Letters to the editor dated August 20, 2020

| Updated on August 20, 2020

India interior

Apropos ‘Pivoting with the pandemic’ (August 20). The points have been well presented and the readiness of the reopening of economy is already established. Agreed, in the present situation, Mohammad must go to mountain, but all these peaks are in the metros and the top cities. In India, there are more ‘hillocks and pebbles’ (rural areas) that are still left unexplored by FMCG companies; people in these areas will better appreciate these products.

The new normal provides huge potential for such marketing activities. A lot of consumers have just shifted to small towns, and if they get the same brands that are present in the big cities and metros, demand and consumerism will sky-rocket.

KS Raghavan


Global competitiveness

This refers to ‘Two cheers for Modi’s I-Day speech’ (August 20). The Prime Minister indeed struck the right chord in his his seventh Independence Day speech, but indeed, the ground realities are not aligned with his claims. There is absolutely no harm in pitching for a self-reliant Bharat, but for this, we need major reforms, as today our companies hardly make a product that meets global standards. We will have to create clusters across the country to boost sector-specific ecosystems which can cater to both domestic and global needs. As far as the National Infrastructure Pipeline is concerned, undoubtedly it has huge potential, but then the bottlenecks need to be addressed. But Modi needs to be applauded for at least realising that there is a need to shift away from protectionism.

Bal Govind


Proceed with caution

This refers to ‘Hotels, restaurants, weekly markets allowed to reopen in Delhi’ (August 20). The reported decision of the Lieutenant Governor of National Capital Territory of Delhi to allow the opening of hotels and restaurants must have come as a major relief for the hospitality industry, as it will enable a much-needed revival and also help sustain the livelihood of many employees affected by the lockdown. Moreover, the Hotel Association of India is also stated that it is set to resume operations as per the new norms. One earnestly hopes that the capital’s hotel industry will duly honour all such commitments.

However, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s simultaneous move to allow the operations of weekly markets, though on some trial basis, may possibly serve as an open invitation for the coronavirus to spread again. Interestingly, Delhi’s Health Minister Satyender Jain on Thursday announced that the second serological survey (based on 15,000 samples collected between August 1 and 7), showed that 29.1 per cent of people in Delhi have developed antibodies against the virus. But, mind you, the WHO had earlier cautioned against the Delhi government’s plea of ‘herd immunity’.

S Kumar

New Delhi

Vaccine nationalism

The extraordinary exuberance with which several developed countries such as the US, the UK, the European Union and Japan have entered into pre-purchase agreements with potential Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers has stoked genuine fears about “vaccine nationalism” and its discernible negative fallout on the global fight against the pandemic. The WHO has rightly flagged these concerns and affirmed its commitment to ensure equitable and broad access to Covid -19 vaccine through its initiative, ‘Covax facility’. Through Covax facility, it aims to procure two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of next year for deployment and distribution in the low- and middle-income countries. However, there are several challenges. What we need at this critical juncture is not vaccine nationalism, but global collaboration.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

Welcome move

The decision of the Union Cabinet to set up a National Recruitment Agency to conduct a common eligibility test for recruitment for Central government jobs is a boon to the unemployed youth. It is also good that the scores remain intact for three years and also any number of attempts may be taken by the candidates for improvement in the scores. The online test also reduces the costs of the candidates.


Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh

Published on August 20, 2020

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