Sunday, July 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Education not a commodity for sale

THIS has reference to the articles “Save varsities from bureaucracy” and “Education as commodity” (June 22). Keeping in view the rapid technological developments all around, higher education was no longer an option, rather it needs to be seen as a necessity. No society can prosper unless it provides its people this fundamental entitlement. Otherwise also an educated individual, whether from sciences or social sciences, is an asset to society in general.

The people need to be informed that institutions of higher education cannot be made to work properly when people are starved of essential funds by respective governments. A direct fallout of all this has been that various organisations and universities have introduced entrance tests which have simply degenerated into a mode of money fleecing in the name of creating their own resources of income.

To allow the operation of the market forces to guide the functioning of the university sector will be a misadventure and treating education as a mere commodity will encourage students to adopt a purely mechanistic approach to learning. This will to be the determent of society as a whole.

Ironically, some teachers have started considering a class lecture in terms of a few hundred rupees. It is the worst from a degenerated state of mind and thought. Society will soon see the ruinous fall-out of this new-found economics in higher education when the introduction of guest-faculty as contract teachers takes its full shape in colleges and universities and this may be the last nail in the coffin. Higher education must not be treated as a commodity for sale and purchase.

Dr I.M. JOSHI, Chemistry Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh


Deplorable move

This refers to the debate on UPSC reforms (May 25) and Mr Ved Guliani's letter “Joining the IAS” (June 8). The very idea of banning doctors and engineers from joining the IAS and other services is deplorable.

As an engineer myself, I can’t understand the notion that a scholar of English literature or Pali is a more suitable candidate for managing, controlling and administering the system, than an engineer or a doctor! How can we expect to provide better governance and administration to our people when we debar the best of individuals from playing a role in the system?

Mr. Guliani's observation that the manner of working of these professionals is mechanical and robotic is ridiculous. I think the sole reason for the disparity between our goals and the results is the lack of scientific temper in bureaucrats and almost no use of technology in matters of planning and policymaking.

The UPSC should in turn consider reforming the examination procedure that will enable individuals with skill and aptitude to be selected rather than those with mere bookish knowledge. Is it any surprise that amid all this hoopla over e-governance, computers and IT do not figure as optional subjects for the Civil Services examination?

The point that the nation’s professional talent goes waste once an engineer or a doctor joins the administrative cadre is not only irrational but smells of our colonial mind-set. Why are we making such a fuss over only a few individuals who get selected in administrative cadre, when lakhs of unemployed engineers and doctors have no option but to end up doing clerical jobs? Isn't that a greater loss of national wealth?

Our politicians are afraid of this new blood of bureaucrats who want to use the technology for providing transparent governance. Studies prove that states that use technology in governance — Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa etc — are much better governed as compared to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa. I am sure, this proposed “reform”, if implemented, will only aggravate our already murky bureaucracy. 


Death sentence must stay

APROPOS of the debate on capital punishment (June 8), the move to abolish death sentence in India will not be in the national interest. In the present circumstances, any such move may endanger the lives of every law-abiding citizens. Instead of scrapping death sentence, it should be applied even for cases of rape of minor girls, robberies and terrorists.

If capital punishment is abolished, criminals may be tempted to commit the crime time and again. Capital punishment must stay to act as a deterrent.



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 |