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Saturday, January 9, 1999
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Fate of PTU students

  PUNJAB Technical University has been established to provide professional courses in engineering to the students of Punjab in particular. Prior to its establishment the affiliation of engineering colleges in Punjab was either with Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, or Panjab University, Chandigarh. Besides, the Thapar College of Engineering and Technology, a deemed university, was also looking after this requirement of the students of Punjab. But the fate which the students met since establishment of PTU is disgusting. Consider the following:

a) The PTU adopted the CPAM method for appraisal of the performance of students. This system was rejected by the Thapar College of Engineering and Technology and IIT, institutes of repute in the world, which resulted in strikes by the students of the 1997 batch. Consequently the system was slightly diluted.

b) During 1998, the PTU conducted the Common Entrance Test and it is a matter of record that students got three to four result cards of the said test. The result first published was declared null and void by the High Court and a revised result was published. However, the second result was again altered during the perusal of papers by the students in the Lok Adalat held at Jalandhar. All this caused wastage of months together and a lot of money of the students for no fault of theirs.

c) The students who appeared in LEET also suffered due to casual and callous attitude of the PTU which also resulted in court cases.

d) Whereas the Thapar College of Engineering and Technology has conducted the exam for the 1st semester the PTU has not been able to conduct the internal exam, what to speak of exam for the 1st semester.

e) Enough is enough, but not for the PTU. The PTU did not learn any lesson from the strikes of the 1997 batch and imposed the CPAM system on the students of the 1998 batch, which again resulted in strikes.

All this has made the students and parents to believe that the goal of the PTU is to harass the students and push them to courts and Lok Adalats.

The students are pursuing engg. courses at GNDU and Punjabi University and TIET, Patiala with satisfaction but the fate of the students studying in colleges affiliated to PTU needs a serious look. All this raises the following questions:

a) Why are the students pursuing engg. courses of Punjab appraised in a different way in the state itself?

b) Is it fair to provide the PTU opportunities to learn by doing experiments on the students time and again?

c) Is it fair the PTU is allowed to spend the hard-earned money of the people on contesting court cases caused by their mismanagement and taking decision without considering the facts and practicability thereof?

d) Shouldn’t the PTU have adopted the rules and regulations of well-established universities like TIET, GNDU or Punjabi University, instead of experimenting at the cost of students’ career?

It is said that it is excellent to learn from the mistakes of others but it is also not bad to acknowledge one’s own mistakes and take corrective steps. Therefore, it will be in the fitness of things if the PTU borrows the rules and regulations from the other universities of Punjab instead of imprisoning themselves in their ego or the engineering colleges may be reaffiliated with the universities as it was prior to the establishment of the PTU.


Fire is still raging

After viewing the film “Fire”, I feel that its director, Deepa Mehta, has not been judicious in selecting the names of heroines, viz., Radha and Sita (now changed to Reeta). I fail to understand what sort of art it depicts in showing a young servant “Mundu” indulging in self-abuse while reciting Ramayana. These gross lapses have severely hurt the sentiments of devout Hindus.

I whole-heartedly support the freedom of “expression” of art; but cinemakers and artists should observe extra caution while depicting gods and goddesses on the screen/canvas. Artists should promote aesthetic sense by all means but they should keep in view the sentiments of masses. Film producers must exercise utmost restraint while projecting themes like lesbianism and homosexuality as these are very delicate subjects for Indian audiences.

A word to the opponents of “Fire”. They should not indulge in violent demonstrations throwing all decency and decorum to the winds. These have proved counter-productive and instead of extinguishing “Fire”, these have added fuel to it. Moreover, these demonstrations have proved a blessing in disguise to the producer, giving undue and free publicity.


Working of hospitals

Mrs Vimla Dang has rightly said that there should be an Act to regulate the working of hospitals/nursing homes etc. There is no need to enact a new Act called the Punjab Nursing Home Registration Act but the working of all hospitals/nursing homes/clinical labs/diagnostic centres/blood banks should be regulated under the already existing Act called the Punjab Medical Registration Act, 1916, by the Punjab Medical Council which is constituted under Section 5 of the Punjab Medical Registration Act, 1916. It has 11 members; out of which five are nominated by the Punjab Government and six are elected by the doctors registered with it. The Punjab Medical Council should be the registering and inspection authority of all the establishments connected with the health care delivery system situated in Punjab.

Before it is empowered by the Punjab Government to regulate the working of all hospitals/nursing homes in Punjab the Act under which it is constituted will need many amendments while preparing the draft of the amendments in the Punjab Medical Registration Act, 1916. The representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Punjab Unit, must be closely associated with this because the IMA is the single largest recognised organisation of qualified doctors.

The Punjab Medical Council is non-existent for the last about 18 years and I appeal to the Government of Punjab through these columns that the Punjab Medical Council should be constituted at the earliest possible in the interest of medical fraternity and the public at large.


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Injustice to principals

I just cannot understand to what extent the Haryana government wants to test the spirit of tolerance of college principals. If the teachers go on strike, the principals, loyal to their duties as they are, regularly attend to their work. The 25 days’ old strike in August/September last is a simple proof. The Chief Minister also knows that the college principals are a class by themselves and are obedient to the government in implementing its policies word for word.

What withholds the government from releasing the new pay scale of Rs 18,400 and the pocket allowance of Rs 1000 p.m. is beyond my comprehension. Haryana is a prosperous state. The pay scales, which become effective from 1.1.96, are getting delayed for no rhyme or reason. Should we conclude that scales delayed are scales denied. The more the delay, the heavier it is in the form of arrears on the exchequer. When there is a green signal from the UGC and the ministry concerned, why the Haryana government should dilly-dally with it.

At the national conference of the Association of Indian College Principals at Cochin on December 6, it was resolved that all states should give a uniform scale of Rs 18,400 to the principals of all degree colleges in the country, irrespective of the college strength or the length of service. The government of Haryana would earn more goodwill of the college principals by extending a benevolent gesture of releasing these grades.



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