Saturday, February 3, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Injustice to PCMS doctors

BABA Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, is holding an entrance test for its post-graduate courses on March 4. According to the prospectus, 25% of the seats will be filled on an all-India basis through an all-India competitive entrance test to be held by the Government of India. The remaining seats will be filled through the postgraduate entrance test (PGET). Of these, 60% will be filled from among the eligible Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) in-service doctors and 40% will be open to all eligible medical graduates who are residents of Punjab.

The Government, for the first time, has mentioned in the prospectus that PCMS doctors who get admission to the post-graduate courses under the sanctioned quota will be given extraordinary leave without pay for the period of the course and will be paid stipend at the same rate as is paid to the others. Previously, PCMS doctors who used to get admission under this quota were allowed full salary and were treated as on duty. The decision to deny PCMS doctors their salary and not to treat them on duty during the course of the study is most unfortunate. A serving doctor, who is the sole bread winner of his family, will never be able to do post-graduation. It is worth mentioning that post-graduate students have to pay Rs 21,000 during the first year, Rs 24,500 during the second year and Rs 27,500 during the third year. Only a few years ago, the annual fee was less than Rs 1,000.


The Government first increased the annual fee tremendously and now it has decided to withdraw the doctorsí salaries. Thus, only persons belonging to the privileged sections of society will have access to post-graduate medical courses. The Government of Punjab should withdraw this unjust decision.

AJAY BAGGA, Hoshiarpur

I.T. rebate

The Income Tax Act allows some deductions from gross total income for contribution to certain annuity plans and donations to specified funds. It also allows a rebate in income tax for investments in national saving certificates, the provident fund, life insurance, ULIP, infrastructure bonds etc. Different state governments attract investments in small savings by offering prizes and commission.

Except donations, all savings contribute to enrich the Exchequer for a limited period, after which the money is paid back to the investor. But the income tax paid is for good without any benefit to the payer. Some kind of incentive or rebate, proportional to the amount of the income tax paid should be allowed to the tax payer.

Under section 16 (i) of the IT Act, an assessee is eligible for standard deduction from gross salary income at the rate of 33.33 per cent or Rs 25,000 whichever is less for salary income up to Rs 1 lakh and Rs 20,000 for income above Rs 1 lakh up to Rs 5 lakh. An assessee with a salary income of above Rs 5 lakh is allowed no such deduction. This discrimination against the high salary income group is unfair. A percentage should be fixed for standard deduction without any discrimination.


College affiliation

The committee constituted by the Punjab Government for the re-allocation of colleges to the three universities in Punjab has recommended that Muktsar district be shifted from Panjab University, Chandigarh, to Punjabi University, Patiala, Ferozepur district be shifted from P.U. Chandigarh to G.N.D. University and Ropar district, now under Punjabi University, Patiala, and Nawanshahr district, now under G.N.D. University, Amritsar, to Panjab University, Chandigarh.

The logic of the move is that colleges should be affiliated to the nearest university. This brings to focus an interesting fact that all the three affiliating universities are situated in the northern of eastern side of Punjab (Amritsar, Chandigarh and Patiala) and south Punjab has been neglected in this regard. There are colleges in the towns of south Punjab, like Abohar, Malout, Muktsar, Killianwali-Dabwali, which will be more than 200 km away from the University to which these are affiliated (even after the proposed shifting). So the reallocation will not serve the purpose of bringing the colleges close to the affiliating university. The best course will be to set up a new university in southern Punjab, say at Bathinda, by converting the present Regional Centre of Punjabi University into a university. Colleges in the districts of Muktsar, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Bathinda districts should be affiliated to this university. This will also meet the long-felt need to this educationally backward region of Punjab.

Y.P. MAKKER, Malout

In bad taste

A TV advertisement for a well-known brand of toothpaste shows a woman police officer asking a condemned prisoner to state his last wish. The prisoner asks for a kiss to which the woman police officer readily agrees. At the end, the advertisement shows the two locked in a passionate kiss.

This advertisement has no relevance to the product it is supposed to promote. Moreover, it is utterly in bad taste.

Scripts of all TV advertisements are supposed to be approved by the Government. It is surprising that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has permitted this lewd advertisement to be shown to TV viewers.


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