NCERT Books for UPSC

Reading NCERT textbooks is essential for your IAS exam preparation and if you have a question on your mind about which NCERT books to study for UPSC, then here are some relevant UPSC books from the NCERT catalogue. Ideally, it would help if you worked your way through all UPSC related books from class 6 to class 12. But even in these books, some topics are more important than the others, so here’s the list of all important NCERT books for IAS and topics which are essential for the civil services exam.

This article tries to answer the question, ‘Which NCERT books are important for IAS exam?’ and gives a detailed NCERT book list for UPSC preparation. These NCERT books required for the Civil Services Exam will help you in both UPSC Prelims and Mains.

Subject Wise UPSC Preparation Books from NCERT Books Catalog for IAS

The UPSC Syllabus for Civil Services Prelims and Mains examination is comprehensive and requires a lot of information sources to address the challenges of the UPSC question paper adequately. Here, we are giving the list of NCERT books for IAS 2021 Prelims & Mains Examination. This UPSC book list drawn from the NCERT Book Catalog will help the aspirants to prepare for the exam thoroughly. This list includes books for UPSC prelims and books for IAS mains. The download link for all essential NCERT books for UPSC – IAS is given at the end of the article.

NCERT Books for General Studies Paper I

  • UPSC Preparation Books from NCERT History Books:
    • History: NCERT Class VI – Our Past
    • History: NCERT Class VII – Our Past -I
    • History: NCERT Class VIII – Our Past II and III
    • History: NCERT Class IX – India and the Contemporary World – I
    • History: NCERT Class IX – India and the Contemporary World – II
    • History: NCERT Class X – Themes In World History
    • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes In Indian History – I
    • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes in Indian History – II
    • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes In Indian History – III
  • NCERT Books about Indian Society for UPSC exam:
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class VI – Social Science: Social & Political Life I
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class VII – Social Science: Social & Political Life II
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class VIII – Social Science: Social & Political Life III
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class XI – Sociology: Understanding Society
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class XII – Indian Society
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class XII – Social Change and Development in India
    • IAS aspirants can also refer the class 12 book for Sociology.
  • NCERT Indian Art and Culture books for UPSC:
    • Art & Culture: NCERT Class XI – An Introduction to Indian Art
    • Art & Culture: NCERT Class XI – Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)
  • UPSC Preparation Books from NCERT Geography Books for IAS:
    • Geography: NCERT Class VI – The Earth Our Habitat
    • Geography: NCERT Class VII – Our Environment
    • Geography: NCERT Class VIII – Resource and Development
    • Geography: NCERT Class IX – Contemporary India – I
    • Geography: NCERT Class X – Contemporary India – II
    • Geography: NCERT Class XI – Fundamentals of Physical Geography
    • Geography: NCERT Class XI – India – Physical Environment
    • Geography: NCERT Class XII – Fundamentals of Human Geography
    • Geography: NCERT Class XII – India – People and Economy
  • Additional IAS preparation books for reference: Old NCERT books for History (Pre 2000s):
    • Ancient India (class XI) by RS Sharma: This covers the ancient Indian history syllabus completely
    • Alternative Published version: India’s Ancient Past – RS Sharma: Covers all of the NCERT syllabi for IAS and is more detailed in all aspects. Should be a good substitute
    • Medieval India (class IX) by Satish Chandra
    • Alternative Published version: History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra: More detailed than the NCERT but less easy to read. NCERT would be better
    • Modern India (class X) by Bipin Chandra: Best book for UPSC Medieval History
    • Alternative Published version: India Before Independence: Bipan Chandra’s published book is readily available and is more comprehensive, but the NCERT is more objective and more comfortable to read
    • World History (Class X): Should be enough for an intro to world history

Continue reading below to know which NCERT books to study for IAS for General Studies Paper-II.

NCERT UPSC Preparation Books for General Studies Paper-II:

  • Polity NCERT Books for UPSC
    • Polity: NCERT Class IX – Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – I
    • Polity: NCERT Class X – Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – II
    • Polity: NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work
    • Polity: NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Political Theory
    • Polity: NCERT Class XII – Political Science I: Contemporary World Politics
    • Polity: NCERT Class XII – Political Science II: Politics in India since Independence
    • For Polity: Class 9 to 12 NCERT books should be read in detail, with a focus on 11th and 12th (of which World Politics, only if time permits).

Read on for information on which books to read for UPSC GS Paper III.

