Saturday, April 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Procedures followed to appoint VC are outdated

I am pained by the methods and procedures followed by the previous Punjab Government in appointing Dr J. S. Ahluwalia as VC. The university began with an eminent scholar and educational administrator, Bhai (Dr) Jodh Singh as VC in September, 1962. I was a Master’s student in the Physics Department when the first session of postgraduate classes began in 1963. Due to some unknown reasons, Dr B.S. Sood was not able to join as the Physics Department’s head in 1963. Bhai Jodh Singh personally approached another eminent scholar Dr H.R. Sarna, who had retired from Panjab University, to serve as the head for a year. Dr B.S. Sood joined in 1964 and the Physics Department flourished under his leadership during the next 20 years.

With similar enthusiasm and academic vigour Bhai Jodh Singh appointed eminent scholars such as Dr K.S. Gill (former Planning Commission member) as Professor of economics and Dr Amrik Singh as a Professor of English. Both became VCs themselves. What did the Badal government find in Dr Ahluwalia while choosing him as VC is beyond one’s imagination.

I am very pleased to learn that VC Ahluwalia has been removed. I regretfully read the statement “that a sizable number of senior IAS officers in the Punjab Government did not want the removal of Dr Ahluwalia simply because he also belongs to the IAS cadre.” What a shame! Rather than recommending his removal, they support him in spite of all legal and administrative problems Dr Ahluwalia had created over the last one year.


Concerned citizens of Patiala, including the active members of FEAR, have been informing government functionaries about the misdeeds of Dr Ahluwalia without any reasonable response from responsible government functionaries. What could you expect from a government when the (Primary) Education Minister in the previous government himself had only grade 4 education? What has happened to the conscious and honesty of the elected and appointed representatives of the people?

Finally I think our procedures and acts followed to appoint a VC are outdated. For example, think about the Punjab General Clauses Act of 1897, more than 100 years old. I suggest a search committee should be constituted with members from academic, administrative, judiciary, and military backgrounds with an eminent scholar as its chairman. Under the current system too much power is concentrated among a few politicians. Punjabi University should have a board of governors/trustees with members from all areas of expertise and this board should provide the leadership role and work with the VC to ensure the smooth running of the institution.

NACHHATTER S. BRAR, Academic Visitor at the University of Cambridge.

A thirsty crow & a greedy dog

Once there was a thirsty crow (unemployed youth). He flew here and there is search of water (job). But he could not find a single drop of water (not even a class III job). All Ponds were dry (could not get a chance to appease the selecting authority).

At least he reached a baradari garden (a group of touts engaged in getting job letters). The crow heard some formula of getting the water. The gardener (touts) told the crow that there in a corner of the lawn you will see a pitcher with water, but the problem is that the level of water is very low (job letter is lying at the bottom of heap of files). So you have to shed some gold coins from your pocket so that the level of the water comes up. In that case you will quench your thirst. The thirsty crow got ready to take the chance. He threw that gold coin into the water. The pitcher (selection commission) was happy. Within no time the water (job letter) rose up. The thirsty crow quenched his thirst. Then there was a long queue in front of the pitcher (selection commission). Most of the birds (job seekers) were ready to throw gold coins into the pitcher to get some drops of water (a gold job). After some time the pitcher was full of gold coins. Some poor birds returned home because they were without any gold.

After some time the owner of the pitcher (a greedy dog) came there. He was very happy to see the pitcher full of gold coins. He picked that gold pitcher in his mouth and was going to his hideout (bank locker) to keep it safe. On his way, there was a dry river (a change of govt.) When the greedy dog was crossing the river, he heard a voice from the river bed. It was the river (next govt’s leader) calling the greedy dog, “stop your greed, had I (river) some water (political power), I would have shown you your greedy face’s reflection”. The greedy dog did not pay any attention towards the river’s warning. After crossing the river (change of govt.) the greedy dog with gold-filled pitcher was near his house. Suddenly there appeared a wolf (vigilance) which stopped that dog. The dog got feared, he was shivering. He asked for mercy. But the thundering wolf said, “You see, there is not a single drop of water in the river, no lamb came here for the last so many days to drink. What can I do? I am very hungry. You gold full pitcher can’t quench my hunger. So get ready”. The wolf (vigilance) suddenly pounced upon the greedy dog and crushed him. The gold was lying amidst the broken pieces of the earthen pitcher.

Moral: As you sow, so shall you reap

BHUPINDER SINGH, an unsuccessful PCS aspirant.


A political gimmick?

It is indeed a heart-warming development in today’s politics that someone has launched a campaign against a touchy subject like corruption in high places. This cannot be achieved without political will and grit and determination to take these random acts to a logical conclusion.

Mr Sidhu’s case has too many inherent loopholes in it. Given our judicial process and despite the judiciary’s proclaimed offensive to bring the guilty to book as soon as possible, it will take years to see the completion of this case. Then who knows who will be in power? The red-herring has already been thrown in by Jagman Singh. He has brought in Mr Badal’s name as the co-accused. Mr Sidhu will get off the hook after the trial by media. At best, he and his family would face a case under the Income Tax Act. That is all.

Mr Amarinder Singh is only deluding himself by making tall claims of fighting corruption in high places. As an ex-Captain, he would appreciate the backing of a well-trained and disciplined force to achieve an objective. And that kind of force he does not have. What he has comprises the group that had aligned itself with Beant Singh & Co and were left out in the cold as the Akali regime moved in.

If the cocktail circuit of Chandigarh is to be believed, he is saddled with persons who spent crores on their daughter’s marriage or put all the wine wholesalers to supply free drinks for parties to ensure victory for a Golf Club election. And above all, there have been complaints against officers who bled Punjab white during 11 years of unbridled Governor’s rule under Congress dispensation.

Has the new CM checked out their assets before posting them in sensitive positions? Perhaps not. Almost every other officer has sent his children to study abroad even for school and undergraduate studies. The question is: who pays for them? Well, the cocktail circuit says that for most of these 11 years, officers had fine-tuned the bribery system. The files moved only after the grease had reached specified persons and specified accounts in tax havens abroad.

So this brings us back to the moot point: this is only a political gimmick and will go on for four years and then another sensational revelation to ensure a victory at the hustings. And everybody will live happily ever after.

G. S. GREWAL, Mohali

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