Letters to the editor dated March 10, 2021

| Updated on March 10, 2021

PLI scheme

This refers to ‘Measured incentives’ (March 10). Recently, the telecom and networking sector was included in the PLI scheme and with this 13 sectors are now covered by it.

The time is ripe for some assessment as to how the initial few have progressed so far. The objective is not just about rolling out the red carpet for companies and providing them incentives, but to evaluate the kind of progress the companies have made so far and if there is some course correction required.

If so, then the government should step in and assist. Land acquisition delays have led to electronic companies reaching out to the government for rolling over the first year turnover target.

Land acquisition has been the biggest lacuna in our ecosystem and that must be addressed once and for all. PLI’s success would to large extent depend on ease of land acquisition.

Bal Govind


Covid battle

Apropos ‘Innovative testing, a must for Covid control’ (March 10), there is a need for continous innovation in testing to keep pace with the rate of spread and unpredictability of the virus. The slow pace of the vaccination, uncertainty on post-vaccination effect, threat of potent mutations and gradual opening of the economy, all create the dire need to augment the testing process with innovative methods.

The resurgence of the virus in a few States has heightened the threat of a second wave with new variants of the virus. Hence, beyond vaccination, continuous and quick methods of testing built on higher specificity must be undertaken. Also, new and effective testing methods from other countries, such as the anal swab test, must identify the infection quickly and accurately.

NR Nagarajan


Reservation issue

As the Supreme Court re-examines the Maratha quota issue, a relook of a host of reservation issues would be welcome. The question whether the Maratha quota law breached the 50 per cent ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for reservations drawn by the Supreme Court three decades ago, will be re-examined afresh by the apex court.

Since a nine-member bench of the court, in the ‘Indira Sawhney’ case in 1992, had fixed the 50 per cent ceiling on reservations, barring extraordinary circumstances, several States have sought to get around it in a most circuitous manner. Now, a five-judge Bench, in a welcome move, has sought the opinion of other States as well before pronouncing on the Maratha quota.

The Bench also will examine whether the States’ power to legislate for classifying backward- class citizens is curbed by the Centre under the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act.

With the socio-economic changes in the last three to four decades and the resulting pressure on the limited economic pie, more and more groups are seeking preferential treatment for government jobs and seats in educational institutions.

Indeed, the economically weaker sections among upper castes too are seeking reservations. However, the problem is, no caste or community wants to give up these benefits even after reaching a certain level of socio-economic progress.

And, undeniable, a large percentage of the upper caste groups have fallen far behind on most socio-economic indicators.

Yash Pal Ralhan


Bengal polls

The fight for power in the upcoming Assembly polls in West Bengal has been turning more acrimonious by day, with leaders belonging to the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition BJP upping the ante through their fiery rhetoric.

While the steady exodus of key leaders from the TMC to the BJP in recent days has put the party and its mercurial leader Mamata Banerjee on the defensive, the BJP has its own cup of woes to overcome before capturing West Bengal. Its persistent struggle in finding a leader who can both match the stature of Mamata Banerjee and challenge her at the hustings fiercely is a case in point.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Published on March 10, 2021

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