Tuesday, April 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Some disturbing questions for Badal

WILL Mr Parkash Singh Badal, still held by the Press as the loftiest among the state politicians, throw light on the following disturbing facts:

i. The action of Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon in writing a letter on his official pad to the then Chief Minister, Mr P.S. Badal, seeking assistance for a helpful posting, though an indiscreet step, did not amount to grave insubordination calling for his unenviable exit . Was there no properly trained officer among his staff possessing the requisite common sense that such letters are not forwarded in original but action is taken on their contents?

ii. Prime Minister Vajpayee appointed a committee comprising Mr George Fernandes, the then UP Chief Minister, Mr Kalyan Singh, and Mr Badal for advising whether Udham Singh Nagar be retained in UP or included in Uttaranchal. The committee never met. Why was Mr Badal considered to be so redundant?

iii. Mr Badal wrote a personal letter to his admirers seeking donations for a commemorative edifice at Anandpur Sahib. The Union Government is learnt to have also subsidised the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa by an astronomical sum of Rs 100 crore. Mr Badal is expected to release an audited statement of these donations.



iv. Partap Singh Kairon, an imaginative architect of truncated Punjab, believed that social regeneration and economic development depended on the quality of education and its pioneers. He was liberal in allocating funds and selective in appointing Vice-Chancellors. There was a tacit understanding with the PAU founder Vice-Chancellor, P.N. Thapar, that the state government would neither delay monetary grants to PAU nor interfere with its day-to-day working, but in return the university would transform the partition-hit state into a California of India. The dream became a reality. The Vice-Chancellors appointed by Kairon were a legend in themselves.

Almost every such appointee by the Badal Ministry is alleged to have occupied the onerous office through the back door. If in a solitary case any talented person accepted the assignment, he abandoned it in disgust as he did not like to knock at the doors of the state government even for the monthly salaries of the employees.

Mr I.K. Gujral, a former Prime Minister, quite friendly with Mr Badal, has observed that the quality of education in Punjab in general but in its rural areas in particular has deteriorated.

Prof HAZARA SINGH, Ludhiana

PGI manpower

Apropos of the editorial on the PGI (March 25), for the first time you have recognised the PGI ills of “ill-trained and ill-mannered” non-medical staff contributing towards its bad name and inefficiency.

Re-engineering of non-medical staff is the need of the hour. All over world, particularly in developing countries, emphasis is on HRD development. They should be educated in social engineering, accounting, productivity, system applications, infrastructure and preventive maintenance, house-keeping, hygiene and infection control, hospitality, best practices in hospital management at the floor level.

The PGI probably can lead by having a Directorate for HRD development for training its own non-medical staff and others in the region. The PGI and AIIMS can join hands. Many retired professionals from various fields will gladly support the PGI’s initiative in an honorary capacity. As Hon. President of the Indian Institute of Hospital Engineering, I have the support of engineers to offer to the PGI in upgrading skills of its non-medical technicians. This will certainly save 15-20% on existing expenditures, reduce idle period of equipment by 30% and increase turnover of patient by 15-20%. No investment is wanted and I do not think MOH permission is wanted for upgrading floor skills of the non-medical staff.

Er. Dr J.C. MEHTA, Chandigarh


Topper moves Lokpal for justice

I belong to Raikot, a small town in Ludhiana district. I remained always at the top position in my school and college days starting from matric (76% marks), B.Sc Medical (72% marks), B.Ed (72% marks) and M.Sc in Chemistry (83% marks, topped in Panjab University).

I applied for the posts of science teacher and JBT teacher advertised by the Department of Education, Punjab. But I failed to get selection either as science teacher or JBT teacher. To obtain justice, I complained about the matter in the court of the Lokpal, Punjab (complaint No 26).

In the written reply to my complaint to the Lokpal, the Chairman, department selection committee (teaching), Department of Education, clarified that my selection could not be made due to my poor performance in the interview (dated 28.11.2001). The Chairman and his lady colleague had judged me in less than three minutes at the time of interview.

According to the Chairman, my last eight years' performance from matric to M.Sc in school and college, which is certified by the Punjab School Education Board and Panjab University, is "nil" and my fate was decided by the Chairman in less than three minutes’ interview. It is a hard fact that the Chairman had prepared the final list of selected candidates at the behest of his political bosses (i.e Education Minister, Punjab) and the interview was only eyewash.




Parliament on POTO

The session was going on live when we entered our house from office in the evening. After some watching we had an instant shock. The word “fish market” seemed very low. It became painful to know that it had been going on like this since morning. Watching parliamentarians belonging to the world’s biggest democracy opposing each other with full might, just for opposition. What a shame! Not allowing the normal functioning of Parliament, just to diminish the other for vote bank. What a shame! We had seen Parliament in such turmoil earlier also on various subjects, but it was intolerable on March 30.

Our politicians think that they still have the option to act in any way to push forward their vested views. A kindergarten class is better disciplined. It was like a naked dance of vested interests.

S.P. SHARMA, Barotiwala

Handle with care

This refers to the editorial “POTO: handle with care” (March 28). Your concern for terrorism is welcome and theoretically you are right that stringent laws are required to tackle terrorism. But I feel that you have not taken note of the mindset of our political and administrative masters. I would like to quote the feeling of the common man that law has been reduced to a tool in the hands of rascals who use it to loot and crush the innocent and unprotected. This is the fate with ordinary laws then what to talk of special laws.

You can yourself judge the real intentions of the powers-that-be from the initial action of theirs. POTO was sparely applied to the alleged culprits of Godhra whereas those responsible for the Gujarat carnage were considered to enjoy immunity from it. That is another story that the government had to withdraw POTO because of political embarrassment. So that shows the real colour of our masters.

Dr TIRATH GARG, Ferozepur

CM’s choice

The Punjab Chief Minister is bestowing key posts on officials like Mr P.K. Verma, Financial Commissioner, Development, who as the Chandigarh Home Secretary and Chairman of CITO, was held prima facie guilty by the CBI in an alleged scandal regarding the purchase of goods for Hotel Shivalikview in 1989.


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