IAS Books: Preparation Books for IAS

Last Updated On July 29th, 2016 at 07:49 pm

IAS Books: Here we have listed Preparation Books for IAS which will help you to prepare for Prelims and Mains Exams. Before selecting these books we have made a detailed survey and had taken crucial inputs from many IAS Toppers. Based on the survey and inputs from students who have cracked IAS Exam with very good All India Rank, we would like to recommend the following IAS Books for preparing IAS Prelims and Mains Exams.

History Books for IAS

History of Modern India

“History of Modern India” written by Bipan Chandra is one of the must have History Books for IAS Preparation. This is the first edition of the book, released by Orient Blackswan in 2009. The paperback, 351 pages book has 14 chapters that deal with the changes in Indian history from the Mughal era to the present day modern India. The book stresses more on economical, social and religious changes in India, rather than going in depth about its political policies. It gives an insight to the students about the various reforms and factors that helped in shaping India the way it is today. We also get a glimpse of the war of independence that the Indian leaders started to attain freedom from the British. This book is worth reading for understanding the changing faces of modern India.

India’s Struggle for Independence

This book is quite helpful not only for the IAS Prelims exam but also for the Mains as well. You can easily score about 50-80 marks by referring this book diligently. We have always had some pictures in our mind about the struggle for Indian independence. This is all thanks to the various history books that vividly portrayed the picture of the great leaders who dreamt of a free India and worked towards it. This dates back to 1857 to the time of Mangal Pandey and goes further to Rani Laxmibai, Netaji Bose and many others who put up a brave fight against the British, so that Mother India would breathe free. A lot of research and detailed report has been put together by five well known writers, Bipan Chandra, Sucheta Mahajan, Aditya Mukherjee, Dr. Mridula Mukherjee and K.N.Panikkar. This paperback book was published in 2000 by Penguin Publishers. Besides the early struggles, the actual final independence war with Mahatma Gandhi at its helm enlightens the students about the efforts that these great leaders took so that we would be born in a free country.

India’s Ancient Past

It takes its own place in the list of Best Books for IAS Preparation. R. S. Sharma is instrumental in introducing the ancient India to the modern readers through his book, “India’s Ancient Past”. The paperback first edition of the book was published by Oxford University Press in September 2011, a month after the demise of the author. This historian had the knack of interestingly projecting the various eras of the bygone days, so that the modern day reader did not find the information mundane and irrelevant. In fact, Sharma enfolds the different religious, cultural and economical changes that occurred over the period from Neolithic to Vedic and then Harappan civilization. Variety is the spice of life and this is aptly visible in the different religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, etc that prevailed from the ancient time to modern day. Their influences and beliefs are worth studying to understand how India evolved from ancient thoughts to modern ideas.

History of Medieval India

It is also one of the Best IAS Preparation Books for History. It takes a great deal of in depth study to cover a span of over 1000 years from eighth to the eighteenth century A.D. in a concise manner. However, Satish Chandra has done a great work by giving details about the changes that took place in politics, economy, society and culture within this span. In 2009, Orient Blackswan published the first paperback edition of his book, “History of Medieval India” in English. It must be absolute skill to incorporate history of 1000 years in 20 odd chapters in 415 pages.

Why we would recommend this book to all students pursuing IAS exams is that as future administrative officers of India it is essential to know about the country’s growth through different ages. Our country has a colorful past and it has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties like the Cholas, the Marathas, the Rajputs, Kingdom of Vijayanagara, and the Mughals etc. Each dynasty has been instrumental in leaving its impact on social, cultural and political fronts and the country evolved through these influences. So in order to be a representative of modern India, one should know the glorious as well as bitter past (beginning of caste system that is causing upheaval even today). This book will surely help the students to have a better understanding of India.

Geography Books for IAS

Geography of India

This is one of the essential IAS Preparation Books for Geography. As an aspiring IAS student, it is necessary to study about the country and its land, climate and rich vegetation and this book certainly fulfills this need. Study of geography is considered mundane by many as it is a tedious task to recollect the varied physical features, climatic conditions of regions as well as vegetation found there. Nonetheless, Majid Husain has done a commendable job compiling a book of 800 plus pages to explain in detail all aspects of geographical conditions.

The book has been published by McGraw Hill Education and the 6th edition has been released. However, even though there is detailed study of all the topics, the data is not updated from the previous edition. Those who are not very keen on Geography yet need to study for civil services examination may find the book to lengthy and difficult to comprehend totally as there are many terms and details mentioned that many not strike a basic student. India has totally diverse landforms scattered through the states. All the four regions, East, West, North and South have different topography and hence the climatic conditions also vary.

