some but the persistence of poverty for others; comparative peace in Nagaland but greater discontent in Kashmir than ever before. This tenth-anniversary edition, revised and expanded, brings the narrative up to the present. Published to coincide with seventy years of the country’s independence, this definitive history of modern India is the work of one of the world’s finest scholars at the height of his powers.”

2.      Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh – Mcgraw Hill is proud to present the 12th revised edition of Indian Economy. It is one of the most recommended comprehensive books on the subject for many years, written by a subject expert who has several books on economics, contemporary essays, etc. To his credit. The book is based on the UPSC exam syllabus. It covers the concepts at the basic level along with the facts in the most updated manner, linking them to the current developments in the Indian context.

3.      Introduction to the Constitution of India by D.D. Basu – The writer told us the best thing about this book as well as it is updated with all the judgments and others. Somehow It’s probably the best for the LAW students or aspirants but I think it’s not as capable as other competitive exams such as state PCs, and UPSC. The writer may add some MCQ or exercise then it will be easier for candidates to revise or study. Otherwise, it’s a great book.

4.      India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra – India’s struggle for independence by Bipin Chandra is your go-to book for an in-depth and detailed overview of the Indian independence movement. The Indian freedom struggle is one of the most important parts of its history. A lot has been written and said about it, but there still remains a gap.
Rarely do we get to hear accounts of the independence from the entire country and not just one region in one place? This book fits in perfectly in this gap and also provides a narration of the impact this movement had on the people. Bipin Chandra’s book is a well-documented history of India’s freedom struggle against British rule. It is one of the most accurate books which have been painstakingly written after thorough research based on legal and valid verbal and written sources. It maps the first war of independence that started with Mangal Pandey’s mutiny and witnessed the gallant effort of Sri Rani Laxmi Bai.
Many of the pages of this book are dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation and the civil disobedience movements. It contains a detailed description of Subash Chandra Bose’s weapon-heavy tactics and charisma. This book includes all the independence movements and fights, irrespective of their size and impact, covering India in its entirety. Although these movements varied in means and ideas, they shared a common goal of independence. This book contains oral and written narratives from different parts of the country, making this book historically rich and diverse. The book captures the evolution of the Indian independence struggle in full detail and leaves no chapter of this story untouched.
This book is a good read for the students of Indian modern history and especially for students who are preparing for the UPSC examination and have taken History as their subject. This book is easily available online and you can purchase it. The author Bipin Chandra was one of the most respected historians of our times. Between 2004 and 2012, he was the chairman of the National Book Trust. The economic and political history of India was his area of specialization. He was also one of the leading authorities on Mahatma Gandhi. The author also remained the General President of the National History Congress in 1985. He was a professor at JNU, New Delhi, and also taught at Hindu College. Some of his other works included The Rise and Growth of Economic Nationalism.

5.      The Wonder That Was India by AL Basham – People all around the world are fascinated by Indian history, culture, and the way people are still connected with their roots. This book covers comprehensive Indian history that includes culture, religion, governance, social evolution, tradition, languages, philosophy, and science. It reveals the glorious past of India from the time of Harappa civilization and settlement to the Aryan invasion theory. Starting from the Indus Valley civilization along with detailed information about Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, the book explores early time periods that throw light on India’s rich cultural heritage. It traces various time periods and eras of Indian history with an extensive source of text, which is narrative, simple to understand, and keeps the reader engaged.
Following massive research and findings, the author has even explained about Aryan invasion theory in the book. Furthermore, the book even talks about the evolution of the Hindu religion that has been followed from the Harappa times and even at the time when Aryans invaded India.
The book also highlights some common beliefs and influences in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. All regions in India are influenced by each other, but it was Jainism and Buddhism that mainly brought non-violence and vegetarian aspects into Indian religions.
For those who are looking forward to learning some interesting facts about Indian history and culture, the book contains almost everything: from traces of ancient invasions to modern-day evolution for the readers to enjoy and gain knowledge about.

6.      Majid Husain – Indian Geography – The book “Geography of India”, is written mainly for candidates preparing for competitive examinations. The flagship title is entering its 9th edition. The book is an established manual and a bestseller in the segment. It’s a widely read reference book that deals with relevant topics of India’s geographical landscape in a systematic and comprehensive manner. The book is updated with the latest change in the status of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. All updates are inserted in the form of Maps, Data, and statistics. Updated current events, especially to mention the Amphan Cyclone, COVID- 19 situation in India along with NRC, CAA, Vizag gas leak, Indo-China Issues, Locust menace, and much more forms a part of this edition. Various topics covered are Resources of India, different types of irrigation, cropping patterns of India, transport and public distribution system and food security, disasters, and Government initiatives. It is also being increasingly referred to by graduates and postgraduates of the subject and by researchers and academicians.

All these books will give aspirants a clear and comprehensive outlook on all the information that one must have and know.

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