The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Do Coalition Governments Make Too Many Concessions?

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Polity

Revision Notes


Question : Discuss the impact of coalition governments on the policy-making process in India. How do coalition politics influence legislative reforms and economic policies?

Prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, India experienced 21 years of coalition governments. Fitch noted that the coalition politics and a potentially weakened mandate for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could hinder the enactment of ambitious legislative reforms.

Coalition Effects on Policy:

  • Challenge: The idea that single-party rule is better and coalitions lead to undesirable outcomes is a misconception.
  • Compromise is Common: Both single and multi-party governments involve bargaining and policy concessions due to competing interests.
  • Transparency: Negotiations in coalitions make policymaking more transparent compared to single-party rule.

Coalition Benefits vs. Shortcomings:

  • Benefit: Checks & Balances: Coalitions prevent single-party dominance and potentially risky unilateral decisions.
  • Shortcoming: Veto Points: Coalition partners can stall reforms through disagreements.
  • Benefit: Gradual Reforms: Coalitions might lead to slower, more stable reforms favoring long-term investment.
  • Shortcoming: Weak Reforms: Negotiations may result in watered-down reforms lacking ambition.
  • Benefit: State Relations: Regional parties in coalitions can activate institutions for better Centre-State dialogue.

Economic Performance & Continuity:

  • Fact: Economic policies have shown a significant degree of continuity across different governments, regardless of party makeup.
  • Gradual Change: Incremental policy changes have been the norm since 1991.
  • Example: Farm laws, implemented under a single party, faced criticism for lack of consensus.

Centre-State Relations:

  • Broken Promise: Increased state share in taxes was promised but weakened by special cesses.
  • Planning Commission Abolished: This forum for negotiation between Centre and states was dismantled.
  • Centralized Social Benefits: Control over social programs by the Centre creates discontent among states.
  • Complex Tax Sharing:
    • Division of taxes between Centre and states is an intricate issue.
    • State finances depend on overall economic performance and regional disparities.
    • GST, the goods and services tax, is seen as disadvantageous for some states due to lower tax brackets.


The key factor influencing economic progress might be the decision-making process, not the party structure itself. Effective mechanisms can ensure reforms progress even in coalitions.




The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Rapid UTI Test: A Weapon Against Superbugs

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Health

Revision Notes

Question : Analyze the current challenges faced in the diagnosis and treatment of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in India. How can the introduction of rapid point-of-care tests improve patient outcomes and reduce antibiotic resistance?

The Threat:

  • Antibiotic resistance is a looming crisis:
    • Over 1.3 million people died globally in 2019 from infections resistant to antibiotics.
    • Projections estimate 10 million annual deaths by 2050, exceeding cancer fatalities.
    • The economic impact could reach $4 trillion by 2030 and a staggering $100 trillion by 2050.

The Current Challenge:

  • Traditional UTI diagnosis involves sending urine samples to labs, leading to a 2-3 day turnaround.
  • This delay often results in:
    • Broad-spectrum antibiotic prescriptions (“educated guesses”) before knowing the specific bacteria.
    • Unnecessary antibiotic use, fueling resistance.
    • Potential for ineffective treatment if the wrong antibiotic is prescribed.

The PA-100 AST System: 

  • This rapid point-of-care test provides results in under 45 minutes, revolutionizing UTI diagnosis and treatment.
  • It works by:
    • Identifying the bacteria causing the infection.
    • Testing the bacteria’s susceptibility to five different antibiotics at varying concentrations.
    • Utilizing a user-friendly, single-use cartridge requiring minimal urine.
    • Analyzing bacterial growth in tiny microfluidic chambers using a reader instrument.

Benefits for Patients and Doctors:

  • Faster Diagnosis: Know if it’s a UTI and which antibiotic works within 45 minutes of a doctor’s visit.
  • Targeted Treatment: Doctors can prescribe the most effective antibiotic for the specific bacteria, reducing unnecessary broad-spectrum use.
  • Improved Outcomes: Quicker treatment with the right antibiotic can lead to faster recovery and fewer complications.
  • Reduced Resistance: By using the right antibiotic for the right duration, this test helps combat the superbug crisis.


  • Two main tests:
    • Dipstick test (point-of-care): Fast (minutes) but low accuracy (50-60%). Doesn’t identify effective antibiotic.
    • Urine culture (lab test): Accurate but slow (2-3 days). Delays antibiotic decision.
  • Blind antibiotic use: Due to slow culture results, doctors often prescribe antibiotics empirically (educated guess) before definitive diagnosis.
    • This contributes significantly to antibiotic resistance, especially in India.
  • UTIs in India: Millions of patients visit doctors/pharmacies annually.
    • UTIs cause substantial mortality, healthcare burden, and socio-economic impact.

Need for Improvement:

  • Rapid and accurate point-of-care tests for UTIs can save millions of lives globally, particularly in India.
  • Faster diagnosis allows for targeted antibiotic use, reducing unnecessary prescriptions and curbing antibiotic resistance.

Looking Ahead:

  • The Longitude Prize on AMR aims to develop rapid diagnostic tests that identify bacterial infections and recommend effective antibiotics within minutes. This can significantly slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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