The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 27 February 2024

Nakul Dhawan Avatar
The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 27 February 2024

1. Give up on the “garland model” and allow Indian science to flourish.

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies
The issues raised by Indian scientific conferences are significant because they are related to science and technology development (S&T), a major national focus area for UPSC.

– This article makes the case that Indian scientific conferences should be updated to be more equitable, inclusive, and in line with modern scientific methods.

 Reimagining Scientific Meetings in India The Role of Scientific Meetings:

  • It is essential for researchers to present and discuss their findings at scientific conferences or meetings.
  • Presentations, discussions, and expert exchanges on a range of scientific subjects are frequently featured at these gatherings.

The Standard Academic Meeting Model:

  • Traditionally, planning, expert invitations, information dissemination, and financial management fall under the purview of a core group of organisers, which is frequently a scientific society.
  • These meetings are attended by invited speakers, who are usually top researchers, as well as other researchers who pay a fee.

Modern Trends in Scientific Conferences:

  • In addition to scientific discourse, contemporary conferences prioritise non-hierarchical interactions, career-stage equity, diversity, and sustainability.
  • Numerous scientific conferences are held in India by scientific societies and communities in a variety of fields.

Challenges with Scientific Conferences in India:

  • Outdated Bureaucratic Frameworks:
    • Administrators from the institute and the organisers’ hierarchical structure are frequently present at conferences.
    • Administrators’ long speeches, delayed starts, and separated seating are all features of the proceedings.
    • Religious ceremonies and customs of giving gifts are common.
  • Lack of Inclusivity and Diversity:
    • It’s possible for scientific programmes to be underrepresented in terms of gender and diversity, with all-male panels and a narrow focus on “women in science” that ignores more significant problems.

Examples of Reimagined Conferences:

  • No Garland Neuroscience (NGN): This keeps things straightforward and economical while giving priority to scientific talks and content.
  • Meeting of Young Investigators (YIM): With an emphasis on scientific networking and mentorship among life scientists, this series promotes open interactions, gender equality, alphabetical speaker lists, and round-table seating.

The Need for Revamp:

  • The continuation of antiquated methods promotes injustice and impedes scientific advancement.
  • Rethinking conferences could advance sustainability, accessibility, and inclusivity.
  • With this redesign, India would demonstrate its dedication to modern scientific methods and international cooperation.


  • It is imperative to revitalise scientific conferences in India in order to promote a more progressive, egalitarian, and inclusive scientific culture.
  • This move would help the scientific community in India as well as position India as a major force in the global scientific arena.

Practice Question: Analyse the state of scientific conferences in India today critically and make recommendations for improvements to increase their efficacy and competitiveness worldwide (150 words/10 m)

2. An expansive land management policy is overdue

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies
Since it deals with land degradation, an important environmental problem connected to agriculture, climate change, and sustainable development—all important UPSC areas—this topic is vital to the organisation.

– This essay explores the significance of sustainable land management in India, outlining obstacles and suggesting approaches such as multi-stakeholder platforms and landscape management.

The Importance of Sustainable Land Management Practices in India Land: A Multifaceted Resource:

  • Because it offers ecological, economic, social, and cultural services, land is essential to human activity.
  • But ignoring its complexity results in environmental problems and land degradation.

Global Context:

  • The estimated annual cost of land degradation to the world is $6 trillion.
  • The need for land management solutions is emphasised by the IPCC and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14).
  • The “State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture” report from the FAO highlights the need for swift action to achieve sustainable land management.

Challenges in India:

  • India’s huge population and scarce land resources present management issues.
  • There is a shortage of arable land and forest cover, and 30% of the land has already degraded.
  • Land is under pressure from population expansion, urbanisation, and development requirements.
  • Competition, conflicts over land use, and compromised environmental functions result from this.
  • There are new difficulties brought on by climate change.

Current Practices and Challenges:

  • Land management is:
    • sectoral, with distinct strategies used by each department.
    • mostly within the jurisdiction of the State governments.
  • Cultural land is privately owned, and the owner is ultimately responsible for deciding how to use it.
  • Challenges include:
    • Knowledge gaps
    • Short-term planning bias
    • Fragmented approach
    • Lack of action for unforeseen events
    • Regulatory barriers

Proposed Solutions:

  • Multi-stakeholder platforms:
    • Provide forums for different stakeholders at the district and sub-district levels.
    • Use the Constitution’s Article 243ZD(1) for district planning committees.
  • Landscape approach:
    • Learn about the potential of land and how it should be allocated for suitable uses.
    • Encourage assessment, compromise, and decision-making.
    • Take into account climate change for a combined benefit.

Institutional Support:

  • Integrated landscape management is supported by science and international experience.
  • The significance of landscapes for human well-being is emphasised by the European Landscape Convention.
  • Better land management policies are required, as the U.K. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology emphasises.
  • Legislators in India have the authority to start conversations about long-term, sustainable land management strategies that involve all parties.


  • By encouraging cooperation, taking a landscape approach, and enlisting institutional support, India needs to make sustainable land management practices a top priority.
  • Long-term economic and environmental benefits for the country will result from this.

PYQ: A significant reduction in human suffering can be achieved through efficient management of land and water resources. Describe. (12.5 m/200 words) (UPSC GS-1 2016 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Describe in detail the difficulties India has had putting sustainable land management techniques into practice. Provide all-encompassing suggestions to deal with these issues. (15 m/250 words)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *