Below is lists for various optional subjects of  UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination. As far as possible we have avoided the temptation to give a list of large number of books for each optional. We believe that repeated reading of few standard texts is good for aspirants.



Inevitably, some Optional subjects demand more books because of their very nature and vast syllabus. In those instances we will give you a link to the topper’s blog (from where we picked the list for Optionals we are totally alien to) so that the blame lies with them but not us!



  1. Physical Geography – Majid Hussain/ Savindra Singh
  2. Modern Physical Geography – Strahler and Strahler  (Optional)
  3. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  4. Physical Geography Made Simple – Rupa Publication
  5. Dictionary of Physical Geography – Penguin
  6. Evolution of Geographical Thought – Majid Hussain
  7. Economic and Social Geography Made Simple – Rupa Publication
  8. Models in Geography – Majid Hussain
  9. Dictionary of Human Geography
  10. Oxford Student Atlas


  1. India – A Comprehensive Geography  – Khullar
  2. Regional Planning in India – Mahesh Chand
  3. India Year Book – Publication Division
  4. Yojana and Kurukshetra Magazines


  1. Indian Public Administration – Arora and Goyal
  2. Public Administration In India 1st Edition – Maheshwari
  3. Public Administration In India – B L Fadia (optional)
  4. Public Administration – Laxmikant
  5. Administrative Thinkers – Prasad and Prasad
  6. New Horizons of Public Administration – Mohit Bhattacharya
  7. Public Administration – Fadia and Fadia
  8. Public Administration and Public Affairs 12th Edition – Nicholas Henry
  9. Essentials Of Organizational Behaviour10th Edition – Robbins, Sanghi and Judge


  1. History of Modern India – Shekhar Bandopadhyaya/Bipan Chandra
  2. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra and Others
  3. India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma
  4. The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Basham
  5. Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas  – Romila Thapar
  6. Medieval India: From Sultanat to Mughals – 1- Satish Chandra
  7. Medieveal India: From Sultanat to Mughals -2 – Satish Chandra
  8. Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe
  9. History of the World – Arjun Dev

Source: Here



  1. Sociology – Anthony Giddens
  2. Sociology – Harlombos and Holborn
  3. Sociological Thought – Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan
  4. Political Theory – O P Gauba


  1. Social Change in India – M N Srinivas
  2. Modernization of Indian Tradition – Yogendra Singh
  3. Handbook of Indian Sociology – Veena Das
  4. Indian Society and Culture – Nadeem Hasnain
  5. Rural Sociology – Doshi and Jain
  6. Social Background of Indian Nationalism – A R Desai

Source: One, Two



  1. Microeconomics – Ahuja and Koutsyansis
  2. Macroeconomics – Ahuja and Mankiw
  3. International Economics – Salvatore and M.C Vaish
  4. Public Finance – Lekhi, Balton and Bhatia
  5. Money and Banking – Gupta and Ahuja
  6. RBI Website
  7. For Growth and Development ,I followed Mishra and Puri .There is another book by Lekhi (this book covers the syllabus so it is bit handy)/Debraj Ray-Development Economics .I extensively used Internet for some new developments in same. 


  1. Indian Economy – Mishra and Puri, Dutt and Sundaram, Uma Kapila, Economic Survey, EPW, RBI
  2. Any One Business Newspaper – ET, The Economist or Financial Express



  1. A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx – Mukherjee and Susheela Ramaswamy
  2. Introduction to Political Theory – O P Gauba
  3. Politial Theory – Rajeev Bhargava
  4. Politics – Heywood
  5. Global Politics – Heywood
  6. International Relations -Khanna
  7. Foundations of Indian Political Thought – V R Mehta
  8. Introduction to the Constitution of India  – D D Basu
  9. India’s Struggle For Idependence – Bipan Chandra
  10. Indian Government and Politics – B L Fadia
  11. Does The Elephant Dance? Contemporary India Foreign Policy – Malone


  1. Human Anatomy—B D Chaurasia books of Anatomy (all three volumes); Embryology from I B Singh;
  2. Human Physiology– Ganong; Guyton and A.K.Jain book
  3. Biochemistry–  by U. Satyanarayan’s book.
  4. Pathology–  Pathological basis of disease by Robbins and Cotran, one can also refer to Harshmohan’s book also.
  5. Pharmacology– K D Tripathi’s book or even Lipincott is very good for memory point of view.
  6. Microbiology– D R Arora’s book. And same author’s book for medical parasitology.
  7. Forensic medicine Essentials of Forensic medicine and Toxicology by Dr. K S Narayan Reddy. It is better to go by the tables that have been given in this book as question are asked directly from there and it is advisable to not to miss them.
  8. (Community medicine)Preventive and social medicine– K Park’s book is sufficient enough. There is no need to refer any special book for the programs of Govt. of India as K Park deals with them in good detail and one has to follow a word limit in writing questions.
  9. General Medicine– there are various books for medicine and no one is complete. I would highly recommend reading only those books which you have referred during your graduation years. Like I followed CMDT(no need to buy latest edition), textbook of medicine by S N Chugh, Emergency medicine by S N Chugh. I would recommend making notes on certain medical emergencies like asthma, COPD, Status epilepticus, poisoning cases etc. It is better to avoid reading Harrison as one need to prepare any question optimally and not totally. For Infectious diseases one should refer book from Indian author as presentation of Infectious diseases is a bit different in our country than west so avoid CMDT or Harrision for that.
  10. General Surgery– Manipal’s manual of surgery. For Differential diagnosis part one can refer to clinical surgery by S Das.
  11. Pediatrics–  Essential pediatrics by O P Ghai, Paul and Bagga. For d/d one can refer to DR. Mayoor K cheda book.
  12. Deramatology– illustrated synopsis of Dermatology and sexually transmitted diseases by Neena Khanna.
  13. Obstetrics and gynecology including family planning– Obstetrics by D C Dutta. And for gynecology either D C Dutta’s book or Shaw’s Gynecology. Practice questions in flow chart format like that has been given in D C dutta as it is the standard format to prepare for answer writing in medical science paper.

Source: Here



  1. Accounting
 Corporate Accounting – Naseem Ahmed (A very good & simple book to cover entire topics, selected topics only)
Accounting Standards- D. S. Rawat (Cover AS 1-20, 22 & 26 in detail & practice numerical also)
     2. Cost Accounting
Cost Accounting; Theory & Problems- Maheshwari & Mittal (Selected topics to cover syllabus of UPSC only)
     3. Auditing
   4. Taxation- Income Tax, Service Tax & VAT
          Following is the link for a Income Tax book by Mr. Bhavin Pathak. This book is written in a wonderful way and one should download for covering Income Tax part from this book.
  5. Financial Management
Financial Management; Text & Problems- Khan & Jain (ALL CHAPTERS,sufficient to cover the entire syllabus)
   6. Financial Markets & Institutions
               OR                                               Selected Topics to cover syllabus only
Source: Here
      1. Organisation Theory & Behaviour
Organisation Theory & Behaviour- B.P. Singh & T.N. Chabra
      2. Human Resource Management
       3. Industrial Relations
Source: Here