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Useful articles and Editorials- UPSC CSE Mains

Hi! So, I start this thread in the hope that we could all contribute links to interesting articles that we come across in the course of our preparation. Since we already have a factoids for prelims thread, this is opened by me in the hope that articles from the mains perspective will be contributed. Since we would all be reading articles also from our optionals point of view, it is likely that we could all benefit from articles from non-conventional sources as well. Let us build!
Neyawn , Naadan_Parinda and 23 others like this


@12432TrivendrumRajdhani Read the article. It's an interesting perspective. However, I think it ignores the fact that the liberal of today is often the conservative of tomorrow who is set in his ways. I believe that is why it seems as though the liberal policy undergoes constant change. The liberal is most often someone who advocates a radical and transformative change in the society that he lives in. I believe the liberal over time often becomes somewhat of a status quoist. The article calls Mahatma Gandhi a true liberal. Yet, if he lived today, much of what he believed in is out of sync with the modern day realities. While we can of course pick and choose certain ideas such as small village republics and link it with our modern day need for decentralisation, but what of his ideas about caste or the role of women? Yes, he did put emphasis on the honour of a woman and supposedly put her on a pedestal, but in the modern day, that pedestal is a cage. His terminology of Dalits as Harijans is viewed by a number of liberals as patronising and as a veiled attempt to maintain or propagate the status quo. The fast at Yeravada jail has been called out as a dirty trick and the Poona Pact evil. 

I believe that Gandhi and to a much lesser extent Nehru, if they lived today, wouldnt particularly be considered liberals. And in the modern day, I believe even liberals don't find common ground to agree on. The conservatives, though often narrow and bigoted, are more united than the liberal class. Divisive issues often divide the liberals much more than they divide the conservatives. That is why I think it looks more like liberals are shifting goalposts. 

Dora-the_Explorer, AlexanderSupertramp and 4 others like this
Guys do read this article . It’s wonderful , it’s actually an excerpt from the recently launched book why we are polarized by Erza klien . 
let me quote a wonderful line from the article above - 
 polarized media doesn’t emphasize commonalities, it weaponizes differences; it doesn’t focus on the best of the other side, it threatens you with the worst.” 

Dora-the_Explorer, walterwhit3 and 3 others like this

A very long article regarding gender differences in North and South India. Some very interesting insights, correlations and causal relations. If you have the patience, time and energy. The author has looked the relations from multiple dimensions. 


AlexanderSupertramp, Yashi7 and 2 others like this

A very good primer and examples of the cognitive biases that we might have. Maybe helpful in ethics


AlexanderSupertramp, Agog and 1 others like this

How to tackle urban flooding!

Naadan_Parinda, Agog and 1 others like this

I know a bit out of place, but a very good thread summarising study tips and techniques! :)

rahulgandhi, AlexanderSupertramp and 1 others like this

No one likes unsolicited advice. But still these are worth reading and (maybe) useful in someway. Some good ones...

  • When you are young spend at least 6 months to one year living as poor as you can, owning as little as you possibly can, eating beans and rice in a tiny room or tent, to experience what your “worst” lifestyle might be. That way any time you have to risk something in the future you won’t be afraid of the worst case scenario.
  • A worthy goal for a year is to learn enough about a subject so that you can’t believe how ignorant you were a year earlier.
  • Always demand a deadline. A deadline weeds out the extraneous and the ordinary. It prevents you from trying to make it perfect, so you have to make it different. Different is better.


Sadhika, Mauraisles

So, I recently came across this 2 year old article. I find that it is extremely relevant now more than ever given the recent resurgence of the "cancel culture" in the West.

I notice that modern day political discourse is more and more polarised by the day. If you identify as a conservative, there is this bunch of immutable truths that you just cannot question. Similarly, if you identify as a liberal, there is again a set of incontrovertible truths which you cannot aver against. If you even begin to question these immutable truths, you risk being an outcast within the group. I find this culture absolutely absurd, and I find that it kills independent thought. There is so much anger in modern day political discourse. This is as true in India as it is elsewhere. If you, as a group with a set agenda, cancel every outlier who might not be entirely in line with your thinking, then you force both the outlier and yourself into an echo chamber. And there is no freedom in that.

upsc2020, Reticent

Satire on how the western media reports on others. 

Yes, I know we in India are far from being perfect (or even being average) but what stops us from reversing the gaze.

whatonly, Hitman2021

Gautam Bhatia's article on Ranjan Gogoi's chief justiceship. Extremely relevant in understanding what happens when the judiciary stops being a counter-majoritarian institution. 

Naadan_Parinda, Reticent

Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere, found it interesting.

An article on the necessities and implementation of decentralized administration.

AlexanderSupertramp, Patootie

Thanks @Patootie for creating this thread. You have aptly defined the purpose of this thread- articles which are interesting, but thoda hatke and away from UPSC, infusing fresh perspective in our thought process. Though its rare we read Times, but I am attaching an article by Dipankar Gupta, where he attempts to find the answer of defining a liberal in this lucidly written short essay. Today when whole world is eager to cage us in 'ideologies', this article, to my mind is a good attempt to invoke the much needed sanity in all of us. Do give your thoughts.


A nice article on why we forget things we read. Maybe of some help in UPSC prep

@HUMBLEF00L That article was so relatable. The nation needs to read. 

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