Saturday, February 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Shedding flab

The VRS has triggered the exodus from banks of a disproportionate number of skilled persons, namely officers, whereas a large part of the clerical staff has opted to stay back. However, the apprehension that this will result in an erosion of efficiency in banks is not well-founded.

The banking system has to be revamped and modernised with a view to improving service to customers and toning up their ability to face the rigours of a liberalised and competitive economy. Increasingly, the bank managements will be confronted by the fact that banking is more of technology and much less of the rudiments of accounting practices. This changed environment will call for two types of skills, namely computing skills and interpersonal skills for dealing with customers in the “front office”. The clerical staff can be easily retrained to handle computers and associated networks. The higher productivity levels will automatically enhance the empowerment of the staff. The resulting decentralisation will help improve the morale and overall efficiency.

I apprehend that more such schemes are in the offing as the banks can afford to shed some more flab after putting in place appropriate technology.



Time for action

It is shameful that Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan-trained militants continue to have their way while we remain silent spectators to the bloodshed in Kashmir. After the ceasefire, brutal acts of terrorism such as the Red Fort raid, threats to the Prime Minister, the massacre of civilians in Mehjoor Nagar and burning alive of people in Rajouri deserve the strongest condemnation and severe action.

We talk of unilateral ceasefire while Kashmir bleeds. All this claptrap about soft options like the Lahore bus yatra, Samjhauta Express, and despatch to Pakistan of Hurriyat leaders, who have no Kashmiri following has to stop. There may be some persons who still believe that the philosophy of non-retaliation will work but we need leaders who can restore the dignity of Kashmir. It is time for tough action.

RAMESH GOYAL, Amargh (Sangrur)

Forest fires

Forest fires in Himachal Pradesh are a major threat to wild life. Many innocent creatures are burried in the ash as a result of these forest fires.

The Himachal Forest Department has sounded a red alert to deal with this menace. But beside this, it is also necessary to deal with persons whose irresponsible acts cause the fires and take the lives of these innocent creatures. The state government should also acquire the latest equipment to fight these fires.



Haryana universities

Mr D.R. Chaudhry’s article, ‘Universities of Haryana: academic ghettos’ reflects the true picture of the universities of the state. In Kurukshetra University which is relatively better known, the situation has been worsening for the last four years. It is headed by Vice-Chancellors who have nothing to do with academics and is virtually controlled by persons from the non-teaching cadre.

The teaching community of the university which maintains a studied silence on academic issues must also take the blame for this sorry state of affairs.

R. K. BHATIA, Kurukshetra

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