Need to monitor mid-day meal programme

Apropos of the editorial “Meals for students” (Nov 26), you have rightly pointed out the role of the state governments in providing the cooked mid-day meal. The implementation of this programme is in doubt as far as the quality of food is concerned. There have been reports about substandard meals or foodgrains being provided to the children including The Tribune’s recent report about fungus-affected soyabean nuggets in Karnal, Haryana. This is indeed shameful.

The Supreme Court should have given instructions about enforcing accountability and punishment in case of negligence of the school authorities in providing the mid-day meal.

What generally happens is that though inquiry committees are constituted, no action is taken against the guilty.

The state should provide proper infrastructure for this programme like cooks, utensils and the fuel along with the will to provide quality food. The media can play an important role in initiating a debate for ensuring transparency and accountability in the successful implementation of the programme.

I agree that the whole exercise will be a waste if there is no effective monitoring of the scheme.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Kishori Ram Hospital, Bathinda




Many experiments are being made to attract children to primary schools. The Tribune report on fungus-affected food is shocking. This negates the very purpose of the novel programme.

In some schools, khichdi is being provided to students. I feel students are fed up with khichdi. Moreover, this is not good for children’s health. Why can the government not introduce variety in the mid-day meal programme? For, the main objective of the programme is to attract students.

The government should provide candies, chocolates, biscuits and so on just for some refreshing change in the menu. This would be far better than the fungus-infested food.


IAF on the mat

THE Delhi High Court ruling quashing the promotion of four senior Air Force officers, following a petition filed by two others who were ove looked, is a searing indictment of the IAF’s style of functioning in general and its promotion policy in particular. Excessive discretionary powers earlier enjoyed by the officers constituting the promotion boards betray undue weightage given to their whims and fancies. This has rightly been struck down as unconstitutional by the Delhi High Court.

The stand taken by the aggrieved officers may well have been vindicated but what about the harm done to the Air Force in the process? This will demoralise the rank and file of the armed forces. Who will assess and rectify this setback? Vindictive policies being pursued by the Air Force top brass must come to an end following the High Court’s significant ruling.

Wg-Cmdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida


Row over Partition

This refers to “The Partition controversy” (Nov 5) by V.N. Dutta in response to Dr Anita Inder Singh’s two articles and V.P. Mehta’s letter “Patel didn’t ask Gandhi to step aside” (Nov 10).  Datta’s views are biased as too much attempt has been made to defend Jinnah who was mainly responsible for the Partition.

Mr Dutta has tried to be much fair to Jinnah and unfair to Congress whose leaders, i.e. Gandhi and Nehru, tried their best to make Jinnah see reason but failed. In an effort to protect the interest of the Muslims, Jinnah started claiming that the Muslim League was their sole representative and as such only those Muslims it approved of should be included in the executive council to be constituted in accordance with the Shimla conference. This was too big a demand to be accepted by the Congress which had always claimed to be a national organisation.

Jinnah’s vanity and ambitions exceeded all reasonable limits. He spoke about British-Congress collusion against Muslims and even resorted to “direct action”.  This exacerbated the differences between the League and the Congress, leaving no scope for change in Jinnah’s attitude. In such circumstances, Congress leaders had no solution but to accept Jinnah’s demand as any other alternative was more dangerous.

Although there were a few other factors responsible for Partition, the main cause was Jinnah’s rigidity and uncompromising attitude which ultimately led to the tragic Partition. 

K. LALL, Research Scholar  (History), Yamunanagar

Accident-prone road

The road from Batala to Rayya Mor is in a deplorable condition. The stretch from Batala to Baba Bakala is worst. The road is bumpy and full of potholes. Driving on this road has become a nightmare as this stretch has become accident-prone. The road needs to be repaired on priority to prevent accidents.

P.S. BHATTI, Gurdaspur

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