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EXIT POLLS

Exit polls are based on a statistical sampling method adopted in many scientific activities. The basis for exit polls is a perfectly-tested scientific method. The randomly selected subject may deliberately cheat in exit polls which is not possible with scientific entities! Another potential problem could be the sampling size. In statistical sampling, the extent of reliability is related to the sampling size. We have a 900 million electorate and assuming 50 per cent voting the 8 lakh sampling size is 0.2 per cent. If one uses a sampling size calculator, it can be seen that 8 lakh sampling size is adequate to give an excellent confidence level of a fraction of a per cent.

Further, the exit polls offer an independent method to the actual election process to gauge public opinion. It is unscientific to demand 50 per cent checking of VVPATs. Dr. M R Iyer, Nuclear Scientist, Mumbai

ELECTORAL REFORMS

There is great urgency for the Election Commission to restore the integrity of the elections and to ensure the strict enforcement of basic norms for candidates to legislative bodies. It must prescribe some simple norms listed below:
• Minimum educations qualification (positive score)
• Working knowledge of languages (positive score)
• Regular filing of income tax returns and disclosure of income and assets (positives or negative score depending on information)
• Involvement in social causes (positive score)
• Prior convictions and nature of violations (negative score)
• Represents a minority (positive score)
• Sponsorship of the candidate by a minimum of 100 voters in the constituency
It is high time that this idea is put in a debate in the print and visual media with the participation of former members of the Election Commission and one or two retired judges from the Supreme Court of India. The objective can be achieved by executive order of the Election Commission in the form of a notification in the Central Government Gazette. TS Gopalan, Labour law expert

REVAMP EDUCATION

Our education standards are unsatisfactory, one of the reasons being extreme poverty. Village schools are in bad condition with poor infrastructure. Despite the teachers getting adequate salaries, many of them are professionally sub-standard. Indian parents want their children to study in English, but we lack good English teachers. In my view, Tamil Nadu should import hundreds of English teachers to teach English in village schools. C Ramakrishna, Senior advocate, and philanthropist

Thanks for sending me the interesting and unique contribution of Madhavi Narayanan at Teach for
India. I enjoyed reading this lucid story. Dr. M Anandakrishnan, former Vice-Chancellor Anna University

Madhavi’s passion and perseverance come through in her writing! Her profile would be so distinctive when she applies for law school! People like Madhavi would surely be among the most prominent changemakers in the world! – (on the cover story of IE May 2019 issue) Sangita Viswanathan, Manila

I read with great interest your cover story featuring the state of education in India and Pratham’s study. We too feel there is potential for PPP in improving the education system. We should lobby with the Government. Dr Kalpana Sankar, Co-Founder, Hand-in-Hand India

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