Implications of wheat-paddy rotation

The Punjab government should examine the serious implications of the wheat-paddy rotation. Regular sowing of paddy after wheat is creating untold problems. Punjab has been facing both power and water crises year after year. Paddy requires a large amount of water during nursery sowing and after transplantation. If the situation does not improve soon, the day is not far when the lush green fields of "Apna Punjab" would transform into a desert.

In spite of the recommendations of the government and agricultural experts, farmers continue to pursue the wheat-paddy rotation. The major reason for this is that farmers are assured of good returns from this rotation because of the Centre's Minimum Support Price offer. Therefore, they cling to this rotation, being guaranteed of their produce that would have to be lifted.

The government should take concrete steps to promote other cropping-rotations and offer incentives for the sowing of other crops. Besides bringing an organised chain of lifting, transportation and sale outlets for alternate crops that have to essentially be more attractive than for the traditional crops.

AMANDEEP KAUR, Nawan Pind (Amritsar)



PEC seats: Review stand

This has reference to the report "Counseling for admission to engg colleges from Aug 9" (July 24). The parents of several candidates from Chandigarh seeking admission to Punjab Engineering College (PEC) are protesting against the Chandigarh Administration.

The UT Administration has proposed a reduction in the state quota for the students qualifying from the city schools and colleges from the present 85 per cent to 50 per cent. PEC will start functioning as a deemed university from the academic session 2005-06. Chandigarh students even with higher marks will be deprived of admission to this college.

The Delhi College of Engineering is also a deemed university. It has 85 per cent quota for Delhi students . The Thapar College of Engineering and Technology has also 85 per cent reservation for candidates from Punjab. Most universities have given preference to their students.

Keeping in view the examples of the two universities, the UT administration must reconsider its decision. It should not reduce the quota from 85 to 50 per cent. The city students will not be able to get admission in any state.

M.L. GARG, Chandigarh

Shocking results

The matriculation results in Punjab's government schools are shocking. Private schools have done exceedingly well. Why? Though government schools have well qualified teachers, the results are bad. Most compartments are in English, Mathematics and Social-Science. This is due to the weak base of the students.

In government schools, English is taught after Class V. In Class VII, they graduate to full-fledged teaching in English. However, in private schools, English is taught right from Nursery. As a result, the students get more time to form and strengthen their base.

In Social Science, no text books are available in the market. There are only help books which students make use of. Text books are vitally essential. Unfortunately, government school teachers seldom do justice to their profession because of the job security and the benefits they enjoy.


Pensioners’ woes

Himachal pensioners are facing hardship. The government has not yet released dearness relief (DR) on time, the interest on delayed payment of DR which is admissible under the Central Pension Rules as also reimbursement of medical bills. Medical bills have not been cleared for the last 2-3 years for want of funds.

Of course, the Chief Minister had money to hire helicopters at a cost of Rs 1.1 crore to undertake election tours in March-May 2004, but not a rupee for pensioners' medical bills. This is amazing.

The powers that be should know that pensioners too are voters. Will they not work for the defeat of the ruling Congress in the next elections? Pre-1996 retirees are denied 50 per cent of emoluments last drawn as pension. When the 50 per cent rule was inserted in place of the slab system, the Central Government gave the benefit to those who had retired earlier. Why then deny this benefit to pre-96 retirees when Himachal Pradesh follows Central government's rules?

S.S. JAIN, Chandigarh

Audacious venture

This has reference to your editorial "Ministerial misconduct" (July 28). Agreed that Punjab is financial sick and near-bankrupt. But this state, rather "made to believe" state, is created to fool the common man. "Local Government Minister Jagjit Singh may be forgiven for foolishly endangering his own life".

However, the pilot cannot be pardoned for his audacious venture. He has compromised on safety. The pilot should have had the moral courage to say a big no to a foolish order. The Amarinder Singh government, by raising a battalion of parliamentary secretaries, has proved the good old saying 'Rob Peter to pay Paul'.

The ban on recruitment is only a political stunt, an exercise in futility. Whereas the money is being washed down the (dry) drain by such extravaganza. Farmers are committing suicide but the minister celebrates his birthday in this fashion. Hope the common man gets a morsel of the cake that the Minister cut.

I.J.S. CHEEMA, Chandigarh

Unlucky children

Apropos of the editorial "Teachers' betrayal" (July 19), where is the true bond between teachers and their students? Whether it is the loss of one child or 93 school students, the pain of the parents cannot be described in words.

How is it justifiable to cover modern buildings from every side and every angle? It is appealing to imagine how the innocent children lost their lives. It was not actually the Lord Krishna Public School but a thoughtlessly maintained kiln in which 93 children were roasted alive.

Ironically, even Lord Krishna could not save those lovely children who would have become great doctors, great politicians and nation-builders. It is requisite that the teachers should have feeling of contrition in failing to save the unlucky children.

KRANTI YADAV, Govt Post-Graduate College, Hisar

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