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Updated on July 15, 2024 3:35 am
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Updated on July 15, 2024 3:35 am
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Updated on July 15, 2024 3:35 am

Opening the Literary Arsenal: Toppers’ Recommendations for IAS Books


Navigating the Sea of IAS Preparation The pursuit of becoming an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer demands a robust strategy, and one crucial aspect is the selection of the right study materials. Toppers, with their firsthand experience, often share invaluable insights into the books that guided them through the labyrinth of IAS preparation. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the booklists recommended by IAS toppers, spanning various subjects and stages of the examination.

  1. Understanding the IAS Exam Syllabus Before delving into specific book recommendations, it’s imperative to understand the IAS exam syllabus. Divided into three stages – Prelims, Mains, and Interview – each stage demands a distinct approach. Toppers emphasize a comprehensive understanding of the syllabus as the foundation for selecting the most relevant study materials.
  2. IAS Prelims: Building a Strong Foundation The Preliminary stage serves as the gateway to the IAS journey. Toppers recommend books that cover the core subjects of General Studies (GS), including History, Geography, Polity, Economics, Science, and Current Affairs. Standard reference books like NCERTs, Laxmikanth for Polity, and RS Sharma for Ancient India find a prominent place in toppers’ lists.
  3. IAS Mains: Diving Deeper into Specialized Knowledge Mains examination requires a more profound understanding of subjects. Toppers suggest subject-specific books for optional subjects, such as Bipan Chandra’s ‘India Since Independence’ for History, and ‘Indian Economy’ by Ramesh Singh for Economics. The importance of essay writing is underscored, with ‘Essays for Civil Services’ by Pulkit Khare being a popular choice.
  4. Current Affairs: Staying Updated and Relevant IAS preparation is incomplete without staying abreast of current affairs. Toppers recommend newspapers like ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Indian Express,’ along with monthly magazines like ‘Yojana’ and ‘Kurukshetra.’ Websites like PIB and PRS India are also favored for their comprehensive coverage of government initiatives and policies.
  5. Interview Stage: Personality Assessment and Diverse Reading The final frontier is the interview stage, where a candidate’s personality is under scrutiny. Toppers often stress the importance of diverse reading and recommend books that enhance general awareness. Biographies, books on ethics, and socio-economic issues contribute to a well-rounded personality.

Ishita Kishore (AIR – 1) – IAS Topper 2022

Ishita Kishore of Delhi bagged the All India Rank 1 in the UPSC 2022 exam. Hailing from Delhi, she secured the rank with a total of 1094 marks. Read on to know more about Ishita Kishor’s background, preparation strategy, number of attempts, UPSC optional subjects, etc.

Garima Lohia and Uma Harithi N hold the second and third rank respectively in the IAS toppers list.

Ishita Kishore IAS Topper 2022 Background

Ishita Kishore’s father was a former Indian Air Force officer, her mother worked as a private school teacher while her brother is a lawyer. She was working for Ernst and Young by the time she attempted the UPSC exams.

She was born in Begumpet, Hyderabad, Telangana but she spent most of her formative years in Bihar before finally settling in Delhi. One of her favorite sports is football where she pariipated in the Subroto Cup in 2012 and previously competed at the national level of football.

Educational Background

  • Ishita Kishore is a graduate in Economics (Hons) from the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) of Delhi University.
  • During her time in college she was part of the Economic and Literary society

Ishita Sharma UPSC Preparation Strategies

  • Ishita Kishore said that “one has to be disciplined and sincere” in preparation to crack the civil services exam.
  • The UPSC exam is a time-bound exam, and candidates must manage their time effectively to complete the exam within the stipulated time frame.
  • Consistency and discipline are key requirements for the UPSC civil services test.
  • Put in the number of hours you determine are appropriate.
  • Consistency and discipline are key components to ace the civil service exam with flying colors. Also, it is advised to devote a number of hours to the studies as per your capability.
  • She did not focus on the number of hours of study but on quality learning.
  • She made a study schedule but kept her study sources limited and said that during revision time, she did not take up new books or study materials.
  • It is advisable to go through previous years’ UPSC prelims question paper book to get an idea about the nature of the questions asked in the UPSC prelims examination.

