Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Quotas and Equity in India

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Polity

Revision Notes

Question : Discuss the constitutional and legal challenges associated with increasing the reservation cap beyond 50% in India. How does the Bihar government’s attempt to include the increased quota cap in the Ninth Schedule reflect these challenges?


  • Bihar government’s decision to increase reservation quota challenged in Patna High Court.
  • This judgement has implications for similar demands across India.

The Bihar Case

  • Nitish Kumar government raised reservation cap from 50% to 65% based on caste survey data showing 85% population belonged to reserved categories.
  • Patna High Court struck down the hike, stating the government relied on population percentage, not representation in government jobs and education.
  • This verdict aligns with the judiciary’s usual stance on the 50% quota ceiling.

The 50% Ceiling and Demands for More Reservation

  • Supreme Court upheld the EWS quota (not subject to 50% cap) in 2022.
  • The apex court is reviewing the quota ceiling itself.
  • Political parties, especially Congress, advocate for raising the reservation limit.
  • Bihar government seeks to include the increased quota cap in the Ninth Schedule to avoid legal challenges.
  • Effective solutions require multifaceted strategies beyond simply extending reservations.

Bihar’s Development and Remaining Challenges

  • Bihar has shown improvement in economic and social indicators in the last two decades.
  • However, Bihar remains among the poorest states with low per capita income and high poverty rate (51%).
  • The state also has a high fertility rate and outmigration for low-paying jobs.

Challenges for Bihar’s Administration

  • Half of Bihar’s workforce is in agriculture, contributing less than 25% of the GDP.
  • The key challenge is to reduce dependence on agriculture by attracting investments in other sectors.
  • Bihar needs to improve education, address skill gaps, and bring down its fertility rate.
  • The government should prioritize uplifting marginalized communities during development initiatives.


  • The Patna High Court verdict should prompt discussions on broader approaches to tackle historical inequalities.
  • Bihar’s development needs to focus on reducing poverty, increasing income, and improving education, especially for marginalized communities. Reservation alone cannot achieve complete equity.




Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Air Pollution: A Threat to Children’s Health

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Health

Revision Notes

State of Global Air (SoGA) Report 2024

  • Collaborative report by HEI, IHME, and UNICEF.
  • Analyzed data from nearly 200 countries.
  • Aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions for public health and climate benefits.

Key Findings

  • Air pollution is the second leading global risk factor for death.
  • In 2021, it caused 8.1 million deaths, with 709,000 being children under five.
  • India has the highest number of air pollution deaths among children under five (169,400).

India’s Challenges

  • India’s air pollution problem is severe, especially during winters.
  • Current solutions are mostly temporary measures like water sprinkling and odd-even schemes.
  • Lack of policy focus on linking pollution to public health.

Impact on Children’s Health

  • Children are more vulnerable to air pollution due to higher air intake per body weight.
  • Exposure to pollution increases risks of asthma, respiratory infections, leukemia, and high blood pressure.

Reasons for Hope

  • Global death rate from air pollution among children under five has decreased by 53% since 2000.
  • This improvement is due to cleaner cooking fuels, better healthcare, and awareness campaigns.
  • Stricter air quality policies and electric vehicles show positive impacts in other regions.

Challenges for India

  • 42 out of 50 most polluted cities are in India.
  • A 2022 study found low awareness about air pollution’s health risks even among municipal workers.


  • SoGA Report highlights the severity of air pollution in India, especially for children.
  • Policymakers need to prioritize public health by considering air pollution risks in all development plans.






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