IAS Gyan



3rd March, 2022 Mains

The Civil Services Examination comprises two successive stages:

(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type) for the selection of candidates for Civil Services (Main) Examination; and

(ii) Civil Services (Main) Examination (Written and Interview/Personality Test) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts


The Civil Services (Main) Examination will consist of a Written Examination and an Interview/Personality Test. The Written Examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type out of which two papers will be of qualifying in nature. Marks obtained for all the compulsory papers (Paper-I to Paper-VII) and Marks obtained in Interview/Personality Test will be counted for ranking.


Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Civil Services (Main) Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an Interview/Personality Test.


Optional papers: Paper-VI (Optional Subject - Paper 1 250 Marks)

                               Paper-VII (Optional Subject - Paper 2 250 Marks)


Candidates may choose any one of the optional subjects from amongst the UPSC optional list given in below:


UPSC optional list:

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.


  • Each paper will be of three hours duration.
  • Candidates will have the option to answer all the question papers in any one of the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India or in English. Notwithstanding this, the Candidate will have the choice to write the Optional Papers in English also if candidates opt to write Paper I-V except the Qualifying Language Papers, Paper-A and Paper-B, in any one of the language included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
  • Candidates exercising the option to answer Papers in any one of the languages included in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution of India mentioned above may, if they so desire, give English version within brackets of only the description of the technical terms, if any, in addition to the version in the language opted by them. Candidates should, however, note that if they misuse the above rule, a deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to them and in extreme cases; their script(s) will not be valued for being in an unauthorized medium.
  • Candidates should note that if any irrelevant matter/signages/marks etc. are found written in the answer script(s), which would not be related to any question/answer and/or would be having the potential to disclose the candidate’s identity, the Commission will impose a penalty of deduction of marks from the total marks otherwise accruing to the candidate or will not evaluate the said script(s) on this account.
  • The question papers (other than the literature of language papers) will be set in Hindi and English only.
  • The details of the syllabi are set out in: https://www.upsc.gov.in/sites/default/files/Notif-CSP-22-engl-020222F.pdf


UPSC optional list and Book list

UPSC optional list /Optional Book List for UPSC (other than literature subjects):


S. No

UPSC optional list

Book List



·        Agricultural Economics and Farm Management 

·        Soil Science - D.K Das or Brady 

·        Agronomy by Yellamananda Reddy 

·        Plant Breeding by B.D. Singh

·        Genetics by B.D.Singh 

·        Physiology by Pandey & Singha 

·        Introduction to Horticulture - Kumar 

·        Handbook of Agriculture by ICAR 

·        Agricultural Extension Education in India 

·        Pathology - Singh 

·        Entomology - Vasantha Raj & David

·        The Hindu - Survey of Indian Agriculture

·        Agriculture Statistics - Dept. of Agri. and coop. statistics at a glance

·        Special Issue of Agriculture by The Hindu


Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

·        A guide on forest Entomology – Regupathy

·        A Textbook Of Animal Husbandry- G C Banerjee

·        Advanced Animal Nutrition- D. V Reddy

·        Agricultural Economics- S Subba Reddy

·        Animal husbandry & veterinary science- T.N. Palanivelu

·        Animal Husbandry- Gyan Deep Singh, Anmol Publishers

·        Animal Physiology- K. A. Goyal, Rastogi Publishing

·        Animal Physiology- Kavita Juneja, Anmol Publishers

·        Basics Of Animal Physiology- Monalisa Kar, Anmol Publishers

·        Biotech’s Dictionary Of Animal Husbandry – Daya Publishing

·        Biotechnology Expanding Horizons – B D Singh, Kalyani Publishers

·        Essentials Of Plant Breeding -Phundan Singh, Kalyani Publishers

·        Fundamentals of Agriculture Volume-1 -Arun Katyayan, Kushal Publications

·        Fundamentals Of Agriculture Volume-2 -Arun Katyayan, Kushal Publications

·        General Agriculture- Muniraj S Rathore, Jain Brothers

·        Handbook Of Agriculture, Publisher: ICAR

·        Handbook Of Animal Husbandry -Manoj Kumar Rai, Oxford Book Company

·        Horticulture At A Glance Volume II -A S Salaria, Jain Brothers

·        Indian forestry – A breakthrough approach to forest service- K. S Manikandan and S. Prabhu

