---- Editorial ----
Fate of NEDA remains unknown
The fate of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in Arunachal remains unknown as
the former allies PPA and BJP are engaged in a bitter war of words. NEDA which comprises
of 11 regional parties of North East was launched by BJP to unite the anti-Congress
parties. Party President Amit Shah took personal interest in the launch of NEDA.
It was seen as one big grouping to oust Congress from the region. However things
have gone wayward and existence of NEDA itself is now questionable.
In Arunachal amid much hype, PPA and BJP formed alliance under NEDA. Rebel Congress
MLAs lead by Chief Minister Pema Khandu joined PPA and became part of NEDA. It's
Convernor and powerful minister of BJP government in Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma even
attended NEDA meeting in Itanagar. Everything looked cozy until rebellion broke out
against Khandu's leadership. PPA alleged BJP of luring their MLAs. Ultimately MLAs
led by CM joined BJP proving the PPA's allegation true. Since then both the parties
have engaged in bitter fight leveling several allegations each other. It looks like
NEDA is having premature death in Arunachal. One will have to wait and watch to see
how it unfolds in rest of the North East.
---- Readers Forum ----
On this Republic Day, we must answer if we are giving due honour to our Constitution.
When a education minister of a state assembly made cows discharge oxygen to treat
our cough and cold, a question might be asked if he himself was discharging his Fundamental
Duty "to develop the scientific temper", as enshrined in Article 51A(h) of the Constitution
of India. If not, then what was about his oath that he "will bear true faith and
allegiance to the Constitution of India" ~ which he had taken as a minister for a
State as per the Third Schedule (V) of our Constitution?
Sujit De, Kolkata
Libraries and quality education
It is a very positive step that our government is initiating towards the uplift of
higher education in the state. Today, the government has successfully established
quality Degree College in almost all the districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Though it
is well appreciated for the mushrooming of these new colleges, it has failed in providing
various services to the students other than the "mere bookish education". Of course.
We cannot rush to see perfection within few years of its inception, it will take
time to fully stand with proper facilities and equip itself. But owing to the needs
of the students, there are certain necessities without which it is impossible for
any education system to run at a minimum pace. One such element is the library. Library
is regarded as the "heart and soul" of any education system; it is a place where
collection of books or other forms of information are stored for the benefit of the
students as well as the entire faculty of the college.
However, when we look at the present scenario of libraries in most of the colleges
of our state, it is only fair to highlight the sorry state of affair that we face
with college libraries. Today, it fails miserably in providing what it needs to provide
to the students. To mention a few, students of these colleges are solely dependent
on the limited notes of their teachers because the libraries don’t provide any service
to them. And as a result of this, the students become mere 'dummies', being spoon
fed by their teachers. The students have no room to explore or acquire new knowledge
other than their teachers' notes. Another aspect is the lack of quality book stores
in our state that would provide authentic and quality books to the needy students
according to their academic syllabus. But in most of the book stalls, we mostly find
cheap guide books with endless typo logical errors as well as misleading information.
And as result, it hampers the overall achievement of the students. If only there
are proper and well equipped libraries in the colleges today, the students wouldn't
face the problem of inadequate information or face failure.
If we access the college students of today, there is an endless thirst and hunger
for knowledge and healthy competitive spirit among them, but the lack of library
in the college limits their thinking and their quest for knowledge ceases. And since
there are no library facilities, they fail to even achieve academically and are lack
behind other students and fail to compete with the students of other states as well.
Library, being the center of education, should not be ignored in any way. It should
be well established in all the colleges because it is the gateway of knowledge and
one should not forget that formal education is not the only thing that a student
needs to excel. No doubt, formal education alone or say, 'prepared notes' of the
teachers will enable a student to fetch good marks in his academic fields. But it
is only through extensive reading that a student is able to acquire in-depth knowledge
of a particular subject and enhances his capabilities in various fields. And it is
only through his constant and consistent updates from books that develops his critical
and analytical thinking to compete with the others outside of the four walls of his
classroom. And such a service can be provided to the students only by a library.
A student may be the topper of his college but what good it is if he knows only the
"prepared notes" of his teachers? What good it is if he only memorizes his lesson
without even formulating his own viewpoints and suggestions? If our state doesn't
stop producing such college students, who are just puppets, we can see how dangerous
our future looks. In order to prepare the students to compete socially, scoring 100%
marks is not the solution. We should prepare the students in such a way that he know
the abc's as well as the xyz's, and establishing a well equipped library in the college
is the foremost step that we should undertake. A student may not have the luxury
to buy books online or even update his knowledge through the internet, but having
a library in his college will always be a priceless benefit to him and mould himself
in competing with the rest of the others.
It should be brought to everyone's knowledge that the state needs less of good marks
and percentage and more of knowledgeable students. And producing such students is
possible with the setting up of good library in the grass root level, that is, in
colleges. As mentioned, establishing a fully equipped library will take time but
it is also not impossible to start.
Therefore, the government and the concerned department should properly check the
importance of college libraries and focus its attention towards the establishing
of library facilities and producing powerful and dynamic students to compete with
the rest of the country.
Lobom Lida Tamin
Rajiv Gandhi University
Railways need systemic overhaul
This refers to your editorial “Railway security matter of concern” (Jan 23). The
increasing number of train accidents is alarming and is also a symptom of the rot
within. These are needless deaths, which happen only in India which is really disgusting.
In order to prevent the recurrence of such mishaps, the modernisation of safety equipment,
the maintenance of track and signals, the re-training and fitness of the staff, especially
drivers, their assistants, guards, and those at the stations need to be improved.
Every year we introduce new trains without improving the infrastructure. It has become
routine for the Railway Ministers and officials to rush to the scene of accident,
express their sorrow and opinion for its cause, announce ex-gratia payments to the
victims' families and initiate an inquiry, and there ends the matter.
It is clear that the phenomenal advance in modern technology has not led to the upgradation
of safety to the desired extent. It is only the common man who has to pay the price
for all this with his life. It is time for a systemic overhaul, including safety
measures, on a war footing.
Vinod C. Dixit
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