Letters to the editor dated August 31, 2020

| Updated on August 31, 2020 Published on August 31, 2020

India as a toy hub

This is with reference to the news report ‘PM calls for global toy play’ (August 31). Introducing to children the right toys at the right age will go a long way in developing their mental health. Today, most children are either glued to television or video games, which have an adverse effect on their physical and mental well-being. Hence children should be encouraged to play with toys, learn various games to keep themselves active. The government should render active support to the toy industry. It should encourage entrepreneurs to manufacture toys which are user-friendly and cost-effective. With the right support from the government and good subsidies, India can manufacture world-class toys and beat others in the market.

Further, the lack of publicity has an adverse effect on toy manufacturers. Although high-quality toys are manufactured at Kondapalli in Andhra Pradesh and Sawantwadi in Maharashtra , they are not very popular across India due to lack of proper publicity and network. With proper publicity, these toys can be made popular in the Indian as well as foreign markets. Finally, companies should manufacture toys/sports equipment pertaining to various traditional Indian games to attract interest.

Veena Shenoy


Parlimentary scrutiny

This refers to ‘Start the session’ (August 31). These are unprecedented times, and some out-of-box solutions need to be worked out to restart Parliament, as rightly mentioned in the editorial. The President should call upon each House to assemble at a location where social distancing can be maintained easily. The pandemic may have brought the Budget session to an abrupt end, but now, after more than six months, both the Budget proposals and progress on the massive ₹20-lakh crore Covid relief package remain unnegotiated.

In all probability, the Covid relief package would have taken precedence over the Budget proposals, and since the economy is still in doldrums, the Opposition and the country both need to know the complete details of the government’s finances.

Bal Govind


Crop insurance

Apropos ‘Cash doles cannot replace PMFBY’ (August 31). The author aptly brings to fore the view that States should not drop the PMFBY, a viable and inclusive crop insurance scheme. Indeed, the scheme covers wide array of risks and must be improved to ensure timely settlement of claims with the help of technology. Since the claim ratio is exorbitently high, insurance companies fumble in claim settlement and make it unpopular among farmers. States which have opted out of the PMFBY and introduced their own crop assistance schemes have burnt their fingers during claim settlements. But the insurer can manage this through reinsurance arrangements. Hence the need is to strengthen the insurance scheme and drop States’ schemes, which will only be an additional financial burden to the governments at this juncture of the pandemic.

NR Nagarajan


Environmental impact

With reference to “Draft EIA 2020: Striking a middle ground” (August 31). The critical analysis of the hurdles envisaged in the EIA draft recommendations are thought-provoking and a matter of grave concern. The proposed fast-tracking of clearances and exemptions for certain projects are desirable from economic development perspective. However, if critical components in the assessment process, set as per global environmental standards, are ignored and compromised, it may lead to a disaster. Right from the Bhopal gas tragedy till the latest chemical gas leak in Vizag, violations have led to a huge loss of lives. At the very least, the policy changes proposed now should combine the clearance processes with a clearly-designed methodology to prevent such occurrences.

While it is desirable to encourage projects falling under the B2 category by giving more relaxations, the approvals should not completely overlook the impacts. New technologies like artificial intelligence should be used to make well-judged assessment of policies, though the Ministry is supported by expert committee guidance and public views on EIA issues.

Sitaram Popuri


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Published on August 31, 2020
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