Thursday, March 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



PSCs: from merit to manipulation

THIS refers to Mr Bhim S. Dahiya's write-up on PSCs March 18. The author has questioned the need for the Public Service Commissions in an era of technical specialisation, professionalism and growing complications in the administration.

He has pleaded to replace the present PSCs with expert committees constituted in respective departments. His argument is mainly based on two logical grounds — the ever decreasing integrity and standard of commissions' members and "incompatible infighting" between specialists and generalists. His views need further elaboration.

A close review of the working of the PSCs reveals that mediocre psychophants of the Chief Ministers are being accommodated in the PSCs. These constitutionally created bodies, however, are expected to conduct examinations for appointments to the services without fear and favour and advise the government on methods of recruitment, principles of appointments, promotions and transfers. But they have been deviating from their legitimate path as is happening in Punjab and Haryana.

The PSC of Punjab very recently was restrained from declaring the result for the DSPs' posts by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Haryana is known for selecting civil servants not on merit. A former Chairman of he HPSC was booked for corruption. Many of the recently selected candidates for the HCS (Executive) were thought to be kin of ministers and bureaucrats. Courts not only passed strictures on these autonomous bodies but also termed them as "Public Sale Commissions".


The basic purpose of the PSCs recruiting candidates on merit was taken away by manipulation and proximity to the powers-that-be. The "spoil system" and "sale of office" as archaic modes of recruitment are being reincarnated. This is a serious problem haunting democracy and good governance.

Steps should be taken to prevent the PSCs from becoming personal fiefdoms of politicians.


Education today

The main problems inflicting our education scenario boil down to following:

1. Education is a two-legged stool — ethics and environment constituting it. In our case both legs are broken.

2. Education involves training of 3Hs —head, heart and hands. Here, the stress is laid on the first H only.

3. We have an examination system, but no education system.

4. The phenomenon of paid seats is a matter of shame for the institutions and the country.

5. Entrance tests have reduced the value of a degree to a platform ticket — it doesn't let you in the train.

6. Strangely, there is no Education Minister of India.

7. Teachers want tea, chair and their welfare.

8. Corrupt/controversial persons are occupying the seats of eminence in our set-up.

9. It's education, not economics, that can take the country ahead.

K.J.S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

The jobless

Apropos of the editorial "The jobless sufferers" (March 11), the government should think of reducing the retirement age of employees to make a place for the jobless. During recruitment the spouses of retired officials should be given priority subject to the requisite professional qualifications for the job applied for.

Freshers can be hired on consolidated wages to lessen the burden on the exchequer. A number of computer engineers and operators are available for installing computers in government offices.

In Punjab knowledge of Punjabi is compulsory for jobs whereas 99 per cent of government work is done in English.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur


Teachers’ behaviour

Many among the teachers consider the VC to be their boss and dance to his tunes. The Saru Rana case is a consequence of an abject surrender to the fancies and freaks of a bureaucrat. No teacher worth his salt should cater to the whims of a university head, and think and act only in terms of his noble profession which implies a graceful and dignified, but not diminutive behaviour. Had the teachers shied away from becoming stooges for VCs things in Punjabi University would not have come to such a pass.



Apropos the editorial "Woes of engineering aspirants", since there is a multiplicity of entrance exams and on an average each student appears for about 8-10 entrance tests, the holding of a common examination such as AIEEE will definitely ease the mental and financial burden.

To say that most of the institutions which have consented for the AIEEE are "not known for academic excellence" is a serious aspersion on the status and credibility of well-known institutions like the School of Planning and Architecture, Punjab Engineering College, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Birla Institute of Technology, to name a few.


Lord Ram’s temple

Ram, the god, lives in every heart. As many saints have said: “ghat, ghat, bajey naad”. (His music beats in every heart).

If we are true to Ram and wish to propitiate Him, a penance (not merely a formal bhoomi puja) needs to be performed at a holy secluded place like Gangotri to wash our sins and seek forgiveness of Ram. It would not matter to Ram where you build the temple so long as He continues to dwell in your heart.

Air Vice Marshal KULDEEP SINGH (retd), Mohali

Kisan Vikas Patras

Kisan Vikas Patras of Rs 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 denomination are not available in the post offices of Gurdaspur district. Repeated requests to the CPMG, Punjab circle, Chandigarh, and local officers have not born fruit.


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