The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 22 February 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 22 February 2024

1. Electoral season and restructuring the health system.

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Health
Important for UPSC: The examination of the manifesto sheds light on policy directions, indicating the governance approaches and healthcare reform agendas that are important for candidates to comprehend.

– The article emphasizes the significance of political party manifestos for the 2024 elections, with a particular emphasis on healthcare reforms and a comparison of the strategies taken by different political parties.
– The essay promotes extensive reforms to India’s healthcare system with a focus on primary care.

Manifestos and Political Priorities:

  • Manifestos are essential for influencing public opinion, facilitating accountability, and expressing the goals and ideologies of political parties.
  • In a year of intense election competition, lavish promises are expected to be included in 2024 manifestos.

Political Outlook on Health:

  • In addressing health objectives, the BJP and Congress manifestos from 2014 and 2019 have some similarities and some variances.
  • While the BJP saw health as a commodity with public-private partnerships, the Congress stressed health as a public benefit and people’ right.

Progressive Measures by UPA and NDA:

  • Through the introduction of pay-for-performance and social health insurance, UPA’s National Rural Health Mission sought to improve the delivery of healthcare in rural areas.
  • The National Medical Commission was established, rural health infrastructure was strengthened, and social health insurance coverage was expanded as part of the NDA’s ongoing policy.

Incremental Changes and Global Comparisons:

  • The architecture of the health system was not comprehensively reformed despite two decades of incremental modifications in health policies.
  • International comparisons show that nations like Thailand and Turkey have made faster progress, highlighting the growth of public delivery systems and infrastructure.

Challenges in Indian Health System:

  • India is confronted with issues related to inadequate basic and secondary health infrastructure, acute shortages of human resources, and a concentration on tertiary care.
  • adjustments in policy in favor of tertiary institutions even though most health problems are controllable at the elementary and secondary levels.

Importance of Resilient Primary Healthcare:

  • In order to integrate community surveillance, demographic information, and illness profiles for efficient planning, primary healthcare must be strengthened.
  • Deliberate, well-thought-out policies and a robust local capacity for patient care and regulation are necessary for reform initiatives to be successful.

Thailand’s Successful UHC Strategy:

  • Thailand’s success with Universal Health Coverage may be attributed to several years of robust human resources policies, significant financial support for provincial health infrastructure, and meticulous planning.
  • India, on the other hand, uses a fee-for-service price structure and sources its services from the private sector, which is experiencing a lack of supplies.

Challenges in Reforming Indian Health System:

  • A shift in political leadership is required from an emphasis on upscale hospitals to a thorough restructure of the health system.
  • Reform entails creating outcome-based health systems, prohibiting dual practice, changing medical curricula, and enacting fair admissions procedures.

The Path Ahead:

  • It takes political will, decentralization, operational flexibility, and accountability to design a system that is “fit for purpose.”
  • Understanding the current healthcare system, creating reform procedures, and increasing district-level implementation capability are among the challenges.


  • Manifestos need to commit to comprehensive reforms for improved health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, addressing systemic healthcare issues.
  • Whether political parties may include such reform initiatives in their manifestos is still an open subject.

PYQ: Sound and sufficient health care policies are required to improve the chances for social development, especially in the areas of geriatric and maternity health care. Talk about it. (150 words, 10 seconds) (UPSC GS-2 2020 CSE (M))
Practice Question: How much have India’s previous healthcare reforms and policies addressed the problems with the system? Examine the effects and offer possible areas for development. (10 m / 150 words)

2. Fair treatment of female employees is a requirement for workplaces.

Topic: GS1 – Society – Social empowerment
GS2 – Social Justice – Vulnerable sections
Important for UPSC: Draws attention to instances of gender discrimination, court rulings, and the necessity of workplace change in line with issues of governance and society.

– Citing gender discrimination, the Supreme Court declares that regulations that penalize female employees for getting married are unlawful. The Selina John case demonstrates the court’s stance, which emphasizes workplace reform for women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Supreme Court’s Gender Equality Stand:

  • The Indian Supreme Court has criticized laws that penalize female employees for getting married, calling them unconstitutional and discriminatory against women.
  • The court highlights that it is unethical to fire someone for being married since it violates their right to fair treatment, human dignity, and nondiscrimination.

