The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 28 February 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 28 February 2024

1. Give up the delay and support India’s green elections.

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity 
Relevance to UPSC: Knowledge of environmentally friendly election procedures supports sustainable development objectives, global environmental issues, and good governance.

– The article highlights the need for India to make the transition to environmentally friendly elections, citing issues with traditional methods’ effects on the environment.
– It presents a blueprint for a green transition, including digital voting, to serve as a model for other democracies around the world. It does this by highlighting successful initiatives in Kerala, Goa, and Sri Lanka.


  • Election-related environmental risks are brought up by the Election Commission of India (ECI) because of non-biodegradable materials.
  • In keeping with worldwide environmental concerns, the necessity of environmentally friendly elections is emphasised.

Environmental Impact of Traditional Elections:

  • Conventional election procedures use a lot of energy-intensive rallies, paper-based materials, and disposable objects, all of which increase carbon emissions.
  • The emissions from campaign planes alone during the 2016 US presidential election matched the yearly carbon footprint of 500 Americans.
  • The environmental impact of India’s massive elections and large-scale rallies is amplified.

Challenges and Solutions:

  • One of the main sources of carbon emissions during elections, according to research from Estonia, is the commute to polling places.
  • Making the switch to digital voting could result in a 40% reduction in carbon emissions.
  • There are financial, behavioural, and technological obstacles to implementing environmentally friendly elections.
  • Strong infrastructure for digital voting, equitable access to technology, budgetary limitations, and cultural resistance are among the difficulties.

Successful Initiatives in Kerala, Sri Lanka, and Estonia:

  • A ban on non-biodegradable materials was implemented in Kerala for the 2019 general election, encouraging the use of paper posters and wall graffiti as eco-friendly substitutes.
  • The 2022 Goa Assembly elections featured environmentally friendly booths made by local artisans from biodegradable materials.
  • By planting trees to offset emissions, the SLPP party in Sri Lanka started the first-ever carbon-sensitive election campaign in history.

Blueprint for Green Transition:

  • It is recommended that political parties take the lead in implementing eco-friendly practices through legislation.
  • Green practices ought to be included in the Model Code of Conduct by the Election Commission.
  • Digital or door-to-door campaigning, providing incentives for environmentally friendly polling booth supplies, and encouraging public transport are among the suggestions.
  • ECI may promote digital voting, which would necessitate official capacity-building and training.
  • Ensuring equitable access to digital technology and educating voters require the support of the government.
  • Traditional methods’ environmental impact is emphasised by the media, and civil society plays a catalyst role in this regard.


  • Estonia’s success with digital voting serves as a model for an environmentally and voter-friendly strategy.
  • Adopting environmentally friendly election procedures can establish India as a global leader in ecologically friendly elections.

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 India adopting environmentally friendly voting procedures while taking into account the difficulties and global examples. (15 m/250 words)

2. Not everything in the election garden is pretty.

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity
UPSC relevance: It’s critical to grasp constitutional principles, the role of the judiciary, and the difficulties associated with maintaining electoral integrity.

– The Chandigarh Mayor’s election case is used in the article to highlight the importance of free and fair elections as a core component of India’s Constitution.
– It draws attention to issues facing the political system, the judiciary’s responsibility for maintaining electoral integrity, and worries about possible manipulation of the next elections.


  • The Indian Supreme Court highlights free and fair elections as an essential component of the fundamental framework of the Constitution.
  • The Chandigarh mayor’s election case, which will be decided on February 20, 2024, becomes more important when considering the preservation of democracy.

Challenges in the Political Landscape:

  • An important general election is coming up in India, and the political discourse is becoming more religious.
  • We need to look more closely at the electoral process because of worries about a possible move towards theocracy.

Significance of Chandigarh Judgment:

  • In the Chandigarh case, political significance and judicial intervention are raised by the Returning Officer’s partiality for a candidate associated with the BJP.
  • The Court underlines that it is its responsibility under Article 142 to make sure that such acts do not undermine electoral democracy.

Judicial Observations on System Degeneration:

  • The Court’s observations show that it is aware of the system’s degeneration and the possible repercussions.
  • The bravery of a Municipal Corporation officer to thwart the legal proceedings and the senior law enforcement officers’ defence is noteworthy.

Role of Judiciary in Electoral Integrity:

  • The Election Commission, laws, and provisions of the Constitution protect the integrity of the electoral process.
  • The judiciary’s ability to step in and punish system violators while restoring integrity to the system boosts public confidence.

Public Response to Judicial Interventions:

  • The Supreme Court’s rulings on the electoral bonds programme and Chandigarh’s mayoral elections have been warmly received by the public.
  • It is believed that judicial intervention is necessary to protect democratic values and stop institutions from collapsing.

Challenges in Upcoming Elections:

  • Concerns regarding possible religious influences are raised by the unprecedented religious fervour surrounding the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
  • Preserving the integrity of the electoral process is a critical test for the secular Constitution, laws, and courts.

Role of Religion in Elections:

  • Section 123 of the Representation of People Act deals with corrupt practices, including the use of religion, and is frequently ignored by political parties.
  • Legal interpretations emphasise that it is improper for candidates or voters to make religious appeals.