Oxford School Atlas

If you go through previous years question papers, you will understand that there are about 5 to 10 map based questions being asked in prelims exam. By spending 15 minutes daily and scanning through this atlas you can easily score 5 to 10 marks. Doesn’t that sound easy? The most trusted and used for generations, Oxford School Atlas that is published by Oxford University Press-New Delhi has seen the release of its 34th edition. The atlas is extremely good as it gives physical as well as political map of a country or continent. This enables to understand the location of the place, its various landforms and wind directions that bring about climatic changes. One can also learn about the crops of various regions.

Very rarely do we give importance to the latitudes and longitudes with respect to the location of a place. However, these are very essential for aviation and maritime fields for easy and safer navigation. The latest edition of the atlas has been updated with the inclusion of the new state of Telangana, So in short, one can say that this atlas gives accurate information about the physical features, political divisions, annual rainfall and climate graphs, etc of India and is very helpful to IAS examination aspirants to understand the country better.

Certificate Physical and Human Geography

It is one of the very important Geography Books for IAS Preparation. This book deals with physical geography covering Climate, Oceans, Winds, Earthquakes and more. We live on planet Earth and it is interesting to note that there are many facets to this planet. When we see from outer space we realize the different landforms, the variety of vegetation, etc that is present on Earth. Goh Cheng Leong has tried to explain this to the avid students of Geography in his simple 192 pages book, “Certificate Physical and Human Geography”. Its first edition in English has been published by Oxford University Press in 2014.

The book has two sections. First is about Physical Geography and deals in various landforms and how they are formed. The mountains, the plains, coastal region, the deserts etc are various geographical features and they are caused due to many reasons like weathering, tectonic movements and so on. The Earth’s crust itself has many layers composing of different elements. The effects of earthquakes and volcanoes on the surface of the earth are also mentioned in the book. Besides land, the earth also comprises of water masses like oceans, lakes, rivers and coral reefs etc.

The second section of the book discusses the Weather, climates of various regions and the vegetation found there. Each region has a particular type of climate as per its geographical location and the vegetation too is purely dependent on the climatic conditions. Thus, the author tries to familiarize the students with the different locations and the effects of winds, rain etc in the region. The Earth may seem one unit, but the variety of landforms, climates and vegetation found here are well worth studying from this comprehensive book on the subject.

Polity Books for IAS

Indian Polity

As an aspiring civil servant, the individuals keen on taking the civil service examination should know the political aspects of India in detail. Indian politics has many sub-issues to understand, like the Constitution and its importance and various amendments, the roles of different leaders in government such as the duties of the President, the Prime Minister, etc. India has divisions like urban, rural and union territories. The rural part has panchayat raj. Every state has its individual state government and the entire scenario is ruled by the Central government. There are many levels of ministries and different responsibilities assigned to each.

The Indian Constitution states the laws of citizenship, fundamental rights of the Indian people, etc. All this has been covered extensively in 600 plus pages of the book “Indian Polity”, authored by M. Laxmikanth and published in 2013 by McGraw Hill Education (4th edition). The book also covers finer details about law, attorney general’s role, public services, national integration, election and planning commission, etc. In short, it is the best book for preparation of IAS exam, as the student gets a perfect picture about the Indian political system.

Culture Books for IAS

The Wonder that was India

“The Wonder that was India” is authored by A. L. Basham and its 3rd revised edition was published by Pan Macmillan in 2004. India is indeed a wonderful country and there is beauty in its diversity. This book gives the readers an insight of the ancient India and its impact on the modern day country. Ancient India has seen many dynasties rule over it and that brought about different cultures that invariably blended beautifully to give us this unique nation. The author traces times from the Harappan or Indus valley civilization to the period when Mughals invaded India.

On a final note he also brings forth to attention the influences of various ancient cultures on modern day India. One gets to know the different religions that were formed and their beliefs and impact on society. What is most commendable about this book is the fact that it has been written by a British who has keenly studied the ancient Indian History and collected all data about its religions, cultures, etc so that we get better acquainted with our own country. The students pursuing history or political studies stand to gain a lot by reading this book as it introduces you to the most amazing ancient civilization – Indian civilization.

Indian art and culture

Indian art and culture is well known all over the world. There is a great deal of diversity in the culture and thus related art forms are also a plenty. There is beauty in diversity and each Indian art form is unique – be it paintings, dance forms, handicrafts, etc. Being a very old civilization, India has a rich cultural heritage, more so because the land has been ruled by many dynasties, each leaving its impact before being wiped out.

