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

Revert to old system for pensioners’ benefit

Pensioners are required to annually submit “life-certificate” to the district treasury authorities in the month of July. Under the practice prevailing earlier, the pensioners submitted their life-certificate through the branch manager of the bank from where they drew their pension, for onward transmission to the treasury authorities. The system worked fairly well.

However, under the new system, the pensioners are required to submit the life-certificate in person directly to the treasury authorities. This obviously inflicts avoidable hardships on the pensioners. We appeal to the authorities concerned to kindly revert to the previous system in the larger interest of the aged pensioners. Don’t the senior citizens deserve to be treated with sympathy and compassion in the evening of their life, pray?

TARA CHAND,Ambota (Una)

Hospital sans care

On Monday, the Vice-Chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, was shot at from close range and seriously injured by an unknown assailant. He was bleeding profusely. When he was taken to the Civil Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib, no doctor was found on duty. This is the state of affairs in the Health Department and the government hospitals. Either the doctors are unavailable or the required medicines are not available in the hospital concerned.

Whenever there is an emergency case, the costly medicines are not available in these hospitals. If the Vice-Chancellor had to face this situation, one wonders what would happen to a common man. Are the authorities listening?


‘Seating’ woes

I found the “seating” drama created by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi quite unnecessary (Rly Minister fights ‘seating’ battle; wins, August 4). The matter hardly required the intervention of the Prime Minister, who already has so many difficult issues to deal with. It only shows the kind of seriousness with which our representatives and ministers work that they are prepared to waste precious time just to sort out petty personal matters.

Shouldn’t such matters be sorted out without making so much ‘noise’? Ministers are expected to lead the country, and not fight among themselves.


Provident Fund

This refers to the report, “81,000 employers not contributing to PF”, August 4. It is appalling to read that employers across the country are increasingly defaulting on the payment of their contribution to the Provident Fund Scheme. But the government has failed to take firm action against the defaulters. Employees are being duped despite the fact that they spend their entire life working for the organisation.

Such revelations may hit the morale of workers, which has a direct bearing on their productivity. For industrial growth, welfare of employees is equally important. The quality of human resource will improve if workers are motivated. The government must act swiftly to punish the defaulters.


The armed forces

Inder Malhotra, in his article “Not a happy state of affairs” (August 3), has rightly emphasised the need to improve inter–Services relations. There is definitely a need for the Chief of Defence Staff to be the one-point contact for the Ministry of Defence. It should also be able to coordinate the efforts of the three Services.

Political leaders feel that diplomacy can take care of national security. Hence, they do not consider the armed forces as the instrument of state policy. Unless this thinking is changed, and the armed forces are considered as the mainstay of national security, we will always suffer from lack of direction in modernization and perspective planning.

So, it is time for us to change our policy of strategic restraint to one of strategic offence.  The nation, as a whole, has to stand behind the armed forces. National security is a military and not a political matter. The armed forces have to be modernized as per our military-strategic concerns, keeping in view our threat perceptions. Money spent on defence is money invested in national interest.

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt 

Scientific temper

I was delighted to read that a few students of Assumption Convent School visited the NASA Space Centre at Houston (New Horizons: Abohar school students visit NASA, August 4). In my entire teaching career before my retirement, I had seen students eager to go to science centres. These students are from everywhere. They want to learn and excel. A few years back it was not possible for schoolchildren to visit space stations. But it is good to see that there is an attempt, throughout the world, to encourage students to develop scientific temper. I congratulate all the students who got this golden opportunity to visit the NASA Space Centre.

Dr SURESH KUMAR, Chandigarh



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