Letters to the editor dated October 15, 2020

| Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

Trade with Iran

This refers to ‘Depleting balance in rupee-rial account’ (October 15). It is unfortunate that the US sanctions on Iran have come in the way of India’s exports to Iran. It has come at a time when the Covid pandemic has taken a toll of our economy. India depends upon Iran for its energy needs and at one point in time oil imports from that country constituted a whopping 52 per cent of total crude oil imports.

Though India maintains cordial relationship with Iran, Washington’s sanctions on Iran have come in the way of doing trade with the country. It is not only Iran, but India had to stop importing oil from Venezuela, another important oil-producer, due to US sanctions on that country. To ensure that India did not attract OFAC sanctions, it had opened rupee account with UCO Bank and IDBI Bank to settle payment issues with Iran. Even that has come under cloud now. The UN and the European Union should find a way out in ensuring that developing countries are not affected due to sanctions imposed by one country against another which is bilateral in nature.

Srinivasan Velamur


AI in healthcare

This refers to ‘For healthcare, AI is what the doctor ordered’ (October 15). Artificial Intelligence is making quick inroads in most of the sectors in our country and helping our cause of making life more convenient.

As far as healthcare is concerned, technology has always had a great role to play in it and with increased acceptance from patients, it has spread its reach.

With massive data at their disposal AI algorithms can surely help senior citizens and old patients and their families about future course of action. During the last six months or so virtual care has been accepted by hordes of patients due to the pandemic and now as we all keep saying that once this pandemic is over we may have more virtual care at our doorstep.

Insurance companies, being critical stakeholders, need to align with hospitals and strengthen their IT infrastructure to provide cutting-edge technological service to its customers in future.

Bal Govind



Securing cheques

Apropos ‘Not so Positive Pay Plan’ (October 15), the new pay system indeed protects against cheque fraud through tampering and making material alterations. When the cheque is for a bigger amount, some customers give banks the details of the cheque, such as the amount, name of the drawee, cheque number, etc., to ensure payment to the right person and protect against themselves against fraud. The Positive Pay plan legalises such protection measures and that too for cheques above ₹50,000.

Of course, the cheque must be paid unconditionally on demand as per the Negotiable Instruments Act, but pragmatic precautions to avoid frauds cannot be set aside. Yet, it is noteworthy to seek online avenues also for payment of huge sums by banks.

NR Nagarajan


Trolling an ad

No one can now say that online trolling is ineffectual. Things have now come to such a pass that a promo video made for the promotion of religious harmony (and of course for the sale of gold jewellery) cannot be aired without the prior approval of trolls. The ad, titled “Ekatvam” and subtitled “The beauty of oneness”, was a visual treat in celebration of inter-faith love and marriage; its whole object was to bring people of different religious persuasions together in a spirit of common humanity. The right-wing backlash against the 43-second ad on social media is symptomatic of the high levels of toxicity and hate-mongering in contemporary India. The withdrawal of the oneness ad was the ‘triumph’ of bigotry over reason. That the reaction gave the ad for gold jewellery wider publicity ahead of the festive season is a different matter.

The statement by Tanishq, the jewellery brand of the Tata-owned Titan that it was withdrawing the ad to ensure the “well-being”, read safety of its employees, partners and store staff made a strong statement about the times we live in.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

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Published on October 15, 2020
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