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NCERT Books for UPSC 2018 Exam Preparation

'NCERT is the Bible' when it comes to IAS preparation. Aspirants should always start their UPSC Civil Services preparation from the basic NCERT textbooks. Many aspirants either avoid or skip reading NCERT books, which could be fatal. In fact, many toppers have admitted that they judiciously followed NCERT books for IAS preparation.

Why NCERT Books?

  • NCERT books are easily accessible to all the candidates who are preparing for the IAS exam.
  • NCERT textbooks are written for school students, so the content written in it is simple to read. They provide the basic information in a simplified format with an easy language, which will be helpful for understanding the basic concepts.

Importance of NCERT Books for UPSC

UPSC has a knack for picking questions directly from NCERT textbooks. Be it Prelims exam or Mains exam, when it comes to a conceptual understanding of the subject, UPSC gives importance to NCERT textbooks only. NCERT books are easily accessible to both rural and urban candidates. Further, they are also readily available online on NCERT website.

The information provided in NCERT books is authentic and reliable.


List of NCERT Books needed for UPSC Preparation

Note that the books in bold are most important for IAS Exam Preparation.

GS Paper-1 (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society)

NCERT Books for Indian Heritage and Culture

  1. Class XI An Introduction to Indian Art
  2. Class XI Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)

NCERT Books for Indian History

  1. Class VI Our Past
  2. Class VII Our Past -I
  3. Class VIII Our Past II and III
  4. Class IX India and the Contemporary World I
  5. Class X India and the Contemporary World II
  6. Class XI Themes In World History
  7. Class XII Themes In Indian History I
  8. Class XII Themes in Indian History II
  9. Class XII Themes In Indian History III

NCERT Books for Geography

  1. Class VI The Earth Our Habitat
  2. Class VII Our Environment
  3. Class VIII Resource and Development
  4. Class IX Contemporary India I
  5. Class X Contemporary India II
  6. Class XI Fundamentals of Physical Geography
  7. Class XI India Physical Environment
  8. Class XII Fundamentals of Human Geography
  9. Class XII India People and Economy

NCERT Books on Indian Society

  1. Class VI Social Science: Social & Political Life I
  2. Class VII Social Science: Social & Political Life II
  3. Class VIII Social Science: Social & Political Life III
  4. Class XI Sociology: Understanding Society
  5. Class XII Indian Society
  6. Class XII Social Change and Development in India

UPSC IAS GS Study Material

GS Paper 2 (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

NCERT books for Polity, Governance and Constitution

  1. Class IX Political Science: Democratic Politics Part I
  2. Class X Political Science: Democratic Politics Part II
  3. Class XI Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work
  4. Class XI Political Science: Political Theory
  5. Class XII Political Science I: Contemporary World Politics
  6. Class XII Political Science II: Politics in India Since Independence

Note: Detailed focus should be on Indian Polity and World Polity should be read later if time permits.

GS Paper 3 (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

NCERT Books for Science & Technology

  1. Science: NCERT Class VI
  2. Science: NCERT Class VII
  3. Science: NCERT Class VIII
  4. Science: NCERT Class IX
  5. Science: NCERT Class X
  6. Science: NCERT Class XI Chemistry: Unit 14 & Biology: Units 4 & 5
  7. Science: NCERT Class XII Chemistry: Unit 16 & Biology: Units 8, 9 & 10

NCERT Books for Economic Development

  1. Class IX Economics: Economics
  2. Class X Understanding Economic Development
  3. Class XI Indian Economic Development
  4. Class XII Introductory Microeconomics
  5. Class XII Introductory Macroeconomics

NCERT Books for Environment & Ecology

  1. Science: Class XII Biology: last four Chapters (13 to 16)


List of relevant Old NCERT books for reference/selective reading

1. Ancient India (Class XI) by RS Sharma

2. Medieval India (Class IX) by Satish Chandra - (This book is enough for complete Medieval history)

3. Modern India (Class X) by Bipin Chandra

4. World History(Class X): The Story of Civilization by Arjun Dev - (Should be enough for an intro to World History)

Steps to Download NCERT books for UPSC Exam

  1. You can download all NCERT books for IAS preparation from the official NCERT website.
  2. Once you click on the above link, a new tab will open. Click on the link for ePathshala.
  3. Select the class, subject, and book title accordingly.
  4. Once you select the book, the ebook will be opened. You can download that ebook by clicking on the download option on the top left of the window.

Steps to purchase NCERT books for IAS Exam

If you are not comfortable in reading from eBooks, you can also buy NCERT books for UPSC from Amazon or Flipkart, and get them delivered to your doorstep.

Books to be referred after reading NCERT

Once candidates read the NCERT books, they need to follow the prescribed textbooks or one standard textbook for each subject. Here we have listed essential textbooks for all GS Subjects.

  • Indian Polity (M. Laxmikanth)
  • Indian Economy (Ramesh Singh)
  • History of Modern India ( Bipin Chandra )
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography - G C Leong
  • Art and Culture - Nitin Singhania
  • Indian Year Book
  • Yojana Magazine
  • Brief history of Modern India (Spectrum publications)

In UPSC Civil Services Exam, UPSC evaluates candidates conceptual understanding and analytical ability. It does not give importance to what book you have read, rather it gives importance to what you have understood from it. So don t read vaguely or memorise. Instead, follow the concept to proceed further in UPSC preparation.

We understand that even after reading from reference books some weaknesses in a subject may remain.

You should go through our article on how to overcome your subject weakness.


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