Thursday, March 29, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Joint Entrance Examination

Till some years ago, entry to various professional courses used to be on the basis of marks secured in university examinations. The main feature of this system was that it allowed even the poorest of the poor admission to professional courses by virtue of his merit. On an average, 60 per cent of the students who got admission to professional colleges came from middle class families, 20 per cent from the rural areas, 10 per cent from the lower income groups and 10 per cent from the upper strata of society.

A number of new universities came up in the seventies and eighties. Some were able to maintain a good standard of education, but, owing to politicisation and vested interests, the others had a poor standard. Such universities were not exercising enough control to check unfair means in examinations and were often generous in evaluating the performance of their students.

This put the students from good universities at a disadvantage when it came to admission to professional courses, and the system of Joint Entrance Test (JET) was evolved.

This provided a level playing field to all students and worked well in the initial years. But soon aberrations got into this system. The first step was the opening of coaching centres to prepare students for these examinations. The second step was the introduction of special books and the third was modulation of the courses so as to make coaching through these centres look essential. In all big cities such centres have come up. They spend huge amounts on advertising to condition the minds of the students to the need for such special coaching. The 10 plus two system has become so irrelevant that there have been instances of students ignoring their regular classes and opting for the coaching centres right from the beginning of the session. Their fees range from Rs 7000 p m to Rs 1 lakh a year.

Now students from the rural areas or with humble backgrounds cannot afford to attend such classes. The result is that mostly urban students from well-to-do families get selected and the doors of professional colleges are slowly being shut to the poor.

The performance of the students in the 10+2 examination needs to be given due weightage. Rural students deserve an additional weightage since the rural schools have neither the facilities nor the right kind of teachers. The course and syllabus of the JET should not be different from that of the 10+2 course.

In the present system of JET, the 10+2 system has become irrelevant. The need is to make this system relevant. That will also dilute the importance of coaching centres.



Retirement age

Two years ago the government raised the retirement age of Central government employees from 58 years to 60. The decision was reluctantly accepted by the employees. Some state governments have not yet implemented this policy.

Now the government has decided to reduce the number of its employees by 10 per cent in 10 years. This will further worsen the problem of unemployment. The government should reconsider the policy to reduce the staff since the number of government employees is already coming down gradually because of computerisation of the offices.

There is also a rumour that the government is thinking of bringing the retirement age again to 58 years. If the government is serious about solving the problem of unemployment, then the retirement age should be further reduced to 56 years. Lakhs of vacancies will thus be created and unemployed youths will get jobs. This will also be economical to the government because the freshers will be less expensive than the old hands. On the other hand the retiring employees will get their retirement benefits early which will help them in their resettlement.

B. R. DHIMAN, Ambala Cantt


Shatabdi passengers

Residents of Shimla have to travel at night by bus or taxi to be able to catch the morning Shatabdi Express for Delhi, which leaves Kalka at 6 a.m.

The Railway authorities should run a late night train from Shimla so as to reach Kalka at about 5 a.m. so that the passengers are able to catch the Shatabdi Express.


Sacrifice of cows

The action of the Taliban to slaughter cows because of tardy demolition of the statues of the Buddha cannot be justified by any standards. The fact is that the Taliban want to provoke other communities to retaliate and cause unrest in other countries.

It is pity that no leader of Islamic countries across the world could prevent the Taliban from vandalising the statues of the Buddha which had remained protected since the third and fifth centuries. They are again silent, when the Taliban are indulging in the slaughter of innocent cows. Rukmini Devi Arundale has said: “Animal sacrifices are a disgrace to any nation, civilisation or religion that tolerates them”.

According to poet, Iqbal, no religion teaches hatered and enmity. To defy, defile and denigrate any religion is nothing short of classic aggression which deserves to be condemned by one and all.

Islamic scholars are trying to convince Omar of the need for protecting the remaining heritage monuments. But they are silent on the sacrifice of cows.



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 |