Sitaram Yechury in No stars in our eyes (October 18), seems to suggest that the USSR did a great benefit to humanity by launching Sputnik and that it made it an open source project for anyone to build and share. Like the US, the USSR has no intention of using space research for the benefit of humanity but to exert its own power. Yechury fails to mention the Chinese bomb that can destroy any satellite in space from earth, perhaps because it is not counted in his definition of 'evil imperialism'.
Satellites have become an important part of our lives today. India has made great strides in this field and the INSAT series is a testimony to this. India has joined select countries in the launch of satellites on our own. The launch of Sputnik was a path-breaking event. Satellites have become a major part of our lives, thanks to our space scientists.
Not a real ally
With reference to your editorial A war of nerves (October 15), while talking about Iran positively, we forget that Iran is a country that had declared a cash reward for getting an India-born citizen, Salman Rushdie, murdered. Iran is a country that has beheaded hundreds of persons only because they were officers of a previous government. Iran is the country that has acquired nuclear technology from one of our neighbours, Pakistan.
Below the grade
Having failed to spell out in concrete terms how to improve the quality in higher education, Sukhadeo Thorat in Learning curves (October 15) has rolled out statistical data and the government policy in this area. Quality in higher education is a continuing process assimilating the best in the world of knowledge through debate. The UGC's role should be to churn out knowledgeable and employable youth and not add to mere numbers.
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