Maximising agriculture production

Agriculture needs a much higher investment for food and socio-economic security. At a time when global competition requires India to create “high productivity, high quality, commercial agro-revolution”, emerging constraints and complexities are making it difficult even to sustain increased agricultural production needed for meeting our food needs.

We have again started importing food grains. This trend must be reversed, with a firm assurance that the benefits of increased investment will flow to the farmers with no leakages. In fact, poor small farmers need greater support (technical, financial, debt relief, etc) so that “small-farm based agro-profitability revolution” is generated for achieving greater socio-economic stability in rural areas.

Under the proposed funding for region-specific agro-initiative, adequate “farming systems with specific capacity building” are needed to increase the cost-effectiveness and eco-efficient production of demand-driven consumer-acceptable fresh and processed agro-products as also ensure remunerative-market. Agro-processing and industrial complexes established in rural areas will also increase farm and non-farm rural employment and decrease rural-urban economic gaps.

However, the ultimate solution to the ever-increasing food shortages, socio-economic and all other problems lies in making efforts to control population.

Dr M. S. BAJWA, Former Director of Research, PAU,Ludhiana


PCS exam

In her letter (June 5), Harsimrat Dhillon has rightly lamented at the official delay in fixing the qualifying criterion, which normally should have been there before holding the preliminary examination, for taking the Main  examination of the Punjab Civil Service (PCS).

Perhaps the writer is not aware of the fact that most official criteria are fixed on whimsical grounds. For instance, long ago when the first batch of the UT College lecturers were regularised, the criterion, though without logic, was very simple. A line was randomly drawn at a particular number and all above that line were regularised. Incidentally, the last number to be regularised happened to be that of a close relation of the then Education Secretary.

Thus, the delay in the fixation of the said criteria to appear in the PCS final  examination would, perhaps, be because of the reason that I have mentioned. For, the criterion would most likely be fixed at a level that would include all those who are officials’ favourites. You never know if all are given a chance to appear in the final examination.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh


Surprisingly, even after the enactment of the Right to Information Act and its implementation in all public offices, candidates still complain of non-disclosure of criteria for qualifying to the PCS (Judicial) Main exam.

The Punjab Public Service Commission is statutorily duty bound to disclose all such information and procedure adopted by them in public interest. For the successful enforcement of the RTI in letter and spirit, it should be used by the aggrieved persons.

The PPSC could take the similar stand as taken by the UPSC when some candidates sought information about the scaling system, but that should not deter them from approaching the PPSC for demanding the disclosure of the said criteria.

Those taking the PCS (J) exam, who are already duly qualified advocates, ought to take a lead by effectively using the RTI, which after a long struggle, has been bestowed upon the citizens. They should exhaust all remedies available to them by the weapon of RTI.



Check population explosion

India is quite rich in natural resources, but as these have to be shared by the vast population, it is still considered a third world country. Parliament has so far made no effective law to check this problem because as in Haryana, a government employee cannot claim benefits if he has more than two children.

We appreciate this rule, but it affects a very small percentage of the population; population explosion is mainly confined to the lower strata of society. To check this problem, let us tax one who has more than two children alive after nine months of the commencement of this rule. Another approach could be to appreciate and give incentives to small families having less children.


J. P. Saunders

This refers to the controversy about J. P. Saunders’ official designation when he was shot by Bhagat Singh. In my article on Bhagat Singh (March 18), I had drawn my information from the article in the Dictionary of National Biography (Vol. I, Calcutta, 1972 p-155), written by the firebrand revolutionary Prithvi Singh Azad, who was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army of Bhagat Singh.

Prithvi Singh Azad wrote that Saunders was a Head Constable. This is incorrect. On further checking up, I find that the Government of India, Home Department, designated Saunders in 1930 as the Assistant Superintendent of Police (see Kamlesh Mohan, Militant Nationalism in the Punjab Delhi (1919-30) 1985, 153, 346, footnote, 75). I regret my error.

V. N. DATTA, New Delhi



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