Civil Services Prelims is the first hurdle to the candidates in their IAS journey, preliminary exam marks are not counted for final merit. After announcing the preliminary results there is no time to start preparation for mains.
So you have to prepare for both mains cum prelims.
Mains examination is the second phase in civil service examination pattern. This phase is descriptive in nature. In this phase you have to write 2 language papers (qualifying in nature), 1 General Essay, 4 General Studies Papers, 2 Optional Papers. For detailed syllabus of each paper, please go through the UPSC Official website.
Here we are mentioning the most important books for UPSC Civil Service Examination General studies Paper 1.
Best Recommended Books for UPSC IAS Mains General Studies Paper 1 by Toppers
Topics in General Studies-I: History and Geography of the World and Society, Indian Heritage and Culture.
Indian heritage & Culture
Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Buy on Amazon) – This is the most recommended book. It covers the most topics in Prelims as well as mains.
Ancient Indian History
Ancient History by RS Sharma (Buy on Amazon) – This is a huge book for the ancient Indian History section. But you need to focus on social, cultural and religious outlook from each and every topic.
Modern Indian History
India since Independence by Bipin Chandra (Buy on Amazon)
World History by Arjun Dev (Buy on Amazon)
Old NCERTs are the best option from 6th – 12th
Best Recommended Books for UPSC IAS Mains General Studies Paper 2 by Toppers
Topics in General Studies Paper 2 covers the Polity, Governance, Social Justice and International relations, Constitution.
To score good marks in this paper, you need to gain thorough understanding of political concepts. In Constitution section the best and most recommended books are Introduction to the Constitution of India by D.D. Basu and Indian Constitution at Work (NCERT) are the best books.
Introduction to the Constitution of India by D.D. Basu – (Buy on Amazon)
Indian Polity:’Indian Polity by Laxmikanth’- (Buy on Amazon)
Governance in India by Laxmikanth – (Buy on Amazon)
Above mentioned books will cover most of the polity topics. You can also read NCERTs.
Administrative Reforms Commission Report: This is the most helpful resource for Organizational structure of Indian Government, Reports on local governance, capacity building and more topics will cover ( ARC Report )
India Year Book – This is a huge book, so you don’t need to read from first page to last page. You can focus on some important topics like welfare schemes, Health and Education related information. Buy On Amazon
Yojana – This is also very useful for Essay paper as well as other papers. Some editions will give the information like E-Governance, Women Empowerment and many topics
For International Relations the best source is the Ministry of External Affairs Annual report.
Best Recommended Books for UPSC IAS Mains General Studies Paper 3 by Toppers
Topics in General Studies-III: Science & Technology, Economic Development, Environment, Biodiversity, Security and Disaster Management
Indian Economy NCERT Books 11th & 12th
Indian Economy for Civil Services by Ramesh Singh (Buy on Amazon)
Economic Survey: Focus on Highlights
Ministry of Environment is the best source for Environment and biodiversity section.
For Biodiversity and climate change another source is UNFCCC Website
Science & Technology: Read News Paper & Major Online portal on Science & Technology.
Best Recommended Books for UPSC IAS Mains General Studies Paper 4 by Toppers
Topics in General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
NCERT 12 class Book Psychology covers Attitude, thinking and perception.
Ethics & Integrity – Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Examination by G. Subba Rao (Buy on Amazon)
Indira Gandhi National Open University ( IGNOU ) Ethics study material also helpful.
For Moral & Ethics – Justice: What’s the right thing to do? – By Michael Sandel (Buy on Amazon)
ARC Report on Ethics
Maintain exclusive notes for each subject and revise 2 – 3 times before one month of the mains exams is the best method to clear the main examination.