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Right to reject is preferable to ‘recall’

The perception of the right to ‘recall’ being impractical is seen emanating from those who are saddled in the comfortable cushion of government patronage. The purpose of ‘right to recall’ is to develop a mechanism that facilitates the general masses to sensitise their respective representatives to their needs and demands.

Another more effective democratic tool can be the ‘right to reject’ at the time of election which will certainly make our democracy more strong, vibrant and sustainable.  The job of a legislator is not to attend the weddings or funerals as said in the editorial Right to recall legislators (February 7), but they are elected for the specific purpose of legislation. The non-parliamentary deeds of our so-called representatives have made it imperative to implement ‘right to recall’.

Dr N K RANA, Kurukshetra


The right to recall, as prevalent in certain countries, would not fit well in India’s political jigsaw puzzle. The legislators' intention is to be close to the voters (as the voters themselves desire) rather than to make laws. The fear to be recalled would strengthen their proximity to the voters. The exercise of lobbying for votes would increase for the legislators. Indian democracy is full of multiple political parties, regions within regions, various languages and many other issues which would not allow this right to be a success.

Instead, a citizens' committee fully backed by the state (like panchayats and MCs) should be formed which meets atleast thrice a year. The committee would make a report rating the accountability of the legislator 1-5 (making it public as well) and send it to the Speaker. If three consecutive reports rank below 3, it would be a signal for the legislator to be expelled and the government to declare the seat to be elected again.


Coaching the teachers

The coaching industry in India is worth $2 billion approximately. Now a teacher needs to 'coach' himself as has come to light in the editorial Coaching masters (February 8) which mentions that only 14 per cent of wannabe teachers were able to qualify the NET (National Eligibility Test).

Perhaps Wilde predicted this sorry state of affairs, when he said ---Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.

Earlier, people worked as teachers by choice and took up teaching as a mission. They were light-houses of knowledge, torch-bearers for students, fountainheads of inspiration and goldmines of wisdom.

Then, came the category of teachers by chance, which made them casual teachers.

Finally, came the teachers by compulsion. They converted this noble profession into a commercial venture.

A teacher should be a performer and a role model, as Yeats said ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lightning of a fire’.


2G scam

In the era of coalition politics, the concept of collective responsibility should be reviewed and needs to be replaced by individual accountability.

This is what Dr Manmohan Singh described as ‘compulsions of coalition politics’. In the 2G case, we have witnessed a classic example of how DMK exploited the criticality of their support to UPA II. It first cherry-picked a particular ministry followed by misuse of office for financial gains.

Lt -Col Bachittar Singh (retd), Mohali


The trial court might not have been convinced by the stark realities forwarded by Subramanian Swamy but even a layman ridicules the procedure adopted to grant licences in 2008 at 2001 prices. Indian economy has undergone a tremendous change in these 8 years. Anna Hazare had rightly stressed bringing CBI under the ambit of Lokpal. Till it is done, the country would continue to be a victim of scams, frauds and favoritism.


I-T woes

The government's decision to exempt salaried persons earning upto Rs 5 lakh, including interest from banks, from filing return was prominently reported. The decision was taken to reduce the compliance burden of as many as 85 lakh salaried tax-payers and the pensioners,

The decision has not been implemented in toto. The government circular dated June 29,2011 issued by the CBDT inter alia provides that ‘any individual whose total income in the relevant assessment year does not exceed Rs 5 lakh consisting only income chargeable to salaries, including income from other sources by way of interest from a savings account in a bank not exceeding Rs10,000 is exempt from filing return’.

HS WALIA, Mohali

Chinese model of education

When China captured the first position and India ranked second last among 73 countries in a two-hour PISA 2009 test to evaluate education systems worldwide, it presented a sorry state of education being provided in our schools.

Across the world, India is seen as an education powerhouse, based largely on the reputation of a few ‘islands’ of academic excellence such as the IITs. Scratch the glossy surface of our education system and the picture is full of imperfections.

Why is China at the top and India? We should take a leaf out of the Chinese book whose education system is a consistent blend of Confucian theories and modern concepts. China provides compulsory education to all children with special emphasis on vocational training and higher education.

In India, vocational education colleges and universities are in a shambles. There is no denying the fact that no country has transited from being poor and backward to being rich and developed without an education revolution.

We in India are busy boasting about our economic growth rate and geo-political rise, but have lost sight of the deep weakness of our society.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh



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