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UPA must tell Left to see reason

HK. Dua’s front-page editorial, “India must not go back on nuclear deal” (June 20) was timely. There is an acute power shortage and we are badly in need of nuclear fuel for our power plants. Apart from receiving plenty of nuclear fuel for our power plants, we will have access to the latest nuclear technology. We should, therefore, go ahead with the process of operationalising the nuclear deal.

Mr Dua’s call to the Centre to proceed with the deal should not go unheeded. The Left should be told in unequivocal terms that the deal is in our national interest

G. R. KALRA, Chandigarh


True, there is a sea change in the international scenario and we are in a unipolar world. But the experience with the US since the collapse of the Soviet Union makes people more apprehensive of betrayal by the Big Brother. It cared two hoots about the UN resolution and attacked Iraq on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction. Its own agency nailed the claim that Iraq was in possession of WMD. Even that didn’t convince President Bush.




In the national interest, the Left should give up its confrontationist attitude and join hands with the UPA in operationalising the nuclear deal with the US. India is reeling under acute energy shortage. As nuclear power is a vital source, we should make every effort to maximise this energy to meet our increasing needs.

There are some doubts regarding the US’ reservations about India using the nuclear energy for manufacturing nuclear weapons. In case this matter is put to vote in Parliament, the UPA government will win hands down. We know well how to defend our territorial sovereignty and integrity if and when it is in danger.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana


The Left parties are not dealing with the issue on merits mainly because of their antagonism towards the US. Had such a deal with China been on paper, they would have appreciated the same and helped the Centre sign the deal. The Leftists should not oppose this deal only because they are not in favour of India’s strategic relationship with the US.


GM crops

I am shocked to learn that a genetically modified food item, corn flakes, is being freely marketed in the country by a leading MNC without proper permission or even the knowledge of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) that regulates transgenic crops and GM foods in the country.

Reports say that proper regulation is either lacking or inadequate. Safety assurance especially for foods derived from GM crops must undergo extensive food, feed and environmental safety assessments. The authorities controlling imports of food items should ensure that the exports to this country from the developed world are not 
substituted with genetically modified food products.

We are still not aware of its ethical effects. We are still getting to know the laws to handle the safe introduction of GM crops for cultivation and products for general consumption. Countries like the US, Canada and Australia, which grow most of the world’s transgenic crops, have an established regulatory system.

N.S. PASRICHA, (Former Director, Potash Research Institute), Ludhiana

Issue in question

Reports that the Haryana School Education Board added 33 marks to the scores obtained by candidates in the annual Middle Standard examination this year to push up the pass percentage to 80 should not surprise anyone. Such exercises are undertaken to show an improvement in the quality of education.

These exercises, called “moderation”, continue unabated in Punjab without objection from any quarter, the explanation being that question papers have to be processed to maintain uniformity of standards. It is not uncommon to set a couple of too difficult questions intentionally in some subjects (at the university level) and then wait for protests from examinees to justify the grace or added grace. I wonder if any such practice exists in European or American universities.

The best way to celebrate the Year of Education (2008) by Haryana and Punjab would be to do away with the Board examinations for Classes V and VIII and focus on improving classroom performance. The crisis is in the classroom and not in the examination hall which needs to be tackled.

Prof MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar



Treading the middle path

Raji P. Shrivastava’s middle (June 28) about “middlers” and the middles made good reading. I have been reading middles for many years. It was my late father who put me on to the middle and yours truly first starts reading the newspaper from the “middle”.

Most middles have a knack of having a merry countenance but leave the reader with very vital and thought-provoking messages in the end. One misses it badly when it makes itself conspicuous by its absence (very rarely, of course) but, that too, in all its graciousness to accommodate a lengthy main article.

Doing middles is far from “a dying art form”. Rather it might prove to be a boon in the prevailing scenario when one might be on the lookout for a pleasant break for one’s frayed nerves. A good and well-written middle is to a newspaper what an ornate frame is to an ordinary picture. One hopes that middle writers will keep treading the middle path and won’t leave middles in the middle!




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