Engg colleges: the falling standards

THE editorial “Of unemployable engineers” (Nov 9) rightly expresses the present situation of engineering colleges. More and more engineering colleges were encouraged earlier because of the employment opportunities available. But falling standards in the new colleges have put the career of students in doldrums.

 In the past two years, over 20 new engineering colleges were set up in Punjab alone. The lack of infrastructure, inadequate faculty, poor teaching methodology have all affected quality. Why did the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) give affiliation to such colleges?

Placement cells can work only if the products of the institute are given excellent technical exposure. Only a few established colleges like Chandigarh’s Punjab Engineering College (Deemed University), the Thapar Institute of Technology, Patiala, and the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, receive good placement calls. As their teaching methodology is good, others should emulate them.





Somnath temple

Mohd Ghaznavi plundered the most celebrated temple of Somnath in 1026 and took away its massive silver gates besides huge quantity of gold and jewels. As mentioned in the news item “Advani wanted to take Somnath gate” (Nov 16), Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann said that these gates were retrieved by Sikh soldiers and installed at the “Darshani Deohri” of the Golden Temple.

On the other hand, Sir William Nott, a commander of the British Army, who destroyed the town of Ghazni in September 1842 is said to have brought the gates in compliance with the instructions of Lord Ellenborough, the then Governor-General of India.

After the return of the British Army, Lord Ellenborough in a “bombastic proclamation” declared: “ Our victorious Army bears the gates of the temple of Somnath in triumph from Afghanistan and the despoiled tomb of Sultan Mahomed looks upon the ruins of Ghaznee. The insult of 800 years is avenged”. Some student of history may throw light on this matter.


Right to information

On January 6, 2003, the President of India had given his assent to the Right to Information Bill. However, the government has not yet notified it for enforcement by the Centre and the states.

In fact, the Bill aims at ensuring free flow of information to citizens and non-government institutions. There are several bottlenecks in the existing legal framework. Owing to the lack of information or the veil of secrecy at various levels, people are denied the required information vital for their development.

Suffice to mention, transparency is the hallmark of democracy while suppression of information is the negation of democracy.

Dr S.P. GUPTA, Kurukshetra

Priority to migrants

Reference P.P.S. Gill’s report “New projects on Punjab to generate 3.5 lakh jobs” (Nov 1). It is heartening to note that the new industrial projects would generate 3.5 lakh jobs in the state. I apprehend an influx of another 3.5 lakh migratory labourers to fill up these jobs. For experience shows that only the migratory labour force is considered suitable for industrial jobs.

The state government’s wisdom is laudable, viewed from the national perspective. But who cares for the poor, unemployed, rustic people of the state? God bless the state government in promoting national integration!

BALVINDER SINGH, IFS (retd), Malhipur (Ludhiana)

No crowd control

This refers to the editorial “Shameful stampede” (Nov 16). I fail to understand why such incidents are repeatedly allowed to occur during mega events like Kumbh Mela, and now Chhath Mela and Id festival. Year after year, casualties increase especially during such events due to the apathy of the government.

Special trains are being run but better arrangements are not made for crowd control. It shows the poor security of the government, leading towards chaos, deaths and injuries.

VVIPs should avoid going to such big events as common man’s security is put at stake with a view to making special security arrangements for them.


Prolonged hearings

Prolonged hearings in both judicial and executive courts are most unfortunate. How long should people wait for justice? If the presiding officers and judges do not expedite hearings, people won’t be able to get justice.

The Punjab State Human Rights Commission should take the initiative to expedite hearings.

N.M. HANSI, Ludhiana

Mobiles in Shatabdi

Since the introduction of the Shatabdi Express between Chandigarh and New Delhi, I have been travelling by this train quite regularly. Except a few hiccups, the services offered are generally satisfying.

Recently there has been an increase in the use of mobile phones by passengers in this train. It has become a nuisance and unbearable. This also shows the lack of sensitivity by mobile phone users towards their fellow passengers.

The railway authorities should take some remedial measures to curb this nuisance in the train.

PREM SINGH, Chandigarh

Army canteen misuse

This refers to the news-item “Illegal sale of Army canteen supplies detected” (Nov 14). At any Army canteen, one can see unauthorised people making huge purchases with the help of valid canteen cards of others. There is no strict checking in force to prevent misuse of the cards. Those running Army canteens make profit at the cost of both serving and ex-servicemen. Since there is a no check, at least 50 per cent of the sold canteen items either go to unauthorised people or diverted to the open market for resale. It is time the authorities concerned introduced foolproof measures to prevent the misuse of Army canteens.



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