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India must focus on manufacturing

India entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with ASEAN in the trade of goods in the year 2009. As a result, trade between India and ASEAN nations went from $47 billion in 2008 to $80 billion in 2011. However, the South East Asian nations have made noticeable improvement in the manufacturing sector. The central government is trying to equalise it by FTA in services.

The competitive edge that the other ASEAN nations enjoy in FTA in goods can cause immense loss to our nation as job creation is only possible through manufacturing. Jobs are increasingly shrinking in our country. Poor infrastructure, rigid labour laws, red-tapism and widespread corruption are the factors hindering our manufacturers.

The world is undergoing rapid changes in the matter of trade. The developed world is contemplating regional free trade agreement involving America, European Union and the Pacific nations. The thought has moved from political ideation to plausible mode. These proposals are likely to be fructified in 2013. It is high time for India to rise quickly to the emerging economic global scenario by removing visible hurdles in the manufacturing sector.

PD SHARMA, Chandigarh

Academic excellence

PTU has certainly buckled under pressure from its affiliated colleges by allowing them to fill vacant seats by admitting students directly in the second semester (News report “To fill seats, PTU allows direct admissions in second semester”, December 25).

The new policy will only help the affiliated institutes in lowering their financial burden. No doubt, the students who have cleared compartment examinations will be able to get admission to the professional courses, but majority of them being weak in studies will find a professional course beyond their comprehension. They may find themselves being dragged into deeper waters when they face poor employability after spending the hard-earned money of their parents for 4-6 years of education.

PTU enhanced the admission capacity by granting affiliation to new colleges year after year. Today, the number of seats available far exceeds the availability of students. The infrastructure created by many affiliated colleges remained under-utilised.

In view of the continuously decreasing percentage of marks secured by the students and their repeated demands, PTU has lowered academic regulations. The expected improvement by way of healthy competition amongst colleges was not to be seen. Many graduates received paper degrees and remained under-employed.

The problem can be addressed by raising the quality of class room teaching. The affiliated institutions need to sacrifice their short-term gains and work for creating a brand name for their institutes by giving quality education and not compromising on academic output.

Prof YP GUPTA, Ludhiana

Remain vigilant

It is disgusting that even after the Delhi gang-rape case there have been continuous reports of rapes taking place in various parts of the country. It is a shame that when people have taken to protests in a massive way against the evil crime of rape, more cases are being reported every day.

The government, police and the administration should take strict action at their respective levels as soon as possible in each case reported so at to stop this dastardly crime. Also, the police should keep a check on anti-social activities rather than protect them. All of us, in the corridors of power and on the streets, need to remain vigilant to such crime all the time.


Cleaner PPSC

The court case filed by some aspirants after PPSC (Punjab Public Service commission) 2012 results came out is uncalled for. There has been a sea-change in the recruitment pattern. Yet, we fail to appreciate these small but significant steps which are in the candidates' interest.

Earlier, we never heard of the kith and kin of members of PPSC or other influential state functionaries failing the PCS exams, but this time it happened. It is a proof of the impartial and transparent recruitment that many did not succeed. The candidates have full right to go to the court for redressal of their complaints but let us give the PPSC its due credit.


Vehicle number plates

It has been a long time since the Supreme Court and the High Courts directed the states to ensure that all vehicles be provided with High Security Number Plates (HSNP). However, the new system worked in fits and starts with frequent disruptions due to non-finalisation of contracts with the outsourcing agencies. Consequently, the police has been challaning the vehicle owners for no fault of theirs.

The number plates are being fixed in the same manner as was done before with screws and can be easily removed by car lifters. So it appears to be a futile exercise in its present form. There is a need to revisit the SC directions and suitably propose a full-proof method.

Col MAHESH CHADHA (retd), via e-mail 

Improve the system

The crime rate is increasing in Punjab, and taking the help of figures to justify the government’s achievements is not going to solve the problem (editorial ‘Figuring it out’, December 22). Instead of putting up data in front of the people, which is mostly inaccurate and generalised, the Punjab government should work towards uprooting the cause of problems.

Working on the symptoms won’t cure the disease; we need to strike at the root of the problem. The father-son team in Punjab should focus on improving the system; figures will automaticlly improve.




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