Wednesday, May 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



A citizen’s agenda for Punjab CM

Capt Amarinder Singh deserves the appreciation of all Punjabis for his daring action against corruption. There should be no avengeful action while eradicating this evil because that simply rebounces at some stage.

The PSEB has taken a bold decision by withdrawing vehicles from its engineers. This is a step in the right direction. The Punjab Government should also do so. Government vehicles with drivers make the top people lethargic and slow in their day-to-day work. Such facilities are not given in Europe, the USA and Canada. Most of the top brass of the government are able-bodied and can drive themselves to work except the people at high security risk.

This action will reduce the fuel bill of the government as also the medical bill because people would feel fit if they drive or walk to work. Over-staffing and facilities of class IV employees slow down output. The old practice of taking files home should be forbidden. This also leads to corruption.

Our police should be made more people-friendly and professional. The police staff should be highly paid so that no one can dare corrupt them. The police does not have enough facilities. Each traffic cop should have at least a motorbike and a walkie-talkie for contacting the police headquarters any time he needs to.


The common man’s problems cannot be known by holding “darbars”, but by travelling in buses, by seeing toilets at bus stops, by standing in a queue for a ticket or making payment for an electricity or telephone bill. Visits to police stations, hospitals, courts give a good idea how the system is working and where improvement is needed.

History of a state or a country is based on the work of a few good leaders, who give good direction and governance, benefiting the common people and are remembered by all. The Punjab CM can initiate the process to change the system for the betterment of our people.

S. S. GILL, Panchkula

Forum against corruption

One of the questions boggling my mind ever since the PPSC scam surfaced is: what were the other members of the PPSC doing all this time when Mr Sidhu snatched all powers from them? Don’t they share the blame for the situation created by Sidhu? They had individual as well as collective responsibility for running satisfactorily the affairs of the PPSC. Their silence over their curtailed rights should be deemed as serious as the acts of Sidhu.

There should be some sort of all-India statutory body/commission like the NHRC etc to take corrective measures on complaints/views received from individuals affected by acts of omission and commission of various institutions and individuals.

D. R. SOOD, Panchkula


Defence studies

A seminar on Maharaja Ranjit Singh held at Panjab University in April has brought to the forefront certain basic issues concerning the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS) at PU, re-established with considerable effort by Lt Gen Jacob and VC Pathak, after an uncaring and thoughtless closure of the degree programme in defence studies had been effected a few years back by the previous dispensation in the university.

A centre of this kind encompassing the study and research of the subject calls for a full staffing, with the best in the country on its teaching faculty. To teach security and strategy effectively, one has to have a deep knowledge and a vision in the international field, besides varied experience in defence matters. A convener or a coordinator should be replaced by a full-fledged head of the centre at the earliest. A visiting guest faculty, comprising the very best experts in the field would be needed to impart extra knowledge, that rarely comes with just degrees and academic resumes.

We also need to take care that this centre does not become an offshoot of the Political Science Department, because the two faculties are poles apart in their content and ethos. The name of the Centre, the CDSS, also seems to have been changed to, the Centre for Defence and National Security Studies on the day of the seminar, which narrows down considerably the entire scope and reach of the strategic content of the subject to be taught and researched at the centre.

MAJ-GEN HIMMAT SINGH GILL (retd), Chandigarh

PTU burdens parents

Punjab Technical University (PTU) has called applications for CET 2002. The cost of the admission brochure is exorbitant. The brochure contains 80 pages and by no stretch of imagination justifies the price of Rs 500. This apart, Rs 75 for postage charges is simply not fair. Moreover, one has to send a draft of Rs 800 towards examination fee. By which yardstick this fee is justified, only PTU can tell.

Along with the application form a candidate is required to send a host of attested certificates like date of birth certificate, Punjab residency certificate, school leaving/character certificate, affidavits by parents/guardians that they are citizens of India, reserved class certificate, if applicable.

As some of these certificates are dispensed by magistrates, candidates/their guardians have to visit courts where a lot of time, money and energy are wasted in getting these certificates.

Institutes like CBSE, PEC also conduct similar examinations, but don’t demand a single certificate. Those who qualify the entrance test should provide the requisite certificates. One fails to understand why PTU has restarted such an outdated practice whereas institutes even in the remotest part of the country have dispensed with calling for attested copies before the conduct of an examination.

I hope the authorities concerned will realise the futility of the whole exercise and the financial and other hardships it is causing to the student community.

INDER PAL SETHI, by e-mail

Not based on facts

The news item “Scam stink from schools labs” (May 7) has been printed without ascertaining the facts.

The rates at which the Additional Controller of Stores has approved Jain Scientific Glass Works contract are much cheaper than that of Borosil. In some of the items we are even cheaper by more than 300 per cent than Borosil.

The items mentioned in the report have been wrongly compared and have not been supplied to the Education Department. It is unreasonable to say that our half-a-century old, ISO 9002 certified firm is “non-descript”.


Lawyers’ concern

Lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court have expressed concern about the judges whose names have figured in the PPSC scam. They have asked for their resignation, threatened to boycott their courts and demanded their ouster. A person should not be called “tainted” just on the basis of statements of touts. How can information given by touts be called authentic? I think the lawyers have overstepped their limits and have done everything in haste.

S. S. BAINS, Chandigarh

Right to be informed

The Constitution of India conferred upon the people of the country the right to information, which cannot, and should not be curtailed under any circumstances whatsoever.



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