·        Introduction To Agriculture – A K Vyas, Jain Brothers

·        Milk And Milk Products Technology -Subhash Biswas, Jaypee Brothers

·        Principles Of Agronomy- Yellamanda Reddy, Kalyani Publishers

·        Principles Of Animal Nutrition & Feed Technology- D V Reddy, Oxford

·        Principles Of Genetics & Animal Breeding- F H KHAN, Jaypee Brothers

·        Textbook Of Animal Diseases -Ashok Kumar, Sonali Publication



·        Physical anthropology by P. Nath

·        Anthropology by Ember and Ember

·        An Introduction to Social Anthropology by D.N.Majumdar & T. N. Madan

·        An Introduction to Anthropological thought ( Theories) - by Makhan Jha

·        Indian Anthropology by Nadeem Hasnain

·        Indian Anthropology by R. N. Sharma

·        Tribal India by Nadeem Hasnain

·        Xaxa committee report

·        State, society and tribes by Virginius Xaxa



·        Cell Biology- De Robertis & Ambrose and Easy or Powar

·        Cryptograms- B.R. Vasista

·        Botany for Degree Students; Pteridophyta (Vascular Cryptogams)-P.C. Vashishta

·        Ecology, Microbiology, Animal Behaviour, Pollution and Toxicology For B. Sc. Part III, Paper III- Dr Veer Bala Rastogi

·        Economic botany in the tropics- S. L. Kochhar

·        Embryology Of Angiosperms- S P Bhatnagar

·        Genetics- Strickberger

·        Elements of Genetics-Dr. Veer Bala Rastogi

·        Microbiology- Powars

·        Pathology-  Singh’s book along with a foreign author

·        Physiology and Biochemistry -Salisbury and Ross or Fritz and Noggle

·        Plant Anatomy- Esau

·        Plant Anatomy- B.P. Pandey

·        Taxonomy-R Nair

·        Systematic Botany-S C Datta





Ø  Atomic Structure - Principle of physical chemistry - Puri, Sharma & Pathwa

Ø  Advance Inorganic Chemistry - J.D. Lee

Ø  Chemical Periodicity, Chemical bonding,Coordination compound- Maden, Malik, Tuli

Ø  Theoretical principles of inorganic chemistry - G.S. Manku,

Ø  Extradiction of metals, Principle of inorganic chemistry - Puri, Sharma, Jauhar.

Ø  Rest all the chapters - An advance inorganic chemistry - J.D. Lee

Ø  Pollution and its control - A text book of environmental chemistry and pollution - S.S. Dara.



Ø  Principals of Physical Chemistry (Gaseous state, Thermodynamics, Phase rule, solutions, Colligative properties, Electro Chemistry, Catalysis, Colloids) - Puri, Sharma & Pathawa

Ø  Chemical kinetics - Advance physical chemistry - Gurdeep Raj

Ø  Photo chemistry - A text book of physical chemistry (Vol. - IV) - K.L. Kapoor

Ø  Advance physical chemistry - Gurdeep Raj



Ø  Bonding and shape of organic molecules, Stereo chemistry of carbon compound - Reactions and reagents - O.P. Agarwal

Ø  A guide to mechanism in organic chemistry - Peter Sykes

Ø  Rest all the chapters - A text book of organic chemistry - Bahl & Bahl


Civil Engineering

·        Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics – Irving Herman Shames

·        Strength of Material- Prof. S. Ramamrutham

·        Mechanics for Engineers- B Johnson

·        Structural Analysis- C. K. Wang

·        Limit state design of steel structures: S K Duggal

·        Design of steel structures: N Subramanian

·        Engineering Mechanics – McLean

·        Limit State Design – Ram Chandra

·        Soil Mechanics – K.R. Arora

·        Fluid Mechanics – Modi and Seth

·        Surveying – Punmia

·        Strength of Material – V. N. Vazaram

·        Basic and applied Fluid Mechanics-Garde

·        Theory of Structure: Volume- II – Vazirani and Ratwani

·        Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering – A Singh and K R Arora

