Letters

Letters to the editor dated April 15, 2021

| Updated on April 15, 2021

Pragmatic decision

Amid the upsurge in Covid-19 cases, the CBSE took a pragmatic decision to postpone the class 12 exams while cancelling the class X exam. The pandemic has not not only upended the human lives and their livelihoods, but also unleashed a massive and an unprecedented disruption in education across the globe. While education went online as coronovirus swept across the globe, it had not only laid bare the glaring inequalities afflicting education for decades, but also widened it as students from the poorer sections lack of access to mobiles/computers and internet connection. If CBSE cancels the class XII exam and considers using internal assessment done through the year to grade the class 12 students in the event of cancelling the board exam, it would be doing grave injustice to a significant chunk of students from poor socio-economic background due to their lack of digital access. Steps to bridge the digital gap need to be taken up on a war footing.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (TN)

Privatising pensions

With reference to the news report ‘Pension liabilities of the PSBs sought to be privatised’ (April, 15), it will doubtless be an important consideration for the interested bidders. A pension outgo of ‘₹100 crores per annum for over 30,000’ may be too daunting for a private bank looking at taking over a PSU bank. Though the merged entity may receive a wider branch network and huge customer base, a cost benefit analysis may indicate unviability of the merger. Additionally, post merger, the bank may also introduce a separation package for the senior serving employees.

However, viewed from the pensioners’ perspective, ‘pension is not a bounty, charity or a gratuitous payment, but an indefeasible right of every employee’, as the Karnataka High Court held in a case, in November 2020. To grudge them pension payment or revision on the grounds of their bank's profitability would be inhuman. The solution may lie in transferring the liability from banks to a consolidated pension fund, as in the case of government pensioners.

V Jayaraman

Chennai

 

Worries over TB

Apropos ‘Grip on TB is slipping’ (April 15)TB is a dreadful disease causing death if not properly diagnosed and treated. Drug resistant TB is posing a major challenge. Many cases of TB patients remain undiagnosed due to lack of screening tests and proper medication and counselling. Now the Covid pandemic has sidelined medical care for other infectious diseases especially TB. More care is needed to combat drug resistance in patients by timely tracing.

NR Nagarajan

Sivakasi

The second surge

It is a pity that the government has failed in stopping the rapid spread of second wave of the coronavirus. The number of surging cases daily is a result of irrational exuberance early this year. After suffering for almost an year the government had prematurely assumed that Covid-19 was over and made rash decisions to allow large religious gatherings with political campaigns. This lapse threatens the nascent economic recovery. There was unrestricted movement, markets were crowded, domestic and international travel was brisk, election campaigns were boisterously run for local bodies and assemblies, religious gatherings received state support. Though masks were mandated notionally, the public decided to follow the leaders and celebrities who disdained to wear them in public. An amendment in Parliament to postpone all types of elections would have been sensible. Lastly the Uttarakhand government failed completely in restricting the crowd at the Kumbhmela. Strict measures must be undertaken to at least restrict the further spread of the virus.

TSN Rao

Bhimavaram (AP)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Published on April 15, 2021

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