The future of Punjabi University

In 2002, Mr S. S. Boparia, IAS, took over as the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala. He has used the past five years productively, making higher education, especially technical and professional education, accessible to young people in rural areas. With the percentage of rural students enrolled in colleges and universities declining year after year, Punjabi University’s emphasis on education for rural students is commendable. Indeed, given the challenges before young people today, this initiative needs to be strengthened and expanded.

Colleges and universities in Punjab have often been turned into arenas where competing political interests matched muscle and lung power. The interest of the students took a backseat, giving the way to competition for power and pelf. In some cases, faculty too aligned themselves with political interests for petty personal gains.

In the past, Punjabi University had seen its full share of such destructive power struggles. Troublemakers have not gone to sleep during the past five years, but every effort has been made to neutralise such competitions through fair and rule-bound treatment of all students and faculty members. Concerted efforts have been made to bring about transparency in decision-making and financial accountability fully open to scrutiny by any member of the university community.


The healthy practices and initiatives of the past five years should be further strengthened in the future. This is possible when care is taken to insulate the university from political pressures and partisan functioning and encourage leadership that is untainted and committed to the progress of young people and the state.

Justice AJIT SINGH BAINS (retd), Punjab Human Rights Organisation, Chandigarh

Definitive policy

I read Dr S.S. Johl’s article, “Population rise and distress: India needs definitive policy” (Aug 18). According to the professor, corruption takes place because demonstration effect soars up ambitions which would not be fulfilled in the absence of opportunities. As demonstrated by Prof Harkishan Singh’s very eminent letter in these columns a few days back, the strong family value system can neutralise the demonstration effect.

Those who could not make it to one profession can choose others where competition is relatively less intense. This will not only check corruption but also enhance the quality of service rendered across the spectrum.

AKHILESH, Birampur (Hoshiarpur)

In national interest

I endorse the article “Faulting 123 for nothing” by K. Subrahmanyam (Aug 25). If the agreement is not finalised, China, the major Asian competitor, will have an edge over India. We need integration with the other powers to rise. The Left parties are opposing the nuclear deal because of their anti-Americanism.

India’s energy requirements are increasing rapidly as the country is developing fast. Nuclear energy is clean and economical. The deal should go ahead, but recent developments suggest that the Left is in no mood to go ahead.

HARPREET SINGH, Lassuri (Jalandhar)

RTI in Punjab

I read the article “Justice at doorstep” (Aug 17). The Punjab State Information Commission has not been able to decide cases in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act in its court at Chandigarh. The officers have failed to supply the correct information or knowingly delayed or denied information within the 30-day limit.

Moreover, some officers have changed the office records to mislead the applicants and have thus violated the RTI Act. They have neither been penalised nor any strictures passed against them.The commission should give full details during hearing the case of both parties, not of one party. All the facts of the case must be mentioned in the final order.

R. S. MAHEY, Jalandhar

Award organ donors

I read the news-item, “In death, jawan’s wife gives life to 3” (Aug 28). Three cheers to Lance Naik G. S. Bisht for the noble cause of donating organs of his dead wife. But cheers alone will not do. An ex-gratia of at least Rs 5 lakh should be awarded to him besides giving him an out-of-turn promotion.

Those who donate organs on human grounds are life-givers, next only to God. To encourage this noble practice, the government should formulate a policy to suitably award the donors.

Wg-Cdr C. L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

Select teachers on merit

The Punjab Government’s Secondary Education Department has given a short shrift to merit in the essential qualification laid down for recruitment of masters and mistresses (Advertisement in The Tribune, Aug 29).

The basic qualification for these posts is BA/B.Sc and BT/B.Ed. The marks allotted for determining the candidates’ merit are 35 per cent each for BA/B.Sc and BT/B.Ed. This implies that any candidate who gets 35 per cent marks, i.e. barely third division in BA/B.Sc and BT/B.Ed, can be selected. Consequently, higher levels of merit have been neglected. Some candidates, despite securing first and second divisions, can be rejected if their merit is demolished by the criteria indicated at Sr No. 2 to 5 of the prescribed qualification.

For MA, M.Sc, M.Com and M.Ed qualifications, different marks have been allotted for different divisions. The same has been done in case of experience. But for essential qualification, the higher merit in terms of the division of candidates has been ignored. This needs to be rectified as follows to ensure selection on merit:

Those candidates who have passed BA/B.Sc in third, second and first division may be given 25, 30 and 35 marks respectively. Similarly, those who have passed BT/B.Ed in third, second and first division may be given 25, 30 and 35 marks respectively.




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