Case of Selina John:

  • Due to gender-biased employment policies, Selina John, a former lieutenant in the Military Nursing Service, was discharged in 1988 after getting married.
  • The Union Government is ordered to provide Ms. John with ₹60 lakh in compensation within eight weeks by the Supreme Court, which protects her rights.

Patriarchal Employment Practices:

  • The court determines that it is “wrong and illegal” to fire female employees for getting married, despite the fact that these regulations only apply to female nursing officers.
  • Gender discrimination against women in the Army was historical; after 2020 and 2021, permanent commissions were awarded.

Challenges in Civilian Workforce:

  • Gender prejudice is evident in civilian settings, when women are asked awkward personal questions like marriage and motherhood during employment interviews.
  • The low 19.9% workforce representation in India is a reflection of the barriers that prevent women from participating fully in the labor force through education, employment, and other opportunities.

Gender Disparities in Education:

  • Many girls, particularly those from low-income families, drop out of school due to economic and sanitary reasons, which negatively impacts their chances for further education and employment.

Global Gender Parity Concerns:

  • Global gender inequities are highlighted in the UN’s Gender Snapshot 2023, highlighting the need for corrective action to stop the next generation of women from performing disproportionate amounts of household work.
  • Plans aimed at women and girls are ineffective if they are confined by social and cultural standards that are limiting.

Call for Workplace Transformation:

  • The Supreme Court’s position highlights the unconstitutionality of laws that equate domestic participation and marriage with rights to employment.
  • The court asked organizations to take note of its message, converting workplaces into spaces that support gender equality and shatter social barriers.


  • An important first step in the restructuring of the workplace is the Supreme Court’s rejection of gender-discriminatory employment regulations.
  • The situation of Selina John emphasizes how important it is to break down social barriers, promote gender equality, and give women more authority in all areas of life.

Barriers to women’s education, employment in India
– Gender Stereotypes: Long-standing cultural conventions that place a premium on male education and assign women to household responsibilities tend to discourage women from pursuing higher education.
– Economic Barriers: Due to a lack of money, families in poverty are forced to prioritize their sons’ education, leaving their daughters behind. Girls’ access is further impeded by the costs of education, which include materials, transportation, and tuition.
– Inadequate Infrastructure: Girls’ attendance and completion of their education are discouraged by inadequate sanitation facilities and substandard classrooms, particularly in rural areas.
– Safety concerns: Girls’ mobility is restricted, making it difficult for them to reach jobs and educational institutions due to a fear of harassment and a lack of safe transportation.
– Early Marriage: The common practice of child marriage impedes girls’ future employment opportunities and interferes with their schooling.
– Limited Skill Development: Women who do not have access to programs that focus on developing their skills are more likely to be employed in low-wage informal jobs.

Way Forward:
– Encouraging gender equality: involves confronting societal prejudices by means of awareness-raising efforts and educational programs that question conventional gender norms.
– Encouraging families: to place a high priority on girls’ education by offering financial aid and scholarships is one way to empower families.
– Enhancing Infrastructure: Increasing the number of girls’ access to high-quality, sanitary, and remote schools would help to establish a positive learning environment.
– Ensuring Safety: Tightening regulations and enforcing them more strictly will guarantee women’s safe transportation and public areas.
– Enforcing stronger regulations: against child marriage and raising public awareness of its detrimental effects are two ways to combat it.
– Improving Skill Development: Providing women with easily accessible and reasonably priced skill-based training programs to increase their employability and career prospects.

India may establish a more egalitarian environment where women have equal access to education and work opportunities, supporting their overall empowerment and the advancement of society, by tackling these issues and putting practical solutions into place.

PYQ: What are the ongoing obstacles that Indian women face in terms of time and space? (15 minutes, 250 words) (2019 UPSSC CSE (M) GS-1)
Practice Question: What effect do recent decisions from the Supreme Court regarding gender discrimination in the workplace have on the need for workplace reform? Talk about using examples (150 words/10 m).

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