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Friday June 14, 2024

People are talking about —

By Our Correspondent
September 24, 2023

— the unbelievable but heartening report that although residents of a small village in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Buner district do not have other necessary, basic facilities of life, they only pay Rs200/month and get uninterrupted electricity, thanks to a local 30 years old resident who has built a hydroelectric power plant with just Rs100,000! People say if this can be achieved by a single individual, why is the government lagging behind in initiating similar schemes all over the country?

— the fact that many of our universities are facing a financial crunch, one of the reasons being the employment of excess staff due to favouritism; vested interests and other unethical hiring practices, while the recruitment and promotion system in many universities is also not very transparent and often influenced by pressure groups. People say the education authorities must form a high-level committee to investigate this matter and set better guidelines for recruitment and promotion on the basis of need and fairness.

— the report that wildlife experts have sounded the alarm over a lone female Himalayan bear crammed in a small cage at Karachi Zoo, since an African elephant died recently because of ‘inappropriate’ conditions at the same facility. People say her cage has two small chambers and an open courtyard with a tiny pond in the middle and the bear’s coat has started losing its colour, so she needs to be taken out of the zoo as soon as possible.

— the recent Medical and Dental College Admissions Test (MDCAT) a competitive examination in which thousands of aspirants appear every year, whose questions were leaked and the paper was sold at exorbitant price to those who could afford it. People say in the aftermath of this shameful scandal, thousands of students are demanding justice, and rightly so, hoping that action would be taken against those responsible for the mess which has destroyed the academic career of many deserving candidates.

— the decline of print culture in our lives and why we should encourage the presence of bookstalls and newspaper vendors at public places, like bus stops and railway stations. People say while the digital world brings undeniable convenience and accessibility, it is crucial to strike a balance between the convenience of technology and the richness of print culture, ensuring that future generations experience the joy of browsing through bookstalls, discovering literary treasures, and relishing the touch and feel of books and newspapers.

— the narrative that we need to promote a tax culture. People say this line of thought tends to give the false impression that ordinary folk are not paying enough in taxes, which is untrue and unfair as the majority of ‘ordinary’ citizens pay more than their fair share in direct and indirect taxes because everything from bread to electricity comes with a considerable tax on it. What we need is to tax our ruling elite whose perks and privileges are tax-free.

— the fact that the electricity crisis has worsened in recent months due to the state’s failure to provide reliable and affordable power, making those who can afford it turn to alternative sources, such as solar systems. People say the government can help the less privileged by taking measures like offering loans to help people arrange solar panels or other renewable energy systems, while community-owned solar farms may also be considered as they can provide electricity to poor families at discounted rates. — I.H.