Catching scientists young

The editorial “Science mela” (Jan 5) is thought provoking and, if taken seriously by our science managers, it can lead to optimum utilisation of the valuable resource. The character of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) can be more meaningful if the opportunity is utilised for scientist-school child interaction at an elementary level in local dialects on practical and exciting issues to catch them young.

The ISC is an annual opportunity for interdisciplinary interaction. Specialists must climb down from their ivory towers and be simpler in their dialogue and displays. They should be willing to stand with their posters, models or even scientific cartoons or innovative audio-visual displays and have the patience to bring science to society which is indeed the focal theme of 91st ISC.

The ISC is an occasion for soul-searching and scientific auditing. Focus is necessary on the virtual death of science practical at high school and Plus 2 levels due to tuition mania and CET psychosis even in well-equipped schools. This inculcates a negative habit to be non-serious about practical science which stays even when such school kids join science courses.

Young school kids, their parents and teachers would miss an opportunity if they don’t visit the various science exhibits at the unique science and technology show at Panjab University. Only a few children could participate in the Children's Science Congress at IMTECH but many have remained untouched by the great excitement that has dawned on Chandigarh despite the fog.

— Dr Arun Deep Ahluwalia, Geology Dept, Panjab University, Chandigarh



Slighted soldier

WHILE thanking A.J. Philip for putting in correct perspective the overhyped war movie LoC (The Tribune, Jan 3), may I as a fourth generation army man make a point or two to its Director J.P. Dutta? It appears that he has conveniently forgotten the sterling role played by the minorities and, more specifically, the Sikhs. From the days of the World War 1, the Sikh soldiery played an outstanding role in all wars. Yet, in his movie the Sikh jawan hardly makes an impression.

Is Dutta even remotely aware of the brave role of the 8 Sikh battalion in Kargil? Yet, all that the Sikh troops appear to be doing in this movie is reversing arms and receiving bodies in caskets! Is this the image of the Sikh soldier he wishes to project?

While he highlights the role of the other non-Sikh commanding officers in giving out orders, in all the action that goes on, the Sikh jawan hardly finds a place.

The gallantry award list too seems to have only favoured a select few. And, incidentally, choice abuses [even to an enemy], gushy-mushy picture gazing of your beloved in the heat of battle, patriotic group singing, and overkilling for effect do not necessarily make for a realistic movie, much less one based on a war. Dutta, the Censor Board and the Ministry of Defence all owe an apology for producing and letting pass such an inapt imagery of India's soldiers.

— Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (Retd), Chandigarh


HSIDC explanation

Apropos the report “HSIDC lets down Barwala industrialists” by Poonam Batth (The Tribune, Jan 5), let me give my response to the points raised by it.

There have been some complaints of breakdown in telephone services due to the excavation work being undertaken for laying stormlines. Now this problem is over. The Telephone Department is completing the construction of a new tower at Barwala which would be operational within the next three months.

At present, a good post office is located in village Jaloli which is at a distance of 700 metres from the estate. Allottees are receiving their mail regularly. Even so, the HSIDC is in contact with the GPO, Ambala, to set up a new post office at Barwala.

The HSIDC has been trying to persuade bankers to set up a branch at Barwala. Punjab National Bank is likely to set up a branch there very soon.

There is no problem of power in this area. Power is supplied to this estate through a special feeder line (double circuit) from 33 KV substation at Barwala. Presently, the electric load is only 1200 KW and a new sub-station is set up when the load is more than 5 MW. A sub-station will be set up soon as more load demand comes up.

The HSIDC does not allow cattle grazing at all. The photograph The Tribune carried also does not show grazing in the estate.

The HSIDC has set up a good shopping centre. Advertisements were given three times in the newspapers for the sale of the shops. Now, a few applicants have come forward to take the shop on rent which would be processed within this month.

It is, therefore, very disgusting to read that “The list of woes is endless.”

— R. N. Malik, Engineer-in-Chief, HSIDC


It is very painful to read a statement attributed to me in the report. Miss Poonam Batth never met me. Therefore, there is no question of my making any statement in this regard.

— T. R. Batra, President, Barwala Industrial Association, I.E, Barwala

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