The new-comms

| Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 19, 2015

Your editorial, ‘A qualitative shift’ (May 19) recalls a book published in 2008, What Does China Think by Mark Leonard. He divided Chinese thinkers into three sections: the ‘new left’ who want a gentler form of capitalism, the ‘new right’ who want everything in sight to be privatised, and the ‘new-comm’ who are preoccupied with the country’s position in the world and oppose the government doctrine of China’s peaceful rise.

If you look at what has been happening in the last decade or two whether in the South China Sea or elsewhere, you will see the ascendance of this group of thinkers at the helm in China. They are translating into military assets all the facilities they own or add, creating shoals and islands and military airstrips.

The great western powers, on the other hand, wish to do anything to be on the right side of China and capture its market. In the circumstances in which we are placed, it would be prudent to constantly measure our steps, accelerate economic development and strengthen our borders and communications and transport, and at the same time try to solve the pending issues with China. China understands only power and not civilisational sermons.

S Subramanyan

Navi Mumbai

Train the interviewer

No doubt, interviewing involves subjectivity (‘Height, sun sign, matter in a job interview, says study’ by Sangeetha Chengappa, May 19); it becomes acute when managers depend more on their experience-based perceptions.

However, enough literature is available about the judgmental errors people make. Also, there is no dearth of corrective tools (adopting the right way of conducting interviews, composition of the selection team, knowledge of the types and purposes of interviewing). A proper, short-duration training of interviewers in this area has been found to be effective in enhancing the reliability and validity of the process.

YG Chouksey


Aruna Shanbaug RIP

The death of Aruna Shanbaug, the face of the euthanasia debate in India, who was in a vegetative state for over four decades after being brutally raped, should bring tears to many eyes. It is unjust that the longest living comatose patient had to endure neverending pain, stress and trauma and was made to live on ventilator support.

Is it not time the law comes to the rescue of such patients and help them choose between life, dignity and death. Whose life is it anyway? It is a travesty of justice that the man who perpetrated the crime is now free.

N J Ravi Chander


Follow the leader

The news item, ‘Why the PM’s adopted village gives him 15 marks out of 10’ (May 19) makes fascinating reading. Within six months, nondescript Jayapur village adopted by the Prime Minister has seen all-round development and should serve as a model for other MPs to emulate. If the vision to see villages improve and develop within five years is carried out with zest and zeal, it will make a big difference.

HP Murali


Emission trouble

The article, ‘Act up’ by Tobias Engelmeier (May 19) is informative. Very little is known across the country about the worrisome results of ignoring the need for emission control. The process is complex and difficult.

There is need for creating a group that will make a deep study of the various existing activities required for economic development but which contribute to emissions, and lay down norms for compliance. There should be statutory support for its compliance with penal steps for non-compliance.

TR Anandan


Good idea

The points made in ‘PF monies — handle with care’ by Lokeshwarri SK (May 19) are welcome. PF money is used as a good mode of savings for retirement benefits and also for emergencies. We need to ensure that we have the best fund managers and also best practices.

Kamal Anil Kapadia


Mind the pressure

The editorial, ‘A qualitative shift’ (May 19) shows a new paradigm for development bèing designed between India and China, given Chinese keenness to develop ports that would make their goods cost efficient and result in increasing the purchasing power of people in the region. Their involvement in infrastructure can be seen as a strategic move to negate the influence of the US and the West. As rightly summed up, it all depends on how India reacts to external pressure.

Vikram Sundaramurthy


Making India wealthy

This is with reference to the news item, ‘RBI open to doubling capital a/c transaction cap to $ 250,000/year’ (May 19). The RBI has initiated opening up of capital account convertibility to $250,000 per year; this means a resident can now remit up to $250,000 every year if the government gives a green signal to the proposal. Capital account convertibility currently has a cap of $125,000 per year. For the general public it is a welcome move since a large number of Indians settled abroad would like to transfer their wealth to India.

