Complete Study Material for IAS UPSC Exam

IAS is India’s one of most respected and eminent career choices. Aspirants who want to become an IAS ( Indian Administrative Service) officer have to clear the UPSC ( Union Public Service ) examination which is considered the toughest exam and has three sets- Preliminary,  Main and Interview or Personality Test.  

Crossing the hurdle of the UPSC examination is not like clearing other various exams, it needs resonant knowledge about every subject and topic and a full-packed preparation as the syllabus of UPSC is massive.

For that, the candidates must select those books and study materials which can cover the hefty syllabus and convey a thorough knowledge of the topics. 

And If aspirants like you are searching for top-quality and topper-recommended study material for your IAS preparation then go to this webpage for Free Materials and Topper Certified Notes or join 99 NOTES IAS INSTITUTE for online learning.

Free Online Study Material For IAS UPSC Exam



General Study 1

1. Ancient India

2. Medieval India

3. Modern India

4. World History

5. Indian Heritage And Culture

6. Post-Independence India


1. Salient Features of Indian Society.

2. Population

3.Social Empowerment

4. Poverty And Development

4. Urbanization


6.Communalism Regionalism And Secularism


1. Fundamental Physical Geography

2.Fundamental Human Geography

3. Indian Physical Geography

4. Indian Human Geography

General Study 2

















General Study 3

1. Macroeconomics

2.Government Budgeting And Planning

3. Banking

4.Liberlisation,Privatisation and Globalisation

5.Inclusive Growth and Employment


7.Development Of Industries

8. Infrastructure


1. Major Crops And Irrigation Systems

2.Agricultural Industries And Marketing

3.Government Schemes and Their Impact

4. Technology In Agriculture

5.Animal Husbandry

6.Land Reforms In India


1. Basic Science

2.Applications in Everyday Life

3. Achievements of Indian Science and Tech

4. Intellectual Property Rights

5.Emerging Technologies


1. Vegetation and Wildlife Conservation

2.Environment Pollution

3. Disaster Management

4. Environment Impact Assessment


1. Terrorism, Extremism and Organized Crime

2.Border Security, External State and Non-State Actors

3. Cyber Security

4. Security Forces Of India

General Study 4

Recommended Books for IAS by Toppers

There is adequate availability of IAS books in the market but every book is not useful or that good to rely on. Hence, the right collection and expert or topper-recommended book is significant.

So, to know the best books for IAS, check this Booklist for UPSC CSE and Booklist for General Studies free from 99 NOTES.

AIR 1 Ishita Kishore on Must Read Booklist and Resources for UPSC CSE

  • For Geography and History, she followed the NCERT book from classes 6 to 12. Class 6 to 8 books will give the aspirants the base knowledge and 9 to 12 classes books will give rise to their knowledge about the topic. Also solving the Previous Year’s Question Papers is important.
  • Apart from these books, she told the candidates to go to any websites that provide Current Affairs. And follow daily Quizzes on websites to hone the preparation.
  • Check day-to-day Current Affairs for adequate learning.  
  • She followed Newspapers religiously daily. It’s a must for UPSC aspirants.
  • She conveyed messages to the beginner aspirants that try to follow one book thoroughly, and then keep adding on one by one. Don’t just start altogether at once.
  • Online websites are Saviour. If the aspirant thinks feeling, lacking in knowledge after going through all the books, then online websites are a good resource for the extra or lacking knowledge. 
  • She also shared her strategy with the aspirants. She followed this mantra during the preparation “Ek Source – Har Roz” (one source every day).
  • For mains, she printed the syllabus, focuses on every word written there and analysed it. Then make notes on every word. And then she followed additional websites for better development.

Just like her, aspirants like you can follow 99 NOTES IAS INSTITUTE.

Must Read Booklist and Resources for UPSC CSE of AIR 5 Srushti Jayant Deshmukh


  • NCERT Books from 6 to 12. She followed the new version of NCERT and she read the NCERT books of class IX to XII with the greatest emphasis.
  •  For Politics, she referred to the books of Neeharika Reddy and M Laxmikanth.
  •  For the Economy, she took guidance from Mr Ramesh Singh’s books.
  •  She followed all the government documents as a reference and very flawlessly obeyed the Niti Aayog Action Agenda as a reference to her preparation.
  •  Newspaper is the basic sauce for current affairs of every Aspirant. Regularly following the newspaper will be very beneficial for the UPSC IAS candidates. 
  • She followed the Rajiv Ahir Spectrum books for modern history, for Ancient and Medival history she had stuck to NCERT and Tamilnadu History book of class XI.
  • For the Indian cultural part, she followed the book of Nitin Singhania called Indian Art and Culture. Also Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) website is equally significant for learning. 
  • For Geography, she pursued the base book named Certificate Physical and Human Geography a book by Goh Cheng Leong, NCERTA and also maps books like ATLAS.
  • For Science and Tech, she kept a tab on newspapers for trending facts and news.

