Thursday, May 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Save students from multiple entrance tests

I was disturbed to read the news item about the protest of the Vice-Chancellor of GND University at the inclusion of the university seats in the entrance test to be conducted by Punjab Technical University. The real purpose of holding a separate test is to collect money through prospectus fee, test fee and then application fee for the institution. The GND University prospectus costs Rs 500 and the test fee is Rs 700. The PTU fees are the same. Panjab University has kept Rs 1,100 as the prospectus and test fees.

Institutions like GND University often have early counselling so that these can forfeit the admission fee of around Rs 40,000 deposited by the student who wants to try later through the CBSE for Thapar Engg. College & Punjab Engg. College, Chandigarh, and through PTU for other institutions of Punjab. This is fleecing of the parents.

The admission and tuition fees are so high that it is becoming almost impossible to send your ward for higher education. This whole process is converting educational institutions into commercial organisations whereas commercial organisations such as the Punjab State Electricity Board have been converted into social institutions by giving free electricity.

The Government should stop this practice of holding separate tests and counselling sessions by various institutions so that students do not have to run around for tests. Besides, this will save unnecessary expenditure and harassment of the parents.



Importance of saffron

Saffron colour has mostly come to be used either as a pejorative or in sarcastic tones and sometime even contemptuously. No doubt, it is used in the context of a group which has come to be named as “Sangh Parivar”, but it must be realised that saffron is associated with Sanatana spirituality of India which is not at all the monopoly of the Sangh Parivar.

Saffron colour has a meaning of esoteric dimensions of spirituality and is epitomised by the colour of cosmic fire which burns through meditation all pollutants of the mind like evil thoughts, lust, greed and mundane desires of possession and clinging characterised by a materialist thought process. With death of such desires, there is simultaneous rebirth of mind into pristine purity and the catharsis is termed as “dwij”, that is twice born in the same life.

Let those playing trivially with the word realise the profound solemnity associated with it in respect to the feelings of a very large silent majority.

R. C. KHANNA, Amritsar

In defence of money

The article “Why money fails to make us happy” (April 26) advises us about some of the ways to get happiness. Exercise and remaining busy are two very good ways to be happy. But I don’t agree with the writer when he says that money can’t get you happiness and peace. If money can buy all necessities, comforts and luxuries of life, what else one needs to be happy?

Not only the materialistic things to life, money can get you anything you want. It can get you love and respect of your children, parents, friends, relatives and society in general. Had this not been true then mother, brother and other family members of Mr Ravi Sidhu would never have connived with him in amassing this money. It gets you respect and recognition in society. Your bulging pockets send such a powerful fragrance all around that it reaches a place before you reach there. You need not push open a door. All doors are opened for you automatically. With money you get the loyalty of your juniors and respect of your seniors.

Above all, money gets you more money. It is not that to get all such things money always has to change hands. Just the reputation that you are a moneyed man is enough most of the time. All good things of life will be showered upon you even without you asking for the same. I agree that may be there is someone in society who may not be happy even after getting so much with money. But that someone will be a rarity. I will be very happy if readers of this piece really don’t agree with what I say money can get you. I will feel that there is still hope for a person of limited money in life.

Dr ASHOK GUPTA, Ludhiana

He saved fuel

Naivety displayed by Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon amazes everyone familiar with the approach that would have been adopted by some of his comrades needing political and spiritual help in similar situation. In retrospect, had he followed the “accepted” route, he might have achieved his goal without losing his job.

With his rank he must be the Commodore Commandant of some of the fighter squadrons of the Air Force based in Punjab. He could have landed somewhere near Bathinda to visit one of them. In the evening he could have driven to Badal village and met the people who mattered. The next day halt could have been organised at Amritsar airfield. He could have sought the blessings of the Almighty at the Golden Temple after visiting any Army or Air Force outfit. The next port of call could have been Adampur on the Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur highway. An official car would have taken him to Hoshiarpur, where he could have consulted famous astrologers. The ruling party would have defended this action of his, even if some auditor objected.

The last visit could, as a matter of routine, been Chandigarh airfield. A visit to local units could have been overdue. By this time a friendly call from Badal village would have fixed his courtesy call with the CM, ostensibly, to discuss the problem of serving soldiers belonging to Punjab.

But as an honest soldier, he chose to rely on a simple and straight forward letter and saved many a flying hour and kilolitres of aviation fuel for the country. On the other hand, the CM’s secretariat took the letter to be a routine request from a serving soldier and forwarded it to the dealing office, that is MoD. Had his staff, as a matter of habit, marked it to the DC or the SSP of Ludhiana, the home district of the “applicant,” the issue would have been eternally filed and forgotten. A simple letter has now become a part of Air Force history.

BRIG K. S. GREWAL (retd), Panchkula


The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), to my mind, means an institution where you have to pay commission to get into public service in Punjab.

Er LAKHBIR S. GILL, Ludhiana


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