Friday, August 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



UGC should enforce right standards

This has reference to the news-item “Affiliation of colleges shifted” (Aug 1). It deals with the affiliation of colleges of Hisar, Fatehabad, Sirsa and Jind districts being affiliated to the newly created Ch. Devi Lal University at Sirsa. Education holds the key to any prospect of achieving the high goals that the Republic has pledged itself to, namely, a polity that would secure to all citizens justice, freedom, equality and brotherhood. The pursuit of these goals would involve many hard decisions, including the dismantling of the pyramid of privileges that we have built up in the name of education.

Though universities are a State subject, this should not prevent the UGC for pulling them up for lapses. Our Constitution expressly adds that education, including universities, is subject to the provisions of certain entries in the Union List which includes the “co-ordination and determination of standards in institutions of higher education or research”. In view of this, the power and responsibility of the UGC to act is inescapable when, for instance, universities condone cheating in exams and thus award spurious degrees, dilute curricular requirements or conduct substandard correspondence courses on considerations other than academic.

The law is really not so adequate as those in authorities sometimes pretend. Besides, the power and influence of a university are not expected to be spelt out exhaustively and exclusively in its statutes. By its decisions and attitudes, it is expected to build up such moral authority as individuals and institutions would hesitate to defy. How many colleges that fell below the minimum norms have lost their affiliation? On the contrary, colleges with sub-standard equipment and personnel, and with no prospect of any improvement in the future, are being granted affiliation. And the UGC has stood by and watched the emergence of new universities similarly ill-equipped for their legitimate mission.


The UGC should develop itself into an authority acknowledged to be beyond the reach of populist pressures, like the courts of law and the Election Commission. The sanction for enforcing its decisions and counsel will have to be more drastic than withholding of grants. They should include the withholding of recognition. However, there are no statutory substitutes for the will to enforce the right standards.

ANIL BHATIA, Dept. of English D.N. College, Hisar

Moment of introspection

As we are celebrating the 57th year of Independence of our beloved nation, we should make a serious introspection of our achievements and failures in the past 56 years. India was not so poor when Britishers left us, but today we are in no good position.

Sadly, we do not think of the interests of the nation first. Most of us think in terms of religion or caste rather than on nationality and the spirit of Indianness. If we think in terms of Dalits, Jats, Brahmins, Vaish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and Christians, we will negate the spirit of Indianness, oneness and unity in diversity, which was the hallmark of our struggle for Independence.

Unfortunately, even after 56 years of Independence, our people do not have the basic economic minimum. We don’t have proper healthcare facilities, unemployment is rising day by day, illiteracy has not yet been banished and social evils like dowry and casteism are prevalent in society.

If we introspect seriously, we will come to the conclusion that both our politicians and people have failed the nation and that it is only our defence forces who are committed to their task in letter and spirit. On this auspicious day, I avail myself of the opportunity to salute the Indian soldiers for defending the motherland by sacrificing their lives on the frontiers.


State of universities

I am extremely delighted to read the news about the study regarding the state of universities in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in The Tribune (Aug 11). This study is worthwhile to let the public know what ails our universities and they may offer suggestions to tone up the working of the universities. This is the need of the day. The universities are the temples of learning which produce our administrators and leaders.

I am a Fellow and a Dean of Panjab University. My personal experience is that the most important national policy of reservation for SC/ST has not been implemented seriously by the universities in this region. The Panjab University has taken earnest steps recently in this regard. This issue was discussed very hotly in the Senate meetings of the university held from time to time.

Under these circumstances, I request you to kindly direct your staffers to pay heed to this aspect of the national policy. They should come out with statistics both of the employees and the faculty members.

It will be still better if this information is collected from the affiliated colleges of these universities, specially the colleges aided by the respective state governments.

K. C. SHENMAR, Chandigarh

What ails human ties

Human life means life in human and sub-human relations. The late Professor S.P. Kana said: “To be is to be related”. Can we exist without the earth, the sun, the water, the air and the plant world? Certainly not.

We live with our parents, children, sisters and brothers. However, harmony is not possible without freedom from evil and destructive forces. We see disharmony all around. What ails all these relations? We need a science and philosophy which can ensure harmony between human and sub-human relations. Bhagwan Dev Atma has propounded this philosophy with practical examples.

Devoid of feelings of reverence and gratitude, compassion and justice, and chastity and sense of duty, man is bound to do evil in human and sub-human relations. Bhagwan Dev Atma’s aim is to emancipate human souls from the slavery of destructive feelings which militate against goodness and justice.

The history of Dev Samaj is replete with instances of wonderful changes in various relations. We see loyalty and dedication in marital relations. Discord may be an exception. Brothers have given up their claim to inherited property in favour of the other brothers. Sons and daughters respect their parents and take care of them with love. Hundreds have wept for their past wrongs and begged pardon from their wives, and their relations have become a blessing for each other.

Every member of Dev Samaj is free from bribery, from killing of animals or birds. He has to be a strict vegetarian. There is harmony among them.


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