The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Can Parties Be Punished for Breaking Election Rules?

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Polity

Revision Notes

Note: Today’s editorials are solely for informational updates; direct questions cannot be formulated

The Election Commission of India (ECI) expects politicians to follow the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections. This code aims to ensure fair and peaceful elections. A recent debate has emerged regarding the ECI’s power to punish parties that violate the MCC.

Types of Political Parties in India

India has two categories of registered political parties:

  • Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs): These are basic registered parties that meet fundamental requirements like loyalty to the constitution. They receive some benefits like tax breaks and a common symbol for elections. There are over 2,700 RUPPs in India.
  • Recognized Parties (National and State): RUPPs that achieve good election results (seats or votes) are upgraded to “national” or “state” status. This comes with additional perks like a reserved election symbol and more “star campaigners” who can speak during campaigns. There are only a handful of national and state parties compared to RUPPs.

The Challenge: Lack of Clear Rules for Deregistration

  • The article highlights a crucial gap in the system. The Representation of the People Act (RP Act) doesn’t explicitly authorize the ECI to deregister parties for not contesting elections, not holding internal elections, or failing to submit required reports.
  • A Supreme Court ruling further strengthens this point. In 2002’s Indian National Congress case, the court held that the ECI cannot deregister parties under normal circumstances. Deregistration is only possible in extreme cases like fraudulent registration, violation of the constitution, or being declared unlawful.

Concerns and Potential Misuse

  • RUPPs and Misuse of Funds: Many RUPPs don’t even participate in elections. This raises concerns about the potential misuse of tax benefits they enjoy on donations. Some fear these funds might be used for money laundering.
  • Lenient Action Against Recognized Parties: Even recognized parties, which enjoy greater privileges, have been caught violating the MCC by appealing to caste or religion for votes, or using bribery or intimidation. However, the ECI’s response is often limited to short campaign bans (2-3 days) for the offending leaders.

Election Commission’s Recommendations (2016 Memorandum)

  • ECI suggested amending the law to empower itself to deregister political parties.

Law Commission’s Report (255th Report, 2015)

  • Recommended amendments to allow de-registration of a party if it fails to contest elections for 10 consecutive years.
  • These recommendations should be implemented.

ECI’s Existing Powers (Para 16A of Symbols Order)

  • ECI can suspend or withdraw recognition of a recognized political party for:
    • Failure to observe Model Code of Conduct (MCC)
    • Not following lawful directions of the Commission


  • These powers have likely only been used once in 2015 when National People’s Party’s recognition was suspended for 3 weeks for not following ECI directions.
  • Strict action under this provision would ensure better adherence to the MCC.


The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : AI in Drug Development

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Science and Technology

Revision Notes

Question : Discuss the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in revolutionizing drug development and its implications for the pharmaceutical industry in India.


  • Drug development is expensive and time-consuming
  • AI offers possibilities to fast-track drug development

The Process:

Target Identification:

  • Starts with identifying and validating a target (biological molecule like gene/protein)
  • Majority of targets are proteins with ideal sites for drug binding (druggable proteins)

Discovery Phase:

  • Target protein sequence fed into computer to find best-fitting drug from library of small molecules
  • Assumes structures of target protein and drug are known, else uses models
  • Avoids time-consuming lab experiments with expensive chemicals/reagents
  • High failure rate

Pre-clinical Phase:

  • Potential drug candidates tested outside biological system using cells and animals
  • Tests for safety and toxicity

Clinical Phase:

  • Drug tested on small number of human patients
  • Further testing on more patients for efficacy and safety

Final Phases:

  • Regulatory approval
  • Marketing
  • Post-market survey

Discovery limits drugs proceeding due to high failure rate.

How AI helps:

  • Revolutionizes target discovery and drug-target interaction: reduces time, increases prediction accuracy (up to 80%), saves money.
  • AlphaFold 3 & RoseTTAFold All-Atom (2023): Breakthrough in protein structure prediction using deep neural networks.
  • New capabilities: predict structures and interactions for proteins, DNA, RNA, small molecules, ions.
  • Generative diffusion-based architectures used for complex predictions.


  • Limited accuracy: AI tools may not always be precise.
  • Single-phase impact: Affects only target discovery, not later stages.
  • Model hallucinations: Diffusion models might generate incorrect predictions due to insufficient data.
  • AlphaFold 3 access: Restricted code limits independent verification and broad use.

Way forward for India:

  • Large-scale computing infrastructure: Needed to run complex AI models (GPUs).
  • High cost and rapid advancements: GPUs are expensive and require frequent upgrades.
  • Skilled AI scientists: India lags behind US and China in this area.
  • India’s potential: Pharmaceutical companies can use AI for target discovery, identification, and drug testing.





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