15 February 2024 : The Hindu Editorial Notes PDF

The Hindu Editorial


1. A demand that could hamper gender equality

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Vulnerable sections

UPSC candidates must comprehend gender issues, discrimination, and policy implications for a nuanced understanding of societal challenges and reforms.
  • This article discusses the complexities surrounding the Sabrimala temple issue, questions the efficacy of mandatory paid menstrual leave, and advocates for nuanced, case-specific support to promote genuine gender equality.

 Sabrimala Temple Issue: Menstruation and Discrimination

  • Background: The Sabrimala temple controversy brought attention to the discrimination against menstruating women, challenging traditional beliefs.
  • Gender Equality: The struggle aims to eliminate discriminatory practices related to menstruation and promote gender equality.

Paid Menstrual Leave: A Counterproductive Move?

  • Challenges of Menstrual Cycles: While acknowledging the challenges of menstrual cycles, labelling all women for paid leave may trivialize the women empowerment movement.
  • Global Gender Gap: The World Economic Forum’s 2021 report indicates a widening gender gap, with 84 cents earned by women for every dollar earned by men.

Concerns Regarding Special Status for Menstruating Women

  • Social Stigma: Granting special status may validate social stigma around menstruation, exacerbating period shaming in a country where it is considered ‘impure.’
  • NFHS Report: The recent National Family Health Survey highlights the prevalent use of cloth for menstrual protection, leading to health risks due to insufficient awareness and societal taboos.

Japan’s Experience: Unintended Consequences

  • Japanese Policy: Japan provides leave for painful menstruation, but it is mostly unpaid and unused, contributing to workplace disparities and gender inequality.
  • Enforcement Challenges: Implementing paid leave raises concerns about misuse and acceptable enforcement methods, as seen in incidents of forced checks in educational institutions in India.

On-going Struggles for Women’s Rights

  • Combat Roles: Women’s fight for equal evaluation and roles in ground combat continues, highlighting on-going gender disparities.
  • Corporate Equality: Women in corporate organizations are advocating for equal pay, emphasizing the need for gender parity.

Recognizing Diverse Experiences

  • Individualized Support: Acknowledging the diverse nature of menstrual experiences is crucial, advocating for inclusive and case-by-case support rather than blanket policies.


  • In conclusion, while addressing menstrual challenges is essential, blanket policies such as mandatory paid leave risk unintended consequences.
  • Advocating inclusivity and case-specific support ensures a nuanced approach to menstrual issues, fostering genuine gender equality.
PYQ: Explain the constitutional perspectives of Gender Justice with the help of relevant Constitutional Provisions and case laws.
(250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2023)
Practice Question:  How do the Sabrimala temple issue and the debate on paid menstrual leave reflect broader challenges in achieving gender equality in India? Discuss. (150 words/10 m)

2. Rescuing grace from disgrace

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Executive

Critical for UPSC: Understanding ceremonial addresses’ controversies and proposed reforms provides insight into Indian political traditions and governance challenges.
  • The article discusses the traditional addresses of the President and Governors in India, emphasizing controversies, proposed reforms, and the challenge of balancing political interests during these ceremonial events.


  • The addresses of the President of India and Governors to Parliament and Legislative Assemblies respectively are described as ‘customary,’ ‘ceremonial,’ and ‘ritualistic.’
  • These events, deeply embedded in Indian political culture, involve elaborate ceremonies and speeches.
  • The tradition of these addresses follows British practice, with the speeches drafted by the government of the day.

Presidential Engagement:

  • Venkataraman, President from 1987 to 1992, actively reviewed and modified the draft speeches received from the government.
  • He suggested a reform inspired by the concise nature of the British Throne Speech, aiming to save time and reduce tension during the opening ceremonies.

Presidential Involvement:

  • President K.R. Narayanan (1997-2002) exhibited meticulous attention to detail, with changes suggested by him being universally acknowledged for their pertinence and propriety.

Governor’s Role And notable instances:

  • As the Governor of West Bengal, the author (Gopal Krishna Gandhi) suggested changes to draft addresses, and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee readily accepted them, even resorting to last-minute corrections for oversight.
  • As an officiating Governor of Bihar, the author (Gopal Krishna Gandhi) delivered a flawless speech without interruptions, earning praise from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Controversies and Challenges:

  • The article highlights the rising frequency and intensity of controversies over Governors’ addresses in Legislative Assemblies.
  • The root cause is identified as the dichotomy between the agency writing the speech and the one delivering it.

Proposed Solution:

  • The author suggests a solution inspired by President Venkataraman’s idea, proposing that the Head of State only delivers a brief outline of legislative business, leaving the detailed addresses to the Motion of Thanks that follows, similar to British Parliament.

Challenges for Reform:

  • The article acknowledges the potential reluctance of governments to forego the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments and plans during the opening ceremonies.
  • The need for innovative and self-denying Chief Ministers to initiate reforms is emphasized to rescue the tradition of these addresses from increasing controversies and tensions.


  • In conclusion, the article underscores the urgency for innovative Chief Ministers to initiate reforms in the ceremonial addresses of Presidents and Governors, highlighting the need to rescue these traditions from escalating controversies and tensions.

Tussel between Governor – State Executive

  • Constitutional Ambiguity: Grey areas in the Constitution regarding Governor’s discretionary powers, appointment/dissolution of assemblies, and assent to bills create room for interpretation and conflict.
  • Political Differences: Governor and state government belonging to different parties can lead to ideological clashes and differing visions for the state.
  • Central Government Influence: Governors appointed by the central government can be perceived as acting on its behalf, creating tension with states seeking autonomy.
  • Personal Agendas: Individual ambitions of Governor or Chief Minister can exacerbate existing tensions and prioritize personal gains over collaborative governance.


  • Governance Disruption: Delay in policy implementation, project approvals, and decision-making due to constant friction.
  • Public Distrust: Erosion of faith in institutions and democratic processes due to prolonged conflict.
  • Constitutional Crisis: Extreme cases may lead to legal battles and challenges to the federal structure.
  • National Image: Negative impact on India’s image as a stable democracy due to internal conflicts.

Way Forward:

  • Clarify Constitutional Roles: Amend the Constitution to clearly define Governor’s discretionary powers and limitations, reducing ambiguity.
  • Non-partisan Appointments: Consider appointing Governors with neutral political affiliations and proven administrative experience.
  • Constructive Dialogue: Encourage open communication and dialogue between Governor and state government to build trust and understanding.
  • Cooperative Federalism: Foster a spirit of collaborative governance where both entities work towards shared national goals while respecting state autonomy.
  • Judicial Recourse: Strengthen judicial avenues for timely and just resolution of disputes arising from Governor-State Executive tussles.
PYQ: Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can Settle the  political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2018)
Practice Question:  Examine the recent instances of friction between Governors and State Executives in India. Analyze the key reasons and potential consequences of such clashes. Suggest measures to ensure harmonious cooperation within the framework of cooperative federalism (150 words/10 m)

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