Letters to the editor

'The Iraq crisis has once again brought to the fore weaknesses in India’s foreign and economic policies and its vulnerability to external shocks.'

Updated: June 23, 2014 12:54:07 am

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Iraq crisis

The escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq is proving to be a nightmare for the Modi government. The Iraq crisis has once again brought to the fore weaknesses in India’s foreign and economic policies and its vulnerability to external shocks.The ministry of external affairs was too slow to anticipate the surge of the ISIS and its repercussions for India. Surging crude oil prices will hinder the government’s move to contain inflation. To tide over concerns about energy security, India should formulate a policy that prioritises the renewable energy sector, especially solar energy.
— Kiran Jose

This refers to the editorial ‘Gulf imperatives’ (IE, June 20). While the top priority of the Indian government is to ensure the safety of Indians stranded in Iraq, it should also safeguard the interests of Indians living in Gulf countries. A crisis management cell should be put in place. Though Iraq is estimated to harbour around 18,000 Indians, only about 100 Indians are said to be in the danger zones of Mosul and Tikrit. The Iraq government has no significant say in areas like Mosul. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has acted swiftly by sending the former Indian envoy to Iraq, Suresh Reddy, to troubleshoot the situation. His main task would be to establish contact with the abducted Indians and soothe the frayed nerves of those left without passports, and yearning to return. PM Narendra Modi should leave no stone unturned in tackling the first major diplomatic crisis for the NDA government.
— Ganapathi Bhat

Way to go
It is heartening that, this year, 4,085 OBC candidates have cleared the JEE for admission to the IITs without availing of the relaxation available for them and made it to the JEE common merit list (‘OBC candidates break quota barrier; 4,085 in common merit list’, IE, June 20). Their exceptional performance suggests more students belonging to backward groups are confident of taking the general category route and succeeding without affirmative action. This is a healthy trend towards the ultimate goal of making quotas irrelevant.
— M.C. Joshi

Cleaning woes
The Centre’s Ganga “rejuvenation project” is frankly beyond the scope of New Delhi alone. To clean up the Ganga, modern sewage treatment plants should be installed in big towns and six large urban industrial agglomerations along the river. The Central government must have the co-operation of five state governments. A high-level committee should be instituted with representation from the Centre and the state governments concerned. The project must address the reduction of industrial waste, distortion of the river’s natural flow by the building of hydroelectric dams and the depleted flow of water.
— C. Koshy John

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