The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 21 February 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 20 February 2024

1. Having Panchayats as self-governing institutions.

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Constitution – Significant provisions. 
Important for UPSC because it evaluates candidates’ knowledge of local governance issues, fiscal devolution, and constitutional amendments.

– The article highlights fiscal devolution while discussing India’s 30-year evolution towards local self-governance.
– It looks at problems and possible fixes, such as the function of gramme sabhas and the necessity of removing grant dependency in order to generate sustainable income at the local level.


  • The Indian Constitution’s 73rd and 74th Amendments Acts of 1992 gave local bodies the authority to govern themselves.
  • In order to support rural local governments, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj was established in 2004.

Fiscal Devolution:

  • When it comes to devolution commitment, some states have done better than others.
  • A new constitution places a strong emphasis on fiscal devolution, including the creation of own revenue.

Current Revenue Status:

  • Tax income for panchayats is meager—80% comes from the central government and 15% from the states.
  • Thirty years after devolution, little money is raised.

Own Source of Revenue (OSR):

  • Revenue from taxes and non-tax sources is provided by State Panchayati Raj Acts.
  • Principal sources of income (OSRs) include tolls, property taxes, stamp duty surcharges, land revenue cessations, profession taxes, advertisement taxes, and user fees for services.

Expert Committee Report:

  • Expert committee describes potential OSR revenue streams, such as fees, rent, and investment income.
  • suggests establishing an atmosphere that is favourable to efficient taxation.

Role of Gram Sabhas:

  • Gramme sabhas are essential to sustainable development and local self-sufficiency.
  • They now have more authority to plan, make decisions, and carry out revenue-generating projects.
  • the power to levy levies, fees, and taxes in support of regional development initiatives.

Discrepancies in Tax Collection:

  • unequal tax collection duties assigned to district, intermediate, and gramme panchayats.
  • District panchayats only collect 5%, intermediate panchayats 7%, and gramme panchayats 89%.

Factors Hindering Revenue Generation:

  • Grants from the Central Finance Commission have a part in the decline in interest in OSR.
  • Over time, tax collections decline and reliance on grants rises.
  • Absence of rewards and sanctions for noncompliant behaviour.

Overcoming Dependency:

  • Difficulties include a “freebie culture” in society and resistance to taxation.
  • It is necessary to inform the public and elected officials about the significance of revenue generation.
  • gradual decrease in reliance on grants in order to maintain self-sufficiency.

Future Recommendations:

  • To reduce dependence syndrome, concerted efforts are required at all governmental levels, including state and federal.
  • Panchayats should take steady steps to generate revenue in order to become self-sufficient.


  • Constitutional provisions notwithstanding, real fiscal devolution and grassroots self-sufficiency continue to be elusive goals.
  • Promoting local self-governance in India requires persistent work, incentives, and education.

PYQ: Evaluate the significance of India’s Panchayat system in relation to local governance. What other funding options are available to Panchayats for development projects, besides grants from the government? (15 minutes, 250 words) (UPSC GS-2 2018 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Talk about the prospects and difficulties of fiscal devolution in Indian local government, highlighting the function of panchayats and methods to improve self-sufficiency. (15 m/250 words)

2. The real threat to the India as we know it

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity – Parliament 
essential for UPSC to evaluate comprehension of parliamentary issues, constitutional principles, and modern Indian political dynamics.

– The article addresses the growing division in Indian parliamentary politics and expresses worries about democracy’s future.
– It draws attention to problems with federalism, polarised politics, and manufactured defections.


  • The 17th Lok Sabha’s conclusion establishes the framework for the next general election.
  • There are questions regarding the future of Indian parliamentary democracy in light of the final parliamentary session’s growing division.

Constitutional Safeguards:

  • India has maintained democracy thanks to a strong Constitution, fundamental rights, duties, and directive principles.
  • Concerns regarding Parliament’s capacity to uphold stable democracy are raised by the current fall in parliamentary practices.

Global and Internal Dynamics:

  • Although they don’t currently pose a threat, external factors like tensions around the world (Ukraine, West Asia) and worries about China do exist.
  • Internal problems are manageable but still need to be addressed, such as security worries and regional conflicts.

Political Division:

  • With vitriol and accusations flying between the opposition and the ruling party, the country seems more divided than it was before.
  • The opposition is accused by the government of fostering a “North-South Divide” and using divisive language.

Impact of Polarized Politics:

  • Polarised politics amplify polarising tendencies just before a crucial election.
  • Election-related issues such as the consecration of the Ram Temple add to the perception of Hindu majoritarianism.

Federalism Concerns:

  • A fundamental component of the constitution, federalism, seems to be undermined by initiatives like “One Nation, One Election” and the Uniform Civil Code.
  • The ruling party is accused by the opposition of violating federal principles and weakening regional parties.

Engineered Defections:

  • Engineered defections pose a threat to electoral integrity and democracy, particularly during election years.
  • High-profile defections to the ruling party raise questions about potential outside interference in election results.

Governor’s Role and Centre-State Relations:

  • Tension between the Centre and the State arises from the controversial roles that governors play in states ruled by the opposition.
  • A breakdown in relations between the Centre and States is partly caused by perceived transgressions of conduct mandated by the constitution.

Absence of Rules-Based Order:

  • The democratic system is in danger when there is no rules-based order in party-to-party relations and Center-State relations.
  • Democracy under a constitutional mandate may disappear if fundamental values are not upheld.

Need for Dispassionate Analysis:

  • The Centre bears the primary responsibility, but both the Opposition and the ruling party must respect constitutional quirks.
  • It is vital to tolerate differences, submit to the Constitution in everything, and control rivalries within constitutional bounds.


  • Democracy is at risk from the dissolution of business regulations mandated by the Constitution, which highlights the importance of objective analysis and devotion to fundamental values.

Practice Question: Talk about the issues facing India’s parliamentary democracy, focusing on things like political polarisation, worries about federalism, and planned defections. (10 m / 150 words)

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