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Best UPSC Books for Mains, Commerce & Management

Topics Covered: UPSC Mains Booklist 2024, Specific Booklist for Commerce & Accountancy and Management Subjects, Important Material, and Benefits of Books

The UPSC Civil Service Examination is one of the reputed exams which requires commitment and hard work on the aspirant’s part. On this journey to crack this prestigious exam, selecting and referring to the right books is key to the UPSC preparation  

Well, books in general not just help us academically but also act as a window to understand different perspectives and gain conceptual clarity on various topics.   

I remember a beautiful quote by great academic scholar, Charles William Eliot,   

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” 

Talking about UPSC Mains examination, since the questions asked in the papers are descriptive in nature, choosing the right books which cover the diverse syllabus and provide detailed explanation of the topics, is highly significant for aspirants.  

There are many benefits of reading from the various UPSC books. These books will give you a different perspective on life and society, which will sharpen your perception and rational thinking to communicate better with the outside world  

On this note, let me welcome you to the blog where you will learn details about the best books for UPSC Mains, UPSC commerce & accountancy books and UPSC Management books.    

Hence, without further ado, let’s begin  

Table of Content – UPSC Booklist for Mains, Commerce & management 

Best UPSC Books for IAS Mains 

If you are an aspirant aiming to clear UPSC CSE 2024, then you must check the recommended booklist for UPSC Mains provided below.  

For UPSC Mains exam, there are a total of 9 papers which are divided into – 1 Essay, 2 Language Papers, 4 GS papers and 2 optional subjects.  

In order to prepare well for IAS Mains, I have provided the detailed list of recommended books for UPSC Mains advised by experts for different subjects – History, Political Science, Geography and Economy – which ensure an in-depth coverage of the UPSC Mains syllabus 2024.  

So, accordingly, I have mentioned down below a list of the best UPSC books for your preparation for the Mains round of the IAS (apart from the NCERTs): 

SubjectsUPSC Books
History [GS Paper 1]Ancient History and Medieval History:
• Our pasts – I & II (New NCERT)
• Themes – I & II (New NCERT)

Modern India History:
• Our past III (Both part 1 & part 2 --NCERT class VIII)
• Themes in Indian History – III (NCERT Class XII)
• A brief History of Modern India – Spectrum Publication
• India’s struggle for independence – Bipin Chandra
• Bipan Chandra’s India after Independence

Post-Independence India:
• Politics in India since Independence, NCERT Class 12th
• India since independence - Bipin Chandra

World History:
• Themes in World History: NCERT Class XI
• History of the World by Arjun Dev
• Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lewis
Indian Heritage & Culture and Society [GS Paper 1]Art & Culture:
• An Intro to Indian Art Part 1-Textbook in Fine Arts for 11th Class
• 6th-12th new NCERT history textbooks (this will not include 12th Fine arts textbook on painting)
• Introduction to Indian art (NCERT class 11th)
• Living Craft Traditions of India (NCERT class 12th)
• Indian Culture by Nitin Singhania

Indian Society:
• NCERT Class XI – Sociology: Understanding Society
• NCERT Class XII – Indian Society
• NCERT Class XII – Social Change and Development in India
Geography [GS Paper 1]World Geography:
• Majid Husain’s World Geography
• World Atlas
• GC Leong’s Certificate Physical and Human Geography
• Our Environment - Class VII
• The Earth Our Habitat - Class VI
• Fundamentals of Physical Geography (NCERT Class XI)
• Fundamentals of Human Geography (NCERT Class XII)

Indian Geography:
• Majid Husain’s Geography of India
• Resource and Development - Class VIII
• Contemporary India - II - Class X
• India Physical Environment (NCERT Class XI)
• India - People and Economy (NCERT Class XII)
Polity & International Relations [GS Paper 2]Polity & Constitution:
• M. Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity
• DD Basu’s Introduction to the Constitution of India
• Democratic Politics – IX
• Democratic Politics, II. Class X
• Indian Constitution at Work (NCERT Class XI)

International Relations:
• Class 12th Political Science- Contemporary World Politics
• Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India's Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
Economy, Environment & Science [GS Paper 3] Economy:
• Ramesh Singh’s Indian Economy
• Economics - NCERT Class IX
• Understanding Economic Development (NCERT Class 10th)
• Indian Economic Development (NCERT Class XI)
• Introductory Macroeconomics (NCERT Class XII)

Ecology & Environment:
• 12th Biology NCERT- Chapter No 13,14,15,16
• 11th Chemistry NCERT - Chapter No 14
• Geography NCERTs - Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Chapters from Std 8-11
• ICSE Environment Education Std 10(Especially for Mains)

Science and Technology:
• Class XI – Chemistry: Unit 14
• Class XI – Biology: Units 4 & 5
• Class XII – Chemistry: Unit 16
• Class XII – Biology: Units 8, 9 & 10 ce & Technology
Ethics [GS Paper 4]• Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary
• Any standard book like (A Practical Approach to Ethics Integrity and Aptitude By D.K Balaji Or Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)

However, for 2 optional subject papers in the Mains exam, the aspirants would require reading from the books pertaining to the subject of their choice.  

