A watershed in politics

The much-awaited approval of the Women’s Reservation Bill will bring to an end the perennial injustice done to women, in alienation of their rights in the completely male dominated political arena in the country. However, to win the confidence and trust of the electorate, the prospective women venturing into politics should be well versed with the duties and responsibilities of the elected representatives as enshrined in the Constitution and strive to work with integrity and honesty, devoid of any personal financial gain. To ensure they become efficient administrators, they should be trained in exclusive centres on all the critical aspects by the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament and Assemblies, and supported by the senior members as visiting faculty.

Sitaram Popuri


Spillover effect of policies

This refers to ‘Global fiscal indices tell a grim story’ (September 21). In an integrated global economy, fiscal and monetary policies pursued by advanced economies have a spillover effect on middle- and low-income countries. But this fact has invariably not been given its due when monetary tightening is resorted to by developed countries. For instance, with the US dollar being a reference currency, any rate hike resorted to by the US Fed leads to flight of capital into the US, resulting in an adverse impact on exchange rates and leading to a rise in the cost of capital in developing economies.

Hence advanced economies must consider the repercussions their policy initiatives would have on other economies. Such issues need to be deliberated in international forums like G7 and G20 summits. Developing countries too need to guard themselves by diversifying their sources of capital.

Srinivasan Velamur


Potash from Canada

This refers to ‘India counting on potash supplies despite diplomatic row with Canada: Officials” (September 21). Canada has been one of the major suppliers of potash, an important crop nutrient. With relations between India and Canada taking a beating with the latest diplomatic row, it would be in India’s interest to look for an alternative source of supply. The relations between the two countries may not deteriorate to such an extent that trade between the two would be adversely effected. However, it would be better to be prepared for the worst.

Kosaraju Chandramouli


Wastewater as an asset

Pathogen surveillance is key to public health and wastewater can act as an important asset to achieve the target. Typical pathogen surveillance includes sampling of infected individuals, clinical testing, sequencing coordination of different sites and laboratories.

This type of clinical surveillance is expensive and prone to bias due disparities in public participation and frequency of testing. On the contrary, wastewater surveillance enables rapid detection of community prevalence. Wastewater represents diverse array of microbes shed from individual as well as community.

There is opportunity of building a structure of future surveillance capacity and a scientific ecosystem. Doing this will require a global surveillance network, equitable technology distribution, and data sharing to pinpoint potential outbreaks of disease. Thus wastewater provides an opportunity to identify and prepare for future pandemic threats.

Arka Goswami

Durgapur, West Bengal