·        Strength and Materials -UC. Jindal

·        Introduction to Mechanics of Solids – Crandall, Stephen, Lardner, Thomas

·        Engineering Hydrology – K. Subramanya

·        Irrigation Engineering – S.K. Garg

·        Strength of material – Gere and Timoshenko

·        Concrete Technology – M.S. Shetty

·        R.C.C. (WSM) – Syal and Goyal

·        R.C.C. (LSM) – A.K. Jain

·        Steel Structure – L.S. Negi

·        Prestressed Concrete – N. Krishna Raju



Commerce & Accountancy

·        PAPER-1

Ø  Corporate Accounting – Naseem Ahmed

Ø  Accounting Standards- D. S. Rawat

Ø  Cost Accounting; Theory & Problems- Maheshwari & Mittal

Ø  Students’ Guide to Auditing- Aruna Jha (Taxmann)

Ø  Income Tax book by- V.K. Singhania or Girish Ahuja

Ø  Financial Management; Text & Problems- Khan & Jain

Ø  Indian Financial System- M.Y. Khan

Ø  Financial Institutions & Markets- L.M. Bhole


·        PAPER-II

Ø  Organisation Theory & Behaviour- B.P. Singh & T.N. Chabra

Ø  Organisation Behaviour- L.M. Prasad

Ø  Human Resource Management- C.B.Gupta

Ø  Human Resource Management- K. Ashwathapa (Tata McGraw Hill)

Ø  Industrial Relations- T.N. Chabra & R.K.Suri

Ø  Dynamics of Industrial Relations- C.B. Mamoria & Satish Mamoria



·        PAPER-I

Ø  Microeconomics – Ahuja and Koutsyansis

Ø  Macroeconomics – Ahuja and Mankiw

Ø  International Economics – Salvatore and M.C Vaish

Ø  Public Finance – Lekhi, Balton and Bhatia

Ø  Money and Banking – Gupta and Ahuja

Ø  RBI Website


·        PAPER-II

Ø  Indian Economy – Mishra and Puri, Dutt and Sundaram, Uma Kapila, Economic Survey, EPW, RBI

Ø  Any One Business Newspaper – ET, The Economist or Financial Express


Electrical Engineering

·        Principles of Electronics - V.K. Mehta

·         Radio Engineering - G.K. Mithal

·        Circuit Analysis - Gupta Electrical Technology – Thereja

·        Electrical Power – Star

·        Physics of Semiconductor Devices – Sze

·        Automatic Control System – Kuo

·        Elements of Engineering Electromagnetics – Rao

·        Electromagnetic Waves and Radiating System - Jordan & Balmain

·        Modern Central Engineering – Ogata

·        Electromagnetic Waives and Field - R.N. Singh

·        Control Systems Engineering - Nagrath Gopal

·         Semi Conductor – Nagchoudhary

·        Integrated Circuits - D. Roy Choudhary

·        Network Analysis – Valkenbury

·        Basic Current Analysis – Murthy

·        Topics in Communication Theory - David Middleton



·        PAPER-I

Ø  Physical Geography – Majid Hussain/ Savindra Singh

Ø  Modern Physical Geography – Strahler and Strahler  (Optional)

Ø  Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong

Ø  Physical Geography Made Simple – Rupa Publication

Ø  Dictionary of Physical Geography – Penguin

Ø  Evolution of Geographical Thought – Majid Hussain

Ø  Economic and Social Geography Made Simple – Rupa Publication

Ø  Models in Geography – Majid Hussain

Ø  Dictionary of Human Geography

Ø  Oxford Student Atlas


·        PAPER-II

Ø  India – A Comprehensive Geography  – Khullar

Ø  Regional Planning in India – Mahesh Chand

Ø  India Year Book – Publication Division

Ø  Yojana and Kurukshetra Magazines



·        Geology: An Introduction - Kronaris and Krambine

·        Text Book of Geology - P.K. Mukherjee

·        Text Book of Physical Geology – Mahapatra

·        Geomorphology - Woolridge or Tharnbury

·        Principles of Petrology - G.W. Turrel

·        Petrography – Williams

·        Mineral and Crystal Science - V.C. Jesh

·        Sedimentary Rocks - Petti John

·        Underground Hydrology - David Keith Toad

·        Igneous Rocks and Metromorphic Petrology - Turner

·        Ocean - Squaredrop, Johnson and Bliming

·        Simple Geological Structure - Plate and Charlincr B

·        Soil Minerology - I. E. Grim

·        A Dictionary of Geology - Morrison



·        History of Modern India – Shekhar Bandopadhyaya/Bipan Chandra

·        India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra and Others

·        India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma

·        The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Basham

·        Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas  – Romila Thapar

