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

Nexus of govt, millers a cause for concern

In the editorial “Happy stealing” (Oct 8), the question posed is whether the Centre and state governments are inclined to carry on with the messy system of procurement, storage, payments and milling of paddy wherein stocks worth crores go missing every year, or do they want to take corrective measures.

The system of procurement of foodgrains can be improved and made fool-proof against any embezzlement if the state government shows sincerity in its efforts. Paddy ought to be stored by government procurement agencies in their own custody by hiring space, if need be, like the FCI which secures paddy in its own storage facilities. It need not be given directly to the millers.

The milling policy needs to be amended to this effect. Before lifting paddy, the millers must deposit samples of rice matching the intended quality and the existing directions need to be adhered to meticulously. The present policy of joint custody with the mills suffers from legal infirmities and gives the millers loopholes to embezzle and escape on the plea that the paddy is in joint custody. Once the officials have been chargesheeted or their names mentioned in FIRs, again the miller takes advantage of the present policy stating that there is an arbitration clause and the case not be registered against him but dealt with under the arbitration clause. He often succeeds in managing to stop an FIR against him. Even if the FIR is registered, the ultimate fate is punishment and there is no recovery of the amount lost. Payment to farmers should be made directly through cheques. The government should stop favouring the defaulting millers, avoid interference in the way of paddy procurement and eliminate the institution of commission agents, if it really means business.


Tell them you care!

The strength you need to survive an ordeal comes only from your being positive and having faith in God (news report, “Woman undergoes surgery for cancer at 78, discharged”, Chandigarh Tribune, September 19). Fortunately, I am the 78-yr-old woman who has survived this apocalyptic medical predicament. It is the feeling that you are needed by people around you that makes you sail through.

I made up my mind to fight this painful battle and come back strong and fighting fit when my grandchild told me, “I am going to Amritsar to pray for you and promise that you will come back”.

At the time I was leaving the house for hospital, my husband said in a choked voice, “I want you back and I need you!” It was then I felt that I was needed and that I have duties to perform. I want to convey a message to the younger generation to make the elders believe that they are needed and that they have your support.


Basic issue

It is disgusting to learn that 40 per cent of adolescent girls who go to schools in rural India cannot fulfil their dream of getting higher education because they drop out from schools after attaining adolescence as schools do not offer them separate women’s toilets. It is shameful that the school authorities do not take care of this serious problem as girls do not have any right to privacy (editorial “This reality stinks”, October 8).

More shameful is the fact that even after 65 years of our Independence, and even after the implementation of the Right To Education (RTE) Act, this genuine problem of the adolescent girls, separate women’s toilets, has not been addressed to by over 60 per cent of schools in India.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh


It was hard to believe the statistics mentioned in the editorial “This reality stinks”. The government is introducing various schemes from mid-day meals to free elementary education, distributing uniforms but until and unless we don’t fulfill the basic infrastructure needs, there’s no use of freebies. But till when will we keep blaming the government. A way out to cope with this problem is that political leaders, film stars, businessman and other educated sections of the society should come forward in helping the less fortunate ones through channelisation of means and efforts directed at social upliftment like getting toilets in schools.


Unintended plagiarism

It is a cause for concern that India is producing only 5,000 PhD degree holders against the requirement of 25,000 degrees. In his article “Plagiarism in research a threat to excellence” (September 9), Harender Raj Gautam has rightly proposed that there should be one all India portal to keep a check on plagiarism in research work.

A PhD student is expected to create original work to fulfill the requirements of the courses as fair evaluation can occur only when the submitted thesis reflects each student’s efforts and aptitude. The invention of Turnitin software to check people indulging in malpractices offers some reprieve.

The best way to avoid accidental plagiarism is to keep accurate notes when doing research, educate yourself on university plagiarism policies, master the procedure for citing sources and learn to paraphrase without borrowing the language or structure used in an original source.




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