Published : Nov 01, 1997 00:00 IST

Foreign policy

Thank you very much for your highly analytical and in-depth treatment of India's foreign policy (October 17). You have done a commendable job by giving a thorough analysis of the Gujral doctrine, which now finds a place in almost all discussions with leaders of neighbouring countries.

The components of the Gujral doctrine resemble the historic Panch Sheel agreement between China and India during Jawaharlal Nehru's time. That this doctrine has been successful can be gauged from the improvement in relations with almost all India's neighbours.

We do hope that good sense will prevail in Pakistan and that that country gets down to solving bilateral issues with India.

Sheojee Singh Brindaban, BiharRail safety

This refers to "A system under pressure" (October 17).

The question of safety in rail travel depends totally on personnel involved in operation and maintenance. The selection of candidates must be purely on merit basis. There must be periodical in-service training to the staff.

K. Ramadoss ChennaiTalcher thermal plant

This has reference to the article "Unbundling trouble" by Sudha Mahalingam (October 17).

We wish to inform you that the contents of the two tables on Page 95 are partly erroneous.

Talcher Thermal Power Station, shown in the table with the heading "Power stations in Orissa" (Table 2, for short) is no longer a state-owned power utility. It was taken over by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), a Government of India Enterprise, with effect from June 3, 1995 as per the Talcher Thermal Power Station (Acquisition & Transfer) Act, 1994. Hence, it should have been shown in the other table titled "Central sector generation" (Table 3, for short).

In addition, even though the installed capacity of the power station has been shown correctly in Table 2 as 460 MW (4x60 MW plus 2x110 MW), the corresponding figures in the column "Firm power in MW" are not correct. Nowadays, after some refurbishing of the equipments but pending major renovation and modernisation, the plant is generating power at a PLF of 47 per cent to 48 per cent. Hence, the said figures should have been 115 MW and 106 MW, respectively. The PLF will further increase with the progressive implementation of Phase-1 of the renovation and modernisation package.

Moreover, the power generated at TTPS is fully evacuated to GRIDCO only.

Girish Ch. Surdeo Manager (P&A) Talcher Thermal Power Station, NTPC Talcher Thermal, Angul, Orissa

The judiciary

The article "Judging the judges" (October 17) was unbiased and informative. The "Restatement of Values of Judicial Life," referred to in it, bars any member of a Judge's immediate family from appearing before him or her or even being associated in any manner with a case dealt with by him or her as a member of the Bar. This reminds one of the case of a Judge of the Madras High Court in the 1950s who did not permit his advocate-son even to enrol himself at the Madras Bar but asked him to go to the High Court in Hyderabad. Those were the strict standards applied in those days. It is not enough to set high standards; they need to be followed strictly because once you relax, you slide down fast without even realising it - which is what has happened in other areas of the polity.

Regarding charges levelled against a Judge of the Supreme Court, it appears that these pertain to a much earlier period. Have they become relevant only on the eve of his likely promotion as Chief Justice of India? Was it in order for him to have sat as a Judge of the Supreme Court all these years if the charges are true? When did the Committee on Judicial Accountability learn of the irregularities? Let nothing be done that will shake public confidence in the highest judiciary of the land.

C.B. Dyuthikar BangaloreLand use and work

This refers to "Land Use and Livelihoods" (September 19). Though the theme of the struggle by agricultural workers of the Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union, organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is relevant, they committed two mistakes. One was the initial use of force, which usually meets with a negative response in Kerala, where the dominant mentality and ideology is that of a politically static or unrevolutionary middle class. Secondly, they ought to have taken into consideration the raw economics of the problem while planning the strategy and tactics of the struggle. Instead they took to sectarian and outdated methods and have now alienated middle class farmers.

It is absurd to argue that the primary concern of anybody opposing the conversion of paddy fields is anxiety over the loss of employment opportunities for workers, because one of the primary problems facing farmers is non-availability of farm hands. Shortage of farm labour is a fact not only in paddy cultivation but also in many types of farm and rural work, including domestic help. That is why large numbers of Tamil workers migrate to Kerala seeking such jobs. At the same time, the unemployed in Kerala go out of the State. Most of the latter are educated and semi-educated and desire more urban, non-traditional types of work. Even in Kerala, young rural workers increasingly opt for work in the now more remunerative construction work.

Food production in small farms is not enough to sustain a medium or lower medium family owing to the high cost brought about by the so-called modernisation of agriculture and owing to the high economic-cultural pressures exerted on rural households by economic-social changes. The tendency is either to commercialise land or to shift to cash crops and horticulture, besides attempting to seek sources of non-agricultural income (from salaried jobs or middleman activity).

Mammen George Kozhencherry, KeralaPromoting science

I endorse the views expressed by Dr. Narendra K. Sehgal of Vigyan Prasar (Letters, September 19). The corporate sector must sponsor efforts to spread scientific knowledge among the people of our country and provide funds for the purpose.

Ram Gopal Kanpur
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