Ex-servicemen deserve full pension

The personnel below the rank of officers are made to retire at a very young age, i.e. between 30 and 40 years to keep the armed forces young as a fighting force. From the government point of view, the idea is correct. But if this is seen from servicemen’s point of view, it is most unfair to retire him at a young age. In the prime of his life, he is left in the lurch with no suitable job to eke out a living.

It is most desirable to keep him serving in the army of other services where he was lured into and employed till thrown out. If he cannot be continued in the infantry, engineers, artillery, armour and corresponding branches in the other services, he can be absorbed into Ordnance, ASC or in the ordnance depots, ordnance factories including parachute factory, armament factory and such other numerous manufacturing installations of the three services till he retires at the age 60 years. Why should he be debarred from complete service for no fault of his?

Well, for some reason, if he cannot be made to serve till the age of 60 years, he should be given full pension to the tune as if he would have served till the age of 60 years as he did not retire voluntarily. This way, if he had served for a full tenure as applicable to any department, he would have got his full pay. In a nutshell, he must be paid full pension or for the full period of 60 years of age.

Col M.S. BEHL, Gurdaspur


Can laws alone protect women?

Domestic violence in India is almost always a hushed-up phenomenon. Women rarely open about the abuse they endure within their homes, much less seek legal recourse. Friends and relatives constantly urge the woman tocompromise and often, she also convinces herself that there is no abuse simply because there is no beating up.

Other forms of violence like verbal assault, forced sexual intercourse, emotional trauma are swept under the carpet. Till recently, these were not even included in the legal definition of the term “violence”. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, which came into effect from October 26 this year, seeks to change that. The scope of the term “domestic violence” has now been widened to include actual abuse or the threat of abuse, whether physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic. Are laws enough to guarantee a safe domestic environment for women or do we need something more? Can laws as these, albeit well meaning and wide reaching in their scope, truly empower women to come forward and fearlessly fight abuse? How can we ensure that there is no laxity in their implementation?

ZIYAULLAH KHAN, Kondhwa (Pune)

New wheat varieties

The editorial, “Crisis in agriculture” (Dec 12) observes that the new varieties of wheat are not coming up out of research institutions and the wheat and rice productivity is not picking up. In this context, it is stated that at present the most popular variety of wheat is PBW-343 released by the PAU in 1995. Thereafter, four varieties of bread and durum wheat were released by this university out of which PBW 502 is meant for cultivation in predominant ecology, namely timely sowing in irrigated areas.

This variety is superior to PBW 343 with respect to grain yield, grain quality and tolerance to Karnal Bunt. It takes 2-3 years for any variety to create an impact and PBW 502 is now occupying appreciable area of 4-5 lack ha. In PAU seed production programmes, PBW 502 and PBW 343 varieties are getting equal importance.

As regards rice, the productivity was stagnant for the last 15 years at 51-52 q/ha of paddy. However, during the last 2-3 years, the productivity has gone up to 56-59 q/ha (released during 2002-03). Keeping in view the needs of the state agriculture and conservation of natural resources, there has been greater emphasis on water saving technologies such as bed planting and use of tensiometer.

Last year, a campaign was launched for timely transplant of rice in collaboration with the State Department of Agriculture. This has, certainly, created an impact on conserving underground water resources.

Punjab can have spectacular yield increase at this level. The increase in yield is possible by way of application of cutting edge technologies such as biotechnology which requires large human resources and financial support that are not forthcoming at this stage.

Dr B.S. DHILLON, Director of Research, PAU, Ludhiana

Pension commutation

The Punjab government has very rightly restored the pension commutation formula which was scrapped during September 2003. But the restoration has been made effective from October 31, 2006, which is causing injustice to the pensioners who retired between September 2003 and October 31, 2006. These pensioners deserve a fair deal.

The government must act fast and give them their well deserved right to ensure equality amongst its own employees.




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