Monday, May 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Take a cue from GND University

APROPOS of the article “Making university appointments transparent, GNDU style” (The Tribune, May 4), ever since the emergence of the university system in Punjab, this is perhaps for the first time that a sitting Vice-Chancellor has dared to write, in the Press on such a vital and sensitive issue. Considerable weightage used to be given to merit for recruitment of teachers in universities and other state level services in Punjab till late 1960. It was since 1970s that other considerations started to overshadow merit in the process of recruitment.

In the beginning, it was sifarish. Then, it became big sifarish. After this came a time when people started saying that recruitment agencies like the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) and other departmental selection committees should be scrapped and that there should be an auction officer who could auction the post(s) to the highest bidder(s). The PPSC job scam was the culmination of such state of affairs.

The biggest victim of ignoring merit and selling jobs, particularly in sensitive departments, can be national security. If a foreign intelligence agency manages the selection of a young person in the police or intelligence department by paying a heavy bribe, for whom will that officer work? For the nation or for the foreign agency? Even if such an extreme case does not happen, there are still many casualties of ignoring merit in recruitment — the quality of governance, credibility and people’s faith in the system. It is in this broader context that Professor S.P. Singh’s article and the endeavour of the Guru Nanak Dev University needs appreciation.


Recognition of academic merit in the process of promotion is equally important. Every university teacher knows that promotions under the CAS in various universities had been given first to less meritorious teachers, apparently, for considerations other than academic merit. The really deserving ones were either ignored or promoted after a long struggle. Such happenings send a wrong message to sincere and hard working teachers. Moreover, ignoring merit not only affects the morale of dutiful teachers and young men and women but also causes incalculable loss to the system.

Let us hope that other universities in the region will take a cue from Guru Nanak Dev University and once again establish the supremacy of academic merit. The main responsibility lies with the Vice-Chancellor, apart from senior professors and the teachers’ associations as he is the chief executive.

RANJIT SINGH GHUMAN, Professor, Department of Economics, Punjabi University, Patiala

Need to revive old gala evenings

THE other day when I read a story about the usual jealousy of bureaucrats towards defence officers (The Tribune), I was reminded of my son’s retort, “Papa I am also entitled to canteen service now”. He is yet in the first year of the National Defence Academy and wanted to let me know about one of his proud privileges in the defence services.

This happened when I enquired from my neighbour Colonel Rana about our evening programme. I am certainly envious of his bubbling glass of rum and my cup of ignominy is full to the brim because we, poor civil officers, are never entitled to such luxuries from the CSD. Otherwise, why should I be jealous of those defence officers many of whom are my friends, cousins, nephews and now my own son? I am rather proud of their standard and I always hold them in high esteem. Labhu the great has all the stories of their bravery floating in the public. I felt sorry for the officer about whom I read in the paper that one was shot at in a bizarre incident by his own subordinate sepoy.

During my two postings to a tribal border district, it was noticed that the civil officers had very cordial and harmonious relations with the defence personnel. Civil officers had formed a club with an indoor badminton hall there. One Brigadier Sahib along with his team of officers used to come over there and often played matches. Civil officers were invited occasionally and we dined and danced together.

In another hill station, Cantonment area where civil sub-division headquarters exist, there used to be frequent get-togethers between civil and defence officers. Two or three years back, I had been transferred and remained posted to non-military areas. But recently I happened to be posted once again to one of the same old sub-divisions where the army unit is established. I met and called on some of the officers. When I enquired why there were no get-togethers, I was told that because of two untoward incidents, the interaction was confined to formal official meetings only. Now it has to be found out whether some invisible “hand” is involved in disturbing the well-knit harmony of civil and defence officers and what could be done to revive those old gala evenings!

JAGRUP SINGH, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dalhousie (HP)



Family pension

As a measure of relief, the Punjab government, before the creation of Haryana, had provided in the Service rules (rule 6.17, chapter VI) that after the death of the employee, pension would be admissible, among others, to his son or daughter throughout life if he or she is “suffering from any disorder or disability of mind, or is physically crippled or disabled so as to render him or her unable to earn a living”. This rule continues to exist in Punjab and its benefit is enjoyed by the physically or mentally challenged dependants of the deceased government employees in the shape of family pension.

The Haryana government, however, has deleted this provision from the rule book resulting in the denial of the much-needed financial help to such persons when family pension stops after the death of their parents. Most of them have no source of income and there is no one to care for them after the death of parents. The incongruity which is heavily loaded against this helpless section of our society needs to be corrected. The Haryana government, which has been claiming credit for introducing many welfare schemes, would undo a grave injustice by reviving the earlier provision. Its financial implications will be insignificant as the number of beneficiaries is not going to be large.


Deplorable ads

Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad’s stand on advertisements beamed by TV channels speaks volumes about the confusion in the policy, rather lack of it, and the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the issue. Contrast his views with those of his predecessor, Mrs Sushma Swaraj (remember her views on Fashion channel)? Most of the TV soaps and ads appearing in the electronic media are obnoxious. They present women as a commodity and an item of voyeuristic pleasure. Depicting what is actually happening now is no art.

Our film makers owe responsibility to society in changing the undesirable attitudes. Some of the ads are simply deplorable. Consider, for example, the one showing a young boy distributing Close Up tooth paste free to young girls (only).

The lip movement of the first girl appears to be saying “Thank you Bhai!” There is nothing wrong with it per se. But the mischievous glint in her eyes indicates that she is actually taunting the boy. And what does the boy say in the end? “Itni choti keemat and itna bara inam?”, meaning the girls smiling benevolently behind him. Could anything be more demeaning for womanhood?


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |