Tuesday, July 3, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Derive maximum benefits from WTO

THIS refers to the article “WTO: need for a proactive agenda” (June 24). It gave an overview of an otherwise controversial and, to some extent, complicated topic. The writer has also, without mincing words, done a tremendous job in conveying the true meaning and the very purpose of the WTO, thereby convincing readers (especially those hesitating to accept the reality of the international situation) regarding India’s need to join the world trade body and the resultant benefits.

Hopefully, by reading such articles between the lines the leading agricultural states of the country, particularly Punjab, will get convinced and try to derive maximum benefits out of the WTO and play an important role in changing the mindset of the orthodox people so that they come out of their “holed” thoughts and our agriculturist does not lag behind in the competitive world.


NO LOGIC IN CRITICISM: There is certainly no logic behind merely criticising India’s entry into the WTO, especially when there is very little understanding among the masses about the implications of the agreement.


The state governments are resorting to a very clever ploy of diverting public attention towards the so-called adverse fallouts of the agreement, thereby absolving themselves of all the blame.

Here the role of the Union Government becomes important. It should take a lead in dispelling misgivings about the WTO and try to educate the public on the issue.

The article has quite appropriately highlighted that there is need for a proactive agenda. In fact this has been the bane of our policy initiatives in other areas also, especially external affairs, where our responses have by and large been reactive. Our bureaucracy is, perhaps, so much bogged down in fire-fighting and tackling routine issues that it invariably fails to draw up a pre-emptive action plan to equip themselves to face and take advantage of any external developments, be it on the political front or on the multilateral trade front.


USING WTO FOR VOTES: The article touches upon a very relevant issue as it reflects the real objective of the WTO and the AoA. Generally it has been observed that the political parties are using the WTO issue as a scape-goat. They are playing with the emotions of the farming community just to win their confidence as well as votes. In fact the poor farmers are ignorant about the long-term advantages of the WTO and the AoA.

Instead of informing the people, the leaders are misinterpreting the objectives of the agreement. So there is a dire need to teach the people in a right way instead of creating panic among them. This write-up has rightly served the purpose to educate the people properly.


Congress and money

Dog days have befallen the 100-year-old bunyan tree that the Congress is for it is out with a begging bowl, seeking Rs 50 crore as corpus money for survival. Congressmen have looted the country for over 50 years. A token contribution of their “kill” to the party fund should send its corpus soaring to such heights as are normally attained by the money in circulation in Dawood’s world.

To aptly christen such a survival kit(ty), it would be worthwhile to take into consideration the terms that are enmeshed in Congress culture. And if nomenclature like the “Corpse-Money” or “Corruption Fund” or “Slush Fund” weigh heavier than a cross, then terming it as “Congress Money” would be the most simplistic and appropriate for it automatically and comfortably encompasses the aforementioned terms as well.

A. CHANDRA, Chandigarh



How cruel!

I was deeply pained to read the report “Beaten up for helping accident victims” (June 20). Although the Indian police during the British Raj was also not so humane, but it was not so unreasonably harsh and cruel in dealing with offenders.

A man who did such a humanitarian service to fellow citizens struggling for life by taking them to hospital would have been rewarded by British Police officers who used to perform their duties in right earnest.

How shocking is the role of the Indian police in independent India that an innocent person has been mercilessly beaten up by men in uniform for serving the cause of humanity. I ask the authorities: Is this the freedom for which thousands laid down their lives?

K. L. JAITLEY, Dhara (Kulu)

Punishment as reward

Policemen of Kapurthala have set a very bad example. They beat up brutally Mr Raj Kumar, who helped accident victims by getting them admitted to the civil hospital.

It is all due to the inhuman, senseless and greedy behaviour of the policemen that nobody dares to help accident victims.

The guilty policemen must be taken to task to restore the faith and confidence of people to help the needy accident victims.

RAGHU, Jalandhar


Lady officers

Lady officers work shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts in the armed forces. But unfair and iniquitous treatment is being meted out to lady officers in the grant of maternity leave. According to a Fifth Pay Commission recommendation, civilian lady employees are entitled to 135 days of maternity leave while lady officers in the armed forces get only 65 days of maternity leave.

The National Commission of Women is also understood to have raised this issue of wider public interest with the Ministry of Defence more than a year ago but nothing tangible has come out so far. As a concerned citizen, I urge the Government of India to put an end to this “discrimination.


GND University

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, held an entrance examination for admissions to B.Sc (I.T), B.Sc (IS), BCA, B.Com and B.e-Com on June 19 and the result was declared on June 21. When students tried to access the website mentioned in the prospectus (http://gndu.ernet.in) for results, they found there was no such site on the Net. Another site, (www.gnduadmin.com) about which the students were told at their respective test centres carried MCA entrance examination results only. When the authorities were contacted on the telephone, students had to face rude behaviour and no information whatever was given to them.


Medical test form

The introduction of a CMR application form for applying to medical entrance tests of medical colleges in Punjab has created suspicion in the minds of candidates. Without an attested photograph on a roll no, how can one check the authenticity of a candidate? Anybody can just appear in another candidate’s place and clear the written test.


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