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Saturday, May 29, 1999
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Who’s responsible for strategic failure?

APROPOS of your editorial “Kargil: What’s the Truth’ (May 21), I want to compliment you for your bold and forthright expose of the reverse our army has suffered in the sensitive Kargil area and the shameful attempts being made by some officials to confuse the people. With so many soldiers of the army and the paramilitary deployed in the Kashmir valley it is beyond comprehension as to how the “infiltrators” have come and entrenched themselves across the LoC. The confusing and contradictory statements made by various officials have only added to the apprehensions in the public mind. It is obvious that such a major action could not have been carried out by Pakistan without a strategic failure on our part for which the responsibility must lie at the very top.

I wonder why the COAS, Gen VP Malik, who has otherwise been hyper active in projecting himself in the media, has not made any statement on this fiasco? Or is he an opportunist chief who only takes credit while passing the blame to his juniors? No sir, it won’t do to simply remove from command the brigade and the division commander. The failure lies much higher. The army chief must accept the blame in the highest traditions of our great army if the morale of the soldiers and the field commanders is to be maintained. He must not be allowed to pass the buck downwards.


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Student quota

The Punjab Technical Education Board increased the quota of Punjab students to 85% for admissions in various engineering institutes but Panjab University, Chandigarh, didn’t do so for the Chandigarh students disappointing many aspiring engineers from the city beautiful. Consequently, due to feeling of insecurity many students filled forms of institutes that are far away and not even well known. One of these institutes is the Indian Institutes of Information and Technology (IIIT) set up at Hyderabad & Allahabad in collaboration with software companies (Microsoft, IBM etc).

For Hyderabad the entrance test was conducted on May 23 at SD College, Chandigarh. It was disappointing to see the manner in which the exam was conducted. First of all there was no application form for appearing in this test rather the students had to send their biodata along with a DD of Rs 500. Many students didn’t receive their admit cards and some of those who received them were dumbfounded that their centre was Delhi. They could not go to Delhi as the Chandigarh CET was held on the same day in the morning. On the day of the entrance test the exam was started about 15 minutes late because the question papers were not distributed properly in all the rooms. Also there was no fixed time when the exam started or finished. The invigilators were themselves amused and couldn’t clarify the doubts regarding filling of the answer sheets put up by students.

The Allahabad entrance test is to be held on June 6 but again till date many students haven’t received their prospectus and information brochure against a DD of Rs 500 (last date of whose filling and returning was May 10 ) despite repeated reminders to the institute through letters. Nobody attends the phone at the given phone numbers and the students have given up.

The students and their parents are feeling cheated and left in lurch. Panjab University should increase its intake to 85% for the Chandigarh students so that next time the students don’t fall prey to money making institutes.


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50 years on indian independence

Natural born

The historical paradigm of Chandragupta Maurya as stated in the rejoinder of Mr J N Narang to Mr R L Singal’s letter (May 20) has no relevance because the progeny would be the natural born citizen of India and therefore, could not be debarred from succeeding the throne. Likewise, late Rajiv Gandhi’s progeny would have equal rights as other natural born citizens of India. In Fiji islands, the landowners during the late 19th century took thousands of people from India to work as labourers in cotton and sugar plantations there. That is why, millions of Fijians on Indian descent now enjoy equal citizenship rights, including the right to contest elections and form the government.

As regards watchfulness of Indian Parliament, the nation knows it too well to its enormous cost.



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