Full capital account convertibility is not desirable since such freedom may open up a path for capital movement to foreign countries. Similar movement of wealth from foreign countries to India will also increase if full capital account convertibility is allowed. There is a risk of sudden capital repartition if the domestic currency weakens since any devaluation of domestic currency would prompt an investor to depart his investment. The cautious move of capital account liberalisation will certainly help domestic investors with an opportunity to buy assets abroad. However tax liability on such transfer of assets is not clear.

Mathew Abraham


Friendship song

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to China and inking 26 MoUs worth $22 billion in investments has raised new hopes that trade and economic agreements will take bilateral relations to a new high and usher in a new era of partnership. But from the standpoint of euphoria generated by the visiting dignitary, it’s incumbent on both the leaders to take a pragmatic look at the simmering discontent over the border issue and hold similar high-level meetings to resolve them.

R Prabhu Raj


Disgusting waste

The Supreme Court has ruled that government advertisements can only feature the Prime Minister, the President or the Chief Justice of India, but why should even they be allowed in ads? The way government advertisements appear depicting achievements with photos of politicians is disgusting and a waste of public money. This marketing technique misleads the public. The achievements, if any, are always visible in day-to-day life and persons behind them are publicly known. In a democratic setup, the achievements of the government are in fact that of the people without whose support neither the government nor politicians can do anything. Therefore, a control on advertisements is a must. No photos of any one person should appear in government advertisements.

Mahesh Kumar

New Delhi

Attend to undertrials

I am happy the Supreme Court has directed the National Legal Services Authority to coordinate with the home ministry to review the cases of poor undertrials. Even as the powerful manage to get bail, poor persons who may or may not be law-breakers, languish in jail as undertrials for several years without their cases being taken up for hearing. It appears there are as many as 2.8 lakh undertrials in various jails, with over 3,000 being behind bars for over five years.

Judges do not work full-time and enjoy many holidays in a year, much more than any other government employee. While undertrial prisoners remain in jail and suffer, judges close the courts for vacation, leading to the criticism that they are unconcerned about the urgent need to dispose of the cases as early as possible. While the Supreme Court routinely makes observations on the rights of undertrials, it has done very little to reduce their suffering or their numbers.

The fact is that many undertrials may be innocent persons on whom false charges have been framed. There are many rules in force such as Goondas Act which give power to the police to detain individuals even on suspicion and everyone knows that all policemen in the country are not honest. While lakhs of cases are in court, judges still follow the pre-Independent practice of going on vacation which is nothing but an anachronism at the present time.

NS Venkataraman


Make it known

Kudos for the article, ‘Claim ₹2 lakh for just ₹12’ by V Nalinakanthi (May 18). Many were not aware of the beauty of the schemes even though they may have had the information. When bankassurance was at the initial stages, similar schemes were introduced by individual banks for ₹1 lakh to customers as bank level schemes through tie-ups with insurance companies; these did not take off due to high costs and not very simple enrolment. Life insurance was being seen only as a saving tool and term assurance in the life insurance industry was not taking off even with the educated. Now, term assurance is picking up. Now that the government is acting as a catalyst the schemes are bound to get better attention. Every Indian should enrol in the PM Jeevan Jyothi scheme and the PM Jeevan Suraksha scheme. Forms have been standardised and simplified. There is further scope for simplification by allowing existing nomination in accounts to remain as nomination for insurance schemes. The introduction of online enrolment through internet or mobile app is welcome. The account opening form itself can be modified and standardised incorporating features of the form for insurance schemes also.

The poor deserve encouragement in the initial years from the Centre and State governments with rebates through DBT. Employers should be encouraged to incentivise their employees to enrol themselves and their families. Household employers should also be encouraged to assist their domestic help and their families enrol in these schemes. After two years when benefits reach poor families, news of these benefits will carry the scheme further.

Vijayasenan P


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Published on May 19, 2015
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