Wednesday, May 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Declining relevance of education system

It has judiciously been pointed out that under the tattered umbrella of the present education system the youth of today is a lost and undetermined lot (“Harnessing youth power is imperative” by P.P.S. Gill, Education Tribune). The only possible relevance the present system of education does have is not to the effective needs and requirements of society or the nation but to enabling the pupils to pass a certain examination at the end of a certain period.

The awe-inspiring shortage of officers in the armed forces, the teachers and the heads in educational institutions and the general staff in public sector undertakings, in contrast to ever-increasing unemployment are the very proof of it.

Education, of course, is the very fountain head, the oasis of the over-all national standing of a country. It, in reality, is the very foundation on which stands the whole structure, what-so-ever, of the nation. Education, in its essence, means systematic training and development of personality and character. It is an orderly and patient process of acquiring the art of spontaneous utilisation of the acquired knowledge or even of the knowledge that lie dormant in every human being.

Needless to say that all are well aware of the fact that civilisation and culture are inalienable factors. Culture sustains the existence to a civilisation and enables historians to record the chronicles of a nation. Culture encompasses not only the thought process or the aesthetic senses, but also the human feelings of the nations.



At whose cost?

Some learned members of Parliament (Upper/Lower House) stall the proceedings of the august House or compel the Speaker/Chairperson to adjourn the House once or more even in a single day. In the almost half forgotten past of our Parliament it used to be a very rare occurrence. But, of late, it has become a frequent development.

This results in the lengthening of the session of the House and causes an extra burden on the national exchequer. No MP or party suffers in the exercise as the members’ perks and allowances remain totally unaffected. It is the taxpayers who bears the brunt for no fault of his own.

This also serves as a bad example set by the member of the august House for the man in the street.

Why can our parliamentarians not develop an attitude of constructive discussion so that the country’s problems are solved without much hindrance.


Power: thoughtless move

This refers to the editorial “Powerless to reforms” (May 4). There is a proverb in Punjabi “Ghar da jogi jogra, begana jogi sidh”. Mr P.R. Kumrarmangalam is following the same by taking the prescription of the World Bank. There should be no doubts in our minds that the World Bank is not a charitable trust for the uplift of Third World countries through its funding of various programmes. It is purely a commercial organisation. How are our elected representatives getting deluded that the World Bank will lit a lamp in the huts of the 1/3rd remaining Indians? It is totally indigestible. We will have to admit that something had been inhaled to our leaders which is forcing them to sing praises of foreign investors.

The sole purpose of reforms is to privatise the state electricity boards by restructuring these temples of growth. As a temple is incomplete without the deity of Ram, Lakshman and Sita, similarly power experts know that SEBs are incomplete without generation, transmission and distribution in the Indian context. What will we get out of this?

Barnala (Sangrur)

Clashing entrance exam dates

The date for Common Engineering Entrance Test-2000 to be conducted by Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar for admission to Kurukshetra Regional Engineering College and other Regional Engineering Colleges in India and the Common Entrance Test for admission to the B. Tech. courses in Zakir Hussain College of Engineering & Technology, Aligarh Muslim University, is the same — June 18. In order that the candidates competing for admission to these colleges are not deprived of a chance the authorities should look into the matter and change the date suitably.


Pingalwara: disturbing report

The news “Pingalwara embroiled in row” (May 3) is painful on two counts. One, a person claiming to be the (self-styled) heir of Pingalwara has done a great disservice to humanity, and deserves harsher treatment. Two, (that disturbed me more) the report gives the impression that there are corrupt practices in the Amritsar Pingalwara also, and this may adversely affect the flow of donations to the institution, so keenly nursed by Bhagat Puran Singh. This is not in the interest of the welfare of orphans, leprosy patients, the destitute, the sick and the homeless.

Pingalwara was founded by a person who was a saint in the true sense of the word. Bhagat Puran Singh was what India’s distilled wisdom and rich heritage stands for. The donors should continue with their divine duty towards Pingalwara without being affected by an isolated instance of corrupt practice by someone claiming to be the heir to the saint of Pingalwara.



What is the chewing gum for your eyes?

Answer: Television!



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