Sir The discovery of an exoplanet orbiting the star, Alpha Centauri B, has brightened the chances of finding life in outer space. The planet is only around four light years away from the earth. Scientists have documented hundreds of planetary systems across the visible part of the firmament. Other stars deemed likely to sustain life in planets close to themselves are the Zeta Reticuli, the Pegasus stars and Barnards Star. Hopefully, before the turn of the century, the existence of the elusive extraterrestrial would be confirmed.
Arun Malankar, Mumbai
Sir Quite a few private medical colleges have lately been established in India. The buildings, classrooms, washrooms and other facilities in these colleges are sophisticated. This makes it easier to win the approval of the Medical Council of India. However, the quality of teaching and training provided is reportedly inadequate.
There is a shortage of dedicated faculty in these medical colleges and hospitals. Therefore, many students who earn a degree from these institutions are inadequately trained. The sole motive of many of them in studying medicine is to join high-end speciality hospitals or to open their own clinics to start reaping the profits as early as possible. They are not motivated by the social responsibility of the medical profession or the will to serve the ailing poor, especially in the rural areas. The situation is similar in many medical colleges that have been granted minority status. The standard of education falls below expectations.
The government must take corrective measures to cure this malaise in medical education and training. Also, as long as medical education remains riddled with reservations and minority quotas, the quality of doctors, who are fresh out of medical colleges, will continue to deteriorate.
Abdul Hakim Khan,
Sir In cyberspace, Indians are a poorly protected lot. Around 42 million Indians were reportedly hit by cyber crime and online scams in 2011. There is an urgent need to deal with this threat. The government in association with the private sector has planned to train 500,000 personnel to fight the menace. The current situation demands the employment of ethical hackers. This was earlier considered unlawful, but is now seen as vital. Since India largely lacks the tools and expertise required to deal with cyber crime, and the dependence of the public on the internet is increasing, it is necessary for the government to invest in cyber education including information security at the college level. It can also be expected that the youth of the nation will actively participate in the battle against cyber crime.
Mohd. Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur
Sir The veteran jatra icon, Shantigopal Pal, passed away on November 5. Pal achieved fame by playing historical characters on stage. He started his career back when jatra was, contrary to popular belief, more than just entertainment for the audience. Pal will always be associated with some of the greatest moments of jatra.
Subhayu Saha, Khagra, Murshidabad