L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Ministers have to be answerable

The editorial “Casual by nature” (Jan 12) brought out very clearly the casual approach of two Union Cabinet Ministers, Transport Minister T R Baalu and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora. Their careless attitude towards the issues which had caused colossal financial losses to the nation and utmost misery to the common man cannot be condoned.

It is shocking that the two ministers couldn’t care less. Surely, they need to be pulled up for being highly irresponsible about such paramount concerns.

In the corporate sector, there are clear instructions that all directors must remain in station on the day of the Board of Director’s meeting and must also attend the same. Companies cannot be run without total commitment and participation of the top management. The same applies to the government.


Still a mirage

The proposed Women’s Reservation Bill that envisages 33 per cent reservation for women in both Houses of Parliament and State Assemblies has once again proved abortive. Objections, such as “quota within quota” raised by some political parties proved to be a spoilsport. Time left with both Houses of Parliament is very short. So in all likelihood, it stands stalled till the new Lok Sabha is constituted.

Mr E.M. Sudarshana Natchiappan, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee, has disclosed that the committee has been extended for the third time to complete its task of scrutinising the Women’s Reservation Bill.

It also came to be known that efforts were on to hammer out a compromise formula acceptable to all. That is why deliberations were on with all the Chief Ministers for its smooth passing by State Assemblies and the leaders of all major political parties. In a country where female foeticide is rampant, the woman empowering bill remains a distant dream.

O P COUSHIK, former principal, Haryana government college cadre, Kurukshetra

Either road or toll tax

The editorial “On wrong path” (Jan 8) was apt and I agree that strikers do hold us to ransom. However, I feel that we pay for the roads when we pay road tax, collected at the time of purchase and registration of vehicles. I personally think that toll tax is another indication of our acceptance of government inefficiency. The governments in India have shirked away from their responsibility as far as development and maintenance of infrastructure is concerned.

We should either have road tax or toll tax. Besides, we must ensure proper and universal collection of tax from road users, including unregistered vehicles, so-called farmers’ vehicles and all the VIP vehicles especially when used for personal use.

DR ADITYA GARG, Manchester, UK

Real education

The National Knowledge Commission has recommended expansion of the knowledge empire by increasing the number of universities across the country to 1500. But it will not transform the educational scene of the nation.

If education is a tool for human prosperity, better living attitudes, better understanding and humane perspective, our education system has only marginally succeeded in its mission.  Now, technical and professional courses have taken centrestage pushing arts and pure sciences into periphery.

We forget that arts and pure sciences are the theoretical and the philosophising part of the education system, whereas technical and professional studies are, like hands and legs, the performing or the operating parts.

Now, the emphasis is on the operative systems, while theorising and philosophical aspects have slipped into obscurity. 

By shifting the focus from arts and pure sciences, we have also drawn the curtains on a very important segment of education that is philosophy. We should not forget that knowledge without wisdom and education without philosophy are meaningless.

DR J S ANAND, Principal, DAV College, Bathinda

Lawless UP

UP is hell bent upon acquiring the dubious honour of a lawless state.  Its politicians, including the Chief Minister, are busy handling trivial issues like putting up statues and organising birthdays.

The Noida rape has indeed shamed the entire nation. The Centre should not remain merely a spectator and endeavour to provide security and justice to the common man.

B K Chaudhari, Worcestershire, UK

Is organic farming viable?

A paper on organic farming by the Punjab State Farmer’s Commission has stimulated a strong debate on its viability. The beneficial effects of organic manures are well known. Prior to 1960, organic manures were the main source of plant nutrients and the foodgrain production was quite low.

Introduction of high yielding varieties resulted in enhanced foodgrain production. But it necessitated higher nutrient input as the varieties had high nutrient requirement.

It is common knowledge that the nutrients supplied through organic manures have to be first transformed into inorganic form, that is as fertilizer, for absorption by the plants. There is not a single report of ill-effect of fertilisers on soil, when applied in right dose based on soil test.

There is a need for crop-based experimentation on crop response to organic manures, as not all crops respond alike. For this, the projects already running at PAU need to be strengthened.

Scientists and organic farmers can arrive at a consensus on organic farming’s viability on a large scale. Integrated nutrient management, however, takes care of both quality and quantity for food security.

DR GULSHAN SINGH BAHL, Soil scientist (retd), PAU, Ludhiana



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