Raw deal for college lecturers

Paramjeet Kaur Jassal’s article “Fixed hours for college lecturers? No way” (April 3) was thought-provoking. The college lecturers are victims of bad work culture, dreary routine, overcrowded classrooms, lack of infrastructure, frequent transfers, growing political interference, besides poor social status and standard of living.

The college lecturers have been given gazetted status but they do not get proper facilities of office, residence and conveyance. Nor do they get perks and allowances to buy books and journals. They are told to stay in the college for at least five hours, but they have no proper place to sit! Deplorable staff rooms serve as dumping grounds for the intellectual work expected from lecturers. Instead of staff rooms, the lecturers need individual chambers with furniture to prepare for lectures, do research and guide the students.

The refresher courses and orientation programmes being conducted by the universities for college lecturers are also not very productive. The lecturers attend these programmes with a view to receiving incentives and not for intellectual advancement. The NAAC teams visit the campuses and accord high grades to the institutions not always on merit but in proportion to the kind of hospitality they receive.

Clearly, the colleges are in a mess. They are starved of funds and better amenities for teachers and students. The lecturers need better facilities, salary and perks.

KANWAR DINESH SINGH, Government PG College, Solan (HP)



Sino-Indian relations

This has reference to the editorial “Mature relationship”. One may well be tempted to overestimate the impact and importance of some of the ongoing consultations, contacts and joint activities undertaken by India and China. But what indeed is the reality as it obtains on the bedrock of unembellished facts and objective assessments?

For starters, apart from tentative proposals, pious hopes and polite homilies, nothing substantive seems to have emerged from the visit of Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan to this country and his meeting with the Indian counterpart. The matter regarding the 4000-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) along the Himalayas remains as intractable as ever.

Meanwhile, the Chinese forces keep on foraying and nibbling at our territory. Yet we delude ourselves into thinking that everything is hunky-dory between our two countries. Supreme military strength, indomitable will, courage and an astute aggressive diplomacy — these are the essential inescapable requirements for our country to resolve outstanding international issues, be they related to China, Pakistan or the US.

Wg-Cdr. S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida


No principals

Most government colleges in Haryana have been running without regular and full-fledged principals. To see the day-to-day functioning of the colleges, seniormost teachers have been officiating as principals. This is happening because the college teachers want their share of promotions based on seniority for which UGC norms are to be fulfilled. The matter is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

It is surprising how some seniormost teachers have been made acting principals even without possessing the qualifications of a principal?

Why are UGC rules not being followed while appointing acting principals? Rules are flouted with impunity. For instance, though UGC norms require an experience of 15 years for continuing as DDO, people with less experience including non-Ph.D are decorating the chair. A regular principal complains about a teacher to the authorities. The person is transferred to a college and since he is seniormost in the new college, he is made acting principal. This is totally wrong. It is time the Higher Education Commissioner took correcteive measures before the High Court verdict.


Punjab shining

In his article Punjab is losing its shine (March 30), Mr P.P.S. Gill has made a right assessment about the collective failure of the politicians, bureaucracy and people in transforming “Punjab shining” into “Punjab dimming”. Over the years, most of our political, administrative, technological and socio-economic systems have become mediocre. As a result, Punjab is called a “failed state”.

To restore the shine of Punjab, politicians, administrators and people should work in close co-operation with each other. The focus should be on revitalising and motivating the system as a whole for deriving maximum advantage of the ongoing information, communication, genetic and technological revolutions so that Punjab becomes a knowledge-based, developed economy. All technology generation, production, processing and marketing systems and infrastructure have to be upgraded to face the emerging global challenges and opportunities.

What is needed is an honest, responsive and accountable politico-administrative systems with well trained and skilled human resource at every level. The focus should be on merit, efficiency and a new work culture.

Dr M.S. BAJWA, Ludhiana

Sonia’s citizenship

The foreign origin of Mrs Sonia Gandhi has become a hot subject in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. That she is the president of a political party, wife of a former Prime Minister and belongs to Nehru family is beside the point. The innocent and illiterate voters of the country should know the grave repercussions if she is catapulted as Prime Minister.

According to the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, Mrs Sonia Gandhi is ineligible for any high office because her citizenship is conditional and subject to cancellation if she violates the provisions of the Act. Citizens by birth do not need to apply for citizenship or swearing allegiance to the Indian Constitution. No force on earth can deprive them of their citizenship even though they found guilty of treason. In such cases, they can be jailed or hanged but their citizenship remains intact.

Foreigners who married Indian citizens can apply for citizenship under Section 5 of the Act. This citizenship is conditional and restricted. They are known as citizens by registration. Foreigners who make India their home and seek citizenship become naturalised citizens if the government granted them a certificate of naturalisation under Section 6 of the Act. If he/she is qualified in accordance with the provisions of the Act under Third Schedule, the government can grant them a certificate of naturalisation.

Consequently, Mrs Sonia Gandhi can apply for citizenship under Section 6 of the Act. Section 10 of the Act states that citizenship of such persons can be withdrawn if the government is satisfied that they have acquired the citizenship by fraud, false representation or concealment of facts, disloyal towards the Constitution; his/her activities assist an enemy country under Section 17 of the Act. Such people can be prosecuted and fined.

Hence, Mrs Sonia Gandhi's citizenship can be challenged in the court on various grounds vide Section 10 of the Act at any time. The country cannot have a Prime Minister whose citizenship is conditional and restricted.

RAJINDER RANA, Patlander, Hamirpur (HP)

Not Himachal CM

Apropos of the report Mandi: Congress yet to name candidate” (March 31), Mr Sukh Ram has never been the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.

B.R. SHARMA, Mandi

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