Punjabi in Himachal schools

Punjabi has been introduced as a third language in select schools of Himachal Pradesh. This should have been done long back when Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and other languages were introduced in these schools.

Interestingly, as the Principal of Govt. Sr. Sec. School, Kakira (Chamba) (2000-01), I introduced Punjabi in Classes IX and X to help Tamil and Urdu students who were left high and dry following the transfer and retirement of subject teachers in mid-session. The vacancies were not filled up by the Education Department despite repeated requests. With the active support of colleagues who had studied Punjabi up to matriculation, Punjabi was introduced in Classes IX and X. Results were very good.

Matriculation with Punjabi will help people get jobs in Punjab, including qualified Himachali youth. Globalisation and economic boom have transcended geographical boundaries. Himachal should adopt the Chandigarh model - Hindi, English and Punjabi.



Burden of justice

The editorial Burden of justice (Jan 8) rightly observes that the government cannot escape blame for mounting arrears in the courts. Three problems arise in this context - manpower shortage, infrastructural constraints and procedural delays. The government’s unfair decisions too add to the huge backlog of cases.

For instance, the Punjab government in July 2003 reduced the commuted value of pension by 40 per cent by way of amendment to the Civil Service Rules. Now, it has restored status quo ante. However, from October 2006, the government created disparity among its employees as those who retired on or after July 31, 2003 and prior to October 2006 have been paid 40 per cent less than those who retired earlier or retired on or after October 31, 2006.

Similarly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled in Satbir Singh vs State of Haryana that if an issue is settled in case of an employee or a party, the other employees need not approach the court again on the same point of law and facts. However, due to the government’s failure to implement the court order, the aggrieved parties are forced to file cases involving points already decided.

T.L. SHARMA, Nangal Township (Ropar)

Why ignore English?

The editorial, Maths minus tears (Jan 13) was interesting. The CBSE has been trying to make the examination student-friendly. Its decision to introduce a practical component in the mathematics paper for Class X students bears ample testimony to it.

As most students find it tough, 20 marks of internal assessment will have a salutary effect on the pass percentage. Similar provision has been made in science and social studies too. However, I wonder why English and Hindi have been kept out of the ambit of internal assessment. After mathematics, as most students fail in English, it should also be treated at par with mathematics and it deserved internal assessment of 20 marks. No language should be given a step-motherly treatment. The fears expressed in the editorial and pertaining to internal assessment ought to be allayed.



Cycle your way to health

The report Bicycles in vogue in China states that about half of Chinese urban residents choose bicycle for commuting, one-third prefer to walk, one-fifth use the bus and only one-tenth choose other vehicles.

In India, however, it is the other way round. Here most people prefer to use their own vehicles even for small distances. Apparently, they flaunt their financial (or official) status through high-profile vehicles. Easy availability of vehicle loans has made matters worse.

If we start using bicycles, it will help improve our health and solve problems like fuel-induced environmental pollution, parking, traffic jams and road accidents. So, let us cycle to health, safety and prosperity, the Chinese way.

Prof Y.P. MAKKER, Malout


Power bills

The Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam’s step for on-the-spot billing and payment through the meter reader itself is welcome (Jan 7). But the proposal of switching over to monthly billing instead of the present bi-monthly billing should be scrapped as it would neither help the Nigam nor the consumers.

Drop in boxes should be placed with security guards at the Nigam offices and substations where cheques with address and consumer account number written overleaf and with the bill counterfoil could be dropped in. Serial number of entry of the cheque and bill details in the register to be placed beside the drop in box, should serve as a receipt or reference mark for depositing the cheque.

The Nigam should authorise post offices and some banks in sectors like Sector 20 to receive power bills against mutually agreed commission.


Formidable axis

The news-item, India, Russia for axis with China (Jan 26) was interesting. If the three countries agree to form an alliance, it will help them in various ways - economically, socially and scientifically. If such an axis comes into being, it would become a formidable group and no country would dare have evil designs on any of these.

Prof P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Hefty parking fee

During a visit to Pinjore’s Yadavindra Gardens recently, I had bitter experience. Even though the parking fee at Chandigarh’s busy Sector 17 plaza is Rs 5, at Pinjore Gardens it is Rs 15! This is, certainly, on the higher side. The authorities are cutting the pockets of tourists. The parking fee should not exceed Rs 5.

S.K. MITTAL, Panchkula

Speaker menace

Playing loudspeakers at high volume is causing unnecessary inconvenience to the public, patients and students. The district authorities should be immediately check this menace by enforcing the orders and punishing the violators.

CHAMAN SINGH, Bhucho (Bathinda)



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