Letters

Letters to the Editor — July 1, 2021

Feeding the migrants

The Supreme Court has rightly put the onus of feeding the migrants on the government (“Ensure that no migrant worker goes hungry, SC instructs govt.”, June 30). The pathetic condition of the migrants following the lockdown last year is well known. Only a small band of selfless volunteers and organisations offered them help. This is never going to be enough. And it is, after all, the government’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of the migrants.

Anthony Henriques,

Mumbai

That the Court slammed the Labour Ministry for its “unpardonable apathy” in not completing the work of the National Database for Unorganised Workers is quite a strong judicial indictment. It is hoped that the government which failed to monitor the implementation of the court’s directives of 2018 will do so at least now. Those responsible for this “unpardonable” failure to set up the migrant database should also be pulled up for dereliction of duty. While migrant labourers contribute immensely to developmental activities in India, at sites far away from their homes, they are voiceless in the absence of any recognised collective association that can bargain with their employers for the betterment of their working conditions. The Labour Ministry must encourage the formation of such labour unions.

S.K. Choudhury,

Bengaluru

A dangerous trend

I wish to highlight the trend of extending the tenures of heads of various government bodies and bureaucratic arms (“Kant’s tenure extended,” June 30). While it is obviously convenient to let the officer continue, especially if he or she continues to be in the good books of the ruling party, it is not desirable from the perspective of encouraging merit and building the morale of officers. The silence of the establishment is deafening — no senior bureaucrat has condemned this dangerous trend. It is obviously unfair to those in waiting as they end up losing their chance of occupying higher posts. The convention of an age limit is also ignored. This implies that some people are irreplaceable, which is hardly a defensible point in such a large country. Extensions should only be given as exceptions and that too for not more than a single term. Else, this trend only encourages conformism and a culture of meritocracy and the morale of senior officers will continue to be in peril.

Sunil Kumar K.,

Bengaluru

University rankings

Demanding transparency in the process of the university ranking system is different from discrediting the same (“The trouble with rankings”, June 30). There cannot be any dispute that the world needs an objective, quantifiable and verifiable system or systems to compare the work of various universities to enable students and teachers to make an informed choice and for other important purposes. Though the present systems of ranking are not without their shortcomings, they are serving the purpose at least to some extent. There is always room for making improvements in the criteria based on which the rankings are arrived at. Criteria such as ‘citations’, ‘peer review’ and ‘research publications’ are important yardsticks, but they can be made more rigorous by introducing the factor of ‘quality of research’. With regard to judging the universities from the social perspective, this may be suitably integrated into the ranking system. It can be made one of the criteria with appropriate weightage.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,

Hyderabad


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 1:42:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-july-1-2021/article35065803.ece

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