Gentle Giants

Of late, I have been spending a lot of time observing trees. It doesn’t matter whether I walk, run, or drive on the road, my eyes inevitably follow the trail of trees on the side, making me marvel at the height, shape and the majesty of every big tree I see. Being part of Telangana ku Haritha Haram… Read More »

My Favourite Books of 2020

In a turbulent, uncertain year filled with terrible news all around, books have been a great source of comfort for me. They were the escape from the reality of lockdowns and persistent pandemic news cycle.  Readers of this blog know that I lean mostly towards non-fiction and this has been the case with 2020 as well. One habit… Read More »

Analogy as A Thinking Tool

When you read about human genetics, three fundamental concepts you will come across are: the gene, the chromosome and the DNA. When I first encountered the topic, I could mostly understand what each term meant, but I struggled to distinguish them precisely. That was until I came across a fantastic analogy in the book ‘The Selfish Gene’. I’m… Read More »

Journey before Destination

When I was a kid, I didn’t really enjoy school. I felt burdened with the subjects, homework, and all the expectations of me. I thought once school is done, I’ll be free. But in my 11th and 12th, I pursued something else— cracking the competitive exams and getting into a good college. I worked towards that singular goal.… Read More »

To Learn, Teach

A couple of years ago, as I was lunching with a friend, he asked me a simple question. If all life started with one simple organism, how did so many complex species evolve? By this time, I had already begun studying Anthropology (my Optional subject), so he naturally assumed that I should be able to handle such basic… Read More »

Dear Junior

Greetings on the successful completion of FC and Phase- I. Do you feel that your time at the academy just flew by? Not surprising. That first walk into the campus, the arduous trek to a nearby hill, the odd nap in the lecture hall, the lovely meal at the Officers’ Mess. And the jokes and the laughter with batchmates over a warm cup of coffee under an overcast sky. What a journey!

On Being a Civil Servant

Every year, on the 21st of April, India celebrates Civil Services day, to commemorate the famous address by Sardar Patel to the first batch of civil servants of India. In the speech, he called them the Steel Frame, as a reference to an enduring structure meant to build and protect a young nation. “India observes National Civil Services… Read More »

UPSC Prelims Strategy by Abhijeet Sinha, IAS [AIR 19, CSE 2017]

Hello everyone, I am Abhijeet Sinha. I have secured 19th Rank in Civil Services Exam 2017 and joined the Indian Administrative Service in 2018. I gave two attempts at CSE and scored good marks in both my prelims: 163 in CSE 2016 and 152.66 in CSE 2017. My Prelims strategy was slightly different from others. I almost always attempted over 95 questions, even though I barely knew more… Read More »

How to Answer GS 4 Ethics Paper in UPSC Mains

Note: This is a free chapter from my book, Fundamentals of Essay and Answer Writing. I have previously published two excerpts on GS-2 and Introductions to Essay. The book has similar detailed chapters on Essay and answer writing for GS-1,2,3,4, including the Anthropology optional. You can get the book here. GS-IV can be confounding. That’s because the questions in this paper tend to… Read More »