RTI: Official mindset has to change

THE day I learnt that the Haryana government was mulling police reforms in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive, I had two unlikely visitors — one after the other — at my residence. The duo, both local police officials, informed me that the Dy SP wanted me at his office in connection with my request, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, for some information.

This was regarding my complaint repeatedly addressed to various police officers without any action and ultimately sent by the Chief Judicial Magistrate to the police station concerned for registration of a case. The unexpected summons flummoxed me, as it could do to any peace-loving senior citizen. But another reading of the RTI Act also did not make me wiser.

This has set me wondering whether the reforms forced, as it were, by the apex court, would bring any change in a psyche which is so imperious in dealing with the people and so impervious to their rights.

I.D. KAUSHIK, IAS (retd), Panipat


The enactment of the Right to Information Act 2005 is a step in the right direction. There is still a lot to do in correcting the system, specially in the government-controlled purchases and projects. All the printed documents of contract papers are one-sided and in favour of government officials.

While contractors or suppliers are subject to penalty clauses on late supply, the officials are left out from paying for any lapses on their part. Unless there is some pressure on the officials, with explicit mentioning of the quantum of punishment in the form of fine or otherwise in the tender documents, the corrupt system will move in slow pace.

P.S. BHINDER, Mohali

Punjabi teachers

The prescribed qualification for the post of Punjabi Teachers advertised by the Haryana government on July 20 is Giani (Gurmukhi script)/ BA (Hons in Punjabi) and BT/B Ed with Punjabi as teaching subject. In case the candidates having these qualifications are not available, then BA with Punjabi as an elective subject with BT/B.Ed with Punjabi as teaching subject shall be considered.

However, the requisite essential qualification for the post of Punjabi teacher advertised by the Punjab government on July 27 is graduation with Punjabi as an elective subject and B Ed with teaching of Punjabi in B.Ed. It is not understood why those who did Giani (Gurmukhi script)/ BA (Hons in Punjabi) are not preferred for the posts of Punjabi Teacher? I would request the Punjab Chief Minister to look into the matter and review the requisite qualification for the posts of Punjabi Teacher at par with Haryana.

RUNA SINGLA, Bareh (Mansa)

Blessed purity

I refer to Raj Chatterjee’s middle, “The pure one” (Oct 18). It speaks volumes about the blessed purity, of the humble Rati Ram — religious indeed in the true sense of the term which has remained stuck indelibly in his mind for over three quarters of a century!

My salutation to Rati Ram and the likes of him. Alas! We have enough religion to make us hate but not enough to make us love today. Surely, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”!


Fitness mantra for banks

BANKS have autonomy to fix lending and deposit rates as part of greater reforms. There is a thrust towards consolidation and carving out a standing to compete with foreign banks.

Banks in semi-urban and rural areas have to meet the lending targets fixed by the Centre under various schemes. However, lending under these schemes has mostly proved unproductive and banks are paying through their noses for recoveries with no government involvement. Banks incur expenses for loan recovery and dissipate the staff’s energy in unremunerative works. Consequently, the rural credit is badly hit.

Banks are forced to compromise with borrowers by allowing interest remission and loan waiver. This type of lending can well be called “compulsive lending”.

There is need to streamline the policies. The government should gear up to identify the borrowers who can generate the wherewithal from the loan component to serve their needs as also meet the installment component of the loan. Such a working cycle will help generate income.

RAJESH SARAF, Senior Bank Officer, Ferozepore City


Use of ACs

The prices of air-conditioners are falling while the income of the salaried class has increased in recent times. This has led to the proliferation of ACs in middle class homes. Many houses now boast of more than one AC unit and the trend is alarmingly on the rise.

While personal comfort of some households has increased, this has imposed a very high load on power supply which was not enough even before the advent of these power guzzlers. An AC may consume more power than 20 ceiling fans. If this trend continues unabated, power cuts will increase and even the fans will stop working.

The government should step in and curb the use of ACs in offices and residences. Perhaps a punitive tariff can be imposed on the power consumed by the ACs.

K.K. GUPTA, Chandigarh

Ineffective law

I doubt the efficacy of the new legislation on banning the child labour in the country. Child labour has been banned, but one can spot children working in dhabas, roadside shops, hotels and residences. What are the enforcement authorities doing to implement the legislation in letter and spirit?




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