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No change in services after RTS Act

The Right to Services (RTS) Act is nothing, but a political gimmick. The Act has been projected as the brainchild of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. The Act promises empowerment and good governance to the aam aadmi. It also provides services within a fixed time frame. If one, however, examines the performance of the SAD-BJP regime in its second stint, it shows that the common man is feeling cheated.

The Right to Service Commissioners are dishing out astronomical figures to pat their own backs and fooling their political masters and the aam aadmi. They have claimed that 81, 24,209 people have availed services under the Right to Service Act. The Deputy CM and commissioners should know that nearly the same number of people used to apply for these services even when there was no such Act. People used to get their jobs done through political recommendations, agents/touts or by greasing the palms of babus.

The most important question is whether there has been any change in the working style of babus and have people started getting services without recommendation or bribe after the implementation of the RTS Acts. The answer is a big no. As per claims of commissioners, just seven officers have been fined for not performing their duty. Interestingly, when there was no RTS Act, more erring babus were booked with the help of the Vigilance Department. The bitter truth is that the aam aadmi's agonies have increased manifold after the RTS Act.


Exams a must

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly has taken a right step by recommending the reintroduction of exams for Class V and Class VIII students. The Punjab Government must do the same. Reports show that without annual examinations, the quality of education is going down. Students don't work hard under the impression that they would be promoted to the next class without any evaluation. The current trend of declaring all students pass up to Class VIII is very dangerous.

The present system of evaluation will show the children educated on paper, but they won't be up to the mark on the learning scale. The Central Government must initiate immediate steps to amend the present Act. Compulsory elementary education to every child does not mean education on paper only. The standard of education must be maintained and it should be ensured that each student studies the prescribed books and learns his lessons. The best way to test it is examination.


Don't ignore hockey

The IPL-6, the cricketing extravaganza, is here. Cricket is a religion in our country. The glamour, the kind of money involved and the media coverage given to this game are phenomenal. No wonder, all other sports have taken a backseat. Hockey may be our national game, but not many in our country even know the names of hockey players. The players are feeling disheartened and it reflects in their performance. The hockey team is struggling on international platforms. It's the duty of our government not to leave these players in the lurch and pay them proper attention and provide top facilities to regain their lost confidence and position. An average IPL player is able to earn Rs 8 to 9 crore, whereas in the Hockey Premier League, the entire team shares the prize money which is around Rs 40-50 lakh. China is one of the progressive countries, which has invested hugely to promote every sport and its showing results. Chinese walk away with a maximum number of gold medals at world sporting meets. It's time we must encourage other sports, especially hockey.


News via web

Online newspapers are emerging as a new trend in the media. The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has taken a good step to start a government online newspaper, considering the huge reliance of people on the Internet for news and views. It is an effective tool to tackle the negative image of the government and will also help in disseminating news faster to people who are now armed with laptops and smartphones. It gives them freedom to watch and analyse news anytime and anywhere. The most important role of this online newspaper would be to boost the government's image on the social media platform.


Vijender case

The drug abuse case allegedly involving Vijender is getting murkier day by day. Lack of coordination among different agencies is taking its toll on the investigation. The whole episode has certainly brought a bad name to the Indian sports, which had started to show its presence in the Olympics by winning a couple of medals.

I fail to understand that how an agency, which is established and funded by the government can refuse to obey the orders of the Sports Ministry. To say that conducting an out-of-competition test would be invading a person's privacy is totally ridiculous, especially when the nation's reputation and prestige is at stake. When sports icons wear National colours, they become the country's pride. The hopes and aspirations of millions of fans rest on their shoulders. Hence, these sports icons have an added responsibility towards their country and countrymen. The investigation into the Vijender case should be expedited.


Pensioners' woes

The number of octogenarian pensioners in Himachal Pradesh is less than those in other states. Their basic pension is revised by 20 per cent when they turn 80 and they get 10 per cent more as they turn 85.

With the prices of essential goods, including food items and medicines, hitting the roof, it has become difficult for most of the pensioners in the state to meet their basic needs. A hill terrain only compounds the problems of the elderly.

So, I urge the government to grant all 85-year-olds a 40 per cent increase in the basic pension instead of 30 per cent.


No peace with Pak

With reference to the article Dealing with Pak N-weapons (March 2) by PR Chari I would like to say that Pakistan is being governed by the Army and radical fanatics who nurture strong anti-India thinking. It is providing protection to terrorists involved in attacking our cities and even Parliament. I feel that there is no use of any dialogue with that country which is the most untrustworthy, unfriendly and hostile nation. Talks won't yield any peace with Pakistan. Our approach needs to be tough while dealing with it and the government should not hesitate to slap sanctions and curb other bilateral activities with its "rogue" neighbour.




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