Letters

Letters to the Editor — June 15, 2020

Nepal redraws the map

While China’s aggressive postures accompanying its territorial claims in parts of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh and now even in Sikkim do not come as a surprise, given its past behaviour, Nepal flexing its muscles by passing a Constitution Amendment Bill to unilaterally include certain Indian territories in its official map — disregarding India’s concerns — is outrageously misguided (Page 1, “Nepal passes amendment on new map”, June 14). At the same time, these developments also betray New Delhi’s monumental diplomatic and political failures in resolving the boundary disputes amicably, and within a reasonable time frame. With the Constitution amendment now being a fait accompli, there is very little elbow room for India to turn the clock back through diplomatic initiatives. There is no convincing explanation to justify New Delhi’s persistent reluctance to hold at least virtual talks at Foreign Secretary-level despite Nepal’s repeated requests. One is bound to conclude that the Narendra Modi government, which is obsessed with improving its bilateral relations with an unpredictable Trump administration, tended to take its traditionally friendly neighbour for granted. It is to be watched how Nepal is now going to assert its territorial claims on the ground. This development has also exposed the incompetence of India’s Foreign Minister, a career diplomat, for turning a friendly neighbour into a foe. He must take the moral responsibility and step down to set an example. The Prime Minister on his part too must take the Opposition into confidence and initiate a consultative process on issues concerning India’s sovereignty and integrity.

S.K. Choudhury,

Bengaluru

For the past several years Nepal has been hobnobbing with China, though India is equally responsible for Nepal’s change of heart. Nepal thumbing its nose at India and its bravado in including a legitimate part of India under Nepal is nothing but playing to the gallery. This is a tactic to bring India to the discussion table knowing fully well that India will not cede even an inch of its territory. Nepal may be claiming cartographic victory but nothing has changed on the ground.

Deepak Singhal,

Chennai

How a vaccine works

The article, “Can a COVID-19 vaccine be developed soon”, was misleading by saying that “A vaccine could be a weakened biological or synthetic agent administered to humans that will protect them from contracting infectious diseases by supplying specific antibodies to neutralise the disease causing pathogen”. A vaccine never “supplies” antibodies; rather it stimulates the being to produce antibodies on its own, earning the name “active immunisation”. On the contrary, supplying antibodies is done in diseases such as tetanus, which is called “passive immunisation”, an entirely different thing from vaccine. In simple words, a vaccine is preventive whereas antibody administration forms the treatment part.

As far as COVID-19 is concerned, we are already supplying antibodies via “convalescent plasma therapy “ and we are still in pursuit of a vaccine.

Dr. T.V.P Mahesh,

Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh

E-class

The article, “Streamed education is diluted education” (Editorial page, June 13), puts forth interesting arguments that are largely dismissive of online education. I, however, tend to mostly disagree with this view. Even in an online class, students have an option to engage with the teacher and vice-versa through text and voice discussions. An advantage is access to recorded streams which the students can repeatedly watch to clear their doubts and revise. It also promotes technological awareness among teachers and students. Google’s YouTube is a good example of leveraging online content for e-learning. We need to embrace e-learning with an intent to work through its shortcomings. Amid a pandemic, it sure is a boon.

Jayansh Singh,

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 11:22:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-june-15-2020/article31828378.ece

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