Reference Books

A. History

  1. Ancient and Medieval History of India

For History first go through all NCERT books of history from class 6 to 12 then only go through reference books. Stick to single reference book.

Ancient IndiaMedieval India
1. Ancient and Medieval India by Poonam Dahiya1. Ancient and Medieval India by Poonam Dahiya
2. D N Jha2. Satish Chandra


  • Since you have too much to read you must not waste your time on many books.
  • For Ancient and Medieval history there is one stop solution that is Poonam Dahiya book.
  • You might find out PDF book on internet but trust us you must need copy of this book.
  • Plus point of this book is they gave you several questions based on prelim and mains, hence you don’t need to rush for separate question bank. Read this book many times and revise.

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About D. N. Jha Book, it is well known book to study ancient India and good story teller. You will remember background of many events but unfortunately you wont get many things for UPSC exam. Second negative point is ideology. Writer of this book took charge over the content and we find exaggerated point of views many time.

Third Book is Satish Chandra for Medieval India is also well known and best to study medieval history. After reading this book you feel that you have masters in Medieval India but trust me you will forget and feel confuse after someday. Its because of the noisy nature of this book. Writer tried to give you everything of Medieval India but cause of book size he couldn’t able to do that. Hence Satish Chandra come up with two new books on medieval India!!! We really respect Satish Chandra and his efforts but aspirant must not forget about time to output ratio ratio during your preparation. Here Poonam Dahiya have upper hand on consolidated book on ancient and medieval India with no compromising in content.

2. Modern India

AuthorName of Book
1. Bipan ChandraIndia’s Struggle for Independence
2. Poonam Dalal DahiyaModern India
3. Spectrum Rajiv AhirA Brief History of Modern India
4. Shekhar BandopadhyayFrom Plassey to Partition

Bipan Chandra (India’s Struggle For Independence) If you are not familiar with modern India then you must read this book. Only 1 reading required. For Mains it is very important book. During mains preparation you need many revisions of Bipan Chandra.  

Poonam Dalal Dahiya (Modern India) This book is specifically design for civil service examination. Instead of Bipan Chandra you can choose this book.

Spectrum Rajiv Ahir (A brief history of Modern India) After Bipan Chadra you must read spectrum. Revise this book many times as you can.  

Sekhar Bandopadhyay (From Plassey to Partition) (If you have a lot of time)    

Remember… 1st NCERT; 2nd Bipan Chandra or Poonam Dahiya; 3rd Spectrum.. Revise Spectrum many times


3. India After Independence

AuthorName of Book
1. Bipan Chandra India Since Independence
2. Ramachandra Guha India After Gandhi

You can choose anyone book among this two books.. Bipan Chandra wrote his book as historian where you need to have basic contextual information of topic. Where as India after Gandhi is like huge 800 page novel which has capacity to hold your attention. For both you need to take down notes.

4. World History

AuthorName of Book
1. Uddippan MukherjeeModern World History
2. Norman LoweMastering World History
  1. U. Mukherjee written his book for Civil Service aspirants hence this book is more organized and covered almost full syllabus with many question answers.
  2. While N. Lowe’s book is more centered towards Political world History with geopolitical aspects
  3. If you are reading world history only for GS I then go for Modern World History by Uddippan Mukherjee but if you have optional subject such as History or Political Science then go through Mastering World History by Norman Love

2. Geography

For Geography, read all NCERT books of Geography from class 6th to 12th. Always keep 11th and 12th books of geography nearby study table and revised.. then go through reference books.

1. Indian Geography

AuthorName of Book
1. Majid HusainGeography of India
2. Arvind KumarPeriyar Geography of India

Indian Geography

1. Geography of India by Majid Husain OR

2. Periyar Geography of India by Arvind Kumar

World Geography

World Geography by Majid Husain

Physical Geography

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong

2. World Geography

AuthorName of Book
1. Majid HusainWorld Geography
2. Bhumika SainiIndian and World Geography for UPSC

3. Physical Geography

AuthorName of Book
1. Goh Cheng LeongCertificate Physical and Human Geography
2. Manjunath ThamminidhiPhysical Geography

3. Indian Polity and Governance

Yes, M. Laxmikant is Bible for Indian Polity. Just read, revise and revise

4. Economic and Social Development

Before reading any reference book, go through NCERT Economy Text Books of class 10th, 11th and 12th.

Second Step go through Mrunal Lecture Series of Economy. (Youtube)

Now its time to read either of reference book of economy.

5. Environment

6. General Science

Fortunately there is no good reference book in market for general science. Hence, stick to NCERT Science books from class 6th to 10th and 11th plus 12th only Biology book. Just revise this material and solve previous years question papers.




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