The preparation of UPSC civil services is a journey in itself. The beauty of this journey is its scope. UPSC exam syllabus is such that you cannot read a list of standard books for IAS Preparation and guides and say that the syllabus is covered. The UPSC preparation goes way beyond the reading of standard textbooks and guides. Hence the today’s blog is – Books for IAS Preparation: 20 Non-Fiction Books which every aspirant must read.
Books for IAS Preparation: 20 Non-Fiction Books list
- 10 Judgments That Changed India by Zia Mody
- Advice and Dissent: My Life in Public Service by Y.V. Reddy
- Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable Democracy by Ashutosh Varshney
- Everybody Loves a Good Drought by P. Sainath
- Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
- How India Sees the World: From Kautilya to Modi: Kautilya to the 21st Century written by Shyam Saran
- In Spite Of The Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce
- India After Gandhi: The History Of The World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha
- India Shastra: Reflections on the Nation in Our Time by Shashi Tharoor
- India: Priorities for the Future by Bimal Jalan
- Mistaken Modernity: India between Worlds by Dipankar Gupta
- No Full Stops in India by Mark Tully
- Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century
- Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations by Nandan Nilekani
- Sapiens: by Yuval Noah Harari “Best in the list”
- The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity by Amartya Sen
- The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma by Gurcharan Das
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner
- The Wonder That Was India by A.L. Basham
- Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by James A. Robinson Daron Acemoglu
Please note this books for IAS Preparation, list of non-fiction books is not an all exhaustive list. There are many other books which are as good as the ones given above. If you come across any of it you should read it and also mention it in the comments below.
IAS Preparation Books: Why It’s Important?
The other day, I was having a discussion “Are competitive exams just elimination rounds to secure a job or can they become an important value addition to the candidate’s skill set?”. I believe for the majority of the competitive exams, former is the case. They are just a round to be cleared and to do that candidates need to follow fixed certain steps, read a standard syllabus, practice specific questions and they can achieve success. However, the same is not the case with UPSC Exams.
The UPSC exam preparation is a course in itself. At the end of this course, irrespective of the fact that, whether the candidate has cleared the exam or not, he or she would have definitely added to her/his knowledge base. The main reason for this is the wide range of out of syllabus IAS Preparation Books and Study materials that the candidate goes through, ranging from History to International relations, Philosophy schools to science, etc. UPSC exam makes the aspirants increase the depth of their knowledge.
The increase in depth of knowledge is gained by reading out of syllabus IAS Preparation books. The books which would help the aspirants understand the people around them, the situations around them, the complete society in which they live. All these points allow the candidates to look at the facts from a different perspective and present them in their answers accordingly. Everyone knows the same facts, and everyone would be writing these facts in their answers. The differentiating factor is the understanding of the facts and their presentation. To have this differentiating factor, a UPSC aspirant should be reading the 20 Non-Fiction books which listed above.