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

Education reform is need of the hour

I welcome the decision taken by the HRD Ministry to frame a uniform maths and science curriculum for class XI and XII and to conduct a national-level single entrance test for engineering and medicine courses. It will definitely reduce the burden on students. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal is doing a laudable job in streamlining the education system.

In fact, the syllabus should be the same for all the classes throughout the country and likewise the eligibility conditions for various classes must be the same. The HRD Ministry must take bold steps to check the mushrooming of coaching institutes. It is hoped that in the coming years India will be able to improve its education system to face the challenges of the 21st century.


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The decision is a mixed blessing. It is being argued that the common syllabus in maths and science, followed by a common entrance test throughout the country, will provide equal opportunities to all. But the idea of a level playing field should not be seen in isolation.

It is feared that the common test may lead to discrimination between students in cities and those in rural or semi-urban areas.

Ground realities have not been taken into consideration while deciding the issue.The availability of competent teachers and proper and adequate infrastructure, including well-equipped laboratories, have to be ensured before implementing the decision. The state governments should also show a strong political will to recruit competent teachers in time.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula


The changes being brought about by the HRD Minister in the education system are laudable. There should be a uniform system throughout the country. Different states not only have different syllabi but also different pattern of examination. Students should also have the liberty to choose their state language as an optional subject.

BRIJRAJ, Mississauga, Canada

CBI and courts

The Supreme Court verdict empowering higher courts to order investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) without getting the nod from the states concerned is proper and timely. Often states do not recommend a CBI enquiry for vested interests of their political rulers.

The CBI, too, quite often dances to the tunes of political rulers at the Centre.The country’s premier investigating agency also takes a U-turn on cases involving politicians. It would be best to appoint the CBI chief by consensus between the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader in the same manner as the Information Commissioner and head of the National Human Rights Commission are appointed.



It is heartening that the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of courts’ power to order a CBI probe without the consent of state governments with a rider that this should be used cautiously and sparingly.

Courts are independent and free from politics and are meant for ensuring justice and the apex court’s verdict is in the right spirit. 

B S GANESH, Bangalore

Boost Army’s morale

The editorial “Defending the nation” (Feb 17) has rightly observed that there is no scope for being stingy in taking care of the country’s defence requirements. Undeniably, the defence forces need to be modernised, especially taking into account its neighbours and the peacekeeping role it has to play at the international level.

Besides, there is an equally important need to strengthen the morale and prestige of the forces. Of late, there has been an increasing tendency of Army bashing. It is as if they are waiting for the negative news about the men in uniform. Show me an incident where the Army has not taken action against its defaulters.
The Army justice system is fast, fair and systematic.

It ensures due punishment to the culprits. We have the second largest Army in the world, which is highly disciplined, motivated and professional.

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt



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