Wednesday, July 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Ever quarrelling politicians unite to defy EC’s directive

Apropos of the editorial “Not in the right spirit” (July 9), it has very rightly been pointed out that the political parties’ rejection of the Election Commission’s directive is unfortunate — specially so when the EC’s directive has the backing of the apex court. I think it is more of a tragedy and less of a misfortune and it does not augur well for our democratic functioning.

It is amusing to see that the politicians, who are all the time quarrelling amongst themselves and differ on almost everything under the sun, are speaking with one voice on this matter. The issue has been hanging fire for the last couple of decades and now once again an attempt is being made to hoodwink the public.

We the people have every right to know about the person who is going to represent us in the Assembly, Parliament or even in the panchayat or municipal council. In America even the minutest detail about the senators or the Congressmen is available on the net.

One fervently hopes that the EC and the Supreme Court will stand their ground and that the media and the right thinking people will put up a stiff resistance to the dubious designs of the political class.

M.K. BAJAJ, Yamunanagar



Honesty voted out: Your editorial was in a mild tone. India’s political parties have finally achieved unanimity of opinion — the opinion that honesty is impracticable. If put to vote, honesty will lose by a big margin in Parliament unless the MPs unanimously decide to be hypocrites.

To the question as to how the law-breakers will ever agree to frame laws against themselves, the stock reply is that only Parliament will legislate.

So what is the way out? “There are many remedies. “says Poonam I Kaushik in the same edition, without mentioning even one. The only way lies in people themselves rising in one single mass of humanity in support of the court verdict and the Election Commission’s directive and not to let the politicians get away with their diversionary tactics.


PTU’s online courses

I happened to read a news item (July 1) regarding starting of online courses by PTU online, Jalandhar. The article did not mention the status of such degree or diplomas as compared to degrees done as a regular course in any UGC recognised institute. I tried to search out the answer.

However, it was very sad that no clear information could be gathered even after several attempts, including contacting PTU, calling the UGC office and listening to some learned men having worked recently in regulatory bodies like AICTE/UGC. I contacted UGC northern office Delhi four times and no one could answer the question of validity or significance or UGC recognition of such degrees.


Panchayati raj

The collapse of a school roof in Dharamsala on June 26 killing four children is a beginning of the fall of newly constructed structures by panchayats. Haphazard and poor construction of school buildings, toilets, bridges, rain shelters, river weirs, and water tanks is being done by non-technical bodies by flouting every specification, norm and quality design. It is not only the wastage of public money, but also creating ruins for the coming generation. It is high time for policy-makers to stop playing politics with the lives of innocent.


Selection of VC

I would like to highlight the disgust I feel at the petty squabbling of bureaucrats for the top slot of Punjabi University. Haven’t they proven beyond doubt that they are unfit to run an educational institution. Educationalists & bureaucrats are suffering from moral poverty today.

What we need today is Vice-Chancellor to take the bull by the horns and resurrect what was perhaps one of the finest institutions of learning before the dark era of babudom.

We need someone of education, character & morality from the armed forces or the foreign services (as the latter two are lacking in our babus), to bring back the university from the depths of darkness it lies in today.

This university is going only downhill unless we take some serious steps to revitalise the very roots of its foundation. And that means heads must roll if Punjabi University is to turn around.


Bureaucrats as VCs: Reports in the Press indicate that bureaucrats are not to be appointed and only academicians are to be considered for appointment as VC. History reveals that excellence is not limited to a particular field. The contribution of Dr MS Randhawa and PN Thapar, known bureaucrats in developing PAU to the level of international standard, cannot be overlooked.

Similarly the role of Dr AC Joshi, who was DPI, Punjab, in shaping the destiny of PU, Chandigarh, has been seminal.

SP DHAWAN, Chandigarh

Contradictory stand

Apropos the letter by Mr Manjit Singh and others, I am sorry to say that the spirit of my argument has gone over their heads. It was an apparent self-contradiction on the part of the CM to publicly declare a person “an upright and honest” against whom he had given an approval to get an FIR registered!



Computerised reservation

Kotkapura residents have been looking forward to the much-needed computerised reservation facilities for train services after an announcement to this effect the railway budget. Passengers from towns like Baghapurana, Samalsar, Fazilka, Muktsar and Bariwala board trains from Kotkapura for destinations like Mumbai, Jaipur and Delhi.


Water scarcity in Har-Bagh

We, the residents of Har-Bagh, a tiny hamlet in Dehra subdivision of Himachal have been facing an acute scarcity of water for the past several years now. In the face of a drought-like situation currently prevailing in this region, the harried residents have to trudge long distances to fetch water for themselves and their livestock.

Having run from pillar to post, we have been forced to write to the Prime Minister to help find a permanent solution to the problem. We feel the water supply can be augmented by replacing the existing pipe.

ASHOK KUMAR & others, Har-Bagh (Pragpur)

Maneka’s good play

No one commented when Mrs Maneka Gandhi was ousted as minister because people are callously ignorant about her priorities and achievements. Large grants given by her for the construction of shelters for abandoned animals will long be remembered.


RECs upgradation

Apropos the statement of Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, central minister, upgrading 10 out of 17 Regional Engineering Colleges to the status of National Institutes of Technology, why and for what reason have the remaining seven RECs not been take into consideration for similar upgradation?

ASHOK GOYAL, Kotkapura

Student’s death

The news of Jagroop Singh’s death, the child who was thrashed by his teacher, made me cry. Please follow up such crime until justice is done.


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