More aid for education
The Education Ministry is likely to enlarge the scope of Centrally-sponsored schemes in order to achieve qualitative improvements in education, it is learnt. This question is being examined in the context of the inability of the States to provide matching grants for major schemes including the training and emoluments of teachers. As a first step, the Ministry is making an appraisal of the Centrally-sponsored schemes. The Education Minister, Mr. Chagla, is believed to have armed himself with an assurance from the Finance Minister that any request for additional funds for priority sectors such as secondary education beyond those budgeted for would be favourably considered.
Chinese arms for Pakistan
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, indicated on Friday that his Government would accept the help of Communist China if it thought such an assistance would be necessary to repel an Indian aggression across the Kashmir cease-fire line. Mr. Bhutto made this statement in answer to a question at a luncheon of the U.N. Correspondents Association. Quoting remarks reported to have been made in Parliament by Prime Minister Nehru that Indian troops would cross the cease-fire line if it was necessary to defend Indian territory, Mr. Bhutto emphasised that “if India embarks on such an adventure, we will vigorously counter the aggression and crush it.”
Need to modernise defence
The need for re-organisation of the defence services on a sound basis, ensuring better co-ordination and providing modern arms and equipment to meet the threat from two hostile neighbours who have entered into an unscrupulous alliance against India, was stressed during to-day’s (March 21) debate in the Lok Sabha on the demands for grants of the Ministry of Defence. Members followed no party lines in pointing out the drawbacks in the defence set up and there was a note of concern about the serious threat posed by China and Pakistan in every speech made on March 21. From the opposition benches both Dr. Lohia (Socialist) and Mr. Frank Anthony (Ind) said our defence policy lacked realism.