Reservation or merit :

The political parties and various NGOs are making much of ‘total democracy’ and calling for greater participation of women, Dalits and Janajatis in governance. One wonders why these actors do not serve as examples by institutionalising the policy proposed for public service themselves. Why can’t they guarantee 45 per cent reservations in political parties, NGOs and the Parliament for these marginalised groups? After all, no educational qualifications are required to enter politics or social service.

Reserving 45 per cent of public service vacancies, en bloc, will undoubtedly create a new ‘dual system’ within the national public service system by differentiating between those who enter on merit and those on quota system. If promotions are also guided by this criterion, merit will definitely be sacrificed, just when the public service should be made more professional in this age of globalisation.

Hence, all vacancies in public service should be open to competition for women, Dalits and Janajatis, but only until the 45 per cent requirement is met. For this, the recruitment procedures need to be altered drastically.

The new entry criteria should provide for the entrance examination to be taken either in English or Nepali and interviews that gauge the applicants’ skills and aptitudes. The job descriptions should be made accessible to all candidates seeking the desired posts to prepare for the interview. But there should be no reservation with respect to promotions. Every public sector department must be bound by a Citizen’s Charter of Service and be accountable to the Parliament for the implementation of the government’s policy.

Madhukar SJB Rana, Jawalakhel

Not voluntary :

The “voluntary donation” that the Maoists raise from individuals and organisations is anything but voluntary. Of late, the CPN-UML’s student wing, ANNISU, has also been demanding contributions, especially from the Valley’s schools.

The language of their letters to these schools is threatening, speaking of stern action if they are not given money. This will not help the CPN-UML’s cause, especially in future elections. The leaders can ignore these developments at their own peril.

Mani Lal Chettri, via e-mail

Empty words :

I was happy to read the news report “Maoists committed to press freedom: Prachanda” (THT, September 7). Yes, press freedom is vital for democracy. But mere rhetoric will do no good unless the commitments are translated into action.

A couple of days ago I was stopped by some Maoists en route to Kathmandu from Pokhara on my motorbike. When I inquired, I was told to keep quiet. Hence, people need to exercise their own judgement rather than rely on the empty words of the political leaders.

Kamala Shrestha, Jawalakhel

It’s Achham :

My attention has been drawn by THT’s repeated mistake in spelling the district of Achham. It is Achham, not Accham. I hope such mistakes are not repeated.

Prakash Bhandari,

via e-mail