Nitin Singhania has authored the book “Indian art and culture” which is helpful for all IAS exam aspirants. The book published by McGraw Hill Education (India) Pvt. Ltd. was released in 2015. The author has been successful in depicting the art, architecture, paintings and music as well as different cultural shades of the country through interesting pictures and illustrations. This book also lists questions relating to culture and heritage that may appear in the exams, thus enabling the students to prepare themselves well for the examinations.

IAS Books for Economy

Economic Survey

This book is in 2 volumes and is penned by the Finance Ministry of the Indian Government. The volumes are published by Oxford University Press and were released in 2015. As the title of the book suggests, the book is an economic survey that spans the previous year of release that is 2014 to the current year of publication. The Ministry of Finance prepares statistical data of the growth in various sectors like agriculture, industry, trade, etc and its impact on the Indian Economy. It also discusses the various planning and strategies adopted to boost the economy and its results.

This annual survey report is by large followed by corporate world, finance analysts and policy makers as well as investors and stakeholders from around the globe with interest in Indian economy. Students pursuing studies in economics and finance sector also find the report helpful to understand the different policies and reforms applicable to Indian Economy. As per the norm, this survey report is furnished in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha amidst the budget session and published a day prior to the Union budget.

Indian Economy for Civil Services Examination

Economy is a very wide sector to deal with. There are many matters to learn about that are related to economy. This includes knowledge about banking, insurance, security market etc. Along with this a person needs to know about economical reforms, Indian growth on industrial, agricultural and trade front. The book, “Indian Economy for Civil Services Examination” authored by Ramesh Singh is published by McGraw Hill Education and its 6th edition was released in 2014.

As the title of the book suggests, this book prepares the IAS students to gain knowledge about Indian Economy system and various related trades and practices. In the modern world, Indian Economy is considered to be on the rise and looked upon as a powerful economy. Thus along with local market policies, the students also get an insight on influence of global economy and foreign trade policies. All those who wish to pursue a place in finance ministry in the capacity of an economic advisor or finance planner for budget, etc should definitely read this book.

IAS Books for Science

Science and Technology for Civil Services Examinations

It is well known that without Science and Technology there is no progress in this ever growing world. Hence, it is essential for every nation to have some projects and plans related to these fields if they wish to establish themselves as a powerful developing nation. Technology is a term used to explain the in depth knowledge related to a particular field like space technology, nuclear technology, environment, defence, energy, biotechnology, nanotechnology and the most popular in today’s age, Information technology (IT) related to computers that is an integral part of our existence.

“Science and Technology for Civil Services Examinations” by author Ashok Kumar Singh is a book that has been published by McGraw Hill Education and the first edition is out for sale. Besides explaining the various technologies in detail, the author tries to familiarize the students with all the abbreviations and acronyms used, different term used in various technologies, etc. This facilitates the students to understand the subject matter better. Science and Technology has a great impact on a nation’s economy and politics. The progress achieved through these developments ascertains a country’s place in global market.

IAS Books for Environment

Environmental Studies

R Rajagopalan is the author of the book “Environmental Studies” published by Oxford University Press. As a responsible resident of this country or for that matter, planet earth, it is every individual’s responsibility to care for the nature and the surrounding. This is the environment that we live and breathe in. So it is essential to understand the issues that affect the environment and also try to find feasible solutions to the problems. Locally as well as globally there are environmental issues like global warming, pollution, erratic climatic changes, etc.

This book throws light on various such issues. Although the matter is put forth in question and answer format for easy comprehension, there could be some more elaboration on each topic to give a detailed understanding of the subject. Environment is a big issue and summarizing the entire matter in barely 400 pages does not give scope for in depth knowledge of the topics. However, since environmental studies is a compulsory subject for all as per UGC guidelines, this book surely gives a glimpse of the basics and is useful for primary understanding about environmental concerns.

Environment for Civil services (Prelims and Mains) and other competitive examinations

Authors D R Khullar and J A C S Rao have effectively penned down the topic of Environment and related issues. The book, “Environment for Civil services (Prelims and Mains) and other competitive examinations” is published by McGraw Hill Education (India) Pvt. Ltd. In today’s world we daily read about many environmental issues like pollution, climatic changes, balancing the ecosystem, etc. There are various methods adopted to tackle these issues like sustainable management and development.

All these aspects are covered in the book and it is a must read for the students appearing for civil services examinations because as future representatives of the country, it is essential to understand the various environmental problems suffered by the nation. It helps to prepare a person to find solutions, study current trends and familiarize with different policies, bills and amendments passed by the government to address the issues. Besides comprehensive coverage of all environment related topics, the book also prepares the students by giving mock practice with likely questions and multiple choice questions that may be asked in the different exams.

