Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Ahilya Bai Holkar

GS-1 Mains Exam : History

Questions : Analyze the role of Ahilya Bai Holkar as a female ruler in the 18th century. How did she overcome societal limitations to establish herself as a visionary leader?

Today marks the 300th birth anniversary of Ahilya Bai Holkar, the Maratha queen

Born for Greatness (1725):

  • Born into a shepherd family in Ahmednagar district (present-day Maharashtra).
  • Overcame societal limitations to become a leader in her own right.

A Visionary Ruler (30 Years of Reign):

  • Exceptional leadership skills brought peace and financial stability to her kingdom.
  • Championed Hindu faith:
    • Revived Jyotirlingas (sacred Shiva shrines) across India.
    • Renovated temples in Somnath, Varanasi, and other holy sites.
    • Protected idols from iconoclasm by creating hidden shrines.
    • Unified her subjects through shared cultural heritage.
  • Promoted women’s empowerment:
    • Supported the weaving of Maheshwari saris, providing women with work and income.
    • This tradition continues to be a significant craft in Maharashtra.
  • Focused on holistic development:
    • Promoted trade and commerce within the kingdom.
    • Implemented measures for forest and animal conservation.
    • Fostered social harmony by integrating marginalized communities.

Legacy Beyond Religion:

  • Her reign serves as a model for good governance:
    • Inclusive policies.
    • Effective leadership.
    • Blueprint for a just and prosperous society.
  • More than just temple restoration:
    • Her impact goes beyond religious contributions.
    • Paved the way for strong rulers, regardless of gender.

A Lasting Inspiration:

  • Ahilya Bai Holkar’s reign exemplifies social harmony and good governance.
  • Her legacy continues to inspire generations.





Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Heatwaves: A Double Threat for India’s Informal Workers

GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy


 Questions : Discuss the socio-economic vulnerabilities of informal workers in India during heatwaves. What policy measures can be implemented to provide social safety nets and job security for these workers?


Extreme Heat and Laborers:

  • A recent death highlights the dangers of heatwaves for manual laborers.
  • Urban heat islands trap heat, making cities even hotter for workers.

Vulnerability of Informal Workers:

  • No job security or social safety nets leave them exposed.
  • Lost work hours due to heat translate to lost income.
  • Existing socio-economic disadvantages make them more susceptible.

Heat Action Plans (HAPs):

  • Can be effective tools to reduce heatwave casualties if implemented correctly.

Current Problems with HAPs:

  • Many cities lack them entirely.
  • Existing plans often overlook informal workers.
  • Focus on immediate responses rather than long-term solutions.
  • Not designed for urban environments or challenges faced by informal workers.

Impact of Heat on Workers:

  • Reduced income across various informal jobs.
  • Increased burden on women workers due to heat-related issues.
  • Lack of healthcare access leads to heat-related illnesses.
  • Financial strain from buying protective measures and replacing spoiled goods.

Policy Measures for a Solution:

  • Shifting Perspective:
    • Recognize heatwaves as long-term issues.
    • Integrate Heat Action Plans (HAPs) with urban planning and climate strategies.
  • Prioritizing Vulnerable Workers:
    • Include informal workers in urban HAPs.
    • Develop national guidelines for worker-specific interventions.
  • Holistic Approach:
    • Consider heat’s impact on both indoor and outdoor informal labor.
  • Worker Participation:
    • Include worker representatives in developing and implementing HAPs.
  • Gender-Sensitive Measures:
    • Address the unequal impact of heat on women workers.
  • Income and Health Security:
    • Implement social safety nets and compensation programs to offset heatwave losses.
  • Labor Law Reforms:
    • Adapt labor laws to consider the impact of climate change on informal workers.
  • Urban Redesign:
    • Design cities with worker well-being in mind (water, shade, rest areas).
  • Worker Visibility:
    • Acknowledge informal workers’ contributions and advocate for their rights.


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