NIS must be retained at Patiala

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s statement about setting up a defence university in the National Institute of Sports (NIS) campus (as reportedly 90 per cent of sports activities had been shifted to Bangalore) comes as a bolt from the blue for those who have nurtured NIS since its inception. The late Maharaja Yadavindra Singh was responsible for setting up NIS. His son is all out to close it down.

The NIS, known as the Mecca of Sports, has rendered yeoman’s service. In 1969, the Union Ministry of Sports had virtually decided to shift its coaching wing to Delhi, the academic wing to Gwalior and close down the sports business at Patiala. However, following Punjab government’s pressure, it was deferred. History seems to be repeating itself now.

Defence University is welcome, but not at NIS’ cost, which is India’s pride. In fact, both institutions have different objectives. If the proposal comes through, it would require the sports infrastructure, developed with crores of rupees, to be demolished and replaced with the one that suits a defence university. Acquiring a horse in lieu of a milking cow is surely no wise policy.

Dr M.L. KAMLESH, Patiala

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The editorial “A Defence University” (Dec 13) is timely. The Rejangala Saurya Samriti, Rewari, highly appreciates the decision. One has to look at the practical and strategic importance of a defence university and not as an election gimmick.

Successive governments have been promising a sainik school, military school and defence university for the last 22 years, but in vain. We appreciate the proposal on defence university and hope our political masters will handle national security issues effectively.


Service before self

The editorial “Price of honesty” (Nov 26) was bold. Manjunathan sacrificed his life to fight the powerful oil mafia in Uttar Pradesh. It was because of this idealism that he declined lucrative job offers from multinational companies.

The killing raises questions on the quality of governance and the government’s ability to protect upright and sincere public servants vulnerable to mafia gangs. This calls for a thorough probe. The guilty must be brought to book.

An inscription from the Mahabharata should serve as a guideline. It says, “No matter who joins whom in the battle, the laws of combat should be fair and just and the king must give assent to the laws. Yet both the laws and the king’s assent must be published far and wide so that the people know that justice rules.”


EPF interest rate

Originally, while the EPF deduction from the salary was 12 per cent, the interest was also paid @ 12 per cent. Gradually, the rate of interest was reduced though the deduction rate remained the same. This implies that while the government’s coffers are filled, the employees get poor returns. Is this democracy?

The employees should either be given the option to reduce their contribution as per the rate of interest or they should be allowed not to contribute at all because there are many options to invest with better returns. Forcing employees to contribute at a high rate with poor returns is illegal and unfair.


BSNL blues

Bharat Sanchar Nigarm Limited has ushered in a communication revolution in India. But as government departments and organisations, the functionaries in the telephone department are lethargic and corrupt. The result: the entry of Reliance, Tata, Airtel, Hutch in the communication business. They exploit the subscribers’ problems with the BSNL and woo them through TV. This is the reason why the BSNL is suffering and the private sector is flourishing.

The BSNL bills are illogical. They show rental of every two months (Rs 500) and service charges proportionate to calls. This is ridiculous. The question arises: rental and service charges for what? Until the BSNL follows a correct approach, it won’t be able to stand in the thick of competition.


Drug addiction

This has reference to Reema Anand’s article on drug addiction (Nov 22). Drug addiction has now reached an all-time high in Punjab. It is on record that people who got certain restrictions because of their religion have also broken the barriers. They too have joined the mainstream in drug addiction.

Opium, bhukki, dode, bhang, wine, desi wine, spirit, tablets, capsules, liquid cough syrups, injunctions, etc. are common in Punjab. More people have started chewing tobacco in paan or otherwise. Addicts consume these things openly or clandestinely. Is there a way out to tackle this menace?


Good Samaritans

Recently, a Delhi-bound bus in which my daughter and her friend were travelling rammed into a stationary truck at Gannur. Seven passengers were injured. The police officials, Mr Devender and Mr Kapil, at Traffic Aid Centre, Smalkha, promptly got admitted five passengers in Gannur hospital and provided first aid to my daughter. They also informed us about their welfare.

Such sincere efforts of the police officials deserve to be appreciated. The Traffic Aid Centres should be provided with more medical facilities. In fact, more such centres should be set up, if necessary, through a nominal medical toll tax.

N.K. KUMRA, Panipat

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