Before moving on, you can check the latest UPSC Exam pattern in case you haven’t done so yet.   

Now, that we have discussed best UPSC Mains Books, let us proceed to the next section.  

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Best UPSC Commerce & Accountancy Books 2024

UPSC Commerce & Accountancy is one of the popular choices for optional subjects in UPSC Mains exam.  

If you are preparing for UPSC CSE 2024 with commerce and accountancy as your optional subject, then you can check the list of best UPSC Commerce books and Accountancy books.

These books will help in coverage of topics given in the syllabus like Financial Accounting, Taxation, Auditing and Industrial Relations.   

So, without any delay let me straightaway present the UPSC Commerce and Accountancy books:

SubjectsUPSC BooksAuthors
Financial AccountingFundamentals of Corporate AccountingJ.R. Monga & Raj Bahadur
Cost AccountingCost And Management Accounting (Text & Assignments)M.N. Arora
Cost Accounting (Theory & Problems)Maheshwari - Mittal
TaxationSystematic Approach to Income TaxDr. Girish Ahuja & Dr. Ravi Gupta
AuditingAuditingAruna Jha
Financial ManagementFundamentals of Financial ManagementDr. R.P. Rustagi
Financial Management (Text, Problems & Cases)M.Y. Khan & P.K. Jain
Financial Market & InstitutionsIndian Financial SystemBharati V. Pathak
Organisation Theory & BehaviourOrganisation Theory And BehaviourT.N. Chhabra
A Textbook of Organisational Behaviour - with Texts & CasesC.B. Gupta
Human Resource ManagementHuman Resource Management (Text & Cases)C.B. Gupta
Essentials of Human Resource ManagementT.N. Chhabra
Industrial RelationIndustrial RelationsArun Monappa
Industrial Relations & Labour LawsPiyali Gosh

I hope with you got an overview for opting right UPSC Commerce books mentioned above, let’s move on the following section.  

Best UPSC Management Books 2024

If you have Management as your optional subject for UPSC Mains, then you can check the recommended list of UPSC Management books.

These books will help you cover topics like managerial function, Organization Behaviour, Business environment and International Business.  

Hence, to deliver what is required here’s the “Best UPSC Management Books 2024”:

SubjectsUPSC BooksAuthors
Financial AccountingBasic Financial Accounting (Text & Assignment)J.R. Monga & Raj Bahadur
Cost AccountingCost And Management Accounting (Text & Assignments)M.N. Arora
Cost Accounting (Theory & Problems)Maheshwari - Mittal
Financial ManagementFundamentals of Financial ManagementDr. R.P. Rustagi
Financial Management (Text, Problems & Cases)M.Y. Khan & P.K. Jain
Organisation Theory & BehaviourOrganisation Theory And BehaviourT.N. Chhabra
A Textbook of Organisational Behaviour - with Texts & CasesC.B. Gupta
Human Resource ManagementHuman Resource Management (Text & Cases)K. Aswathappa
Marketing ManagementMarketing ManagementPhilip Kotler
Business ManagementManagementStephen P. Robbins
Quantitative TechniquesBusiness StatisticsN.D. Vohra
Statistics for ManagementLevin and Rubin
Startegic ManagementStartegic ManagementFrank T. Rothaermal
International BusinessInternational BusinessCharles Hills
Government Business InterfaceCorporate Governance - Business Ethics & CSRJ.P. Sharma
Management Information SystemManagement Information Systems (Managing the Digital Firm)Kenneth & Laudon
Operations ManagementOperations Management (Sustainability and Supply Chain Management)Jay Heizer & Render
Operations ManagementWilliam Stevenson

Note: While you know the booklist now, make sure that you are firm with the UPSC Syllabus. Pay a quick visit to the “UPSC Syllabus Page” if there’s even a small bit of confusion regarding the IAS Syllabus.  

You can refer to the UPSC eligibility criteria 2024 to know about latest qualification requirements for the exam.

With detailed explanation on UPSC Management books over, let’s now look at the other essential study material from which you’d have to read apart from all the books for UPSC Mains that I have already mentioned above: 

Important Study Materials:

    • 2nd ARC Report
    • Economic Survey (Latest)
    • Budget (Latest)
    • Finance Commission Report (Latest)
    • Annual reports by central ministries
    • Niti Aayog Action Agenda
    • Current Affairs – The Hindu or Indian Newspaper, Yojana Magazine & PIB Releases
    • Yojana & Kurukshetra (Selective Reading)
    • Down to Earth (Selective Reading)
    • NDMA guidelines (Selective Reading)
    • Challenges to Internal Security of India by Ashok Kumar IPS
    • IDSA Website (Selective Reading)
    • Ministry of Home Affairs Website (Selective Reading)

Remember, the suggested UPSC booklist should become your best friends in your preparation for the UPSC CSE. These books along with a devoted work ethic and a strong preparation strategy will hold you in good stead to become an IAS/IPS officer.

