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Doping needs to be sternly dealt with

The news report ‘Seven athletes banned for doping’ (December 24) is a cause for concern especially when top women athletes are involved in doping. The athletes found positive for doping should be permanently banned as it would send a stern and clear message to the new entrants. Sportspersons should show their original mettle built over the years with hard labour.

Natural techniques should be used to build up a repository of stamina. The use of performance-enhancing drugs and techniques by the world’s top athletes has been a persistent issue in sporting events throughout the world for nearly four decades.

The use of energy enhancers dates back to the ancient Greeks who used mushrooms, ginseng roots and opium to enhance their athletic prowess. While some athletes are able to resist the use of unfair means, others try to accentuate their talent with the crutches of medical advancement.

The number of doping drugs has multiplied over the years and their use is also becoming more and more widespread and begins early among young and unsupervised athletes.

Doping is also linked to a lack of objective information among raw players regarding the risk involved in the use of drugs. No doubt, the players are always under tremendous pressure to exhibit their skills, awareness should be disseminated among the athletes by the sports authorities. 

H DEVDHARMI, Chandigarh

Bankrupt govt

The politics of populism adopted by the Akali government has virtually ruined Punjab economically as mentioned in the editorial ‘Politics of populism’ (December 17). The pick-and-choose policies of the Akali government lay bare the intention of the government to win votes. Schemes like the mid-day meal scheme, atta-dal scheme, et al have proved to be a farce. Now, the Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme is mere eyewash. The cash-strapped Punjab government doled out Rs 21 crore for this scheme turning a blind eye towards the deteriorating condition of infrastructure and buildings of government schools in Punjab. The teachers employed under contract and various other schemes are given meagre salaries. The arrears of the revised pay scales to the employees and pensioners have not been given so far by this bankrupt government. As pointed out in the editorial, why were these popular measures announced at the fag end of the present government’s term? The present-day voter is wise and alert. He/she is able to see through the designs of politicians.


Academic bribe

It was surprising to note that Panjab University has decided to confer honorary degrees of law on Pawan Kumar Bansal, a Cabinet minister, and Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, in the news report ‘Egg on varsity’s face’ (December 4). This is nothing less than an ‘academic bribe’ to influence politicians for ulterior motives. The academic environment in the university has been seriously vitiated due to political decisions. Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor appointed all DUIs as Professors Emeritus to accommodate certain persons close to politicians, ignoring the claim of deserving candidates. There are so many other glaring examples where teachers of academic excellence were ignored and chums and kin of political bosses were promoted. Political interference needs to be curbed. It is ruining the academic character of the university.

Dr IM GOVIL, Panchkula

UP division

The views expressed in the article ‘The case against division’ (December 11) presented a formidable case against division of the state vis-à-vis decision of the UP Chief Minister to divide the state into four parts. Putting the proposition into action will entail huge expenditure leveraged on the hard-earned tax-payers’ money. This would add to the already rampant corruption in the state. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the small new states to be formed would have an edge vis-à-vis big states and will develop economically and socially. Uttar Pradesh, being the biggest state of the country, occupies a place of pride in our history.


Hi-tech education

This is with reference to the article ‘High time to go hi-tech’ (December 13). Technology has become a trademark of this century. No doubt, a number of public and private schools are flooded with computers, but actual hi-tech teaching is confined to a limited number of schools. In most of the educational institutions, computers are being used as a means of show-off. Computers merely decorate their IT labs. They are not being used to transfer learning to the school children. Government schools face shortage of computer teachers, while in private schools non-serious attitude of teachers is the main hurdle. Its high time that both teachers and students realise the importance of using modern gadgets.


Attendance award

Presiding over the prize distribution and cultural function at any school is always a memorable event, but a recently held function at DCM Public School, Kotkapura was an inspiring one. The innovative idea of the school management to present attendance award along with merit certificates to the students, who remained present in the school throughout the year, is praiseworthy. Inculcating the habit of punctuality and ensuring regular attendance in students by the school management is highly appreciable and should be followed by other educational institutions, especially government schools.     


Falling prey to ignorance

The news item ‘150 birds found dead’ (December 14) is a grim reminder of birds falling prey to the ignorance of farmers, miscreants, poachers and traders. Due to the callous and negligent attitude of farmers who spread poison-laced grains around the periphery of fields to guard their crops, small birds have to suffer. The Forest Department should advise the farmers not to indulge in such inhuman acts.

In the yesteryear, a large number of parrots died after consuming toxic jamuns in Faridkot. Spraying of strong pesticides at the fruiting stage is a travesty of norms. Spraying pesticides is in vogue to deter birds from pecking fruits and to enhance ripeness.

Wildlife crimes need to be prevented with determination because many species are on the brink of extinction. The Wildlife Department, the Forest Department and the Horticulture Department must chip in to save the lives of these small birds.




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