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Letters to the Editor: June 20, 2018

1) Prohibition makes Bihar land of milk and honey

A study by Development Management Institute (DMI) Patna reveals that prohibition in Bihar has increased the consumption of Honey by 380 per cent and that of cheese by 200 per cent. Consumption of other milk products has increased in the range between 19 and 29 per cent. Study also reveals a hefty rise of 29 per cent in collection of entertainment tax. Extra purchasing power has pushed up sale of four wheelers, tractors, two-wheelers and three-wheelers by approximately 30 per cent. Prohibition has thus not only pushed up level of those earlier spending on drinking, but even more importantly on their families especially women and children.

More and more states should now follow Bihar in adoption of policy of prohibition, though it may not be practically possible to implement in one go throughout the country. After majority of the states, if adopting probation may be successful in establishing it as a policy of success, rest of the states where traditions may not allow implementing the policy immediately, will automatic switch to policy of prohibition. Not only this, India has been successful in becoming the world-leader in promoting Yoga, time may come when India may also become the world-leader in getting other countries following policy of prohibition. Already vegetarianism is spreading fast in advanced nations.

– Madhu Agrawal


2) Admissions cause more anxiety than exams!

Admissions cause more anxiety than exams and the high cut-offs are a drag on students expectations in spite of scoring brilliant marks in the exams. Quota for sports, community (Gujarati, Marwari quota etc.) and other parameters which differentiate students at the time of admissions though they have all been judged in a common exam is unwarranted and need to be stopped. Many sports quota students never participate in sports or cultural activities in their colleges.

Admissions to top colleges have become a style statement. Toppers mostly pursue tutorial classes and college studies means nothing for many. It’s the dull students which needs top colleges and the brilliance of professors is to make average students brilliant. Admission criteria needs an transformation and colleges should have a mix of students with below average scores and the toppers so that the level of students scoring low goes up when they are inspired by the toppers. Failure is the stepping stone to success and school was just ‘half-time’ and you can always turn tides in the second half by hard work, encouragement and proper guidance. State government should however accommodate every student who has cleared schools in colleges!

– S.N.kabra


3) The ancient art of Yoga

International Yoga Day is celebrated on the June 21 each year. It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who gave the proposal to observe this day as International Yoga Day. Practicing yoga is one of the ways to grow into a better human being with a sharp mind, a good heart and a relaxed soul.

Yoga is known for its amazing health benefits. International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 ever since its inception in 2015, is a great effort to emphasise the importance of inculcating this ancient Indian art in our lives.

– Jubel D’Cruz


4) New Income Tax Act should be simple and practical

Half-century old Income Tax Act, 1961 has lots of patch-works in form of amendments. New Income Tax Act should be drafted carefully on basis of past experience so that amendments may not be usually needed. It should be simple and practical rather than complicated and cumbersome Goods and Service Tax (GST) finding so many problems and changes in just four months of implementation.

Special Investigating Team (SIT) set up by the Supreme Court on the aspect of black money in its third report pointed out towards irregularities detected in name of ‘donations’, ‘charity’ and other such contributions. Already several Non-Government-Organisations (NGOs) have been under scanner for converting black money and hawala-operations. Schools are charging heavy amounts for admission in name of ‘donations’. Charitable trusts are formed with tax-exemption certificates for whitening black money. There is heavy loss to exchequer because of double-edged tax-exemption to political parties which are not complying with full-bench CIC-verdict for being accountable to public through the RTI Act.

Best is to abolish altogether provisions under various sections of Income Tax Act for any type of contribution made to anybody. It will effectively check all tactics to whiten black money. Otherwise also huge revenue so earned will be available for public welfare and national development which in no way is less important than contributions, donations, charity and other aspects presently wrongly exempted under the Income Tax Act.

– Subhash Chandra Agrawal


5) Testing time for Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu politics is facing turmoil. The split verdict has come as a solace for the ruling AIADMK as of now. The opposition parties in Tamil Nadu openly allege that it is the Centre which is keeping the post-Jayalalithaa government alive. But at what cost? The State administration is adrift, governance has slipped in all parameters, be it health, education, industrial output et al. This uncertainty is unlikely to vanish till things clarify after a fresh election. The churn in Tamil Nadu politics is complicated further by the proposed entry of two super stars of Tamil Cinema. It is the people who suffer a lack of firm and decisive government.

– Nikhil Ramani


6) Plastic Ban – perfect timing

The greatest manmade disaster towards the green environment comes from the use of plastic, especially the thin film variety. This writer while touring vast areas of Southern India was pleasantly surprised to see the strict enforcement of plastic ban. During my visit to Mahabaleshwar, Aurangabad, Pune last year, I have noticed the awareness about the ill effects of plastic. It is heartening to note that by and large India has become very active in banning plastic totally.  To make Mumbai a plastic-free city, we need to bring more restrictions and start penalising both the shop owners using it and the customers, who carry plastic carry bags. It is time to save the metro city environment. Plastic ban before the regular monsoon season is implemented with perfect timing.

Anandambal Subbu

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