Sunday, August 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



IAS: Bar on doctors is no solution

THIS refers to Mr Isidore Domnick Mendis’ article “Separating specialists” (Spectrum, July 20). Debarring professional graduates from appearing in the Civil Services examination is no solution.

The results of the Civil Services exams for the last 10 years show that the candidates with professional background continue to hog the prime positions in the order of merit. Even in 2003, a Patiala boy, who is a graduate of IIT Delhi, topped the Civil Services examination. This is due to the fact that during the past 20 years, the IAS has entered all the arms of the government, including the public sector undertakings, which should have been better left to the professionals/specialists.

The domination by the IAS prevents technocrats, specialists and professionals from making it to the top of the hierarchy, breeding frustration among the brightest and the best and this has forced professionals like engineers, doctors etc. to compete for the IAS in large numbers.

In fact, a day will come when the government may not find specialists and professionals to man the posts created for them. This trend can be checked by the upgradation of specialists’ posts and confining the IAS to general administration. The government should, therefore, encourage professionals/ specialists in specialised departments, by promoting them to the rank of Secretaries or Special Secretaries at the Centre and in the States.

O.P. SHARMA, Faridabad



This has reference to the debate “Should doctors, engineers be debarred from joining the IAS?” (Perspective, May 25). Getting into a profession of one’s liking was never as easy as it seemed to be in the times when we made our choices. The present cut-throat competition has made the world uncertain for the present generation. They may have deep interests, clear inclinations and yet may end up in professions which are not their first preferences. Even otherwise, one may not realise everything one cherishes as a doctor, engineer or even as a teacher. But job satisfaction more than compensates for the insufficiencies of the job such as lack of glamour, power and not-so-handsome emoluments.

It may sound a bit too idealised, but we should not forget that there have been those who have served in their respective professions for decades by choice alone and nothing could lure them to leave those. However, in the background of our social context, we as parents take charge of the future of our children and try to organise their lives. While doing so, many times the unrealised dreams of parents are forced on children and doctors and engineers being discussed in the ongoing debate must be seen as the glaring examples and each one of them seems to be the proverbial “square peg in a round hole”. Afterall, a hesitant horse cannot be made to run a race. They would never have their heart and soul in medicine and engineering into which they had been pushed by circumstances.

In case it remains possible for qualified engineers, doctors, managers and scientists to pursue their first preferences by becoming civil servants, nothing should be done to debar them from doing so. Rather it will be a good riddance from unwilling doctors, engineers, business managers who have been the sources of social trouble. What kind of doctors and engineers would such persons make when they are forced to stay there by an act of Parliament?

Perhaps the administration and society would do well to introduce checks and balances which save us from various scams, such as the kidney transplant scam, imposing prohibitions on the younger generation to pursue their authentic choices and so on.

Dr I.M. JOSHI, Panjab University, Chandigarh


It’s no proof of gender bias

I WAS pained to read the gender-biased article “More than words, an attitude” by Usha Bande (Spectrum, July 27). Language, by birth, has an arbitrary nature. It is futile to assign reasons why a rat is called a rat in English and not a ladoo. Similar is the case with Juda and moustache and other words. Moreover, a noun for a thing may be masculine in one language and feminine in another. In itself there is no bias in language. So the terms like “male vocabulary”, “linguistic sexism” etc. are misconceived. There is no such thing.

The writer has taken the crutch of the word “master” to prove his point of gender bias. But what about the expressions, beautiful building, article, design etc., since “beautiful” is used for a girl and handsome for a boy? And how does the chicken metaphor describe the life story of Indira Gandhi or Mrs Thatcher? What is the writer’s response to the monopoly of ‘cat’ in the English idioms and phrases rather than her better-half, Tom Cat? The example of a single word to prove a point is misleading.

I remember the funny day when during a light talk on why the third person pronoun does not change in the change of narration, an over-zealous Communist friend remarked, “Well, the third person will change during the Communist rule”. The feminists are out to do the same thing. Such colouring of language is unwarranted. It is a wrong attitude.

S.S. GILL, Sangrur

Moment of pride

Apropos of Ms Kiran Bedi’s article “Wanted: Gurpreets and Sardar Patels” (August 3), the pat from Ms Bedi, an IPS officer known for her righteousness and concern for common people, is a matter of great pride for Ludhiana SP Gurpreet Deo. Ms Bedi's appreciation will not only boost her morale but also help improve the image of the police force, making it a respectable part of society.

Being a lady IPS officer, Ms Deo may have some limitations, but she can overcome them and earn the goodwill of the people. In fact, Ms Bedi’s tribute is not only for Ms Deo but for the entire police force.


Noors of India

I fully endorse the views expressed by Mrs Reeta Sharma in her article “What are we doing for the Noors of India?” (Windows, Aug 2).

I fail to understand how External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha has given a statement that India would bear the cost of 100 more children from Pakistan to be operated upon in India for heart diseases. Probably he does not know that many children in India are so poor that they cannot bear the cost of medical treatment and die due to lack of funds. It means the hard-earned money of the Indian taxpayers is to be used for a country who is killing our innocent children in Kashmir. One should first heal the wounds of our countrymen before offering financial help to a hostile country.


Military school

Apropos of Mr M.P. Nathanad’s article on Dholpur (Spectrum, Aug 3), the school in Van Vihar at Dholpur is not Sainik School but Military School. There are only five military schools in the country. They are located at Chail (ex-Jalandhar), Ajmer, Bangalore, Belgaum and Dholpur. Military Schools are run by the Defence Department and Sainik Schools by the respective state governments.

Lt-Col JAGDISH SINGH (retd), Pathankot

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