Thursday, March 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Blood Safety Day

WORLD Health Organisation in collaboration with International Federation of Red Cross, Red Crescent Societies and Blood Departments has decided to observe April 7, 2000, (which is officially World Health Day) as Blood Safety Day throughout the globe. The slogan chosen for the occasion is — “Safe blood starts with me”.

The objective is to raise awareness about blood safety issues globally, to encourage member states to implement national blood legislation or create a legal framework for a national blood programme for promoting the concept of safe blood, to promote and to retain blood donations from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors from low risk populations.

In order to achieve the desired objectives, Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohaematology (ISBTI) has urged all Indians to make the programme successful. Improvement in the quality of donated blood and a continuous improvement in the critical health related areas is essential for the success of the programme.

  Blood availability in India at present is only 3.5 million units per year, falling far short of the requirement of 8 million units per year. To ensure the availability of desired quantity of blood in India people should make blood donation a way of life. There is a need to convince the general population that donating blood at reasonable intervals does not lowers one’s virility or stamina.


Is this a justice?

We were (64 candidates) selected by Subordinate Services Selection Board, Punjab, as ayurvedic medical officers in 1996. Some unsuccessful candidates filed a writ petition in the High Court against the selection. Our selections were quashed by the Hon’ble Justice G.S. Singvi on the ground that views of the subject expert were not given due weightage.

I would like to ask from the Hon’ble Judge: what was the fault of the candidates? Why are we being punished for the fault of the Board? After three and a half years of service we have nowhere to go. What punishment has been given to the chairman, members of SSS Board and Punjab Government, who have ruined our lives? Some of us gave up private practice or jobs to join government service. Now we neither have our own clinics nor the jobs. One candidate, Navtej Singh, selected under the “handicap quota”, died of shock, after the judgement. Another candidate’s father also died of shock.

If they suspected anything wrong in the selection, the candidates should not have been allowed to join in 1996 itself.


Clinton’s new line on J&K

With reference to the article “Roadblocks in Indo-US ties” challenges before policy-makers” (March 17) what Mr Clinton says on Kashmir or with regard to Indo-Pakistan relations has to be viewed in perspective. The moot point is: what could have made him so optimistic?

Is Mr Clinton merely giving expression to his own thinking or articulating a possible new official line for bringing about a settlement of the Kashmir problem? While the aims, perceptions and priorities of the parties involved vary, one thing which emerges in clear terms is that several world powers — the USA in particular — have once again started taking interest in Kashmir affairs. Although America has repeatedly contended that it has no intention of intervening in the dispute or act as a mediator, unless both the parties want it to act, there is hardly any doubt left that behind the scenes the pressure on India to solve the tangle is growing.

There is much more than meets the eye. Mr Clinton’s one-point plan is to create peace between Pakistan and India and the world after getting their signatures on the CTBT.

Mr Clinton’s view carries weight that Pakistan being a nuclear weapon state threatens to let loose a nuclear war on India and the world at large if the Kashmir problem is not solved. The world must be saved at all costs.


HP road accidents

The editorial on the road mishaps (March 11) in Himachal was timely and appropriate. Seldom does a day go by without an accident being reported. The government as well as the people seem to be indifferent to this human tragedy. On the other hand the transport and the surface communication systems are showing increasing sings of progressive deterioration.

The observations made by you are succinct and concise. Himachal has thousands of buses, both government and private, running on all routes. Yet, on certain sectors massive over-crowding takes place. No proper allocation of bus services on heavy passenger traffic routes is made and neither is an effective time-schedule for the running of these buses in a disciplined manner evolved. Drunken driving and lack of monitoring and checking by highway patrols also results in high incidence of accidents.

The other factors that you had focussed on was the roads. Even though we have an extensive network of roads yet the repair and maintenance of this basic communication system is appalling. Allegedly for every rupee spent by the State Public Works Department either on construction, repair or maintenance, directly or through contractors, only thirty paise, in real terms, is utilised.


IQ scores

It was embarrassing to go through the news item captioned "IQ scores are up worldwide" March 20. The "researchers" who have witnessed "sharp-rise" in the IQ of the present generation "kids" seem to be groping in the dark. The group seems to be measuring the IQ standards with the "yardstick" which has been replaced by the "metre".

Advanced research in the sphere of education psychology has established that "it is the "multiple intelligence" (MI) that holds the key to one's learning and even teaching skills and not the IQ.

Research work carried out by the members of the "Project Zero" in the School of Education, Harvard under the expert guidance of Dr Howard Gardner established that at least seven "intelligences" simultaneously operate in human beings, related to neurological, evolutionary and cross-cultural factors.



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