As you may know, UPSC offers Economics optional as a subject in the civil services main test. Students seem to be cracking this exam with excellent scores in economics, proving that it has a higher success rate than other optional subjects. Aspirants from a maths or engineering background tend to go for economics because they can excel in it easily with their pre-acquired knowledge. Toppers like Gurav Agarwal, the first-place finisher in the Civil Service Exam of 2013, testify that economics as an optional can yield good results with some hard work and practice. But your interest in the optional shouldn’t be the only determining factor, availability of study material is another thing you should keep in mind, so here’s a list of Economic optional books which are a must read.
Class 11th and 12th NCERT for basics
You can start off your preparation by reading the class 11th and 12th Economics NCERT, to build a strong foundation for your preparation. If you’re not from an economics background you can start off studying microeconomics from class 12th NCERT as it will build a strong foundation for your preparation and clear your basics as well. Apart from that make sure that you are well versed with your syllabus because that will give you a lot of direction. PYQs are another way to predict the pattern of the exam and know what they have asked in the past and what they can ask in the future.
H.L Ahuja for Microeconomics
The best book for advanced microeconomics is H.L Ahuja, which is a bulky book but that shouldn’t be a concern because you don’t need to study the book from cover to cover, as you can only have to study the topics mentioned in the syllabus. So you have to open the index and match it with your syllabus and study those topics only. You may also find certain kinds of repetitions in the book as well as it is written in an elaborate way but if you’re a beginner then this is the best book you can go for.
Richard Froyen for Macroeconomics
The best book for macroeconomics is Richard Froyen, but this book will not cover your entire syllabus so may have to refer to certain other books to cover the portion of macroeconomics. This book carries around 200-300 pages, making it quite manageable to cover it.
Musgrave for Public Finance
In the syllabus they haven’t mentioned public finance and money banking separately. So here for public finance there is a book known as Musgrave, which is the best book for public finance but it is written from a foregin perspective.
H.L Bhatia for Public Finance
If you’re unable to study from Musgrave book then you can refer to H.L Bhatia. H.L Bhatia is a book which is written from an Indian perspective and is more beneficial than Musgrave but you can refer to any of these because the concepts given in both these books are amazing and you won’t be able to find something similar anywhere else. This is a mixed topic, majorly you’ll be able to cover it with H.L Ahuja of macroeconomics. For finance you need to refer to two books, which are Musgrave and H.L Bhatia. In Musgrave you might get a lot of unusual information which is not important for the exam so you don’t need to read it cover to cover but you do need to make concise notes with each and every word along with the important questions mentioned in the PYQs. For H.L Bhatia you can do the same thing and you money and fiance portion will be covered
(Important chapters: Eco Opt Imp Chapters:
6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31 to 42, 44, 48 to 53, 58 to 67 )
A.P Thrillwall for Growth and Development
For growth and development these are two books which you can refer to, AP Thirilwall and. A.P Thrilwall is written quite comprehensive so you have to pick the topics you need to study from it. This book is very good for concepts because in UPSC they want to test your conceptual clarity
Dominick and Salvatore for International Economics
For international Economics you need to study only one book, which is Dominick Salvatore and it is considered the bible for international economics and all the topics mentioned in the syllabus coincide with the topics given in this book. This is a very important book and needs to be read cover to cover leaving only a few chapters.
Pre Independence Indian Economy: Trithankar Roy
For this you can refer to The economic History of India by Trithankar Roy. This book is for the economics history of India. Here you have to cover the topics which are given in the syllabus like manufacturing, jute industry etc. This book is not written for Economics optional specifically so you need to select the topics from the syllabus and then study them from it.
Indian Economy since Independence: Uma Kapila
This is a book which has 1000+ pages and the only book which is written with the perspective of Economics optional. This book has the story of the economy of India after independence and when you read a story you will be able to recall it more efficiently rather than mugging up facts which are comparatively tougher to recall.
Hope you find this list of books beneficial. If you’re someone who wants to take your preparation beyond these books and leave no stone unturned then sign up with Ecoholics, the one-stop destination for all your learning needs. Study economics the smart way and get an in-depth understanding of this dynamic subject with our holistic approach. Our team of expert faculties help you polish your knowledge and provide you with one-on-one mentorship and doubt-clearing sessions, so you leave no stone unturned when it comes to your preparation. By signing up with us, you can access our live classes, video lectures, test series and get the hard copy of study material delivered to your doorstep, so your preparation never hits a bump!