Resources for Prelims Preparation

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Current events of national and international importance.

History of India and Indian National Movement.

Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.

Environmental- General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.

General Science

Sources to refer: 

  1. Daily
    1. Read newspaper religiously (no shortcut).
    2. The Hindu– Editorial for both prelims and Mains and environment section for Prelims.
    3. The Indian Express- Editorials only.
    4. Livemint- Economy editorials are well explained.
    5. Do not spend more than 1 hour 30 minutes to read the newspaper and make short notes.
  2. Weekly
    1. Press Information Bureau– Important articles for different schemes and program of the government.
    2. RajyaSabha debate videos (important ones only)
      1. The Big Picture 
    3. The Better India – Inspirational and motivational stories and extract 1-2 lines to write in Ethics and other GS papers.
    4. Give 2-4 hrs on every Sunday
  3. Monthly
    1. PRS– read the summary of important bill, and acts.
    2. IDSA: Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis– For IR in-depth articles.
    3. Yojana and Kurukshetra- Just important articles.

Practice previous years UPSC and SPSC questions: 14000+ Objective Questions – General Studies (Preview)


Art and Culture of India

  1. CCRT Website –  CCRTPerforming Arts and Literary Arts 
  2. India yearbook chapters 1, 2 and 3 {Geography, Culture and Polity, respectively). No need to cover the whole book because you can’t remember everything. (Preview)
  3. Classical languages, different festivals, dances and their location which appear in the columns of The Hindu. 
  4. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania (Preview
  5. Ncert 11th: Fine Arts – Introduction to Indian Art (Download E-book) (Preview
  6. Jainism and Buddhism are favourite topics of UPSC.

History of Ancient India

  1. Ancient India Old Ncert History Textbook 1999 By Ram Sharan Sharma (Preview)(Download E-book)
  2. NCERT 12th: Themes in Indian History (Part-1) – Chapters 1 to 8- (Download E-book) (Preview)
  3. NCERT 6th: Our Pasts (Download E-book) (Preview)
  4. Tamil Nadu Edition – Class 11th book (Preview)

History of Medieval India

  1. A History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra (Preview)
  2. Ncert 12th: Themes in Indian History (Part-2) (Download E-book) (Preview)
  3. Ncert 7th: Our Pasts -II (Download E-book) (Preview)

History of Modern India

  1. A Brief History of Modern India (2018-2019) Session by Spectrum Book (Preview)
  2. NCERT 12th: Themes in Indian History (Part-3) (Download E-book) (Preview)
  3. NCERT 8th: Our Pasts – Part 1 (Preview)
  4. NCERT 8th: Our Pasts – Part 2 (Preview)
  5. Tamil Nadu Edition- Class 12th (Preview)
  6. Pradhanmantri series of ABP news – This covers post-independence event really well.

Reference books:

  1. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra (Preview)
  2. Plassey to Partition by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay (Preview)
  1. NCERT – Class 11th (New)
    1. Fundamentals of Physical Geography (Download E-book)(Preview)
    2. India Physical environment (Download E-book) (Preview)
  2. NCERT – Class 12th (New)
    1. Fundamentals of Human Geography (Download E-book) (Preview)
    2. India – People and Economy (Download E-book) (Preview)
  3. Atlas: Orient BlackSwan School Atlas (Preview)
  4. Oxford School Atlas: India’s Most Trusted Atlas (Preview)

Reference books:

  1. Certificate Physical and Indian Geography – Goh Cheng Leong (Preview)
  2. OLD NCERT Geography – Standard XI and XII.
  3. Fundamentals Of Physical Geography – Majid Hussain (Preview)
  1. Indian Polity 5th edition– M Laxmikanth (Preview) (Download E-book)

Reference books:

  1. Introduction to Indian Constitution – D.D.Basu (Preview) (Download E-book)
  2. Our Constitution- Subhash C Kashyap (Preview)
  1. Introductory Macroeconomics – Textbook in Economics for Class – 12 (Preview)
  2. Indian Economic Development Textbook for Class – 11 (Preview)
  3. NCERT-Economics Textbook for Class – 9 (for basics) (Preview)
  4. NCERT-Economics Textbook for Class – 10 (for basics) (Preview)
  5. Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh- (Preview) (E-book download). Selective chapters  from the book on
    1. Introduction (GDP, GNP, growth etc.
    2. Evolution of the Indian economy
    3. Banking,
    4. Inflation & Business Cycle,
    5. Agriculture,
    6. India and the Global Economy,
    7. Human development,
    8. Technology and environment

For the better understanding of concepts, please refer to either of these:

  1. The Hindu-Monday Edition (Nobel prizes, important research work in India and abroad, application-based news in Science and Tech)
  2. NCERT- Science Textbook for Class – 6 (Preview)
  3. NCERT- Science Textbook for Class – 7 (Preview)
  4. NCERT-Science Textbook for Class- 8 (Preview)
  5. NCERT-Science Textbook for Class- 9 (Preview)
  6. NCERT – Biology Textbook for Class – 11 (Unit IV & V only – read basic concepts, not technical details) (Preview)
  7. NCERT Biology – 12th (Chapters 4, 5 and 7 to 16 – important – read line by line except for technical details) (Preview)
  8. NCERT – Physics – 11th (Chap 1,5 & 8) (Preview)
  9. NCERT – Physics – 12th (Chap 15 only) (Preview)
  10. NCERT – Chemistry – 11th (Chap 1 & 14 only) (Preview)
  11. NCERT – Chemistry – 12th (Chap 14 & 16 only) (Preview)
  1. NCERT- The Earth Our Habitat – Textbook Social Science for Class – 6 (Preview)
  2. Our Environment – Textbook for Geography for Class – 7 (Preview)
  3. Resources and Development Textbook in Geography for Class – 8 (Preview)
  4. Social Science Contemporary India – I for Class – 9 (Preview)
  5. Contemporary India Part – 2 Textbook in Geography for Class – 10 (Preview)
  6. Down to Earth Articles

Reference material:

  1. Shankar IAS notes on Environment (Preview)
  1. (lists all schemes really well)
  2. NCERT books mentioned above.
  3. Current affairs

Wish you all the very best in the civil services preparation! 😀