Friday, October 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Why universities in the region are sick

This refers to the editorial “Region’s varsities are sick” (Sept 29). Unfortunately, our universities are no longer temples of learning. Most of them have been reduced to academic slums. Surprisingly, our universities have not developed the practice of introspection and continued scrutiny of the quality of their functioning.

A university grows through new ideas and through interaction among members of the academic community, unhampered by thoughts of hierarchy. No true academic community can afford to be anti-democratic. Our seats of learning cannot remain ivory towers. Men in authority who fancy that they have infallible ways of measuring academic competence and those in the teaching profession who behave as if they are a law unto themselves, have one thing in common, namely, ignorance of what education is about. But currently, they seem to have inherited the earth.



I endorse the views expressed in the editorial “Region’s varsities are sick”. It brings to the fore the real reasons for the sickness in the temples of higher learning, the universities and the allied institutions. It is very easy to find fault with others and to ignore one’s own omission and commission.

The main aim of education is to provide knowledge for character building of the students but our present education system has failed to adheive this.


Iqbal Singh, Damdama Sahib


This has reference to the editorial “Region’s varsities are sick: massive effort needed to pull them up” (Sept 29). How can Panjab University, especially the department of University Business School (UBS), progress and compete with rest of the management institutions when the visiting/ guest faculty are not paid their honorarium regularly? In fact, they have not been paid their dues for the last two years.

Those teaching the UBS on guest faculty are research scholars who are inexperienced in teaching. How can the university justify imparting management education to MBA students and think of getting them proper placements in the highly competitive corporate world when these teachers have literally no experience?

I have been teaching in the UBS since 1992. But I have never faced such a situation that the payments are not made even after one year of teaching. The purpose of guest faculty is to bring an expert in his/her own field so that his teaching will enhance the students’ awareness beyond the course content. It also helps the UBS to provide placements to MBA students to achieve their goal.

In case the University/UBS has paucity of funds to pay to the visiting faculty, the Chairman/Vice-Chancellor should issue a certificate to the effect that a particular faculty member has taught during a particular period in honorary capacity. This will end all the problems, which the UBS is facing regarding payment of honorarium to the visiting faculty.

Dr P. K. Vasudeva, Panchkula

Clearing the stables

Apropos of Dr Nirbhai Singh’s letter “Roots of the crisis” (Oct 7), when the post of Chief Editor, Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, was vacant, Dr Nirbhai Singh was one of the candidates and had even met the Vice-Chancellor in this connection. His name had been recommended by a senior faculty member also. He was not selected by the university. Dr Nirbhai Singh had the technical qualities to do the editor’s job, but the university was looking at the same time for a person of scholarly temperament and balanced approach.

Dr Nirbhai Singh’s membership of a disgruntled group also came up for discussion between the Vice-Chancellor and Dr Nirbhai Singh. The university team had at that time plumped for Dr Jodh Singh for these reasons, pipping Dr Nirbhai Singh. Circumstances have proved that the university had made the right choice.

Everybody is fallible and so are we in the university management. But we would like to assure The Tribune readers that we are working objectively, fearlessly and with the interest of the university in our mind all the time. It is not easy to clear the stables; but we are determined.

P. B. S. SIDHU, Registrar, Punjabi University, Patiala


Court summons

Whenever a civil suit is filed in the court, the opposite party is intimated about it and is called upon to appear in the court either in person or through a lawyer to file a written statement or objections. The intimation is sent through summons in Forms 1 and 2 of Appendix-B of First Schedule of the Code of Conduct Procedure.

There can be certain special circumstances when the court requires the appearance in court of the defendant in person. An order to that effect has to be passed. It is only then that summons in Form 3 of Appendix-B of First Schedule of the Code of Civil Procedure are issued.

These days even in normal civil cases and without the explicit order of the court, summons in Form 3 are sent to the defendants, which require appearance of the party in person. Parties get upset on receiving such summons. It causes much inconvenience to the defendants. The reason given for issuance of summons in Form 3 is that only such type of forms are available in the office. Early action is a must so that summons to parties are issued in appropriate forms.

Tej Bahadur Puri, Advocate, Kapurthala

Ammo depots

This has reference to Mr Kishan Singh’s letter (Oct 4) in response to my letter (Sept 16). He has tried to put the cart before the horse. What I said was that when ammo depots are “initially established”, they are located far away from the civil population. There is no personal interest of anyone involved in locating military establishments and it is purely the overall national interest that dictates their decision.

On the other hand, it is purely out of self-interest that private civil establishments encroach upon restricted areas. There is no denying that every citizen has the right to possess land but its use will have to be in accordance with government regulations. As an organisation, the Defence Ministry has not encroached upon any civilian land whereas there are plenty of cases of encroachment on the defence land.

The comment that “the military has become a problem to the civilian population” is unpatriotic and hurtful. Please do not forget that their Defence staff are our own national force and not an occupation force.

Lt-Col Bhagwant Singh (retd), SAS Nagar

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