Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic :  Strengthening Disaster Management

GS-3 Mains Exam : Disaster Management 

Question : Analyze the impact of climate change on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in India. How has this shift in the disaster landscape necessitated changes in disaster management strategies?

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

  • Established in 2005 after the 1999 Odisha super cyclone and 2004 tsunami.
  • Apex body for disaster management in India (Disaster Management Act, 2005).
  • Led by the Prime Minister with a focus on:
    • Disaster response coordination.
    • Capacity building for resilience.
    • Policy & guideline development for effective disaster management.
    • Vision: A safer, disaster-resilient India through holistic, proactive strategies.

Shifting Disaster Landscape

  • Increased Frequency & Intensity: Extreme weather events are becoming more common and severe (likely due to climate change).
  • New Threats Emerge: Previously unconsidered events like extreme heat are now significant threats.
  • Rise of Multi-Hazard Disasters: Most concerning trend – cascading disasters triggered by one another, causing greater destruction.
    • Example: Recent Northeast landslides caused by heavy rains from Cyclone Remal.

Strengthening Disaster Management in India

  • Empower Agencies: Allocate more resources and training for proactive response and preparedness by disaster management agencies.
  • Focus on Mitigation: Minimize risks from man-made disasters through stricter construction regulations.
  • Disaster-proof Infrastructure: Integrate disaster resilience into new and existing infrastructure projects.
  • Leverage Expertise: Utilize India’s Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) for domestic standards.
  • Community Awareness: Educate communities on disaster preparedness and risk reduction strategies.
  • Early Warning Systems: Invest in robust early warning systems for timely evacuation and mitigation.
  • Multi-Hazard Approach: Plan for cascading disasters where one event triggers another. (e.g., landslides after cyclones)
  • Mock Drills & Simulations: Conduct regular drills to prepare communities and test disaster response plans.
  • Post-Disaster Recovery: Ensure efficient post-disaster response with a focus on rebuilding and rehabilitation.
  • Climate Change Adaptation: Integrate climate change projections into disaster risk management strategies.





Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Pendency of Cases: A Multifaceted Issue

GS-2 Mains Exam : Governance

Question : Analyze the impact of government litigation on the caseload of Indian courts. What measures can be taken to reduce the volume of government-related cases and improve the overall efficiency of the judicial system?

The summer court break reignites the debate on judicial work hours, with a misplaced focus on vacations. Real reasons behind case backlog:

  1. Judge Shortage:

  • Unfilled vacancies across all court levels:
    • High courts: Average 30% vacancy, reaching nearly 50% in some states.
    • Subordinate courts: Average 22% vacancy, exceeding 30% in Bihar and Meghalaya for over 3 years.
  • Long case pendency due to insufficient judges:
    • Subordinate courts: Average 3 years per case (as of June 2020).
    • High courts: Average 5 years per case (as of 2022).
  • Inadequate judge-to-population ratio:
    • Law Commission (1987) recommended 50 judges per 1 million people.
    • India currently has only 15 judges per 1 million, falling short even by this low benchmark.
    • BRICS counterparts have significantly higher judge ratios.
  1. Beyond Judges: Structural & Technical Issues

  • Complex cases and lawyer strategies to prolong trials contribute to delays.
  • Courtroom shortage and suboptimal conditions in existing ones.
  • Staff shortages: National average of 26% vacancy for support staff.
  • Uneven legal skills and knowledge lead to procedural delays and unnecessary appeals.
  • Collusive legal practices: Unjustified applications, adjournments, and appeals.
  • Slow adoption of technology due to various limitations.


Reducing Court Backlog in India: Key Solutions

  • Reduce Government Litigation: Analyze and streamline government lawsuits clogging courts (50% of caseload).
  • Pre-legislative Impact Assessment: Evaluate new laws to minimize litigation burden and draft clearer laws.
  • Professional Court Management: Create permanent, qualified teams to improve efficiency and free judges for adjudication.
  • Raise Entry Standards: Set higher qualifications for judges and lawyers to enhance legal expertise and reduce errors.
  • Increase Investment: Allocate more resources for infrastructure, staffing, and overall efficiency (current per capita spending < Rs 150).
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: Promote pre-trial mediation, Lok Adalats, and specialized courts to ease regular court burdens.
  • Streamline Procedures: Regularly review and update court procedures to eliminate delays and bottlenecks.
  • Prioritize Cases: Focus on resolving older cases and those involving liberty or potential harm.


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