IAS Books for Current Affairs

India 2016

“India 2016” is a comprehensive reference tool to the students appearing for IAS exams. The book is published by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It is a must have for the students of IAS as it gives up to date data about the rural, urban and other developments. There is detailed description about the current trends in infrastructure and trade, progress in science and technology, changing face of art and culture, mass communication, economy of the country and its health, defence and education policies, etc.

IAS students need to know these factual details about the country as many aspects are covered and asked in the examination. Besides the regular topics, the book also discusses about sports, current dealings and just general knowledge trivia about our country. If you aspire to be a good civil servant in the future, then in depth knowledge about different aspects of the nation is a must.

Manorama Yearbook 2016

India is a big country and there are so many things about it that need to be covered and put forth for the masses to understand the country in detail. Right from medicine, education, technology etc to its sports, culture, art and entertainment, India has a lot to offer. How can one get to learn about the richness of the nation and its many aspects? Look no further and go ahead and read the book “ Manorama Yearbook 2016”.

This book covers all the information about medicine, science and technology, entertainment, sports, environment, etc. There is updated data about the various events and government publications like policies, reforms and much more. The book also boasts of some rare articles by some renowned Indians like A P J Abdul Kalam, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, etc. Besides the treasure of information, this book prepares the civil services examination aspirants by enabling them to solve many quiz questions on varied topics that are listed in the book. This is like a mock trial of the exam where the student learns many facts through the game format.

IAS Books for CSAT

Civil Service Aptitude Test

After clearing the preliminary examination, it is time for the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). Cracking an aptitude test need lot of efforts and preparation. There are multiple tricky questions asked from various fields of study like basic numeracy and data interpretation, logical reasoning and problem solving power, comprehension, analytical skills and effective communication with good interpersonal skills. All these questions need quick thinking and accurate choice of answers from the set of multiple choices.

Any examination has got a stipulated time frame and if you are better prepared then it becomes easy to crack the exam with flying colours. Arihant Publishers are pioneers in compiling books and practice sets for different competitive exams like IIT JEE, etc. Now they are out to help the IAS exam aspirants to sail through the selection process by cracking the aptitude test. “Cracking CSAT paper 2” not only prepares the students with the question and answers, but for study and better understanding of the test pattern, they have solved papers of the past four years from 2011 to 2014. This is the fifth revised edition of the book, published in December 2014.

General Studies for civil services preliminary examination Paper 2

When we appear for any exam, a lot of preparation goes into it. However, if there is a comprehensive guide to steer you through the piles of questions that may come your way, then it is better to select such an option. “General Studies for civil services preliminary examination Paper 2” is a book authored and published by McGraw Hill Education.

The book covers categories like comprehension, logical thinking and analytical ability, interpersonal skills including effective communication, decision making with problem solving skill and finally, basic numeric computation and data interpretation. Passing the Preliminary examination is mandatory to be selected for the Mains exam. Thus solving the problems given in the book or studying the previous year’s solved papers can give enough practice to the students to prepare for the prelims.

Analytical Reasoning

Analytical reasoning is based on two norms – reasoning by logical thinking and reasoning based on set rules. Logical reasoning has many sub- topics like assumptions, arguments, evaluation of a course of action and conclusions, etc. It also analyzes the cause and effect and intensification or failing of arguments. Logical reasoning is based on collective data that strengthens the arguments. There has to be sufficient points to fight your cause. On the other hand, reasoning based on rules follows the input-output pattern. One needs to study the steps of the input to get a proper output.

“Analytical Reasoning” by M K Pandey is a book that prepares the students by giving them insight to all the finer nuances of solving problems using either of the two aforesaid methods. The book is different from other preparatory books as it explains every topic in detail and then places problems based on that. There are over 10,000 questions to solve and understand the reasoning aspect. The topic of Analytical Reasoning is explained in a very simple manner so that any reader can understand it clearly. So this book is definitely important to students preparing for various competitive examinations.

A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning

“A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning” by Dr. R.S. Aggarwal is published by S.Chand & Company Pvt. Ltd. was published in 2012. This book deals with Verbal Reasoning in the first section and covers topics like logical placements of words, solving alpha numeric sequence puzzles, judging general mental ability with respect to reasoning, examining the credibility of statement, analysis of conclusions, etc.

The Non-Verbal section covers points like construction of geometric figures, paper folding, completing a series of incomplete patterns, etc. Besides this it also incorporates finding an embedded figure or figure formation and its analysis. These two sections help to develop an alert mind and keen observation and the various methods listed help in building focus and concentration. For any examination, the need for reasoning and arriving to conclusions is very important and this book will definitely help train the student’s mind and help him see things through many perspectives before jumping to final conclusion.

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