Punjab a poor runner in IT education

IN the field of information technology education, Punjab is not only a late starter but also a poor runner. Till today, only 8 per cent government schools have been provided facilities for computer education. However, only those who can afford to pay Rs 40 as monthly computer fee can make use of this facility.

The schools have provided furnished computer rooms and electric connections out of the children’s amalgamated funds and the GOI grants meant for the Sarva Shikhya Abhiyan. The state government’s share in this venture is only administrative and supervisory.

The computer education programme needs to be accelerated with a strong determination and a definite policy. The state government must provide adequate funds. Only then, Punjab’s children can compete with their counterparts in other states for jobs.

Simultaneously, general education should not be neglected for lack of infrastructure. Over 18,000 government schools need qualified teachers. When will the government fill in vacancies for 30,000 teachers?

Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala

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The Centre’s ‘Education for all’ programme is welcome. However, till December 2005, only 64 per cent of the allocated funds have been spent, implying that the state governments are not serious about it. Those at the helm of affairs in the past have invariably attributed their failure to the lack of funds. Education cess will generate good revenue, but will the taxpayers’ money be used judiciously?

Today government schools do not have proper infrastructure and staff. This has affected education, resulting in poor results and high dropout rate. Teachers are also assigned non-teaching jobs. The state governments should implement this programme with sincerity and earnestness.



Education today has lost its importance due to commercialisation. Despite 58 years of Independence, we have not been able to provide employment to most people who are well qualified. Every political party promises to provide employment but their voices dampen and rejuvenate only at the time of elections.

A student even after completing his/her graduation or post-graduation does not get a job to run the family. The government should solve the unemployment problem on priority. Otherwise, it will lead to social unrest.

Prof P.S. REKHI, Govt Bikram College of Commerce, Patiala

Tall claims

The Haryana government has been making tall claims of helping farmers. This is not true. All the benefits are going to southern Haryana. Electricity bill waivers has benefited only defaulters. Those who regularly pay the bills were also promised 10 per cent remission in future bills which has not been done so far.

The mustard crop support has benefited Rewari district whereas in Karnal district it is sold at Rs 1,400 per quintal as against the MSP of Rs 1,720. Rural roads in the district have not been repaired ever since the Chautala government and farmers are getting disenchanted with the present government. The power position is also no better. The government should take prompt action.

AMARJEET SETH, Jadoli (Gharaunda)

The web of corruption

IT has become too common for the chattering classes and the masses to pillory politicians and officials for corruption. However, this is not the complete picture of this monstrous phenomenon which the media would like us to believe.

My own experience suggests that we Indians are highly susceptible to corruption. Visit any government office to witness this spectacle. In a hurry to get things done, they care two hoots about the rules and regulations. As a result, they fall a prey to the venality of these employees — from the peon upwards. This aspect is generally ignored while discussing the web of corruption.

My point is simplistic: if we, the people, become conscientious, corruption will automatically come down. Am I wrong?

AKHILESH, Birampur (Hoshiarpur)


Tax property deals

I refer to the news-item, “Tax property deals” (Feb 19). The measure will not be of much use unless the transfer deed is made more specific. If the government is interested to check the revenue loss, corruption and generation of black money, it should reduce the stamp duty to half and enhance the guideline rates for registration in conformity with the prevailing market rates of real estate.

T.C. CHOPRA, Nabha

Shimla’s ugly spots

Shimla’s Lower Bazar, the main shopping centre, has about four public urinals all of which remain dirty. As thousands visit it and the daily turnover of its merchants is over Rs 50 lakh, why cannot the latter pool money and keep them neat and clean?

We should not always look to the government for basic facilities. This problem is not confined to Shimla alone. It is the picture everywhere in the country. Gentlemen shamelessly find every nook and corner to ease themselves. And who cares for ladies? They are deprived of proper toilets.

V.K. SHARMA, Shimla

Rootless outfit

I endorse the editorial “Recalcitrant Hurriyat” (Feb 22). They are acting at the behest of Pakistan. Their demand that the Prime Minister should not involve people who do not challenge India’s jurisdiction over the state is absurd and illogical.

Not long ago, the Hurriyat leaders described their talks with the Prime Minister in New Delhi as constructive. They seemed quite hopeful about the future. And suddenly, they threw spanner into the wheel to avoid the talks.

Clearly, Pakistan feels left out if the Hurriyat chooses to smoke the peace pipe with India. But then, the India-Pakistan dialogue is in place and Pakistan should not feel jittery over the Hurriyat’s bilateral talks with the Indian government. By boycotting the round-table conference, the Hurriyat has only revealed its true identity of being a rootless organisation.


Anomaly in tariff

The Punjab government has hiked water and sewerage tariff in Mohali. While uniformity in water tariff has been maintained, sewerage charges vary according to the plot size. For instance, for one kanal house, sewerage charges are equivalent to water charges.

For owners of less than one kanal house, however, sewerage charges are more than three times of the earlier charges. This is gross injustice. This anomaly should be rectified forthwith. Sewerage charges should in no case exceed water charges (as in the case of one kanal houses).


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