27 May 2024  |   04:11am IST

Letter to the editor (27 May 2024)

New driving licence rules more of a bane?

The Central government is all set to introduce new regulations for obtaining driving licences in India with effect from June 1, 2024. 

Well, under the new regulations, individuals seeking a driving licence will no longer be required to undergo the traditional driving test at government Regional Transport Offices (RTO). Instead, private institutions will now be authorised to conduct the tests and issue certificates, affirming that the applicants they have trained are eligible for driving licences. 

Which means that some private institutions will henceforth be allowed to freely charge their own fees/collect huge sums of money from the applicants (which includes the share of the ‘hafta’ or bribe to be paid to the RTO officials) and to blindly issue them driving licences without even taking any driving tests to unleash some more unfit people on roads throughout India. 

Well, it looks like we are going to witness some more road accidents with the coming of Central government’s new regulations plan on driving licences and also see a rise in corruption everywhere in the days to come. We are going to land from the frying pan to the fire in the name of streamlining the process of obtaining a driving licence and enhancing road safety in India. God alone should save innocents from dying in serious road accidents in India.

Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

Russia, China ties send clear signals to West

It’s said that the greatest mistake in international diplomacy is to assume that “your enemy is his enemy” or vice--versa.  Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. On May 17, when Russian President Vladimir Putin completed his two--day visit to China, he wasn’t as categorical to the extent of being blunt, but his statement that the “China--Russia relation was not directed against anyone” was extremely significant.  

Putin’s remark is important because relations between two strong nations is aimed at mutual development and benefit.  

The Russian President’s dig at the United States monopoly in international matters was evident during his stress on an “emerging multipolar world”. 

It is clear that the Putin-- Xi Jinping tete-a-tete has sent a clever signal to the West on an intransigent Eurasian equation. 

Both are dominant leaders ruling their countries for a long time, and they know what it takes to keep misunderstandings and adversaries at bay. Be that as it may, both leaders appeared to have a substantive talk focused on strategic and personal ties including the Ukraine war.  

Over a period, besides others, bilateral trade between Russia and China has improved by leaps and bounds.  The latest meet between the two should further cement the bond of trust and friendship between them.

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola

State of grace is a rare commodity

A state of grace is what modern men are in pursuit of in these times of stress and strain. A solitary walk along the forests and the streams to seek peace is one way of finding it. 

Sitting below a tree in the fore dusk reading a book with soothing contents could be another way of finding grace. Walking up the hill alone could also instil that state of grace which is so very elusive. Listening to the soft whistle of the breeze past the rustling leaves is what drowns your senses in a state of grace and peace. 

Walking the forest and listening to the twittering of the birds in its serene harmony and the call of the restless squirrels are all environs that you can find in Goa so as to immerse yourselves in that peace of mind that will help you to revitalize and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul and to be one with nature. Transcend for some time during the day negative feelings into positive vibes to see you through to that rare commodity that is called as a state of grace in pursuit of true happiness.

Elvidio Miranda, Panjim

Global warming causing flight turbulence

A Singapore Airlines flight recently hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes leaving a British man dead and two dozen other passengers injured.

The flight was then diverted and landed in stormy weather in Bangkok. The 73-year-old man reportedly suffered a suspected heart attack after the plane experienced a sudden drop in altitude. Passengers have described scenes on board as “absolute terror” with people and objects suddenly thrown across the cabin. 

 Though severe flight turbulence is rare, it can be deadly. Scientists at Reading University in the UK studied clear-air turbulence, which is harder for pilots to avoid.  Climate change is making the worst turbulence more common. 

Obviously Global Warming is not only affecting the oceans and the seas but also the skies. The friction around the jet stream between the slower and faster air causes turbulence. The warmer air caused by carbon dioxide emissions increases wind shear in the jet streams, strengthening clear-air turbulence. As greenhouse-gas emissions like carbon dioxide rise, so do global temperatures. Severe flight turbulence is a growing threat in a warming world. There needs to be improved turbulence forecasting and detection systems, to prevent bumpier flights in the coming decades.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Apprehensions about election outcomes 

Voters are anxiously awaiting with bathed breath the verdict  to unfold. BJP exudes confidence of returning to power with NDA. The INDIA block with support in Karnataka, West Bengal, Delhi and Southern states is expected to reduce the margin and spring a surprise. The social media posts indicate the anger of voters for communal hatred, unemployment, crimes against women, galloping prices and persecution of minorities, threats to the opposition. 

Whether the views of literate as against vast majority of others will make a dent is the speculation. There are serious doubts about sanctity, fairness of the  process. 

The ECI seems not to be sure of votes cast and SC is seized of the matter. Rumours predict large scale unrest, protests, if the verdict goes either way. In the history of independent India, such speculations were rare.

Modi ki guarantee is really amazing.  Nevertheless always change keeps legislators on toes and that is the fear that sends jitters down their spines. 

Nelson Lopes, Chinchinim


Iddhar Udhar