DRDO must know its limitations

Since the development of the Trishul air-defence missile was inordinately delayed, INS Brahmaputra frigate was launched without SAM system. This is a serious lapse.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) stalled the import of Barak system. However, it has no compunction now in collaborating with Barak for manufacturing it in India. In the keenly competitive defence equipment market, the whistle blowers are usually the competitors who fail to get the order. The defence purchases must be properly organised in a manner that only professional persons have the final say and politicians kept out of the picture.

The fallout of this type of witch-hunting is that the politicians keep on delaying the finalisation of defence orders for the fear that once they relinquish office, the opponents will question the decision and impute motives. The sanctioned funds remain unutilised and the armed forces are denied the equipment; they pay a heavy price for procrastination by politicians.

The high altitude clothing for the soldiers are being imported. With such diverse textile product range, indigenous manufacture of such clothing should not be difficult. The DRDO should facilitate such tie-up with Indian manufacturers. It should not bite more than what it can chew and must know its limitations.


M.M. GURBAXANI, Bangalore

Emulate the Yunus model

I am happy to know that Bangladesh economist Mohammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Both Mr Yunus and the Grameen Bank have helped millions to live with dignity. This is perhaps a rare occasion when the Nobel Prize has been awarded to a person and institution that worked to generate peace, prosperity and happiness with dignity. His achievement is a source of inspiration for those who aspire to do something for the welfare of the human kind.

Mr Yunus has successfully translated theory into practice. A feat not achieved by Indian economists who have had awards heaped on them but have essentially remained theorists.

The main reason for Yunus’ success is that the beneficiaries of Bangladesh are comparatively more sincere, faithful, responsible and honest than Indians. The officials of the Union Finance Ministry, NABARD, nationalised and cooperative banks should visit Bangladesh, study the working of the Grameen Bank there and strive to emulate the model successfully in India.


A cruel joke

The family of a Param Vir Chakra awardee, who sacrificed his life fighting for the country is being paid a “majestic” pension of Rs 1,650 a month by the Jammu and Kashmir government. However, the dreaded terrorists, who surrendered, are being doled out Rs 2,000 a month! How many of these beneficiaries enjoy political patronage is  another matter.

This kind of treatment to our martyrs is a cruel joke, shameful and outrageous. In comparison, the Punjab government, in a similar case, is disbursing Rs 20,000 a month plus other amenities. Shall the Government of India intervene and direct the Jammu and Kashmir government to be humane and suitably revise the emoluments of the families of our martyrs?
We cannot compensate the martyrs’ commitment, courage and fighting spirit, but we should do some thing to help their kith and kin.

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula

Pinjore Gardens

With the recent Pinjore Heritage Festival, the famous Pinjore Gardens were on focus. It is heartening to note that Haryana Tourism, with assistance from the Union Tourism Ministry and guidance from the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI), is engaged in the conservation and revitalisation of the gardens. However, poor sanitation is a blot on this tourist place.

During a visit to these gardens with my family on my way to Shimla this summer, we had an unpleasant experience. The public conveniences were dirty and stinking. There was no water in the toilets which were swarmed by flies, giving invitation to infectious diseases. The sweepers were collecting the entry fee of Re 1 but least bothered about their upkeep.

Instead of giving the maintenance of public conveniences to private contractors, the authorities should run these facilities on BOT basis as in Delhi and elsewhere to ensure proper cleanliness and hygiene.


Medical entrance

A perusal of the CBSE’s advertisement for the All-India Pre-Medical Entrance Examination 2007 reveals that of the Canara Bank’s 177 branches, where the information bulletins and application forms are available, there is none from the three north-eastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. The prospective candidates from these far-flung areas will face problems to procure the application forms.

Also, it amounts to blatant discrimination against them. In case Canara Bank does not have any branches in the three states, a tie-up can be made with some other bank with branches there. The authorities should do the needful.

V.R. SETHI, Shimla



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