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The poor need practical schemes

Surinder Singla in his Oped piece, ĎLosing the race with slow decisionsí (April 6), has very correctly underlined the importance of speedy decision making at the policy formulation level in the government for quick delivery of services to the people. It will really help in cost effective implementation of projects/schemes, which in turn will help increase our GDP. However, I would like to state that along with quick decision making at the higher level, equally important is the alacrity, quickness and seriousness with which these decisions are implemented at the field-level like time-bound delivery of services such as passports/ration cards, driving licences/registration certificates and also the delivery of financial benefits to the deserving.

At the same time, delivery of these services at the field-level requires a capable and dedicated system and honest people. The people in the governance have not understood the practical difficulties being faced by the poor in getting these services. For example, the decision of payment of education scholarships to the students belonging to marginalised sections of society through electronic transfer system is good in spirit, but faulty in practice for lack of adequate infrastructure and manpower. There are hardships and wastage of precious time from opening of bank account, transfer of scholarship funds in each account from the treasury and withdrawal of money from banks located at far off places. The same is the case with the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. Therefore, while speeding up of decision-making system, the practical aspects of implementation of these decisions should also be taken care of. For this, the systems will have to be strengthened and upgraded to meet the requirement of size and quantum of work.

PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Better education

President Pranab Mukherjee has rightly underlined the need for a drastic action to reform the way education is imparted in our universities and institutions. The universities have to work towards improving the quality of education output and maintaining their academic standards. They have to press for better admission rules and regulations. In the UK, individual universities have their own separate tests for admission. We in India have been relying too heavily on results of post-school entrance examinations and minimum percentage of marks for admissions.

The expansion of higher education facilities should be planned broadly on the basis of manpower needs and employment opportunities. There is a consequent need to increase the facilities in professional courses such as agriculture, engineering and medicine.

Quality of higher education can be improved by reforming and upgrading the curricula on the principles of significance and relevance; adoption of dynamic methods of teaching and evaluation.

Higher education also has to satisfy the emerging political requirements of our democratic socialistic society. It should focus on instilling a sense of Indian identity, cultural unity and national integration.


Wake-up call for Cong

The edit, ĎEnough of pep talkí (April 5), is very timely and rightly warns Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of earnest action. The Congress should realise that if it doesnít take appropriate corrective steps now, the party would be wiped out in the coming Lok Sabha elections. When Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister for the second time in a row, people expected a lot from him. But under his regime, multiple scams have taken place. Itís high time that our Prime Minister should think of a concrete action, otherwise the electorate would not vote for him or his party. In case of a divided verdict, role of smaller parties would come into play for forming the government. Itís a dangerous trend as these parties always keep the government on tenterhooks by threatening to withdraw support if their demands are not met.

Manmohan Singh still has a year to go. Itís up to him to make this year fatal or fruitful for his party. The future of the Congress will greatly depend on how it performs this year.




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