Friday, November 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Faulty policies, rusted tools

THE indepth analysis of the agriculture policy by Mr Hari Jaisingh in his article “Greying of Green Revolution — faulty policies, rusted tools” brings to limelight the lacunae which if go unnoticed and unchecked are suicidal to the farming community.

Negligibly small part of the profit goes to the farmer for his or her produce, as a large chunk of it is gobbled up by middlemen and businessmen. Farm inputs have become a costly exercise in recent times — mainly because of the cutting down of the subsidy on fertilisers and the increased rates of diesel and farm machinery.

We shall have to discover ways to bring down the post-harvest losses, which if saved, can feed one-third of our population throughout the year. The scientists and experts in our farm varsities should come forward with methods to check these losses.

The author rightly points out: “It is worth remembering that bad seed, bad technology, bad supervision and bad marketing cannot produce good results.” In my views, the farmers’ unions should be involved in the task of marketing management. They can very well look after the interests of the farming community.

The country needs to have a permanent policy for the agriculture sector. The younger generations of farmers are losing interest in this vocation. Many of them are taking to the white-collar jobs. This is an alarming trend.

Keeping in view the paddy crisis, the government should take post-harvest measures and marketing management under its own control, besides toning up the working of agencies like the Food Corporation of India.

Bijhari (Hamirpur)




Adopt correct priorities: Mr Jaisingh has pointed out that the policies for marketing the produce of Green Revolution are not sound and hence it may fizzle out. This is true but is not the whole truth; the policies about managing groundwater, without which there would have been no such revolution, are equally unsound.

The high-yielding varieties of crops which are the kingpin of this revolution, and could not have succeeded on canal water alone because its supply pattern is deficient time-wise, it is in short supply in the month of May when the seedlings for the rice crop are to be sown and again in the months of December-January when the wheat crop needs water at its flowering stage. This deficiency is planned to be made up by providing pumped ground water.

The level of this ground water started falling some 20 years ago and is still continuing to do so. This means greater cost of pumping. Its long range effect can be still worse; brackish water from the adjoining areas can start intruding in sweet water zones. If this happens, it will be an irreversible ecological disaster, and who knows if the same has not already started. There is not enough awareness about this impending danger.

The falling water-table could be easily controlled by injecting into ground the run off, from the rainfall but all this, in this age of water shortage, is being allowed to go waste via network of drains.

Thus we should set right our priorities; start worrying about the neglected health of the hen before we think about marketing her eggs.




Marks mix-up!

The report “Abnormal increase in marks” (Oct. 26) compels attention. What a startling disclosure, indeed!

Small variation — increase or decrease — in marks after re-evaluation, especially in the “Humanities Group” of subjects, is quite understandable. Subjectivity does colour the mind of an evaluator while assessing an essay-type answer to a question and awarding marks.

However, in the case under question the variation in marks awarded to the candidate by the first sub-examiner and the subsequent re-evaluator is too large to be allowed to go unnoticed by the board authorities.

To my mind, the board’s chairman who happens to be a reputed educationist should personally look into the matter to find out what went wrong and where? The erring must be brought to book.

No efforts should be spared to minimise the vagaries plaguing the vital examination system, failing which the board examinations would lose credibility.

Ambota (Una)



Disastrous performance

The dismal and disastrous display by India at Sharjah should make every Indian bow his head in shame, not to say of the members of the team, the coach, the members of the selection committee and the skipper himself above all.

The wooden bat and the leather ball are not the compact pieces of energy themselves. They are given life by the hand that uses them. Behind this hand is the spirit of self-confidence and trust in a firm mind to perform and achieve the desired result. The build-up of a strong and fighting psychology needs grooming in a systematic way to create slots in batting order, field placements and the appropriate alterations in the bowling sequence.

All that this process requires is practice to produce and infuse a fighting spirit of responsibility on the shoulders of each player of a team in his individual capacity as well as a collective responsibility as a part of the team.




Ad hoc appointments

This has reference to your report “Ad hoc appointments affecting teaching” (Oct 25).

Surprisingly, several affiliated-aided colleges in the State of Haryana are violating with impunity the mandatory provisions of Haryana Affiliated Colleges Security of Service Act, Security of Service Rules, 1993 and Statutory Kurukshetra University/MDU Regulations in the matter of appointment and other service conditions of teachers of these colleges. All this is being done with the connivance of some government and university officials.

Under the Act and university rules, the post of every teacher including principal in a non-government recognised college is a ‘selection post’ by way of direct recruitment on an all-India advertisement basis. The appointment is to be made only by the statutory governing body of the college concerned and not by the trust/society running the college. Further, every appointment is subject to the approval of VC. However, much to the chagrin of DAV teachers, the appointments in 13 DAV colleges of Haryana are being made by DAV Managing Committee, New Delhi without any jurisdiction and authority in law. The Principals in various DAV colleges in the past have been appointed by way of illegal and arbitrary transfers despite the fact that there is no common cadre and common seniority of the employees of these colleges. In March 1995, the Vice Chancellor of Kurukshetra University had withdrawn the approval of three principals of DAV Colleges of Hisar, Ambala and Pundri appointed by way of transfer. Surprisingly, these DAV Principals are still working and Haryana Government is paying regular salary to them at the cost of huge public exchequer.

It is high time that the officials of state Higher Education Department and Vice Chancellors of KUK/MDU Rohtak streamlined the administration of these erring colleges by strictly endorcing the Act and University Rules which are mandatory.





Q. What is the message given to the Indian cricketers by Jyoti Basu?

A. It is better to retire than getting retired hurt.



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