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START bodes well for world peace

The signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by the two main nuclear powers — the US and Russia should be welcomed and supported by the peaceful forces of the world (editorial, “A fresh START”, April 10). The treaty will reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals by 30 per cent. Both countries together possess 95 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons. Mutual distrust and the cold war between the two created hostile conditions, which forced the two countries to stockpile weapons of mass destruction in huge quantities.

Massive expenditures on the research and production of these WMDs totally shattered the economy of Russia (then a part of the erstwhile USSR) while adversely affected that of the US. Both countries never thought of the plight of the poor, the marginalised and hungry people of the world while wasting precious wealth” on futile WMDs.

Proliferation of nuclear arms must be prevented. All types of conflicts between countries can be solved either through mutual talks or the UN. Efforts should be made to strengthen the forces of peace, prosperity, progress and justice.


Good sense

To a layman, the news-report “FIR against MLA — Issue resolved: Cong MLAs back to work” (April 9) came as a pleasant surprise bringing a wisp of fresh air to the otherwise quarrelsome and often derogatory proceedings of the parliamentary democracy in our country.

No doubt, the quintessence of a functional democracy is open debate and dispassionate discussion on issues concerning the nation, the region and the people at large. But if the all-too-frequent chaotic scenes by our law-makers both in Parliament and the state Assemblies are anything to go by, they have still many miles to go before perfecting the art of participating in such debates and discussions.

However, in this case, the good sense of compromise and understanding displayed by the members of the HP Assembly — both of the ruling party as well as the Opposition — needs to be complimented. That the truce came at the behest of mediation by the Deputy Commissioner sets a fine example, indeed.


Blame game

To the editorial “Chidambaram’s missive: States cannot pass the buck on law & order” (April 6), I would like to add that it is a pity that our society and nation are afflicted from top to bottom. The blame game culture prevails everywhere. Responsibility is a word that is paid great lip service, but seldom practiced.

To overcome the multifarious problems faced by our society we need to awaken our inner selves. We as a society and a nation need monitoring and corrective mechanisms. The irresponsible behaviour of individuals in positions of authority should be noticed, highlighted and also punished.

Col RAKESH BERRY (retd), Ludhiana

Change exam date

The written examination for the posts of the inspector grade II as per roll numbers received by the candidates has been fixed on April 18 by the Director, Food and Civil Supplies Department Punjab. The State Bank of India is also holding written test for posts of probationary officers on the same date. Thousands of candidates have applied for both the posts. Therefore, the Director Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab should postpone the date of examination to enable the candidates to appear in both the examinations.


Bad economics

The UPA-I government had waived thousands of crores of farm debt at the fag end of its term. This was bad economics. Those who were repaying the loans regularly and on time became the worst sufferers. The government can subsidise food for all BPL families. But one doubts the manner in which BPL families are identified. The deserving ones are invariably left out in their surveys. This will again eat up a big chunk of public money.

The government should change its mindset and stop populist moves. The Centre and the states should mobilise resources to improve infrastructure, employment opportunities and create a congenial environment for good governance.

R.K. MITTAL, Kapurthala

Degrees on sale

The news report, “ ‘Original research’ for PhD on sale” (April 9) should be an eye-opener for many who might be tempted to spend their hard earned money on degrees where quality of the research work is compromised. Besides, such nefarious practice will tarnish the quality of higher education.

The would-be professors who indulge in getting readymade thesis will surely take the educational standard to dogs. It is not a new phenomenon. The dubious practice has been continuing rampantly for many years.

It is not always that the original work is sold out. The students getting ‘original’ dissertation on payment is as inexcusable as the fact that copies of the same dissertation — with the same topic — are circulated repeatedly. Even Himachal Pradesh is not free from this scandalous practice as uncountable off-campus universities are flourishing and thriving in the state without any check.

Ironically, they provide M. Phil degree in science subjects without conducting any practical. Having got such degrees, many are now teaching at colleges. The so-called universities-cum-shops are run in one-room offices and guarantee everything. Offer them huge money and the degrees will be served on platter.

Until or unless these universities are checked, the Union HRD Ministry will find it difficult to guarantee quality education in the country.

Dr VINOD K. CHOPRA, Hamirpur 



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