Sale of M Phil degree a tip of the iceberg

In the news-item, “KU, MDU ban on M.Phil guides” (May 1), the reporter has made a pertinent point about the sale of M.Phil degrees, but this is only a tip of the iceberg. There are numerous cases where intellectual exploitation is inflicted on research scholars in addition to financial expectations of their guides. 
To get a Ph.D degree, one should submit a thesis which is no easy task. This work is further doubled in case of outstation candidates who have to make regular visits to do the guides’ personal work. The candidates have no place to complain, fearing backlash and further delay in getting their thesis checked and cleared.

A case in point is from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, where a guide made a Ph.D student write chapters for a book and floated it in the market for lifelong income. Besides, this outstation student was asked to write souvenirs for seminars, Vice-Chancellor’s messages and so on.


The country’s academic integrity hangs in serious danger especially when brilliant students are intellectually and mentally mauled at the hands of their guides. One wonders what would be our vision for the future when we ourselves are decimating the hopes and aspirations of the youngsters.

Such a situation is depressing and leaves one to ponder if this colossal maiming of academic ethos is just corruption or a violation of human rights.


Curbing corruption

Corruption is eating into the vitals of society. There can be no second opinion that it trickles down from the high ups, but it is only the lower rung officials who are caught and the big fish get away. The role of the media may awaken the public, but of late this evil has spread.

In such a charged atmosphere, some responsibility on the authorities concerned may act as a deterrent to arrest this ever-increasing evil. The mere knowledge of the authorities of such illegal acts may bring them within the scope of abetment unless they take steps to check it. Such a move should cover all authorities including politicians, public undertakings and courts.


Food in the trains

I appeal to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to help provide good food at reasonable rates in the trains. When a vegetarian meal (thali) is available for Rs 22 at the railway station restaurant, why should it cost Rs 40 in the train? Sources say, out of Rs 40 for the thali, Rs 15 goes to the railway as part of the contract fee. Similarly, the breakfast served in the Shatabdi Express is not worth the cost in-built into the ticket fare.

The railways should stop making holes in the pockets of the common man in the name of Superfast express charges. These trains often run late with halts every 20 km. A case in point is the Lukhnow-Chandigarh Sadbhavana Express.

The one coming from Lukhnow is very often late by over two hours. Worse, hundreds of passengers get into the train, pay Rs 100 each to the TTE instead of Rs 360 towards the Superfast Express charges.


Charge visa fee only once

The news-item “Rise in fraudulent visa requests alarming: US” (May 10) is amazing. There are contradictions in the US officials’ claims that the US encourages only “legitimate Indian travellers”. In fact, only the legitimate, law abiding aspirants (in majority) face the wrath and are denied visa.

Unscrupulous elements everywhere (why only India) use every tactic to befool the authorities and achieve their goal.Why should the US Embassy charge visa fee again and again if their intentions are honest? This negates all sincere efforts made by the US Ambassador in the recent past. The US Embassy can charge visa fee only once even if they expect people to apply for it again and again. It is not difficult to identify the fake. Mental blocks, biases, prejudices should pave way for positive open minds on the part of those conducting visa interviews.

PARMOD SINGH, ASHOK KUMAR and others, Chandigarh

Landmark ruling

I welcome the Yamunanagar Judicial Magistrate’s ruling directing a woman to pay Rs 5 lakh to her in-laws (April 26). In the past, the provisions of Sections 498 had been much exploited by the women against their husbands and their family members. The wives had been using it as a tool for minting money from their husbands by implicating them in false cases.

Now after this landmark judgement by a Yamunanagar court, the Judicial Magistrate has conveyed a message to the whole country that the courts would no more punish husbands under Section 498 A just on the pleas of their wives.




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