·        Medieval India: From Sultanat to Mughals – 1- Satish Chandra

·        Medieval India: From Sultanat to Mughals -2 – Satish Chandra

·        Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe

·        History of the World – Arjun Dev



·        Indian Penal Code

Ø  Autochthon Pillai

Ø  Ratanlal Dhiraj Lal


·        Merchantile Law

Ø  R.K. Bangia

Ø  Avatar Singh

Ø  Pollack and Mulla


·        Law of Tort

Ø  Autochthon Pillai

Ø  R.K. Bangia

Ø  Winfield


·        Constitutional Law

Ø  V.N. Shukla

Ø  S.K. Kapoor

Ø  J.N. Pandey


·        Jurisprudence

Ø  P.K. Tripathi

Ø  Dias



·        Organisational Design: Khandwala; Madhukar Shukla

·        Organisational Behaviour: Luthans and Robbins

·        Strategic Cost Management: Business Today supplements

·        Economics: Any good economics book

·        Management: Terry and Franklin; Koontz and Donnel; Koontz and Weihrich

·        Strategic Management: Michael Porter

·        Marketing: Kotler and any one Indian author book(Saxena/Ramaswami etc.)

·        Financial: Pandey/Chandra/Khan & Jain/Bearley

·        Operations: Adams/Taha

·        HRD: Mammoria/Monappa/Prasad/Flippo



·        PAPER 1

Ø  Linear Algebra Schaum Series - Seymour Lipschutz

Ø  Linear Algebra - Hoffman And Kunze

Ø  Calculus Mathematical Analysis - S C Malik And Savita Arora

Ø  Elements Of Real Analysis - Shanti Narayan And M D Raisinghania

Ø  Analytical Solid Geometry - Shanti Narayan And P K Mittal

Ø  Solid Geometry - P N Chatterjee

Ø  Ordinary And Partial Differential Equations - M D Raisinghania

Ø  Dynamics And Statics Krishna Series

Ø  Vector Analysis Schaum Series - Murray R. Spiegel


·        PAPER 2

Ø  Algebra - Contemporary Abstract Algebra - Joseph Gallian

Ø  Real Analysis - Same As Calculus Of Paper 1

Ø  Complex Analysis Schaum Series - Speigel, Lipschitz, Schiller, Spellman

Ø  Linear Programming And Game Theory - Lakshmishree Bandopadhyay

Ø  Partial Differential Equations

Ø  Same As Ode Of Paper 1

Ø  Advanced Differential Equations - M D Raisinghania

Ø  Numerical Analysis And Computer Programming

Ø  Computer Based Numerical And Statistical Techniques - M.Goyal

Ø  Numerical Methods - Jain, Iyengar And Jain

Ø  Digital Logic And Computer Design - M. Morris Mano

Ø  Mechanics And Fluid Dynamics Krishna Series


Mechanical Engineering

·        Fundamentals of Classed Thermodynamics - Van Wylen

·         Heat Transfer - Gupta Prakash

·         Heat and Mass Transfer - R. Yadav

·        Energy Conversion – Sukhalmoy

·         Environmental Pollution Central Engineering C S Rao

·         Surveying and Levelling - T P Kanetakar

·         Heat Conversion - Arora & Kundwar

·         Manufacturing Science - R K Jain

·         Thermodynamics - R Yadav Theory of Mechanics - S S Rattan

·         Theory of Mechanism and Mechanics - Jagdish Lal.

·         Mechanic of Solids – Popru

·         Manufacturing Science - Ghosh and Malik

·         Manufacturing Technology - P N Rao

·         Production Manangement - R K Jain

·         Principles of Manufacturing Material & Process - Campbeu


Medical Science

·        Human Anatomy—B D Chaurasia books of Anatomy (all three volumes); Embryology from I B Singh;

·        Human Physiology– Ganong; Guyton and A.K.Jain book

·        Biochemistry–  by U. Satyanarayan’s book.

