Sunday, July 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Women can rise high on their merit

This refers to Ms Gitanjali Sharma’s article “Are corporates women-friendly?” (July 5). Take a look around and you find women everywhere — women who’ve taken on tough challenges in traditionally male-dominated fields. Ravina Raj Kohi is the President of Star News. Dr Indira Parikh is the first woman Dean of the Indian Institute of Management. Women are doing better than men and do not need any reservations or concessions. They are quite capable of rising high on their own merit.

Every modern woman seeks a distinct identity for herself and does not feel contented with the role of a housewife all her life.

Onkar Chopra, Delhi


The law makes no discrimination between the sexes, yet, the gender bias prevails in an overt or covert from, and is a global phenomenon.

Gender discrimination cannot be justified in any form. A World Bank study on gender and poverty conducted in 1991 reports that “Market forces have great potential to...increase the perceived value of women”. This is apparent in the examples of establishments such as Modern Bazaar and the Cottage Industries Emporium which have women employees for almost all jobs. But these examples also highlight a kind of discrimination where the victims are the men!

K.M. Vashisht, Mansa


Globalisation of higher education

Professors Sucha Singh Gill and K.C.Singhal have rightly pointed out the perils of globalisation of higher education, particularly in our own socio-economic context (Perspective, July 20).

In this highly market-oriented globalisation process, where developing countries are unable to compete with the western giants for obvious economic reasons, the danger of losing our social identity and individuality is looming large over the heads of our own universities and other institutions of higher education.

However, before one thinks of ways to meet this western onslaught of globalisation of higher education, our weak educational structure needs to be reorganised on a war footing.

For, our present educational structure, mired in petty political profiteering probably needs just “ek dhakka aur”.

The fee hike in the colleges has, no doubt, been withdrawn by the Punjab Government but decisions such as the peremeptory fee hike would clear the way for a trouble-free entrance of commercially alert global educational giants that are ready to devour our economic and social independence.

Balvinder, Chandigarh

Jobs, not crutches

This refers to the article “Flames of caste” by Ms Reeta Sharma (June 21). It is sickening to hear cliches repeated ad nauseum by pseudo-intellectuals about Dalits and their “share in the socio-political structure”.

Nobody has any share in government jobs, political hierarchy and economic structure. One has to be qualified for a government job and compete with other candidates. It is a monstrous crime to ask for the alms of jobs merely on caste basis. It is a pity that despite continued bonanza since Independence, the Dalits have not demonstrated their capacity to earn jobs on merit.

Reservation is one of the most retrograde steps taken by our polity. The removal of discrimination was quite enough to enable the Dalits to carve out a respectable niche for themselves in society. The Dalits and other poor people should ask only for job opportunities and not seek crutches of any kind.

Chaman Lal Korpal, Amritsar


In Talhan village it was not a caste conflict but a majority vs minority question. As most of the Jat Sikhs have migrated to western countries, the Dalit population has gained majority and being the majority community it wants control of the offerings made at its smadh-cum-gurdwara. This was the real cause of differences in the village. Then came in the Dalit leadership of another state government, strings were pulled and the differences turned into a full-fledged conflict.

Charag Husnul, Amritsar

IAS supremacy

Apropos of the article “Separating specialists” (Spectrum, July 20), the discussion should focus on why specialists like doctors, engineers and scientists are opting for civil services. Just as during the British rule, IAS officers are not answerable to anyone today.

Moreover, in the case of doctors, a very senior doctor of the rank of Director of Health Services with over 30 years of service is put under the control of a very junior IAS officer. Similarly, civil surgeons with over 25 years service are placed under the Deputy Commissioners in the districts.

The solution lies not in debarring a class (which is of course unconstitutional) but in looking at the root cause. Change IAS to IPS (Indian Public Services) and make them answerable to the public. Only those officers like Ms Kiran Bedi, who care for the general well-being, should be encouraged. We need a proper cadre for specialists with sufficient promotional avenues and no interference from outside. After all, the Health Minister is not under the Home Minister. Then, why his staff?

Dr S.K. Devgan, Sriganganagar (Rajasthan)

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