Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Assam Floods

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Disaster Management

Question : Analyze the reasons for the failure of government efforts in managing the Assam floods despite multiple projects and initiatives. What lessons can be learned from these failures?

The Problem:

  • 2023 Assam floods: 50+ deaths, 360,000 displaced, 40,000 hectares of crops affected (Assam State Disaster Management Authority).
  • Large parts of Dibrugarh and Guwahati underwater.

Failed Government Efforts:

  • Oct 2022: Assam govt announced 54 projects to manage floods.
  • These projects seem to have had minimal impact.

Reasons for Assam’s Vulnerability:

  • Complex hydrology and climate:
    • Over 120 rivers, many originating from high-rainfall areas.
  • Lack of Long-Term Solutions (70+ years):
    • No effective collaboration between Centre and State.
    • Reliance on outdated embankment approach (1960s, 1970s).
    • Ignoring indigenous knowledge on flood-resistant housing.
    • Inadequate implementation of dredging, erosion control, and improved embankments.
    • Lack of modern weather stations and early warning systems (2021 parliamentary panel recommendation).

Guwahati’s Specific Challenges:

  • Bowl-shaped lowland susceptible to waterlogging.
  • Historical drainage systems (marshes, water channels) destroyed by construction.
  • Poor drainage infrastructure.
  • Flash floods from rainwater in neighboring Meghalaya.

Measures to Mitigate Assam Floods:

  • Improved Flood Forecasting and Early Warning Systems:
    • Enhance weather monitoring.
    • Develop better prediction models.
    • Implement efficient warning communication.
  • River Management:
    • Dredging and desilting of rivers.
    • Strengthen and maintain embankments.
    • Create and maintain flood channels.
  • Afforestation and Soil Conservation:
    • Plant trees in catchment areas.
    • Implement erosion control measures.
  • Wetland Conservation and Restoration:
    • Protect and restore natural wetlands.
    • Create artificial wetlands where feasible.
  • Sustainable Land Use Planning:
    • Restrict construction in flood-prone areas.
    • Implement zoning regulations.
    • Promote flood-resistant buildings.
  • Improved Drainage Systems:
    • Upgrade urban drainage infrastructure.
    • Maintain and clear drainage channels.
  • Community Preparedness:
    • Conduct flood drills.
    • Educate communities on flood safety.
    • Establish flood management committees.
  • Infrastructure Development:
    • Build elevated roads and bridges.
    • Develop flood shelters and safe zones.
  • Inter-state and International Cooperation:
    • Collaborate with neighboring regions for water management.
    • Share data and resources for flood mitigation.


  • The Northeast needs a collaborative approach from central and state governments to tackle floods.
  • Sustainable solutions are required, not simply blaming geography for recurring disasters.



Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : BNS: A Redefined Landscape, But Questions Remain

 GS-2 Mains Exam : Polity

Question : Examine the challenges posed by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) to established special laws like UAPA and MCOCA. How might the overlap of jurisdictions affect the enforcement of anti-terrorism and organized crime laws?

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) of 2023 marks a significant shift in India’s criminal law landscape. It replaces the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860, a pillar of the legal system for over 160 years. While the BNS retains the essence of many IPC provisions, it also introduces changes and raises questions about its impact on established legal frameworks.

What’s Retained from IPC?

  • 80-90% of IPC provisions remain in BNS.
  • Core concepts retained: culpable homicide, murder, assault, forgery etc.
  • Section re-numbering (e.g., IPC 300/302 becomes BNS 101/103).

Slightly Revised Provisions:

  • Sedition (BNS 152): broader definition, harsher punishment (7 yrs – life vs 3 yrs – life).
  • Medical Negligence causing death (BNS silent on specific cause): potentially criminalizes genuine medical errors.
  • Theft with value < Rs.5,000 (BNS 303): allows community service for first-time offenders.

BNS vs Established Special Laws:

  • BNS folds organized crime and terror offences under its umbrella.
  • This clashes with existing special statutes like UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act).
    • These special laws often have stricter procedures and safeguards.
  • BNS defines organized crime (BNS 111): kidnapping, robbery, extortion etc. by 2+ people (5 yrs – life imprisonment).
  • Terrorist acts (BNS 113) borrow from UAPA definition (death or life imprisonment).
  • BNS empowers Superintendents of Police to decide between BNS and UAPA for a case.


  • Post-colonial legal reforms must consider constitutional values (fair trial, presumption of innocence).
  • BNS’s approach to special laws raises concerns about procedural safeguards.

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