·        Pathology–  Pathological basis of disease by Robbins and Cotran, one can also refer to Harshmohan’s book also.

·        Pharmacology– K D Tripathi’s book or even Lipincott is very good for memory point of view.

·        Microbiology– D R Arora’s book. And same author’s book for medical parasitology.

·        Forensic medicine– Essentials of Forensic medicine and Toxicology by Dr. K S Narayan Reddy.

·        (Community medicine)Preventive and social medicine– K Park’s book is sufficient enough.

·        General Medicine– there are various books for medicine and no one is complete. Highly recommend reading only those books which you have referred during your graduation years.

·        General Surgery– Manipal’s manual of surgery. For Differential diagnosis part one can refer to clinical surgery by S Das.

·        Pediatrics–  Essential pediatrics by O P Ghai, Paul and Bagga. For d/d one can refer to DR. Mayoor K cheda book.

·        Deramatology– illustrated synopsis of Dermatology and sexually transmitted diseases by Neena Khanna.

·        Obstetrics and gynecology including family planning– Obstetrics by D C Dutta. And for gynecology either D C Dutta’s book or Shaw’s Gynecology.



·        PAPER I

Ø  W. T. Stace: A Critical History of Greek Philosophy (Plato and Aristotle).

Ø  Copleston: A History of Philosophy (Relevant Chapters from volume I, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX & XI).

Ø  Anthony Kenny: A New History of Western Philosophy. OUP Oxford.

Ø  Datta & Chatterjee: An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Rupa Publishing.

Ø  C. D. Sharma: A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy. MLBD.

Ø  Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.


·        PAPER II

Ø  John Hick: Philosophy of Religion.

Ø  Michael B. Wilkinson: Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction.

Ø  O. P. Gauba: Social & Political Philosophy.

Ø  Political Theory, An Introduction. Edited By Rajeev Bhargava & Ashok Acharya.

Ø  Oxford Dictionary of Politics.



·        Classical Mechnism -Gupta, Kumar & Sharma - Takewale & Puranik -H.Goldstein

·        Mechanics - Kleppner & Kolenkov -D.S. Mathur

·        Wave/Spl.Relatively - D.S. Mathur/Kleppner&Kolenkov

·        Special Relativity-R.Resnic -Gupta & Goyal

·        Optics-Ajay Ghatak-B.S. Agarwal

·        Electrodyanamics - David Griffiths

·        EM Theory -Chopra&Agarwal/Satya Prakash

·         Thermal Physics - P.K Chakraborty - Satya Prakash, Singhal & Agarawal -Statistical Physics -B.B laud

·         Quantum Physics- Resnick & Eisberg

·         Concept of Mordern Physics - Arthut Bevser

·        Quantum Mechanics -Ghatak & Loknathan/Chatwal & Anand/Satya Prakash

·         Atomic & Molecular Spectra -Rajkumar

·        Nuclear Physics -S.B Patel

·        Solid State Physics -Kittel

·        Electronics -Allon Mottershed

·        Objective Physics -H.C. Verma/TMH


Political Science & International Relations

·        A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx – Mukherjee and Susheela Ramaswamy

·        Introduction to Political Theory – O P Gauba

·        Politial Theory – Rajeev Bhargava

·        Politics – Heywood

·        Global Politics – Heywood

·        International Relations -Khanna

·        Foundations of Indian Political Thought – V R Mehta

·        Introduction to the Constitution of India  – D D Basu

·        India’s Struggle For Idependence – Bipan Chandra

·        Indian Government and Politics – B L Fadia

·        Does The Elephant Dance? Contemporary India

·        Foreign Policy – Malone



·        Psychology XI & XII Std NCERT

·        Introduction to Psychology Morgan & King

·        Systems & Theories of Psychology Krawiec & Chaplin

·        Psychology by Morgan and King

·        Psychology by Ciccarelli

·        Social Psychology Baron & Byrne

·        Theories of Personality Hall & Lindzey

·        Psychology Robert A Baron

·        Statistics for Psychology by Aron, Aron, Coups

·        Social Psychology by Robert Baron, Branscombe, Gopa Bhardwaj, Byrne

·        Tests, Measurements and Research Methods in Behavioural Sciences by A K Singh – Bharti Bhawan publications

