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

Address insurgency urgently

There is no streamlined national policy in our country to deal with insurgents, extremists including Left Wing Extremists (LWE), terrorists and anti-national elements (Lt Gen Kamal Davar’s article ‘The Naxalite menace’, January 21). So, these anti-democratic forces operate unhindered executing violent acts. They have highly motivated members who possess crude as well as sophisticated weapons and dangerous explosives. Due to cross border linkages, there is no dearth of funds, supplies and logistics.

They are able to spread their influence in large areas where state machinery is almost non existent. Some politicians and NGOs indirectly support them. Under these circumstances, a concrete policy needs to be framed to check activities of insurgents.

The local people should be kept in the loop and local resources should be used to their advantage. Development is the key to achieve peace if it is honestly carried out. The aim should be to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and disease. Ample employment opportunities should be made available for the prosperity of the people living in remote areas so that they are not attracted to Naxalism. If government shows strong will, this problem can be brought under control.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Teachers’ evaluation

As per Pratham’s ‘annual status of education report – 2012’, after the implementation of the RTE-2009, the enrollment of students has increased but the quality of primary education has gone down (editorial ‘Removing stress of exams’, January 21). Critics hold the technique of ‘continuous and comprehensive evaluation’ (CCE) of students responsible for the downfall in the education system. They feel students and teachers have stopped taking the teaching – learning process seriously.

In fact, the absence of any external examination never makes  teachers indifferent or carefree. If they are taking the CCE casually, they are not honest towards their profession. The government must take a serious note of teachers’ performance  and put in place an institutional  mechanism to constantly monitor  their performance.

The Education Department should prepare profiles of every school, teachers and students to make necessary appraisals and take corrective measures. Involvement of all concerned is essential to make RTE a success.



In the editorial "Removing stress of exams” (January 21), it has rightly been stated that the government should take primary education with greater seriousness by putting in a system of monitoring the  performance of teachers. Viewing examination reform as the central issue in our education deflects  attention from the real issue of the quality of teaching.

We have to correct two most grievous errors we have been making in education, namely, underestimating the capacity of the learners, and the failure to insist on strict accountability on the part of all functionaries and beneficiaries of the system.


Success at all costs

From the confessions made by Lance Armstrong in an interview with TV show host Oprah Winfrey, it can be analysed that indeed his life is a cautionary tale about an unhealthy symptom of the age of individualism — the compelling need for everyone to be in complete control of their lives and environment and to secure and maintain success.

It was a free fall from the sky of fame to a rocky ground of shame for the cycling hero having won the Tour de France not once but seven times, when he was stripped of an Olympic medal the very day he confessed (news report "Life ban is like death penalty: Armstrong’, January 20). The fall was an integral part of the quest when he adopted a shortcut in using performance-enhancing drugs.

A certain fragility and transience are part of human nature. To overcome them with or without the help of crutches is always fraught with dangers. Armstrong’s doings and his nemesis have obvious lessons for those who want to win in sports and in life “at all costs”.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh



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