LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (31/12/2020)

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Don’t Allow Cultivation Of Cannabis

According to reports published in newspapers on Wednesday, the state government is considering giving permission for cultivation of cannabis or ganja for medicinal purposes. Most of the younger population of Goa, especially from North Goa is addicted to this drug and the youth get involved in criminal activities thus spoiling their lives and also that of their family members. If permission is given for cannabis cultivation, it will hardly go towards medicinal purposes. On the contrary, a major part of such cultivation could land in the local market, in the hands of our younger generation and entire Goa will go from bad to worse. Hope the Chief Minister does not permit such cultivation of cannabis in the larger interest of the state.

AJIT VAIDYA, SANCOALE

Benefits To India From Brexit Deal

According to the Brexit deal signed between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU), UK nationals will not have unrestricted freedom to work, study, start a business or live in the EU any longer and vice versa. However, both, the UK and the EU have traffic-free and quota-free access to each other’s markets. The deal has profound implications for the UK economy. However, India is likely to benefit a lot from this deal. The deal is beneficial to India for several reasons. One, Indian exporters, who were catering to the EU and UK markets will not have to meet different standards and registrations for the markets. Two, in sectors such as IT, R&D, architecture and financial services, India may gain in both the markets. Three, Brexit will certainly have favourable impact on the business footprint of UK firms in India. Four, it opens an opportunity for India to sign trade deals separately with both, the EU and the UK. Five, it gives India an opportunity to show that it is not protectionist as much as forward-looking when it comes to trade, technology and investment. Six, the Indian industrial firms will be allowed to treat the UK as their investment gateway to Europe. Seven, being more of an importing country than an exporting nation, the overall effect may turn out positive for India. Eight, it might give a boost to trade ties between India and the UK. Nine, fall in the prices of commodities like crude will help India save a lot on its import bill. Ten, considering that the fees may be low, more Indian students can afford to study in Britain. In short, India may be a net gainer from the Brexit deal between the EU and the UK.

VENU G S, KOLLAM

Saving Leopards

The huge positive difference big cats bring to the ecosystem and the sheer joy they are by their mere presence have propelled governments to go all the way in preventing the beautiful big cats from going extinct by taking measures to protect them. India’s ‘Status Leopards in India, 2018’, has warmed the cockles of cat lovers by giving numbers that denote a sixty per cent leap in leopard number in the country in the last four years. From 7,910 in 2014, the leopard number jumped to 12,852 by the end of 2018. It is heartening that despite a 75 per cent global habitat loss over the decades and more, there has been a steady rise in leopard numbers in India. Moreover, the official study did not take into consideration the non-forest habitats, higher elevated areas and a vast Northeast landscape area – the count could have been even more. Some experts are sceptical because they feel such a drastic hike in leopard count in four years is unbelievable. It could be either due to an underestimation in 2014 or increase in sample area in 2018, they aver. It is true that leopards were searched in the tiger base, but that is almost inevitable in such a massive research. Anyway, beyond criticism and cynicism, the lovely, spotted big cat has lived to its reputation of being flexible to changes. In general, landscape fragmentation, electrocution, poisoning and road accidents continue to be hazards for the lovely creatures. Particularly, deforestation and destruction of wildlife habitats have forced the leopards to stray into towns and cities. There should be more sanctuaries and groundwater to prevent the animal from straying to human dwellings. Stringent laws have to be put in place to preserve leopards.

GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA