For any kind of UPSC Civil service exam preparation including IAS, NCERT books are the best option as the syllabus is relevant to the 10+2 CBSE board curriculum. There are numerous specific books written for the different topics and segments in an IAS paper, but to ace the exam you need to have a clear conception. This can be acquired best by studying the NCERT books for Class VI to XII thoroughly. The books approach every subject and individual topic in a very concise manner. But every sentence holds substantial information and meaning that is sufficient to clarify the basic concepts regarding the topic.
However, for aspirants not belonging to a CBSE school background, understanding which chapters are important for the exam is confusing. In the following sections, we will address several such questions and issues that aspirants face as well as provide a detailed solution for the same.
The NCERT books are published by Government, Research and Workshops, and the study materials are prepared by renowned Professors of DU, JNU, and other central universities. The books from class 6 to 12 covers all the topics necessary for acing the civil administration exams. Here’s why these books are so highly recommended:
The following table consists of a list of books that you must follow to ace IAS 2020 Prelims and Mains. The names mentioned in bold are more important.
|History||Our pasts- part1- 6th
Our pasts- Part2- 7th
Our pasts- part 1 and 2- 8th
India and the Contemporary World- 9th
India and the Contemporary World-10th
Themes in the World history- 11th (Focus on Industrial Revolution)
Themes in the Indian History, 1,2,3- 12th (specific attention to Book 3)
|Geography||The Earth: Our Habitat- 6th
Our environment- 7th
Resources and Development- 8th
Contemporary India 1- 9th
Contemporary India 2- 10th
Fundamentals of Physical Geography- India- Physical Environment- 11th
Fundamentals of Human Geography- India- People and Economy-12th
Understanding Economic Development- 10th
Indian Economic Development- 11th
Introductory Microeconomics- 12th
Introductory Macroeconomics- 12th
|Political Science||Democratic Politics 1- 9th
Democratic Politics 2- 10th
Indian Constitution at Work-11th
Political Theory- 11th
Contemporary World Politics- 12th
Politics in India since Independence- 12th
|Sociology||Introducing Sociology Textbook for class 11
Social Change and development in India- 12th
Indian Society Textbook in Sociology for class 12
|Science||7th – Chapter 7: Weather, Climate & Adaptations of Animals, Chapter 9: Soil
8th – Chapter 1: Crop Production & Management, Chapter 5: Coal & Petroleum, Chapter 7: Conservation of Plants & Animals, Chapter 12: Friction, Chapter 18: Pollution of Air & Water
9th – Chapter 14: Natural Resources
10th – Chapter 14: Sources of Energy, Chapter 15: Our Environment, Chapter 16: Management of Natural Resources
Biology Textbook for Class – 11
12th (Biology) – Unit X: Ecology ( Chapter 13 – Organisms & Population, Chapter 14 – Ecosystem, Chapter 15 – Biodiversity & Conservation, Chapter 16 – Environmental Issues)
There are 40-44 textbooks in total that you will have to revise in order to complete the entire IAS syllabus. However, on a positive note, NCERT textbooks are mostly rather thin paperbacks, hence 44 textbooks are not as difficult to cover as it may sound.
You can easily buy the hard copies or download the soft copies of these books. To buy the books you can:
You can also download the PDF versions of the books. The NCERT books are in high demand as students as well as UPSC aspirants’ place orders for them. If you face difficulties in getting hard-copies of the books, you can look for soft copies instead.
The vast amount of syllabus you have to cover for IAS is divided throughout the school years from 6 to 12 in a CBSE school. Hence, there are at least 6-7 books for each subject that needs to be thoroughly covered. Here are a few tips to cover the books in-depth in the minimum time possible:
Check IAS Practice Papers
Here is a 15 day time table that you can follow to cover the NCERT books in-depth-
|2||Political Science(9th)||Political science(9th)||Political science(9th)||Sociology(11th)||Sociology(11th)|
|4||Economics (9th)||Economics(9th)||Economics(9th)||History (7th)||History(7th)|
|5||Science(7th)||Science(8th)||History (8th)||History (8th)||History (8th)|
|8||Political science(10th)||Political science(10th)||Political science(10th)||Science (bio-unit X- 12th)||Science (bio-unit X- 12th)|
|13||Economics(12th)||Economics(12th)||Economics(12th)||Political science(11th)||Political science(11th)|
|15||Political science(12th)||Political science(12th)||Political science(12th)||Political science(12th)||Political science(12th)|
To successfully cover the entire syllabus in 15days, you have to give a rapid reading to the books. Once you have finished doing the rapid reading of the books, and simultaneously making notes, it will become much easier to revise it another 2-3 times.
Compared to other available books, NCERT is given preference even by UPSC because of its concise and simple language. The IAS prelims question pattern becomes much easier to follow when you are familiar with the NCERT language.
Let us take an example to understand the structure of the NCERT books better.
If you consider the history books, you will find that every chapter is further divided into dynasties or demarcated by the ruling period of specific rulers.
For example, if you are reading about ancient Indian history, you will come across different dynasties like Cholas, Mauryans, and Guptas. Under each dynasty, there is further segregation mentioning the significant rulers of these dynasties and the development India witnessed during the rule. Along with it, you are given an overall outlook on the social and political scenario of the time.
From the perspective of IAS preparation, you can expect the following potential questions?
Once you successfully complete studying the NCERT books, you can confidently move on to more advanced books that focus more on increasing your speed and accuracy. It becomes much easier to understand these books when you have thoroughly completed NCERT. UPSC IAS 2020 was scheduled for May 31, 2020 but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic which gives you a golden opportunity to prepare with utmost dedication. We wish you the very best for your IAS 2020 Prelims.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.