Thursday, July 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Time for India, Pak to end hostilities

INDEED they are “People like us across the border”, as Mr S. K. Aggarwal points out in his piece so aptly titled (May 31). The troublesome thought is that deep down inside our hearts most of us do realise this fact about the fundamental oneness of both our people so well, and yet are condemned by vested interests to keep snapping at each other rabidly and continuously. It is time India and Pakistan realised the futility of their unending squabbling.

We owe it to our present and future generations that we put an end to mutual hostility and suspicion. Most ordinary people in both countries are sick and tired of hostilities and wasteful expenditure of life and resources. They are willing to renew, even forge new links, if only politicians will let winds of goodwill and sincerity blow.

Why can't we reconcile to the fact that we may be destined for a life of togetherness? Doesn't centuries of shared history make a sound case for a shared future. Contemporary times point to a life that just cannot be possible separately or constantly remaining pitted against each other in the fast emerging situation of a global village.

Does it not make apparent common sense to come together as an economic block in today's commerce-driven campaign of globalisation of the world? Look at the example Europe is setting. It began with Germany and continues with ways of trying to unify the rest of Europe into a formidable economic block. To keep us apart is to the advantage of Western nations. How can their areas of concern remain in any doubt? Aren't we capable of shaping our own destiny without intervention from Washington?

Peaceful co-existence is in the larger interest of both India and Pakistan.



Admissions: Follow US pattern

Online registration for college admissions in New Delhi has failed in the absence of any provision for providing registration number on sent online messages. If colleges could provide registration number for online applications, students would have definitely availed themselves of the opportunity.

Also arrangements should have been made for computer-filling of forms eliminating the need to fill in so many forms differently. Centralised admission forms are not clear about taking into account marks of additional subject by the Central Board of Secondary Education in best four subjects.

It is surprising that successive governments at the Centre have not cared to reform the age-old admission procedure in the colleges. India should follow the US pattern of having aptitude tests in Class XI, and applying for college admissions on the basis of aptitude tests while studying in Class XII through the schools so that students may join colleges directly after schooling without rushing for filling in numerous admission forms in different colleges.


Health insurance

Apropos of the report “Surgery of British patients in India”, it is a matter of great pleasure that the Britain's National Health Service is considering to send patients to India for economic considerations to reduce the waiting list of a million people in the UK.

The Government of India (GoI) should use it as an opportunity to prove its worth and potential in this important field. It should negotiate with the British insurance companies to recognise Indian hospitals which are certainly of international standard. This will help improve the health services in the country.

As funds are a major problem, it is essential to explore new sources of financing health services. There is an urgent need to identify the alternative sources of financing health services through development of health insurance culture in the country to promote quality, efficiency and equity in the health sector.

The government provides medical allowances to its employees at the rate of Rs. 125 per month. This is a pittance and hence it should be substituted by a health insurance scheme for the employees (within the same sanctioned amount) towards medical allowance as a premium for a health insurance policy. Every employee should go in for annual check up. Health pass books should be issued to the employees and their family members.

The medical compensation package under the health insurance policy needs to be transparent and made operational in letter and spirit. It is also essential to replace the target-oriented approach by result-oriented and people-centred approach in all aspects of sustainable human development including health as in Britain.

M.M. GOEL, Kurukshetra

Chandigarh’s record

Chandigarh is expected to be on the world heritage map soon. About 600 natural and cultural cities in the world are on the UNESCO’s world heritage list.

Chandigarh is also number one in jobs and income, finance work and consumption. In transport and housing, it stands third and fifth respectively. It is one of the most beautiful and planned cities in India. No doubt, Chandigarh has many more feathers in its cap. I would request the UT administration to make efforts to keep the city clean so that it is truly the City Beautiful.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh

Thein dam project

The Thein dam hydro project is in doldrums due to no sanction of funds by the Centre and the state. The Shahpur Kandi project, which was to be completed along with the Thein dam project, could not be executed for the same reason. The available electric potential of about 175 MW is being wasted due to paucity of funds. The Punjab Government should ensure the timely completion of this project so that cheaper power is made available.

S.K. KANSAL, Ropar

No maternity leave

Punjab's Directorate of Health Services does not allow any kind of leave, paid or unpaid, to its women employees working on contract basis on Centrally-sponsored schemes. This is unfair and unjust. It is time women employees were sanctioned maternity leave without any discrimination.

SITA RAM, Nangal Kanugo (Hoshiarpur)

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