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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 16 October 2023


  1. Monsoon has defied IMD forecasts on spatial, temporal counts
  2. Olympian Heights

Monsoon has Defied IMD Forecasts on Spatial, Temporal Counts


As the South-West monsoon concludes, data indicates that it has brought both below-average and erratic rainfall patterns.



Mains Question:

What has been the status of recent monsoon in India? Highlight its repercussions and suggest a way forward in effectively dealing with it. (15 marks, 250 words).

More on the data:

  • Due to a persistent El Niño effect, the overall rainfall was below the normal level at 94.4% of the Long-Period Average (LPA), falling short of the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) April and May forecasts predicting a normal monsoon at 96% of LPA.
  • The geographical distribution of rainfall was uneven, with North-west India receiving 101% of LPA, while East, North-east (18% below LPA), and South India (8% below) experienced significant deficits.
  • This contradicted the IMD’s prediction, anticipating below-normal precipitation in the North-west and normal rains in the other regions.
  • The monsoon exhibited a fluctuating pattern, starting with sub-normal rains in June (91% of LPA), above-normal rains (113%) in July, a very dry August (64%), and a surplus in September (113%).
  • The IMD’s predictions failed to capture the August shortfall or September surplus.

Repercussions of the monsoon:

  • This unpredictable monsoon behavior has adversely affected kharif sowing of crucial crops and reservoir storage levels.
  • Although a late surge in rains has increased kharif paddy sowing to 103% of the usual acreage, pulses (11.5% below normal) and oilseeds like sunflower (40% shortfall), sesamum (22% shortfall), and nigerseed (39% shortfall) are significantly lagging.
  • The erratic monsoon has left water storage in reservoirs well below last year’s and the 10-year average levels, especially affecting Southern States.
  • Since India heavily relies on imports for pulses and oilseeds, proactive contracting of imports may be necessary to mitigate potential food inflation.


In addressing shortages in food crops, early intervention is preferable to reactive changes in import-export policies after inflation emerges. Additionally, the IMD should reassess its forecasting model to understand why it tends to be overly optimistic in estimating monsoon rains and downplays El Niño conditions.

Olympian Heights


Since ancient times, the Olympics has served as a tool of soft power, with governments globally recognizing its potential impact on sports, the economy, socio-culture, and political legitimacy. Prime Minister’s declaration at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai, expressing India’s commitment to organizing the 2036 edition, aligns with this tradition.


GS2- Government Policies and Intervention, International Relations

Mains Question:

“The tag of an Olympic host can give India a vantage position in a shifting world order.” Comment. (10 marks, 150 words).

Significance for India:

  • India’s interest in hosting the Youth Olympics as a precursor indicates a desire to overcome the reservations stemming from the controversies surrounding the poorly managed 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
  • While the official selection of the host city for 2036 will take time, given that Brisbane was chosen for the 2032 edition in July 2021, India’s announcement underscores its global ambitions.
  • Whether seeking a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council or the excitement surrounding the G-20 presidency, India consistently aims for a prominent role in the international arena. Hosting the Olympics could further enhance its standing in the evolving world order.
  • From a sporting perspective, India aims to capitalize on the momentum generated by its impressive 107-medal performance at the recent Asian Games.
  • Since Abhinav Bindra’s historic individual Olympic gold in Beijing 2008, there has been a noticeable improvement in India’s performance at multi-disciplinary competitions. The belief that India can achieve a double-digit medal count at Paris 2024 is growing.

Challenges for India:

  • However, organizing a mega event like the Olympics poses significant challenges, with costs often proving prohibitive, as evident in the public outcry during Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
  • Tokyo’s financial burden, for instance, surged to $15.4 billion, more than double the initial estimate.
  • Recent withdrawals, such as Victoria pulling out of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games and Alberta abandoning its bid for the 2030 edition, highlight the financial challenges associated with hosting major events.


The IOC, acknowledging the need for tailored solutions, now encourages potential organizers to present projects aligning with their economic, social, and environmental realities. India’s success in hosting the Olympics will depend on how well it navigates the complexities, balancing its aspirations with these inherent challenges and avoiding the perception of being a populist endeavor in a socially unequal society.

December 2023