Nuclear deal in India’s interest

I am happy that the Left parties are satisfied with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in Parliament on the Indo-US nuclear deal. It is indeed a path-breaking agreement because it will enable India to enter the exclusive nuclear nations’ club. While the US may be faulted on many counts, in signing the treaty in question, it has travelled the extra mile to ignore Pakistan’s plea to the contrary. This gesture has historical importance which should not be lost sight of.

Of equal importance is the fact that India now needs powerful friends. We are surrounded by hostile neighbours. Even Nepal is not what it used to be for India as it has changed colours to the delight of the Chinese. In the past, our anti-US policies have hardly brought in expected dividends in the form of Muslim states’ open support to us vis-à-vis Pakistan. In such circumstances, the understanding between our Prime Minister and American President George Bush last July must be allowed to bear fruit.

All this does not constrict our choices as a sovereign nation in other areas. As was seen lately, India took on the US on the question of farm subsidy at the Doha round of talks on the WTO regime. This indicates emergence of a mature relationship between the two countries that is based upon shared principles of democracy, fight against terrorism and economic development.

Dr JAGDISH BATRA, Senior Lecturer, Hindu College, Sonepat


Corrupt system

This has reference to K.J.S. Ahluwalia’s letter “Scrap entrance tests” (July 26). The admission of children of principals, heads of departments and lecturers to various professional colleges was guaranteed through the old procedure of +2 merit, prevalent before mid-seventies. Besides other possible maneuverings, they used to prevail upon the ‘externals’ to get 99 per cent marks in practical for their kin, as against 50-60 per cent marks to many others who scored similar marks in theory.

If this malpractice was earlier confined to our academics, now it has become anybody’s game. People can now buy leaked out PMT papers every year. In short, both the systems are equally bad and both prove the dishonesty of the authorities concerned.


Pension to teachers

The only promise the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab is yet to fulfil is grant of pension to private college teachers. If it is unable to pay pension as per the Act, it may be sanctioned under some other formula.

One formula is to ask the retired teachers to deposit 40 per cent of the actual amount of Contributory Provident Fund (CPF) received by them and then grant them pension at the rate of half of the last basic pay drawn (without DA), up to the age of 75 years. This formula will suit retired teachers only and not those in service.

By granting pension (no gratuity) under this formula (or any other suitable method), the government will fulfil all the promises made in its 2002 election manifesto.


Face it squarely

The London Police’s discovery of the 10/8 plot to bomb aircraft flying over the Atlantic Ocean should make the world sit up to the horrors of the present-day living. No one has the right to kill innocent people anywhere. Islamic terrorism must be faced squarely.

The apologists for any type of terrorism must rethink their hare-brained justifications. The saner elements amongst them must assert themselves, warn the misguided that killing innocent people could not be part of any religion and save the world from misery.

R.J. KHURANA, Bhopal

Teacher’s role

I have read Achla Bhatia’s article “High expectations” (Education Tribune, July 25). The article is of immense importance to the teachers and educated masses. The teacher’s role has rightly been analysed by the writer and he deserves appreciation. I hope The Tribune will maintain this practice of publishing such research- oriented articles in future.

SAMUAL J, Amritsar Cantonment

Apt cartoon and caption

The cartoon and the caption “I promise every farmer the best Indian cricket team” (Aug 4) which portrays the Union Agriculture Minister pointedly speaking to the poor farmer truly depicts the sad state of affairs of Indian polity today. It aptly depicts the lopsided priorities of successive governments at the Centre and in the states.

The cartoon also highlights the unfortunate fact that some senior political leaders appointed as ministers, MPs and MLAs are less interested in their well-defined constitutional responsibilities. They generally find more time to look after other organisations, some of which partly or wholly aided by Centre or the states, fall in the category of office of profit for which these elected representatives were specifically debarred under the Constitution.

Taking cue from these leaders, senior bureaucrats have also jumped into the fray for grabbing important offices in various social, cultural and sports organisations. It is time conscientious citizens called upon the Centre and the states to restrain such ambitious leaders and bureaucrats and pay more time and attention to their primary responsibilities for which they are being paid by the state exchequer.

R.S. MALIK, IAS (retd), Panchkula



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