Books are most important weapons in this war with UPSC, In any war, any wrong selection of weapon may prove as disastrous.
First of all there is no ideal list of books, what may be liked by me, may not be liked by someone else, and what liked by whole community of IAS may not be suitable to my needs. So this is Why? Because everyone have its own weakness and strength, one whose English is good may be more inclined to wards D.D Base of Polity and whose English is not good, that book may prove as complicated, he/she will certainly prefer laxmikant, some aspirants want concise material, they have high aptitude, some want detailed books for easy understanding.
So there is no ideal list, you might have seen toppers saying that I did not read anything for that subject, this does not mean that topper was like superman, Actually everyone has unique aptitude in some fields, some may find science as most difficult part of syllabus and there are students who acclaim science as fun.But still lets try to compile the most accepted list of books for prelim part first.
First we have to start with polity and economics Because once we grasp the concepts of polity and economy, understanding of newspaper will be easy for us.
1. Ncert from 6th to 12th
3. Subhash kashyap bare acts constitution
5 Introduction to the Constitution of India (English) 21st Edition by D.D basu is also important but Laxmikant is better than exam point of view because D.D base did not write the book for the exam purpose
Polity is core of IAS preparation, paper 2 of mains is directly of indirectly related to polity only. This book list is for prelim only
1. Ncert 6th to 12th
4. Economic Survey released every year before budget.
1.Ncert 6th to 12th
3.Oxford School Atlas or
Geography is very interesting if studied with passion, otherwise you will take it burden in which a lot of information to remember.
For physical geography, YouTube is very important source, it will definitely enhance our understanding and make it more interesting.
For Indian and world geography Atlas is the key, some aspirants try to mug the concepts that even without use of Atlas, never commit that mistake.
As it includes a lot of facts, which cannot be mugged up over the time, so it is strongly advocated that we should make it daily routine to observe the atlas so that exact picture is inculcated of whole map, and try to imagine it without looking at it, After some time you will be usain bolt in it.
1. Ncert 6th to 12th
3. Old Ncerts for Medieval and Ancient India
History if prepared well, less chance of question getting wrong because it is not dynamic like other subjects But have to remember a lot of data in it so frequently revision of that data is important.
For beginners if getting bored movies like The legend of bhakti Singh and India after Gandhi can be seen to link the events and remember the timeline.
Also as there will plethora data in history so aspirants get confused what to remember and what to left, Actually we only have to decide observing the previous year papers because everyone has different capacity and strategy.
Environment has become most important subject of Prelim after merging of ifos and cse exam, so these days lot of questions form this section.
We also need to update ourselves with the the reports of unfccc and which organization publishes which reports.
Some aspirants find culture part most difficult to prepare, this subject also has dearth of good material But still this list will help you.
1. Ncert book for 11th
2.Nios art and culture for understanding
3. http://ccrtindia.gov.in/index.phpccrt website
culture and history are read together because culture alone cannot be compartmentalized, it is important to know the context in which pillars, caves and stupas were made and religions emerged for which we have to read the history compulsorily.
As the sources for culture part are scattered so aspirant are advised to make their own notes and take help of Google and YouTube.
Images.Google.com may prove as very useful in reading the art and culture. Otherwise it is very boring.
For dance part we can also watch the videos on YouTube.
Some documentaries are also available on YouTube like Ajanta an ellora.
One book the wonder India was by A l baheem is available that is not recommended for exam point of view, Tara Singh’ book also now a days obsolete.
Science always remain mystery for the Aspirant. It includes general science like physics, chemistry and biology. Now a day they are paying attention towards application based questions. Category wise importance is biology>physics>chemistry.
In biology, zoology part is favorite of UPSC. Physics also more focus is paid on the application based question like friction.
Science and technology is catching the eye of UPSC significantly these days. concepts like space, nuclear, biotechnology, genetics almost routine of every year, these concepts fetch 2-3 every year.
The books which we should read for the science are:
1. Ncert 6th to 10th, 11th chemistry 2-3 important chapters like biochemistry and in biology also few chapters of 11th and 12th can be read.
2.General Study Manual 2016 for completing the leftover topics.
Yojna an kurukshetra are very important magazines, these magazines also important for essay point of view. so you should never miss them.
Frontline magazine is also very important and it sister publication of the Hindu so makes the good combination. Its articles can be read online.
World focus November and December addition can also be read for the international relations. They mains compile complete foreign policy in these additions.
other current affair magazines attract aspirants with attractive covers pages and coloured tables and classified topics and fascinating headings. The way they put their headings, it seems that It is only material which can take us across the sea. But are they magazines helpful, actually content of these magazines may be diverted from the UPSC, like they try to include the things which are generally not published in The Hindu and Indian express, this give you the feeling that you have missed something and lagging w.r.t other students or can take lead w.r.t other aspirants. But if you have made the proper notes, than no need to purchase these magazines. UPSC is not about the research, it is about the generalization for which newspapers are enough.
Although these magazines are waste of time but if are not making the notes on regular basis than can read only for UPSC related topics, no need to read every page, can compile information which is useful for mains.
Now the questions arises which magazine to read, Now a days there is also boom in this sector. Although Pratiyogita darpan, wizard and civil service times are some prominent names in this sector, civil service times is somewhat more specific. You can choose anyone according to your taste.
New ncerts are few advantages over old ncerts.
1. they are easily available in the market.
2. can be accessed free online on their site ncert.nic.in
3. New ncerts are more comprehensive and comfortable in reading.
4. If UPSC walas frame questions from the ncerts than certainly will not have only ncerts with them, even if they have they cannot have those guys at disadvantage who live in villages an do not access to wealthy shops of coaching addas in Delhi.