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Punjab must tidy up its economic mess

Punjab is indeed teetering on the edge of bankruptcy (article, From bad to worse: Punjab scrabbles for survival by Gobind Thukral, March 25). But what is worse is that the top leadership of the coalition is continuing to bury its head in sand. Perhaps, the government is thinking that the cure may prove politically more painful and harmful than the problem itself. It is, therefore, trying to live with the present state of affairs and even make the most of it as long as possible.

This unsavoury conclusion can easily be drawn from the fact of appointment of sundry leaders as chairmen of various boards and corporations, many of which are running at a loss. Similarly, the posts of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries are redundant and a big drain on the government exchequer. But the leaders must humour their lackeys through patronage to ensure the stability of the government. Free power and subsidies are also continuing for keeping the rural vote bank safe.

Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s occasional expression of helplessness to take radical measures because of opposition from fellow party leaders is only self-serving and meant to hide his own pusillanimity. He should either bite the bullet or say goodbye to the government to prove himself different from other self-centred leaders. His balancing act and shilly-shallying will not add to his stature any more now.

The present economic mess is not intractable provided the government has the political will and is ready to keep the state’s interests above partisan ends. But its track record on both counts has been dismal. The state will, therefore, be heading towards more serious economic problems.


Not progressive

Cupid seems to have swayed the judges of the apex court (editorial, Winds of change, March 25). It is not winds of change but a tempest of devastation and is likely to destroy the warp and weft of moral fabric and ethical values of Indian society. Let us not confuse promiscuity and immorality with progress and liberation.



The comments of the Supreme Court on pre-marital sex do not augur well for society. I am confident that the votaries of such an open society will feel utterly uncomfortable if their progeny opted for premarital sex.

With the apex court sanctifying live-in relationships, the rout of Indian cultural values would be total. With the media already denigrating the Indian ethos by churning out soaps inimical to our values, the mindset of the Indian youth has already been adversely affected.

Dr AMRIT SETHI, Bathinda


The apex court’s comments may reflect winds of change but are certainly not progressive. Ours is an ancient civilisation that endorses moral values and pre-marital sex has no place in it. This is not an orthodox view. By sanctioning premarital sex we would lead our younger generation astray.


New crops

Any crop that is to be tried for cultivation should be thoroughly researched and evaluated before it is accepted for widespread use.

The novelty of the crop should not form the basis for its adoption. Many crops like jatropha, almond, imported citrus and olive, which have been adopted in the previous years, have proved to be less successful than expected.

Dr K K SHARMA, Ludhiana

Quality of education 

The editorialMore varsities, colleges (March 26) aptly emphasised the quality of education while opening more universities and colleges across India. Moreover, maintaining the quality of education will become more crucial with the arrival of foreign universities. 

Quality education has many benefits. It makes the students employable, checks brain drain, leads to healthy competition among the institutions of learning and checks the proliferation of substandard institutes. 

Privatisation promotes education but generally at the expense of quality. By and large, private institutions are education shops selling degrees with hefty fees. Instead of 600 universities and 35,000 colleges, I think only a few good quality universities (with affiliated colleges) with their campuses around the country would do a better job. Along with developing infrastructure, quality teachers should be employed to maintain the quality of the institution. A centralised recruitment body should recruit all staff on merit. While making India more educated, one hopes quantity will not override quality.

Dr SANJIV GUPTA, Perth, Australi



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