Monday, July 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Army must plan ways to thwart suicide attacks

APROPOS of your front-page edit “Limits to patience” (July 24), in the first attack on the Tanda Army Camp near Akhnoor on Tuesday, there seemed to be a security lapse, but in the second one, which occurred after a few hours, I feel there was no such lapse. Apparently, the Army people were not aware of the third terrorist. But still, what about the combing operation, after the first attack, especially when top officers of the 16 Corps Command were to arrive at the spot for a review of the situation? Why was the entire area not sanitised before the visit of the top brass?

In a suicide attack, there is always the surprise element. Still the Army will have to find ways and means on how to prevent such attacks. The Army's actions should be offensive and not defensive.


An average student

Apropos of the report “No end to Nisha’s harassment” (July 23), it is not factually correct. Ms Nisha Bhati, an ex-student of electronics, has unnecessarily been harassing me for the past few years. The matter has been inquired into five times at high-levels, Principal Secretary, Technical Education, Punjab, Chairman of Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Deputy Commissioner of Jalandhar at the instance of the Chief Minister of Punjab; SSP, Jalandhar, Director-Principal of National Institute of Technology (REC), Jalandhar, at the behest of the Punjab Human Rights Commission and Director of Technical Education and Industrial Training. They have found the charges to be baseless and exonerated me.


Ms Bhati has never topped any examination of her diploma course, not to say of the first semester exam alone. She was an average student and a negligent one. She could not become eligible to appear in the third semester exam on account of shortage of attendance. Then she sought a migration to Government Polytechnic for Women, Ludhiana. Even after her migration from Jalandhar, she has been getting a compartment in various examinations. Contrary to her allegation, no examiner from Government Polytechnic for Women, Jalandhar, had examined her answersheets.

NARESH NAGPAL, Additional Director, Technical Education, Punjab, Chandigarh


Your reporter has tried to convey the impression that the Punjab State Board of Technical Education is harassing a “brilliant”' student at the behest of the Additional Director, Technical Education. The board has set up a very fair and impartial evaluation process and there is no question of anyone being able to influence the result of any student. The answerbooks of all students are evaluated only after fixing fictitious roll numbers. These roll numbers are randomly generated by our computer section and it is not possible for any examiner to know the identity of the examinees.

Moreover, it is incorrect to say that the answersheets of the subjects in which she has failed were evaluated by the examiners from the Government Polytechnic for Women, Jalandhar, as alleged in the report. Even a layman would know that the students have no means of knowing the names of the examiners who check their answerbooks.

It has been wrongly reported that she scored 72 per cent marks in the final year. In the sixth semester, she has scored 56 per cent marks excluding the subjects in which she has failed. In the fifth semester, she scored just 51 per cent marks. She was unable to clear her third and fourth semesters in the first attempt as she had failed in one subject in both these semesters.

The news report also alleges that the Board refused to re-evaluate the student's papers in order to harass her. To qualify for re-evaluation, a student should have an aggregate of 75 per cent marks in previous semesters. However, in this case the student's aggregate marks of first five semesters work out to 58.6 per cent. Hence, she did not qualify for re-evaluation.

Dr A.S ARUNACHALA, Registrar, The Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Training, Chandigarh

Blair’s blunder

APROPOS of the editorial “Blair in deep trouble” (July 21), the British Prime Minister committed a blunder by taking his nation to the war for proving his friendship with the USA, that too, by misleading and telling a lie to his countrymen. In fact, most Americans and Britons are of the opinion that Saddam Hussein could have been tackled by other means.

The war on Iraq has reduced the popularity of both President Bush and Mr Blair. A victory in a war or conflict does not always improve the popularity of the leader. For instance, Sir Winston Churchill (British Premier after World War II) and Senior George Bush (winner of the 1991 Gulf war) were defeated in the elections. Moreover, the daily killing of soldiers of coalition forces in Iraq prove that the Iraqis do not want the presence of foreigners on their soil.



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