Apprehensions and the Chandigarh Episode:

  • Even though the Chandigarh incident appears to be isolated, concerns are raised regarding India’s electoral democracy’s future.
  • The electoral process is saved by the Supreme Court’s decisive intervention, but worries about possible future subversions continue.


  • Attempts to rig the election process raise concerns after seventy-five years of electoral democracy in India.
  • For the democratic system to remain intact, prompt judicial intervention is essential.

Degeneration of Electoral Process in India
– Money Power: The growing influence of money in elections, which gives wealthy candidates unfair advantages.
– Criminalization: A rise in candidates with criminal histories that jeopardises moral principles.
– Disinformation and fake news: The propagation of incorrect information that influences voters’ choices.
– Identity politics: is the practice of using caste, religion, and local sentiment to influence elections.
– Election-related Violence: Incidents of violence that compromise democratic principles.

– Weak Regulation: Election laws are not adequately regulated or enforced.
– Lack of Transparency: Political financing and campaign expenditures are not sufficiently transparent.
– Election boundary: manipulation in favour of a specific party is known as gerrymandering.
– Eroding moral: principles within political parties is an example of a poor political culture.
– Social Media Influence: The improper use of social media sites to disseminate false information and propaganda.

Way Forward:
– Enact comprehensive: electoral reforms that address political party practices, candidate selection, and campaign financing.
– Measures to Promote Transparency: Make monitoring of political spending and financing more transparent.
– Strict Enforcement: Make sure that election laws are strictly enforced and that infractions are penalised.
– Educational Initiatives: Encourage the development of critical thinking and awareness through voter education.
– Technology safeguards: Create and put into use tools to thwart misinformation and fake news.
– Civic Engagement: Discourage identity-based politics and promote civic engagement.
– Media Responsibilities: To combat false information, encourage ethical reporting and fact-checking.
– Legal Reforms: Examine and revise election laws in light of new issues.
– Ethics Education: To preserve moral principles, provide politicians with ethics education.

India’s electoral degeneration calls for a multipronged response that includes technological advancements, legislative changes, and a societal shift towards moral and open political conduct.

Practice Question: Talk about the difficulties the Indian electoral process faces while providing instances of degeneration. Make recommendations for changes that will strengthen democratic principles, restore openness, and uphold moral standards. (10 m / 150 words)

3. Space exploration should be the primary goal of India’s space programme, not becoming a superpower.

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies
Important for UPSC because it discusses ISRO’s scientific roadmap, political clout, democratic accountability, and India’s Gaganyaan mission.

– The article presents India’s Gaganyaan mission’s final candidates, highlighting democratic accountability, moving away from political motivations, and emphasising transparent justifications in the face of ISRO challenges and a lunar exploration roadmap.

Gaganyaan Astronaut Finalists Announced:

  • Pilot Shortlist: PM Narendra Modi announced during a visit to Kerala that Air Force pilots Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Ajit Krishnan, Angad Pratap, and Shubhanshu Shukla are the ultimate contenders for India’s Gaganyaan mission.
  • Mission Background: Using an indigenous rocket, Indian astronauts will be launched into low-Earth orbit as part of ISRO’s Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission. In 2018, the Union Cabinet approved it with a ₹10,000 crore budget.
  • The Timetable of ISRO: In 2024 and 2025, ISRO plans to conduct two test flights of the human-rated Launch Vehicle Mark-3, with a crewed launch scheduled for 2025. The company managed delays brought on by COVID-19 and business obligations.

Political Influence and Space Policy:

  • Political Influence Inevitable: This statement highlights the necessity for Gaganyaan to go beyond purely political motivations while acknowledging the possibility of political influence in a project this size.
  • Indian Space Policy 2023 directs: ISRO to carry out applied research and development to preserve India’s competitive advantage in human spaceflight and to create a plan for long-term human habitation in space.
  • Democratic Accountability: Promotes a culture of democratic space exploration by requiring future space mission justifications to be subject to public review and discussion.

Challenges and Future Roadmap:

  • Challenges: ISRO faces a number of difficulties, such as juggling commercial obligations and delays brought on by pandemics.
  • Moon Landing Directive: The article highlights the need for an open and convincing roadmap while acknowledging PM Modi’s directive to ISRO to place an Indian on the moon by 2040.

Focus on Scientific Exploration:

  • Encourages a change: in emphasis from preserving “India’s edge” for its own sake to generating value for society and science.
  • Steer Clear of Geopolitical Posturing: Suggested that scientific exploration and human horizon expansion take precedence over geopolitical aspirations, and that it is not advisable to strive for the status of “space superpower.”


  • Democratic and Scientific Values: Promotes a shift in society away from needless geopolitical rivalry and towards democratic accountability, public participation, and scientific research.
  • Future Identity: Rather than upholding national superiority, this argument urges Gaganyaan to give astronauts an identity based on fundamental contributions to science and society.

Practice Question: Analyse the significance of openness and public scrutiny in India’s space exploration endeavours, with particular emphasis on the Gaganyaan mission and its consequences for scientific progress and national goals (250 words/15 m).

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