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Science Congress should mean serious business

Undoubtedly, India has made tremendous progress in the field of science and technology over the years which has led to all-round development. We need to focus more on some important issues ailing our science fraternity, with regard to funds and autonomy in the field of science. However, the attitude displayed by the participating delegates in the recently held 99th Indian Science Congress at Bhubaneshwar does not augur well for science, as highlighted in the OPED article, ‘Indian Science Congress disappoints’ (January 23).

The participating delegates should have taken part in deliberations rather than visiting the pilgrim places and vying for photographs.

It appears from the report that it was more of a get-together than a forum for serious discussions which is clear from last-minute cancellation of sessions. Science does not recognise gender and dividing such important forums on such grounds should not be encouraged, rather participation of women delegates should increase. If India wants to develop fast in science and to compete with China and Japan, more funds should be allocated for scientific research, the top institutions particularly should be free from bureaucratic control and ‘catch them young’ from the school stage should be the new slogan to tap young potential.

Dr PURAN SINGH, Nilokheri


The editorial ‘Scientists censured’ (January 28) rightly asserts that ISRO has contributed a lot to Indian scientific achievements, and that if the scientists are, indeed, guilty, then the punishment is not severe enough. Admittedly, the scientists enjoy unfettered freedom, especially in the three top science streams, namely DRDO, atomic energy and space.  Being a highly sensitive sector, secrecy is a must.

There is no auditing and no parliamentary supervision over the functioning of science organisations. Democratic probity calls for proper parliamentary scrutiny. At present, the prime minister is the sole supervisory authority and no political entity is entitled to enforce audit of secret scientific activities.


Change the mindset

A placard on the rear of Punjab trucks, operating in different parts of the country, reads ‘Puttar mithrhei meiwei, Rabb sab noo dewei’, as if daughters are bitter pills. Definitely, a massive social awareness drive and multi-pronged efforts, as stated in the editorial ‘Cherish the girl child’ (January 25), are needed to make society uphold the girl child as affectionately and proudly as the male one. Since ages our socio-economic- cum- religious fabric has bound our women folk with so many restrictions and limitations. They are kept in the sacrosanct custody of parents and safeguarded from societal predators till they can be given away in marriage to take up multi-faceted responsibilities in the in-law’s family. Sons are groomed to be brave and play a lead role in the family and carry forward the family lineage. Daughters are brought up to play docile, subdued, sacrificing and supporting role for their men-folk and families.  Under such a scenario, a son-crazy mindset is the obvious outcome. Till we are able to change the daughter paradigm from a burden to an asset, no amount of punitive legislation, howsoever stringent, can really help in the long run.



Social backwardness has not gone despite 65 years of Independence. Similarly, lack of education has not been effectively addressed so far. The responsibility for these failures should start from the top and trickle down to prominent members of society. If the career prospects of women are enhanced, the respect for the girl child will get a boost. Politicians should provide more parliamentary seats to women.

Bureaucrats must ensure that all the schemes pertaining to the girl child are honestly operationalised. NGOs are also not pro-active and need to take up this campaign seriously.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Team Anna losing

Anna’s crusade against corruption that had the makings of a revolution has started to flounder.

The crusade received a near knock-out punch following Anna Hazare’s three-day Mumbai fast. Whatever was left of the crusade got dissipated owing to Anna’s absence from the scene because of his prolonged illness.

As of now it appears that Anna’s movement against corruption has lost steam. Team Anna has lost its way having run short of ideas on sustaining the movement.


Admission: Mission impossible!

As a parent, I dreamt of giving the best of education to my children in one of the reputed schools in Ludhiana. Despite my son’s good academic performance, when I went through the process of admission in all the reputed schools of the city, my dreams got shattered one by one. When the results of these so-called ‘convent’ schools were declared, my child’s name did not appear in any one of them.

It was evident from the selection that the criterion of selection was not his ability but an approach from some influential person or school management. I did not foresee all these things happening in the so-called ‘vidya mandirs’.

I had ignored my friends’ advice to use a ‘sifarish’. I had followed the path shown by my mother and teacher — ‘honesty is the best policy’. Alas, gurus of these ‘gurukuls’ failed to follow the path of honesty.




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