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Not food, but vote-bank security Bill

Undoubtedly, hunger is the biggest calamity on earth. And it seems that the government wants to remove this curse from the country. That is why it has introduced the food security ordinance. But one fails to understand by which yardstick it reached the figure of 67 per cent to whom it will provide subsidised rations. Is it not a concocted figure just to launch the scheme at this time when the general elections are a few months away? We also feel no proper groundwork has been done before launching it. Has it prepared a new foolproof PDS system, unlike the previous one which was faulty and corrupt?

Moreover, the scheme will cost the exchequer 1.25 lakh crore. How and where will the government arrange this money? Will not it collect the money by levying heavy taxes on the public, particularly the middle class? Why did not it heed the SC suggestion that instead of leaving the surplus food grains to rot in the godowns as well as in the open we should distribute these among the poor? It will be no exaggeration to call it vote-bank security Bill.


Midday meal tragedy

It is really shocking that 23 children in a school in Chapra, Bihar, died and many were admitted to hospital after eating contaminated food. There cannot be two opinions that the tragedy was caused due to gross negligence of those responsible for monitoring the midday meal.

The midday meal scheme is acclaimed as a crucial welfare programme across the world which was first started in Tamil Nadu. Its aim was to increase enrolment of children in primary schools and remove their hunger and malnutrition. Sadly, besides the Bihar tragedy, at least 112 schoolchildren were taken ill after taking midday meals in Tamil Nadu on July 18. One fails to understand what is happening in this country. It seems that there is no value of the lives of poor people's children.

Such manmade tragedies cannot stop in a country where politicians and bureaucrats wake up only after a tragedy has occurred.

S K KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Landmark judgment

The Supreme Court ruling to disqualify convicted MPs and MLAs is a landmark judgment which has been hailed by most. Even some politicians have welcomed the decision, though in somewhat suppressed tones and that too under certain moral compulsions. One hopes the ruling will go a long way in cleansing the corrupt political system. Apart from the political class, the judiciary itself needs to be properly monitored. There have been instances when judges have been convicted.


Books, best friends

Books are undoubtedly man's best friends. They are always a source of great knowledge. But it pains me to see that most of today's youngsters have an aversion for books. They are more drawn to Google and Yahoo! than books. Too much dependence or the continous usage of these search engines diminishes one's memory power. So, instead of depending on these, why do not we read books? Also, I think parents can play a big role in inculcating such habits in their children. They must encourage them to read books. This will not only improve their personality, but also make them a better human being.


Medi-claim for kids

Recently, the HP Cabinet decided to allow medical claim for the children of pensioners up to the age of 25 years. This is a welcome step. But it will be a great relief if the medical claim to the children is continued till they are employed or married, ignoring the barrier of age. This will greatly help poor families in the state.


Tackling floods

Erosion on slopes, along riverbeds and riverbanks in the hills could be avoided if we construct crate bars along them. Moreover, the government must stop the construction activities along or on slopes. I request the governments in all hill states to get studs/spurs constructed at the proper places to give way to river waters and also to safeguard the slopes.

In the states of Haryana and Punjab, there are many khuds, choes and rivers which would have wreaked more havoc than in the state of Uttarakhand, had these states not constructed studs/spurs and crate bars.

B R LAMBA, Yamunanagar

Plight of technical education

This refers to the news item 'No takers likely for 15 pvt engineering colleges in state' (July 17). The plight of technical education can be gauged from the fact that only 1,500 applicants applied for 7,490 B.Tech seats available in private engineering colleges in Himachal Pradesh.

In addition, the more glaring fact is that private engineering colleges are violating the norms fixed by AICTE and allowing admission to those who have not qualified the JEE test. What is more shocking is that the state government has directed the private colleges to accept such admissions, thus making a mockery of the AICTE norms. B.Tech qualified candidates from such private institutions are being employed on a salary of just Rs 10,000 to 15,000 in big cities where it is difficult to make ends meet on this meagre salary. The need of the hour is that the government should review its policy in this regard. Or the judiciary should intervene to save the careers of thousands of students who should be enrolled for the B.Tech course only if they pass the JEE test.




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