Wednesday, February 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Single exam for engineering

THIS refers to the news item regarding a single exam for admission to engineering courses. The Punjab Government decision has created confusion for the all-India students desirous of taking admission in the engineering colleges in Punjab under the 15 per cent quota. The AIEEE brochure clearly states that in Punjab, the all-India seats will be filled on the basis of the ranks obtained in the AIEEE being conducted by the CBSE, whereas Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary, Technical Education, Punjab, says that for the 15 per cent non-Punjab quota, preference will be given to the students who have taken the Punjab CET and only thereafter the rank holder of the AIEEE will be considered.

First, the Punjab Government wants that even 15 per cent seats are given to Punjab students only or to the students from nearby places like Chandigarh and Haryana who can appear in the Punjab CET. Second, when you ignore a test like AIEEE, which has many times more participation than the Punjab CET, you definitely give the message that merit is not the consideration. Third, there is no effort to reduce the financial burden on the parents. Each test costs Rs 2,000 or so apart from time and energy which the students as well as parents have to spare. Fourth, Punjab does not respect the collective wisdom considering that all neighbouring states like HP, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi have accepted AIEEE as the basis for 15 per cent outside the state seats. Fifth, revenue continues to be the sole objective in all matters in Punjab. By doing this they want to maximise participation in the Punjab CET, a big source of earnings for the universities.


I request the Punjab Government to maintain the sanctity of 15 per cent all India seats by making AIEEE as the sole basis which is within the reach of students from all states and sacrifice the narrow angle of generating more revenue for universities. In fact, looking at the reputation of PTU, the best thing would have been to make AIEEE as the basis for 85 per cent Punjab quota seats also, since by and large all Punjab students will be appearing in AIEEE as two most reputed colleges in Punjab — Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology and National Institute of Technology (formerly Regional College of Engineering) have accepted AIEEE as the basis.


It was a shameful show

The performance of the Indian cricket team in the two opening matches of the World Cup is not only humiliating but also shows lack of responsibility on the part of the players. Against Australia, only two players, Sachin and Harbhajan, could manage to score some runs. Harbhajan not being a recognised batsman showed optimism and will to perform. Ironically, in a popular TV advertisement, the other members of the Indian team make fun of Harbhajan and ask him to practice more. His practice has yielded positive results and now it is time for the ‘dadas’ to practice. Defeat is part of any game and the fans accept it if it is a decent one. Indian cricket fans should boycott all products which are being promoted by these stars.


Pathetic performance

The performance of the Indian team against Australia in the cricket World Cup was pathetic. Ganguly and his team failed in every department forcing us to hang our heads in shame. Excuses are intolerable. There is no use spending millions of rupees when we are not in contention anywhere.

D.K. MAHAJAN, Nilokheri

‘Magic’ bat

Brian Lara scored a magnificent century in the World Cup against South Africa, and the following day Indian news-papers came out with reports that it was the bat autographed by Tendulkar which enabled him to achieve the feat! If it is so, why not distribute such bats to all Indian batsmen who are struggling to cross even double-figures. And in the present situation when even Tendulkar is not coming up with impressive scores, it will not be a bad idea if he himself uses this magic bat.

S.P. SOOD, Barwala


Q: How did the Indians look at Centurion against Australia?

A: Exposed like Mandira Bedi.

I.J.S. CHEEMA, Chandigarh

Of three reports

I wish to express my views on three different news reports.

(1) It was wrong on the part of the Government of Punjab to have decided not to start English right from the beginning of schooling. If India has made some achievements, undoubtedly this vehicle has played a significant role. I would like to quote a sentence from The Tribune of February 10 to show the extent of carelessness we are committing while using this language. Heading: “Ardas divas for Bhullar held”. The starting sentence begins: “A peaceful struggle for the release of Prof Davinderpal Singh Bhullar will continue till the mother is resolved”. The word “mother” got printed instead of “matter”?

(2) It is heartening that there are still signs of people expressing their gratitude for the benefits they received from an individual at some time of their life. I find that such “good” people are deriding the Press (read The Tribune) for investigating and reporting the Panchkula episode. They, however, forget that it is the duty of the Press to eradicate corruption in whichever form it exists and the aberration will eventually have some impact on society. I congratulate The Tribune for the bold step.

(3) I might be labelled “unpatriotic”, nevertheless, I want to express the view that the suggestion to bestow Bharat Ratna posthumously on Kalpana Chawla is too much. We are indeed proud of her and we do admire her adventure. But awarding the highest Indian honour will simply dilute its value. For the last many days, a good deal of space is devoted to her. Afterall, foreign astronauts (including a woman) have died earlier also in such explosions. In this ill-fated space shuttle also, there were others of foreign origin. What have we done or are we doing for these valiant men and women?

ARVIND, Chandigarh

Doctor’s behaviour

I am a retired Principal of a government college. My son, aged 40, suffered from severe sciatica pain. I got an appointment from a senior doctor of Govt. Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, and reached his house on January 28. My son could not stand due to the pain and he fell down. The doctor, instead of giving him some pain killer, asked us to get out of his house.

When my son recovered a bit, the doctor literally pushed us out. He did not allow my son even to use a bathroom. This treatment was cruel even for an ordinary person, not to speak of a doctor who is considered to be an angel. I write this to request all doctors to treat their patients with sympathy.

S.L. KASHYAP, Chandigarh

Crime in Amritsar

There is an alarming increase in criminal activities like chain-snatching, car-thefts etc taking place in Amritsar. Many of these incidents occur in narrow lanes and bylanes where women are waylaid and their ornaments snatched.

It is very inconvenient and uncomfortable for women and girls to live in peace. Going to a marriage, you don’t know whether your car will be there at the parking lot on your return. Going out for a stroll in your lane, one is always looking here and there at all passers-by, God knows who turns out to be a chain-snatcher. Even shopkeepers in small lanes, especially in Lawrence Road area, are sometimes looted in the day time.

DIVYA A, Amritsar

Scientist ignored

When Prof G.N. Ramachandran did not receive the Nobel Prize, I was not too pained. I said to myself that this is just another Western prize, hence this was anticipated to some degree. However, astonishingly while many a mediocre person has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna, this great Bharati and Dr Homi Bhabha have been ignored so far. Clearly it is not an exaggeration to mention that the contribution towards science of this great scientist is no less than that of Albert Einstein.


Resource crunch

This refers to the news report “Ministers undeterred by resource crunch” (Feb 10). The ministers in J&K who have reportedly spent about Rs 20 lakh in luxurious furnishing of their offices and residences to match their newly acquired status are only following the footsteps of their brethren in other parties in power.


PTU certificates delayed

Apropos the letter “Open loot in PTU” (Feb 6), PTU officials often delay detailed marks certificates which students urgently need to apply for jobs and higher studies. The examination staff take full advantage of this and charge Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per case. Students with reappears have to pay even up to Rs 4,000. In many cases certificates are lying pending for more than a year in PTU. God knows when students will get their degrees.


On public demand?

It is common to see the blurb “On public demand” with the advertisements of movies. How does the public convey its ”demand” — through letters/or telephone calls? On January 29 this year I went to see the late night show of Hindi film “Saathiya” at Nirman theatre in Chandigarh. The combined strength of viewers in the balcony and the hall was less than 20. This is perhaps the thinnest audience I have ever come across in a cinema hall even though the film had been shifted from another cinema hall “on public demand”.

Even while I was wondering about the wisdom of running a movie to such empty houses, I came to know that the screening of the film had been extended. And its advertisement in The Tribune (February 2) stated that it had been done “on public demand”!



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