118 years of Trust M A I L B A G THE TRIBUNE
Saturday, November 21, 1998
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  The dagger of division

I have carefully read all the letters in your esteemed daily on the policy of reservation, the latest being Beneficiaries of Quota Policy by Chand Singh Jasee (October 29). While Mr Chand Singh has concealed more and revealed less about the reservation policy, Mr H.S.Bains (Bathinda) has in fact given the true picture of the humiliation normally suffered by the people enjoying the benefits of the policy. It is wrong to say that the standard of the SC/BC has improved due to the reservation policy as mentioned by Mr Chand Singh. In fact, the poor of the SC/BC/OBC have become poorer and the children born in the poor class of the upper castes due to accident of birth excelling and attaining merits have suffered even by securing as high as 90 per cent marks while their classmates just securing 40 per cent marks but born in an SC/BC family due to an accident of birth got job and promotion overriding every merit.

If one happens to visit any government office, one would easily find out the standard of a person, enjoying the benefits of the policy of reservation. It would be the need of the day to make the students of the poorest and down trodden section of society independent financially and socially instead of making them to depend upon the crutches of reservation like the legless person to walk only with the help of the crutches. Mr Chand Singh is doing more harm than good to the students belonging to the SC/BC class by demoralising them to use the crutches.

Let us now deal with the reservation of seats in favour of the SC/BC/ST/OBC in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas, which is clear denial of the right of adult franchise, recognised and accepted by all civilised people of the world. As rightly stated by Mr M.R. Sharma in his letter on September 28, 120 Lok Sabha seats and 1081 Vidhan Sabha seats, all over the country, are reserved for the SC/BC/ST candidates. The majority of the people in such constituencies are only entitled to vote and not to contest. In many cases almost the same family and even the same members have been contesting the election and entering the Vidhan Sabhas and the Lok Sabha because of the reservation policy.

Mr Chand Singh should also know that The Tribune is a national daily and does not fall under the category of the reservation where only his views would be published. He is no one to suggest such things to the Editor that letters and matters bearing public and national interest should not be exposed. In fact, the newspapers like The Tribune are the best mode of discussion and debates of matters touching the interest of the people of India. I would plead that the reservation policy which had divided the nation must be given a go-by before the young generation revolts against this bad policy. One can easily see the armed forces where such policy does not exist and every one lives and prepares to die as a family member. The country needs temple of talents and not the builders who cannot lay strong foundation for the nation. Let us not dig the ditches and graves for the future of India but grow as one great nation.

Jalari-Hamirpur (HP)

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50 years on indian independence

Bad roads

If you want to have a prompt and first hand knowledge about the state of health of a district administration in Haryana, just try your luck by driving on the city roads on a cycle, a scooter or a car. The roads bearing potholes, slush and trash will highlight the degree of sickness of the authorities, resulting in avoidable inconvenience to the public who bear the brunt of taxes.

This is an undisputed fact that the development of a place is directly related to the level of upkeep of the roads. Thus, we cannot afford to neglect this essential infrastructure at any cost, as this is presumed to be a ladder to success in all sectors of development.

Funds earmarked for the upkeep of roads are invariably misutilised. Every year lakhs are spent on the repairs but the condition of roads continues to deteriorate with every passing day and public money goes to dogs. All this is attributed to the poor workmanship and pilferage of material and money. If a road work at its initial stage is executed strictly according to specifications and with a sense of professional honesty, this may not need any subsequent repairs, say for a period of five years at least. Thus, one can easily imagine the depth of mess and scandal involved.

Strict control, both financially and technically, needs to be exercised on the laying of new roads and maintenance thereof.

Specifications as laid down in the manual should be followed in letter and spirit.

Instead of manual mixing, bitumen macadam should be prepared in the hotmix plants and the same spread with self-propelled mechanical pavers.

Preparation of subgrade should be done with utmost care.


Government control

Your editorial "Unshackle universities" (Nov 17) was food for thought both for the politicians and academicians.

The establishment of the universities referred to in the editorial was through an act of the State and as such all political parties have a role to play in the fulfilment of the aims and objectives of the universities and the academicians have a right to pursue their studies for the ultimate development of the nation. It would, therefore, be wishful thinking to expect that political parties have not built inroads in the universities and many an academician has a soft corner for some politicians to see that their areas of studies are extended beyond the portals of their excellence.

The recent decision of the Punjab Government to maintain a liberal attitude towards development of the universities has unveiled the earlier attitude of the governments whereby they shackled the universities through strict audit systems and pressurising the Vice-Chancellors through their ex-offico members on the Senates of the universities.

The decision of the government not to interfere with the autonomy of the universities is applaudable but the pressure on the Vice-Chancellors and Pro-Vice-Chancellors will not diminish as long as the Chancellors do not share their responsibilities constitutionally. During the last years some High Courts had to come to the rescue of the Chancellors to maintain the dignity of the system.

The Chancellors, therefore, may have a separate secretariat/Boards to deal with the universities in the States where they should see that rapport is maintained with all wings and the studies conducted in various universities percolate to the grassroot level of the industries, laboratories etc.

The Chancellor’s information can be shared with other Chancellors and ultimately the UGC and Education Ministry at Central level can play its role effectively.

Some universities have already extended their areas of operations in some foreign countries, of course, with the concurrence of the Chancellors, to deal with the studies of the students. It would be worthwhile if the Chancellors share their views with out-agencies to maintain uptodate rapport.

The Vice-Chancellors and Pro-Vice-Chancellors are occasionally provided with the opportunity to visit foreign countries on the basis of Commonwealth Universities but the Chancellors may visit foreign countries once in a blue moon.


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