·        Social Psychology by Robert Baron, Branscombe, Gopa Bhardwaj, Byrne

·        The Psychology of Small Groups Shaw


Public Administration

·        Indian Public Administration – Arora and Goyal

·        Public Administration In India 1st Edition – Maheshwari

·        Public Administration In India – B L Fadia (optional)

·        Public Administration – Laxmikant

·        Administrative Thinkers – Prasad and Prasad

·        New Horizons of Public Administration – Mohit Bhattacharya

·        Public Administration – Fadia and Fadia

·        Public Administration and Public Affairs 12th Edition – Nicholas Henry

·        Essentials Of Organizational Behaviour10th Edition – Robbins, Sanghi and Judge



·        PAPER-I

Ø  Sociology – Anthony Giddens

Ø  Sociology – Harlombos and Holborn

Ø  Sociological Thought – Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan

Ø  Political Theory – O P Gauba


·        PAPER-II

Ø  Social Change in India – M N Srinivas

Ø  Modernization of Indian Tradition – Yogendra Singh

Ø  Handbook of Indian Sociology – Veena Das

Ø  Indian Society and Culture – Nadeem Hasnain

Ø  Rural Sociology – Doshi and Jain

Ø  Social Background of Indian Nationalism – A R Desai



·        An Introduction to Probability Theory & Mathematical Statistics -V K Rohtagi

·        Fundamentals of Statistics (2 Vol.)- A M Goon, M K Gupta and B Dass Gupta

·        Introductory Probability and Statistical Applications - Paul Meyer

·        Sampling Techniques-William G. Cochran

·        Sampling Theory of Surveys with applications - B. V Sukhatme & B V Sukhatme

·        An Outline of Statistical Theory (2 Vol.) -A M Goon, M K Gupta and B .Dass Gupta

·        Fundamentals of Mathematical Statistics-A C Gupta and V K Kapoor

·        Fundamentals of Applied Statistics-S C Gupta and V K Kapoor



·        Cell and molecular bilogy - De Robertis, C.B. Powar

·        Comparative anatomy of vertebrate zoology – Kent

·        Animal physiology - H.R. Singh, Vander

·        Biochemistry - Harper, Leninger, Stryer, Rao

·        Embryology - Balinsky, A.K. Berry, Vir Bala Rastogi

·        Organic evolution - Veer Bala Rastogi

·         Genetics - P.K. Gupta, Gardner, Ahluwalia, Vir Bala Rastogi

·        Invertebrates - R.L. Kotpal, Nigam, Jordan

·         Vertebrates - R.L. Kotpal, Nigam, Jordan and Varma

·         Ecology - P.D. Sharma, Odum, Vir Bala Rastogi and M.S. Jayaraj, Kotpal and Bali

·         Economic Zoology - Shukla and Upadhaya, Kotpal- Khetrapal – Aggarwal

·         Ethology - Reena Mathur, Magazines like Science Reporter, Nature

·         General Zoology - Storer and Usurger

·        Physiology - H.R. Singh

·         Evolution - Vir Bala Rastogi

·         A Dictionary of Entomology - Leftwich

Note for the students:

Remember that, “In the end, we are our own choices- JEFF BEZOS”


It is important that correct optional is chosen from the UPSC optional list as if one looks at the performance of top 100 ranks in the final merit list, the marks in optional and interview will matter the most.


It is often seen that aspirants will choose the wrong optional from the UPSC optional list. In addition to this, having chosen the wrong optional from the UPSC optional list in earlier attempts they have to switch to other in the next, which will lead to wastage of resources.


Factors to be considered to choose optional from the UPSC optional subject list:

Aspirants feel that the best optional in the UPSC optional list is the one which is most trending/ popular/ highest success percentage. UPSC never favors one optional over the other. Moreover, the trend changes every year. At the end it all boils down to one’s hard work. Candidates feel that the best optional in the UPSC optional list is the one which is chosen by very few people. It is incorrect to believe that if an optional has 500 students then it is difficult to score marks, and it is easy to score if it has only 10 odd students. Aspirants choose optional from the UPSC optional subject list which their friend has chosen, rank 1 has chosen, coaching institute has asked. This is a totally wrong Aspirants choose optional from the UPSC optional subject list which is the most scoring. However, there is no standard that every year that optional subject will be high scoring. Aspirants choose optional from the UPSC optional subject list which is graduation subject. However, just because one is graduate in engineering doesn’t mean he/she has interest in that subject or has attained perfection.


