English a must for becoming a global citizen

The editorial “Advantage India” (Jan 18) rightly emphasises the need to introduce English in all schools across the country in the interest of the students, their own careers and the country. Every Indian must learn English today to become a truly global citizen.

The world is looking at India as the most potential emerging future market in the 21st Century. If India wants to become a world leader, its citizens should have command over this international language.

Only then, India could play a crucial role in the world affairs befitting its size and stature. All arguments against the introduction of English from Class I must be rejected if India has to develop at a faster rate.

It can be rightly argued that some countries have become world powers through their own national languages. But we can ignore English only at India’s peril.

S.K. GOEL, Shimla


The editorial examines the issue in question in the right perspective. If we give importance to the learning of English, we are doing no injustice to our mother-tongue. Mother-tongue is something to be proud of but we must give due importance to English as it is an international language.

The argument that children find it tough to learn English from Class I is flawed as in the public schools they study it right from pre-nursery or LKG level quite successfully. A well-read person with good command over English always has an edge over others.

In government schools, English must be taught from Class I irrespective of the child’s social strata. There should be well qualified teachers who are capable of providing the children a firm foundation in the language. It is widely acknowledged that students having a good base of English at the school level perform better in higher classes.



Review fee hike proposal

From the next academic year, the students’ college fee could double or even triple. Based on the recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission, the Planning Commission is likely to suggest an increase in fee for higher education to Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

This is expected to happen before the Union Budget 2007-08. Consequently, it would make education an exclusive preserve of the rich. Of course, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has his own justification for this when the present fee covers just 5 per cent of the cost of education. But who is going to suffer by this?

The proposed hike in education fee is wholly unjustified as it will put graduate and post-graduate education out of the reach of many sections. There is need for a review of the proposed fee hike.


Pangs of growth

Gurgaon town is growing by leaps and bounds. Presently, it consists of 56 sectors. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has planned 51 additional sectors by 2021 in the Master Plan touching IMT Manesar.

Then comes the realm of Special Economic Zones — 600 acres by Orient Craft, 10,000 acres by HSIDC, 25,000 acres by Reliance Industries Limited, 20,000 acres by DLF and 5,000 acres by Raheza Group. Many more players may join the bandwagon by 2021. HUDA is also planning the expansion of Dharuhera complex from the other end. By 2021, Gurgaon town would become a monstrous city of 400 sectors!

With the existing drainage system, Gurgaon cannot bear even a single 50 mm rainfall of two hours. Environmental and ecological problems will further compound the sustainable issues. Will the Haryana government and NCR authorities realise the gravity of the situation and apply a mid-course correction expeditiously?

RAM NIWAS MALIK, Engineer-in-Chief (retd),Panckhula

Give them their due

The defence services’ demand for representation in the pay commissions and de-linking of their pay scales from those of civil services has always fallen on deaf ears. It is a pity that a soldier gets lesser pay than even a peon though the former serves in snow, desert, rain, forest and against all heavy odds than the latter.

Most soldiers retire around 35-37 years of age after which they have to fend for themselves. There is no system to provide them an alternative career to eke out a living.

The shabby treatment to the soldiers who have given their best to the country is a national shame. We need to restore pride and social status of the soldier, serving and retired. Conditions must be created to help soldier live with dignity.

Lt-Col BHAGWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali



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