Evolve criteria to determine backwardness

The Supreme Court has referred the Central law providing 27 per cent quotas for the OBCs in elite institutions like the IIMs and IITs to a larger Bench for appropriate adjudication. The issue in question is the criteria adopted by the government while enlisting a particular caste as backward caste. Yadav, a ruling and influential caste in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, is termed as Backward Caste.

Lakhs of cultivators’ families owning land (except Jats, Jat Sikhs, Rajputs and Marathas) have been included in Backward Castes category in North-western states. States like Tamil Nadu and Kerala claim to be educationally forward. But how can the majority of castes in these states be treated as Backward Castes?

The Constitution Bench is expected to examine whether the government can evolve specific norms for classification of castes before introducing reservation for admission to the IIMs and IITs.




Our parliamentarians rightly hold the view that the judiciary is usurping the exclusive domain of the executive and the legislature. The judiciary has the power to examine the constitutional validity of any piece of legislation but it cannot infringe upon the legislature’s right to enact a law. In other words, its right to review any law should not be construed as one that affects the legislature’s inherent right.

In this context, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s prescription that the founding fathers of the Constitution never thought of making any super organ merits attention. The Centre’s OBC quota plan hangs in balance following the reference of the case to the larger Bench of the Supreme Court.

HARDEEP GURU, Chandigarh


Dr B.R. Ambedkar wanted quota for a 10-year period only but not in perpetuity. Our MPs delight in the pleasure of remaining ensconced in their cosy seats from which flow immense privileges and perks without any accountability.

There are many sections in the general category as well living in abysmal poverty. However, these are kept out of the politicians’ myopic focus as they are of scant benefit to their tribe. They target vote banks for their ignoble ends. The Centre’s OBC quota plan, stayed by the Supreme Court, should be viewed against this background.

V.I.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar


Reviving canal irrigation

Punjab’s canal irrigation system has been ignored for over two decades. Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal’s promise to provide more canal water for Punjab’s farmers is laudable in this context. Farmers at the tail-ends will have to get sufficient water for farming.

During the insurgency days, they stopped using canal water during their night shifts. Slowly, the tail-enders suspended the canal water use.

Redeveloping the water channel system will be a difficult task today. However, if the government can successfully revive the old irrigation system, it will improve soil fertility, replenish the underground water level, and ease the burden on the Punjab State Electricity Board and the tubewell machinery.

Dr K.K. SHARMA, Sr. Horticulturist (retd), (PAU), Ludhiana

Travel in comfort

The food supplied in the Shatabdi Express and the Rajdhani Express trains was interesting (May 3). Good suggestions from the passengers who are at receiving end merit attention and should be put to practice.

The Indian Railways must strive for excellence in all spheres. Simple modifications can go a long way in adding efficiency and comfort.

For example, the weight card vending machines can also be programmed for making available hassle-free platform tickets. This will encourage people to buy platform tickets and thereby help raise railway earnings.

Similarly, Velcro fasteners can be provided around each bed sheet and corresponding berth to avoid its slipping and crumbling. The bed sheet’s disproportionate size can be reduced to improve its quality.

R.S. KISHTWARIA, Palampur (HP)

Conserve power

There is a hue and cry about conserving power because the requirement of power is more than the generation capacity. But the administration does not seem to be serious about taking steps to save power.

We daily see streetlights glowing even during daytime. In the evenings, streetlights are switched on at least half an hour before sunset. In the government offices and buildings, the situation is no different. A look at the newly constructed auditorium in Sector 5, Panchkula, will give an impression of Diwali celebrations every day. Will the authorities give serious thought to this problem?

Use of light sensor switches can be installed to switch on/off automatically. All officers concerned should be assigned the task of going round the cities and towns and inspect the official buildings/sites to ensure that energy is not wasted. Strict action should be taken against the defaulters.

G.K. SAINI, Panchkula



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