A few tips for UPSC exam preparation

  1. Action Plan – Set aside at least one year for CSE preparation and chart out an action plan to start off with your preparation.
  2. Plan meticulously: Always have a realistic and achievable study schedule to follow while preparing for UPSC CSE. Making a planner and keeping track of the goals helps too.
  3. Limit your Study material – Hopping on to different books for exam preparation will only lead you to confusion, hence, pick out a few selected books and materials and try to stick to it as much as you can.
  4. Use Internet for your good – While the internet is an excellent source of information and study material, she also warns students against its overuse as there are plenty of distractions.
  5. Do not panic: It takes some time to gain a rhythm in CSE preparation which works for you. Do not panic, if a concept seems hard and you get stuck, think it through and you will get clarity on how to study that particular concept.
  6. Understand yourself: Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses will help you in focusing your preparation. This focus and understanding will help immensely in optimizing every stage of preparation according to your needs.
  7. Practice: Before you take the actual exam, you should take mock practice tests both for the prelims and the mains. This will help you gain confidence and experience in framing your answers properly.
  8. Stay focused: Preparing for the UPSC exam can be extremely challenging, so keep yourself motivated and stay positive. Always look at the bright side of things and be confident about your ability to crack UPSC CSE 2022.
Name Shruti Sharma
Civil Service Exam 2022
All India Rank 1
Number of Attempts 3
Age 26 (As of Attempting UPSC 2022)
Optional Subject Political Science and International Relations
Native Delhi, Originally – Begumpet, Telangana
Education Graduation in Economic (Hons)


  1. Online Resources and Mock Tests In the digital age, toppers highlight the significance of online resources. Websites like ClearIAS, Insights on India, and online platforms offering mock tests play a pivotal role in honing time management and exam temperament.
  2. Ever-evolving Recommendations: Adapting to Changes IAS exam patterns evolve, and toppers stress the need to adapt. Following current editions of recommended books and integrating online resources for dynamic content are strategies often cited by recent toppers.

IAS Topper 2022 and 2023: Voices of Success The IAS topper of 2022 and 2023 holds a special place in the aspirants’ community. Insights into their book choices, study schedules, and success mantras provide a contemporary perspective. Toppers often credit a mix of traditional and contemporary resources for their success.

UPSC IAS Toppers 2022: Candidates with top ranks in the UPSC IAS exam inspire every aspirant who is preparing for the exam. The UPSC IAS Toppers have paved the way for success through perseverance, smart study and hard work. The aspirants always draw inspiration from the topper’s preparation strategy, routine, preparation materials, and mantras for securing high marks to become toppers.  In 2022, the Union Public Service Commission has selected a total of 933 candidates out of 1011 posts available in Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ level posts in 23 government administrative departments of the Union. The top 4 ranks are scooped by women – I.

In 2022, the UPSC topper was Ishita Kishore. She bagged AIR 1 by securing 1094 marks out of 2025 total marks. She has outperformed 5.73 lakh candidates who appeared in the examination. Garima Lohia and Uma Harathi N bagged AIR 2 and AIR 3 by securing 1063 and 1060 marks respectively.

We listed the UPSC Toppers profile for students preparing for the exam. They can check below what are their success mantras to secure high marks in UPSC 2023.

UPSC Topper 2023: Check list of IAS Toppers

UPSC IAS Toppers 2022: Ishita Kishore AIR 1

Bagging the All India Rank of 1 in the UPSC 2022 examination, Ishita Kishore’s achievement is a testament to her unwavering determination. Hailing from Greater Noida, Delhi, she is an epitome of hardwork and perseverance. Ishita secured the first spot with a total of 1094 marks in her third attempt, having faced failure in her prelims twice before. But instead of getting disappointed or disheartened, she refined her preparation strategies and approach which propelled her towards success.


  • Age: 26 years
  • Roll Number: 5809986
  • Written exam marks: 901
  • Interview marks: 193
  • Number of Attempts: 3
  • Optional Subject: Political Science and International Relations
  • Family Background: Ishita’s father, Sanjay Kishore was a Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force and her mother used to teach in a private school.
  • Instagram account:
  • LinkedIn profile:
  • Twitter account:


UPSC IAS Toppers 2022: Garima Lohia, AIR 2

Securing the second rank, Garima Lohia’s journey is an inspiration for candidates hailing from rural areas. Belonging from Buxar District in Bihar, she proves that determination and hard work can overcome any limitations. Garima, roll no. 1506175, bagged the All India Rank of 2 by scoring 1063 marks. She cleared the prestigious exam in her second attempt without migrating to big cities, unlike many other candidates. She has done her graduation in Commerce from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University.

  • Age: 24 years
  • Roll Number: 1506175
  • Written exam marks: 876
  • Interview marks: 187
  • Number of Attempts: 2
  • Optional Subject: Commerce and Accountancy
  • Family Background: Garima hails from a business-oriented family. Her father passed away 8 years ago in an unfortunate incident.
  • Hobbies: Listening to self-improvement podcasts
  • Instagram account:

UPSC IAS Uma Harathi N, AIR 3

Uma Harathi’s success story is a reminder that perseverance knows no bounds. She attempted the UPSC examination four times before achieving success. Hailing from Huzur Nagar Sitaramnagar Colony, Suryapet, Telangana, she cleared the UPSC examination with sheer determination. She secured 1060 marks and chose Anthropology as her optional subject. Uma has completed her B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT-Hyderabad.

