Green shoots in India

Green shoots in India

If advance tax collections are any indication, then the Indian economy is certainly on the right track because there is a huge increase of 20% compared with last fiscal’s second quarter data (“Advance tax & green shoots", Mint, 17 September). I do agree with your suggestion that it might have been possible because of cheap money and government support. And though the drought will have some impact on consumption patterns in rural India, I still feel that there will not be too much of an impact. Moreover, as you suggested, bridging the Rs4 trillion fiscal deficit seems to be practically impossible; but it would be good if we can decrease the deficit as much as possible. Considering we have not suffered as much as the West, this should not be a problem for us.

— Bal Govind

Like performance bonuses in the manufacturing or service sectors, certain benchmarks should be put in place to stimulate teachers (“Encouraging our educators", Mint, 14 September).

In this regard, we can take the example of China, which is reaping the benefits of its free education policy, introduced in 1986. China’s efforts yielded rich dividends as school enrolment across the country reached 98%. The Chinese government could shorten the gap between the quality of urban and rural teachers by improving rural teachers’ economic and social status. In the process, it has ensured wage parity between local civil servants and teachers.

Of course, India need not copy-paste China’s experience, but we should devise our own standards to create a similar atmosphere in schools and colleges. Competition among teachers working in different schools at the district level can be tried; those teachers who get a good grading can be rewarded on Teachers’ Day. Certain budgetary allocations can be made by district administrations to reward quality teachers.

— K.N.V.S. Subrahmanyam

The time has come to seriously review New Delhi’s preparedness for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Doubts on the preparedness have now been expressed openly. Many facilities will be in an unfinished stage. Many may even be unsafe, even for the duration of the Games. Delhi is notorious for traffic jams on ordinary days; when the Games are held, there will be more traffic. Added to this will be the ever-present terror threat.

Considering all this, it is time to call off the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. If any other country or city has a ready facility and is willing to conduct the Games, India should withdraw gracefully. The government should not stand on a sense of false prestige.

— K. Venkataraman

In Tamal Bandyopadhyay’s interview with former Reserve Bank of India governor Y.V. Reddy (“US-UK are hijacking G-20 agenda", Mint, 14 September), it’s really delightful to see some balanced words of wisdom at a time when the print and electronic media are ablaze with deceptive analyses and quack diagnoses.

Reddy, labelled a diehard conservative, has shown the mettle of a true central banker. His tenure, coinciding with an era of exuberant affluence, had seen some of the most austere measures ever taken by central banks. He followed a tight money policy at a time when all his counterparts, including the legendary Alan Greenspan, revelled in unleashing credit. His policies are reflective of his deeply contemplative mood in search of the right balance—between affluence and greed, growth and equity, risk and return, and stability and regulation.

It is surprising that at a time when men of extraordinary insight and ideas should be treated as premium assets in terms of sourcing policy inputs, Reddy is still outside any formal body responsible for policymaking or advice. Not learning a lesson may be a mistake, but refusing to learn is a crime.

— S.K. Giri