Chinese presence in Cuba?

Are the Communist Chinese establishing a beachhead in Cuba now that there are signs of the Soviet Union gradually extricating itself from this Caribbean island? This question has become the subject of some speculation in Washington with reports reaching here that the Cuban Premier, Dr. Fidel Castro, has demoted two well-known Moscow-oriented Communists from key positions in his administration, and that Russian troops on the island now number only 5,000. (Their peak strength during the last October crisis was about 20,000.) According to U.S. intelligence, which continues to keep Cuba under close surveillance, many of the more modern defensive weapons placed on the island by Russia have also either been withdrawn or replaced by more conventional equipment.


New system of tests

Following an informal suggestion by the Director of Public Instruction, high schools are now adopting a new scheme of deciding promotions based on the overall performance of the student in a number of examinations throughout the year, instead of his performance at this annual examination alone. As a rational method of assessing the student’s ability, the scheme is generally welcomed by parents, teachers and others connected with education, but a few shortcomings are mentioned. These include the increase in the workloads of school teachers and greater strain for the student as every examination is raised to the level of an annual examination. It also means greater anxiety to the parents of average and backward children which in turn may mean engaging tutors to coach them throughout the year.


I.A.S. strength may go up

The Indian Administrative Service cadre is likely to be expanded shortly, it is learnt. Its strength will be increased by about 150 more officers, i.e. from 2,252 to 2,400 officers. A triennial review which was undertaken recently by the Home Ministry shows that most of the States want to expand their cadre to meet the demands of the Third Five-Year Plan, and the increased work anticipated in the implementation of the Fourth Plan.