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Quality of research is more vital

Ramesh Gupta’s article “Improving the quality of PhD research” (Jan 4) and comments by Rajender Goyal (Jan 14), highlighted the need for streamlining and regulating research process and subsequent effective evaluation procedures by the universities and institutions conducting various research pursuits.

However, I would like to add that the writer seems to be obsessed with the need to develop such a system which would restrict the registration of the topic on which work has already been done. If authorities or people at the helm of academic affairs of various institutions handling research activities become rigid about not allowing any topic to be re-registered, this would no doubt fail the basic aim and spirit of the ‘re-search’. Various academic pursuits have clearly shown that social and economic results tend to vary with time and changing circumstances.



New research with new and better means evolves new visions, new outlooks on which fresh destinations can be targeted. Research based on fresh topics, if done only to gain or earn degree tags, to cross hurdles of point system to reach higher pay bands would surely not serve the basic objective of the research programme.

Contrary to the viewpoint expressed by the writer and supported by Mr Goyal, I am of the view that fresh research pursuits should be equally encouraged on topics on which work has already been done. The work already done with constraints and limitations of limited availability of means and limited access to information and data in comparison to the improved information technology scenario of today undoubtedly asks for fresh effort. Hence research conducted even on old topics can give better and more effective results in the changing social and economic scenario. Let the old topics be reopened and researched. Remarkable and astonishing results are bound to flow.

Research committees approving research topics should give due weightage to the effectiveness and relevance of the topic to the present-day and prospective problems confronting the nation. PhD registrations by the universities to earn better accreditation grades, writing PhD theses by the researchers just to scale the pay grade ladder, evaluating PhD theses by the ‘academic dons,’ just to unload the obligation would not serve the basic purpose of academic research.

PhD theses which do not confine themselves to the library shelves, which are helpful in evolving new line of thinking, developing new visions, exploring new paths and destinations should be encouraged, initiated and suitably rewarded.

SANJEEV TRIKHA, Associate Professor, M.M.(PG) College, Fatehabad

Terror from Pak

No useful purpose will be served in giving stern advice to Pakistan to stop exporting terrorism to India (article, “India in global reckoning: It is time for stocktaking” by S.D.Muni, Jan 15). In this regard all kinds of efforts have failed in the past. Pakistan is successfully blackmailing the US on the pretext of restraining Al Qaeda and other militants attacking the West. China’s whole-hearted support to Pakistan is also creating some problems in the region. The recent trends indicate that radical elements are gaining an upper hand with tacit backing of the army.

It is likely that their hate India, bleed India policy may continue. This may prove to be a dangerous setback for Indo-Pak peace talks. Most of the nations are interested only in enhancing their trade balance by making inroads into the Indian markets and may not seriously help India to counter Pakistan’s designs of terrorism directed against it. Infiltration of terrorists must be checked and the sleeper cells within the country, which are abetting and rendering active logistic and operational support to terrorists must be identified.

Being the largest democracy, India has to fulfil international obligations especially when we are yearning to become a global power. But priority should be given to our own strategic and economic aspirations while undertaking international responsibilities.

S C VAID, Greater Noida

Sanitary practices

Shakuntala Lavasa in her article “The price of insanitation” (Jan 13) has rightly held the unhygienic habits of our people responsible for a number of deadly diseases and dengue consequently leading to huge economic loss to society and economy. Undoubtedly, sanitation broadly includes habits like use of safe drinking water, safe disposal of human excreta, safe disposal of solid and liquid waste, personal hygiene, household cleanliness and upkeep of food articles, community and environmental cleanliness.

However, open defecation is the biggest source of contamination of water and food sources and environmental pollution. Unhygienic practices like spitting and littering at any place, not washing hands properly at critical times are serious health hazards. A well-meaning developing society cannot continuously afford the extravagance of these bad/ unhealthy practices. There is an urgent need to actively consider the need for strategy for heavy investment in the following activities to prevent economic losses on account of diseases caused due to poor sanitary conditions.

We need to create a strong cadre of social facilitators/ motivators to create awareness among the community about the hazards of open defecation and poor sanitary conditions. Intensive capacity building of key stakeholders for inducing collective community behaviour change among the communities for adoption of good sanitary practices must be initiated.

Mass media awareness campaign should popularise the good habits of personal hygiene and community cleanliness among the masses to improve personal habits. People should be sensitised about the various technical options for disposal of domestic solid waste, management of wastewater at household and community level.

PURAN SINGH, Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri

Save leopards

The reports in the media of savage killing of leopards are not new (news report, “Villagers kill leopard with lathis”, Jan 13). The lathi-happy public killed leopards for having strayed into village Kheri Gujjran in Faridabad This speaks of total inefficiency of the wildlife personnel to meet such exigencies.

The tranquilliser darts could well have done the job had the wildlife officials, acted wisely with required skill. Since the leopard population is reported to have increased beyond the capacity of their ever-shrinking natural habitat, the public and wildlife strategists should prepare an action plan.

Many times the wildlife authorities fail to save the wild animals that stray into villages and cities. There is a need for better management during such exigencies. This is possible if practical training in safe capturing of wild animals is imparted to the police and wildlife personnel during their routine course in police schools and forest/ wildlife institutions. The insensitivity of the public and the government will lead the vanishing species to extinction. Tranquillising guns should also be placed at the disposal of the police and wildlife officials for better efficiency. It is imperative that encroachment of forests should be prevented strictly.




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