Old NCERT Vs New NCERT Books for UPSC Exams

Old NCERT Vs New NCERT Books for UPSC IAS Exams

Another question that is often asked is whether to read Old NCERT or New NCERT Books?

This section tries to answer all your queries related to this question

Old and new NCERTs: A Comparison

  1. Edition: Generally the NCERTs published before 2005 are considered to be old and those published after 2005 are called new. However that is not the only difference

  1. Graphics: New NCERT Books are considered to more graphical as they come with more images and colors which makes it an interesting read when compared to the old ones. The image below show the contrast. However graphics are not always bad. For instance, new NCERTs of geography have images that can explain the complex phenomenon in a very simple way

  2. Content: For the civil service exam reading a book with more content is better than those with the colors and images even though they seem to be too dull to be read. Old NCERT Books are rich in content and have been authored prominent writers such as Bipan Chandra. As an example, new NCERTs of history come with lot of pictures but are lagging in facts as well as order while the old ones cover history in a chronological and coherent manner. The question ‘Clarify how mid-eighteenth century India was beset with the spectre of a fragmented polity (2017)’ was picked up directly from the old NCERT by Bipan Chandra. Also, new NCERTs would contain the updated information and thus are relevant for subjects like polity which require a knowledge of the current affairs

  1. Availability: While both soft and hard copies of new NCERTs are easily available in the market, old ncert books are a difficult find. The hard copy can be bought only in Delhi that too not in a very reader friendly format (Mostly Xerox). However you can Download soft copies(PDF) of old ncert books here. You can enquire about the books with your friends and get them printed copied instead of going to Delhi especially to buy them, if you are based out of Delhi.


Get NCERT Books Compilation in concise printed format

How to choose NCERT Books?

There is no standard answer to this question. A lot depends on the individual’s aptitude and other factors such as nature of the subject (static/dynamic), availability etc. Those with a pictographic memory will be drawn towards the new NCERTs while people with affinity towards text will prefer the old ones.

However based on the recommendation of selected candidates following the list can be drawn out:

  • History – Old NCERT Books. As the subject is static and requires a coherent and chronological approach for better understanding

  • Economics – New NCERT Books. NCERTs will cover only the basic aspect and therefore the info must be latest and relevant to present times. Most part of the subject however has to be covered from newspaper

  • Geography – New NCERT Books. Requires updated information and diagrams for explanation which are available only in new NCERTs

  • Polity, Science & tech – New NCERT Books

Download NCERT PDF Books in English Medium

(डाउनलोड) एनसीईआरटी बुक (NCERT Books PDF in Hindi)

Click Here for PRINT COPY of OLD & NEW NCERT Compilation for UPSC Exams

Download OLD NCERT PDF E-Books

Every year at 4-5 question can be expected directly from NCERTs and many more can be solved by applying the basic concepts from NCERTs like these questions from UPSC Prelim Exam: 

The plan of Sir Stafford Cripps envisaged that after the Second World War

(a) India should be granted complete independence

(b) India should be partitioned into two before granting independence

(c) India should be made a republic with the condition that she will join the Commonwealth

(d) India should be given Dominion status


Which of the following is/are included in the capital budget of the Government of India?

1. Expenditure on acquisition of assets like roads, buildings, machinery, etc.

2. Loans received from foreign governments

3. Loans and advances granted to the States and Union Territories

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3 

Click Here for PRINT COPY of OLD & NEW NCERT Compilation for UPSC Exams

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