Monday, April 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



VRS in banks and its aftermath

The policy of VRS in banks appears to have been made in a hurry. The public and the staff left in the banks are the main sufferers. Some banks have not even taken post-VRS steps to streamline their working with the result that there are long queues at their counters.

The government was under the impression that computerisation would solve many problems. Rather, in the absence of trained mechanics, the banks are getting paralysed. Some government departments have purchased computers but these are gathering dust in the absence of devotion to duty among government employees.

Frequent frauds and scams show that the government is unable to handle the crisis which is basically a moral crisis. By bringing in schemes like VRS they have tried to reward non-performers. The government should have the sense to advice the banks to recruit the required staff so that the public does not suffer in long queues.


Akashvani’s faux pas

In the Punjabi news bulletin broadcast by Akashvani’s Jalandhar kendra at 7.30 p.m. on April 17, the name of Mr Sadiq Ali, a veteran Gandhian and former Governor of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, was repeatedly mentioned as Sadeeq Ali.

Mr Sadiq Ali, who died on April 16, was a well known person. His name should have been pronounced correctly.



Lok Pal Bill

The Union Cabinet has given the “go ahead” to the introduction of the Lok Pal Bill in the Lok Sabha. But this has to be taken with a ton of salt, considering the history of broken promises on the subject.

Even if the Bill is passed by Parliament and the legislation finds a place in the Statute Book, it is doubtful whether it (the enactment) will help curb the galloping corruption which is polluting high places in the country. The institution of Lokayukta, set up in certain states, has made no impact on the murky situation.

Corruption is so well-entrenched in the country that its practitioners are not likely to panic even if the high-sounding anti-corruption functionary appears on the scene.




Wake-up call

India is developing high technology like GSLV, but is leaving its borders woefully exposed. Pakistanis and now Bangladeshis are openly violating our territory, killing our soldiers. Pakistani terrorists are active even in UP. Forget Kashmir or Assam, the fight now is for India’s heartland.

Corruption has seeped into our security forces. With its supine policies like cease-fire in Kashmir, the political leadership has turned India into a soft state. Our enemies know they have nothing to fear from us.

All our technology will be useless if we do not wake up. India lacks the survival instinct, and will destroy itself unless Indians wake up now.

D.N. PHADNIS, Mumbai

Poor intelligence

We hang our heads in shame when we read in newspapers that militants from across the border have infiltrated into our territory. We have already paid a very heavy price for getting Kargil areas vacated by the enemy.

These infiltrations occur because of our poor intelligence. It is, therefore, necessary that our forces should wake up from their slumber and become alert to protect our borders.

It is painful to note that on the heels of these incidents, there comes the report of a huge cache of arms including carbines, a Thompson machine gun, a sten gun and a large quantity of ammunition found in Sirhind Canal near Chamkaur Sahib.

S.C. SINGHAL, Kaithal

Economic slavery

The ‘open-door’ policy allowing foreign goods free entry into India, has put every trade in deep trouble. It is likely to cause unemployment and other problems which may disturb law and order in a big way. The economic policy allegedly of ‘reforms’ drafted by earlier regimes has been adopted by the NDA Government. It is difficult to understand how the Finance Ministry sees ‘good’ exports while the exporters are crying because of hardships and losses.

Imported goods will definitely harm Indian industries. We are heading for economic slavery which is worse than political slavery. The Union Government should adopt ‘Swadeshi’ in its true spirit by curbing imports. Only public sector units should be allowed to import goods and technology, and that too to force Indian companies to bring innovations in the consumers’ interest. It is senseless to allow foreign companies to produce costly cars for Indian roads. Public sector Maruti should have been allowed to import new technology.


Female foeticide

We all know that female foeticide is not only immoral but also inhuman and irreligious. Still under the garb of diagnosing congenital defects in the unborn child, this ghastly practice goes on.

The 2001 census has indicated that the male-female ratio is moving towards the danger point. The decreasing number of women can lead to a social upheaval.

The Sikh clergy deserves to be congratulated on pronouncing a ‘Hukamnama’ from Shri Akal Takht asking the Sikhs to refrain from this evil. The Hukamnama says that a Sikh should not kill his daughter nor should he maintain any relationship with such killers.

Other religions should follow the Sikh clergy because this is in the interest of humanity.


Surplus teachers

The news item ‘Government order puts colleges in fix’ (Tribune, April 9) is not only shocking but also intriguing. A few months ago, Haryana’s Director of Higher Education had issued an order that no college management should retrench any teacher who has completed two years’ service, even if the teacher has become surplus or redundant. The employers will have to create work for them.

No teacher can, therefore, can be retrenched when plus one classes are closed. The report also mentions that the closure of plus one classes will render 37 teachers surplus in one college of Hisar. The DHE has not clarified how the colleges should create work for these redundant teachers.

In such cases, the Kurukshetra University has taken the stand that since the staff has become surplus due to the policy of the Government, it is for the Government to provide them with alternative jobs or to adjust them elsewhere.

The two instructions of the DHE are contradictory and the affected teachers who are in hundreds, may have to seek redress from a court of law. The DHE must make the policy of the Haryana Government clear in this regard and till such time as a clear decision is taken, the closure of plus one classes in colleges should be deferred.

H.S. SINHA, Kurukshetra

Exam system

It is a common tendency to follow the path of least resistance. Therefore, the idea of having no examinations appeals to parents, students and teachers alike. In a field like education, a change should be brought about after a close look at the ground realities. The old higher secondary system was working smoothly. Then the plus two system was introduced to vocationalise education, but it is evident that the true spirit of this system was lost for want of infrastructure and finances and it only put the burden of an additional year on the students.

Examinations give us a process of elimination, otherwise because of pressure from every quarter, all students will be promoted to the plus one level and then the results of the plus two board examination will reveal the true picture. Keeping this in view, the HP Board of School Education has, in a welcome move, introduced external board examination at the plus one level.

It is better not to experiment too much with the educational system, but there surely is need for removing certain drawbacks in the present system of examination.

V. K. SHARMA, Shimla

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