Apart from these books, you can also refer to the comprehensive UPSC free material 2024 which I compiled to help you prepare well for the exam.  

Benefits of UPSC Mains books 

Referring to the right books for UPSC Mains would provide several benefits for the candidates which are as follows: 

    • Good coverage of the Syllabus – These books cover the syllabus of the different subjects in a detailed and structured manner.  
    • In depth explanation of the topics – In addition to covering the syllabus, these books provide elaborate explanations of the topics which help in gaining conceptual clarity.  
    • Help in developing critical and analytical abilities – By giving different perspectives on various issues, these books help in developing critical and analytical thinking.  
    • Provide questions to practice – Previous year questions are provided at the end of the book to practice which helps aspirants to assess their preparation.  

 To understand the nature of the Mains exam better, you can check the UPSC exam analysis of Commerce and Management that I have provided.  


We have finally arrived at the end of this long yet informative article. Till now we have discussed in detail about UPSC Mains Books which also include recommended books for optional subjects for Commerce and Management.  

I hope you find this in- depth information helpful in your preparation. With this, I bid you farewell and wish you all the best for cracking UPSC CSE.  

Keep Learning!! 

Stay motivated!! 

CEO of Anujjindal.in

About Anuj Jindal


Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education.

UPSC CSE – Related Resources


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    What are the best books for UPSC Commerce and Accountancy? 

    Selecting the optional subject of Commerce and Accountancy for UPSC Mains requires in-depth understanding of the topics. Here is the list of UPSC commerce books that will help you cover the topics effectively: 

    • Fundamentals of Corporate Accounting by- J.R. Monga and Raj Bahadur 
    • Systematic Approach to Income Tax by – Dr. Girish Ahuja and Dr. Ravi Gupta  
    • Auditing by – Aruna Jha 

    Please refer to the “Best UPSC Commerce & Accountancy Books 2024” section above to access the booklist. 

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    How can I cover the UPSC Commerce and Accountancy Books?

    After getting hold of the Commerce and Accountancy books for UPSC Mains, approach one book at a time. Set a time frame in which the book needs to be completed. Continue with this exercise and you will be able to make progress.  

    You can also check the free study material for Commerce optional which I have provided.  

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    What are the best UPSC Management Optional Books? 

    The best UPSC optional books for Management subject cover the concepts mentioned in the syllabus in detail. Some of these books include: 

    • Human Resource Management (Texts & Cases) by K. Aswathappa  
    • Organization theory and Behaviour by T.N. Chhabra 
    • Business statistics by N.D. Vohrak 

    Access the “Best Management Optional Books for UPSC Mains” from the aforementioned section of the same name.  

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    How can I cover the books for management optional UPSC? 

    To cover the UPSC Management optional books, make a mental note of how many books are there. Afterwards, analyse and set the books in increasing order of the difficulty. Start with the basic one and keep the flow intact for continuous growth.  

    You can also check the free study material for UPSC Management subject, to prepare well for optional paper. 

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    What is the best UPSC Management book for financial management?
    Financial Management is an important topic for the optional subject of Management. To score good marks in the section, you can refer to these UPSC Management books for this topic: 

    • Fundamentals of Financial Management by – Dr R.P. Rustagi 
    • Financial Management (Texts, Problems and Cases) by – M.Y Khan and P.K Jain 

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    What are the best books for Cost Accounting?
    In order to gain a conceptual understanding of the topic of Cost Accounting, here are the best books you can study to complete the section: 

    • Cost and Management Accounting (Texts & Assignments) by – M.N Arora 
    • Cost Accounting (Theory & Problems) by – Maheshwari – Mittal 

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    What are the best books for Human Resource Management?
    The best books to cover Human Resource Management include Human Resource Management (Texts & Cases) by K. Aswathappa. 


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    What are the best Geography books for UPSC Mains.
    Geography is one of the major subjects for UPSC Mains. The following are recommended books for the subject: 

    • Certificate Physical and Human Geography by – G.C. Leong 
    • Geography of India by – Majid Husain  
    • World Geography by – Majid Husain  

    For a detailed list of Geography books, you can check the blog above.  

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    What are the best History books?
    The subject of History requires a thorough factual understanding of its syllabus. To help you with that, you can check the best History books for UPSC Mains which include –  

    • An Introduction to Indian Art Textbook for- Class 11th 
    • Ancient India by – R.S. Sharma  
    • India after Independence by – Bipin Chandra 

    To access a detailed booklist for History, you can refer to the section mentioned in the blog above.  

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    What are the Benefits of UPSC Mains books?
    These are the following benefits of reading the books for UPSC Mains: 

    • Good coverage of the syllabus  
    • In depth explanation of the topics  
    • Help in developing critical and analytical thinking  
    • Provides questions to practice 

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