  • Roll Number: 1019872
  • Written exam marks: 873
  • Interview marks: 187
  • Number of Attempts: 5
  • Optional Subject: Anthropology
  • Family Background: While her father is currently serving as the superintendent of Police in the Naranapet region, while her mother is a homemaker.
  • Hobbies: She has a knack for cooking and studying Indian cuisine.

UPSC IAS Topper 2022: Smriti Mishra AIR 4

Smriti Mishra had dreamt of becoming an IAS officer from a young age. Her journey began during the lockdown. When the world around her came to a halt, she decided to begin her preparation and took the first step towards her dream by consulting an experienced mentor. She started preparing for the Civil Services Exam along with her studies. While most of her peers were engrossed in their academic curriculum, she managed to juggle between her regular studies and UPSC exam preparation. She created a study schedule and adhered to it.

AIR 4 Smriti Mishra completed her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree from Miranda House and later pursued law.

  • Age: 25 years
  • Roll Number: 858695
  • Written exam marks: 882
  • Interview marks: 173
  • Number of Attempt: 3
  • Optional Subject: Zoology
  • Family Background: Smriti’s father, Rajkumar Mishra, serves as a CO (second) in Bareilly, her mother Anita Mishra is a homemaker. Her brother is a practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court.
  • Hobbies: When not studying, Smriti was either engrossed in decorating salad or dancing her heart out.

UPSC IAS Topper 2022: Mayur Hazarika AIR 5

Mayur Hazarika has achieved the remarkable feat of securing AIR 5 and becoming the top-performing male candidate in the UPSC exam. Hailing from Tezpur Assam, his journey from a small town to a highest-ranking male candidate is a source of inspiration for many aspirants nationwide. Commencing his preparations in 2021, Mayur embarked on an ambitious journey that demanded unwavering commitment and attention. He devised an effective preparation strategy and completed his syllabus by the end of 2021. He has done his schooling from Nagaon’s Ramanujan Junior College and MBBS at Guwahati Medical College in 2020. Even though he was a doctor, he decided to pursue his longstanding interest in Civil Services.

IAS Topper Gahana Navya James, AIR 6

Motivated by his uncle to enter IFS, Gahana Navya James has always decided to become an IAS officer. After years of hard work, Gahana was elated when she saw her name in the UPSC top 10. She cleared the UPSC exam in her second attempt. Hailing from Pala town in Kottayam district, Ghana is a research scholar in International relations with UGC Junior Research Fellowship. She has done her graduation in History from St. Thomas College in Pala and topped the MA in Political Science. For her UPSC preparations, Ghana opted for self-study instead enrolling in the coaching centers, unlike other aspirants.

  • Age: 25
  • Roll Number: 2409491
  • Written exam marks: 861
  • Interview marks: 193
  • Optional Subject: Political Science and International Relations
  • Family Background: Both her parents – father Dr Chirakkal James Thomas and mother Deepa George are retired professors.
  • Hobbies: Gahana loves to write poems.

IAS Topper 2022 Waseem Ahmad Bhat, AIR 7

Jammu and Kashmir native, Waseem Ahmad Bhat, has made his parents as well as city proud by bagging the coveted All India Rank of 7. He scored 871 marks on his written test and 182 marks in Interview. However, this isn’t the first time he cleared the exam. In the UPSC 2020 exam, he attained AIR 225, but that wasn’t good enough for him.

Bhat completed his BTech in Civil E

ngineering from the NIT Srinagar. After completing his graduation, he moved to Delhi and embarked on a journey to fulfill his dreams of serving the nation.

  • Age: 24
  • Roll Number: 1802522
  • Written exam marks: 871
  • Interview marks: 182
  • Number of Attempt: 3
  • Optional Subject: Anthropology
  • Family Background: Waseem Ahmad’s father works in the J&K state agriculture department, while his mother is a homemaker.
  • Twitter Account:

UPSC IAS Topper 2022: Aniruddh Yadav, AIR 8

An IIT alumnus, Anirudh Yadav set an example after he secured All India Rank of 8 in Civil service examination. He cleared the exam not once or twice but thrice before achieving the coveted AIR 8. His willingness to pursue his dream relentlessly demonstrates his refusal to settle for anything less than his aspirations. He is a resident of Chanakyapuri, Delhi gives credit to his family for supporting him and being his inspiration. Yadav’s brother is an IAS officer while his father is a retired IPS officer.

