According to me as well as several toppers of previous IAS exams, the best way to start your UPSC preparation is by reading through the NCERT books for UPSC and then moving on to the standard UPSC book list for 2022 (consisting of the standard books).

Also, you should be mindful about the type of IAS books that you choose for your preparation, given that the UPSC prelims and UPSC mains are very different from each other and would need 2 different sets of reading material for each.

The UPSC Prelims, being an entirely objective type of paper would need a separate booklist and the UPSC Mains being entirely subjective in its nature would need its own.

Best NCERT Books for UPSC

Listed below are the best NCERT books for UPSC according to the various subjects of the UPSC exam (of both Prelims and Mains Phases)

NCERT Books for Indian Society:

  • Indian Society: Class 6: Social Science: Social & Political Life I
  • Indian Society: Class 7: Social Science: Social & Political Life II
  • Indian Society: Class 8: Social Science: Social & Political Life III
  • Indian Society: Class 11: Sociology: Understanding Society
  • Indian Society: Class 12: Indian Society
  • You can also refer to class 12th Sociology book.

NCERT Books for Art and Culture:

  • Art & Culture: Class 11: An Introduction to Indian Art
  • Art & Culture: Class 11: Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters IX & X)

NCERT Books for Economy:

  • Class 9 Economics
  • Class 10: Understanding Economic Development
  • Class 11: Indian Economic Development
  • Class 12: Introductory Microeconomics
  • Class 12: Introductory Macroeconomics

NCERT Books for Environment & Ecology:

  • Science: Class 12: Biology: last four Chapters (13 – 16)