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We need to make RTE a success

Aditi Tandon’s article “Finally, the right to education” (April 5) rightly states that until “systems” are created, the RTE would remain a dream. The implementation of the RTE is a big challenge before the Centre, states and the local administration. Parents, teachers and community leaders need to be motivated and involved to convert the RTE into reality. The task is gigantic but not impossible.

It seems the UPA government is serious and intends to bring and retain every child in the 6-14 year age group in a neighbourhood school to provide him or her free and compulsory education. All the schools will have necessary infrastructure and competent teachers. The school management committees will be constituted to involve parents and local authorities to formulate and implement education plans.

It is hoped that the learning process will keep the students motivated and involved. Private schools will have to keep 25 per cent seats reserved for poor and disadvantaged students.

The Centre and the states will share the financial burden in the ratio of 55: 45.

States should set up institutional mechanisms to spend, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the RTE. Taking care of pre-school education (for children below 6 years) and post- elementary education (for children above 14 years) should be the next agenda of the Centre. There is need to increase the budget spending on education.



It would not be easy to make the poor understand the Right to Education. They would rather do petty jobs to earn money than exercise their right to education.

Besides, shortage of schools and teachers will be an obstacle in accomplishing the mammoth task of the RTE. If Assam alone needs Rs 4,000 crore for the implementation of the RTE, imagine the requirement of India. No doubt it is a right step but we must equip ourselves with sufficient infrastructure and manpower.

KAILASH GARG, Chandigarh


The RTE Act is a landmark achievement. Still, there is a long way to go as there is no infrastructure for fulfilling the goal. Besides, the government will have to educate the parents and make them realise the value of education. Political will is needed to achieve the ambitious right to education. If implemented properly this will empower the youth and hence lead to the development of the nation.

GEETIKA, Kaithal

Fight social evils

The middle “Hidden world”(April 2) by Ravia Gupta was thought provoking. The writer has rightly elucidated that today, despite being educated and well-informed, we ignore social evils and take no action. According to Robert Browning, “Ignorance is not innocence but sin”.

Doctors who are highly educated continue to conduct sex determination tests despite knowing that it is immoral and illegal. Besides, affluent families who understand that child labour is against the law employ small children as servants. Women are still harassed by in-laws for dowry. Let us eradicate social evils and take suitable action against them.


Anomalies in pension benefits

Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd) has aptly brought out the disparities between pensionary benefits of a soldier and his civilian counterpart, in his article “Raw deal for veterans” (March 27). I would like to add that in addition to the X factor, the conditions for grant of pensionary benefits in respect of a soldier are more stringent.

Unauthorised absence for more than seven days by a soldier is treated as desertion, which causes a break in service. For counting the service prior to such desertion towards pension, a soldier has to put in a specified period of good conduct service.

He is normally not entitled to pension if his retirement falls before completion of the requisite good conduct service. There is no such condition for grant of pension to a civilian employee.

Further, if a soldier dies in harness during unauthorised absence or overstay over leave, his next of kin is denied pensionary benefit, as he is treated to have died during desertion. On the other hand, under similar circumstances, the next of kin of a civilian employee gets pensionary benefits in normal course besides compensatory employment.

Therefore, there is no justification in linking the demand of the defence personnel for OROP to other services.




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