US debt burden

This refers to ‘US debt downgrade, long overdue’ (August 25). The fact that the debt-GDP ratio of the US has consistently exceeded 100 per cent since 2013 implies that it was a ‘ticking bomb’ bound to explode any time. Much of US’ debt is absorbed by other countries in the form of treasury and mortgage papers. The strength of the dollar is not on account of domestic economic factors but also due to support extended by other countries. Imposition of sanctions by the US has forced countries to seek alternatives, putting the dollar in jeopardy. It is time for the US to ponder over its actions to put the economy back on its rails.

Srinivasan Velamur


Food inflation

This refers to ‘Data Focus’ (August 25) on food inflation. As far as the common man is concerned, food inflation is a key parameter which has a bearing on his well-being.

The government’s WPI/CPI data often does not reflect the cost of living issues faced by the common man. Data should provide insights for policymakers for chalking future course of action.

Roy Markose


A colossus in his field

An internationally renowned expert in the field of statistics, CR Rao, who passed away in the US at the age of 102, had a memorable stint at the Indian Statistical Institute where he spent four decades of his illustrious career. A reluctant entrant to the field, he not only proved to be a statistician par excellence but also made his mark as a mathematician. A recipient of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, Rao mentored several young statisticians who later went on to carve their own niches in the field.

CV Aravind


Lend cautiously

This has reference to ‘Funds crunch: Banks, NBFCs rush to the money market’ (August 25). The demand for funds and the resultant increase in borrowings is a warning signal for lenders. The lending pressure is likely to induce banks and finance companies to relax their lending norms. Such a pattern was observed on earlier occasions also, which led to huge NPAs.

The economy has changed and big-ticket loans are vulnerable, and hence caution should be exercised while lending.

M Raghuraman


AI in education

This refers to ‘Use AI to fan the flame of learning’ (August 25). While it is neither good nor desirable to ban the use of LLMs and generative AI tools in educational institutions for fear of plagiarism, it is necessary to create academic structures for their “ethical and responsible” use.

A publication like Elsevier, allowing authors to use AI “to improve the language and readability of their paper” is quite different from allowing use of AI tools by students for their academic work. Allowing use of AI outright without any guardrails may encourage students to depend more and more on AI than on their own critical faculties.

Kosaraju Chandramouli


Container manufacturing

Apropos ‘Shipping Ministry mulls ₹11,000-cr PLI for box manufacture’ (August 25), although belated, will provide a much-needed boost to exports. While providing incentives for the manufacture of containers is welcome, the amount earmarked may not be sufficient since India plans to dominate trade in the South Asian region.

Rajiv Magal

Halekere Village. Karnataka