It’s time to phase out Jaguars

WHO should be blamed for the continued Jaguar fiascos? The Congress has charged the government with using spurious parts. The Defence Minister has, however, refuted the allegation. Who is responsible for the continued Jaguar crashes? The Tehelka episode tried to reveal the exchange of money over arms deals. But the government, instead of plugging the loopholes, went against the Tehelka organisation.

When such planes are being upgraded at HAL, it calls for a thorough scrutiny of the whole range of procedures adopted in terms of procurement of spare parts, availability of the cutting edge technology to give the aircraft force multiplier effects, the much desired maintenance standards and the perennial row between the flying and maintenance wings of the IAF.

Of late, the accident rate amongst MiG aircraft has also been very high. Shortage of spares is one reason. But it has affected the normal functioning of the aircraft leading to accidents. Though India has many MiG aircraft, it suffers from major handicaps. But the Jaguars are a different breed altogether.



Until now, 26 Jaguars have crashed. Instead of phasing out them, we have chosen to upgrade them, knowing full well that Jaguars are not considered attractive in the international market. Besides, the few countries who had Jaguars have phased them out. The Jaguar has not been put to any real action so far and its actual worthiness remains doubtful.

Dr RAKESH DATTA, Reader, Centre for Defence & National Security Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh

Teachers’ promotion

The procedure to promote school lecturers in Government Senior Secondary Schools is flawed. It needs to be modified as it has affected teaching at Plus Two level in government schools. At present, while promoting a school teacher to the post of lecturer, his total service is taken into account, rather than experience in the teaching of that particular subject. Under the present system, even a third division MA becomes a lecturer in subjects which he/she has not taught even for a day. Whereas teachers holding Ph.D or M.Phil degrees, possessing a high division as also having good teaching experience are ignored.

Only teachers having experience in a particular subject should be promoted as lecturers in that subject. They should have also passed B.A./ B.Sc. with at least 50 per cent marks. School teachers holding M.Phil or Ph.D. degrees should be given the benefit of at least five years of teaching experience. This is the need of hour if we wish to raise the standard of teaching at the senior secondary level in government schools.

Dr J.S. ANAND, Bathinda

In defence of fixed hours

PARAMJEET Kaur Jassal’s article “Fixed hours for college lecturers?: No way” (April 4) is a clarion call to defy an honest attempt by the administration to regularise the working hours and to discipline lecturers who enjoy good pay packets with no extra responsibility. Streamlining the fixed working hours for each day of the academic session is a just and fair attempt by the administration to enlighten the lecturers of their duties and responsibilities with a counter-check on shirkers.

The writer has tried in vain to oppose fixed working hours. She has ignored the fact that the mind and the brain, when used in the right direction, will bring out the desired results. One must try to see the brighter side of the picture rather than brooding over dingy and dejected thoughts given by the writer.

She may not be a part of the shirkers’ group or a daily commuter waiting to rush back home at the first available opportunity after completing the desired quota of lectures for the day. The lecturers should utilise their spare time in the college for more productive contribution to improve the lot of the students and society.

P. MOHAN, Jalandhar


Feel-good or feel-bad?

Earlier, deposits on Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) in post offices were doubled in five and half years and the annual interest payable on deposits in 6-year Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) yielded 13 per cent interest. However, from March 1999, KVP now gets doubled in seven years and four months and the interest on MIS stands reduced at barely 8 per cent.

Eventually, one gets double the deposit on KVP 21 months later than that of the earlier maturity period. Similarly, on a deposit of say Rs 96,000 in MIS, though one used to get a monthly interest of Rs 1040 (13 per cent), is now being paid Rs 640 (8 per cent), less by Rs 400 (a month) and a glaring loss of Rs 28,800 in the 6-year currency of MIS deposit. Is this a feel-good or feel-bad factor?

K.J. MAINI, Ferozepore Cantt

Deplorable roads

Recently, we went to Pathankot from Chandigarh by our car. The road right from Hoshiarpur to Pathankot was deplorable. Vehicles using this road are bound to get damaged.

The stretch from Ropar to Balachaur was slightly better. Again, the worst stretch starts from Mukerian to Gurdaspur where vehicles cannot pick up speed of more than 20 km per hour. They also get damaged in many ways because of the bad road.

Our political leaders do not deserve our votes because they have done no good to the public. Damage to a vehicle is not only an individual loss but a national loss. Roads should be immediately repaired irrespective of the elections because this is a public utility service and no model code of conduct will be violated. The roads should be made roadworthy for proper flow of vehicles as they are the backbone of the economy.

UJAGAR SINGH, Chandigarh

Incorrect report

The news-item “Sinha sees move to subvert ICCR mandate” (Feb 14) mentions that I had written a letter to the Minister of External Affairs and the Vice-President of India making allegations against my colleague, Mr S. S. Sohni, vice-president of the ICCR. This is false and incorrect. I have never written any letter complaining against Mr Sohni. In fact, I have written no letter to these personalities during the last six months. Your correspondent should have contacted me for my version too.

D.P. SINHA, IAS (retd), Vice-President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi

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