Schools: SC sends the right message

THOUGH the Supreme Court ruling on the unregulated fee structure per se partains to Delhi’s public schools, it sends the right message across the country. In the name of fee, many a public school have been plundering the parents with gay abandon. The state governments have been looking the other way while this organised loot continues unabated —all in the name of fashioning necktied little robots and brats with a heavy backpack of books.

I feel that public school education in the last two decades can easily by described as one of biggest educational scandals in the country. While the state governments played havoc with primary education in government schools, lacking commitment, imagination and the requisite wherewithal, the smart, slick brokers of education descended on the scene in hordes to fill the gap and reap a rich harvest of profit.




Some notable exceptions notwithstanding, public schools have driven a wedge and produced a pseudo-western class totally disjointed from the ancestral roots and not tailored fine and fit enough to embrace the western culture in its totality. What we have in the end is an army of split personalities alienated from their soil — a kind of bizarre hybrid of two radically different cultures, belonging neither here nor there. That is the price we have paid for failing to enrich and empower government schools which have been quickly losing their value, relevance and utility.

In the light of the apex court’s judgement, the state government must put in place an effective mechanism to reign in public schools, check their unscrupulous lust for money, make their functioning more transparent and ensure that the hefty fees that they charge are ploughed back into creating facilities for the students and paying reasonable salaries to the hapless and overexploited staff.



Apropos of the editorial “Centre of profit” (April 29), besides regulating the fee structure, salaries of teachers of public schools should also be looked into by the Supreme Court. Basic education is the backbone of any nation building process. Teachers at lower levels of education should be highly paid so that right people join this profession and exploitation of the teaching community is checked.

JAWAHAR LAL, Darlaghat (HP)

Politics of power and pelf

DR PRONNOY ROY says that 75 per cent of the countrymen think that people join politics only for power and pelf. This is sad. Gone are the days when sincere people used to enter politics with a spirit of service to society. Certain remedial measures can be considered:

First, to prevent people from joining politics merely to indulge in loot and become rich overnight, all successful candidates in elections should be made to initially take up military service for a period of six months or one year depending on the age and the physically condition of the individual. If a person is unfit to don uniform with pride, how can he be considered fit to provide good governance?

Secondly, the declaration of assets, including liquid holdings (by self and kin), by the candidate while filing his nomination papers should be verified by an agency like the CBI. This verified report will then become the base line for future in respect of the candidate.

Thirdly, at the end of the term or even during mid-term, the MP/MLA should again file returns of his total assets (property and liquid) which should be verified by a Gestapo-like service of the government. Any assets accruing above the base line and found disproportionate to the known sources of income during the period of office should be confiscated.

And finally, a suitable performance parameter should be evolved through mutual consultation among the public, the people’s representatives, the government and the courts (if necessary) to evaluate the performance of the MPs/MLAs. Based on this performance, the voters should acquire the right to recall their representatives after every two years.

Air Vice-Marshal KULDEEP SINGH (retd), Mohali


Byword for graft

The editorial “Buy your bail” (May 3) focusses attention on one of the most horrendous developments in the judiciary. One tends to share the general view that the problem is not limited to Gujarat alone and that the lower judiciary appears to have become a byword for sloth and corruption.

The powers-that-be slumbering over the matter should treat the editorial as a wake-up call, failing which the most important pillar of the cherished democratic set-up would collapse with disastrous consequences for the country.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Pak defence budget

In the editorial “Downsized army: Musharraf’s style of bluffing the world” (April 30), the essence of it all has been captured in the latter part of the title. Though General Musharraf does not pretend subscribing to nuances of the art diplomatique, yet he is wiley as any coyote — streetwise or otherwise!

Has he not brilliantly managed till now to twist and turn with great ease, aplomb and success every obstacle that has befallen his way into an object of manoeuver and each problem into an opportunity to his advantage? This man wins hands down vis-à-vis his Indian counterparts, whom he manages with ease to show as the nincompoops that they are at every conceivable opportunity of interaction available to him.



Reducing the size of the Pakistani army by 50,000 troops is no mean decision. The assertion in the editorial that the reduction of the number of troops is no guarantee that there will be no increase in the defence budget of that country is not fair. If that were true, a country like India should try the reverse; increase the size of the army so that lakhs of jobless able bodied youth may be employed without additional burden on the exchequer.


Interest subsidy

The Government of India has granted 2 per cent interest on education loans sanctioned after March 1, 2004. This cut-off date needs to be reviewed by granting subsidy to all outstanding education loans in such cases which were sanctioned prior to March 1, 2004 and still studying.

S.S. URTEJA, Nangal Township

Gastro cases

The summer, having set in earlier, the mosquitoes and the flies have risen in number, increasing the cases of gastro-enteritis in Chandigarh and other places. If this is the position now, just on the onset of summer, one can well imagine the position in the coming days, especially in the rainy season.


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