Thursday, July 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Shimla isn’t suitable for HP capital

Former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal has mooted the idea of shifting the state capital from Shimla to the lower belt. Clearly, Shimla is not suitable for the state capital. This hill station has three seasons — a long winter, a long rainy season and a season of guests only. Travelling to Shimla from the far-flung areas of the state is always troublesome, particularly for those who are forced to knock at the doors of various offices/ departments located far away.

Dharamsala, being projected as the winter capital, too is not a suitable place. Think of the plight of a person travelling by a bone-breaking Himachal bus from the peripheral areas of the state (Shillai/ Chamba) to Shimla or Dharamsala!

Having cited the concept of centrality, places such as Jahoo, Sarkaghat and Ghumarwin have been suggested as sites for the new capital. This concept is irrelevant today. New Delhi, though the country’s capital, is not centrally located just as most state capitals. At the cost of the state, let us not be over-patriotic towards a particular region.

Himachal Pradesh, according to the States’ Reorganisation Act, has a share in Chandigarh which is perhaps more “central” to a large part of Himachal than any other place. Why cannot Chandigarh serve as a capital for the three small states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh with only one Governor?


The mega city of Chandigarh (after merger with Panchkula and SAS Nagar), with its medical, educational, trade and transport facilities, will be an ideal location as a capital. The youth of the hills will get adequate employment and trade opportunities. Of course, this suggestion may not be palatable to our politicians!

Dr L.K. MANUJA, Nahan (HP)

Raj Samman

I welcome the Punjab Government’s proposal to introduce the Raj Samman Scheme as it will help writers, artists and scholars who, otherwise, feel neglected. This scheme will be on the lines of the military and the civilian awards given by the Government of India.

P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Adding grace to The Tribune

The Editor-in-Chief deserves kudos since he has brought about some changes in the layout of The Tribune adding grace and proper perspective to provide right fare at the right place. Page 2, which was a bhelpuri of all sorts, is now rightly newsy. The overhauling has made it attractive and readable which formerly it was not unless you were hard put to know the timing of some TV serials.

That Newshound by Rap has emerged safe, rather grown in size showing the Editor-in-Chief’s sense of sifting the wheat from the chaff. Now properly placed on Oped page, the cartoon has been popular with the readers for the past many years because its content remains embedded in the grassroots of the Indian psyche.

Quite some time back, the Arts Tribune was unceremoniously removed from the paper. In the drudgery of political news and crime reports day in and day out, Arts Page every Friday brought a weekly whiff of fresh air from places and persons related with the world of creative activities of finer feelings and lofty imaginations. It is surprising and ironical that not a single reader expressed shock or sorrow at the sudden death of the Page that went the way the protagonist of Hardy’s novel “The Mayor of Casterbridge” did, saying “...and that no flower be planted on my grave, and that no man remember me.” Will the Arts Tribune page be resuscitated?


PPSC recruitment

As far back as April 1999, the Punjab Public Service Commission had invited applications for 272 posts of college lecturer. Interviews were held in January-February last year and selections made. However, the entire exercise has now been declared “null and void” by the Punjab Government and the PPSC has been directed to make selections afresh. The PPSC is urged to announce the schedule of interviews at the earliest.

Incidentally, about 700 posts of lecturer have been lying vacant in government colleges across the state. There has been no recruitment of lecturers for the last seven years.


M.Ed admissions

Apropos of the M.Ed admission notice (The Tribune, July 1) for the 2003-04 session, the Dean, College Development Council, Panjab University, Chandigarh, has fixed different dates for counselling at eight colleges of education affiliated to the university.

All these colleges, in separate ads, are luring students to apply in their prescribed forms by a specific date and appear for counselling.

Since admission to any college would not be guaranteed to all the applicants, they would have to send separate applications and appear for counselling at different colleges. This multiplicity of applications and counselling is avoidable and uncalled for.

The authorities concerned would do well to centralise applications and counselling at one place for all colleges of education affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh.



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