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N-deal will help tackle power crisis

I agree with H. K. Dua’s front-page editorial “India’s hour” (Sept 8) that India’s nuclear and sensitive technology isolation has now ended. The Congressional approval will be a smooth affair. This deal will have far-reaching consequences for Indian economy. At present, India’s industry is crippled by chronic power shortages. The important manufacturing units are burning expensive diesel to generate electricity needed for 24-hour non-stop running of the factories. The electricity generated by diesel engines costs six to seven times the cost of power purchased from the electricity boards. The additional overhead cost makes Indian manufactures much less competitive in the global market.

America’s construction techniques are so good that if need arises, they can build a complete nuclear plant on turnkey basis within two years. This implies that by the spring of 2011, India can get its first megawatts of nuclear power.Availability of additional power is likely to accelerate India’s economic growth to upwards of 10 per cent. India’s stock market will see the bullish results within a few days of the sealing of the deal.

Monmouth Jn (NJ, USA)


It is probably about a decade before one could switch lights on and run electric trains and factories powered from one of these 21st century nuclear power plants in India. These plants will require careful site planning, selection of right and redundant equipment, design, engineering, and construction contracts to provide the most economical and efficient nuclear power generation. It should also be environmentally safe and sound for the future generations within 50 miles radius of these power plant locations.

My experience as an engineer with the first two nuclear power plants in early seventies for Duke Power Company, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, says so.  Slow and steady would surely win the race.

SHANTU SHAH, (Nuclear Power Engineer) Portland, Oregon


The editorial, “India’s hour” is very well written. It shows the Editor’s depth and understanding of the matter. In short, a well written editorial with philosophical touch when Mr Dua writes, “…India can now hold its head high in an imperfect world where power still counts”.

PRIKSHAT VERMA, Mississauga (Canada)


The Manmohan Singh government, facing heavy odds, was able to get the green signal to go ahead with the 123 nuclear deal. It has now joined the nuclear club after 34 years. This historical achievement will help India to meet the growing demand of energy requirement in an environment-friendly atmosphere.

India’s entry into the nuclear club will also help curb inflation in the country. It will provide opportunity to India to access civil nuclear technology and the much-required nuclear fuel for 14 nuclear power plants.

AVNI CHAWLA, DAV College, Chandigarh


While the political leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee surely deserves praise for the accomplishment at the NSG, this is one occasion where Indian diplomats are worthy of kudos too.

Often accused of inertia and blocking major policy initiatives, the Indian diplomats and MEA officials clearly stood out this time around for their painstaking efforts to guard against the critics in details of the final draft. Tirelessly working at sessions in Vienna which extended till late in the nights last week, as reported by media, the Indian contingent truly put in an amazing effort to get the job done. If the end of nuclear apartheid in NSG waiver marks “coming of age” of sorts for India, the hope is that it means the same for MEA bureaucracy as well.



Our euphoria over the NSG giving us a waiver in the nuclear commerce is premature and unwarranted. In reality, the credit for this feat should rather go to the US, which was pulling strings from behind for us. We were just throwing ourselves on its mercy or piggybacking on it for something we could not do on our own. We will, therefore, look foolish in overestimating our standing or clout in the world order. Even small countries like Austria and New Zealand were cocking a snook at our pleadings for support on the issue.

Anyhow as the taste of the pudding is in the eating, we should put on hold celebrations till the nuclear agreement comes into effect. The US will definitely extract its pound of flesh as and when the situation demands. Nothing in this world comes free.


Crass commercialism

Since today everything — from education to healthcare to religion — is driven by market forces, the media could not have escaped from its onslaught somewhat naturally.

The introduction or continuation of astrology columns and slots, which exploit the inherent human anxiety to know about one’s unpredictable future to the hilt, by the media is the outcome of the same commercialism. Most irritable are the TV slots, particularly those that are run by the so-called 24x7 news channels.

Not surprisingly, no TV soothsayer could predict the favourable games or the number of medals that our country would win in the Beijing Olympics. Thus, it is time these channels stopped selling these programmes that predict nothing but our weary backwardness.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh



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