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Abhijit Banerjee's Learning Curbs (The Poverty Line, November 14) reminds me of a news story that I read in a local newspaper recently.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2011 23:17 IST
letters@hindustantimes.com

Politicisation of the education system is ruining India's future
Abhijit Banerjee's Learning Curbs (The Poverty Line, November 14) reminds me of a news story that I read in a local newspaper recently. The news report said that the Punjab government has decided that there will be no exams till Class 8. In other words, this means that no child can be detained in a particular class. This is an absurd rule and has been done only because the assembly elections are due next year. No child can learn well without proper evaluation and our politicians are deliberately playing with their future because they are greedy for votes. Thanks to this politicisation of education, our children will have very weak basic knowledge and less than basic communication skills. If we continue this way, India will lose its so-called demographic dividend.
Balvinder Singh, via email

II
I agree with the author. I would also like to point out another area of concern: even those who are getting 98-99% marks are hardly demonstrating any creativity or practical application of knowledge. The government and educationists must look into this sphere of child development and education if we want to have an educated, not just literate, population.
P Bardhan, via email

India must be more assertive
This is with reference to the report Assertive India takes on China, US in global game (November 19). It is heartening to see that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made India's position clear in the global stage. Across the world, countries have exploited natural resources for their own benefit. India should also do it and not feel threatened by the US or China's tough talking. Not only the US and China but most countries only understand assertive language. There is no place for ambiguity in the world of diplomacy.
P Ramaswamy, via email