The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Current status of spice exports

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy

Revision Notes

Question : Discuss the recent spice product recalls in Hong Kong and Singapore due to Ethylene Oxide (ETO) levels. What implications do these recalls have on Indian spice exports?



  • Recent spice product recalls in Hong Kong and Singapore due to alleged Ethylene Oxide (ETO) (sterilizing agent) levels exceeding regulations.

ETO Usage in India:

  • India uses ETO for sterilization (not as a pesticide) to reduce microbial load in processed spices.
  • High microbial levels likely due to contamination at mandis (auction yards).

Indian Spice Exports (2023-2024):

  • $4.4 billion (14 lakh tonnes), a 12.3% increase from 2022-2023.
  • Top exported spices: chilli, spice oils, curry powder, cumin, mint, cardamom, pepper.
  • Top produced spices: garlic, ginger, chilli.
  • Key export markets: China, Bangladesh, West Asia, USA.

Indian Response:

  • Measures initiated to ensure compliance with importing countries’ food safety standards.

 Limited Impact:

  • Recall, not ban, in Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Exports to these countries likely to resume soon.
  • India dominates global spice production (70% share).

Varied Standards:

  • Different countries have different ETO and MRL (pesticide residue) limits.
  • EU: Strictest norms; Japan prefers organic products.

Farmer & Crop Impact:

  • Issue unlikely to affect most chilli growers (don’t export directly).
  • Cardamom & black pepper benefit from intercropping with regulated crops.

Spice Mix & Paste Manufacturers:

  • Source genuine Indian spices instead of imported ones.
  • Be cautious when importing spices and exporting value-added products.

Sterilization Methods:

  • ETO: Permitted by US, cheaper (₹5/kg).
  • Steaming: Preferred by EU, costlier (₹20-25/kg).

Government Response:

  • Spices Board issued protocols to prevent ETO contamination.
  • Mandatory ETO testing for exports to Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Advocating for standardized ETO limits internationally.




The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Heatwaves: Slower, Longer, More Brutal

 GS-1 Mains Exam : Geography

Revision Notes



  • Heatwaves in India and around the world are becoming more frequent and intense, posing a threat to human and animal life.

New Study Findings (Science Advances, 2024):

  • Analyzed temperature data (1979-2020).
  • Key observations:
    • Heatwaves slow down by nearly 8 km/day each decade.
    • Heatwaves last 4 days longer on average.
    • Frequency of heatwaves increased (75 events in 1979-1983 vs. 98 events in 2016-2020).
    • North America and Eurasia most affected.

Why are heatwaves changing?

  • Thermodynamics: Rising global temperatures lead to hotter heatwaves.
  • Dynamics: Atmospheric circulation patterns influence heatwave behavior.

Focus of the Study:

  • This study goes beyond frequency and intensity to examine heatwave movement.
  • Researchers tracked massive hot air masses (>1 million sq km, lasting >3 days).

Slower Movement, Longer Duration:

  • A weaker jet stream (fast, high-altitude air current) is linked to slower heatwave movement.
  • Jet stream weakness caused by:
    • Human activity and greenhouse gas emissions (dominant role)
    • Natural climate variability


  • Increased risk of wildfires, damaged crops, and health problems.
  • More persistent hot weather due to slower-moving heatwaves.

The Way Forward:

  • Strategies to mitigate heatwaves in urban areas:
    • Planting more trees
    • Increasing green infrastructure

Overall Significance:

  • This study adds to the evidence of climate change’s impact on extreme weather events.
  • Changing heatwave behavior threatens our daily lives, health, and environment.



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