Work culture during elections

This has reference to Dr Vinod K. Chopra’s letter “Work culture during polls: Onus on ministers, not officials” (Perspective, May 9) in response to the article, “Why India can’t afford a long 5-phase poll schedule” (April 25) by Major Vijay Singh Mankotia. Both writers are correct to certain extent but have ignored the important aspect that a mid-term election is an essential part and sometimes a necessity under the parliamentary system of government.

Consequently, the Election Commission should be ever ready to face this eventuality and complete the election process effectively within three weeks from the dissolution of the Lok Sabha or the State Assembly. Most problems discussed by the writers would be minimised to the maximum, if not fully resolved.

M.K. MOGA, Dharamsala

US, Pak tie-up

Apropos of Air Marshal R.S. Bedi (retd)’s article “US-Pak collaboration and its ramifications for India” (Perspective, May 2), since Independence the US policy for most of the period has been titled in favour of Pakistan. It was after the National Democratic Alliance came to power that a subtle change was noticed. But it proved to be a mirage.

Judging by the Bush Administration’s continued generosity towards its old Cold War ally, the US will hand out next year upwards of $700 million in aid to Islamabad.

In contrast, India, a new-found “strategic ally” will have to rest content with a fraction of that amount. And this despite Islamabad’s every act of commission and omission — from reluctant support in hunting down Osama to complicity in N-proliferation to export of cross-border terrorism!

K.M. VASHISHT, New Delhi



Scoring on self-belief

This is with reference to “Untutored success” by Tripti Nath (Spectrum, May 23). Congratulations to Shruti Singh for making it to the civils without the help of any coaching institute. This reflects her belief in herself and a strong personality. She serves as an excellent example not only to the aspirants of civil services, but to all those who need to tap their self-confidence.


Idol worship

In his letter “Idol worship” (May 23), Balvinder has remarked that Guru Nanak condemned religious ritualism. True. But those were meaningless rituals based on superstitious beliefs. Accordingly, Sikhism forbade the same.

Being manifest body of the Guru the Holy Book has to be treated with profound reverence and maintained properly. It is neither an empty ritual nor idol worship. Will not leaving it uncared-for to gather dust be a sacrilege?


Love for India

I appreciate Dr Kiran Bedi for having awakened the citizens of India and the government towards some social problems and the need to tackle them "No city is dearer to me than New Delhi"(Sunday Oped, May 9).

She has lucidly examined the ways of life, customs, traditions, moral values and sense of responsibility of the citizens and the federal governments in India and countries like the US.

Most Indians are able to imbibe such qualities of patriotism and character. This, in fact, is the dire need of the hour. Dr Bedi has shown her deep affection to her motherland, proving the saying that “East or West, Home is the best”.


Explore methods for affordable health care

Chanchal Sarkar, in his article "The bitter medicine of Sonia’s wisdom" (Sunday Oped, May 30), pointed out the discrepancies in our health system, particularly in rural areas. Every party lays stress on the rural people in its election manifesto. But why is the health system left out?

The writer has rightly pointed that doctors seldom visit government dispensaries. Even if a God-fearing doctor goes to his place of posting, he does not attend his dispensary for more than 12 days during the month keeping in his view his tours and leave. Who will take care of it in his/her absence? Quacks are playing with the lives of the rural people. Why?

Qualified pharmacists who are serving these rural people in the absence of doctors are only allowed by the department to do so, not by the government. Why? Why are they not utilised for checking the drug menace and providing better services to rural people. They could be registered as rural medical practioness after 5 to 10 years of service. The pharmacists should be given training from time to time. The Centre and the states should formulate a clear policy on health care for the betterment of rural people.

DEVINDER CHADHA, Barnala (Sangrur)


Dr Satnam Singh and Dr U.S. Bansal deserve thanks for bringing out serious inadequacies in our public health systems and health care "Public health system is sick — needs urgent help" (Perspective, May 30).

Chandigarh is slowly growing into a medical city of India. It surely can emerge as a medical city in environmental health management system too.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Dr K.N. Pathak and PGI Director Dr Talwar should implement the two following proposals as both are highly interdisciplinary in nature and scope:

One, Master’s Programme in Environment Health Planning interdisciplinary for MBBS, BE, B.Arch., M.Sc (Life Science) etc. The course structures were worked out by a GOI expert committee from BARC IIT, Delhi PGI, PEC, CCA etc. The HRD Ministry had promised grants for three Professors, three Associate Professors and contingency grants. The proposal should be revived.

And two, National Centre for Hospital Engineering and Planning i.e. Health in hospitals/ Buildup environs. First in South East Asia, this will set an example in training, research and consultancy. The IHE Council has offered Rs. 10 Lakh towards its 2-3-year operations.

Both proposals have been pending with the Chandigarh Administration since 1998.

Dr J.C. MEHTA, Former HOD (PGI), Chandigarh


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