Why technical education is deteriorating

Apropos of the report "Students elude affiliated engineering colleges" (July 28), the ground reality is that our technical education system is fast deteriorating in the absence of proper planning and direction. Though the unaided private engineering and management colleges have better infrastructure and other learning facilities, including good faculty today, a large number of seats fall vacant in both engineering and management colleges. This is not the case of Punjab alone but almost all the states.

After 1990, unaided private engineering and management colleges mushroomed in India. Who should be blamed for this mess? The All-India Council of Technical Education went on approving all the new colleges, without examining their economic viability. I am afraid, most colleges will close down if remedial measures are not taken promptly.

The state governments are not far behind the AICTE, as they have permitted these colleges, once cleared by it. Universities, which could have played a crucial role in restricting the growth of unaided private engineering and management colleges did not pay attention to this fact and went on giving affiliation to such colleges. All the three main bodies dealing with technical and management education have failed miserably. They could have planned or phased out the opening of new colleges over the next 10-20 years, by assessing their need and viability in each state.

The unemployment problem has virtually killed the ambitions of the rural-urban youth. Investment in higher education (technical or management) is an asset and not a liability for parents and children. Earlier, parents wanted to see their children as engineers and MBAs. But today, both courses have lost their utility, as after passing out, the students don't get suitable jobs. The lucky few do get posts, but with low pay.

Jobs are hardly available in the public sector. The private sector is moving away from manufacturing of goods to marketing of goods and services.




Checking car breakdowns

Incessant rains played havoc in this region causing severe damage to roads and disrupting vehicular traffic as storm water drains failed in Chandigarh and elsewhere recently. This has led to a phenomenal increase in the number of car breakdowns and consequent survey calls for insurance claims.

As a learner in the surveyor field with a long engineering experience, I feel the following points require a close examination by the authorities concerned for the benefit of both car owners and insurance companies:

First, today car manufacturers position the air filter intake point at an abnormally lower elevation. As a result, water gets sucked in along with air due to water splash around car or water depth on the road. Therefore, optimum repositioning of the air suction point is a must.

Secondly, the insurance cover needs a clear definition regarding the damage cover to a stationery car due to flash floods and not for willfully driving the car in a flooded area.

These steps will certainly help check the resources of insurance companies and save the time and energy of the car owners.


Fight for justice

This has reference to the news-item "Captain grounded again" (Aug 5). Waters that flow within a state come on the State List under which any subject is within the constitutional competency of the state concerned to legislate on and pass a law. In this respect, Punjab has absolute right to pass the Termination Act 2004. The Union Government has never made a reference through the President to the Supreme Court to ascertain the validity of any legislation on the State List, made by a State Assembly on water-related issue. Why so now?

I do not know why Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Leader of the Opposition Parkash Singh Badal have reasoned that the Termination Act was passed because if it had not been legislated Punjab would have relapsed into terrorism. I would like to assure all concerned that the Sikhs are a very civilised people. We have the logic and the learning to fight for our rights legally, peacefully and democratically. We have a wide diaspora and we can create any issue that disturbs our lives into an international cause. As such our leaders, who take the argument for the Annulment Act, being the growth of terrorism, do not understand us.

This is not to say that we are happy within the present dispensation of the Indian system. We have our history, our grouses and grievances under the Indian state. As such, where is the reason for the rise of terrorism? An idea once born, never dies.

The Sikh scriptures say that with time all fruit ripens. The Chinese have implicit faith in this maxim. They are a super nuclear power. But they have never used their military force to annex British-occupied Hong Kong or Portuguese-ruled Macao. These two western colonies automatically lapsed to them with time. On the other hand, India used military force to annex Portuguese Goa, the French territories on the eastern peninsular, Hyderabad and then Sikkim.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, Shiromani Akali Dal, Quilla S. Harnam Singh, (Fatehgarh Sahib)

Saving wildlife

Apropos of Aditi Tandon's report "Farmers beat peacock to death" (Aug 8), one can feel the insensitive attitude of the villagers. While proceeding to Chandigarh recently from Shimla, I noticed monkeys sitting on the sides of the road near Jabli. They were waiting to be fed by the travellers. There was a big hoarding requesting people not to feed the monkeys. People feed them out of devotion to Lord Hanuman. The monkeys are given more importance on Tuesdays, the day associated with Hanuman.

As most monkeys don't go in search of fruits, nuts, buds and leaves, they have become a menace. Either they are aggressive or beg for food outside the kitchen door. I suggest the following steps to save the animals and birds from further problems:

First, the villagers should be educated about the importance of preservation of wildlife. Students and NGOs can hold seminars, debates, street plays, puppet shows to provide a healthy interaction between the learned and the learners.

Secondly, the officers of the villagers should be on constant vigil and bring the offenders to book. Thirdly, the guilty should be punished and boycotted by the entire community for a specific period.

Indira Gandhi once said, "The survival of man is dependent upon the survival of plant and animal life". The real nature of wildlife is to be born free and live freely. Let us not spoil the balance of nature by our misdeeds.


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