Key Factors are:

  • Interest in the subject
  • Understanding ability and confidence level on that subject
  • Past understanding eg: graduation
  • Syllabus and role of current affairs
  • Subject integration with GS Syllabus to simplify preparation
  • Analysis of previous year papers
  • Availability of Good teachers, materials, guidance/ peer group, tests etc


Steps to choose optional from the UPSC optional subject list:

STEP 1: Take out a printout of the CSE Notification.

STEP 2: Read the optional list showing the 26 optional subjects.

STEP 3: Strike out the subjects you will not take no matter what. Eg: A commerce graduate won’t take Mechanical or Civil engineering or likewise. Also, simultaneously keep going through the detailed syllabus for the subject before striking out.

STEP 4: As the number of options becomes lesser, eliminate with more care-only if you are 100% sure of not picking that one.

STEP 5: Now you will be left with 3-5 subjects. Now consider the above mentioned factors and prepare a chart.

STEP 6: Now rank priority wise. In this case, priority would be Philosophy> Public Administration> Sociology> History.

STEP 7: Now zero upon an optional. In the above case, it would be Philosophy. Read the basic books for at least a week. You will be able to clearly analyse your aptitude for the optional and whether you will be able to read it for long time. If answer is NO, move to next priority and follow the same process.

STEP 8: Now finalize the optional.



Candidates have to choose one optional subject from the UPSC optional subject list for the Main Examination. Apti Plus offers such subjects which have maximum syllabus overlap/connection and strategic relevance with the compulsory papers of General Studies. These courses are meticulously designed to ensure content differentiation, score enhancement and completeness of coverage.


Why You Should Join This Programme?

  • Makes you feel like you are inside Apti Plus’s classroom.
  • Systematic approach to syllabus completion via class plan
  • Targeted to crack the exam in first attempt





  • Information-static and dynamic
  • Application of information
  • Opportunity to watch pre-recorded videos as many times
  • Highly qualified and most experienced faculty fraternity who teach in the best coaching institutes of India.
  • Courses are designed to help candidate even without a prior background in the subject.
  • Detailed-analytical study of the subject with respect to UPSC syllabus & previous years’ questions will be completed in a comprehensive and time bound manner.


  • Peer to peer learning
  • Personal mentorship under India’s top educators.
  • Weekly live doubt clearing sessions
  • Prompt grievance redressal mechanism


Test and feedback:

  • Online lecture will be followed by Subjective Question discussion for Mains.
  • Mains Test Series
  • Prompt grievance redressal mechanism.
  • Periodic assignments and tests will be given to check concept clarity and do revision of the topics covered. Answer Writing will focus on improving answer writing capability.


  • Comprehensive- updated study material will be provided to the students on a regular basis.



  • Know your syllabus thoroughly. Before you start with your preparation for CSE, read the syllabus many a times to comprehend the demand of the examination.
  • Your own strategy is the right strategy.
  • Reading NCERT text-books thoroughly is of utmost importance to crack this examination.
  • The key is revision.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Guidance of Apti Plus acts like the lighthouses of the seashore.
  • CSE preparation needs a planned approach which is systematic & well designed and Apti Plus is too good at its execution.
  • Provides aspirant with the exam-oriented study materials and the direction of what all to read.
  • Instills competitive and fighting spirit, dedication and motivation for success
  • Very ecosystem of Apti Plus is enabling in the sense that it develops one’s cognitive skills
  • Covering Syllabus in Time Bound Manner
  • Continued Guidance: The ‘X’ Factor for Preparation
  • Broadening the scope of Improvement
  • The Edge called Psychological Advantage




Optional Subjects offered for the Main Examination are: Sociology, Geography, Political Science &. International Relations.



Validity: 3 months




Akhilesh C Srivastava


Amitesh V.


Shweta Singh