Thursday, August 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



India’s technological capability

FEARS expressed by Mr M.S.N. Menon in his article, “Will India learn the American ways?” (The Tribune, July 28), are misplaced and ill-founded. The author remarks: “With our military prowess, India cannot be in the front rank of nations.” We in India have best brains to meet the immediate industrial, technological and military needs. Five underground nuclear tests conducted by India on May 11 and 13, 1998, in Pokhran are no mean achievement and have belied the feeling of some of the nations, which have already acquired atomic capability, that India is unable to be a nuclear power. Our achievement in the nuclear sphere has surprised many in the world.

True, we have to remove certain bottlenecks on our way to scientific and technological advance. Of course, India has best brains in the world but lacks resources. The drained brains can be brought back by providing lucrative pay and perks. In future, we ought to ensure that no brain prefers to drain away from the homeland.

Their patriotism (those who have already gone overseas) will tempt them to return to serve their motherland. Also, the need of the day is to tap the talent available within the country. When there will be no dearth of talent within the country, it will be meaningless to be dependent on any other country for this purpose.

Our scientists and engineers can create technologies suitable to our needs. It goes against our interest and national grace to beg or borrow it from elsewhere. We can cooperate with any country only on friendly terms to produce a new technology.

Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Speed-breakers or killers?

This has reference to a letter carried on July 27 regarding the speed-breakers opposite house Nos. 223 and 224 in the Urban Estate, Dugri Road, Ludhiana. The writer has rightly suggested the earliest removal of these dangerous road obstacles.

As a matter of fact, I fell prey to these unjustifiable structures a few days back when I was on a visit to the area for meeting a friend. Electricity supply to the area was shut off due to a fault, and as I was not aware of these structures, I had a head on fall from my scooter at one of these speed-breakers. A brick which was lying nearby inflicted serious injuries to my scalp. A high-power diesel generator was in operation quite nearby and my cries for help went unheard in the din of the unbearable noise pollution by the generator. Then through the efforts of a passerby I was given medical aid.

These speed-breakers are of no use at all. They are dangerous and have been erected in the most irresponsible criminal way.



A peep into Chinese mind

Prof Brahma Challaney’s exhortation (a news report, July 29) to exploit “the vulnerability of China (vis-a-vis Tibet and Taiwan) in the manner China does of India” is a good idea. It is nice, indeed, to think of asserting “our minimal rights” or to hope that “the coming together of India and the USA was a sign of worry for Beijing.”

This writer was the first to aver in a letter to The Tribune (21-7-98) goading China to “examine the possibility of holding a conference of five nations, including Russia, France, India, Japan and Vietnam”, on Taiwan when the Chinese were advising India to accept a P-5 conference on Kashmir, an idea floated insidiously — rather flamboyantly — by President Clinton, perhaps at a G-8 meeting in 1998.

To make China realise its unreasonable, if not malicious, approach towards the arming of Pakistan is one thing, but to hope for or count on US support against China is foolhardy. The sole super power, which has been kowtowing on China’s demands from time to time, despite the appearance of their relations coming to a precipice any number of times, cannot be expected to lend India a helping hand in the case of a fresh Sino-Indian confrontation, not to mention the former’s stubborn refusal to help India with advanced weapons and technology so far.

Even in 1962, in the wake of China’s invasion, all that the USA could afford was a morsel of Rs 32 lakh worth of aid — not even sufficient to buy one fighter plane at the then prevailing prices!

The best way-out for us at present is to slog along and see how enduringly Sino-US partnership can go on, especially keeping in view the Japanese sensitivities as also China’s apprehensions of the projected theatre missile defence programme of the USA! Let China choose between India and Pakistan, unless it exerts a sobering influence on the latter.


Collecting funds

Consequent upon the introduction of S.T. 38 form by the Prohibition, Excise and Taxation Department, Haryana, the trading community had given a call for hartal throughout the state. The hartal was complete. The last month a notification was issued for the collection of house tax through the Local Bodies Department in order to raise the state revenue. This action of the government too was not fit in the eyes of the public. The action was not even supported by the BJP which is helping the government from outside.

The government has abandoned the decision for a year for the time being. This is no way to raise funds. All sections of society, including farmers, should be involved in the generation of funds.



GND University admissions

The news item “Topper not called for interview” (July 22) was not based on the complete appreciation of the facts to an extent that it was a derogatory remark on the fair selection system of the Law Department of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

The selection committee followed rules and regulations in letter and in spirit. The selection proceedings were transparent, leaving no scope for favouritism to the non-deserving and any prejudice towards the deserving candidates.

A candidate who appears to be unreasonably biased was not the “Topper” though he was heading the list of the reserved category which he belonged to. In fact, the selection committee did consider his candidature in two reserved categories to give him the benefit of selection in any of the reserved categories favourable to the candidate. What really had gone wrong in this case was that the candidate failed to qualify one of the eligibility criteria on the date of counselling.

As per the reservation policy, the candidates applying for the reserved category are required to indicate their claim for one category in the application at the first instance before the entrance exam, and any change of category is not permitted thereafter.

Lieut-Col Jaswinder Singh (retd)


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