Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Migrant Worker Deaths in Kuwait

 GS-1 Mains Exam : Immigrations

Revision Notes


Question : Discuss the recurring issues faced by Indian migrant workers in the Gulf region, with a specific focus on the recent fire tragedy in Kuwait on June 13, 2024. What measures can be taken to ensure their safety and well-being?

Tragedy in Kuwait:

  • On June 13, 2024, a fire ripped through worker housing in Kuwait, killing at least 49 people, including 42 Indians.
  • This incident highlights the ongoing dangers faced by migrant workers, particularly in the Gulf region.

A Pattern of Neglect:

  • Similar incidents occurred during the Qatar World Cup and Dubai Expo, raising concerns about harsh working conditions and human rights violations.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, cramped living conditions among migrant workers in Saudi Arabia contributed to a high infection rate.
  • These repeated tragedies indicate a lack of action on migrant worker rights and safety.

The Plight of Indian Migrant Workers:

  • The Kerala Migration Survey 2023 estimates 2.2 million people from Kerala alone work in the Gulf, primarily in the unorganized sector with hazardous conditions.
  • Lack of permanent residency leaves them vulnerable to exploitation.

Challenges and Solutions:

  • Inconsistent data on migrant deaths and working conditions makes it difficult to address the issue effectively.
  • A comprehensive national migration database is needed to understand the scale and nature of the problem.
  • The Kerala Migration Survey provides a model for further study.

Beyond Remittances:

  • Migrant workers are often seen solely as sources of income through remittances.
  • We must recognize the human cost of migration and prioritize worker safety.
  • India’s MoUs with Gulf countries need stronger implementation to ensure fair treatment.

Moving Forward:

  • These tragedies demand a shift from indifference to proactive measures.
  • India must work with destination countries to guarantee safe working conditions and uphold migrant rights.
  • The focus should be on the well-being of migrants, not just remittances.

This is a call to action to prevent future tragedies and ensure the safety and dignity of Indian migrant workers abroad.




Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : New Policy on Arbitration in Government Contracts

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Polity

Revision Notes

Question : Critically analyze the concerns regarding the fairness of arbitration cited by the Indian government in their recent policy change. How valid are these concerns, and what alternative measures could address them without abandoning arbitration entirely?


  • On June 3, 2024, the Indian government made a surprising policy change.
  • After years of promoting India as an arbitration hub, the government decided to remove arbitration clauses from most future government contracts.
  • This applies to all government and government-controlled entities except for minor disputes under Rs 10 crore.

Reasons for the Change:

  • The government has concerns about the fairness of arbitration.
  • They believe some arbitrators lack integrity and may collude with private parties.
  • Additionally, they perceive difficulty in challenging arbitral awards on their merits.

The New Policy:

  • The government now expects departments to settle disputes amicably in the “long-term public interest.”
  • High-level committees composed of retired judges or senior officials will vet or approve these settlements.
  • If settlements fail, courts will adjudicate the disputes.

Criticisms of the Policy:

  • Critics argue the government’s hope of settling disputes fairly is unrealistic.
  • Delays due to fear of taking responsibility could hinder infrastructure projects and economic growth.
  • Abandoning arbitration weakens a well-established dispute resolution system.

Concerns Regarding Settlements:

  • The government’s distrust in arbitrators raises questions about trusting its own officials in negotiations.
  • High-level committee approvals are voluntary, lacking transparency and accountability compared to court rulings.
  • Government officials may be hesitant to approve settlements due to fear of legal repercussions.

Challenges with Courts:

  • Indian courts are already overburdened and slow, with challenges to arbitration awards taking years.
  • Complex commercial disputes may not be efficiently handled by the court system.

Why Arbitration Matters:

  • Despite imperfections, arbitration offers a faster and more workable solution than lengthy court battles.
  • Faster dispute resolution is crucial for attracting investment and fostering economic growth.

Looking Ahead:

  • The new policy is a short-sighted approach.
  • A swift reversal is needed to improve trust in arbitration processes and address government concerns more effectively.
  • This could involve exploring alternative dispute resolution methods alongside arbitration.

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