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Reference to ‘Deepfake narratives’; every new technology brings along new problems because of its misuse. The Chief Election Commissioner has rightly flagged the dangers of the use of Artificial Intelligence in elections. Since the problem is not limited to India alone and poses a threat to all democracies, a solution has to be found. In the eagerness to be the first with the news, the mainstream media often fails to verify and authenticate fake news. A case in point was a video game which was peddled as live visuals of the Ukraine conflict. I do not recollect any apology made by the channel concerned.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai


Judicial independence

Refer to the article ‘Constitution as North Star’; the ongoing controversy between the Supreme Court and the Centre regarding the proposed elevation of some advocates as high court judges does not augur well for our secular and democratic republic. Since the quashing of the NJAC Act in 2015, the current Central dispensation has been criticising the Collegium system for its lack of transparency and accountability, and making constant attempts to assert the superiority of the executive over the judiciary to control higher judicial appointments for promoting its toxic political agenda. As a rebuttal, the CJI has rightly defended the basic structure of the Constitution that provides for individual freedom and judicial independence. The government and the apex court should collaboratively formulate an institutional mechanism based on recommendations of the Venkatachaliah Commission for fair judicial appointments and provide speedy delivery of justice to citizens.

DS Kang, Hoshiarpur


Judges’ appointment

Though there seems to be no suitable method that can replace the collegium system for appointing judges, the least that can be done right now is to enhance the retirement age of judges in High Courts from 62 to 65, and the Supreme Court judges from 65 to 68, considering better longevity due to improved healthcare. However, debate and deliberations must continue to find out a more democratic and expeditious system at the earliest. Timely appointment of judges in required numbers cannot be overlooked in the larger interest. Currently, people are suffering a lot due to a consistent shortage of judges.

Ravi Bhushan, Kurukshetra


Rural education

Refer to ‘Need to raise standard of education in rural India’; the pandemic has adversely affected rural education due to various reasons like non-availability of digital facilities and good teachers, and mostly uninterested parents. These issues have to be addressed urgently to improve learning outcomes. Besides, the Centre and states should work to increase public investment in the education sector to 6 per cent of the GDP and a decentralised administrative structure should be implemented. Besides, the professional development of teachers in pedagogy and technology should be placed on the reforms agenda.

S Kumar, Panchkula


Economic security

Apropos of ‘Need economic policy to cope with ageing population’; in India, the family still remains the mainstay for the elderly. Unfortunately, our country has one of the weakest social security system. Nearly half of the elderly are fully dependent on others for their economic needs. Economic independence is the key indicator of their well-being. Specialised healthcare is needed. Older people who can still work should be given alternative employment opportunities which will lead to less mental health issues. Skill training should be made compulsory after Class X so that every child is engaged in some kind of technical training along with regular studies. It will boost economic growth.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar


Bail to Ashish Mishra

Refer to ‘Supreme Court grants interim bail to Ashish Mishra for 8 weeks in Lakhimpur Kheri violence case’; it is ironical that under the very nose of the custodian of justice, conceived delayed justice is the basis of granting bail to an accused facing multiple murder charges. Generally, the bail is opposed to prevent the accused from influencing the course of justice, but in this case, the bail itself appears to be the outcome of external influence.

JAGDISH CHANDER, JALANDHAR


Drop in savings

The Centre has let down the middle class, which complains of bearing the brunt of taxes. It awaits any tweak in tax ahead of every Budget. The average Indian household savings fell to a five-year low in FY22 due to inflation. The gross financial savings of households stood at 10.8% in FY22 compared to 15.9% in 2020-21. Dipping into savings has dragged those in the lower middle class further down. Demand in the unorganised sector needs to be expanded so that the organised sector can expand faster. Steps need to be taken to tackle the slowdown by raising internal demand.

SC DHALL, ZIRAKPUR


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