June 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India
Soldiers’ status: pride then, disappointment now
Much has been written on the proposed post of Chief of Defence Staff. Neither the Chief of Defence Staff post has been upgraded to five-star status nor there appears to be a clear cut case of his place in the warrant of precedence. On the contrary, the post of Defence Secretary is being raised to Principal Defence Secretary. The constant corrosion of the defence services has shaken the sense of pride a soldier had during the pre-partition days. Now the defence services have become a mere military exchange for the employment of those who don’t get a job elsewhere. Some continue the military culture from generation to generation. It is not self-praise but my grandfather, Thakur Achala Singh, who was pensioned off on January 31, 1879, and whose discharge certificate still hangs majestically in my drawingroom, has left a legacy of military tradition for the generations to follow. Since then we have been serving the armed forces with a sense of pride. Of course, I switched to the Indian Navy with my both sons following me. What I saw when I joined the service reminds me of the discipline and dignity of the olden days. The armed forces enjoyed special status before Independence.
Now the defence services have become a mere military exchange for the employment of those who don’t get a job elsewhere. Some continue the military culture from generation to generation. It is not self-praise but my grandfather, Thakur Achala Singh, who was pensioned off on January 31, 1879, and whose discharge certificate still hangs majestically in my drawingroom, has left a legacy of military tradition for the generations to follow. Since then we have been serving the armed forces with a sense of pride. Of course, I switched to the Indian Navy with my both sons following me. What I saw when I joined the service reminds me of the discipline and dignity of the olden days. The armed forces enjoyed special status before Independence.
Major-Gen Shaukat Riza in his book “The Pakistan Army War in 1965” has narrated an interesting experience which bears similarity with the situation in the Indian armed forces. Writes General Riza: In 1927 Hon. Captain Ghulam Muhammad Khan, Sardar Bahadur OBI, ADC to the King, sought an appointment with the Deputy Commissioner. His grandson, Aslam, also accompanied him. As Sardar Bahadur reached the gate of the DC office, he was received by the Personal Assistant of the DC and a peon. The DC welcomed the Sardar Bahadur outside his office and took him inside where tea was laid out. The job for which the Sardar Bahadur had come was finished within a minute. His grandson Aslam watched all that with wishful eyes and decided to join the defence services.
Later, during the second World War Aslam was commissioned into the Indian Artillery and won a battlefield military cross fighting the Japanese in Burma. In 1948 Aslam, while commanding a field battery in Rawalpindi, made an appointment with DC in connection with a licence for his shot gun. No one greeted Aslam, and he was made to wait in the PA’s office for more than half an hour. By the time he was called in, he was already red-faced. He narrated the experience and respect with which his grandfather was received in 1927 by the then Deputy Commissioner and walked out of the DC office.
Until bureaucrats are made to serve compulsory in the armed forces for at least five years, woes and worries of soldiers, sailors and air men will continue. Glory to our democracy where the corrupt are housed in air-conditioned bungalows converted into jails while soldiers die fighting for the honour of the nation.
MULTAN SINGH PARIHAR, Jalari-Hamirpur (HP)
Injustice by SSC
The Staff Selection Commission advertised posts of Investigator in Employment News requiring a Bachelor’s degree with economics or statistics or maths as the eligibility for appearance in the Investigator’s Exam. I am a B.Com with economics as the main subject. I applied for the post and appeared for the examination held on 12.11.2000 (Roll No 1511442). The result was declared in Employment News in April. I was declared successful.
To my utter surprise, I got a rejection letter from the commission disqualifying my candidature on account of lack of academic qualifications. I contacted the commission office in Sector 9, Chandigarh. I was told by the dealing assistant that the academic qualification is BA with economics or statistics or maths and not B.Com. Only those candidates who are BA with economics or statistics or maths are being called for interview whereas in the advertisement only Bachelor’s degree with economics or maths or statistics was required. It is gross injustice. There must be other sufferers also.
ABHA SETHI, Chandigarh
Thousands of students appear annually for the PMT exams. Every institute/state conducts its own examination and on an average every student appears for almost 10 examinations. Expenses incurred on one exam turn out to be about Rs 1,000 (excluding the cost of transport and stay). So every student ends up dishing out more than Rs 10,000.
Often the centres are very far away (e.g. Bangalore and other South Indian cities for North Indians and Delhi etc for South Indian students).
All this causes physical and mental exhaustion and tension to the already anxious students and avoidable financial burden on the parents.
Can’t some respectable institute such as the Medical Council of India/ CBSE conduct one examination on the basis of whose merit the student can be given admission in an institution?
Clearing house move
This refers to a news item “Banks decline move on clearing house”. At a time when banks are going for seven-day banking with extended business hours, the refusal of six Malerkotla banks to accept the proposal of the State Bank of Patiala to start a clearing house on Saturday on the plea of staff shortage on account of the VRS is a retrograde step to say the least.
The VRS in banks was a well thought-out plan to have a balanced age profile, providing for mobility, development of skills and increase in productivity and profitability.
The banks should give a second thought to the proposal. In the post-VRS scenario the banks need to bring innovative techniques, sharpen the skills of available manpower and reorient their strategies to cope with the ever-increasing customer expectations rather than turning a blind eye even to their bona fide requirements on the VRS alibi.
R. C. DHAND, Faridkot
We are students of the BBA final year of Kurukshetra University. We are facing a problem. We have already cleared the entrance test for MBA and are going to appear in counselling sessions in different universities.
Every university demands from students that they should prove their eligibility of having passed the qualifying examinations. The final examination for BBA had been conducted in the middle of May and ended in the last week of May.
Early declaration of the result would be a little difficult, but not impossible. As the future of many students is at stake, the university should pay urgent attention to this matter. Every other university has already declared the final year results. We request the university authorities to declare the result by the last week of June.
STUDENTS OF BBA, Kurukshetra University
The Centre for Electronics Design Technology of India (CEDTI), Mohali, advertised posts of Design Engineer and Deputy Engineer in March, 2001. The institute had also asked for Rs 100 for the post of Design Engineer and Rs 50 for Deputy Engineer. Three months have passed. Neither any acknowledgement nor any call letter for a test or interview has been sent.
DINESH GUPTA, Pathankot
|| 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 |