Tuesday, April 3, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Height of brutality

Recently, the Taliban chief, Mullah Mohammad Omar, ordered 100 cows to be slaughtered to atone for the delay in destroying the statues of the Buddha in Bamiyan. Some cows have already been slaughtered.

The Buddha was an apostle of peace and non-violence. Yet his images have been subjected to naked vandalism by the bigoted Taliban instead of preserving them as a precious cultural heritage of humanity. It is true that Islam prohibits idolatry. But there is also no doubt that tolerance for other beliefs is one of its vital basic tenets.

The cow is an object of veneration for the Hindus. In 1831, Shah Shuja, the deposed king of Afghanistan, sought Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s help to regain his throne. The Punjab monarch demanded that in case the Shah was successful, he should prohibit cow slaughter in his country.

A hadith has it that on seeing a donkey with a branded face, the Prophet of Islam called its owner and told him that God did not like branding of animals. The Taliban have even slaughtered cows to atone for the delay in destroying the statues. It is the height of brutality, not an expiatory deed.



Safety begins at home

This refers to the editorial, “Safety begins at home” (March 22). Young men and students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. They form the most important part of the machine of life. If anything is wrong with them, then the entire machine will come to a halt and the stream of life will become a stagnant pool.

No doubt our youth is going astray. They love to break the laws and are blind to the sense of duty. However, society at large is responsible for this state of affairs. The parents and the politicians are the real culprits. The quest for money leaves the parents with no time to guide their children. We are all blindly following the West. Defects in our educational system have worsened the situation. These loopholes have to be plugged.

The politicians should leave the students alone. Our young men and women are basically good and if anything wrong has come in their lives, it can be removed with persuasion and example.



Entrance tests

I belong to Hoshiarpur district of Punjab and my father holds immovable property in Baghpur village of that district.

Both my parents are serving in the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and Kendriya Vidyalaya employees are liable to be transferred throughout the country. After serving for 17 years in Jammu and Kashmir, my parents have been transferred to Jalandhar where they have joined duty in KV No 3, Jalandhar Cantonment.

I have also shifted from J&K to KV No 3, Jalandhar Cantonment, but according to a decision of the Punjab Government, I am not eligible to appear in the Punjab PMET and CET because I have not passed Class XI from an institution situated in Punjab. I also cannot compete in the medical entrance test of J&K because the Government of J&K allows only those who have domicile certificates of the state. No one from any other part of the country can appear in the J&K medical entrance test. Thus I am debarred by both the states. Children of Central Government employees can appear in tests in states in which their parents are working but J&K is the only state which does not permit this facility.

Therefore, students who are domiciles of Punjab but have passed their Class XI from J&K, should be allowed to compete in the entrance test for medical and engineering courses in Punjab.


Admission muddle

After the combined entrance test held by Guru Jambeshwar University, Hisar, in August last, my daughter and 58 other candidates were given admission to Mast Nath Engineering College, Rohtak. Later we came to know that admissions to this college had been banned by MDU, Rohtak, with which the college is affiliated and that the MDU had informed the GJU about it in June. Thus, the GJU officials have played with the careers of all these candidates. Now, instead of punishing the guilty officials and giving justice to the candidates, the GJU is trying to hush up the matter.




AIR transmissions

The Bathinda station of All India Radio puts its programmes on the air from 3 p.m to 9.15 p.m everyday. There is no morning or afternoon transmission. Whereas other centres of AIR continue their transmissions from morning till late in the night, say up to 11 p.m. People living near Jalandhar can listen to programmes from three channels — the AIR main channel, the Vividh Bharati and the FM channel. The residents of the area comprising Bathinda, Muktsar and Faridkot, can listen only to the AIR main channel. The other two channels are not within their reach. Therefore, the Bathinda station of AIR should start morning and afternoon transmissions on the pattern of other AIR centres by relaying Vividh Bharati or Jalandhar FM programmes.


Exam system

Doing away with the examination system and the introduction of 100 per cent promotion in the primary classes to check the drop-out rate will greatly affect the quality of education because in many cases raw and unripe material will be pushed upto the higher classes. Replacing the present examination system with that of grades will lower the standard of education. The teachers, particularly in government schools, will lose all sense of accountability.

A careful way has to be evolved to ensure the quality of education. Institutions should be empowered to hold admission tests at the middle, high and plus one levels. Unsuccessful candidates should be asked to improve their grades before seeking re-admission. Such checks and balances are necessary for successful implementation of the new system.

P. C. MISHRA, Palampur

Written test

The written test for the recruitment of assistant engineers in the Punjab State Electricity Board scheduled to be held in mid-December last year, was abruptly postponed till February this year. Now March is over, yet no fresh date has been announced. This silence on the part of the board is intriguing and the applicants are apprehending foul-play. The board should announce fresh dates immediately.



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