Tuesday, August 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Tuition fee highest in Punjab

The present Akali-BJP regime in Punjab, during the last four years rule, increased the tuition fee of the professional courses by almost six times. The present annual fee for the free seats is Rs 40,000 in government colleges and Rs 50,000 to 60,000 in private colleges. Against this the fee structure in the neighbouring states is: Haryana (Rs 8,000), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 8,000), UP (Rs 16,000), Delhi (Rs 15,000) and Karnataka (Rs 6,000).

The tuition fee in Punjab is not only the highest but at least five times that of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. One is at a loss to understand that if other states can manage with an annual tuition fee of Rs 10,000 or so, why Punjab has to charge Rs 40,000.

Besides, there is a provision of 10 per cent increase every year. Under this situation, one wonders how a man with modest means, leave alone the poor, can afford to give professional qualification to his deserving child.


Training institutes

Some senators of Panjab University are making a hue and cry over students who are doing BCA or alike degrees from private institutes, which have been made study centres of the distance education departments of the UGC-approved universities of long standing. Their demand that the UGC should derecognise these centres is unjustified.


The students who seek admissions in these centres are mostly those who have been denied admissions to university or its affiliated colleges for these very courses. In today's world of stiff competition, mounting pressures and limited seats, if a student doesn't get admission in any of the so-called premier institutions then do the PU authorities expect the student to forget all about further studies? What is a student supposed to do if he doesn't get admission in any professional course even after spending hundreds of rupees on prospectuses and examination fees?

The private study centres conform to the standards prescribed by their parent company and are more particular about academics because they have to make a niche for themselves.

In this era of privatisation, talk of monopolistic feelings will not do. This is like saying: “We will not teach and will not let others teach". If you ban private institutes, from where will the government have trained manpower required for information technology boom, with its depleted resources?


Beware of MTVisation

Channo used to be a shy girl. Shy because of her own commitment to modesty that she draped around herself. Shy because of the shame attached to the open celebrations of one’s youthfulness. Shy because she was, in any case, required and desired to be so.

She used to be a one-man woman. Of that man whom she could feast her eyes on only from the corners of her eyes. A chance (and a fleeting one at that) vis-a-vis with her knight in the shining armour furrowing the fields or driving the produce to the mandi would satiate her yearnings for as long a period as a camel can go without once having had a gulpful of water.

No more now.

Channo da jawani wich pair pe gaya; pind diyaan mundiyaan wich vair pe gaya. Times-find Jasbir Jassi not only has made her shed shyness but two-thirds of her apparel as well. Punjab’s Minister for Culture, frowning over famished frocks as well as diminishing conservative flock, has been met with disdain from the Puppies (Punjabi Yuppies) who want more — actually less of that.

The MTVisation of the “Dhol” has severely dented the hitherto well-meaning mindset that the girl from one’s village was a sanjhi dhee/behan. The said number makes her an object of obsessive desire.

This debuchery must be put to an end forthwith otherwise a stage may come when even the Taliban would feel reluctant to accept the franchisee for retrieving the culture of Punjab back to agriculture.

A. CHANDRA, Chandigarh

Caveat emptor

In a piece in "Chandigarh calling" (July 30) the phrase "caveat-emptor" has been translated as "consumer is the king". That I am afraid is going somewhat off the track. "Caveat emptor" literally means "that the buyer (emptor) should beware (caveat)". In other words, it is for the buyer to take the necessary precautions and ensure that the bargain is what it purports to be say in respect of the quality of the goods purchased and there is no deception in it. If he fails to do so and suffers any loss, then the responsibility is his alone and the law will not come to his help.


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