  • Age: 27 years
  • Roll Number: 853004
  • Written exam marks: 856
  • Interview marks: 195
  • Number of Attempts: 4
  • Optional Subject: Public Administration
  • Family Background: Carrying forth his family legacy, Aniruddh Yadav hails from a family of IPS and IAS Officers. His brother is an IAS officer stationed in Assam while his father worked as the Director General of Police, Haryana. Yadav’s mother worked for the Quality Council of India.
  • Hobbies: Playing football and squash

UPSC IAS Topper 2022: Kanika Goyal, AIR

A shining example of perseverance and patience, Kanika Goyal dreamt of becoming an IAS officer from class 7th. Born to a grocery store owner, she prepared for UPSC CSE for 10 years and cleared the exam in her second attempt. She systematically planned henceforth and her hard work paid off when she saw her name in the top 10. She is a resident of Model Town, Kaithal, Haryana. Despite coming from an ordinary family background, Kanika nurtured her childhood dream and proved dreams can indeed be transformed into reality if one works for it.

Her story is a testament to her unwavering determination and relentless pursuit of her dreams.

  • Age: 24 years
  • Roll Number: 3517201
  • Written exam marks: 865
  • Interview marks: 180
  • Number of Attempts: 2
  • Optional Subject: PSIR
  • Family Background: Kanika is a proud daughter of Lakhmichand Goyal and  Neelam Goyal. Her father is a grocery supplier while her mother Neelam Goyal is a homemaker.
  • Instagram Account:

UPSC IAS Toppers 2022: Rahul Srivastava, AIR 10

Someone has rightly said, “Hard work always pays off, whatever you do”. And Rahul Srivastava has proved it. Hailing from Chitkhora, Patna, Rahul achieved the remarkable All India Rank of 10 in his fourth attempt. He failed to clear prelims thrice. But he didn’t lose hope and refined his preparation strategy which propelled him towards success. Rahul pursued his B.Tech degree from NIT, Tiruchirapalli and completed his schooling from DAV Public School.

  • Roll Number: 205139
  • Written exam marks: 863
  • Interview marks: 180
  • Number of Attempt: 4
  • Optional Subject: Electrical Engineering
  • Family Background: Srivastava father is a retired banker and his mother is a homemaker.
  • Hobbies: Playing volleyball, chess and cricket.
  • LinkedIn Profile:

IAS Toppers 2022

Based on aggregate performance in the written exam and interview round, the commission shortlisted 933 candidates for the final appointment. Out of which 345 candidates are from unreserved category, 263 from OBC, 99 from EWS, 154 from SC and 72 from ST category.

Rank Name Roll Number Marks Obtained
1 Ishita Kishore 5809986 1094
2 Garima Lohia 1506175 1063
3 Uma Harathi N 1019872 1060
4 Smriti Mishra 858695 1055
5 Mayur Hazarika 906457 1054
6 Gahana Navya James 2409491 1054
7 Waseem Ahmad Bhat 1802522 1053
8 Aniruddh Yadav 853004 1051
9 Kanika Goyal 3517201 1045
10 Rahul Srivastava 205139 1043



In the arduous journey towards becoming an IAS officer, the significance of strategic book choices, consistent preparation, and adaptability cannot be overstated. Toppers like Ishita Kishore, Garima Lohia, and Uma Harathi N have illuminated the path for aspirants with their stories of resilience and achievement. The integration of traditional resources with contemporary online tools, coupled with a disciplined study approach, emerges as a common theme among these successful candidates. As the UPSC pattern evolves, the wisdom shared by toppers remains a beacon for aspirants navigating the dynamic landscape of the Civil Services Examination.


1. What is the significance of understanding the IAS exam syllabus?

Understanding the IAS exam syllabus is foundational, providing aspirants with clarity on the diverse subjects and stages involved, namely Prelims, Mains, and the Interview.

2. How do toppers approach IAS Prelims preparation?

Toppers recommend core subjects like General Studies, relying on standard references like NCERTs, Laxmikanth, and RS Sharma for a strong foundation.

3. What role do current affairs play in IAS preparation?

Current affairs, covered through newspapers, magazines like ‘Yojana,’ and online platforms such as PIB, are integral for a comprehensive IAS preparation.

4. How do toppers navigate the Mains examination?

Toppers delve into subject-specific books for optional subjects, emphasizing the importance of essay writing, with ‘Essays for Civil Services’ being a popular choice.

5. What are the key tips for effective UPSC preparation?

Key tips include setting a comprehensive action plan, meticulous planning, limiting study material, utilizing the internet judiciously, and regular practice through mock tests for both Prelims and Mains.

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