Faculty under stress
The article ‘The real crisis in private colleges’ (March 9) has eloquently put forth the travails of the faculty in private colleges. The faculty in these colleges are overworked, underpaid and function under enormous pressure from both the management and students. Impossible targets in terms of results and research output are set. While privatisation has increased the access to education and employment opportunities, it has also fostered the abominable “control and command” system.
The real values of education need to be brought back and the system of institutions competing for ranks to enhance their “education business” has to be reformed and changed. The workload of the faculty needs to be reduced to manageable levels, so that their research interests could be pursued with greater vigour and contribute to the expansion of knowledge. Intellectual capital must be respected and nurtured by edu-entrepreneurs. Students should not be pressured, but taught with care, compassion and understanding.
This is with reference to ‘Farmers deserve better tools’ (March 9). Though agriculture accounts for only 16 per cent of GDP, the sector is the largest provider of employment. The adoption of technologies for sustainable farming will be facilitated by a wider participatory approach involving a range of stakeholders.
These stakeholders should include farmers, the agri-food industry, consumer groups and non-government organisations with an interest in sustainable farming. Upstream and downstream sectors also influence the adoption of technologies by farmers. Public funding for agriculture should be initiated.
P Sundara Pandian
Small farmers left out
Increased farm mechanisation has made farm machinery a critical part of the ecosystem without which optimum productivity cannot be achieved.
Unfortunately, it is the small and marginalised farmers who are at the receiving end. That only 4.4 per cent of cultivator households own a tractor reflect the sorry state of affairs. The government would do well to provide funds to small farmers. Also, they must be educated on the advantages of using farm machinery.
It is a matter of concern that the Supreme Court has extended a stay on an order by a lower court quashing the write-off of AT1 bonds of YES Bank for ₹8,400 crore, where nearly 60 per cent were retail customers and of it 55 per cent senior citizens.
The irony is that SBI, which has taken over the management of YES Bank and was a party to this writing-off decision, has now further mopped up ₹3,700 crore through AT1 bonds. Are they not deceiving the public by marketing aggressively a risky portfolio to enhance capital to meet their Basel norms? Though the RBI points to the caveat “Let the buyer beware”, as it is a high-risk investment, why in the first place are they granting permission for a scheduled/nationalised bank to float such high-risk schemes where the customer has to bear the entire risk?
Even now there are a couple of nationalised banks promoting this scheme. Will the RBI take a similar decision, to write off bank deposits beyond ₹5 lakh if a bank gets liquidated?
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