Thursday, February 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Registration of NRIs

The registration of NRIs who wish to stay in India for more than 180 days involves a cumbersome procedure. A foreign passport holder, even if he has a valid multiple visitor’s visa for five years has to get himself registered with the authorities within 14 days of his arrival. A person visiting his ancestral home to take care of his property does not know if he will have to stay in India for more than 180 days. But if he is not registered, he is breaking the law and will face a big problem at the time of his departure.

The registration is also not an easy process. One has to spend some days at a lawyer’s office to get all the documentation done and then one needs an Indian national (with a valid Indian passport) to undertake a guarantee on one’s behalf. After clearance from the police, the NRI is given a document which looks like a passport.

This becomes an impossible task for those who do not have any relatives or sponsors in India. We are NRIs who left India nearly 40 years ago and my daughter, born in Canada, went to stay in Mumbai for an extended period of time. Though she had a valid five years’ visitor’s visa, she had to go through a nightmare because we did not know any Indian in Mumbai who could sponsor her to stay there for more than 180 days.

The Government of India must have some reason to frame such draconian regulations but to treat all NRIs in the same fashion is irritating and self-defeating. It is high time such regulations were streamlined to suit the changing environment of Indians living abroad.

ASHOK SHARMA, Vancouver (Canada)


Fooling the consumer

Some manufacturers have found ways to beat the excise duty charged on the basis of the maximum retail price (MRP), and thus play a fraud on the exchequer as well as the consumer. They charge extra amounts in the name of freight, handling charges and local expenses. Such amounts often run up to half the advertised price.

The consumer is already confused with the inscription, ‘Local Taxes Extra’, because uniform rates of sales tax which could force the manufacturer to print the net payable price on his product, have not been implemented. The consumers are fooled by yet another gimmick of a lower price under ‘Waiting Scheme’.

The Government should impose MRP-based excise duty on all items generally sold under exchange schemes. Evidently, the net price charged in exchange of the old item is the real sale price. The value of the old item is extra profit for the company or the dealer. The Government should also take note of the consumers’ money being wasted on unwanted items forced on him ‘free’ by the companies with the purchases. The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs should ban all such gimmick sales and advertisements.


Constitution review

President K.R. Narayanan has warned against overhauling the Constitution. There is no denying the fact that some avoidable amendments have been made to the Constitution in the past. But it is also true that no constitution can retain its relevance for ever. Politicians have prostituted the Constitution and thus it needs a comprehensive review. The founding fathers had not visualised that politics would shed all its moral values. They never anticipated men with criminal backgrounds in the corridors of power. Gandhi and Ambedkar had never dreamt that muscle and money power would rule the roost. They had never thought that a Prime Minister of India would be punished for horse-trading.

Much water has flowed down the Ganges since we gained freedom. With the changing times old order must yield place to new. We have to change our economic policies. Ornamental and unproductive expenditure needs to be curtailed. It is not the form of government which matters, but the moral standard it maintains.


Harassed parents

December to March is testing time for parents who seek admission for their children in the nursery or K.G. classes in public schools.

The parents are forced to apply in three or four schools, as there is no guarantee that the child will be admitted to the school of their choice. There are exorbitant charges for admission forms, registration and the prospectus. Then begins the round of interviews. The parents are asked questions ranging from their philosophy of life to their financial and social status, the art of reforming the child, the meaning of creativity and social values and whether the child lives in a joint family and so on.

It is obvious that such questions are meant only to provide justification for the large number of rejections which are often influenced by extraneous considerations such as voluntary donations or interest-free loans.

To end this harassment of parents and children, will it not be fair if admissions to nursery and K.G. classes are made by the draw of lots?

O.P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Medical admission

The decision of the Punjab Government with regard to admission to medical and dental college is a welcome step. Under the new admission criteria, 50 per cent weightage will be given to marks scored by the students in their Class XII examination and 50 per cent to the marks scored in the entrance test.

This means that the existing school system, particularly at the senior secondary level, needs to be strengthened and made more result-oriented as the schools are likely to play a more effective role in disseminating quality education to science students.The schools are also expected to improve their academic standards and provide better infrastructure for the students to conduct science practicals etc. On the other hand the school boards (C.B.S.E., P.S.E.B., I.C.S.E. and others) need to ensure a more transparent, accountable and objective system of examination and evaluation. The main effort at the three levels — school, board and entrance test — should be to identify and encourage serious and talented students for admission to medical colleges.



Unjust step: The move of the Punjab Government to count marks obtained in Class XII along with those scored in the PMET is an unjust step. This is being done to favour some ministers or bureaucrats. The PMET is a scientifically designed test to assess the student’s potential, knowledge and speed. This decision will lead to large-scale cheating in the board examinations so as to lessen the PMET pressure.

With this step, the government is not only playing with the careers of many students but also helping to make the system corrupt.


A disgrace

The Railways are insulting a former President of India, the late Giani Zail Singh. The Railway ticket from Faridkot to Kotkapura bears the inscription, “via GZS” which means via Giani Zail Singh. This is done to indicate that the train travels via the home village of Gianiji. The village, Sandhwan, is a flag station between Faridkot and Kotkapura.

Giani Zail Singh was a patriot and rose from an humble hut to gigantic Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Railways should not disgrace the former President in this manner. The authorities concerned should rectify the error, and print the name of the village in place of GZS, which to say the least shows extremely bad taste.

ATUL GUPTA, FaridkotTop

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |