This refers to the article, “The importance of labour statistics” by Bender, Heining and Krishnan (October 7). The issues raised are very relevant when the entire India growth story is undergoing a churning of sorts. The inadequacy of data and the time-lag in receipt of authentic data has been adversely affecting planning across sectors. Over the last few years, all those involved in the planning process, including the RBI governor, have been raising this issue.

Labour statistics of the kind referred to in the article, if compiled and made available before the information becomes stale, would make a significant impact on the planning process.

A related issue is the inadequate attention paid to skill development in educational institutions and the abuse of skill developed at exorbitant cost to the exchequer. Thousands of candidates who pass out from engineering and management institutes are absorbed by organisations which can pay high initial salaries compared to the public sector or government organisations, and employed in jobs which need the skill level of tenth or twelfth class. If we look into the skill requirements of developing sectors and factor the findings into the prescription of alternative courses in schools and colleges, this problem can be addressed.

MG Warrier


We are living in the era of 3D printing. In the near future we can print any thing from chocolates to shirts to any mechanical tool, sitting in our homes using 3D printing. We have a very large population who will need employment and the policies of the Government should take into account these technological changes around us before moving forward in any direction.

The western world will catch up with 3D printing in a big way, if history is anything to go by. So we need to produce manpower that will cater to the local demand. Let us have educational and economic policies which will help meet that demand. Let’s not create policies for cheap exports from this country which will soon be challenged by technologies like 3D printing. Having skilled workers and no demand will be a bigger challenge than the problems we have right now. Growth is synonymous with technological developments and we need to transform ourselves if we want to get a large population out of abject poverty.

CR Arun


Monitor input costs

This refers to the editorial, “The over-recovery dividend” (October 6). Under-recovery on sales of petroleum products by the oil companies has been a headache for the Government with the price of petro products requiring frequent upward revision due to the reported under-recovery of costs on sale and any rise in prices attracting severe public criticism. One of the various factors causing under-recoveries is the price of crude oil whose price varied in the international market; the rupee falling caused the rise of import price.

Now that the price of crude has fallen significantly and the rupee strengthened, the input cost for oil companies has fallen considerably and there is a case for significant reduction in product prices. Whether the reduction is proportional to the drop in input cost is anybody’s guess.

The Government should set up an expert panel to continuously monitor the input costs versus selling prices of petro products to ensure reasonability in the selling price of petro products.

TR Anandan


Technology’s not everything

This refers to “Our schools are just getting smarter” by Shantanu Prakash (October 7). No doubt the evolution of technology has brought change and students from remote areas can access education. But these days, a majority of students lack reading and writing skills which are crucial for long range success. Not all jobs and everything depend on computers. We still need blackboards and essay writing. Parents must keep track of how their children are faring, in order to preserve our values and culture.Hence it is not correct to depend fully on digital classrooms and and forget age-old Indian traditions.

Vedula Krishna