Booklist for UPSC

As a UPSC aspirant, you are embarking on a journey that will test your intellect and your determination. It is a journey that is long, challenging and often confusing. Therefore, before looking at the list of books, we put forward a small cautionary note. A too-diverse set of books/study material can be helpful in certain ways, but it makes the coverage of syllabus as well as revision too tedious. It is therefore advised that:

  1. Candidates must stick to a small set of study materials which can be revised multiple times before the exam.
  2. If the textbooks are your direct source of preparation, then immediately after the first reading, students must focus on preparing concise notes for revision.
  3. No matter how much you study, nothing prepares you better than practising questions.

Always remember, if you stay the course, this journey will be rewarding and fulfilling. Believe in yourself.

You’ve got this!


Polity and Governance

  • NCERT Class XI – for understanding Political Theory
  • Indian Polity by Laxmikanth covers a large portion of the syllabus comprehensively.
  • Constitution of India by DD BASU – It is important for the ‘mains’ perspective but can be skipped if Laxmkanth suits you well.
  • 2nd ARC reports – These are a set of 15 reports, out of which the:
    1. 5th report is important for police reforms,
    2. 10th report for overall reforms in civil services in recruitments as well as e-governance.
    3. 12th report for citizen-centric governance
  • All this should be complemented with regular news updates on the issues mentioned in the syllabus, as UPSC often asks conceptional questions based on current events.
    1. Either The Hindu or Indian Express should suffice your preparation.
    2. PRS Legislative Research is another useful source.

Govt Schemes  

  • Government websites like PIB, Vikaspedia;
  • The Hindu/Indian Express;


  • Macroeconomics – NCERT Class XII;
  • Indian Economic Development – NCERT Class XI;
  • Economic Survey Summary of at least the past three years;
  • Budget Summary of at least the past three years;
  • Websites like Arthapedia could work well for understanding basic concepts;
  • The Hindu/Indian Express/Yojana magazine;

Ancient History of India

  • Old NCERT by RS Sharma;
  • Tamil Nadu class 11,12NCERT;
  • Note: Ancient India is important for understanding Indian Heritage and culture.

Medieval History of India

  • Only selective reading of Old NCERT by Satish Chandra.
  • Note: Medieval history is too vast and much less rewarding. Therefore, there is no need to dive deep into it.

Modern History

  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra;
  • A Brief History of Modern India- Spectrum Publications;
  • From Plassey To Partition And After by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay – It is only from the ‘mains’ perspective – and can be skipped if other books suit you.

Indian Art and Culture

  • An Introduction to Indian Art – Class XI NCERT;
  • Centre for Cultural Resource and Training (CCRT) booklet.
  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania – this book itself is a gist of NCERT and CCRT books. However, it is still advisable to first read the NCERTs.

Environment and Biodiversity

  • Biology chapter no 14,15,16 from class 12 NCERT;
  • Chemistry chapter no. 14 from class 11 NCERT;
  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography XI NCERT chapter no 15,16;
  • India: Physical Environment XI NCERT chapter no 5,7;
  • Can refer to magazines like Down to Earth and Science Reporter.

Science and Technology

  • General Science books – IX and X standard;
  • The updates in the fields of Science in India can be noted from The Hindu/Indian Express/Science Reporter.


  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography XI NCERT;
  • India: Physical Environment XI NCERT;
  • Fundamentals of Human Geography XII NCERT;
  • India: People and Economy XII NCERT;
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography: GC Leong;
  • Geography of India – by Majid Hussain, World Geography- by Majid Hussain, and Physical Geography by Savinder Singh can be seen from the main perspective, but it is advisable to stick to NCERTs and GC Leong.
  • World Atlas ;


  • Society in India by RAM AHUJA
  • Various current issues in Society can be covered through newspapers.

International Relations

  • Books like India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri and Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor can be useful in making basic understanding but are not necessary.
  • The Hindu/Indian Express/The Diplomats are useful in understanding the current issues.


  • The Hindu/Indian Express;
  • The 8th report and the 5th report of the 2nd ARC are useful in understanding basic concepts in security.

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

One of the following two books can be followed for Ethics.

  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude is a standard book for reading ethics.
  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Examination by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudhary.


  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Agarwal;
  • Logical Reasoning by RS Agarwal.

How 99Notes covers these topics:

  1. Master Notes by 99Notes: Covers all the resources mentioned above and continuously updates them based on current developments.
  2. Practising Questions: Alongside the content, we provide the database of PYQs and an ample number of Model questions to cover each concept. All the material is uploaded to the website and can be browsed by anyone remotely with login credentials.
  3. Current Affairs: 99Notes covers basic reports, Economic surveys, Budget, and Magazines (Science Reporter, Yojana, etc.) in its current affairs section.

Remember that success in the UPSC exam is not just about getting a job. It’s about becoming a part of the civil service community and working towards a better future for our country. Keep this in mind, stay focused, and keep moving forward.

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