UPSC Books from NCERT for General Studies Paper III:

  • NCERT Books on Economy for UPSC
    • Economy: NCERT Class IX – Economics
    • Economy: NCERT Class X – Understanding Economic Development
    • Economy: NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development
    • Economy: NCERT Class XII – Introductory Microeconomics
    • Economy: NCERT Class XII – Introductory Macroeconomics
  • Science & Technology IAS Preparation Books from NCERT
    • Science: NCERT Class VI
    • Science: NCERT Class VII
    • Science: NCERT Class VIII
    • Science: NCERT Class IX
    • Science: NCERT Class X
    • Science: NCERT Class XI – Chemistry: Unit 14 & Biology: Units 4 & 5
    • Science: NCERT Class XII – Chemistry: Unit 16 & Biology: Units 8, 9 & 10
  • UPSC Books from NCERT on Environment & Ecology
    • Science: Class XII – Biology: last four Chapters (13 to 16)

For Economics: Reference of class 9 to 12 NCERT books for IAS should be ideal, but if you are familiar with the subject, class 11 and some chapters in class 11 and class 12 (micro + macro) would be sufficient. So, read selectively!

For Science: Refer textbooks of class IX and X that would be good enough for your IAS exam preparation.

The next list covers IAS Books from NCERT for Civil Services GS IV.

NCERT IAS Books for General Studies Paper IV

  • Ethics: NCERT Class XII – Psychology: Not too significant from the exam perspective, however good for some basics. Read selectively.

Must read UPSC books from NCERT book catalogue

Here’s a class-wise list of must-read NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Examination 2021:

Class Textbooks
  • History: Our Past
  • Geography: The Earth Our Habitat
  • Social Science: Social & Political Life I
  • Science: Science: Class VI
  • History: Our Past – II
  • Geography: Our Environment
  • Social Science: Social & Political Life II
  • Science: Science – Class VII
  • History: Our Past III – Part I & II
  • Geography: Resource and Development
  • Social Science: Social & Political Life III
  • Science: Science – Class VIII
  • History: India and the Contemporary World-I
  • Geography: Contemporary India – I
  • Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – I
  • Science: Class IX
  • Economics: Economics
  • History: India and the Contemporary World – II
  • Geography: Contemporary India – II
  • Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – II
  • Science: Class X
  • Economics: Understanding Economic Development
  • History: Themes in World History
  • Geography:
    • Fundamentals Of Physical Geography
    • India- Physical Environment
  • Science:
    • Chemistry: Unit 14
    • Biology: Unit 4 & 5
  • Economics: Indian Economic Development
  • Sociology: Understanding Society
  • Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work
  • Indian Culture:
    • An Introduction to Indian Art
    • Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)
  • History: Themes in Indian History
  • Geography:
    • Fundamentals Of Human Geography
    • India – People & Economy
  • Science:
    • Chemistry: Unit 16
    • Biology: Unit 8, 9 & 10
  • Economics: Introductory Macroeconomics
  • Sociology:
    • Indian Society
    • Social Change and Development in India
  • Political Science: Contemporary World Politics

We are sure that the comprehensive UPSC Books list from NCERT that we have provided in this article will help you save time during IAS Preparation. We hope now that your query ‘Which NCERT books should I read for UPSC?’ has been answered and you have the complete list of NCERT UPSC preparation books so that you can start your IAS preparation today!

Note: You can download all NCERT textbooks HERE. Compiled PDFs for all NCERT Books will be available for download very soon on this page, so keep visiting us.

  • Is NCERT a must for UPSC?
  • Yes, the NCERT books have concise information in straightforward language, making it easy to understand. Moreover, they are essential from both UPSC Prelims and Mains exam perspective.
  • Are NCERT books enough for IAS?
  • NCERT books are a must for the IAS exam. However, candidates should also refer to subject-specific books (e.g. Indian Polity by Laxmikant) and keep tabs on the current affairs.
  • Which is the best book for geography for IAS?
  • Best books for geography preparation in UPSC exam:
    • NCERT books – 6th to 12th standard
    • Any decent Atlas
    • Geography of India – Majid Hussain
  • Which magazine is best for UPSC preparation?
  • For UPSC preparation, Yojana magazine is one of the key resources. It has credible facts and data which can also be quoted in the UPSC Mains exam as the magazine is published by the Government of India ( I&B Ministry)
  • What is the salary of an IAS officer?
  • The basic per month salary of an IAS officer starts at Rs.56,100(TA, DA and HRA are extra) and can go on to reach Rs.2,500,00 for a Cabinet Secretary.  To know the salary structure of an IAS officer as per the  7th Pay Commission recommendations in detail, refer this article IAS Salary.
  • In which month are IAS exams held?
  • The three stages of the IAS exam are distributed throughout the year as per the UPSC calendar. For UPSC 2021, the months are given below:
    • Prelims – June 2021
    • Mains – September 2021
    • Interview – TBD
  • How many exams are there in IAS?
  • In the latest UPSC exam pattern, there are 11 exams ( two papers in Prelims, nine papers in Mains.) If candidates clear Mains, then the UPSC Personality Test or IAS interview is held.
  • How can I apply for IAS 2021?
  • The UPSC notification 2021 will be released on 10th February 2021. To apply for IAS 2021, candidates have to fill the two-part online registration on the UPSC official website before the last date of the application.
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