Thursday, August 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Unauthorised engineering colleges mushroom

WITH the mushroom growth of technological institutions, some approved, many unapproved, career in engineering has become a hazardous venture. Who is the approving authority — the AICTE or the UGC? Has the government no role in such an important matter?

The hapless students and their parents are a confused lot. How can they guard against fake institutions or unapproved courses? Besides, why should it be the headache of the parents alone to identify the approved institutions? Why shouldn't the government, in a social state, step in to take up this responsibility?

Some institutes are fleecing the students on the pretext of “approval awaited”. There are instances when students have reached the final year of their course but approval is nowhere in sight. One can well imagine the plight of such students.

The government should not allow any institution to function without prior confirmed approval and the fake ones should be locked up and stern action taken against the defaulting managements.

The students who suffer at the hands of unapproved institutions should be paid suitable compensation by the government, which in turn may feel free to realise it by imposing a penalty on the erring parties.

WG CDR C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


No funds, no work

I happened to visit the office of a very senior officer of the PWD (B&R) in connection with the black topping of a link road. A large crowd loitering in the office complex gave the impression as if the department employees were on strike. Interestingly, these people were none other than SDOs, JEs and other administrative employees of various sub-divisions. Reliable sources revealed as no work was operative for want of funds, the employees make their presence felt and disappear by noon everyday. It sends shivers through the spines of tax-payers, watching helplessly the criminal wastage of huge human resources at their cost.

I request the Public Works Minister to look into the whole gamut of worklessness in his department and get rid of "funds-no, work-no and pay-yes" culture.



An odd bureaucrat

There are different types of bureaucrats. Some are arrogant, most are bossy and inefficient; some lazy and corrupt. But now and then one does come across an odd one who is efficient, honest and result-oriented. This bureaucrat was then a Joint Secretary in the Department of Defence Service Welfare, Punjab.

A grandson of the late Naib Sub Nand Singh, Victoria Cross, Maha Vir Chakra of Sikh Regiment, who was killed during the 1947-48 war with Pakistan, applied for the post of engineer to the PPSC some time in 1980-81. The PPSC reservation clause covered only sons or grandsons through sons of war heros. Nand Singh had a daughter only. In a long note this bureaucrat highlighted the sacrifice of Nand Singh and questioned the validity of this outdated provision. Better sense prevailed and the provision was amended

There are numerous other incidents where he had been instrumental in solving the long-outstanding and recurring problems of ex-servicemen. He has written a book on India's population entitled "Billion is Enough". This gentleman goes by the name of Ashok Gupta, currently Deputy Commissioner of Nawanshahr. How we wish the IAS had more officers like him.

BRIG MANJIT SINGH (retd), Rahon (Nawanshahr)



Communal riots

Apropos Prof Dipankar Gupta’s “Prem Bhatia Memorial Lecture” (Aug 12), I agree with his views and appreciate the candid manner in which he has analysed the post-Independence communal riots in India with authoritative support.

Unfortunately, things have changed drastically after Independence, particularly during the last two decades. Traditional Hindu "tolerance" has turned into aggressiveness against low castes and minorities. I wonder whether the Indian tolerance towards foreign invaders and rulers was really tolerance or cowardice.

Prof Gupta’s lecture should arouse serious thinking, at least among the intellectuals and those who understand what the word “religion” means.

A.J.S. GREWAL, Manimajra

NRI students

Apropos the report “NRI students owe lakhs of rupees to the SGPC” (Aug 3), it appears that your reporter did not care to get full facts.

In the 1999-2000 batch the NRI fee was reduced from $75,000 to $50,000 by the trust which manages the institute. We learn that even this reduced fee has till date not been paid by two of the eight students.

In the 2000-2001 batch, four of the eight students admitted in the NRI quota have paid only Rs 1.10 lakh each against the total payment of Rs 35 lakh. These are the students who have caused the loss to the institute.

SANT KUMAR, Chandigarh


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