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SC verdict may make doctors accountable

Indeed, the apex court’s judgement (news report “A first: SC awards Rs 1 crore to techie”, May 15) is historic and the “first-of-its-kind” in India. The Supreme Court has asked the Hyderabad-based Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) to pay Rs 1 crore as compensation to 38-year-old Prashanth S Dhananka, an Infosys engineer, who has suffered permanent disability due to gross medical negligence.

The Bench not only observed, “His talent is wasted, He is a national property” but also rejected the NIMS plea that it had taken the patient's consent before performing surgery.

However, I wonder had the institute produced the consent letter, would the judgment have been lenient. Obtaining a consent letter from a patient or his nearest relative prior to surgery is a common practice. But the same cannot be an excuse for gross medical negligence.

The monetary compensation might be of some solace to the victim but is clearly not enough. More stringent action should be taken against criminal negligence. Still, let us hope this judgement will make medical professionals more accountable and responsible.


Poverty alleviation

The editorial “The poor of India” (May 14) should provide food for thought to the future government. I wonder how we can address this issue when many of our politicians are busy looking after themselves. They have made hefty investments and have huge bank balances, accumulated at the cost of the country and the poor. Their greed has impeded the country’s overall development.

India is growing and so are its poor. Uplifting the poor is an issue that requires an honest implementation of policies. It seems India’s economic growth is for the rich and has not trickled down to the poor. The disparities between the rich and the poor have only increased. Poverty alleviation must be given top priority.

DR SANJIV GUPTA Perth, Australia

Overused secular card

Secularism has been overused to divide the polity and society. On the one hand joining hands with communal outfits can be called perfectly secular; on the other hand a simple handshake between the two chief ministers is dubbed otherwise. Let us see how long the secular glue can hold the new formations together.


Protect hills

The landmark decision of the Supreme Court ordering suspension of mining in the Aravalli hills is laudable. Hopefully, soon the apex court will direct the miners to stop mining in all hills. It is the fundamental duty of the pillars of democracy, especially the judiciary, to not only make sincere efforts but also join hands to save the environment. It is the duty of all of us not only to protect the environment but also to make it more beautiful.


Learning should be stress-free

It is indeed good news (editorial “Stress-free learning”, May15) that from the new academic session, the students of Panjab University will have access to their evaluated answer-sheets. Such a measure deserves to be welcomed. Now it is the turn of teachers to feel “evaluation” stress. A large number of teachers do not take their evaluation work seriously.

Our examination system requires a complete overhaul. Suitable alternatives have to be found to the annual examination system. Yes, emphasis has to shift from rote learning to problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills. Right beginnings have already been made. We should strengthen internal assessment, introduce interesting subjects and adopt the grading system.

The provision for improvement in grades will make students’ life less stressful. Actually students should enjoy learning. We must understand the difference between competition and competence. The purpose of education is to create competent individuals with wisdom, knowledge and good communication skills.


Milk scam

I was shocked that the officials of the Verka milk plant are allegedly involved in a milk scam. It is a very serious matter. It is reprehensible that some black sheep are allegedly involved in illegal acts such as pilfering and adulteration of milk. Perhaps, the judiciary should intervene and punish the guilty. People should come together and pressurise the government to mete out exemplary punishment to those involved in the scam.




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