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

Negligent clinical trials

The editorial "Untested vaccines", March 31, rightly stressed the alleged administration of HPV (Human Popiloma Virus) vaccine for the prevention of cervical cencer by an NGO. Deaths by clinical trials remain ignored as ever, which is a disregard to human life. The work for better health care cannot be encouraged at the cost of innocent and precious human lives. The check on the untested vaccines is the urgent need of the hour. Pharmaceutical companies must be made aware of their responsibility over the sale of drugs to avoid mortality. The role of NGOs too must be probed thoroughly and not excused for their negligent clinical trials.


Army drive

Announcement of ‘operation clean up’ in the Army by the newly appointed Army Chief is commendable. I hope that it doesn’t remain on paper only, as had happened in 1985 after the observations of the then Army Chief Gen. K. Sunderji about opportunism and sycophancy prevalent among Army officers to make their career. I suggest that the Ministry of Defence should extend this operation to other two sister services also.

In my opinion, the easiest solution to this menace in armed forces lies in institution of fair and transparent administration. It also includes ‘objective’ and not ‘subjective’ assessment of officers for promotions.

 Dr D.K.SAXENA, Dalhousie

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief

No more statues, please

The decision of a high-powered committee of Parliament (The Tribune, April 5) that no more statues could be installed in Parliament in future is welcome but, at the same time, they should not forget to remember the services of national leaders. They can be remembered on the first day of their joining Parliament every year instead of death and birth anniversaries. The real tribute to our statesmen will be to follow in their foot-steps for the development of India.


Right to free education

The RTE Act, 2009, which guarantees free and compulsory elementary education to the children between the age of 6 and 14 is unprecedented. Now the onus lies on the parents or guardians of the children to enroll them in a suitable neighbourhood school. The governments, local authorities and prominent members of civil society are under an obligation to sensitise every stakeholder to make the best out of this coveted opportunity. Some knotty challenges like defining, identifying and notifying the neighbourhood schools; modalities for enrolments towards a 25% quota in private unaided schools (specifically considering that the screening test in any form is forbidden); furnishing of infrastructure; skepticism about the replacement of the admission criterion of ‘skill-appropriate class’ with ‘age-appropriate class’; repercussions of opening admissions round the year, etc, need to be addressed immediately after eliciting the views of all stakeholders. However, going beyond the realm of the said law, the moot point is to bring home the realisation about the wholesome impact of the ‘holistic education’ in the life of a human being.



This refers to various interesting issues raised by the article, ‘Finally, the right to education’ in your issue dated April 5. Two major hurdles are: ‘matching up to infrastructural requirements’ and ‘battling the mindset of the targeted receiving masses as well as of delivery staff – both teachers and support staff’.

A delivery mechanism needs to be put in place for cost effective utilisation of the meagre resources available for this stupendous task.

As pointed out, it is not very important to cover only a large number of children but also ensuring quality of education. As the word ‘education’ implies, it should not restrict itself by imparting literacy, but aim at turning them into empowered members of society along with strengthening their moral fibre.

The spirit behind the RTI and now RTE (right to education), and the ongoing efforts to put in place the Food Security Bill and the Women’s Reservation Bill are laudable. But mere spirit and good intentions are useless unless translated into concrete ground realities.

Col. RAKESH BERRY(Retd), Ludhiana.

The age of retirement

In its tenure of two years, the Punjab government has done one good thing by not extending the age limit of its employees to 60 years. The subject of math is a tiresome one. It was Manpreet Singh Badal, the former Finance Minister, who was able to make the Jathedars understand that the government will be at a great loss if it had to extend the age of retirement. The amount paid to these employees as salary, allowances and the retirement benefits after two years will be far greater than the amount the government will be saving by withholding their retirement benefits for two years.

During the last decade or so there has been the least growth in job opportunities and as such unemployment is growing in the state. Seeing the state of affairs, it will not be bad if the retirement age is brought down to 50 years and beyond this extension is given only in exceptional cases.


Who is a senior citizen?

There is a question mark on the age of a senior citizen. For Railway Department a man of 60 is a senior citizen. Contrary to this, the Department of Income Tax considers that a man of 65 is a senior citizen, but the P.G.I, Chandigarh, differs with these two versions. For them only a man of 70 is a senior citizen. We draw the attention of the Government of India to remove this confusion and frame a uniform policy so that senior citizens do not suffer due to lack of clarity which involves millions of persons all over the country.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |