Letters

Letters to the editor dated June 3, 2021

| Updated on June 03, 2021

Vaccine purchases

Apropos ‘Why not buy 100% vaccines if you’re getting hefty discount, Supreme Court asks Centre’ (June 3), the apex court is right in questioning the Centre on leaving the States to fend for themselves despite it having a ₹35,000-crore budget to buy vaccines.

What’s intriguing is the Centre’s self-serving plea that the manufacturers are selling Covid vaccines for a hefty discount because it places bulk orders. One wonders what prevents it from passing on the the cost benefit to all needy States and ultimately to the general masses.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula, Haryana

Mass inoculation

The refers to ‘Covid’s second blow’ (June 3). Indeed, the country had managed well during the outbreak of the pandemic with severe lockdowns and expedited the process of testing, tracing and treating. But elections in five States and melas were largely responsible for triggering the more virulent and deadly second wave.

The situation was made worse by the paucity of medical oxygen, hospital beds and slow-paced vaccination. With threats of a possible third wave looming large, the safest way forward is mass vaccination on a war footing.

NR Nagarajan

Sivakasi

Board exams

The decision of the Centre to scrap the Class 12 board examinations conducted by CBSE in the middle of a cataclysmic second wave of Covid is a step in the right direction and deserves praise. Several state boards in all likelihood will follow suit.

While the CBSE board has promised to devise an objective criteria to evaluate Class 12 students, it would be highly challenging to ensure it free from bias. The question regarding neutrality and transparency of the assessment process should be addressed with a seriousness it truly deserves.

Rather than meet the needs and constraints of the current moment, the time has come to revisit our entrenched myopic notions about board exams. The board exams consider marks as the only touchstone for learning. Continuous and diversified assessment of Class 12 students still remains an exception than a norm.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Assessing students

This refers to ‘Full marks’ (June 3). It would have been a tough decision for the government to cancel Class 12 board exams. Conducting the exams in the current situation, where safety of the students and their parents are paramount, would have been a herculean task.

While the anxiety pertaining to board exams may have ended for thousands of students across the country, the next big worry is how they will be assessed and what impact will it have on their respective careers. So it will take some doing by the CBSE to come out of marks modalities. Sooner it does, better it would be for the student community across the country.

Bal Govind

Noida

Rollback of stimulus

This refers to ‘Central banks may taper stimulus soon’ (June 3). The stop-gap measures adopted by central banks to overcome the pandemic-inflicted blow on global economies are worrisome. The stock markets may tumble once these measures are rolled back to reduce government debt and curb inflation. Till interest rate cuts are reversed, the scenario could be uncertain. In India, government borrowing as a percentage of GDP is at tipping point and any further shocks could have harmful economic consequences.

Sitaram Popuri

Bengaluru

Tax-free bonds

The government requires huge amount of funds to set up hospitals, oxygen tanks, and for recruitment of doctors, nurses and other staff during the ongoing Covid pandemic.

The Finance Ministry can think of launching tax-free bonds to the general public to mobilise funds. Interest rates can be at 7 per cent per annum, slightly less than that applicable to Public Provident Fund. It will be a win-win situation for the government as well as taxpayers.

BN Bharath

Bengaluru

Published on June 03, 2021

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