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Quota showdown guided by petty politics

It was a diversionary tactic cloaked as commitment to Dalits that predictably ended in one of the worst shows of unparliamentary behaviour in the Rajya Sabha. When the ruling coalition decided to move the Bill to amend the Constitution to provide 22.5% reservation for SCs/STs in promotions, it was well aware of the impending pandemonium in the House.

Would the UPA's parliamentary managers care to cite a precedent of a Constitutional Amendment Bill being cleared by the Cabinet in one day and being passes the very next day? The UPA abandoned norms like pre-circulation of the Bill and having it examined by a standing committee.

Even the parties extending "outside support" to the government were not consulted is further proof of malafide intent - a cheap attempt to curry favour with the BSP, now that the backing of the SP cannot be relied upon. This attempt to gain political mileage in the garb of promoting the interests of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (ignoring the OBCs much to the SP's disconcert) is a reaffirmation of how the "caste card" is played by political parties.

JS ACHARYA, Hyderabad


My sentiments for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have changed from respect to disgust. He may be honest himself but his policies are aimed at shielding the corrupt and securing a vote bank for Congress at the cost of meritorious, deserving and hardworking people. By clearing the Bill for reservation in promotions, he has struck the last nail in the coffin.


Review time

It is no longer realistic to relate job opportunities to university degrees (editorial "Vocation time", Sept 5). No knowledgeable employer these days reckons a university degree at its face value. Formal university education's role is increasingly becoming minimal in social mobility. The economic value of a degree has been reduced to near zero.

The average waiting period of a graduate, from taking his degree to getting a job, has been stretched to the point of despair. We have reached a stage in our educational progress or stagnation, when it is imperative that we look around for alternatives to the system we have been living with.

Policy makers should give new academic dimensions to purely technical courses, just as the traditional academic courses could be enriched with vocational programmes. This is the time when National Service Programmes can be taken up as an integral part of the curriculum.



For the last 2-3 years, an increasing number of second and third tier of B-schools (business schools) are finding it difficult to fill the complete intake capacity of their MBA or PGDM batches.

Corporate sector is not providing input to the B-schools on the kind of professionals it requires which could make the hiring process easy for the recruiters.

Most of the pass-outs from these schools are selected by domestic companies, no MNC selects the students from here.

Students should regularly be taken for industrial visits during their course. Students must be imparted technical skill rather than human and conceptual skills because technical knowledge will help them at the initial stage of their career.

NIRMAL YADAV, Kurukshetra


The pilot project of the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework' is timely and praiseworthy. Here is a flexible vocational training programme which will not only cater to the industrial need for skilled personnel but also to a larger extent put a break on ever increasing unemployed youth. If this pilot project proves to be a success, it will pave a way to put energetic Indian youth to contribute to industrial growth of India.

Dr V K ANAND, Patiala

Defunct govt hospitals

The state governments come up with big schemes in the health sector, but on the ground they fail to provide even basic healthcare to the rural masses and urban poor. It is high time that the leaders of these states pay attention to providing adequate professional manpower and infrastructure to rural dispensaries and health centres to ensure timely and adequate medical aid to the marginalised sections of society. It is shocking that even after 65 years of so-called planning and development, we have failed to provide adequate and cheap health facilities to our people.

HS SANDHU, Panchkula


There is always a shortage of doctors, medicine and equipments in government hospitals, where many poor patients wait for their turn in OPDs. It is a shame that an HIV positive mother could not be attended to in a government hospital.

In the absence of attractive incentives in government jobs, young doctors start their own private clinics or prefer to work in bigger private hospitals and clinics. The common man is compelled to pay hefty amounts for minor treatment and tests. Sometimes, people also take loans for medical treatment.

K K CHAWLA, Kurukshetra

Affable Army

The civil administration fails each and every time there is internal strife like Assam riots or natural vagaries (floods, rains, earthquake), terror attacks like 26/11 or small issues like rescuing a child from a borewell. The same civil administration always looks up to the Army for help; in case of foreign invasion will the same babus and politicians come to help the Army on the ground?

Lt-Col I V S KANG (retd), Panchkula

Back to 'sahukars'

The crackdown on gold loan companies has driven an increasing number of poor borrowers across the country back to the local moneylenders.

This is despite the higher interest rates charged by these lenders and the loan often not covering the full requirement.

Moneylenders have increased lending in the past six months in areas with higher penetration of gold loan companies. After April, 2012, the RBI advised gold loan companies not to give loan above 60 per cent of the value of gold against gold pledging.

The difficulty in securing funds has been a dampener on the business plans of a number of persons both in urban and rural areas across the country.

MEENA RANI, Zirakpur



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