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Letters to the Editor: Sept 27, 2018

1) Welcome SC verdict on Reservation Policy

It refers to welcoming the Supreme Court verdict on September 26, 2018, wherein a five-member Constitution Bench ordered for the exclusion of creamy layer from reserved categories under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The root cause of this problem is the policy of Reservation which is a big failure when it could not homogeneously mix people of reserved categories in the society in stipulated 15 years initially fixed by the Constitution-makers and now for about seven decades after the independence. In the present era, the policy of reservation is itself responsible for alienating persons of reserved categories from normal society by making them identified separately.

If the reservation is to be continued indefinitely, all reserved categories like SC, ST, or OBC should be merged into one single category with an annual review of progress or benefits made by different casts and tribes by virtue of Reservation. Communities with maximum postings and admissions may be deleted from reserved categories by taking these as creamy layers, leaving opportunities for reservation for really deserving backward categories. Also, since backwardness in reserved categories is due to their generally having large families, benefits of reservations may be reserved for persons and families with up to two children only. The present system makes professional politicians (and their family members) from reserved categories enjoy fruits of reservation-policy despite their being ultra-rich and influential in politics and society.

– Madhu Agrawal

 

2) Well-balanced SC verdict on Aadhaar

Well-balanced Supreme Court verdict with a 4-1 majority on September 26, 2018, having detailed discussion in 1448 pages has drawn distinct lines for use of Aadhaar cards making all political parties and others concerned claim as their victory. The Apex Court has rightly made Aadhaar mandatory for essential aspects exclusively under government-control including PAN card, Income Tax returns, and all types of government-facilities while disallowing it for private service-providers like mobile operators, school admissions, entrance tests etc. But not linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts is contradictory because bank accounts are already to be linked with Aadhaar.

Bill had to be passed as money-bill because of the usual tendency of opposition to stall every useful step by misusing neck-to-neck position in the Rajya Sabha. Otherwise, since subsidies were involved, therefore, there was some logic in getting it passed as a money bill. Objectionable sections of the Bill have been struck down by the Apex Court. The Supreme Court verdict has opened a new chapter whereby rulings of Chairpersons of two Houses of the Parliament can now be open to judicial review. It is a sorry state that the precious court-timings are getting involved because of the ruling and opposition who are not acting fairly on the passage of the bills. The system should be that senior Parliamentarians may sit together with outside experts to prepare a consensus draft on the subject that needs to be passed in the Parliament smoothly.

The central government should constitute an expert-committee on Aadhaar to give its report in a time-bound period because many unwanted elements got Aadhaar when private agencies were authorised to enroll for Aadhaar cards. The present data reveal that at least 30 per cent extra Aadhaar cards are issued without proper verification, which needs to be cancelled. Since terrorists and criminals change SIM cards of mobiles frequently, some other mode should be established for SIM-cards being issued only to genuine persons. Government-issued Identity Cards like Passports and Driving license should have permanent numbers which may remain the same even for renewal, and then these should also be linked with Aadhaar cards.

Even though the Supreme Court has directed for deletion of Aadhaar data held with private companies in a time-bound period, but it is not practically possible because holders of such data can retain a copy of the destroyed data.

– Subhash Chandra Agrawal

 

3) Aadhaar verdict an eyewash

This refers to ‘Will error-free Aadhaar data remain a fantasy?’ (AV, September 27). If our Aadhaar numbers are linked to every vital life transactions, there will be no end to slavery and the people who will control Aadhaar will become the Gods. This verdict is just an eyewash for the common man who will finally be harassed by the government.

– Jubel D’Cruz

 

4) The questions remained unsolved

It refers to your top story dated September 27, 2018. Finally, after a long wait, the honourable Supreme Court gave its verdict about the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar cards. The verdict ended the politics over this issue. But the question that is yet to be solved is that “the millions of poor, illiterate, helpless people who are deprived of the government scheme due to the faulty Aadhaar cards given to them. They are called fraud by the administration; they run from the door to the door of the administration’s corridor and break down at day end with no solutions of their problems.”

– Mohd Faheem

 

5) Turning on to toxic city

The level of dangerous pollutant particles in the air is touching a new high and it is very difficult to achieve a balance between rapid development and finding a way to keep its air safe and clean in a metro city like Mumbai. A balanced environment on Earth is what makes the survival of species possible. Modern man has made great development in the fields of science and technology. All the scientific advancement made by man has come at a cost of the degradation of our environment. The main cause for degradation of the environment is pollution. Now, the students have taken the task of educating motorists to wear a mask and save them from air pollution. After Ganapati immersion, the pollution levels have gone high and with continuous road digging and repairs, the problems are endless for the people of Mumbai.

– Lakshmi Raghu

 

6) Khel Ratna for Kohli

National sports awards were presented by the President in a glittering function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and India’s Cricket Captain Virat Kohli was given the Khel Ratna Award for his consistent scoring of runs at the International level over the years. Virat, who missed out last year’s selection, got it right this time. But it was the choice of Mirabai Chanu that was the best of the best. However, Kohli is the third cricketer to be honoured with Khel Ratna after Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and we hope Kohli will win more laurels for India in the years to come. In all, athletes got the Lion’s share of Arjuna Awards this year and it is a good sign for Indian sports in general.

– Nikhil Krishnan

 

7) Stop credit-taking game

I welcome the Supreme Court’s historical and landmark judgement on Aadhaar. A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar by a majority judgement. In its verdict, the court, by striking down section 57 of Aadhaar Act, 2016, held it was not mandatory to link Aadhaar with private bodies like banks, schools, mobile companies; but maintained that it was mandatory for filing income tax returns. Trinamool Congress said that they had fought hard for striking down Section 57. Rahul claimed that the Congress was the pioneer of Aadhaar and it was an instrument of empowerment for Congress and blamed the BJP that it is a tool of oppression and surveillance for the BJP. However, the BJP sees it as a big victory of the Modi government, the pro-poor Modi government! I do not know when they will stop this credit-taking game and work for the cause of public.

– Q Qasmi

 

8) Formulate National Employment Policy

This is the clear sign of the government’s failure that higher growth rates is not being translated into more jobs and after the increase in productivity, they could not spur a commensurate rise in wage, and that is why young people with higher education level suffered an unemployment rate as high as 16 per cent. According to a new study released by Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment, which confirms the specter of jobless growth and increase in divergence between growth and jobs. The government must accept its failure and formulate a National Employment Policy, to take account and try to reduce the number of unemployed youth, which is a great concern for the young talents.

– Qeyamuddin

 

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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