PM should focus on schools first

Dr Manmohan Singh is our most honest and highly qualified Prime Minister. He has succeeded in raising the growth rate to 9 per cent. He is worried about the sad state of affairs in higher education. According to him, two-thirds of our universities and 90 per cent of our colleges are rated as below average on quality parameters.

The Centre’s decision to open one Central University in each state and one degree college in each district is a step in this direction. However, when 70 per cent of the population has no access to quality elementary education, the benefit of new universities and colleges will be availed by the haves at the cost of the have-nots.

The Prime Minister says that one model school in each block will take the lamp of knowledge to every doorstep. India already has over 200 universities, many of them are Central institutes. If the Centre feels helpless in improving the quality of existing universities, how can it ensure quality in the institutes?

Instead, the Prime Minister’s focus should be on primary education first so that every child has access to quality education. Opening of new institutes of higher education can wait, but not universalisation of education.

Dr RANJIT SINGH, Former Dean (PAU), Ludhiana


Fill vacancies to clear arrears

The editorial “Justice in the evening” (June 26) refers to the alarming number of pending cases in the courts. One of the suggested solutions is to have evening courts.

I will presume that whenever and wherever such courts are established, we will not expect that judges already working in daytime will be holding courts in the evenings too. It clearly implies that new judges will have to be appointed. Then, where is the hitch in filling the vacancies? For example, many posts of judges are vacant in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and district courts.

The edit suggestion that the “government will have to… and also appoint more judges at all levels”, being a practical solution, should help solve the knotty problem of arrears. Thereafter, we may experiment with other alternatives. The problem of arrears in courts is alarming and therefore needs to be viewed seriously.

B.S. BHATIA, Advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh

M.Ed admission

The educational system needs some improvements. The National Council of Teachers’ Education (NCTE), set up in 1993, has framed certain norms. These were duly sent to Punjab’s Higher Education Secretary and the DPI (Colleges).

The NCTE norms should be applicable to all B.Ed and M.Ed colleges and universities. Let us examine M.Ed admissions. Punjabi University, Patiala, holds a combined test for all M.Ed. colleges whereas Guru Nanak Dev University allows each college to conduct its own entrance test and interview. There is no transparency in this procedure.

The M.Ed classes should be opened in government and private colleges only if they fulfill the NCTE norms for admission. The norms are, among others, the college principal must be a Ph.D in Education, four lecturers exclusively for M.Ed class out of which at least two should be Ph.D in Education.

If these colleges do not fulfil these norms, they should not be allowed to admit students in M.Ed. Preferably, only universities should have M.Ed class and not colleges.

G.S. SIDHU, Jalandhar

Teaching Vedas

The editorial “Hymns to humanity: Vedas are a common heritage” (June 22) aptly maintains that “for Indians, the Vedas exist since the beginning of the world and are a source of revealed truth”. All ancient and prevalent schools of thought in India as also modern Hindu religious leaders like Swami Dayanand and Swami Vivekananda are unanimous on this issue.

Unfortunately, however, the common view does not find even an oblique reference in the school and college textbooks. Westernised Indian educationists, who control and manage the educational set up, are so much obsessed with Western ideas that they have become their mental slaves.

There is no mention of Indian chronology based on Yugas, Chaturyugas (i.e. Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapar Yuga, and Kali Yuga) and their duration and reputation of this cycle of Yugas. The result: the younger generation is completely ignorant of Indian thoughts, values and traditions. This is one main reason for the moral degeneration of our society. We must appreciate the importance of Vedas and teach them in all schools and colleges.


Illegal vehicles

During a visit to Chandigarh recently, I found many illegal vehicles, locally called ‘marutas’. How could these escape the eyes of the Chandigarh Police? These play with the lives of the people on the highways with impunity.

Local villagers make use of these illegal vehicles for loading and unloading goods. For the law-abiding people, these are a hazard. Marutas are not approved under the Motor Vehicles Act. Also, they don’t pay road tax, registration fee and driving license fee. Unlicensed and underaged people drive them.

Stringent laws and immediate action against all the unauthorised vehicles are the need of hour.


Improve drainage

The monsoon is advancing fast and Chandigarh will face the problem of improper drainage of water after heavy downpour. The authorities concerned can solve the problem of water accumulation to some extent by cleaning up the choked storm water drains regularly. It costs nothing but can be very helpful to solve the problem.




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