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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 26 April 2024

  1. Recent Elections in Maldives
  2. Violations of Existing Food Safety Regulations


The recent victory of Maldives President Moḥammad Muizzu’s party, the PNC, in the parliamentary elections carries significant implications. The opposition, predominantly led by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), perceived as “pro-India,” suffered a considerable setback, securing only 12 seats. Notably, parties affiliated with former Presidents Abdullah Yameen and Moḥammad Nasheed failed to secure any representation.



  • India and its Neighborhood- Relations.
  • Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.

Mains Question:

India should not allow Mr. Muizzu’s win to affect ties between the two countries. Analyse in the context of recent parliamentary elections in Maldives. (10 Marks, 150 Words).

More on Mr. Muizzu’s Victory:

  • With a commanding “super-majority” of over 70 out of 93 Members of Parliament, including allies and independents, the PNC’s triumph not only solidifies Mr. Muizzu’s political standing but also paves the way for smoother legislative processes, potentially extending to constitutional amendments.
  • Mr. Muizzu now finds himself under intense scrutiny regarding how he exercises the considerable authority vested in him, especially in a nation with a history of authoritarian governance.
  • The electorate’s endorsement of his actions since assuming office in November 2023, including his diplomatic engagements with China, Turkey, and the UAE, as well as his meetings with senior U.S. officials, while maintaining a certain distance from India, underscores the widespread approval of his leadership decisions.

Mr. Muizzu and his Engagement with India:

  • Of particular note is his insistence, during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December, on the complete withdrawal of Indian troops responsible for humanitarian operations in the archipelago, a demand he has since implemented.
  • Additionally, Mr. Muizzu has terminated a hydrography agreement with India, signaling a strategic shift in favor of bolstering ties with China to achieve a more balanced foreign policy and reduce reliance on external powers.
  • Meanwhile, concerns have been raised among Maldivian leaders and commentators regarding what they perceive as a rise in majoritarianism in India.
  • The exacerbation of tensions is further evidenced by derogatory remarks about Mr. Modi made by Maldivian Ministers, contributing to a sense of unease within India.
  • Consequently, there has been a noticeable decline in Indian tourist arrivals to the Maldives, reflecting the escalating diplomatic friction between the two nations.

Way Forward:

  • With the recent Maldivian election results and the impending Indian election outcomes in June, there arises an opportunity for New Delhi and Male to address their strained relations.
  • Historically, their relationship has been robust and should not fluctuate with changes in government, although regrettably, this has been the pattern over the past decade.
  • President Muizzu’s assertion of prioritizing a “pro-Maldives” policy over alignment with either India or China warrants observation, while affording him time to demonstrate that his actions do not compromise India’s security or regional stability.
  • For a closer India-Maldives relationship to thrive, a mutual commitment to a “Neighborhood First” policy must be voluntary, grounded in mutual trust, and aligned with shared interests.


Considering the Maldives’ economic challenges, developmental needs, and vulnerability to climate change, coupled with its strategic appeal to both the United States and China, it seems inevitable that the advantages of closer ties with India, particularly its sustainable financing policies and supportive stance, will become increasingly apparent to Male.


Justice Hima Kohli, presiding over the Supreme Court Bench handling the case against Patanjali Ayurved and its leaders Acharya Balkrishna and Baba Ramdev, remarked on April 23 that “The Union has to activate itself,” highlighting the government’s inaction regarding the company’s publication of advertisements promoting untested and pseudoscientific remedies for COVID-19, diabetes, and other ailments.



  • Health
  • Judiciary

Mains Question:

In the context of rising cases of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India, discuss the necessity of stricter implementation of existing food safety regulations. (10 Marks, 150 Words).

More on the Court’s Stance:

  • Additionally, the Bench took note of a report revealing that Nestlé’s baby formula sold in India contains more sugar than its European counterpart.
  • Consequently, the scope of the Patanjali Ayurved case was expanded to encompass all fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies disseminating misleading advertisements.

Necessity of Stricter Regulations:

  • Some manufacturers have been found to fortify their products with vitamins to evade scrutiny, yet their offerings remain unhealthy.
  • Over the past month, the apex court has demanded public apologies from Patanjali Ayurved and others for continuing to advertise misleading claims despite court directives.
  • The Bench reprimanded the defendants for releasing a small-scale advertisement. Presently, there is uncertainty surrounding the acceptance of the latest apology, posing a dilemma for the court.

Who Should Take Responsibility?

  • The notion that the Court should take proactive measures because the existing mechanisms to regulate, report, and penalize misleading advertisements rely on complaints and are ineffective is concerning.
  • The Court questioned the Ministry of AYUSH about its inaction regarding advertisements flagged by the Advertising Standards Council of India, which lacks the authority to enforce compliance.
  • Similarly, although the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has set permissible ingredient thresholds for various food products, it is notorious for hesitating to hold errant manufacturers accountable, and it suffers from understaffing, inadequate resources, and insufficient funding.
  • The responsibility of identifying unscientific claims has thus fallen on various members of civil society, ranging from unqualified influencers to licensed medical professionals, yet they are vulnerable to retaliatory legal action, which can be costly and time-consuming. Therefore, there is a pressing need for prompt enforcement and decisive action in FMCG marketing.
  • The absence of such action has contributed to the proliferation of unverifiable claims about nutrition and exacerbated the gap between India’s concern about non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the availability of nutritious foods.


However, it is essential to recognize that the judiciary’s role is to review legislation rather than create it. What is expected from the judiciary is swift and exemplary action against offenders in the cases brought before it, rather than overzealous encroachment into legislative and executive domains.

May 2024