The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 16 February 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 16 February 2024

1. A measure to support the improvement of legal education

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Education 
Essential reading for UPSC hopefuls: outlines legislative committee reform recommendations that affect the fields of governance, law, and justice.

– The article highlights the suggestions made by a parliamentary committee to improve legal education in India. The committee suggests changing regulations and placing more of an emphasis on research, global perspectives, and the need for visionary leadership.


  • In India, legal education has always been undervalued in comparison to engineering and medicine.
  • The establishment of national law universities (NLUs) in the 1990s marked the start of positive changes.
  • Lawyers now have more opportunities both domestically and abroad thanks to NLUs.

Current Challenges:

  • Many law schools have been criticized for their lack of quality and attention to research, including NLUs.
  • Only two Indian law schools—National Law School of India University and Jindal Global Law School—were included in the top 250 worldwide.
  • The majority of law schools prioritize teaching over research.

Regulatory Changes:

  • Limiting the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) authority to control legal education is the recommendation.
  • The National Council for Legal Education and Research (NCLER), an independent organization intended to oversee non-litigation facets of legal education, is being proposed.
  • NCLER will consist of judges, attorneys in practice, and distinguished law professors with a track record of successful research.

Emphasis on Research:

  • Prioritizing and advancing research in legal education is critically important.
  • Acknowledgment of inadequate research output, with India predominantly relying on Western legal knowledge.
  • Make a case for hiring “world-class global faculty” to bolster the capacity for research.

Funding for Research:

  • More state funding is required to improve the research ecosystem.
  • Increasing research is thought to be essential for India’s law schools to prosper internationally.
  • It highlights how important total academic autonomy and freedom are.

Global Perspective:

  • The impact of globalization on legal education is acknowledged in the article.
  • Creating a global curriculum, supporting exchange programs, adding more international law courses, and exposing students to various legal systems are some of the recommendations.

Institutional Leadership:

  • In law faculties and universities, there is a need for visionary, charismatic, and passionate leaders.
  • critique of the current leadership, focusing on how crucial it is to foster an environment that is encouraging and conducive to academic success.

Call to Action:

  • Acknowledgement that everyone involved in legal education reform must work together to achieve this goal.
  • Higher education must urgently take precedence over all other reforms.


  • The suggestions made by the parliamentary committee point the Indian legal education system in the right direction.
  • Argues for increased funding, funding for academic freedom, visionary leadership, and teamwork to address current issues and raise the bar for legal education globally.

PYQ: Do Department-specific Parliamentary Standing Committees foster respect for parliamentary control and keep the administration on its toes? Analyze these committees’ operations using relevant examples. (15 minutes, 250 words)(UPSC GS-2 2021 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Which of the parliamentary committee’s main recommendations for improving legal education in India are most important, and why?(10 m / 150 words)

2. The decision on electoral bonds is detrimental to the right to free speech.

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Important aspects of governance: Transparency and accountability
GS2 – Polity – Judiciary
The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Electoral Bond Scheme, which addresses issues of political funding, voter protection, and governance transparency, is crucial information for UPSC candidates.

– Citing violations of the Constitution and voters’ right to information, the Supreme Court of India invalidates the Electoral Bond Scheme and emphasizes the need for openness in political funding.

Situation: The Election Bond Program (EBS):

  • Through the Electoral Bond Scheme, voters could purchase electoral bonds and give them to political parties so they could be cashed in.
  • The program’s goal was to reduce the amount of “black money” used for political or election financing by enabling contributions through banking channels.

Supreme Court ruling: the Electoral Bond Program is overturned:

  • The entire Electoral Bond Scheme was ruled unconstitutional by the Indian Supreme Court.
  • highlighted how the Constitution was being broken, particularly with regard to the voters’ right to information.
  • found the plan to be blatantly arbitrary, citing the Companies Act amendment that eliminated the corporate donation cap in the absence of disclosure requirements.

Crucial Conclusions and Justifications of the Supreme Court: The Proportionality Test:

  • Reducing “black money,” the main rationale behind the EBS, did not pass the proportionality test.
  • The plan was not the least onerous way to deny the voters their right to information.

Corporate Giving and Determinations of Policy:

  • A rational relationship between the possible impact on policy decisions and unidentified corporate donations was established.
  • Emphasized the danger of making policy choices that are specific to corporate donors.

Expansion of the Concept of Freedom of Expression:

  • Expanded the idea that the right to free speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) to voters is insufficient if they are unable to obtain background information on candidates.
  • This idea was used to show how corporate donors support the parties in power.

Extra Notations and Requirements:

  • Considered the Companies Act amendment that permits unlimited corporate donations without disclosure to be blatantly arbitrary.
  • Since 2019, disclosure of donation details has been required, encouraging openness in the financing of politics.
  • The ruling is consistent with earlier Supreme Court interventions, including the introduction of the “None of the Above” option, the removal of legislators’ immunity from immediate disqualification for criminal offenses, and the requirement that candidates disclose their assets and criminal histories.

Critical Thoughts and Unresolved Issues:

  • Questioned the judgment’s timeliness and the possibility that an early temporary stay on the plan could have been issued.
  • Eaised questions about the possible, and possibly unknown, effects of the thousands of crores that the parties received under the scheme on additional campaign resources and policy measures.


  • The ruling by the Supreme Court is regarded as a major step in the direction of advancing voter rights, democracy, and openness in India’s political system.
  • The ruling could lessen the financial power of donors’ influence over governance.

PYQ: In 2016, the Election Commission of India proposed electoral reforms aimed at improving the quality of democracy in the country. What changes are recommended, and how important are they to ensuring the success of democracy? (15 minutes, 250 words) (CSE (M) GS-2, UPSSC 2017)
Practice Question: Talk about the importance of the Electoral Bond Scheme for maintaining political funding transparency and defending democratic values in India in light of the recent ruling by the Supreme Court. (15 m/250 words)

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