The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Understanding Maharashtra’s Water Crisis

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Polity

Revision Notes

Question : Analyze the impact of the rain shadow effect of the Western Ghats on the water crisis in Marathwada. How has climate change exacerbated this situation?


  • Deficient monsoon and drought declaration across Maharashtra.
  • Water scarcity impacting wells, irrigation, and drinking water supplies.

Rainshadow Effect and Marathwada

  • Marathwada’s location: rain shadow region of the Western Ghats.
    • Western Ghats receive heavy rainfall (2000-4000 mm) due to moisture-laden winds.
    • Winds lose moisture crossing the Ghats, leaving Marathwada dry (600-800 mm).
  • Climate change worsens situation: increasing drought severity and frequency.
  • Marathwada and North Karnataka: second driest regions in India (after Rajasthan).

Impact on Agriculture

  • Mismatch between Marathwada’s rainfall and agricultural practices.
  • Sugarcane cultivation: a major contributor to water crisis.
    • Requires high water usage (1500-2500 mm) compared to pulses/millets (4-5 irrigations).
    • Area under sugarcane cultivation has steadily increased.
    • Sugarcane occupies 4% of the land but consumes 61% of irrigation water.
    • Reduced river outflow in the upper Bhima basin due to sugarcane irrigation.
  • Government support for sugarcane production incentivizes water-intensive practices.
  • Promotion of sugarcane-juice-based ethanol production raises concerns in water-starved areas (82% of Maharashtra’s sugar comes from low-rainfall regions).
  • Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission (1999) recommended banning sugarcane in low-rainfall areas (<1000 mm), but production has increased.


Soil Properties

  • Marathwada’s black soil (“regur”) is fertile and retains moisture well.
  • However, it has a low infiltration rate: rainwater runs off or becomes stagnant instead of replenishing groundwater.
  • This is why Maharashtra has the most large dams (1,845) in India to capture runoff.
  • The soil also has low hydraulic conductivity, holding onto water for a long time after rains.

Uneven Water Distribution

  • Water scarcity varies within Marathwada.
  • Tributaries of Godavari and Krishna rivers flow through valleys with perennial groundwater.
  • Uplands have seasonal groundwater due to slow underground movement from higher areas.
  • Wells in uplands dry up quickly after monsoons, facing the most severe water scarcity.


  • Supply-side solutions:
    • Watershed management practices like building water-conserving structures (trenches, bunds, etc.).
    • Utilize Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme funds for designing silt traps and training farmers on desilting these structures. Rainwater runoff carries soil particles that clog these structures.
  • Demand-side management:
    • Promote water-efficient irrigation methods.
    • Cultivate drought-resistant crops.
    • Diversify livelihoods beyond agriculture.
  • Shifting Cultivation Patterns:
    • Marathwada should adopt high-value, low-water-intensive crops.
    • Sugarcane production should shift to states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal with higher rainfall.



The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Why India Needs a National Security Strategy (NSS)

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Security

Revision Notes

Question : Evaluate the benefits of implementing a National Security Strategy in India. How can an NSS contribute to a comprehensive strategic assessment of threats and opportunities?


  • New Indian government faces national security challenges.
  • Decisions needed on issues like aircraft carriers, theaterization, and relations with US and China.

Why India Needs a National Security Strategy

  • Addressing Strategic Risks:
    • The world presents complex challenges like climate change, pandemics, and China’s rise.
    • India can’t afford a reactive approach and needs a proactive strategy.
  • Benefits of a National Security Strategy
  1. Comprehensive Strategic Assessment:
      • NSS would force a review of threats, opportunities, and global security trends.
      • This helps identify and address long-term threats before they become critical.
  1. Long-Term Planning Framework:
      • NSS would provide a structure for long-term strategic planning.
      • This allows India to develop military capabilities and partnerships to secure its interests.
  1. Signaling Intent to Allies and Adversaries:
      • NSS would clarify India’s strategic goals, such as its role in the Indian Ocean.
      • This helps deter armed coercion against smaller countries.
  1. Synchronization of Government Efforts:
      • NSS would create a mechanism for different government arms to work together.
      • This includes better coordination between military branches and other national security agencies.
  1. Accountability and Transparency:
      • NSS would promote accountability by ensuring the bureaucracy follows the government’s vision.
      • A public NSS would increase transparency for Parliament and the people.


  • A strong NSS wouldn’t eliminate conflicts within the government, but it would:
    • Identify trade-offs and costs.
    • Enable informed decisions for long-term national security.

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