Food security and farm growth

Sustaining the growth of farm output has to be our national priority to ensure food security and socio-economic security of our rising population (Editorial, “Ensuring food security”, June 21). For this, concerted agro-region-specific initiatives about policy, technology, infrastructure, market, input availability and information delivery, etc. and crop-specific site-suitability based management-decisions are needed.

Special emphasis is needed on market driven production, efficient post-harvest management, generation of small-farm based agro-commercial revolution and the creation of non-farm employment opportunities in the rural areas.

To tackle technology fatigue, the main challenge for research and extension agencies is to follow multidisciplinary systems approach in integrating gene/variety, soil health, water climate, pest-control and other agronomic practices and indigenous knowledge for developing and disseminating holistic, knowledge-intensive, low-cost and eco-efficient micro farm-management and precision farming technologies.

Though tools of biotechnology and genetic engineering can help in crop investment (Bt cotton, for example), there are precautionary perspectives for food crops in particular. Farming strategies should be based upon futuristic region-specific analysis of agricultural production, processing, marketing and consumption inter-relationships.

To be globally competitive, we must produce globally acceptable high quality products at globally comparable costs.

Dr M. S. BAJWA, Former Director (PAU), Mohali



Benefits of cloud seeding

Despite occasional rains, northern India continues to be hot. Dust storms with the increasing level of particulate pollution are giving the people a tough time. These reduce visibility and cause respiratory disorders. People use water to settle the flying dust. This is taxing on the ever-depleting groundwater aquifers. Owing to lax rainfall in Punjab (The Tribune, July 14), the government should go in for the latest technique of inducing artificial precipitation by dispersing chemicals like silver iodide or dry ice (that act as condensation nuclei) into the stratiform or cumuliform clouds. In technical parlance, this is called cloud seeding.

It can be done with small airplanes or rockets or even ground equipment. Several countries like China have been doing it successfully for many years and averting drought with no adverse effect on the environment.

Cloud seeding will definitely help increase the rainfall. We too should go in for it and increase the duration of the monsoon season so that the underground aquifers may be replenished.

NARESH KUMAR, Principal, St Soldier School, Noormahal

Alarming report

According to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report 2007, 77 per cent Indians say that the judiciary is corrupt. This is disturbing. The index is much higher than even Pakistan’s 55 per cent, while it is further lower in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

In India, people have great respect for the judges and the judiciary. Therefore, this sacred institution should be free from corruption. Delays breed corruption. And subordinate judiciary does not seem to be interested in cutting down delays in spite of the latest amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure.

A recent contributory factor is the treatment that second appeals receive at the High Court level. First, there is reluctance to admit second appeals. And second, after preliminary hearings are admitted after years, it takes decades for the courts to settle them finally. This has virtually made the judgements or orders at the district level final.


Politics in cricket

It is sad to see promising young cricketers giving up their hopes and ending their lives just because there is too much politics in Indian cricket these days. The case of Subhash Dixit should be an eye-opener to the BCCI. Their callous attitude won’t help cricket. This has even led to Graham Ford’s refusal to coach Team India.

ANIKET SINGH, Army School, Ambala Cantonment

Chemical Ali

I read the news item, “Chemical Ali: 20 other sentenced to hang” (June 25). Iraq is in turmoil. A number of Iraqis are being killed daily. The main reason for the war was the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Despite frantic search by the US and UK with all their expertise, no WMD was discovered.

It would have been fair and unbiased if, along with Ali’s sentencing, the authorities brought out how he got these chemical weapons and which country played this deadly game?

AZIM, Shimla

Revamp education

Our leaders, academics and policy makers should come together to revamp the education policy de novo. We have to catch up with the rest of the world. The politicians must understand that by playing petty politics in the affairs of the educational institutions, they are causing incalculable loss to the entire student community.

No one should ever be allowed to misuse the holy precincts of our temples of learning even if it entails enactment of specific legislation. In fact, there is a need to rehash the whole gamut of educational reforms. Journalists and other public-spirited persons should initiate an all-encompassing nationwide debate on the subject in right earnest.

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla

A rare tribute

In a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, the UN General Assembly has unanimously declared October 2 as International Day of Non-Violence. As many as 142 countries have adopted this resolution.

We Indian have thrown all his noble ideas into the dustbin. Thousands of people die every year in communal violence. Gandhiji’s so-called followers are bent upon looting the country. Indians have lost the moral right to celebrate Gandhiji’s birthday because, for us, his birthday means a holiday.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala



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