The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic 1: Freshwater quest, the likely new gold hunt

GS-1 Mains Exam  : Geography 

Revision Notes

Question : Examine the legal framework governing the exploration and exploitation of resources, including freshwater, in the “Area” under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Analyze the role of the International Seabed Authority in administering and controlling activities related to freshwater extraction.

Facts and Figures

  • Total volume of water on earth is estimated at 1.386 billion km3.
  • 97.5% is salt water and 2.5% freshwater.
  • Out of this freshwater, only 0.3% is in liquid form on the surface.
  • The rest of the freshwater is underground, including on or under the ocean bed.

Freshwater as a Depleting Resource

  • Countries will begin exploring for and exploiting freshwater from above or under their ocean bed, within their maritime zones.
  • Countries will expand exploration beyond their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  • The “Area” under UNCLOS is defined as the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

The Law of the Sea

  • UNCLOS arrays most of the internationally accepted law on the subject.
  • The Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the Convention on the High Seas, the Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas and the Convention on the Continental Shelf (Geneva Conventions on the Law of the Sea, 1958) cover most of the issues as UNCLOS.
  • Article 311 of UNCLOS states that this Convention shall prevail as between states parties, over the Geneva Conventions on the Law of the Sea, 1958.
  • Exploration and exploitation of the “Area” under UNCLOS is limited to the term “resources”, which is defined as all solid, liquid or gaseous mineral resources in situ in the Area at or beneath the seabed, including polymetallic nodules.
  • The International Seabed Authority is empowered under UNCLOS to administer and control the activities in the Area .


A zone of exploration

  • Freshwater will become a very scarce and expensive commodity.
  • The Area will qualify as a potential zone for freshwater exploration and extraction.

Way forward

  • The international community should work on a legislative text addressing freshwater exploration activities in the Area.
  • India can take the lead role in this effort.



The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic 2 : Model Code of Conduct Violations in Indian Elections

GS-2 Mains Exam  : Polity 

Revision Notes


Question : Examine the role and significance of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in ensuring free and fair elections in India. Analyze the challenges faced by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in enforcing the MCC and suggest measures to strengthen its implementation.


  • The model code of conduct (MCC) has been repeatedly violated by senior politicians during election campaigns in India.
  • Framed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) based on a consensus among all political parties.

Importance of Adhering to the Code

  • MCC aims at ensuring peaceful, orderly, and civilized elections.
  • Despite consensus during its framing, the competitive nature of Indian elections often leads to violations.
  • Elections in India witness distortions, falsehoods, misinterpretations, and slanging matches.

Constitutional Mandate

  • Constitution mandates ECI to conduct free and fair elections.
  • Free and fair elections are a fundamental aspect of India’s Constitution.
  • Article 324 grants ECI plenary powers to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

Role and Powers of ECI

  • In the case of Election Commission of India vs State of Tamil Nadu and Others (1993), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the ECI’s role and powers.
  • ECI is constitutionally mandated to ensure free and fair elections and the purity of the electoral process.
  • ECI possesses incidental and ancillary powers to fulfill its constitutional objectives.

Key Provisions of the MCC

  • MCC aims at maintaining the purity of the electoral process and providing a level playing field.
  • Prohibits activities aggravating differences or inciting communal hatred.
  • Criticism of other parties must be limited to their policies and programs.
  • Prohibits unverified allegations, distortions, and appeals to caste or communal feelings.
  • Strictly prohibits corrupt practices and offenses under election laws.

ECI’s Duty and Responsibilities

  • ECI must swiftly examine MCC violations and take appropriate action against violators.
  • Ensuring the purity of the electoral process is the foremost responsibility of the ECI.


  • Despite the MCC’s significance in ensuring fair elections, its violations are rampant.
  • Upholding the MCC’s provisions is crucial for maintaining the integrity of India’s electoral democracy.
  • ECI’s proactive role in enforcing the MCC is essential for preserving the sanctity of the electoral process.


Legal Enforceability

  • Model code of conduct (MCC) is not legally enforceable, making court relief for violations impossible.
  • Aggrieved parties must complain to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for intervention.

Legal Framework

  • Neither The Representation of the People Act nor The Conduct of Election Rules includes provisions for the MCC.
  • The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, empowers ECI to address MCC violations.
  • Paragraph 16A of the Symbols order allows ECI to suspend or withdraw party recognition for MCC violations.

Violation of Oath by Ministers

Oath Violation

  • Ministers pledge to serve all citizens impartially through their oath.
  • Speaking against any section of society demonstrates bias and violates this oath.

Legal Ramifications

  • The Constitution and election law do not stipulate punishment for oath violations by Ministers.
  • Section 125 of the Representation of People Act 1951 imposes a maximum three-year sentence for promoting enmity between citizens based on religion.

Judicial Intervention

  • The apex court can direct ECI to initiate criminal proceedings under Section 125 whenever oath violations occur.
  • Violators may be barred from campaigning until ongoing elections conclude.



Judicial Emphasis

  • The judiciary stresses maintaining the purity of elections.
  • Promoting hatred between sections of society based on religion, caste, or community is condemned.

ECI’s Empowered Role

  • The Constitution grants significant powers to ECI to act when necessary.
  • ECI must exercise its powers to preserve the integrity of elections.





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