Punjab’s new farm market policy timely

Professor S.S. Johl’s article “Private agriculture markets are inevitable” (June 1) is an innovative attempt to educate the farmers regarding the Reliance’s entry into Punjab’s agriculture marketing system. The concept is realistic and practicable.

The Reliance, after signing a contract with the state government, will invest Rs 6,000 crore in Punjab. Production and marketing are the twin wheels of agriculture economy and their movement at the regular speed is essential and inevitable. Otherwise, the system will collapse.

With the introduction of the contract, Punjab’s farmers will produce various vegetable crops, fruits and minor crops. The Reliance will purchase these perishable commodities on attractive and competitive prices for onward marketing in foreign countries. Facilities for sorting, grading, processing, packaging, storing, transporting and marketing, which require high investment, will be created by investing thousands of crores of rupees by Reliance. This is clearly beyond the reach of common people or ordinary businessmen.


Consequently, Punjab’s farmers will derive huge economic benefits from this. First, it will change the unbridled cropping pattern of wheat-rice rotation and thus improve soil health and conserve ground water. Secondly, with the rise in the farmers’ income, their economic lot will improve and lessen debt burden.

Thirdly, this will make crop diversification a reality. Fourthly, it will generate employment for both skilled and unskilled workers. And finally, it will lead to infrastructural development and bring a multiplier effect in operation.


Need of the hour

This refers to news-item, “No private schools near government ones” (May 25). The HP Education Department’s decision seems a little impractical but it is perhaps the need of the hour. It will especially help the students coming from rural areas. The private managements usually open their schools in the towns and cities in anticipation of an overwhelming response.

Today people prefer private schools to government schools for their wards because they have sound infrastructure, better transport facility and good administration. These schools take proper care of their children. Though HP Government schools are functioning well, a lot needs to be done to help them compete with the private schools.

The decision is a step in the right direction, but it remains to be seen to what extent it would help rural students.

Prof PARVEEN RANA,  Govt. College, Hoshiarpur

Checking AIDS menace

THIS has reference to the editorial “Shameful distinction” (June 1). It is a matter of great concern that 5.7 million Indians are HIV positive. Nations which have controlled the spread of AIDS have strong primary health services and I agree that the public health system in India is not working properly to check this menace. Most NGOs working in the field are only after the government grants. Many people have adopted AIDS awareness programme, but are unable to reach the masses at the grassroot level. Actually, we need real social workers who can work with the public.

The 20-lakh-member National Service Scheme (NSS) has done good work in spreading AIDS awareness among the students. However, the planners have no idea about the social conditions prevailing in different states. They prepare action plans without assessing the ground realities. Meetings and seminars are organised at hill stations. As a former NSS functionary, I am confident that NSS volunteers have the requisite capability to go to the masses, if properly trained and given the right leadership.



HP experiment

This has reference to the news-item, “Exclusive police teams to investigate crime cases” (May 31). The correct name of the incumbent IG (Law and order), Himachal Pradesh, is Satya Pal Kaushal and not Sat Pal “Kochar”. The outcome of the new experiment vis-à-vis the state police would be eagerly awaited. We hope that the experiment in question will click and help deliver the goods.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Kashmir imbroglio

This has reference to the news-item, “Nehru blocked Kashmir settlement: study” (June 1). It does not give full facts of the case and has ignored the reasons for India rejecting the US and the UK proposal about the solution of the Kashmir problem.

In 1962, India was in a difficult position. Taking advantage of India’s border conflict with China, Pakistan wanted to grab Kashmir by force. Both the US and the UK urged Pakistan to desist from this course while Pakistan asked them to help solve the Kashmir problem.

In 1963, the US and the UK had proposed that the Kashmir Valley should be divided along the Jhelum river while Jammu and Ladakh be retained in India. The US wanted India to continue its fight with China if it wanted any military help from the US.

Nehru was emotional and sensitive but not a novice in politics. Whether Pakistan received the proposal before India got the same could not have been the reason for rejection of the proposal. Actually, India did not want to hand over the major portion of Kashmir Valley to Pakistan on a platter as also fight with China.

V.P. MEHTA, Chandigarh



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