Peace is the only option

Recent diplomatic moves by India and Pakistan indicate that their relations are still at crossroads and we need to discuss the options for a u-turn. Talks on Kashmir are still going on behind closed doors, but when Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf announces a proposal, India reacts in a way as if it has come through a legal channel.

Pakistan first makes a big mistake by throwing the proposal in the air through the media (so that India feels insulted) and then tries to present itself as a deciding force. India also hits back via the media. If Pakistan wants to consult its people first, the question should be asked directly. India is not likely to consult her people on Kashmir because of the nature of her democracy.

Now both have got a lesson in the art of negotiation and the right diplomatic conduct. Both countries do not have many options on Kashmir. Especially India should realise this.

Time has come when independence, joint control and even unification are no longer bad ideas. In any case, peace is the only option left before India and Pakistan.


Change AIR slots

The All India Radio (AIR) should reschedule its main evening Hindi news bulletin at 8 pm instead of 8.45 pm to give Samayaki an important time-place at 8.15 pm, just after the main news bulletin, in a manner Spotlight is placed after the main English news bulletin of 9 pm. The other programmes presented by the News Services Division of AIR, like "Today in Parliament", "Sansad Sameeksha", "Radio Newsreel" and "Samachar Darshan", can be placed between 8.30 pm and 9 pm. This slot can be utilised to revive the weekly News Sameeksha on Sundays to get important feedback from listeners.



News bulletins in regional languages can be broadcast simultaneously from different AIR stations at 7.30 or 7.45 pm. Morning main news bulletins can be at 7.45 am in Hindi and 8 am in English, each to be followed by comments from newspapers.

Bulletins in regional languages can be at 7.30 am or 8.15 am. Regional news can be at 7 pm, while a special bulletin may be designed especially for rural areas to be broadcast simultaneously in regional languages at 7 am.


US is poor mediator

Apropos of the article "What can President Bush do in his second term?" by Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd) (Perspective, December 5), no doubt, President Bush will have his fair share of global issues to tackle, not to forget his domestic constituency. Mr Bush would like to rectify the problems in America that, almost, cost him his Presidency. India and Pakistan would do well not to involve the US in their muddle since their track record in mediation is dicey. The bilateral negotiations may take a lot of time to yield results, but at least they will bear a result, which would be acceptable to both parties. The outcome of the Gulf Wars, the Afghan war and the Vietnam war has not made the world a safer place.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh

Peanuts for teachers

This has reference to the article "Recognise teachers' worth to suit changing times" by Mr Vikram Chadha (November 28). As a college teacher, I share his bitterness over the inadequate monetary compensation that teachers imparting higher education get for invigilation, evaluation, guiding research, etc.

There is much merit in the argument that whereas universities have raised fees, the remuneration structure has remained stagnant, rather has suffered due to increasing taxes and inflation. Even the students' welfare is sacrificed at the altar of financial gain.

Apart from the meagre Rs 6 for evaluating an answer-book and Rs 70 for supervising examination, which is the norm in MD University, another illustration is provided by the distance education system of this university.

Whereas the fee continues to be raised every year, the number of teaching periods has been reduced from 40 to just 15. For a 60-minute lecture, a teacher is paid Rs 100 for undergraduate and Rs 150 for postgraduate classes, respectively. After paying income tax on it, the amount comes down to Rs 66 and Rs 100, respectively. This package is pittance and society should definitely not be proud of it.



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