MPs primarily answerable to people

The Right to Information Bill has been given the nod both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Though its scope has been softened and there are insufficient punitive provisions against non-compliant officials, it may yet reform the administration. Vigilant citizens can bring about a sea change in the functioning of a derelict and indifferent bureaucracy.

I do not know whether it can legally bind the Members of Parliament and their veteran party leaders. Yet parliamentarians are public servants. With this Bill, people should be able to demand an explanation if they skip Parliament.

The persistent boycott by the NDA members of Parliament's both Houses during the crucial budget session has caused an adverse impact on the minds of people who have elected them as their representatives. In fact, they are primarily answerable to the people. Their loyalty to the party or alliance is secondary. This apart, it also shows their bankruptcy of thought and inability to use the forum of Parliament gainfully and in the ultimate interest of the people.

Will the MPs and MLAs behave responsibly or continue to hold democracy to ransom in future?

UJJAL PAL SINGH (President),
Dina Nath Public School,

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com




Colleges without principals

The decision of the government of Haryana to lift the ban on filling the posts of Principal in government as well as non-government affiliated colleges has not been taken a day too early. (The Tribune, April 27, 2005). A large number of colleges had been languishing under the pain of ad-hocism for long.

A college without a regular head is like a rudderless ship. It is generally said that colleges tend to become the lengthened shadows of their Principals. Officiating Principals normally shy away from taking decisions on vital policy matters. Such administrative dispensations betray the lack of verve and vitality in their functioning. Consequently, the entire atmosphere in such colleges is inevitably characterised by general complacency and drift.

There has also been a ban on the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in non-government affiliated colleges for over six years. As a result, privately managed colleges of Haryana are fast on their way to becoming "teaching institutions without teachers", to use the words of UGC Chairman Dr Arun Nigavekar. The change of political leadership in Haryana holds a promise of bringing these colleges back from the brink of disaster. In order to restore sanity in the system of higher education, all the vacant posts need to be filled with a regular faculty.


Primary schools

The Haryana Government's decision to give the functional control of government primary schools back to the Education Department from panchayati raj institutions will surely improve the quality of education and save government teachers from petty politics.

Many state governments have damaged the primary education base by bending the rules to suit their political ends. They have thus created two cadres of teachers, one in the proper government scales with all service benefits and the other on fixed remuneration without any service security. What devotion or missionary zeal can one expect from these so-called teachers? To introduce English from the first standard is not sufficient. The minimum qualification for primary teachers should be B.A./B.Sc with B.Ed.


Water dispute

The Punjab Government has rightly filed an SLP in the Supreme Court against the order of the Rajasthan High Court of May 2, directing Punjab state to hand over the Ropar, Ferozepur and Harike headworks to the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) within a month. But it is for the Supreme Court to give a decision.

There is no victory or defeat for any party. Further, there should be no jubilations over a victory and no mourning over a defeat. The matter should be taken as a commonplace incident in a stoic manner.

During the British days, when princely states were getting water from Punjab and paying seigniorage, the control of headworks was with Punjab itself; there was no joint control. Similarly, Pakistan did not claim joint control over regulating headworks under the Indus Waters Treaty.

The Rajasthan High Court gave its order regarding the control of headworks on the petition of a farmer (an ex-Chief Engineer). His share of water is infinitesimally small vis--vis the quantum of water Rajasthan is receiving, and cannot be considered to be dependent on the authority controlling the headworks.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh

Commendable work

The Board of School Education, Haryana, has done a commendable job by declaring the results of all the board classes well in time. There has been a considerable improvement in the working style of the Haryana Education Board in the last few years. The board has been successful in checking copying.

Remuneration of teachers has been hiked, fulfilling a long-felt need. But the standards of government teachers have declined abysmally. Some schools and teachers have zero results to their credit. Had these teachers not been in schools, the result would have been the same. Such teachers should think seriously about their role in education. The Haryana Education Department should improve the standard of education by taking appropriate steps. Teachers showing good results should be rewarded and those bringing poor results should be penalised.


Train to Kerala

It is heartening to learn that the Kerala Sampark Kranti Express train is being extended to Chandigarh via New Delhi from July 9, 2005.

The Malayalee population of the City Beautiful and the surrounding areas is indeed indebted to the Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Railway Board and all others concerned.

The changed schedule of the train suits the Malayees in this area.

A.V. Sankara Narayanan, President, Kerala Samajam, Chandigarh


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